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Starter issues

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Starter issues

Tunaslam Tunaslam
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/24/13
06:19 PM

Hey guys I'm new here and I need help
So I bought a boat and the engine is a 1969 350.
So beingnew at the whole mechanic thing i looked up what I thought was my engine and it said 7.1 qts so long story short overfilled it and so i drain 2 qts out
then last night I go to start it and it cranks three times real slow and stops and then cranks again stops.
Figure well shoot maybe the batteries are dead...charge them and nothing different. So I replaced the starter figuring it was that, and the same thing happened Mad so we figure the starter isn't getting enough power so my buddy pulls his tahoe up and we connect the jumper cable to the starter and ground it to the block
annnndddd still doing the same thing.
we're outta ideas
outta patience
and outta beer  

68scott385 68scott385
Guru | Posts: 1990 | Joined: 10/09
Posted: 02/24/13
08:10 PM

Make sure the cables are in good condition, i.e., no loose or bad connections between the cables and the cable ends. Make sure the connections at the battery are clean and tight. Make sure all your grounds are clean and tight.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

pepsi1 pepsi1
Guru | Posts: 1718 | Joined: 09/11
Posted: 02/24/13
08:18 PM

Tunaslam welcome to CHP: Is tunaslam a sandwich?...LOL...
Didn't you read the sign about boats? It's a whole in the water you keep throughing money into.....All kidding aside..

  Here is a big mistake a lot of people make with small block Chevy starters. They install a regular bolt. GM starters use a special bolt. If someone used the wrong bolts that will bind the starter and twist it.
  Again NAPA AutoZone or the GM dealer should have them...
   Did you purchase a starter for a boat? They are special "NO SPARK" so you don't blow you and your boat up. The reason the engine sits in the lowest spot in the bilge. All the gas and oil fumes accumulate there. If you forget to turn the blowers on to remove the fumes they could ignite. Thats not a Joke. The same with the flame arrestor on your carburetor. Thats funny looking for a reason. In case the engine back fires it won't ignite the fumes either.
  The old heavy starters have a support bracket on the very front of the nose. Its there to even out the weight of the starter front to rear. If its missing it could load and twist the part that is in at the flywheel end. In turn bind the meshing of the starter bendix and the flywheel.
  Next there are shims you can try to relieve the starter mesh from the bendix to the flywheel. You should have had some in the box. You can purchase them seperate at NAPA AutoZone Gm dealership. ETC. Here is what I do. I install (1) shim under the starter to start. Does the starter crank any easier? If so continue there is No set way to do this. You have to play with it.

1.Did you try starting the engine before you installed too much oil?

2.(2) quarts too much wouldn't prevent the engine from starting it would just make it work hard to make RPM then it would spit the extra oil out the dip stick tube or breathers any place it could exit the engine block.

3.Get the shims and try finding a spot where the starter will spin the engine over.

4.There maybe a couple different ways the starter mounts to the engine block.
  A. The 2 bolts are across from each other.
  B. The 2 bolts are off-set from each other.
  C. They make 2 different shims. Grin  Cool


Tunaslam Tunaslam
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/24/13
08:57 PM

Alright so we thought it was the starter but It's doing the exact same thing after we replaced it. We adjusted it or tried to but you can't see the wheel. we could get it started afterward but we had to have it at full throttle. So we were told about too much oil causing it to run funny so I empty out two quarts now it's cranking slow like it's not getting power. My mechanic friend is gonna look at it tommorow he thinks the timing might be too advanced or the timing chain slipped. Does either of these sound like a possibility? And to answer your question the thing used to fire right up.Then the fuel pump went out so we bought a new one and installed it. And that was the first time we started it after the oil.  
Thanks Bob for the welcome and the response. And there's two vertical bolts to mount it to the block  

Tunaslam Tunaslam
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/24/13
09:00 PM

and to respond to your post 68scott235 we did and then bypassed all that by hooking by hooking buddies tahoe directly to the starter via Jumper cables  

redneckjoe69 redneckjoe69
Addict | Posts: 2337 | Joined: 03/10
Posted: 02/25/13
05:04 AM

if you pull the sparkplugs out, it should crank alot easier.  

pepsi1 pepsi1
Guru | Posts: 1718 | Joined: 09/11
Posted: 02/25/13
07:47 AM

"The big question is? Do you know if this ever ran"? (NOTE): To run the engine out of the water you need a set of ears. The ears go over the water intake. If you start the engine without those ears you will burn the water pump up in a heart beat...If you have done all those things, and it still cranks hard.
  Pull the spark plugs as Joe says. Does the engine crank any faster?
  If you have a Mercruiser out drive, the throttle lever cable should have a button in the center of it. Push that button in, and at the same time move the throttle lever forward. That should disengage the engine from the out drive. Now try cranking the engine. Be carefull if the engine fires that lever controls the throttle independentley.
  If this doesn't help you need to start breaking one thing down at a time.
Good Luck....


waynep71222 waynep71222
Enthusiast | Posts: 448 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 02/25/13
08:36 AM

first... good advice above... also i worked on a 104' wooden power boat for 22 years .. the engine room was 19 foot wide and 25 foot long.. 2 main engines and 3 gen sets..

the wrong non marine spec starter will blow you boat to bits...   even if its a mini starter...

i hope you still have the starter you removed so you can match it.. or have it rebuilt by a starter rebuilder... or do it your self.. they are not hard to freshen up... usually...

can you print this  chart...


do the first half of the test first... to verify the battery /s are up to full charge...

then ... on the 4 part test...  since this is in a boat...

start with NUMBER 2 test...   perform that while cranking or attempting to crank the engine..

depending on the length of your battery cables.. i would like to see LESS THAN 0.5 volts while cranking...  between the NEGATIVE BATTERY POST and the ENGINE BLOCK.. or STARTER NOSE where its bolts to the block...

move the volt meter over to the positive battery post and the positive battery post on the starter and attempt a start again..     less than 0.5 volts.. thats half a volt would be a good reading..

i am taking that there is a crank driven  pump blocking access to the front of the crank.. that might restrict you from getting a 5/8" six point socket on the crank bolt to see if the engine is TIGHT and preventing the engine from spinning ..

jumper cables really do not have the amount of surface area to get a starter to crank an engine if the existing wiring is not installed...  

zman123 zman123
Enthusiast | Posts: 531 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 02/25/13
04:21 PM

the biggest and most common problem with slow cranking is the cables, Do a voltage drop test described above on BOTH positive and negative cables. I'm betting you will find a big drop from the battery to the starter solenoid or a bad ground. More 100 dollar starters are bought unnecessarily when a 6 dollar cable will fix the problem.  

pepsi1 pepsi1
Guru | Posts: 1718 | Joined: 09/11
Posted: 02/25/13
06:34 PM


That could very well be your timing is pushed way ahead.

1.If you want to see if thats what it is. Put a mark
(I use white out) anywhere on the distributor cap.
Now reference that mark on the engine block somewhere.

2. With a 9/16" wrench loosen the hold down bolt for the

3.Now looking at the distributor, just turn the distributor
CCW a 1/2". Use your reference marks. Retighten the bolt.

4.Now crank the engine. Does the engine crank any faster?
If yes. Then repeat that previous step. CCW another 1/4"
to 1/2". Now does the engine crank even faster? If yes
then spray a little carb clean or ether in the carb. Does
the engine start, or crank faster? If yes keep it running.

Please Note: As I mentioned earlier.
I owned boats for over 20 years. You need to use ears on
the intake water pump thats located on the out drive. You
have to hook a garden hose to the ears, and this will fill
the engine block, with water. Providing everything is in
good operating condition. DO NOT RUN THE ENGINE WITHOUT THE
EARS. You will burn the water pump up in a heart beat.... Tongue


tuffnuff tuffnuff
Moderator | Posts: 7827 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 02/25/13
08:24 PM

+1 Bob,
The seals and hoses fry in seconds from the exhaust heat.,. without water cooling.
The "ears" are called "muffs" and any marine outfit sells them for about $20.00

Outdrive Muffs Zpsff7d0d9f

Outdrivemuffs Zpscbb7b056

When The Flag Drops.,.


The Bull ***t Stops.,.

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

pepsi1 pepsi1
Guru | Posts: 1718 | Joined: 09/11
Posted: 02/26/13
06:11 AM

Gee Tuff :
  Is that a Chaperall Boat?  We had a 20' Chaperall Cuddy for 20 years. I know they were made in Ga. Don't remember the town. Great boat.
  Thanks they are called muffs.


aoehero aoehero
New User | Posts: 9 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 03/09/13
10:44 PM

Hey Tuna,
I worked on a engine once that was overfilled with oil then driven hard for a few days. As it turned out the hydralic lifters wound up wiping the cam. Bad things happen when you overfill the crankcase.
What ever happened to the rod scraping trays?