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Problems starting JH series motors on J/42

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  • wstellin
    Over the past two years we have had increasing intermitent problems starting the engine after hours of sailing and the starting battery a little low on
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 5, 2007
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      Over the past two years we have had increasing intermitent problems
      starting the engine after hours of sailing and the starting battery
      a little low on voltage. After much work I think I have identified
      the problem as being in the neutral safety switch in the
      shift/throttle lever. Often after hours of sailing with out the
      engine running, I would turn the starter key and nothing would
      happen except the lights on the panel dim a bit. I took every
      electrical connection between the instrument panel and the starter
      apart, cleaned them and put them back. What I found in the process
      is that the wire gauge from the neutral safety switch to the key
      starter switch is smaller than the wire gauge in the extenstion
      harness that connects the panel with the starter. I think there was
      some voltage drop and probably a sticking neutral safety switch
      which combined at times to make it hard to engage the starter. If I
      jiggled the shift lever when in neutral while turning the key it
      always started, but it was always a worry. Now, to fix the problem,
      I have disconnected the neutral safety switch so the only wire from
      the key, goes directly to the magnetic switch on the starter. This
      eliminates about 8 feet of wire which was smaller than it should
      have been and of course eliminates the possibility of a sticking
      neutral safety switch.
      The engine will start in gear and of course in neutral. Getting at
      the problem switch is all but impossible because the hood covering
      the pedestal has four frozen screws holding it on as well as the
      shift handle frozen to its spindle. I will have to cut both away to
      get at the inside of the shift mechanism.(Thanks TPI for not using
      TefGel on the dissimilar metals.) Probably, I will never fix the
      switch because replacing everything I have to destroy to get at the
      switch, will cost a fortune. I am all but sure I have solved the
      problem but only time will tell.
      Has anyone had a similar problem.
    • tkeffer
      ... Yes, I ve had exactly this problem. In fact, the very first time I singlehanded the boat it happened to me and, totally mystified exactly what was going
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 5, 2007
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        --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "wstellin" <wstellin@...> wrote:

        > Has anyone had a similar problem.
        >

        Yes, I've had exactly this problem. In fact, the very first time I
        singlehanded the boat it happened to me and, totally mystified exactly
        what was going on, I had to sail her back into the slip!

        My screws are not so corroded, so I had planned on taking the binnacle
        apart over the winter to take a look at what was going on in there.
        I'll report back what I find.

        -tk
      • Robert Thuss
        I have had the same problem on Jade (hull #19) and we have had to jump the starter solenoid to get the engine started. I thought it might be sticky shifter
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 6, 2007
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          I have had the same problem on Jade (hull #19) and we have had to jump
          the starter solenoid to get the engine started. I thought it might be
          sticky shifter cables not getting the transmission into neutral. I had
          a mechanic suggest disconnecting the neutral safety switch but I was
          concerned about safety issues. Have you had any problems with that
          setup? I now believe that balky starting may be worse than starting in
          gear, especially in a MOB or other critical situation. Robert
        • tkeffer
          ... My previous boat had (nearly) the same engine, and the same transmission, but no interlock switch. Occasionally I would forget and start the engine in gear
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 6, 2007
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            --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Thuss" <robert@...>
            wrote:
            > Have you had any problems with that
            > setup? I now believe that balky starting may be worse than starting in
            > gear, especially in a MOB or other critical situation. Robert
            >

            My previous boat had (nearly) the same engine, and the same
            transmission, but no interlock switch. Occasionally I would forget and
            start the engine in gear to no ill effect. I think the main risk is
            having the boat leap forward unexpectedly while at a dock.

            -tk
          • William Stellin
            The boat can and should be started in neutral. With the neutral safety switch disconnected the only problem is starting accidently in gear. We and probably you
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 6, 2007
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              The boat can and should be started in neutral.  With the neutral safety switch disconnected the only problem is starting accidently in gear.  We and probably you have  a folding  two blade prop which take quite a few RPMS to get the boat moving, so even if we do start in forward or reverse, at idle speed we go nowhere.  If I could get at the switch I would replace it. More important though is proper size of the wire that connects the switch with the key.  It is noticably thinner than the wire to the starter solinoide.  If you don't want to disconnect it, you can buy a momentary switch mechanics use to start car engines without having to use the key and get into the car.  It has long cables with aligator clips so you can clip them to the magnetic switch and push the button to start.  The button can be out the head window and in the cockpit.  I bought one at a NAPA store for a few bucks and it works fine. Later I discovered the problem was not with the key switch, but rather the neutral switch.  One other idea is to hard wire a pigtail to the magnetic switch with a receptacle and then just plug in the momentary switch when it is needed.  Just remember to turn the key on when starting the engine so that the accessory panel items are on. I am not sure if the engine will start with the key off using a momentary switch.

              If anyone fixes the neutral switch, post instructions and where to buy the switch.. We have the Whitlock steering system.

              Regards

              Bill Stellin   s/y Jaywalker hull #6


              From: "tkeffer" <keffer@...>
              Reply-To: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com
              To: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [j4x-owners-group] Re: Problems starting JH series motors on J/42
              Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2007 18:07:33 -0000

              --- In j4x-owners-group@ yahoogroups. com, "Robert Thuss" <robert@...>
              wrote:
              > Have you had any problems with that
              > setup? I now believe that balky starting may be worse than starting in
              > gear, especially in a MOB or other critical situation. Robert
              >

              My previous boat had (nearly) the same engine, and the same
              transmission, but no interlock switch. Occasionally I would forget and
              start the engine in gear to no ill effect. I think the main risk is
              having the boat leap forward unexpectedly while at a dock.

              -tk


            • tkeffer
              ... Well, I ve now had a chance to take a close look at the binnacle. Unfortunately, getting in there is not easy. First remove the wheel, then the compass.
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 2, 2008
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                --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "tkeffer" <keffer@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "wstellin" <wstellin@> wrote:
                >
                > > Has anyone had a similar problem.
                > >

                > My screws are not so corroded, so I had planned on taking the binnacle
                > apart over the winter to take a look at what was going on in there.
                > I'll report back what I find.

                Well, I've now had a chance to take a close look at the binnacle.
                Unfortunately, getting in there is not easy. First remove the wheel,
                then the compass. Working through the compass opening, remove the
                throttle assembly, and then the whole top of the pedestal, taking care
                not to drop any of the small nuts and screws. You'll probably have to
                remove the panel in the aft cabin that covers the bottom of the
                binnacle as well, in order to gain enough slack in the cables. This
                also helps to recover any of those wayward screws.

                I've got to confess that half way through, I decided it wasn't worth.
                I'm just going to bypass the switch.

                -tk
              • Paul Lever
                Tom Thanks for pictorial on your web site on the radar pole upgrade. Are you still happy with the strength of the pole unstayed? Is there a reason that you
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 7, 2008
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                  Tom
                  Thanks for pictorial on your web site on the radar pole upgrade. Are
                  you still happy with the strength of the pole unstayed? Is there a
                  reason that you didn't run the bury tube all the way to the deck?

                  Paul
                • tkeffer
                  ... Still happy with it. I wish I could claim some clever technical reason why I didn t run the bury tube all the way to the deck, but the truth is that the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 7, 2008
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                    --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, Paul Lever <paullever@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Tom
                    > Thanks for pictorial on your web site on the radar pole upgrade. Are
                    > you still happy with the strength of the pole unstayed? Is there a
                    > reason that you didn't run the bury tube all the way to the deck?

                    Still happy with it.

                    I wish I could claim some clever technical reason why I didn't run the
                    bury tube all the way to the deck, but the truth is that the piece was
                    available and it was cheap.

                    You certainly could run the tube to the deck, but it might be a bit
                    harder to work on because you couldn't get at the pole from below. I
                    don't think there's any difference in strength as the main stress
                    point is at the deck itself. Making the fit snug is more important.

                    Keep us posted on your progress!!

                    -tk
                  • Paul Lever
                    Tom, One more question. Do you think this approach requires a 4 inch pole over 3in? Paul
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 7, 2008
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                      Tom,
                      One more question. Do you think this approach requires a 4 inch pole over 3in?

                      Paul
                      At 05:10 PM 3/7/2008, tkeffer wrote:

                      --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, Paul Lever <paullever@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Tom
                      > Thanks for pictorial on your web site on the radar pole upgrade. Are
                      > you still happy with the strength of the pole unstayed? Is there a
                      > reason that you didn't run the bury tube all the way to the deck?

                      Still happy with it.

                      I wish I could claim some clever technical reason why I didn't run the
                      bury tube all the way to the deck, but the truth is that the piece was
                      available and it was cheap.

                      You certainly could run the tube to the deck, but it might be a bit
                      harder to work on because you couldn't get at the pole from below. I
                      don't think there's any difference in strength as the main stress
                      point is at the deck itself. Making the fit snug is more important.

                      Keep us posted on your progress!!

                      -tk

                    • tkeffer
                      ... Yes, I do. I don t think the 3 pole would be stiff enough without some sort of stay, particularly if you re planning on taking the boat offshore. Cheers!
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 7, 2008
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                        > One more question. Do you think this approach requires a 4 inch pole
                        > over 3in?

                        Yes, I do. I don't think the 3" pole would be stiff enough without
                        some sort of stay, particularly if you're planning on taking the boat
                        offshore.

                        Cheers!

                        -tk
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