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James, Marine Mechanic
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I have a 1981 mercruiser stern drive 350/260-hp engine will

Resolved Question:

I have a 1981 mercruiser stern drive 350/260-hp engine will not turn over. This appears to be an electrical problem. Connect a wire direct from solenoid on ignition swith to starter solenoid relay turn key engine turns over.
Check both slave red relay terminals with test light connected to battery negatiuve and both are hot. I do not know how to check inside the control box for an interlock problem. Could you please let me know what my next move is?

Regards,

Ed Prete

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Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  James replied 3 years ago.

Hello, welcome to JustAnswer.

 

So you have power at the yellow wire at the key switch when you turn the key to start, but no power to yellow wire attached to the slave solenoid mounted on the motor, correct? There is no sound what so ever when you turn the key? no click?

 

Testing the neutral safety switch in the control is easy enough, Both of the wires that come out of the control box should have power when the key is turned to start and the shift lever is in neutral. The wires you are testing this way are going to be yellow. Not the blue, red, or green (these wires are for the trim, if the trim button is on the shift lever.)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
hard to get on wires. Should the n weural safety sw itch on the top back of motor be activated when
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
hard to get on wires. Should the n weural safety sw itch on the top back of motor be activated when
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hard to get at wires.

Should the neutral safety switch interlock be closed when shift lever is in neutral fo start and open otherwise.

Expert:  James replied 3 years ago.

The switch on the back of the motor is not the neutral safety switch. That is the shift interrupt switch. When the shift lever is in neutral that switch should be in the open position. No continuity thru that switch when the motor is running.

 

But the switch you should be testing is in the control box that is behind the shift lever up at the helm. That is the one that has 12 volts on both wires when the key is in the start position. No the one back on the motor.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I still do not know where to find the switch in the control box. This is the older handle that requires the push in of the top 2 buttons left and right when bringing the out drive all the way up for trailering. but the third button is used to lower the motor. Can you tell me how to get at these wires.
Expert:  James replied 3 years ago.

The control box is not the same as the control handle.

The part that is visible is the handle. The control box is on the other side of the side panel the the control handle is attached to. It will have the two cables that go towards the back of the boat sticking out of it.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Too hot to complete today maybe later this evening. There is two yellow with red stripe wires in the harness from the control box, only one is being used it looks as if the two wires may have been joined together. Please comment is this correct.
Expert:  James replied 3 years ago.

The way that circuit works is all those wires equal a straight line from the key switch to the slave solenoid. If any of them are not connected, you may have just found the problem.

That yellow wire starts at the key switch, goes to the neutral safety switch then to the solenoid. That wire is also the one that makes the started work when you turn the key to start.

James, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 4111
Experience: 12 years Certified marine mechanic, performance boat builder
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