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Hi Mark, my name is Jason.
I read what you wrote, what do you mean by it's binding? Is the starter not turning the engine over?
Do you have a meter in order to check voltage at the starter?
Hmmm... Have you pulled the plugs on the engine and tried to spin it over by hand to make sure there wasn't something in the powerhead or lower unit causing excessive drag?
Are you still with me Mark?
No, there shouldn't by any oil in there.
Did you (or another tech) actually measure the voltage at the starter with the engine cranking over?
What matters is what the voltage reads when it's bolted to the engine, under a load, and actively turning the engine over. It needs to be 9.5V or better while cranking the engine over. If there are bad cables, a bad battery switch, poor connections, or anything else that causes a more than normal voltage drop the current draw is going to go up. When starters draw to much current, they heat up, burn up, and smoke. You should be okay bolting the old starter back up and see what the voltage is to that starter. If it's below 9.5 when actively cranking the engine over, then what you have is a low voltage problem that is causing the starters to burn up. Does that make sense to you?
That is where you stand on your end and what needs to be done. I think that should do it. But I work for tips so I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.
Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.
That's where it needs to be. Was there any extra drag when trying to spin the motor over by hand?
Did you ever get a chance to spin the engine by hand?
Nothing is standing out as far as something actually being wrong. You might have just got a bad starter (after the original failed) but you'll know once you get the new starter in place. I do like hearing the outcomes so if you don't mind, please let me know how you make out.