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i have CAT 3408s in my boat. Both wont turn over. Both make…

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i have CAT 3408s in...
i have CAT 3408s in my boat. Both won't turn over. Both make exact same sound when I press and hold the start button: "rat-tat-tat-tat-tat". It's trying very hard but some piece of steel seems like it's banging into something and won't let it start. Lots of power, so that's not the problem.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Boat
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Answered in 47 minutes by:
6/19/2010
Marine Mechanic: K. Kergan, Marine Mechanic replied 8 years ago
K. Kergan
K. Kergan, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1,031
Experience: 24 yrs exp. Inboard/Outboard mechanic Mercury/ Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and OMC, Johnson/Evin.
Verified
It could do this if you have 24 volt starters wired to 12 volts. The rat-a-tat sound could be the solenoid trying to engage without enough voltage. If this is not the problem, let me know and I'll turn the question over to someone else.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
The engines ran great before this and nobody has rewired anything. The point at which things changed from starting fine to not starting was, coincidentally, when I had a bilge pump draining the batteries beyond the point of no return. With new batteries and no funny wiring changes, it has to be something else. At some point before or after the problems, one of the people that was helping me disconnected a funny plug at the top of each engine (9 prongs I think). I wonder if they let the engines be controlled from the engine room intsead of top deck bc when I reconnected them but got less things happening from the gages on the top deck. btw, thanks for helping!
Marine Mechanic: K. Kergan, Marine Mechanic replied 8 years ago
Any solenoid can make a rat-a-tat sound if it doesn't quite have enough power to kick in solidly, it happens to both engines so it has to be something common to both. I would check voltages just to be sure. If you have 12 volt ships systems and 24 volt engine start the battery wiring can get confusing. Not sure about the plug you refer to, my Cat experience is on much older engines.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
ok, so the real clue is that both engines have the exact same sound. Money is super tight, so I'm scared to call in a cat service guy. But i do have a cheaper electrician who recently replaced a couple of chargers. I'll get him over to try to measure the voltages etc. If this is the thing then I'll log back in a accept your answer.
Marine Mechanic: K. Kergan, Marine Mechanic replied 8 years ago
OK
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Experience: 24 yrs exp. Inboard/Outboard mechanic Mercury/ Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and OMC, Johnson/Evin.

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