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Ask Dominick Your Own Question
Dominick, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1009
Experience:  25 Years Experience as Mechanic, 20 Yrs Boat Yard Owner/Mechanic, Factory Certified
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I have a 2002 suntracker party barge with the merc 3.0 inboard.

Customer Question

I have a 2002 suntracker party barge with the merc 3.0 inboard. I think my starter is bad. Im wondering if I have to take it to the shop to have them pull the motor to get to it, or is there a trick to changing it out with out pulling motor?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Hello. My name is***** will be assisting you. Are you sure you have a starter issue? Have you done any testing to verify it is the starter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes i have tested ignition, and have tried to jump starter on both poles and it will not move
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Jumping the poles doesn't engage the starter. What you need to do is if you have a volt meter we can do some testing to verify the starter is the issue. Now as far as pulling the starter if you can get your hand under neath the starter it can be removed without pulling the engine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
not sure if you are familiar with this particular boat, but there is extremely limited room to do any work. you basicly have to hang upside down to get to bottom of motor and can really only get one hand down there. I guess my question is can you remove rails or walls around the transom to get down into it. or is there a trick to it. I can not find any documentation on line on this. I have the manual for the engine but not the boat. Im assuming that tracker has one for there techs or there is not one at all, and the techs just have to wing it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
and i did follow all instructions in the manual on testing the starting charging system
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thats how i got to the conclusion it is the starter.
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
No manual will tell you that on a particular boat. It will just tell you how to remove from engine. I am familiar with tight quarters. I have not removed a starter from that particular model. The techs have to figure it out for themselves. If you can post a picture of the starter and the area I can give you some clue as to whether it can be done without removal of the engine. When you turn the kkey to crank position do you hear anything? I would hate to see you go through the replacement of the starter and it not be the starter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i hear a click when i turn it. before it went completly out, we had to bump it a few times and it would start, now its just dead and only clicks
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Ok that can be the primary start solenoid. Lets do this locate the yellow/red wire on the starter now with a piece of wire jump from the large terminal on the starter where the battery cable connects to the yellow/red wire terminal. Does the starter work? Jump from the A term to the B terminal.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i am actually not at the boat now. but can go do more testing this afternoon. I believe I have done this and have only gotten a click
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Ok one more thing is we need to make sure the cable connections are clean and tight on the engine and the battery. Both positive and negative. Many times it is just a corroded connection. I would disconnect each connection clean and refasten. This is the most common issue besides a bad solenoid. I will be here all day and throuigh the weekend. Post back with findings and questions. Post some pics if the starter doesn't function after all the cable checks and the jumper test.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok will do, does the thread stay open? or do we have to start a new one everytime
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
The thread will stay open till we have finished. Just post back as you have been.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thank you sir
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Your welcome.