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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10898
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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1990 OMC 2.3 liter Cobra 4 cycle Replacement Starter will

Customer Question

1990 OMC 2.3 liter Cobra 4 cycle Replacement Starter will not engage the flywheel
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is tan.

Do you have a volt meter? We need to check for voltage directly at the starter terminal when cranking.

What is you voltage reading?

Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Here is a diagram to follow. Check for voltage at E and F with key in crank position. What are you voltage readings?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Boat is covered at moment Can we check in am & respond?
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.


I come online at 8am PST.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Talk to you in the AM Lynn
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
E 11.65; F 10.66; battery at rest 12.48
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
E 11.65; F 10.66; At rest of Battery 12.48
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

That is plenty of voltage. Have you been having engine issues? Remove the spark plugs and see if engine will turn over. The starter is getting plenty of voltage so unless the starter is defective it should be cranking the engine over.

Did you replace the starter thinking it was the problem?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Ok we could have a drive issue or an engine issue. Remove the spark plugs look at the plugs look for signs of water.

If clean and the engine still won't turn over we will have to remove the drive.

Check the gear lube in the drive bottom plug. What color is the lube. Just remove the plug and let some lube run out then replace the plug.

Post back with findings.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Gear never flies out to flywheel. Gear lube is fine checked that; plugs have been removed, seem OK - no water present. Been trying so many things for over 1 week since recd new starter.# ***** Sierra Marine Engine.
Which drive are you referring to?
We're on an island so getting frustrated.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

The stern drive.

Before you installed the starter did you inspect the flywheel teeth?

Was the engine acting the same way with the old starter? Have you tried to see if the engine will tun over with a socket on the front of the crank?

If the engine or drive are stuck the starter won't engage the flywheel. Does the starter spin or clunk?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was inspected (several times). Engine started right up previously. Engine turn over with socket.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Ok that leaves only one thing the starter. I would pull the starter off and see if it will turn.

We know we have enough voltage as the starter requires 9.5 plus volts to work correctly. So we know we have plenty of voltage and it did turn over before so it isn't an alignment issue leaving only one thing the starter.

Remove starter and test then post back with findings.

Bench tets is not an accurate test of the starter strength I just want to see if it turns over at all.

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