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Discussion Starter #1
Have a low hour 2000 30HP Merc two smoke. After starting the starter will retract but continue to spin. Put the motor in gear and it stops spinning. However when you go to take out of gear, the starter tries to engage the flywheel and of course hits it and makes a clang and stops, the starter not the motor. Any thoughts?
 

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crazy..........there is a dissociation of events here...I would clean all connections on the starter and shoot some wd40 on the arm and wheel... shoot some wd into the key switch.....ck battery.....

I have no idea why shifting it would have anything to do w/ the starter...
 

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Two things have to happen for the starter solenoid to be actuated.
1. The neutral safety switch must be actuated by placing the shifter into neutral.
2. The keys switch must be in the start position.

Because the starter stops turning when the motor is in gear, the neutral safety switch is working. Because the starter begins to turn when you take it out of gear, the solenoid must be getting juice from the key switch circuit.

As noted above, check the key switch.
 

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A sticking solenoid would be my first thing to check.... particularly on a starter with some age on it...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the feedback guys. Does it both from forward to neutral and reverse to neutral. Still trying to fathom how shifting is tied to a switch, but will continue to explore. I guess this means I need to take the shifter lever control apart.
 

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I'd discontent the battery and pull the keyed switch out where you can see the connections on the back. Use a multi-meter to check for continuity between the starter circuit and any ground. If you have continuity without the switch being held in the "on position" the switch is "bad".

If the solenoid was "stuck" in the on position the starter would be running and neutral switch would not effect it but just to add a dash of salt...... tapping on a solenoid can unstick them sometimes so the jolt of shifting could unstick one but should not be able to start one.
 

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I don't know about Mercs but my Yamaha F40 has a neutral safety switch in the throttle control AND on the motor itself. (Item #9)





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just out of curiosity,
you do have to turn the keyed switch all the way to the start position to start the motor and the spring in the switch turns it back to the on position when you let go of the key?

Generally when a keyed switch fails it just doesn't actuate the starter solenoid.
My company was a service/warranty center for several equipment manufacturers who's equipment used ignition or keyed switches. I do remember one case where the switch spring quit working and you had to turn the key back one step to the on position from start.

DC electric can be tricky. For instance you could have a "short" in the wiring somewhere which could make it seem the keyed switch is stuck in the start position and or could even make the problem come and go away randomly.

You can disconnect the wire from the solenoid to the starter motor and then turn the key to start and you may be able to hear the solenoid click. Don't hold the key in the start position more than a few seconds though the click should happen immediately when the key reaches the start position. Do that a couple times to see if it keeps clicking. If it does then it's not the key switch because it is energizing the solenoid when turned to start and stopping when you let go. If it does not keep clicking when turned to start but does at least once then the switch could be sticking in the start position and should be tested with a meter.
As I mentioned DC can be tricky, if checked with a multi meter and it shows continuity in the starter circuit even with the key not in the start position then remove that wire and test the switch again. If it still reads the same then the switch is bad. If it does not then you have a short somewhere.

It takes longer for me to type this than to trouble shoot your problem if I had your boat in front of me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the replys. Took the control apart and really didn't do anything (beyond my pay grade, don't even have a multi meter) but hit the key and switch with some wd40 and put it back together. Seemed to have worked, at least during today's excursion. Apparent there is a lot of knowledge from microskiffers!
 

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After starting the starter will retract but continue to spin. Put the motor in gear and it stops spinning.
This concerns me. If the key switch was bad, i.e. staying engaged, the starter bendix would stay engaged to the flywheel, correct? This issue sounds like low voltage keeping the starter spinning, but not enough voltage to engage the bendix. I'll admit not knowing marine engines, but if you sprayed the switch and the problem went away, I think you found the issue.
 
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