Starter problem in cold weather

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CAPTAIN-D
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Starter problem in cold weather

Post by CAPTAIN-D » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:06 pm

I have a 200 Lycoming with high comp. pistons.The starter turns the engine over fine untill temps drop into the 30's or low 40's.When the temps get that cold the starter will not turn the engine over.The starter drive gear engages into the engine ring gear but will not turn the engine over. Here is what I have done so far. I cleaned all battery cables and conections and tightned to make sure I'm getting good ground. Pulled starter off and had starter shop check the starter on the bench and they told me the starter is good. They asked how old my battery was (3 tears old) they said it was most likely the battery.Keep in mind the boat is in the marsh back at the camp.So I bought a new battery. Got back to the camp installed starter and new battery boat started right up that afternoon (temp rose 20 deg. or more by 2:00 PM.) Next morning 33 deg and a frost starter won't turn engine over. Left boat at camp and returned the next day with the temp in the 60's boat fire right up. I have the boat at home trying to figure where the problem lies.I think the starter is a Toyota starter.I want to see what yall think, can the starter be the problem ? It spins on the bench but that is not the same as the load it's put in under these cold temperture starts.Can the starter be weak?Don't want to buy a starter untill I've checked everything. Battery cables look to be fine the do not heat up when starting engine. Any help will be appriciated. Also I am cranking the engine over with the mags off.

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akblackdawg
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by akblackdawg » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:15 pm

I think you need more juice from your battery to the starter. Heavier cable may help. I think most use 4 gage cable, i was haveing simuliar problem with chev v8 and went to 2 gage and it helped a lot. also be sure starter is grounded to the stand, and that stand is grounded to the battery. In addition, i know nothing about ac motors, what weight oil are you running, do they suggest a light oil in the winter for you guys. Hope this helps. Bud
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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by kwanjangnihm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:17 pm

Install larger battery cables! (positive, negative & ground to rigging)

Look at the chart below - I replaced my 4AWG cables and went to 1\0AWG. Same battery spins my AV-540 with authority now!

The bigger cables allow 88% more energy to be utilized over the smaller diameter cables.

Image

I also installed these military truck battery terminals that allow 4 times more current through them over lead type.

Image

This may not be your only issue, but it will eliminate any doubts about your cables! :rebel:
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CAPTAIN-D
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by CAPTAIN-D » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:22 pm

Thanks guys, the boat has size 4 on it now I have some #2 cable that came out of my bay boat when I changed engines. I will try the # 2 as I have it on hand.If that doesn't do the trick I will try the 1/0 .Noticed there is a big difference between # 2 and the 1/0 Thanks

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by rocketrob » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:43 pm

DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT use welding cable for battery cable . This stuff is not designed to flow the amperage needed
to crank an engine . It is fine stranded for flexibility as required in welding applications .Spent many hours years ago figuring out this problem . Even if its not applicable to this problem , it,s something you all need to know .
Rob

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by kwanjangnihm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:29 pm

rocketrob wrote:DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT use welding cable for battery cable . This stuff is not designed to flow the amperage needed
to crank an engine . It is fine stranded for flexibility as required in welding applications .Spent many hours years ago figuring out this problem . Even if its not applicable to this problem , it,s something you all need to know .
Rob
x2

Here is a link to the site I ordered the cables from:
http://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/Zen/in ... ucts_id=99

Image

All Marine cables are made from Type III stranded, Tin plated copper with a jacket resistant to moisture, oil, chemicals, gasoline fuel and excellent abrasion resistance. Designed to meet SAE, ABYC, UL and Coast Guard requirements, 600 volts, 105°C dry, 75°C wet. Safety standards for electrical and gasoline fuel systems CFR 33 Part 183.(BC-5W2). Lugs are crimped and covered with adhesive dual-wall heat shrink. If you need a cable made longer than 40 feet, just email us and we will make it.
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by Whitebear » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:33 pm

Good, bigger or better cables may help your problem, but I am also thinking your battery is suffering from the cold weather. There is likely no practical way to run a battery heater on a boat in the Marsh, but if your camping in a cabin or even in a heated tent, bring the battery in with you at the end of the day.
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by bbstimey » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:11 am

rocketrob wrote:DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT use welding cable for battery cable . This stuff is not designed to flow the amperage needed
to crank an engine . It is fine stranded for flexibility as required in welding applications .Spent many hours years ago figuring out this problem . Even if its not applicable to this problem , it,s something you all need to know .
Rob
i use 2/0 welding cable and it works great on my boat
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by Gary S » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:07 am

Have you tried turning it over by hand to see how tight it is? You also cant go by looks. I changed a starter and battery and had a disagreement with the guy at advanced that the battery they sold me was bad. He would not exchange it because his gauge said it was good. ended up being a battery terminal that looked perfect. Have you tried using a good set of jumper cables to bypass cables?

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by happy harold » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:01 am

sounds like oil to me.

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by GatorsBy7 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:55 am

have you tried a Voltage Drop Test? doing this should identify the problem.

http://www.aa1car.com/library/voltage_drop_testing.htm
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rocketrob
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by rocketrob » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:25 am

The welding cable issue will show up on an engine that is harder to crank and requires more amperage from the battery .
Also , any battery will loose approximately 50 % of its cranking capacity in cold weather .
Rob

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by midnight rider » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:48 am

Couldn't disagree more about using welding cables. A welding cable of any size will carry more current than a thhn, or thwn or larger strand conductor of an equivilant size. That is one reason they are commonly used for temp power situations. You can run less cables and still have the same ampacity.
Maybe a perko switch and two batteries would be a way you could increase your cca for cold weather conditions.

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by GeeLeDouche » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:07 am

I use welding cables, 2 batteries and a perko switch and haven't had had a hard start problem (since I fixed the ground problem in my starter solenoid) I frequently start and run my boat in 10-20 degree or lower weather. I would suggest trying to bypass your battery cables with a set of good jumper cables and see if that makes any difference. but that's just a guess..
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rocketrob
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by rocketrob » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:50 am

Midnight rider ; Your right , I just researched this issue and looks like Ive been handing out bad advice for many years .
My experiance was many years back on a dump truck with a 290 cummins diesel outfitted with welding cables by the owner .
That thing would not crank properly until we redid the cables with battery cable and solved the problem . i guess i,m still
looking for the answer on that one except that I stopped looking .
Rob

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by midnight rider » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm

:thumbleft:

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by kwanjangnihm » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:29 pm

guys welding cable will work all day long - not disputting this at all

the 3 things that come to mind are:

1. the insulation on welding cable is typically thinner so you can roll it up

2. the thinner insulation is susceptible to oil and fuel more than other automotive or marine cables

3. the thinner insulation can wear through from vibration and rubbing against metal rigging

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by CAPTAIN-D » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:07 pm

I bought a new battery when I had the starter checked out, don't think that is the problem. Also when I got home I hooked up the battery that came out of the boat to the battery charger, it showed fully charged in 5 minutes. I don't think it is a battery issue. I have had the boat for 4 years and this is the first time I ran into this problem. I am going to try the larger cables to see if that fixes the problem.

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by Dixiedog60 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:59 pm

Just because a battery charges up to 12 volts does not mean it is putting out full cranking amps. Also welding cable can carry more amps for any given size due to skin effect but they like all cables must be properly terminated . I find bad terminations cause 90% of electrical problems. On a boat you have to be diligent to keep your wiring clean and corrosion free.
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by midnight rider » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:29 am

Funny Lycoming posted this on their Facebook this morn.

http://www.lycoming.com/Portals/0/techp ... arting.pdf

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by kwanjangnihm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:29 pm

here is the text if the link does not work:

Lycoming
652 Oliver Street
Williamsport, PA. 17701 U.S.A.
Tel. 570-323-6181
Fax. 570-327-7101
http://www.lycoming.textron.com

DATE: July 1, 2002 Service Instruction No. 1505
Engineering Aspects are
FAA Approved

SUBJECT: Cold Weather Starting
MODELS AFFECTED: All Lycoming aircraft engines.
TIME OF COMPLIANCE: At engine start in cold weather.

In extremely low temperatures, oil congeals, battery capacity is lowered, and the starter can be
overworked. Improper cold weather starting can result in abnormal engine wear, reduced performance,
shortened time between overhauls, or failure for the engine to operate properly.
The use of pre-heat will facilitate starting during cold weather, and is required when the engine has been
allowed to drop to temperatures below +10°F/-12°C (+20°F/-6°C for –76 series engine models).
Be sure that the engine oil is in compliance with the recommended grades.

NOTE
The use of a heated dipstick is not approved because heat is not distributed throughout the
engine, and concentrated heat may damage non-metal engine parts. Proper pre-heat requires a
thorough decongealing of all oil.

To pre- heat using hot air:
1. Use a high- volume hot air heater.

CAUTION
DIRECT THE HOT AIR CAREFULLY TO AVOID HEAT DAMAGE TO NON-METAL
PARTS. OPEN COWL FLAPS IF INSTALLED, SO THAT HEAT BUILD-UP DOES NOT
DAMAGE WIRING, HOSES, ETC.

2. Apply hot air directly to the oil sump, external oil lines, cylinders, air intake, oil cooler and oil filter in
5 to 10 minute intervals. Between intervals, feel the engine to be sure that it is retaining warmth. Also
check to be sure that there is no damaging heat build-up. During the last 5 minutes, direct heat to the
top of the engine.

Page 1 of 2
© 2002 by Lycoming “All Rights Reserved”
SERVICE
INSTRUCTION
Service Instruction No. 1505

3. Immediately after pre-heating, start the engine according to the normal starting process. Avoid
cranking for more than 5 seconds each start attempt.

NOTE
Due to the battery being cold and subject to rapid discharge, an auxiliary power source is
recommended.

4. Avoid rapid acceleration after a cold start. Do not exceed idle RPM, recommended in the engine
Operator’s Manual, until oil pressure is stabilized above the minimum idling range. Allow up to one
minute for oil pressure to stabilize, since lines to the gage may remain cold. If oil pressure is not
indicated within 30 seconds, shut down the engine and determine the cause. If no leaks or damage is
found, repeat the pre- heat before restarting.

5. Allow the engine to warm up at idle speed until oil pressure and temperature are stabilized within
normal limits and proceed to ground check in accordance with the airframe manufacturer’s Pilots
Operating Handbook.

6. Cycle the propeller control in accordance with the airframe and propeller manufacturer’s instructions
to insure warm oil is circulated into the propeller dome.

7. After completing the ground check, and before attempting takeoff, check oil pressure, oil temperature,
and cylinder head temperature to be sure that all are well within their normal operating ranges.

8. Insure that when takeoff power is applied smoothly, oil pressure, fuel flow, manifold pressure, and
RPM are steady. Surges or fluctuations may indicate that the engine is not warm enough for takeoff.

CAUTION
THE ENGINE MAY NOT BE WARM ENOUGH FOR TAKEOFF IF THERE ARE
INDICATIONS OF:
1. ENGINE ROUGHNESS
2. LOW, HIGH OR SURGING RPM
3. HIGH, LOW, OR FLUCTUATING OIL PRESSURE
4. HIGH OR LOW FUEL FLOW
5. EXCESSIVE MANIFOLD PRESSURE
Page 2 of 2
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by gso480jr » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:47 pm

CAPTAIN-D, After you eliminate cables as a possible cause, if the cranking is still too slow, I would strongly suggest a starter draw test. You have high compression pistons, that will magnify early signs of a failing starter, that will begin to draw excessive amps during cranking. :wink:

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by Whitebear » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:02 pm

rocketrob wrote:Midnight rider ; Your right , I just researched this issue and looks like Ive been handing out bad advice for many years .
My experiance was many years back on a dump truck with a 290 cummins diesel outfitted with welding cables by the owner .
That thing would not crank properly until we redid the cables with battery cable and solved the problem . i guess i,m still
looking for the answer on that one except that I stopped looking .
Rob
Rob here is the deal on cables. electrical current does not flow through the insideof the wires of the cable at all. Current flows on the outside surface of the wires in the cable. Therefor surface area is the critical factor for the carrying capacity of any cable. The more conductors in a cable the more surface area. There will obviously be some point of diminishing returns, but for almost all installations the above will hold true. Welding cable has a huge surface area compared to the normal battery cable from the auto parts store.

The single most glaring problem for cable installations is the connections not the cable itself. As long as the cable is the correct size, its nearly always a connection failure. Connection failures are most common where connectors meet. That is the Battery post and the ring on the cable end. The next most common is the connection between the cable end and the cable itself. Neither is uncommon on airboats, vehicles or airplanes.

Hope this adds a bit of visualization to the discussion.
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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by CAPTAIN-D » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:16 pm

As I stated before I have had the boat for 4 years never had this problem. Same temps at this time of year never failed to turn engine over properly to start.I keep the engine timed so I never had to crank more than 5 or 6 rotations even incold weather.I have new battery, new larger cables ,negitive ground to engine , new perko switch. That is about all you can change up to the starter. When I hit the starter button starter drive gear engages into the engine ring gear and thats it. Will NOT move 1 tooth. I suspect aging starter. Don't know what else it could be. I think I will pick up new starter tomorrow.

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Re: Starter problem in cold weather

Post by rocketrob » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:33 pm

with an induction clamp on a good multi meter how much amperage is this starter drawing while attempting to crank the engine . was the starter
drive changedas in the right number of teeth . Whitebear thanks , I got a good grasp on all that now . Just still struggling with that dumptruck problem
25 years ago . A good mechanic made and installed all the welding cable and another good mechanic 'ME' removed them and solved the problem .I,m
not going to loose any more sleep on this one . the problem with this boat is starring us all in the face .Hope to read good news soon.
Rob

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