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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2008

    Starter Issues - Way over my head

    Wow, did I ever blow it. 2002 XLT800 wasn't winterized as well as I thought. Tried to start it on Friday and only heard ticking noise coming from Starter Relay. Juiced up the battery and still the same. Removed and tested Relay and it checked out. Decided it must be a bad starter. Removed the two bolts holding in the starter and removed (while engine is still on hull). Finally got around to checking the impeller shaft and it was froze. A little oil in the cylinders and all is fine. Motor turns freely now.

    So here's the problem(s). I slid the Starter back in and bolted it up but it won't crank at all, not even the ticking sound.

    I can put a positive charge to the Brown Wire coming off the relay and I hear the relay closing.

    I can put power to the Starter side of the Relay and the Starter turns over but it's not turning over the motor (I can hear it whizzing, just like it does when it's out of the boat) but it doesn't seem to be meshing with the flywheel (thus turning over the motor). I've removed and re-installed the Starter several times thinking I may not be getting the alignment right as it slides in, but that doesn't seem right. I've slid my fingers in to kinda feel my way around - and all I feel is an externally toothed gear on the in-board side of the hole. The gear feels to be about the size of a half-dollar and spins very easy. (This is where I'm very confused. Since the Starter interfaces with this freely spinning gear, it only seems obvious that the Starter would freely spin when installed, so there must be something else which interfaces between the Starter, the gear and the flywheel.)

    I have a copy of the Yamaha Repair Manual and it called for engine removal to replace the Starter, but it doesn't mention anything other than remove engine, remove the bolts, remove the leads (which I did except remove the engine) Other than making it easier to get to the bolts, is there any other reason one would need to remove the engine? Do I need to access any internal part of the engine to correctly re-install the Starter? How does the Starter interface with the Starter Clutch?

    So I guess I'm fighting two major problems. First, the Starter spins but does not turnover the motor (which turns over freely - so no binding there) - any help??

    Second, once I get the Starter to turnover the motor (by applying juice to the Starter side of the relay) I will need help on troubleshooting the circuit from the Start button to the Relay answering the question why pressing the start button does not crank the Starter, which in turn cranks the flywheel. Note, I've already checked the's fine)

    So, sorry for the long post, but I wanted to provide a clear picture of what is happening, that way we can focus on answers instead of several back and forth posts clarifying the problem.

    So, if you've ever installed a Starter on a Yamaha, and understand what is needed to get it to interface the flywheel, please offer advice. If you've ever troubleshot the electrical system and understand what is taking place between the start button and the Starter, please advise.


    Please feel free to respond here, PM me or reply to

    OK, just downloaded another manual which has better graphics. I see where and how the starter interfaces with the starter clutch. The gears I was feeling (where the starter goes) is the Idle Gear from the Starter Clutch. So, maybe my problem is with the Starter Clutch not doing its job and spinning the Pinion Gear. I assume the weights in the clutch are a mechanical way of taking the energy from the spinning Starter motor, which is transferred to the Idle Gear and some how transferring the energy to the Pinion Gear. (is this making any sense?) So, what's the chances of the Starter Clutch going bad just like that?

    So, here's the events: It wouldn't turnover - alarm and dash does not come on. Weak clicking sound coming from Starter Relay when start button is pushed. Battery recharged. Strong clicking sound from relay when start button pushed - no alarm, no lights. Tried to "jump" the battery from car. Still ticking sound. Ticking sound ends (I figure I burned up the Relay). Apply direct power from the battery to the Starter side of the Relay - nothing. Made me think it was a dead Starter. Remove Starter (checks good). Remove Relay. Add power to Brown wire and it clicks - on/off. Checked for movement of Impeller shaft and froze. Lubed cylinders and freed up pistons (no binding at all). Reinstalled Starter, Reinstalled Relay. Nothing when start button is pushed. Apply power to starter side of Relay and the Starter turns freely, but does not turn the Pinion Gear (it whizzes just like there is no load on it)

    I'd like to fix one problem at a time and would like to get it where the Starter cranks the motor. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Happily Self-Employed WFO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Houston, Texas
    Ok so the only light brown wire under the front is the wire that goes to the stop button. I had an XLL with a bad connection there that ate my lunch once. It should show a ground when the lanyard is in, and open when out.

    There is a starter bendix that is probably rusted up in the front stator cover. This unfortunately is hard to get to with the motor in the boat. You might try tapping on the port side of the front cover to see if you can break it free. I had a boat once that had a small water leak where the wires go into the front cover. It rusted up the bendix and caused the starter to freewheel like yours.

    You also may want to try to hook jumper cables directly to the starter, then to a 12v power source to give a good high amp shot to the starter/bendix.

  3. #3
    WE DONT DIAL 911 RDH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    +1 bendix is messed up....

    when you put your finger inside the hole where the starter was and touch the toothed gear does it spin both ways or just one way?

  4. #4

    I'm having the same problem with my 1100

    Spinning, but not engaging.
    I removed the starter and it bench-tests ok.
    Now to get at the bendix.
    Did you ever figure out why another response asked you if the gear spins both ways?

  5. #5
    If bendix seems OK, it may be the woodruff key on the flywheel shaft. That was my problem.

  6. #6
    Xl760 on the water/ gp760 in shop for paint
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    You said when you reinstalled the starter not even the relay woud click. Did you diconect the battery when you removed the starter?? If you did then you will have to re-enter your password before any electronic will work properly.

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