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Author Topic: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid  (Read 587 times)

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John Langford

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Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« on: January 01, 2018, 12:44:11 PM »

Happy New Year to all.

I would like to do some preventative checking and cleaning of solenoid and starter electrical connections on the port side of the engine. Unfortunately, I can't see any of this part of the engine either from the open engine box in the companionway or with the engine cover in the aft cabin completely removed. It looks like the next step would be to remove the alternator and possibly a couple of the coolant hoses on the port side and get at it from there. Has anyone found a better way of getting working access to this area of the engine?
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John
"Calypso"
MkII, #1431

Dave Spencer

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 02:59:38 PM »

John,
I'm surprised that you are having difficulty accessing your starter (and I'm surprised that nobody has yet replied to your post).  I thought all C34s have an access door in the head that gives adequate access to the starter to deal with the preventative maintenance that you are considering.  It isn't ideal but access to the cables is fairly good... at least it is on my boat (Mk1.5 with M35AC engine).  I've attached a picture showing the head access door behind and below the alternator.  I don't have a picture showing the access to the starter from the head access door but I have been able to reach in and deal with cables and connections at the starter in the past.  There is also reasonably good access from above on my M35AC - see second picture... possibly different on your M35B.
Good Luck!
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Dave Spencer
C34 #1279  "Good Idea"
Mk 1.5, Std Rig, Wing Keel, M35A Engine
Boat - Lion's Head, Ontario
People - London, Ontario

John Langford

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 08:26:43 PM »

Thanks Dave. I thought the silence was a bit deafening as well.

On the MkII, there is no access door. I will look into the possibility of incorporating one but I suspect that the design of the MkII head may make it difficult to create real access to the starter and solenoid. Iíll report back.
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John
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 08:13:37 AM »

John,

In a Tech Note many years ago, Lou Berman wrote that he installed a small door on the starboard side to access the oil dipstick on his brand new Mark II.

Seems that the factory "forgot" that great feature that ALL Mark I boats had had since the very first year of production.

Maybe they just "forgot" your port side alternator access door in the head?   :cry4`

Anybody else with a Mark II that doesn't have a small door in the head to the engine?  (I never looked for one on friends' Mark IIs.)
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 08:55:51 AM »

Shamrock is a MKll.   Except for an original check-out that I was able to do with wrenches and an inspection mirror I've not had a reason to access the starter.   I believe removing the alternator would give enough access to the starter to do more.  Hope I never have to find out, but it would be good to know. So I've been checking to see if anyone found out differently.
FWIW I've found cell phone cameras are great to inspect areas like that. 
Haven't found it a problem to check oil from the top access.  Biggest problem is where to set the stairs while doing it.  So far I've been happy with  engine access, though it seems like a lot of things need to be done left handed.

Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
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Jack Hutteball

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 05:05:01 PM »

No access door on our MK ll #1555, often wonder what I will have to do when I need to get in there.
Jack
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Jack and Ruth Hutteball
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Roc

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 04:09:26 AM »

John,
If you take the steps off, you can remove the main front panel by removing the screws at both ends of the panel.  The front panel can be removed, allowing full access to the front of the engine.  Flip open the hatch above the engine, and you'll have total top and front engine access.
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 05:34:39 AM »

Quote
If you take the steps off, you can remove the main front panel by removing the screws at both ends of the panel.  The front panel can be removed, allowing full access to the front of the engine.  Flip open the hatch above the engine, and you'll have total top and front engine access

Thanks Roc,  Removing the front panel makes sense.  Didn't know it was that easy.   Hope to remember to do that if the need arrives.  Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
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Erie, PA

Fred Koehlmann

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 06:10:53 AM »

True, the port side is difficult to access. On #1602 I had to remove the box in the aft cabin to get into the starter area from behind. Fortunately for me, I left most of the difficult work to the marina to do (I know that doesn't exactly help you).
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Frederick Koehlmann: Dolphina - C425 #3, Midland, ON
PO: C34 #1602, M35BC engine

Roc

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 10:02:53 AM »

Removing the front panel is easy.  On my boat, there are 4 screws, with finish washers, on each of the extreme sides.  You need to wiggle it a bit to coach it out (push one side in, while pulling the other side out, etc. etc.)  As Fred mentioned about the aft location, removing the panel just below the hatch/shelf, makes getting to the rear end of the engine easy.  On my boat, that panel was screwed in place from behind, showing no screws from the outside.  What I did was remove the existing OEM mounting screws (the way Catalina installed it), and attached the panel using screws and finish washers from the front.  This makes removing the rear panel easy so you can do things like checking the ATF or anything else that needs to be done in that area.  The screws with finish washers looks just fine (just like the front panel at the companionway steps!)
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

KWKloeber

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 11:54:33 AM »

The B series engines have a dual terminal oil switch.  If you anyone gaining access to check their starter, you should check and/or replace that switch, which is on a bracket bolted to the block (into an unused rear engine mount hole) near the starter.  It's prone to one or both of the terminal tabs breaking off due to vibration and stress on them from the wiring harness.  Wb used stiff non-tinned, automotive-type wire on your harness, not tinned marine, fine-stranded flexible wire.  So the stress/vibration in the stiff harness wires gets transferred to the switch and eventually (not if, when) one or both tabs will work-harden and snap off.   

The symptoms can be no telltale oil alarm sounding before start up, or a faint continuous or intermittent alarm sounding at idle, or the diesel lift pump not operating.

The best fix is to put marine Type III fine-stranded wire pigtails from the harness to the new switch, or at least tie the wire leads up well so there is no movement that can be transferred to the switch terminals.

k
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John Langford

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 10:59:19 PM »

Thanks everyone. Very helpful thoughts on issues and access to the ďdarkĒ port side of the M35BC.

I have looked at the possibility of creating access from the head but because of the configuration of the cabinetry it wouldnít provide even a view of the aft end of the engine.

I have no trouble accessing the front and top of the engine already and I take the aft cabin cover completely off regularly to check the fuel pump, the heat exchanger and various hoses. In fact, I no longer even refasten the aft cover when putting it back on. It slots nicely into place, doesnít move or rattle and itís much more convenient to take it off the next time. But access to the starter and solenoid is no easier from the back Iím afraid unless you start removing hoses and the riser.

Useful intelligence about the wiring of the oil switch. When I eventually find my way back there Iíll check it out.
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John
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Ron Hill

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Re: Accessing M35BC starter and solenoid
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 01:23:40 PM »

John : Yes, it's VERY ight down there by the starter solenoid and oil switch. 
As I recall the starter solenoid threaded post (for wire connections) is into a Bakelite seat, so be careful you don't overtighten that nut.

A thought
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 01:24:56 PM by Ron Hill »
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