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Author Topic: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse  (Read 1408 times)

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ecaris

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Hello,
We've had our C34 MKII for 5 years.  A few years ago, after sailing the boat for 4 hours, keeping the gearbox in reverse, the engine would not start notwithstanding having moved the gear shifter from reverse to neutral, to forward and back to neutral.  It did eventually start, but only after a good 15 minutes going back-and-forth, tacking, etc..  Well it happened again for the second time in 5 years.  Same scenario.  Is there an electronic switch that controls the position of the gearbox, that I can replace?  Thank you for any feedback you may have on this.
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KWKloeber

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Itís handy to indicate which engine and transmission you have when asking questions about the engine and transmission.
Thereís no stock interlock switch that Universal Motors installed on its engines and the gearbox is controlled manually (a cable) not electronically (by servos.)

You have something else going on.

More detail, please.  Wonít start can mean many things - starter motor wonít crank?  cranks slow? Cranks but engine doesnít ďcatchĒ? 
How long had you been sailing (battery drain) the two times it occurred vs times it didnít occur?
Did you use one house battery to start?  Which?  Or two?  Or an engine ďstartĒ battery?
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Ron Hill

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ecar : Unless a PO change it, your C34 MKII came with an M35BC engine and a Hurth100 transmission. 

Have you looked at the C34 MKII transmission adjust Westerbeke Bulletin on our web site?

Answer the questions that Ken asked because I believe it is an engine not a transmission problem that you are having!!

A few thoughts
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 02:14:59 PM by Ron Hill »
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ecaris

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Thank you.  Not starting meaning ignition all good, alarms etc, but when pressing the start button, you only hear a click.  Batteries fully charged.  It is a Universal diesel M35 with a Hurt transmission.  The engine did fire up, but only after moving the gear shifter from reverse, to neutral, to forward, to neutral etc, to ultimately leave it in neutral to start.  It was a 10 -15 minute process of trying for it to the suddenly start.
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KWKloeber

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@ecaris

Ok the issue isn't the transmission or your shifter. 
There's an electrical issue or a starter (more starter solenoid) issue.

Is it an M35 or an M35BC engine?   Precision is important!!!   Why?  Because the M35 is a COMPLETELY different engine than the 35BC and an M35 has different wiring than an M35A. 
The wiring on the M35BC is very convoluted and there are components that can cause no crank issues.


What upgrades have been done? 
Any harness work or upgrade? 
Does the engine harness still have the Westerbeke RV type plugs?  And behind the cockpit panel is there a plug?  Has the start switch or key switch ever been replaced? 

How experienced/comfortable are you at troubleshooting with a voltmeter and using/following an wiring schematic?

Ron did the mk-II have an ammeter or voltmeter?
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Ron Hill

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Ken : All of the MkII production had the straightened out wiring (Voltmeter) for the M35BC engine. 

The M35 (30hp) engine became an option in 1991 and standard in 1992.  These C34s all had the Voltmeter (even starting in 1988), but still retained the "Gummy Bear" connectors!!  The ammeter "generally" was eliminated in the 1988 production.  BUT some early 1988s still had an Ammeter.

A few thoughts
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Jim Hardesty

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ecaris,
If your MKll is similar to mine there's no neutral safety switch.  Don't think the transmission in reverse has anything to do with your problem.  Possibly having more healing than normal showed up another problem.  I would start by checking that the ground wire and the starter wire connections are clean and tight.  Your starter may be going bad. 
Old trick, one of the times hitting with a hammer may work.  If you get stuck and the starter won't crank the engine.  Try tapping the starter/solenoid with a hammer a couple of times.  Secondly, very carefully tap with a rod or whatever, keeping yourself clear of moving parts, tap said starter/solenoid while someone depresses the start button.  If that works you need to fix or replace starter.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

ecaris

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Thank you all.  Iím pretty certain it is an M35A engine.  No upgrades that Iím aware of.  The prior owner did change the ignition/start switch.  Iím not sure about the Westerbeke RV type plug.  Will check grounding wire.  I am comfortable checking connection etc using a voltmeter.  Perhaps the heal while going to weather did indeed caused something that settled once level again. 
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KWKloeber

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Thank you all.  Iím pretty certain it is an M35A engine.  No upgrades that Iím aware of.  The prior owner did change the ignition/start switch.  Iím not sure about the Westerbeke RV type plug.  Will check grounding wire.  I am comfortable checking connection etc using a voltmeter.  Perhaps the heal while going to weather did indeed caused something that settled once level again.

Ec

Please confirm which engine she has because the starting system is different from the 35AC to the 35BC so some  troubleshooting could be different.  A pic of the front of the engine?

Once you verify we can talk about troubleshooting. Do you have an extra set of hands who can push buttons while you test with the VM?  Of course a huge issue is the the condition is so intermittent that youíre searching for something thatís ďainít brokenĒ.
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

ecaris

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Re: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2021, 06:30:20 AM »

Iíll take a picture when on the boat tomorrow.  It is a 1996 boat.  The intermittent part is making this difficult.  Will have an extra hand when testing.  Thank you
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csimmerling

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Re: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2021, 08:04:49 AM »

I'm definitely not an expert, but someone told me once that rough sailing could stir up the fuel tank and cause problems starting that resolved later after it settled.
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"Natterling", #148 1986 mk 1 fin keel std rig, Port Jefferson, NY

Ron Hill

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Re: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2021, 02:36:31 PM »

ecar : If you have a 1996 C34 then you most likely have a M35BC engine!!  Especially if your hull (HIN) is higher than 1295 you also have a MKII C34 my friend!

A few thoughts 
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ecaris

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Re: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2021, 09:55:19 PM »

The engine model according to the plaque on the engine is a 35AC. 
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ecaris

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Re: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2021, 10:03:46 PM »

Hereís a picture of the engine.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Engine not starting when having sailed in stiff breeze with gear in reverse
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2021, 11:04:26 PM »

EC

Definitely not a ďBĒ engine, yes - a 35AC
Just FYI, the only difference between an M-35A and an M-35AC (or M-35A(C) ) is a slight change in the wiring to Catalinaís (i.e. (C)) schematic.
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain
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