Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby feral1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:11 am

Hey guy's,

My starter motor is dead and needs replacing, 350 Mercruiser tournament ski with velvet drive. It's something I would do myself, but I do note that the room down there is as tight as a nuns c... For those who have done it before, can it be done in place, or does the engine need to be lifted. Any tricks or tools that assists in making it easier. And has anyone used the ebay starters? I am a bit strapped for cash at the moment.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers

Tim
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby carlossa » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:32 am

Hi Tim
It should be able to be removed with engine in place. Be sure to disconnect your battery first. Have a go yourself. There is not much you can stuff up. Take pics of your wiring so you have a reference. Boat starter motors should be intrinsically safe to prevent fumes being ignited by a spark. Pulling apart is fairly straight forward. Should be heaps of info online and it may not be completely stuffed, might just need a clean. Remember to take photos and disconnect battery. Good luck
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby jakeyhamer » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:43 pm

Another thing to take note when doing it, is to check what shims and how many shims they may have used previously. They can shim both down from the block and away from the fly wheel. Once in place and the starter motor engaged there should only be a bobby pins size gap between the starter motor gear and flywheel.
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby feral1 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:49 pm

jakeyhamer wrote:Another thing to take note when doing it, is to check what shims and how many shims they may have used previously. They can shim both down from the block and away from the fly wheel. Once in place and the starter motor engaged there should only be a bobby pins size gap between the starter motor gear and flywheel.



Any trick in being able to see this gap? It's hard to see anything down there although I do know that there is an inspection plate on the flywheel. I have to admit that I am thankful that you can get onto Mercury's website, punch in your serial number and it gives you the part number for the starter which makes it easy to identify a suitable replacement.

Cheers
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby jakeyhamer » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:24 pm

I'm guessing the old 350 mercruiser is an old 5.7 chev engine that is marinised. Most of the other boats I or my dad have owned were the same engine. It should just be a generic style starter. The only thing that mercruiser may do is use a high torque starter, as boat engines get turned on and off more frequently than cars which tends to kill them.

Just pull the old one off, check for how many shims were used if they did, there may be one between the billet block and electric motor, and give it a test start. If no grinding or binding there shouldn't be a any reason to have to look down there.
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby 82Juddcraft » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:38 am

Check youve got the same mounting bolt pattern with the new one.
As theres 2 types depending on how many teeth your flywheel has.

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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby feral1 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:02 am

Cheers guys, I was able to get the old one out and there isn't much room to play with down there. There wasn't any shims used, it bolted straight up. I sourced a new one and saw that there are 2 different mounting options and got the correct one and a marine one too. I'll have a go at getting it in tonight, I'm using a tie down strap to help hold it in place so I can get the bolts threaded into the block.
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby mof » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:08 pm

One of the more unpleasant jobs. The bolts go vertically up into the block, and have knurling, so they refuse to turn by hand, so you need one to two hands to hold the heavy starter up, one to hold the bolt, one to turn the ratchet etc etc, yet only one person can get anywhere near the job... You have to slip both the bolts in because you can't get the second one in when the first bolt is started, yet the second one falls out by gravity, much to your disgust, sweat and cursing...
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby carlossa » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:57 pm

mof wrote:One of the more unpleasant jobs. The bolts go vertically up into the block, and have knurling, so they refuse to turn by hand, so you need one to two hands to hold the heavy starter up, one to hold the bolt, one to turn the ratchet etc etc, yet only one person can get anywhere near the job... You have to slip both the bolts in because you can't get the second one in when the first bolt is started, yet the second one falls out by gravity, much to your disgust, sweat and cursing...


Oh so true........Dont forget to hold your tongue correctly.......swearing and cursing will definately help.
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby feral1 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:25 am

mof wrote:One of the more unpleasant jobs. The bolts go vertically up into the block, and have knurling, so they refuse to turn by hand, so you need one to two hands to hold the heavy starter up, one to hold the bolt, one to turn the ratchet etc etc, yet only one person can get anywhere near the job... You have to slip both the bolts in because you can't get the second one in when the first bolt is started, yet the second one falls out by gravity, much to your disgust, sweat and cursing...



That was me last night and the f88ker is still sitting in the bilge cause I got pi55ed off... lol theres my vent.... I used a tie down strap to try hold it in place and can get it mostly there, but I still struggled to get the bolts lined up without dropping out... 2nd attempt tonight maybe
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby mof » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:24 pm

Feeling your pain feral

My hatred for this job became so intense that I bought a PCM bell housing that takes two top mount reverse rotation starters, had the ring gear fitted to the rear edge of the flywheel, wired up battery to both top mount starters, and can swap just solenoid wire to swap starters. Over $1000 plus all the effort engine out engine back in etc, but I never have to fit that standard location starter again, the one that gets water flicked up on the sliding pin, corrodes, s#!ts itself when you least want it to etc.

Doesn't mean I don't have other issues...
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Re: Replacing starter motor on a mercruiser

Postby feral1 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:58 pm

Well I got it done, thank fxxx for that. For those playing at home next time, what helped me was to use some tape to hold the bolts in the holes of the starter so they didn't fall out, like mof said you can't fit the second one in when the starter is in place. When I had the starter sort of in position, I used a tie down strap with a cam buckle around the starter and the exhuast manifold to take the weight and hold it there. I then slipped a cable tie through the very top of the drivers side bolt hole on the starter, through the bolt hole on the bellhousing and pulled the tie together. This got the drivers side roughly lined up at the correct height. It also took some of the weight and I tightened the tie down strap too. I was then able to locate and do up the passenger side bolt, still leaving it loose enough for some movement. With that bolt and the strap taking the weight, I cut the cable tie then I was able to locate the drivers side bolt and do that up and tighten them both correctly. I'm not sure I would have got it done without using the cable tie, it made it so much easier, but still a fiddly job that still took a few beers to complete....
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