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  1. #1

    Starter or starter relay

    Some quick background info, ski is 2003 gp1300r that is very slightly modded thoug mostly just stuff like sponsons, intake grate.

    The ski sat for two weeks and I went out last week to start it and lo voltage lit up and ski wouldn't turn over. Pressing the starter button barely even made it do anything, wouldn't even quite turn over once. Ordered Odyssey battery and replaced. Swapped battery out on Tuesday and it took a couple times to get it to turn over but on like the third or fourth try it turned over and started. I killed it and started it again, killed it again and then hooked up to hose to run for a minute.

    Anyway, went out last night to try to start before I hooked it up to truck to take to work for an early morning ride today. Ski was dead again. Thinking now it is the starter or starter relay.

    Question is how do I go about verifying this? I found the starter easy enough but am unable to find the relay...I was told to try to jump the relay and go straight from battery to starter, is this a proper method of troubleshooting?

    Seems starter can be pulled witout pulling exhuast or anything, though it will be a pain.

    any advice on steps to proceed with or parts to look at is appreciated. I understand that things break but it was just kinda weird to me that literally one day it worked fine, the next nada.

  2. #2
    Ok so went out and banged on starter a bit and held down starter button for about 5 seconds. Starter started smoking and real bad burning smell came Up with it.
    Guess if it wasn't starter that probably didn't help

    What I don't understand is how it flashes lo volt warning at me with starter button depressed. Is that just because it is draining the battery a bit when it doesn't start?

  3. #3
    TX21's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Texas
    Take the plugs out and see if you can turn the motor over by hand first. Props stick the ware ring sometimes. Happend to my Superjet. And if your starter let the factory smoke out its bad or the motor is stuck.

  4. #4
    Was just coming in to update thread and saw your post TX21.
    I pulled the plugs and tried the start button and it cranked over without any trouble. I believe from the reading I have been doing on all this that if it cranks with plugs removed that indicates it is the starter and not the relay?

    Turning motor by hand will be something I need to read up on as I am unfamiliar with. Is this something I should still try since it already cranked with plugs removed?

    I have been a mechanic for a few years now but unfortunately on turbine engines so reciproocating engines are new to me!

  5. #5
    OK couple more things. Pulled starter yesterday and put new one in. The old one on the connection where the relay connects what appears to be the ceramic or some such material ring around it was burnt looking and cracked up. Was hoping this would be the issue but it didn't solve it. Still no crank.
    Haven't turned engine over by hand yet. Still trying to find a good how to on that.
    Haven't look at starter relay yet as far as jumping/bypassing it. Seems to be several different methods and I'm not sure if my pliers are insulated enough to jump them with.

    Measured voltage at battery just now and it was at 13 V after a fresh charge. Cranked motor and it instantly dropped down to low 8, high 7. I read on another post that anything below 9.5 or so is a bad battery. This battery is brand new Odyssey though I guess it could be a defective one.

    Anyone have any ideas? I would really like to ride this weekend! I have no problem with the actual repair part, the troubleshooting part is kicking my ass though!!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Central North Carolina
    Do your self a big favor and see if you can get a good loaner battery just to be shur you don't have a defective battery Remember it all starts with a GOOD battery and you go from there when testing. Tommy Jordan

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hillsborough, North Carolina
    I don't have any experience with the ski you have but I do know that if the brushes are worn out and the carbon is all over the place that the battery's current will conduct through more than one path and drain the battery, causing the starter to struggle (and overheat even more due to the low supply voltage) to function because the current isn't traveling through just the windings anymore. And if its bad enough, the carbon will leave a path for the current to drain the battery even when the starter is not energized.

    I have replaced/rebuilt starters in both of our older ski's and at the very least I'd recommend you pull the starter to inspect the terminal connections as well as the starter brushes/terminals.

    As far as testing it goes, if your sure its not an engine problem the best course of action may be just to replace the starter and pull out the old one to repair & keep as spare if needed. If your ski is anything like mine then taking it apart twice for the same problem really grinds my nerves.

    But its a great way to learn!

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