Engine Not Starting - shifter not in neutral position

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Dta, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. Dta

    Dta New Member

    6
    Nov 2, 2020
    300 Sundancer 2005
    Twin MCM 5.0 MPI w/Bravo III drives
    Need some help. Starboard engine started only after the shifter was moved back and forth slightly to finally hit neutral position. Tried port engine, would not start. Shifter may not be in neutral position but moving shifter while pushing in the side button to hit neutral position didn’t solve the issue. What is the best way to resolve?
     
  2. Phil S

    Phil S Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 16, 2020
    Taxachusetts
    2004 300DA
    5.0 Merc B3
    I have the same shifters, and the same issue that is usually resolved by pushing in the side button and moving it forward until it clicks.

    It could be the neutral safety switch but you would have to narrow that down to be sure it's the cause (by bypassing it for example).

    Sometimes when I have this issue, it's the wiring and/or the junction block that plugs into the back of the off/on/start switch at the helm.

    When it happens, have you tried starting it on the emergency switch? This worked for me once.

    Assuming when you push the port switch to On, you get the beep? And does the fuel pump run? When you push it to start, can you hear the solenoid click?
     
  3. Dta

    Dta New Member

    6
    Nov 2, 2020
    300 Sundancer 2005
    Twin MCM 5.0 MPI w/Bravo III drives
    Hi Phil, thanks for your quick response. When I had the problem on the Starboard engine, I did just that, pushed in the button on the side of the shifter and moved the shifter until the button clicked. Then the starboard engine was able to start and ran fine. Then tried the same procedure on the port shifter, and the button did click back out, but I was still unable to start the engine. I am getting the initial beep when pushing the On switch, but then it’s not trying to start the engine. Both engines ran fine the day before, so I feel this is a problem with the shifter not finding the neutral position.

    I also tried the solenoid bridge to start the port engine while the starboard was running and there was no luck with that.

    Is there an easy way to start the engine while not in neutral, and if so, can this damage the transmission if it starts in gear?
     
  4. Phil S

    Phil S Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 16, 2020
    Taxachusetts
    2004 300DA
    5.0 Merc B3
    Can you try pushing in the button, then moving the shifter forward and leaving it there (button still IN) and starting it?

    I am in the habit of leaving them both forward like this for starting (rev only), because I go out early morning when it's colder and sometimes I like to raise up the idle speed a bit so they get up to temp faster.
     
  5. Phil S

    Phil S Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 16, 2020
    Taxachusetts
    2004 300DA
    5.0 Merc B3
    Also if you get the chance, raise the hatch and listen when you push it from ON to START. Are you hearing a click in the solenoid?
     
  6. Wanderer 290

    Wanderer 290 Active Member

    487
    Jul 1, 2019
    Traverse City
    01 sea ray 290 sundancer
    Twin 5.7 b3’s
    I had a similar problem on a different boat with twins and the neutral safety switches had actually become loose. Retightened the mounting screws and all was well.
     
    ATLTiger97 likes this.
  7. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    I usually ditch both the N. saftey and the kill switch, I have no need for either
     
    Phil S and Wanderer 290 like this.
  8. Bt Doctur

    Bt Doctur Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    New Jersey
    Ex SRV 240 Weekender twin
    in between
    pushing the "throttle button" in and moving the lever does nothing for the neutral safety. Move the lever as if the motor was running and you want fwd gear or reverse.
    Neutral safety is hooked to the shift cable to prevent starting in gear.
     
  9. Phil S

    Phil S Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 16, 2020
    Taxachusetts
    2004 300DA
    5.0 Merc B3
    [​IMG]
     
    Nater Potater likes this.
  10. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    Yes if you have a bravo drive you know it doesn't want to be shifted without the motor running, It starts up just fine in gear and off you go
     
  11. Dta

    Dta New Member

    6
    Nov 2, 2020
    300 Sundancer 2005
    Twin MCM 5.0 MPI w/Bravo III drives
    Ok, problem solved. I was able to move the starboard shifter up without pushing in the throttle button in, to a point near the neutral position. Starboard engine started fine. Then did the same with the port shifter, moving without pushing in the throttle button. When the shifter was near the neutral position, pushed in the throttle button and moved it to dead neutral where the throttle button popped back out. Engine started fine. Now could see that the starboard shifter was still in a position lower than the port shifter, so moved it forward with the button and it then popped back out when the shifter was dead center to neutral and in the equal position to the port shifter. Is it odd that the starboard engine was able to start with the shifter in a slight reverse position?
    Thanks to all of you for your help!!
     
  12. ATLTiger97

    ATLTiger97 Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    66
    Jul 5, 2013
    Lake Lanier, GA
    2004 280da twin engine 5.0s
    Twin 5.0L Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Mine had actually worn the metal down over years. Wish it was just tightening them :)
     

Share This Page

Show Sidebar