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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Evinrude outboard and I am having trouble with the starter. When I turn the key the starter spins but won't pop up to engage the flywheel. Sometimes when I jiggle the throttle in and out of gear a couple times it will start but I also think it might just be time for a new starter. Any ideas?
 

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Your starter motor is probably fine. Low battery voltage due to corroded and/or loose terminations is one cause of the starter failing to engage the ring gear. Another is **** on the Bendix drive ... spray some WD40 on it from time to time. Also, just down on charge is another possibility. A shop manual would provide an organized checklist. I'd eliminate all the simple, cheap causes before considering a new starter motor.

BTW, the throttle jiggling has no effect, you just think it does. If neutral interlock was screwed up it might, but then it would not crank at all.
 

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If cleaning the Bendix drive assembly as stated above does not fix the problem, before you buy another starter, try replacing the brushes if you are mechanically proficient. They are very inexpensive compared to a new starter and they are the very first thing to go.
Worn brushes sometimes cannot carry enough current to spin the armature fast enough to allow the bendix gear to engage.
Worn brushes are the primary cause of starter and trim motor failures. Most people pay hundreds of $$ for new motors when changing a $2.00 pair of brushes will most times correct the problem.
Clean and lube the Bendix assembly first.
Good Luck and report back with the cure.
 

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I had same exact problem with a Merc starter this spring. Everything mentioned here was also suggested to me and will work, but not in my case. My problem, the gear drive on top was slamming down on the armature so hard that the end of a few threads chipped off. Those now sharp edges were bitting into the top of the armature causing it to stick. There should be a spacer or washer between the top of the armature and the bottom of the gear drive. Merc failed to place the spacer there, thus causing this problem. Take the nut off of the top of the gear drive, remove the gear drive and feel the bottom threads. If they are sharp of chipped, you will need to place a washer there so that the drive does not slam down on the armature after a start. Nothin fancy, just enough to keep the drive off of the armature. One marine mechanic did tell me to take a few drops of good household oil to the armature shaft every now and then, but not WD-40 or Liquid wrench. They are to thin and will evaporate quickly. Good luck and let us know.

Gear drive, also called bendix.
 

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It sounds as if your throw out gear is not kicking up. I think its called the throw out gear ? Anyways, on my john it is not a part of the starter as it is on most starters. If you take off the starter and spray somting like WD 40 up into the throw out it could correct the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All fixed! WD40 didn't do the trick but when I cleaned all the terminals and connections it starts with no problem, just wasn't getting the juice. Knock on wood , this boat and motor have had no problem that I haven't been able to fix myself, as I am knocking on my desk. Thanks for the help. Chris
 

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If all else fails, check the battery cable as posted above. I bought a new battery and starter and didn't even consider the cable
until I leaned on it and there was a hot spot from corrosion.
I recommend using a set of heavy jumper cables as a replacement, mine worked for years and was a lot cheaper.
 
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