Backward Running Starter
A new one on me
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Posted on Saturday Oct 19, 2013 at 11:27 PM  
I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but usually have a pretty good grasp of mechanical things and such.  Although electrical stuff sometimes confuses me, like yesterday.  I was on the lake and called to check on a friend who was suppose to be out there.  He was stuck at the ramp with a motor that the starter wanted to turn backwards.  The make and model escape me, but it was about a 20 yr old mid to large motor.  Cowling was off when I got there.  My mind tells me that when you are running something on a battery that if it is going backwards you have the wires crossed.  Seems to make sense and has worked before.  Turn key and the start would spin but backwards.  After offering what little I knew to tell him.  I dropped off the bait that I had secured for them and went fishing.  Boat was on the trailer and they had plenty help so I didn't feel bad.  Later I was told that a general mister fixit guy suggested that once he had a lawnmower that did that and the problem was a super low battery.  They switched out the battery and it worked!  That's a new one on me.  Is this typical?  Has anyone ever seen this?
Posted on Sunday Oct 20, 2013 at 11:21 AM  
A physical impossibility unless you reversed the poles on the starter solenoid - reversing them at the battery should give a big spark due to said solenoid and the starter would not budge due to the interposing relay(starter solenoid), the starter bendix would not throw up to engage flywheel if somehow the starter even could turn backwards, 

Now the starter possibly could turn without enough momentum to throw the bendix up to engage the flywheel at a a slow speed, making it appear to run backwards

A low or bad battery would ordinarily just cause the solenoid to click or maybe make it appear the starter turned backwards
Those who would give up constitutional freedoms to elected officials in exchange for a false sense of security, deserve neither freedom or security.
Posted on Sunday Oct 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM  
My electric downriggers ran backwards once. They are hooked up to the start battery. I unplugged them, plugged them back in and they worked fine. Still don't know what happen other than the mess it made.
I don't believe in Miracles, I rely on them.
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YETI Pro staff,
Pro Staff Baitbuster Cast nets 1.5lbs per foot and six panel
Posted on Tuesday Oct 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM  
Tony, I agree with everything you said, BUT the starter was turning opposite the direction that it should run to lift the gear on the starter to engage the flywheel.  I personally saw and turned it to check.  They fixed it by hooking a fully charged battery up to it.  I still don't understand what happened.  The guys said they had the same problem a few months ago when they had the trolling motor hooked to the starting battery and got stranded about a mile from the ramp.  I'm SO confused.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 22, 2013 at 3:04 PM  
OK, I have done some more reading and am convinced that I didn't see what I saw.  In fact, I read that most marine starters are wired that they can not run backward.  It was all explained in a boating forum.  I just thought I saw it running backward.  Maybe I should have asked Bigfoot; he was at the ramp unloading a pontoon while I was there I think.  No alcohol was present.
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