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I have a 2001 Mercury 115 saltwater, 2 cycle. I am having problem when I turn the key the starter just spins, it does not come up and engage. You can pry the gear on the starter up with a flathead and it will work like it should, for one turn of the key. If the engine doesn't start...repeat process. Starting out in the morning takes a few minutes but usually after that it is one pry a start. I am looking at replacing the starter but just wanted to see if anyone had any other ideas.
 

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Red X Angler
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The starter bendix is shot. The spring pushes the gear up the shaft as the momentum from spinning applies force. You might clean it with Brakekleen and lube it with PB Blaster or 3in1 oil and get it working but not likely.... You can take it to a starter/alternator repair shop and they can clean,test the starter, replace the brushes and bendix often cheaper than buying a rebuilt one fro m a dealer.. I priced mine locally when the shop said it was too bad to rebuild and saved 40% even with shipping by buying online from a reputable Ebay seller....
 
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