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nemalibu

Check Ride Semi Disaster

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nemalibu

Hello All:

I took my wife and daughter out for a short ride on our new (to us, 2003) Malibu. I took some time to adjust the prop shaft seal and then went for a short cruise at 45 MPH. After about three minutes the engine cut way back and I observed the high temp alarm (205 degrees). I removed the rear seat and noticed ALOT of water in the boat. We were about 300 yds from the dock/ramp area and we made our way there slowly but on engine power.

Once there I backed the trailer down the ramp and got the boat part way on to the trailer (the ramp is private, owned by a friend of mine). Once the bilge pump had lowered the water far enough I restarted the engine and saw which hose had burst (the hose directly at the output of the impeller housing).

I got another hose in a few hours (don't ask how, it is a bit unbelieveable) and have now replaced the hose. When I removed the old hose I found two small pieces of what look like impeller in it. The impeller was supposedly just replaced by the dealership in the fall when I purchased the boat.

Is there anything I should do besides testing the boat and looking around for leaks? We are hoping to use the boat tomorrow (lets go skiing!!!).

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srab
Hello All:

I took my wife and daughter out for a short ride on our new (to us, 2003) Malibu. I took some time to adjust the prop shaft seal and then went for a short cruise at 45 MPH. After about three minutes the engine cut way back and I observed the high temp alarm (205 degrees). I removed the rear seat and noticed ALOT of water in the boat. We were about 300 yds from the dock/ramp area and we made our way there slowly but on engine power.

Once there I backed the trailer down the ramp and got the boat part way on to the trailer (the ramp is private, owned by a friend of mine). Once the bilge pump had lowered the water far enough I restarted the engine and saw which hose had burst (the hose directly at the output of the impeller housing).

I got another hose in a few hours (don't ask how, it is a bit unbelieveable) and have now replaced the hose. When I removed the old hose I found two small pieces of what look like impeller in it. The impeller was supposedly just replaced by the dealership in the fall when I purchased the boat.

Is there anything I should do besides testing the boat and looking around for leaks? We are hoping to use the boat tomorrow (lets go skiing!!!).

Sorry to hear about your problem. It happens, though.

I'd definitely want to double-check your impeller to make sure those pieces either did or did

not come off of it. If they are from your new impeller, you need to replace it. If they are

from the old impeller, you've gotta find where the rest of the pieces might be. Check the tranny

cooler screen. My guess would be that the hose blew because of increased pressure from

pieces of an old impeller, or some other debris, stuck there.

Some would recommend that you change the oil after the overheat. Maybe even the thermostat.

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nemalibu

Sorry to hear about your problem. It happens, though.

I'd definitely want to double-check your impeller to make sure those pieces either did or did

not come off of it. If they are from your new impeller, you need to replace it. If they are

from the old impeller, you've gotta find where the rest of the pieces might be. Check the tranny

cooler screen. My guess would be that the hose blew because of increased pressure from

pieces of an old impeller, or some other debris, stuck there.

Some would recommend that you change the oil after the overheat. Maybe even the thermostat.

Which hose goes to the tranny cooler and where will I find the screen?

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vette-ski

It should be the hose you replaced. One end connects to the output of the raw water pump, the other to the tranny cooler (cylindrical object with two hydraulic hoses that go to the tranny). The heat exchanger for the cooler looks like a screen. If you remove the end of the hose you replaced, look up inside the cooler. That's a good collection point for debris. You could pop off the cover to the raw water pump for piece of mind that the chunks aren't from the new impeller. You'll need a mirror or something to see it. If the hose burst open pretty good, any debris that might have been there might be in the bilge now.

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nemalibu
It should be the hose you replaced. One end connects to the output of the raw water pump, the other to the tranny cooler (cylindrical object with two hydraulic hoses that go to the tranny). The heat exchanger for the cooler looks like a screen. If you remove the end of the hose you replaced, look up inside the cooler. That's a good collection point for debris. You could pop off the cover to the raw water pump for piece of mind that the chunks aren't from the new impeller. You'll need a mirror or something to see it. If the hose burst open pretty good, any debris that might have been there might be in the bilge now.

Thanks.

If I remove the impeller housing cover to inspect the impeller, is there a risk of damaging the gasket and needing to replace it? I was hoping to use the boat tomorrow.

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Bill_AirJunky

You won't be able to look into the impeller housing very easily. It faces the transom & the muffler is right above it. Checking the impeller involves removing the faceplate & the impeller, pretty much with one hand. If the impeller seems to be OK, then reassemble & be on your merry way. There is a gasket in there but I'm not sure I ever had to replace it. The faceplate almost always comes apart without hurting the gasket.

If you really have your heart set on using the boat, I think I'd go for a short drive alone to see if it heats up. Don't go far & bring your cell phone. If after a 1/2 hr or so drive, it's still not hot, then go pickup the family.

Then get the impeller replaced ASAP.

And don't forget about the a** chewing the dealer needs too.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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nemalibu

THANK YOU ALL, THANK YOU ALL, a million times THANK YOU ALL!!!

I just checked the tranny cooler screen and it was virtually COMPLETELY blocked with pieces of an old impeller. I have cleaned the pieces out of the screen and replaced the hose.

I have also removed the cover to the impeller housing and inspected the impeller (it is clearly brand new - as it is supposed to be since the dealer replaced it when I purchased the boat in the fall).

I have checked all engine, transmission, and v-drive fluids and all levels are good and there is no obvious disscoloration in any of the fluids.

Later today I plan check the boat out on land with a fake-a-lake (only for a brief time to look for leaks) and then take her back to the lake for a more thorough check ride.

I intend to discuss this EXPERIENCE with the dealer and will let the crew know how that plays out since people in the Northeast may be interested.

Again I am grateful for the instruction to check out the tranny cooler screen and for the impressive long-distance diagonsis of the true root cause of the hose failure.

The Crew comes through again.

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Olive
THANK YOU ALL, THANK YOU ALL, a million times THANK YOU ALL!!!

I just checked the tranny cooler screen and it was virtually COMPLETELY blocked with pieces of an old impeller. I have cleaned the pieces out of the screen and replaced the hose.

I have also removed the cover to the impeller housing and inspected the impeller (it is clearly brand new - as it is supposed to be since the dealer replaced it when I purchased the boat in the fall).

I have checked all engine, transmission, and v-drive fluids and all levels are good and there is no obvious disscoloration in any of the fluids.

Later today I plan check the boat out on land with a fake-a-lake (only for a brief time to look for leaks) and then take her back to the lake for a more thorough check ride.

I intend to discuss this EXPERIENCE with the dealer and will let the crew know how that plays out since people in the Northeast may be interested.

Again I am grateful for the instruction to check out the tranny cooler screen and for the impressive long-distance diagonsis of the true root cause of the hose failure.

The Crew comes through again.

Glad to see everything worked out -- for reference -- is there a drawing or schematic that one of the crew might have that names/IDs the hose / impellor set up? I'll be honest, we put our boat in yesterday and I was looking back to the stern with the impellor discussion in mind -- I'd be hard pressed to change and check if required. Although I carry a spare impellor in my "save a day" kit -- I'd like to do a similar check as above, now, before I actually need to do the work. Does a pdf or ppt example exist? Thanks everyone for the info -- enjoy the day.

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uk_exile
then went for a short cruise at 45 MPH. After about three minutes the engine cut way back and I observed the high temp alarm (205 degrees).

Sorry about your problems but 3 minutes at WOT isn't a short cruise !

Was it the first run after servicing ? I hate seeing boats getting launched then almost instant WOT. Warm them gently. Of course that won't have helped with a blown hose at all

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nemalibu
then went for a short cruise at 45 MPH. After about three minutes the engine cut way back and I observed the high temp alarm (205 degrees).

Sorry about your problems but 3 minutes at WOT isn't a short cruise !

Was it the first run after servicing ? I hate seeing boats getting launched then almost instant WOT. Warm them gently. Of course that won't have helped with a blown hose at all

That cruise was after about 45 minutes of operating at a maximum of 20 MPH and mostly at idle (I was adjusting the prop shaft seal). I always wait until the boat is fully warmed-up (ie thermastat open) before I exceed ~5-7 MPH.

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srab
Later today I plan check the boat out on land with a fake-a-lake (only for a brief time to look for leaks) and then take her back to the lake for a more thorough check ride.

I intend to discuss this EXPERIENCE with the dealer and will let the crew know how that plays out since people in the Northeast may be interested.

Did you have an opportunity for another lake test yesterday? How did it go?

I'd be pretty miffed at the dealer as well. They took out the old impeller, which obviously

was missing a fairly significant number of fins. Seems it should be a no-brainer, as a boat

mechanic, to clean out the tranny cooler to retrieve all of the missing components. Takes

minimal time and effort. What could possibly be their excuse for not doing it?

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vette-ski

I agree. They should cover the hose and your time for having to deal with the problem.

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electricjohn

And fill up the gas tank too.

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99response

Chances are the previous owner blew the impeller, replaced and didn't fish out the pieces. The mechanic then changed the newer, intact impeller and didn't bother to clean out the screen.

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wakeup
Chances are the previous owner blew the impeller, replaced and didn't fish out the pieces. The mechanic then changed the newer, intact impeller and didn't bother to clean out the screen.

Worth finding out that tidbit of info IMO. When I first read the post, I wanted to know the history behind the damaged old impeller. Was it traded in with an old impeller and was running hot or replaced prior to trade, etc? It appears the dealer was trying to get the boat in great shape prior to sell, but a little historical info would be nice especially to see if the prev owner maintained the boat on schedules. Not that I would recommend it, but many impellers can go well past recommended replacement so I wonder how long it had been.

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99response

kind of a moot point now. But I have pulled impellers that are 6 to 7 years old, with tons of hours on them, and they still pulled water!

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Sixball

If you blow an impeller you can clean the screen on the heat exchanger and still find pieces of impeller again later. I blew one on a old boat and found parts up to 2 years later and yes I did clean all the perts you could see. I pull my hose from the heat exchanger one or twice a year just to check for weeds and anything else. On my old V drive it was a pain but I thought worth it.

I have seen the same thing on other boats I maintain. Impeller parts can move through a engine for a long time.

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nemalibu
Later today I plan check the boat out on land with a fake-a-lake (only for a brief time to look for leaks) and then take her back to the lake for a more thorough check ride.

I intend to discuss this EXPERIENCE with the dealer and will let the crew know how that plays out since people in the Northeast may be interested.

Did you have an opportunity for another lake test yesterday? How did it go?

I'd be pretty miffed at the dealer as well. They took out the old impeller, which obviously

was missing a fairly significant number of fins. Seems it should be a no-brainer, as a boat

mechanic, to clean out the tranny cooler to retrieve all of the missing components. Takes

minimal time and effort. What could possibly be their excuse for not doing it?

Now that I cleaned out the tranny cooler and replaced the hose - all is running well. I did ~1 hr test ride at a variety of speeds and all seemed to be running fine.

Now I can't wait to ski and ride with my family.

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nemalibu
If you blow an impeller you can clean the screen on the heat exchanger and still find pieces of impeller again later. I blew one on a old boat and found parts up to 2 years later and yes I did clean all the perts you could see. I pull my hose from the heat exchanger one or twice a year just to check for weeds and anything else. On my old V drive it was a pain but I thought worth it.

I have seen the same thing on other boats I maintain. Impeller parts can move through a engine for a long time.

I am interested in this. In this case the tranny cooler screen was pretty much completely plugged with impeller parts. The plugging went all the way from the screen to within 1/4" of the opening where the hose goes. Is it possible that this was "old" parts hanging around the engine?

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