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barefootski

Did I vapor lock?

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barefootski

Let me start by saying that I have a 2006 Response LXi with the Hammerhead engine. This past Friday, I had my two kids, my parents and my brother in the boat for some family fun. I pulled my brother and Dad slalom skiing some and then we motored to a spot in the river that feeds the lake that is shallow and has a small muddy beach area where the kids play. After we rested for about 45 minutes, I wanted to show my brother how I barefoot. After setting the boom up, I went to start the boat. It started but it never sounded like it was firing on all cylinders, it sounded like it needed to backfire but never did and then it stopped. I could not get it started again. It was very hot that day, air temp was about 96 to 97 degrees with a heat index of about 105. My thermostat temp did not make it past the usual 160. Was it vapored lock?

I did not know what to do since we were about a 30 to 35 minute boat ride from where we lauched and there were not many boats around us. We saw a small jet ski (like one person small) and we flagged him down and he agreed to take my dad to the marina where Dad has his pontoon boat in a stall. After a few calls to BillFooter and Sunset Bob who were not on the lake, I resigned to waiting it out and enjoying the sun and heat. My kids were great and they never complained about waiting and hardly new there was problem since they had some shade and something to do. I will always be prepared with extra food and water after this episode. After about an hour to an hour and a half of waiting with brief intermittent attempts to start the boat, I tried to start the boat again and it started just fine and thus we motored to the boat ramp without any problems.

The next day we went out again for about two hours in the heat conditions although the heat index was somewhat less since we were out earlier in the day and it did just fine. I kept the blower fan running at all times when not in gear. Any suggestions? Do I take it to the dealer three hours away or continue to use it for the rest of the summer and fall?

Thanks for your help.

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99response

Sounds like you had the right conditions for vapor lock. Just keep that blower running on really hot days and you shouldn't have an issue. Opening the motor box if it does vapor lock will help too.

-Chris

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DC9669

The exact same thing happened to us today. Its 96 degrees and very humid. We stopped to swim awhile and after about an hour I went to start the boat (05 monsoon with 200 HRS) and it spit and spuddered then died. I tried for 10 to 15 minutes to get it cranked. Opened the hatch opened the gas filling ports and mashed the shraeder valve up on the fuel rail. Fianlly it fired up like nothing was ever wrong. When I got it back on the trailer I stopped and started it several times with no issues. I got it home hooked up the hose pipe and it ran fine. This is the first time we have ever had any issues with our boat.

DC

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Surfin247
The exact same thing happened to us today. Its 96 degrees and very humid. We stopped to swim awhile and after about an hour I went to start the boat (05 monsoon with 200 HRS) and it spit and spuddered then died. I tried for 10 to 15 minutes to get it cranked. Opened the hatch opened the gas filling ports and mashed the shraeder valve up on the fuel rail. Fianlly it fired up like nothing was ever wrong. When I got it back on the trailer I stopped and started it several times with no issues. I got it home hooked up the hose pipe and it ran fine. This is the first time we have ever had any issues with our boat.

DC

If your fuel pump is on side of engine instead of in the fuel tank, try cooling it off by putting wet rag on it or wedging a cool beverage against it to cool it down. I have also, had fewer occurances since using Stabil in the fuel all the time. Even if I'm going to use it the same day. Leaving the hatch open also helps. Manual also states to purge pump and fuel rails of vapor, you should turn the ignition on , but not start the engine, wait to hear the fuel pump come on and stop, then repeat. This helps push fuel into the pump and rails and force out the vapor. Be careful though you could flood it if you do it too much.

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greenworks

run the blower on hot days and let it run for a few minutes after shutting own from a hard pull that should solve the problem

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barefootski

Thanks for the help.

Surfin247, what does the fuel pump coming on sound like? I will add Stabil for more frequently now.

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RTS

It seems like we are getting more frequent reports of possible vapor lock this summer. I know the gas stations around here went to 10% ethanol this year, I don't think they have done so in the past.

Could ethanol blended fuel be causing this? Just wondering.

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dalt1

Had it happen 3 times this year. 06VLX. Open hatch wait 30 to 45 min and all is good again. Anyone know why it seems to be happening more this year than before. I too believe it has to do with 10% ethenol fuel. Mine never did this once before this year and it had 410 hours on it by then.

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Surfin247
It seems like we are getting more frequent reports of possible vapor lock this summer. I know the gas stations around here went to 10% ethanol this year, I don't think they have done so in the past.

Could ethanol blended fuel be causing this? Just wondering.

Think so. Ethanol is basically Alcohol. It Boils at lower temp than water, Water attractant, Evaporates fast. I believe these are a factor.

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Surfin247
Thanks for the help.

Surfin247, what does the fuel pump coming on sound like? I will add Stabil for more frequently now.

If it is beside the engine block, you can't miss it. Open hatch, turn ignition but don't crank the starter and you'll hear a high pitched buzzing sound. Tha is it. It should last 2-3 seconds. If it is in the fuel tank it will be hard to hear from captain seat, but just do the same thing if your trying to clear the fuel rails. With the pump in the tank the fuel pump should not be vapor locking. The gas keeps it cool. Your fuel rails are more likely the problem and activating the fuel pump a couple of times should purge the vapor. Be careful not to do to much or you'll flood it.

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Bobby Light

I had the exact same thing happen to me twice/maybe three times this past weekend. I turned the key back off and pulled the safety lanyard off, re-attached and it fired right back up each time. Little more than a coincidence to me.

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WaveMake'nLSV

Is it possible to flood a fuel injected boat? Dontknow.gif

Be careful not to do to much or you'll flood it.

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dalt1

Cycling the fuel pump does not help clear the lock on mine. Time (30 to 40 min.) and getting heat out of engine compartment is all that will clear mine. Is there a relief valve in the system somewhere that may purge the vapors?

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Surfin247
Cycling the fuel pump does not help clear the lock on mine. Time (30 to 40 min.) and getting heat out of engine compartment is all that will clear mine. Is there a relief valve in the system somewhere that may purge the vapors?
Shrader valve on fuel rail. It is were you plug in to test fuel pressure, but be careful hot engine gas and fuel vapors. Wrap a rag/cloth around it before you mess with it. Yes, I to have had limited success with cycling the ignition/fuel pump, but the manual does state this procedure for vapors in fuel rail. My fuel pump is not in the fuel tank, so cooling down the fuel pump has worked everytime. I have had better results by using Stabil all the time than cycling the fuel pump. Since I have started using Stabil all the time, I've not had any reoccurances even when I forgot to lift the hatch on long shut downs, but I now use the blower all the time too.

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dalt1

Probably best to just air cool to prevent spraying fuel into hot engine bay as you stated. I usually have enough beverages in cooler to wait out the 40 min cooling off period.

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Surfin247
Probably best to just air cool to prevent spraying fuel into hot engine bay as you stated. I usually have enough beverages in cooler to wait out the 40 min cooling off period.
Just use your blower when your picking up/changing riders and open engine hatch when you shut her down/park and you should not have to wait when you want to start again.

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FIC

If you think you have a vapor lock condition, next time it acts up cycle your key off and on with aprox . 10 seconds in between off and without cranking, this will cycle the gas in the fuel line and in most cases will get you started. We experence vapor lock occasionally in are competition show skiing tournaments.

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95echelon

Our 95 Echelon LX has the Mercruiser 350 MP EFI Engine (260HP) which was somewhat notorious for this. Some mercruiser techs flew up and installed a fuel cooler that definitely improved the situation. On ours we always did the following and were running within 10 minutes:

Open Engine Cover

Run Blower

Pour ungodly amounts of lake water over the fuel pump housing

Rev the boat in neutral to start (usually took near full throttle)

It would sputter for a few starts, but then it would be fine.

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dalt1
If you think you have a vapor lock condition, next time it acts up cycle your key off and on with aprox . 10 seconds in between off and without cranking, this will cycle the gas in the fuel line and in most cases will get you started. We experence vapor lock occasionally in are competition show skiing tournaments.

Have tried cycling fuel pump, does not clear mine. Time and cool air is all that seems to work.

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maniac mechanic
It seems like we are getting more frequent reports of possible vapor lock this summer. I know the gas stations around here went to 10% ethanol this year, I don't think they have done so in the past.

Could ethanol blended fuel be causing this? Just wondering.

Think so. Ethanol is basically Alcohol. It Boils at lower temp than water, Water attractant, Evaporates fast. I believe these are a factor.

Possibly happened to me today on my 96VLX. The only thing different about today is that I put Heet (basically alcohol) in fuel tank to treat any possible water in the tank. Worried about water entering when ballasted (is that a word) for surfing. Anyway I removed the fuel filter (always keep a spare) and noticed fuel seemed hot. Started after a few more tries. I also pulled the wire that goes to the temp sensor and put it back on. It fired right up. Wondering what it was.

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areamike
Probably best to just air cool to prevent spraying fuel into hot engine bay as you stated. I usually have enough beverages in cooler to wait out the 40 min cooling off period.

Plus1.gifPlus1.gif

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MalibuNation

Happened to me this past Sunday with my 2003 LS1 ... I'm the only owner of this boat.

Strange things are: there was mix of sun and clouds, though mostly sunny, upper 70s or low 80s, dry air and windy. Ran it hard and long. Brought it to the dealer Dealer had no problems with it starting. The ran it 15 minutes, then restarted it and ran it 15 minutes and restarted fine. They are thinking vapor lock. I burn 92 or 93 octane which is less volatile and less likely to vapor lock and knock.

This happened to me one other time and it happened about a month ago on a rainy humid day, but only in the upper 70s to mid 80s.

Question ... I take it my fuel pump is NOT in the tank like newer cars?

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areamike
Question ... I take it my fuel pump is NOT in the tank like newer cars?

Nope. It's more than likely just before the Fuel injector rails on the starboard(is that right?) passenger side of the engine.

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MalibuNation
Question ... I take it my fuel pump is NOT in the tank like newer cars?

Nope. It's more than likely just before the Fuel injector rails on the starboard(is that right?) passenger side of the engine.

Thanks ... it's pretty crowded in there.

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MarkJ

Vapor lock is happening to me pretty consistently this summer, thank you to the poster that recommended pouring lake water over the fuel pump, saved my a** today!

Is there any fuel additive that could prevent this? I use Stabil in every fill-up and it hasn't helped.

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