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starts won't stay running need advice


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1999 sporster Indmar 350 engine. Engine starts but immediately dies when key goes back to run status. Have swapped wires for lanyard switch and still same results. Check all connections thoroughly and same problem. If coil was bad, would'nt that prevent engine from starting all together? Do ignition switches go bad internally? What should I check next or replace? Have had starter and alternator rebuilt and new battery installed eliminating those (if any) possibilities. Checked control cables and see gas squirting into carb just fine. At a loss for what to do next. Need advice please. thanks.

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checked power at switch. Have good voltage at input post, run post, and start post. What about lanyard switch? Do those switches go bad? Did not think to check that switch for voltage....what would happen if just disconnected and made a jumper? Anyone else had issues like this which turned out bad switch or lanyard kill switch? Really do not just want to start replacing each item till problem is solved, rather isolate bad item. What else could keep engine from wanting to stay running besides switches? Trying to look at everything in perspective before dragging to dealership.

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Yes, ignition switches do go bad, but check these few things first.. With the switch in the "on" position you should have 12v at the + side of the ignition coil. If not trace the color coded wire back and see if there's a break. Also, on older engines (without electronic ignition) they used a porcelain resistor to drop the voltage down before going into the points. However, the voltage would go around the resistor when the key was in the "start" position and then through the resistor in the "run or on" position. Check and see if voltage is passing through this resistor (their usually mounted on the top of the engine).

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I will check that, I do not think there is a resistor only because from the coil there are two wires going directly to distributer and too the coil is wires that are from bundle. If the coil was bad, would'nt that prevent the engine from starting at all? Will check voltage at coil just to be sure though. What if the starter switch was bypassed and took primary ignition wire and connected to starting wire? hoping that would assume switch is bad if engine ran properly. Would that keep starter engaged the whole time?

Edited by tlope
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A bad coil would, but it seemed in your original post that the motor started while cranking then died when the key was turned to the run position. If this is true, then the coil is OK. Rather than run the new wires that you mention, just turn your key on and see if 12v is present on the + side of the coil.

Edited by scfdfireman
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lanyard switch should not allow the boat to start...easy check is to see if you have the same problems with the saftey lanyard pulled.

Is the fuel pump working properly? I know the oil pressure switch will kill the power to pump if it detects zero oil pressure (those switches are known to be troublesome)

-Chris

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purred like a kitten till water started squirting out side of block by drain plug!!!!! CRACKED BLOCK - WTF!!!! Started pricing new blocks and nearly had heart attack. Going to be a long summer Cry.gif

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I don't know what the down side of doing this would be, but someone in the past posted that they patched over a crack in block with JB weld (reqires meticulous cleaning to be successful) and ran engine just fine. Not much pressure in open cooling system. What do you have to loose? (unless there's the possibilty of doing damage to internals that might otherwise be used in engine rebuild?)

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Yes seems cheezy but I have heard that it can work for quite a while. You can take a die grinder and lightly remove material along the crack. Mix up the JB and pack it in really well.

The other fix is to use waterglass. Available at the pharmacy you would mix it according to the directions and pour it into the engine and let it sit for awhile. You will want to close off the inlet valve so the water glass doesn't just drain out. Cant remember if you supposed to start it for awhile or not??????

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Open cooling systems run around 7 psi at WOT. I put a gauge (0-15) where the drain plug goes, that how I know this.

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Check with your insurance company they may cover frozen engines. I have Boat US and for an extra $30 a year it includes freeze protection.

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tried the JB weld and am putting couple of layers on. Will try running tomorrow. How are Jasper engines? I have read post about their Ford engines have some problems, any info on Chevy's? hopefully JB will hold long enough to get some of season in and save $$ for long block. Stereo system upgrade going to have to wait. Basic system sounding really good all of a sudden. Insurance did not cover, due to boat residing in south Texas and recently moving to Tennessee. Lesson learned with insurance company. Have it now added to policy and hope I never have to use it.

Edited by tlope
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Also check you local engine re-builders. I had mine rebuilt, or I guess exchanged. I got a lot more than the original. 4 bolt mains instead of the original 2 bolt. Higher compression. I paid for that and a cam. Heads reworked also. It was a few years ago but I only put out about $2k or so. It runs perfect and plenty of power. Good luck with it.

I heard of someone using Marine Tex for that very same thing. a cracked block. It is what I used to repair the nose of my hulls gel-coat. It is white and hard as a rock. The original owner ran it up onto his trailer without a nose roller and ripped it up. You can't even see it until you get about 3ft away.

Edited by Sunsetter95
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tried the JB weld and am putting couple of layers on. Will try running tomorrow. How are Jasper engines? I have read post about their Ford engines have some problems, any info on Chevy's? hopefully JB will hold long enough to get some of season in and save $$ for long block. Stereo system upgrade going to have to wait. Basic system sounding really good all of a sudden. Insurance did not cover, due to boat residing in south Texas and recently moving to Tennessee. Lesson learned with insurance company. Have it now added to policy and hope I never have to use it.

Did it work? Dontknow.gif

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been raining all weekend, have not had a chance to pull boat out and run yet. Jasper engines has a local facility and Indmar engines is one of there stock builds. The original setup of this engine is plenty powerful for the light sporster. Having more power would just be a bonus, but one I would not necessary need. Few local hotrod shops around that expressed interest on starting with a short block and building up, however all were in the 25+ range for longblock. Jasper and California Engines have long block between 12 - 2. Will post when rain lets up and can run engine to see how JB weld holds up. Keeping fingers crossed.

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JB weld seems to be holding pressure in block, however ran engine and checked oil.....MILKSHAKE syndrom!!!! Debating (hoping) try pulling heads and pressure testing, replacing all upper gaskets and see if that works. Can not seem to catch a break, just want to ski!!!! Waited this long, rather try and salvage some season and hopefully drop in a new engine in couple months. Praying just blown head gaskits and no crack in heads.

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Even if the heads are ok, doesn't mean the block isn't cracked internally as well as externally. The water jacket may be cracked into a oil passage and leak inside as well as outside. No way to repair that crack. It might be best to start pricing out engines and start saving up the money. If I was replacing the engine in my sportster I would be looking at a little more power for fun at least. Maybe a bigger cam, more open heads.

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