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Intermitent ignition failure

ski & board

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After running the engine for at least 10 minutes and shutting it off, I turn the ignition and get nothing. This happens one out of every 10 or so times. To get around it I have been putting a screwdriver accross the solenoid terminals to get it started.

I've cleaned the terminals behind the ignition switch, replaced the solenoid and checked the battery terminals. Has anyone had the same problem?

The boat is a 1987 Malibu Skier.



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Have you verified that power is getting from the ignition switch to the solenoid? There could be a break in the wire or your ignition switch could be bad not delivering the power to the slave solenoid. Suggest having a multimeter on board when the symptom happens in order to diagnose properly.

If absolutely nothing happens when you turn the key i would suggest checking your shift linkage to make sure its engaging "neutral" properly at the transmission, verify the neutral safety switch is good (switch looks like this: http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1343 and is mounted on top of the transmission)

On a boat that age/era there isn't much that can stop the motor from starting.


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Nothing at all happens? Or do you at least get the clicking sound of the solenoid activating? I'd dissasemble and clean all connections of both positive and ground cables (battery, engine block, solenoid etc...all connections) Doesn't cost a dime and it's often the problem.

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