Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

tvano

NO START - TROUBLESHOOTING PROCEDURE

Recommended Posts

tvano

As often as we have entertained the 'no start' condition I think we, as a community, should build a comprehensive troubleshooting procedure.
Until ice out I have a bit of free time so I built the following strawman as a starting point.
I am hoping to get lots of feedback from all the kids at tmc.

I will attempt to edit the pdf document as any new entries (be brutal, I can take it) indicate that changes are required. That way users do NOT need to browse the complete thread to sort out the individual details. If this topic matures gracefully we may want to build a flow-chart to better illustrate the decision tree and/or migrate to the diy section (or anywhere the mods prefer).

Let's give it a whirl and see where it goes from here.

I've given up trying to make the document look rational in the bbs editor. Instead I've included this link to a PDF that should be globally available. PDF extensions may need to be renamed after saving a local copy. If you don't care to check out the pdf here is

THE SHORT LIST:

Key to ON position.

Normal: Gages active and continuous (repeating) MDC Warning Chime.

Check: Battery isolation switch, Safety lanyard, Battery voltage.

Key to Crank.

Normal: Engine spins

No Spin Check: Gear shift in neutral, Main circuit breaker, Engine circuit breaker, Battery voltage, Hydro-locked

Normal: Engine Starts

No Start Check: Fuel in tank, Vapor Lock, Fuel pump cycle (at ignition on), Flooded engine, Fuel filter, Fuel pump intake screen, ECM/EFI relay working, Cannon connector, Intake and Exhaust passages clear



I'm not married to any of this.
Please feel free to comment so that we can have a decent resource/document.
Thanks for the help.

edit jan 2014: update document and changed url

edit Ap2020: english

Edited by tvano

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

right off the bat i can see that the formatting needs work; all of the spaces i used to indent were swallowed!

Share this post


Link to post
areamike

right off the bat i can see that the formatting needs work; all of the spaces i used to indent were swallowed!

I think if you put your tutorial within the

  • or
 bbcode, it might retain your spaces and tabs.
Edited by areamike

Share this post


Link to post
Lance B. Johnson

First off let me start by saying great idea :thumbup: This is something that we can print off and keep in the glove box, or with the owners manual.

I do have a suggestion regarding the cranks but won't start section:

For organizational purposes break it down into 4 areas, starting with the easiest to check while on the water.

Example:

Spark (describe how to check spark here)

Fuel (describe how to check fuel system here)

Timing (describe how to check timing) (unlikely I know)

Compression (describe here) (again unlikely)

I don't have time right now, but I do have interest in helping out with this more if you want. Others Electric John and Pete will have good information.

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

I think if you put your tutorial within the

  • or
 bbcode, it might retain your spaces and tabs.

thanks for the list, code hints. i'm getting closer but will keep working on it.

Edited by tvano

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

First off let me start by saying great idea :thumbup: This is something that we can print off and keep in the glove box, or with the owners manual.

I do have a suggestion regarding the cranks but won't start section:

For organizational purposes break it down into 4 areas, starting with the easiest to check while on the water.

Example:

Spark (describe how to check spark here)

Fuel (describe how to check fuel system here)

Timing (describe how to check timing) (unlikely I know)

Compression (describe here) (again unlikely)

I don't have time right now, but I do have interest in helping out with this more if you want. Others Electric John and Pete will have good information.

good feedback. will do when i get a chance.

any more to the spark issue than grounding the plug electrode and spinning it while looking for spark?

if anyone is up for fielding the timing and compression topics i would rather defer to them. i can just link to them once their fleshed out.

Edited by tvano

Share this post


Link to post
Pistol Pete

I'd be happy to help but, that format has got to go.

Aren't Dot Matrix printers and IBM Selectric II fonts pase?

If you can cut and paste that into something more easy on the eyes (aka Word doc.) it'd make things easier for me.

I'm just a big dummy after all.

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

I'd be happy to help but, that format has got to go.

Aren't Dot Matrix printers and IBM Selectric II fonts pase?

If you can cut and paste that into something more easy on the eyes (aka Word doc.) it'd make things easier for me.

I'm just a big dummy after all.

i have not found the magic that will allow stacked bullets within this editor. for the sake of tabs to allow a tiny bit of orginization the doc is nestled between code and /code tags. that forces the (undesired) fixed width font. i am not comfortable w the editor in this bbs. given a few clues i can adapt.

i've been considering killing the majority of the original post in this thread and putting the guts of the document into a pdf. i can just add a link to that pdf. i will give that a whirl and the tmc 'editors' can comment on how swell that works out.

Edited by tvano

Share this post


Link to post
areamike

i have not found the magic that will allow stacked bullets within this editor. for the sake of tabs to allow a tiny bit of orginization the doc is nestled between code and /code tags. that forces the (undesired) fixed width font. i am not comfortable w the editor in this bbs. given a few clues i can adapt.

i've been considering killing the majority of the original post in this thread and putting the guts of the document into a pdf. i can just add a link to that pdf. i will give that a whirl and the tmc 'editors' can comment on how swell that works out.

I'm fairly certain if you write it up in word using bullet points and then simply copy/paste using

  • bbcode, it should retain the bullet points.

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

I'm fairly certain if you write it up in word using bullet points and then simply copy/paste using

  • bbcode, it should retain the bullet points.

i had tried the list/list tags pasting from a text editor and the indents didn't hold up. i had not tried pasting from word. much better. still some indent problems but it's much better. i will continue to poke at it. thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
areamike

i had tried the list/list tags pasting from a text editor and the indents didn't hold up. i had not tried pasting from word. much better. still some indent problems but it's much better. i will continue to poke at it. thanks.

Oh Yeah! That looks tons better. :thumbup:

This topic went from Starting Issues to how to format your post... :whistle:

Share this post


Link to post
Pistol Pete

I haven't had a lot of time to look at this but, wanted to bump it up.

One thing you could re-arrange is the order of checking for fuel then checking for spark.

You should list checking for spark first because in most cases, if you don't have spark, you aren't going to have fuel.

Secondly, the method of removing a spark plug out of the head (possibly while on the water) is un-realistic. This may be hard to describe but, an old trick is to pull a spark plug wire boot off a plug, put a phillips screwdriver up into the boot and hold the bare metal shaft of the screwdriver about a 1/4" away from a bare piece of metal engine (ground) and look for the spark to jump from the screwdriver shaft to the motor (ground) while cranking. I've been shocked plenty of times by ignition and it's not that big of a shock. Using this method is pretty safe.

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

I haven't had a lot of time to look at this but, wanted to bump it up.

One thing you could re-arrange is the order of checking for fuel then checking for spark.

You should list checking for spark first because in most cases, if you don't have spark, you aren't going to have fuel.

Secondly, the method of removing a spark plug out of the head (possibly while on the water) is un-realistic. This may be hard to describe but, an old trick is to pull a spark plug wire boot off a plug, put a phillips screwdriver up into the boot and hold the bare metal shaft of the screwdriver about a 1/4" away from a bare piece of metal engine (ground) and look for the spark to jump from the screwdriver shaft to the motor (ground) while cranking. I've been shocked plenty of times by ignition and it's not that big of a shock. Using this method is pretty safe.

i will swap the order of the spark and fuel sections but now i am no longer sure that keeping the four sections (spark, fuel, timing and compression) are viable. i want the 'see if there is fuel in the tank' to occur before we start taking anything apart. i will leave it for now but we should consider alternatives.

Share this post


Link to post
Wakes

You guys are scaring me with this thread. My boat is gonna start, right? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
martinarcher

Don;t forget vapor lock. On hot days it;s a common cause of no fire.

Last summer I went into the starting troubleshooting process on the water after cranking the boat a couple minutes at a time for about 5 minutes with no fire. if it wasn't the hottest day last summer it was dang close

I pulled the cylinder #1 plug and layed it on the block to check for spark. That's always my 1st step. I agree with Pete - check for spark first.

It took me probably 10 minutes to drain the fat sac, another 5 to re-arrange the boat and pull the dogbox up, and then another 5 to get the plug out and "set up" on the motor mount for the test.

I hit the key and the engine fired immediately like it always does, but was obviously running on 7 cylinders.

I killed it and put the #1 plug back in.

Lesson learned - check for vapor lock first. It's easy to open the dog box and let the motor/fuel lines cool for 10 minutes. If you have a cool rag place it on the fuel lines for a short time and give it another shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Pistol Pete

i will swap the order of the spark and fuel sections but now i am no longer sure that keeping the four sections (spark, fuel, timing and compression) are viable. i want the 'see if there is fuel in the tank' to occur before we start taking anything apart. i will leave it for now but we should consider alternatives.

For "on the water" no-start conditions, checking timing and compression is not realistic. The only compression issue I could see happening is if the motor took in a big gulp of water via the exhaust system and you had a hydro-lock. In that case, you're not gonna have engine crank.

BTW, in my 10 years of owning my boat, it only didn't crank once in it's life. It took me about 5 mins. to find the wire ring terminal at the starter solenoid loose.

Share this post


Link to post
tvano

Don't forget vapor lock. On hot days it;s a common cause of no fire.

vapor lock; good catch.

are there any indications that vapor lock is the problem? something that will point to vapor lock before the engine restarts?

other than the obvious "it starts (now that it cooled off) and it didn't start 10 minutes ago", is there any clue to indicate vapor lock?

For "on the water" no-start conditions, checking timing and compression is not realistic.

i agree that listing only the items easy to check "on the water" is worth while but i'm not sure this has to be that limited.

take a look at "the short list" near the bottom of the article.

when i added "the short list" i was thinking of those people:

that are not going to sit in the middle of the pond and read the 4 page article and

probably already know the "how" and are

just looking for a memory tweak.

perhaps "the short list" should move towards being a list of "on the water" checks?

or maybe i will just leave it the way it is and figure that if you don't have the tools you won't run that check?

i will mention "the short list" at the top of the topic so it's not as hidden.

thanks for the feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
martinarcher

vapor lock; good catch.

are there any indications that vapor lock is the problem? something that will point to vapor lock before the engine restarts?

other than the obvious "it starts (now that it cooled off) and it didn't start 10 minutes ago", is there any clue to indicate vapor lock?

Unfortunately no, it will simply crank and not start. The engine will simply not get fuel due to the vapor lock. I just figured if it's real hot it might be a good place to start because you can give it a bit of time to cool off with the motor cover opened up and not dive into taking things apart......yet. Biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
areamike

You guys are scaring me with this thread. My boat is gonna start, right? :unsure:

I was thinking the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Pistol Pete

Unfortunately no, it will simply crank and not start. The engine will simply not get fuel due to the vapor lock. I just figured if it's real hot it might be a good place to start because you can give it a bit of time to cool off with the motor cover opened up and not dive into taking things apart......yet. Biggrin.gif

Martin is right,

There is no real way to test for vapor lock. And I don't wanna say what us old-timer-mechanics would do if it was our boat.

I don't really think vapor lock is a prevalent problem. I've never had it happen in 10 years. I have heard of a trick to prevent it using popsicle sticks.

Edited by Pistol Pete

Share this post


Link to post
dalt1

My 06 never vapor locked for the first 2 years.(320 hours of use)After switching to Ethanol fuel it will do it regularly if I don't ventilate it good after a run. It will only do this if we sit long enough(10 minutes or more)for the heat so soak into the fuel pump without fuel running through it. Switching riders has never caused it. Mine will restart if vapor locked but it will not run, just cough and spit. After a short time of coughing, it will not run or restart at all. If I just sit with engine hatch opened, it will take 40 minutes or more to restart and run. If I pour a bottle of cold water over the fuel pump housing and surrounding fuel lines, It will run in just a few minutes. I have confirmed with Indmar techs that this is indeed a problem now with ethanol fuels. I now run my bilge blower and open the hatch after shutting down to get rid of heat in engine compartment.

Sorry for the long post but it may help someone out in a pinch.

Share this post


Link to post
martinarcher

Thought of something else that happened to me when I was 15 with my first vehicle (82 Chevy truck with a 350 HO).

My bro and I wanted to play hoops and the truck was under the basket. I half got in the truck hit the key slipped the clutch and killed it as it rolled out of the spot. The engine was on a total of about 3 seconds.

Later after we were done playing B-Ball, I tried to start the truck to put it back in it's spot. It would sputter about every 15 seconds while cranking, but no fire.

I was 15 and knew enough about engines to be dangerous. I decided since the engine would cough it was sparking, but wasn't getting fuel. I pulled the fuel line at the carb, layed it in a rag and cranked it....yep got fuel.

I pulled a plug and saw it was carboned over, but still layed it on the block and cranked.....it was sunny out, but I could see a spark (in hindsight it wasn't all that strong).....what the heck??? The plugs were new and the wires and air filter had just been changed.

My dad stepped in and we changed almost every ignition part on that truck before we were stumped. His buddy at work asked how far I drove it. As soon as dad said about 10 feet he just smiled. He told dad to have me pull all eight plugs and clean the carbon off them.

After putting the cleaned plugs back in it fired right up as usual.

Moral of the story....always let your vehicle run for a minute or so to let the carbon from the initial startup burn off the electrodes.

If the engine won't start and the engine hasn't been run long, check for carbon coating on the plug electrodes that prevents the plugs from throwing the good hot spark they are supposed to.

Edited by martinarcher

Share this post


Link to post
Pistol Pete

Moral of the story....always let your vehicle run for a minute or so to let the carbon from the initial startup burn off the electrodes.

Or,

Bury the pedal while it's coughing until it clears itself up.

Man, W.O.T. sure does fix a lot of things.

Share this post


Link to post
martinarcher

Or,

Bury the pedal while it's coughing until it clears itself up.

Man, W.O.T. sure does fix a lot of things.

I thought that only worked for flooded engines......you learn something everyday. Thumbup.gif

Edited by martinarcher

Share this post


Link to post
Pistol Pete

I thought that only worked for flooded engines......you learn something everyday. Thumbup.gif

Well,

You're saying the plugs got carboned up due to the car only running a few seconds. So, when you started the cold engine, the engine was in "enrich" mode and sorta fouled the plugs. Cranking the crap out of it with the pedal on the floor would clear that up. Basically, what you did have was a flooded engine.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...