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Problems with starting


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So went to the cabin over the weekend boat ran great but had a little trouble starting. took 3 to 4 times to start the engine. This morning when we got all packed up and ready to go the boat wouldnt start. Its cranking over fine but wont start the engine. I have lots of gas, the fuel pump is working, took a couple spark plugs out and they looked fine. when testing to see if there was any spark there was non. Could it be that I need new spark plugs? Im at 250hrs so a change is due in the near future. A coulpe ppl in our cove came by to lend a hand but could figure out why it wouldnt run. They were thinking the ECM module at gone bad. checked all my switches and fuses everything seemed to be ok. checked the kill switch. Its only our 3rd time taking the boat out this year and each time we did it took a little longer to start. I had half a tank of feul over the winter with stabil in it. Added a fuel injection cleaner and methol to the new gas. Im stumped. If anyone has any insight please share or help. The boat ( 08 lsv 383hh) is still at the cabin and wont be able to take a look at it more until tomorrow. Also checked the diagnostics on the onboard comp and nothing came up.

Thanks for any help.

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So went to the cabin over the weekend boat ran great but had a little trouble starting. took 3 to 4 times to start the engine. This morning when we got all packed up and ready to go the boat wouldnt start. Its cranking over fine but wont start the engine. I have lots of gas, the fuel pump is working, took a couple spark plugs out and they looked fine. when testing to see if there was any spark there was non. Could it be that I need new spark plugs? Im at 250hrs so a change is due in the near future. A coulpe ppl in our cove came by to lend a hand but could figure out why it wouldnt run. They were thinking the ECM module at gone bad. checked all my switches and fuses everything seemed to be ok. checked the kill switch. Its only our 3rd time taking the boat out this year and each time we did it took a little longer to start. I had half a tank of feul over the winter with stabil in it. Added a fuel injection cleaner and methol to the new gas. Im stumped. If anyone has any insight please share or help. The boat ( 08 lsv 383hh) is still at the cabin and wont be able to take a look at it more until tomorrow. Also checked the diagnostics on the onboard comp and nothing came up.

Thanks for any help.

bump!!

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...took a couple spark plugs out and they looked fine. when testing to see if there was any spark there was non. Could it be that I need new spark plugs?...

At 250 hours, yes, you should change the plugs but that's not likely to be your problem. An old plug will not run efficiently but it will typically still spark. Replace your plugs anyway but I would start looking at the ICM and the coil. Using a multimeter keep moving downstream until you find the problem. Power going into the coil but nothing coming out? Replace the coil. Spark coming out of the coil / into the distributor but not coming out, replace the ICM. You should replace your cap and rotor as well as the plugs. I change my cap, rotor, and plugs every 100-150 hours.

Edited by NorCaliBu
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sounds good, thanks for the replies, picked up a coil for free so will try that tomorrow and see if thats what it is.

Norcal

You replace your cap and rotor that often??

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Norcal...You replace your cap and rotor that often??

:yes: Every other year. 50-75 hours/year. It's only $26 for a cap and rotor.

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So put the new coil in today, still doing the same. Found that the ground wire on the starter was missing a nut and was loose so tightened that up with the same result. the closest dealer is stumped. could it be the rotor and cap? No codes or service engine warning are showing up..... I am getting gas so it is a spark issue and the dealer doubts that its the plugs.

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May be a dumb question, but there is plenty of voltage from the battery and it is cranking over fast enough, right. I have seen EFI engines not fire when they don't crank fast enough. There is power and signal to the coil right.

Edited by SBR
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May be a dumb question, but there is plenty of voltage from the battery and it is cranking over fast enough, right. I have seen EFI engines not fire when they don't crank fast enough. There is power and signal to the coil right.

yes there is enough voltage from the battery, I have 2 kinetic 3800 batteries that never run out of power, on my dash it shows that there is 12v going through it.

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May be a dumb question, but there is plenty of voltage from the battery and it is cranking over fast enough, right. I have seen EFI engines not fire when they don't crank fast enough. There is power and signal to the coil right.

Look more closely at the battery.

+1

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talked to a couple guys near home that used to work at malibu dealers and they said that the smallest bit of moisture in the rotor could cause this problem, going to take it out and see if this is the case. The only question I have about that is wouldnt the boat run rough once it started? Like I stated before I had problems starting this year but once it fired up it ran great. And if I had bad/old gas wouldnt it run like crap? going to check the fuel filter aswell. Dumb question but where is it because I cant find it. :blush:

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One other thing and maybe someone can answer this for me: Why is it that parts need to be replaced so often on boats not sure if its just malibu but changing plugs at 300hrs, ppl changing caps and rotors every year, oil needing to be changed every 50hrs. You never run into these problems with a car, granted they arent dragging in the water but still?????

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I think you answered your own question when that dude told you the littlest bit of moisture...

Boats are wet all the time. Those electrical parts get the littlest bit of corrosion on them and they fail. If you are really hung up on changing out the cap and rotor, take the cap off and use some light sand paper to clean up the contacts. That might get you going, you will still need to replace them but I have used this as a work around...

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One other thing and maybe someone can answer this for me: Why is it that parts need to be replaced so often on boats not sure if its just malibu but changing plugs at 300hrs, ppl changing caps and rotors every year, oil needing to be changed every 50hrs. You never run into these problems with a car, granted they arent dragging in the water but still?????

You don't have to do regular maintenance. I had a friend that ran his plugs for 700 hours. You don't have to change your cap and rotor. You don't have to change your oil every 50 hours. I had a friend that went eight years without changing tranny fluid. The choice is up to you.

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Sand the contacts and spray alittle bit of W-40 in the cap and it will displace the moisture and should fire if moisture is the problem. So, there is power and signal to the coil, correct?

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I think you answered your own question when that dude told you the littlest bit of moisture...

Boats are wet all the time. Those electrical parts get the littlest bit of corrosion on them and they fail. If you are really hung up on changing out the cap and rotor, take the cap off and use some light sand paper to clean up the contacts. That might get you going, you will still need to replace them but I have used this as a work around...

there was some corrosion on the poits sanded them down, you think I should still get a new cap?

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As far as the oil changes and maintence, if you think about it, a boat motor is pretty much under a moderate to heavy load all the time compared to a car engine. Alot more resistance with the drag of the hull and a prop compared to a car rolling on round tires on a flat surface.

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there was some corrosion on the poits sanded them down, you think I should still get a new cap?

Yep, those cap / rotor contacts are designed to be X distance apart, not X + what you sanded off...

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Have you 100% ensured it isnt anything having to do with your safety lanyard?? Engine will turn over, just wont start with the safety lanyard pulled right? removed safety lanyard kills the spark.

Remove the safety layard and jump the circuit with another wire or screwdriver just to 100% rule out its not a failed safety lanyard contact mechanism.

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got a new cap, still nothing but now I am getting some error codes. just waiting to hear back from the dealer to see what they are. It does how ever have a higher pitch when I try to start it. Im thinking about replacing the plugs as well now. The cap that I got was from an auto store, does it matter what cap I get as long as everything lines up?

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