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Engine won't start :-(

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slap

TL;DR: Engine won't start

We've had no time to use our boat this summer, and this long holiday weekend was supposed to be our much anticipated first outing. Of course, I took the shrink wrap off and the boat won't start... ugh!

Being that it's a holiday weekend, the chances of me getting a mechanic to look at this are pretty much nil. Maybe one of you guys have a suggestion for something obvious?

I attached the fake-a-lake and turned the key. Engine turns over, but doesn't start. Repeat 6 or so times and it starts, but then immediately dies. Repeat 2 or 3 times and give it some gas (in neutral) and the engine revs and then dies. Did that twice more, and now it won't start at all.

I just dragged it to the gas station and topped off with fresh fuel.

I checked the kill switch, and it looked OK. I tried disconnecting the two wires from it, and no change (I don't know if the red button interrupts the circuit or completes it?) I connected the two wires, and no change. I put the wires back on the switch.

In the fall I had a mobile mechanic out and he changed the oil, fogged the engine, and shrink wrapped. It all ran fine, then. Gas was treated.

I don't know anything about engines. Is there anything obvious I can check?

The kids are near tears, and I'm not far behind them. This really sucks.

Oh, it's a 2000 SS LXi. Quick video of what it sounds like when I try to start it: http://youtu.be/PUwOxc4uPVo

Edited by slap

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oldjeep

Your video is marked private.

Check the regular stuff - air, fuel, spark. Pull a plug and check spark. Make sure you hear fuel pump run and consider changing filters, check/clean spark arrest or.

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slap

Your video is marked private.

Oops. Fixed.

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GreenMan

If the kill switch is the issue, the gauges will also be dead. Engine will crank but not fire and gauges will not set. It's a pretty common fault and to get around it you join the wires together.

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henrik

Is the fuelpump cycling when you turn the key to on?

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brad72

Check the kill switch as above. You can also remove a spark plug lead, pull back the boot and hold the metal end close to some exposed metal on the block. You should see a spark jump across when cranking. I recommend holding the lead with some pliers to eliminate the chance of getting a boot from it. If not check the kill switch again.

Also, when you turn the key to the on position you should hear the fuel pump on the port side of the motor whir for about 3 seconds. I had the same condition as you and it turned out to be a faulty fuel pump.

Edited by brad72

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justgary

Assuming you have an injected engine, check your fuel pressure. It could be the pump, regulator, or filters.

Assuming you have a carb engine, check your fuel pump, filters, and float level. Most likely a stuck float valve.

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brad72

I would print out this troubleshooting guide and have it in the boat to make it easier https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B59E9tm-Pit7YUgtcUJrVkhZbEk/preview?pli=1

I have a laminated copy that lives in the boat as it is easy to overlook the simplest things when flustered and frustrated.

Edited by brad72

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MadMan

The mechanic might have closed the fuel shut off valve when he winterized your boat.

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slap

Boat is running! The suggestions here were spot on. Murphy's Law was in full effect, and I had a double whammy! Kill switch fault AND frozen fuel pump.

A couple of buddies and I used the spark plug test trick suggest by 'Bu Savant above to determine the kill switch was failing. Once got spark back by bypassing the switch, we started looking at fuel delivery. Eventually we uncoupled a fuel line and gave a quick crank to see if gas would spray out (yeah, dangerous, I know) and we got nada. Once we determined there was no fuel, we gave the pump a few taps. As soon as I engaged the key we could hear the pump turn on... we literally all cheered.

So thanks to some good friends and this forum, my long weekend is saved! I'll get a new pump ordered pronto, but in the meantime I'm going to roll the dice and use the boat as-is. The lake is pretty small, so the worse thing that happens is a good samaritan tows us to the dock.

Thanks, everyone. Happy 4th!

P.S. - If anyone has a part number handy, please post. Bake's doesn't have fuel pumps on their Indmar page... trying my Google Fu, now.

Edited by slap

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brad72

Mate that is awesome you got it running, and learnt some troubleshooting at the same time so a win win.

Pretty sure this is the pump you want. https://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1241 and you should change the fuel filter at the same time.

Edited by brad72

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slap

Mate that is awesome you got it running, and learnt some troubleshooting at the same time so a win win.

Pretty sure this is the pump you want. https://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1241 and you should change the fuel filter at the same time.

Thanks a ton for the part number. (Holy cow, $440!!!) I don't want to cheap out on something as critical as fuel delivery, so I'm gonna place an order.

As usual, this forum helped me tremendously. Of all the forums I use for various things, this community is unparalleled. Never a flame, but always a helping hand. Good stuff!

(Unrelated: I just came in from taking the kids skiing, and as I was about to step off the boat I heard a buzzing sound. Hmm. Lift the engine cover, it was the bilge. Crap. I came in, did a quick search, and in 2 minutes I read Pistol Pete's procedure for popping the top off of a bilge to clean/inspect. I went out and did it, and there was a maple tree helicopter jamming the impeller. Quick and easy fix, but I would have not known what to do without the 'crew.)

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