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Sassy

Troubleshooting Electrical Issues - Boat Cranks, Won't Start - No spark at ignition coil

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Sassy

I posted another thread but wanted to start fresh.

My boat died on us the other day and I've been working through it.

It will crank but won't fire.

I pulled a wire and there is no spark at the ignition coil.

I've gone through and double checked the following:

1. Kill Switch is bypassed and the gauges illuminate when you turn the key

2. Installed a new ignition coil.

3. Installed new ICM

I still need to check the canon plug as others have mentioned.

Does anyone have any input that might be helpful? If so, I'd really appreciate it right about now!

Michael

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wienrdog

I had a similar situation last summer - ended up being the ignition pickup module (IC/IM) in the distributor. Is that the ICM you have listed? We were running fine across lake, then just died & no spark.

Ignition pickup

You can likely find them for less $$ with a little more search, but wanted to show part from Indmar from known source.

Edit: Our boats are roughly the same age, so could be similar failure.

Edited by wienrdog

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Sassy

I had a similar situation last summer - ended up being the ignition pickup module (IC/IM) in the distributor. Is that the ICM you have listed? We were running fine across lake, then just died & no spark.

Ignition pickup

You can likely find them for less $$ with a little more search, but wanted to show part from Indmar from known source.

Edit: Our boats are roughly the same age, so could be similar failure.

Thanks wienrdog! Yes, I did replace that part already to no avail.

In addition to no spark, I also don't hear my pump prime.

I'm down to the following things to troubleshoot...

1. Bull Plug (Cannon Plug)

2. Ground Block behind dash

3. Fuse Block behind dash

4. ECU

I've checked all the connections and they all seem to be good. My boat has only been used in fresh water so there really isn't any corrosion to speak of.

Anyone else have any suggestions?

Michael

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Bozboat

do you have power to the fuel pump?

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Sassy

do you have power to the fuel pump?

No, it's definitely not priming. My gauges kick on but I don't hear the pump prime and I'm not getting power to the ignition coil.

I'm also getting a message 'BAD' on my gauges. Not sure if it's telling me 'bad battery' or 'bad depth' or something different.

Battery is fully charged and reading 11-12V. Boat is an 03 with ~250 hrs on it.

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malibu2004

Where is you last know good power?

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Bozboat

No, it's definitely not priming. My gauges kick on but I don't hear the pump prime and I'm not getting power to the ignition coil.

I'm also getting a message 'BAD' on my gauges. Not sure if it's telling me 'bad battery' or 'bad depth' or something different.

Battery is fully charged and reading 11-12V. Boat is an 03 with ~250 hrs on it.

I understand that the pump is not priming or running. Take a meter to the electric plug that is on the fuel pump. If there is 12 volts at that plug then the fuel pump is suspect. No power to the pump plug would suggest other problems. Others have indicated that the ECM will not initialize spark at the plugs when the fuel pump doesn't come on. I don't know how that works, but it might fit your situation. Edited by Bozboat

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Sassy

Honestly, not sure.

Probably the starter based on the fact it cranks, and cranks well.

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Sassy

I understand that the pump is not priming or running. Take a meter to the electric plug that is on the fuel pump. If there is 12 volts at that plug then the fuel pump is suspect. No power to the pump plug would suggest other problems. Others have indicated that the ECM will not initialize spark at the plugs when the fuel pump doesn't come on. I don't know how that works, but it might fit your situation.

Good advice, I'll check for power at the fuel pump plug this evening. I can see the ECM shutting down as a safety measure if there's no fuel.

Ideally, this is a bad fuel pump issue, but it almost seems electrical in nature.

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malibu2004

Good advice, I'll check for power at the fuel pump plug this evening. I can see the ECM shutting down as a safety measure if there's no fuel.

Ideally, this is a bad fuel pump issue, but it almost seems electrical in nature.

I posted another thread but wanted to start fresh.

My boat died on us the other day and I've been working through it.

It will crank but won't fire.

I pulled a wire and there is no spark at the ignition coil.

I've gone through and double checked the following:

1. Kill Switch is bypassed and the gauges illuminate when you turn the key

2. Installed a new ignition coil.

3. Installed new ICM

I still need to check the canon plug as others have mentioned.

Does anyone have any input that might be helpful? If so, I'd really appreciate it right about now!

Michael

So lets see your boat stopped running you don't have spark or power to the fuel pump but the starter and motor turn.

Sounds like an electrical issue to me. Have you checked all the fuses? Are you 100% sure you've taken the kill switch out of the equation? Gauges will illuminate with a bad kill switch. The kill switch stops power to the motor not the gauges.

If you get power to the fuel pump how is it going to start if you don't have ignition? Like wise if you have ignition without fuel has it going to start? It will turn over all day but one without the other it wont start.

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Rednucleus

Quick fuel pump test is put 12v to it's terminals and see if it runs

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Sassy

Appreciate all the help guys but it ended up being a bad fuse in the flat plug located on the aft side of the engine.

Swapped the fuse out and now she starts up like a champ!

Thanks again for all the help!

Michael

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Bozboat

Appreciate all the help guys but it ended up being a bad fuse in the flat plug located on the aft side of the engine.

Swapped the fuse out and now she starts up like a champ!

Thanks again for all the help!

Michael

Awesome.

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Didget

our boat is doing something very similar but the fuel pump works, we have checked fuses

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Didget

Thanks wienrdog! Yes, I did replace that part already to no avail.

In addition to no spark, I also don't hear my pump prime.

I'm down to the following things to troubleshoot...

1. Bull Plug (Cannon Plug)

2. Ground Block behind dash

3. Fuse Block behind dash

4. ECU

I've checked all the connections and they all seem to be good. My boat has only been used in fresh water so there really isn't any corrosion to speak of.

Anyone else have any suggestions?

Michael

Just wondering what you mean by Bull Plug?

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shawndoggy

Just wondering what you mean by Bull Plug?

there's a big plug between the ECU's pigtail and the boat's wiring harness. Typically referred to as the cannon plug (not sure why?).

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justgary

James H. Cannon founded the Cannon company in 1915. He soon created the M-1 connector for the movie camera industry, and the Cannon Plug was born. These days, the company is ITT Cannon, a leader in military and industrial connectors. Lots and lots of different "Cannon Plugs" out there.

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Stroud

96 boat 5.7L 350 mercury alpha

No power to module 

Replaces coil, spark plugs and wires, sensor, distributor still no power to module or anything else.
 Engine turns over but will not fire.  Cannot find the problem.

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justgary
4 hours ago, Stroud said:

96 boat 5.7L 350 mercury alpha

No power to module 

Replaces coil, spark plugs and wires, sensor, distributor still no power to module or anything else.
 Engine turns over but will not fire.  Cannot find the problem.

Look for where you *do* have power, and trace it until you *don't* have power.  Did you check the key switch, for example?

Your note was rather terse, so it's hard to help you.

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formulaben
22 hours ago, Stroud said:

96 boat 5.7L 350 mercury alpha

No power to module 

Replaces coil, spark plugs and wires, sensor, distributor still no power to module or anything else.
 Engine turns over but will not fire.  Cannot find the problem.

Does your boat have a safety lanyard?

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