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adfrock

Timing belt?

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adfrock

I've got a 2006 Response LXI with a Malibu LC2 PFI engine that I bought in 2014. End of last season/beginning of this season I started having issues (that gradually got worse) with the engine missing/cutting out. These issues would always happen at low speed or idle, if I gave it more gas the boat seemed to run great. The boat also became more difficult to start until I couldn't get it to start at all. The previous owner had given me a fuel pump and filter that he had bought but not switched out, so I figured I'd tried swapping it out since I had it. Still wouldn't start.

Took it to mechanic, he found a wire on the starter loose, nut totally missing (crap, I could've have found that!). He put a nut on, it still wouldn't start and he said the fuel pump was bad. I had told him that I had switched out the fuel pump so he recommended I try the "old" one. Took it home put the old fuel pump back on, got a fuel pressure gauge, it looked good. Took the boat out, it started great and seemed to run great. But I wondered about the engine missing/cutting out, didn't think a starter wire could fix that. Sure enough the missing/cutting out at slow speed or idle came back and got worse. Then one time the engine cut off and after it cut off I heard a sound like something slowly winding down (never heard that sound before) and there was a burning kind of smell. Tried to restart it once, had some smoke out the exhaust, it would crank and crank but not start. Got towed to ramp.

My mechanic of choice gave me an appointment for July 25. :cry:The thought of losing a month or more of summer makes my wife and I want to cry (our free time is nearly dedicated to being at the lake)

Does this engine have a timing belt or timing chain? Is it interference or non-interference engine?

Am I on the right track thinking timing belt or are there other explanations for the smell and noise?

On another note, I am planning to take it to a different mechanic in the morning. I told him that I read 60 psi fuel pressure when I turn the key and he said that's too high it should be like 35-40 psi. But both the regulators I have are labeled 4 bar (~60 psi). Is the mechanic wrong about 35-40 psi or do I have the wrong fuel pump/regulator?

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jbower

Not fimiliar with your engine but it should be a timing chain and rarely see problems with them 

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james11music

i have had similar problems in the past with my sunsetter and it ended up being that the ignition timing was off.  I fixed that and replaced the cap/rotor/plugs/wires and it has run like a dream since.  (replaced about 4 years ago)   

i would recommend checking your ignition timing.  Once you are sure that it is dialed, try starting the boat again...  (do this at home on a fake a lake so that you don't end up testing it on the lake only to find out that wasn't your issue, causing you to need another tow) :biggrin:      if the boat is still having trouble after all of that,  then replace cap/rotor/plugs/wires.

Good luck

James

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adfrock

Thanks James, my boat is electronic controlled fuel injected, is your boat carbureted? Best I can tell from reading online, your advice about checking ignition timing would only apply to a carbureted engine?

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jgates237

Definitely replace your rotor/cap/wires and plugs if you haven't already.

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RTS

There is a way to check the timing on your FI boat.  I never had to do it, but the procedure can be found on this site.  Best I recall it takes a paper clip inserted into the correct slots of the OBD connector, and a timing light.

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Woodski

@adfrock:  the SBC (small block Chevy) controls cam timing via chain at the front of the engine, ignition timing via distributor orientation gear driven off back of camshaft.  Timing chain failures are very rare, distributor gear might be more likely errant timing issue.  From your description early in original post, I would go through all the electrical connections and certainly check all ground attachments including alternator/battery/ignition modules, etc.  IAC/TPS could also be a cause for issues and that simply requires a part replacement.  Later in the post you indicate the funny sound and burning smell, that could imply some sort of cooling system issue like bad impeller, clogged transmission cooler or improper timing causing engine to run hot or create too much exhaust gas heat.  Can the previous owner shed some more light on the issue since it appears he knew or experienced it prior to selling vessel to you?

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EchelonMike

If the boat turns over but won't fire, you typically have one of two problems:  No fuel or no spark.  If you are seeing 60 PSI of pressure at the fuel rail with your gauge when you turn on the key, my initial guess is you don't have a fuel issue.  So I would look at spark.

Your boat is an 06 so i would look for easy stuff first...things that require maintenance.  The cap, rotor, plug wires, coil, etc. are 10 years old and any issues with these elements will make the boat run very poorly.

I would pull a plug wire off the cap and look for white looking corrosion on the connector.  The wires go in order so pull one off at a time, and then replace it where you removed it.  I would also pop off the cap from the distributor and look at the rotor and also where the rotor spins to "touch" and fire each plug.  If there are signs of wear or corrosion, replace both the cap and rotor.  Again, don't get the wires out of order or you will have a really poor running engine.

If the cap and rotor and wires all look good, then you start getting into a bad coil, or into a sensor or ECU (computer) that is unhappy.  

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adfrock

@Woodski I don't have any reason to think the previous owner experienced issues. Boat ran great for the first summer we had it, and he said he bought the fuel pump just to have on hand, not because he thought the fuel pump was bad.

@formulaben This is not vapor lock, I am pretty familiar with that issue. On hot summer days when we park the boat to swim for an hour or so we were getting vapor lock pretty often. I started propping the engine cover up with a block of wood when we parked and that those issues went away. Our boat has a second fuel pump that I think is an add on to try to prevent vapor lock, but apparently it's not doing it's job (maybe it's not working?).

I think you guys are all right about spark. I bought an inline spark tester today and was not seeing spark. Took the cap off the distributor and it looks like the end of the rotor electrode is burned (would post pictures if I could figure out how). Right now I am planning to start with cap and rotor (previous owner had just done spark plugs) and see what that does.

 

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adfrock

Cap and rotor did not fix it, taking it in to mechanic on Monday. 

 

Sprained my ankle pretty bad skiing yesterday, so it looks like I'm going to be a driver only for a couple weeks

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adfrock

Mechanic says wire going to ignition coil was broken (underneath insulation, not externally visible), causing the intermittent problems (sometimes the wire would touch, sometimes it wouldn't). New wiring harness. Paying mechanics labor rate to find the issue hurts a little bit.

Will go to pick the boat up today, then time for lake tests

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jgates237

At least its fixed. Enjoy your smooth running boat!

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Woodski

@adfrock:  interesting failure mode, based on your description I would have expected a bad low voltage coil wire not necessarily to be dependent on engine speed and be intermittent at any speed not just low speed.  Perhaps the extra voltage with the alternator charging allowed the current to jump any gap at the time.  Hopefully he can show you the old harness and the break.  Glad it is fixed.  You might want to determine why the original wire was broken, either the way it was routed or due to some stress put on the wire and ensure that has been altered so it does not happen again.

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