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Motor Issues

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Any one else had any major issues with Indmar motors?  About three years ago the motor in my 2009 VTX was completely blown.  I had about 250 hours on it and the water pump disenegrated with no warning.  Temp went from 160 to over 200 in about a second and cracked the block.  The pump appeared to not be working properly from the factory, so they replaced it with a brand new 2012 crate motor.  Since this issue, I watch my engine temp and oil pressure gauges constantly.  About three weeks ago, I was coming back home from riding, just cruising around 30 mph and boat just died.  I turned the key off and then back on to check the engine temp. and it was only 165, which is regular for just shutting the boat down after running.  Opened the back hatch and had oil in the bilge so I checked the oil and it was milky. Got towed in and took the boat to my local Malibu dealer.  It appears I have thrown a rod, but they have not fully diagnosed the cause yet.  This motor only had around 100 hours and I change the oil every year and/or 50 hours.  Even if I had never changed the oil, I would expect to throw a rod with only 100 hours on the motor.  I love the Malibu brand, but not sure about the quality of the Indmar motors.  I may have to go with MC or Nautique.  Anyone else had any issues like this? 

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Very abnormal.  And wouldn't really have anything to do with it being an Indmar.  The engines come from GM as long blocks and then the marine-izer (Indmar,Mercury,PCM, etc) add the accessories, trans, v-drive, etc.  Indmar doesn't do anything with the rotating assemblies.


Your first failure sounds bizarre, blocks typically don't crack "in about a second" from overheating. 

Edited by oldjeep
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@JSpoone:  There are thousands of Indmar engines running fine and accumulating thousands of trouble-free hours, just as similar results for Mercruiser, PCM, Ilmor, etc.  The two issues you have, although an impeller failure is not that uncommon, yours seems abnormal but also for a couple of reasons.  What OldJeep noted that when an impeller fails and the temperature ruses, the block does not tend to crack in that short a time span.  Was that the original impeller, a new one or one with more than a year of use?  Also, if a rod lets go, my experience is it is a very noisy event and you know right away something very significant just happened particularly since it appears per your note that you might have ventilated the block or oil pan when the con rod let go.  If you switch boat brands, there is a very high likelihood you will end up with the same brand of powertrain you currently run as boat manufacturers use similar if not the same marinizers and base engine suppliers.  CC is aligned closely with PCM and MC is aligned with Ilmor, but MC did use Indmar for years and both those use GM base engines, Indmar has now switched to Ford base engines.

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Maybe it is just bad luck on my part.  I have had MC's and Nautiques in the past with no issues. The MC I had did have an Indmar engine.  I change my impellers every year, since I usually do not put more than 100 hours on my motor in a given year.  I was suprised when I found out it threw a rod, because you would think it would have made a lot of noise and smoke, but there was neither.  Just oil in the bilge, where the rod went through the oil pan.

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We have never surfed behind this boat, strictly wakeboarding.  I do have the piggy back ballast, with only about 300lbs in the lockers and about 200 in the bow, so the extra weight may be causing it, but I know there are a lot of people who run way more weight than this with the same motor.

Turns out I have to get a new long block assembly.  Indmar was no help at all, but my insurance may cover it.  I have a mechanical failure policy and this may fall under that since it was due to corrosion or wear and tear, giving the motor only had 100 hours.

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