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blytle473

Engine and Dealer Help

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blytle473

Hello fellow Malibu owners, 
I need some help regarding dealerships.

5 years go I purchased a 2004 Malibu Wakesetter 23LSV. It came with 143 hours on the clock and was in decent condition, nothing major besides a few days of work in detailing. The real reason I purchased that boat was for the 8.1L Vortec engine. My buddy had the same engine in his 23LSV and the power and torque it had made it a must have for my next boat. Since purchase the boat has run great expect for right up till August of last year. I was going close to WOT and I heard a pop as in something let loose and I immediately got a tow in and went to my local dealer Skiers Pier in Waterford MI. They kept the boat in the lot for the week and then determined that it was too deep in the engine for them to work on it and said that it needed to be rebuilt. The only problem is that they only offered a 1 year warranty which is not convenient for someone that lives in Michigan where we only get about 5 good months of boating in. I looked elsewhere and found a guy in Indiana that would offer me a 3 year warranty. I immediately had the engine shipped and it arrived back in mid-October. Skiers pier said they were too busy and were going to get to it in the spring. March comes the following year and they put the engine in the boat and it had multiple water leaks in the back side of the engine. We went back to the company in Indiana asking for our warranty to be fulfilled and they went out of business. We lost our warranty and lost the money that we spent. So Skiers Pier all of the sudden offered us a 3 year warranty and we got it rebuilt with them. They started the first week of April and got it back mid-May. We were promised our boat back by Memorial day weekend and they hadn't started on it when we called asking for it. They offered us a loaner boat which we gladly took instead of having nothing. It had the 320 LCR motor in it which was nothing compared to my 8.1L but whatever, it was a boat. With multiple calls out to them wondering when our boat would be done, they finally got the boat back to us last week, Saturday 9/3/16. The engine seemed to run great until today, 9/5/16 it started to make a knocking noise and I open the engine hatch and there is water leaking out of the manifolds and the back side under the crank shaft. I don"t know what else to do. I have invested over 13K between rebuilds, labor, parts, and lake tests. Does anyone know what else I can do? (Besides buy a new boat) This is just outrageous! I need a new dealer but the only other Malibu dealer is 100+ miles away. As anyone had any positive experiences with Skiers Pier or are there any other dealerships in the Metro Detroit area or had any similar issues with dealers. 

 

Help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

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oldjeep

13k?

Couple thought here. First, if you are going to own an old boat, you need tools and know how to use them.  It is cheaper to own a new boat if you don't.

Leaking where? There are no coolant paths under the crank, only thing near that are a couple core plugs above the crank.

Sorry to hear of your troubles, but it sounds like you.might have a warranty depending on what actually happened.

 

Edited by oldjeep

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hethj7

Other than taking a long time, wouldn't you be giving Skier's Pier a chance at standing behind their warranty?   I would think so at this point.  

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blytle473
14 hours ago, oldjeep said:

13k?

Couple thought here. First, if you are going to own an old boat, you need tools and know how to use them.  It is cheaper to own a new boat if you don't.

Leaking where? There are no coolant paths under the crank, only thing near that are a couple core plugs above the crank.

Sorry to hear of your troubles, but it sounds like you.might have a warranty depending on what actually happened.

 

Old jeep,

I would normally take the engine apart myself to find the problem but now with this warranty, the bolts are marked to if I try to open it up myself, the warranty will most likely be void. Looking at it more closely I think its the underside of the exhaust manifolds leaking and water dripping down into the bottom half of the engine. There is something leaking underneath the engine at a much higher volume than the exhaust manifolds but I cant see it completely. 

I wish I had a new boat but the new electronics scare me. The vibration and moisture don't mix with complex electronics. If Malibu offered a lifetime warranty on the electronics, I would buy a new boat in a heartbeat. 

Cost breakdown:

First engine rebuild

Engine rebuilt #1: $4,700

Labor cost (Labor to pull the engine out and put it back in): $1,751.96

Total cost of first engine rebuild: $6,451.96

Second engine rebuild

Engine rebuilt #2: $5,400

Labor cost (Put the engine back into the boat) $2,560.39

Total cost of the second rebuild: $7,960.39

Total cost of both rebuild: $14,412.35

 

 

11 hours ago, hethj7 said:

Other than taking a long time, wouldn't you be giving Skier's Pier a chance at standing behind their warranty?   I would think so at this point.  

Hethj7,

I just dropped the boat off at Skiers Pier this morning. They are going to take the manifold off and see what they see. Just a frustrating endeavor

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oldjeep

Edit - forgot you had an 8.1, those rebuild prices are pretty good

 

As for your current issue, you are pretty well stuck letting the dealer diagnose.  If I had to guess based on your description it sounds like maybe you blew a core plug, or possibly you just have a loose hose if you are seeing a large leak under the motor.

 

Good luck

Edited by oldjeep

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granddaddy55
1 hour ago, blytle473 said:

Old jeep,

I would normally take the engine apart myself to find the problem but now with this warranty, the bolts are marked to if I try to open it up myself, the warranty will most likely be void. Looking at it more closely I think its the underside of the exhaust manifolds leaking and water dripping down into the bottom half of the engine. There is something leaking underneath the engine at a much higher volume than the exhaust manifolds but I cant see it completely. 

I wish I had a new boat but the new electronics scare me. The vibration and moisture don't mix with complex electronics. If Malibu offered a lifetime warranty on the electronics, I would buy a new boat in a heartbeat. 

Isn't that what a non bells and whistles Axis is about ? And when you actually order s true price point axis you get switches and s basic digital menu(very analog looking in text only) for easy changes to things you set one time and never again except surf gate snd thst is easy as well. The older, slower  2014 surfgate ram systems (debugged by Malibu from the fall of 2012 till 2013/14 build time for 14 axis ) are extremely reliable. 

Ask about transferability in the 3 year, test it and sell and buy a 2014 simply equipped used axis or new ordered simple or existing well equipped layover boat in winter and be willing to walk( unlike you seem unable to do from old boat),  careful which hull cause recent issues.

the white boats with black tower and black graphics ain't so bad!!

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malibu2004
15 hours ago, blytle473 said:

Hello fellow Malibu owners, 
I need some help regarding dealerships.

5 years go I purchased a 2004 Malibu Wakesetter 23LSV. It came with 143 hours on the clock and was in decent condition, nothing major besides a few days of work in detailing. The real reason I purchased that boat was for the 8.1L Vortec engine. My buddy had the same engine in his 23LSV and the power and torque it had made it a must have for my next boat. Since purchase the boat has run great expect for right up till August of last year. I was going close to WOT and I heard a pop as in something let loose and I immediately got a tow in and went to my local dealer Skiers Pier in Waterford MI. They kept the boat in the lot for the week and then determined that it was too deep in the engine for them to work on it and said that it needed to be rebuilt. The only problem is that they only offered a 1 year warranty which is not convenient for someone that lives in Michigan where we only get about 5 good months of boating in. I looked elsewhere and found a guy in Indiana that would offer me a 3 year warranty. I immediately had the engine shipped and it arrived back in mid-October. Skiers pier said they were too busy and were going to get to it in the spring. March comes the following year and they put the engine in the boat and it had multiple water leaks in the back side of the engine. We went back to the company in Indiana asking for our warranty to be fulfilled and they went out of business. We lost our warranty and lost the money that we spent. So Skiers Pier all of the sudden offered us a 3 year warranty and we got it rebuilt with them. They started the first week of April and got it back mid-May. We were promised our boat back by Memorial day weekend and they hadn't started on it when we called asking for it. They offered us a loaner boat which we gladly took instead of having nothing. It had the 320 LCR motor in it which was nothing compared to my 8.1L but whatever, it was a boat. With multiple calls out to them wondering when our boat would be done, they finally got the boat back to us last week, Saturday 9/3/16. The engine seemed to run great until today, 9/5/16 it started to make a knocking noise and I open the engine hatch and there is water leaking out of the manifolds and the back side under the crank shaft. I don"t know what else to do. I have invested over 13K between rebuilds, labor, parts, and lake tests. Does anyone know what else I can do? (Besides buy a new boat) This is just outrageous! I need a new dealer but the only other Malibu dealer is 100+ miles away. As anyone had any positive experiences with Skiers Pier or are there any other dealerships in the Metro Detroit area or had any similar issues with dealers. 

 

Help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

I don't have a 8.1 that doesn't run so I can't help you. I do have just a boat with a 320 hp LCR motor that has been nothing short of excellent and runs like a champ. In fact I plan on using it this week at Shasta and wasting lots of of money on gas playing. 

 

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Woodski

@blytle473:  Two engine failures in such a short time seems very abnormal, how many hours on boat now?  What were your checking procedures from 9/3 through 9/5 when the second engine seemed to develop its issues and how many accumulated hours on the boat.

Looking at your posting, it sounds as though you are frustrated with the dealer.  On  the other hand, they loaned you a boat for the better part of the summer season in Michigan for which they will take the depreciation therefore a monetary hit.  They did an R&R on an engine you sent to another supplier most likely unfamiliar to the dealer thus bypassing their typical procedure (check to see how many dealerships would accommodate that) and then acquiesced to a 3 year warranty that they had no control over since you used an alternate engine rebuilder that is now out of business to help you out in a jam.  Other than the issue of not having your boat available at the time you wanted, it seems as though the dealer did as much as possible to keep you on the water and fix your engine issues.  Given time seems to be a major criteria, my suggestion would be to then develop a procedure to keep that under your control rather than with an alternate party.

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blytle473
41 minutes ago, Woodski said:

@blytle473:  Two engine failures in such a short time seems very abnormal, how many hours on boat now?  What were your checking procedures from 9/3 through 9/5 when the second engine seemed to develop its issues and how many accumulated hours on the boat.

Looking at your posting, it sounds as though you are frustrated with the dealer.  On  the other hand, they loaned you a boat for the better part of the summer season in Michigan for which they will take the depreciation therefore a monetary hit.  They did an R&R on an engine you sent to another supplier most likely unfamiliar to the dealer thus bypassing their typical procedure (check to see how many dealerships would accommodate that) and then acquiesced to a 3 year warranty that they had no control over since you used an alternate engine rebuilder that is now out of business to help you out in a jam.  Other than the issue of not having your boat available at the time you wanted, it seems as though the dealer did as much as possible to keep you on the water and fix your engine issues.  Given time seems to be a major criteria, my suggestion would be to then develop a procedure to keep that under your control rather than with an alternate party.

Before the first engine blew up, the boat had around 400 hours on it. There was an issue leading to the blow up. Because of it being a used boat, the first re-manufacturer said that the engine was missing 2 out of its 3 oil injectors and the 1 that was remaining was installed wrong and the boat was starved of oil for multiple seasons. Since getting it back and it operating from 9/3/16 - 9/5/16 I accumulated about 3 1/2 hours. I opened the engine hatch because it seemed abnormally loud and I looked and saw the water draining out of the exhaust manifolds. I am thankful that Skiers Pier gave me a boat, on the other hand I would've been asking about the progress and completion date of the boat much more frequently than I did if I was without a boat. I did bypass the dealer but with the recommendation of a mechanic employed at Skiers Pier. He said that it would make more sense to use the alternate re-manufacturer because of the lack of warranty that Skiers Pier would offer. 

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oldjeep

I'm not really familiar with the 8.1 engine, but what in the world is an oil injector?

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Kmfish87
17 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

I'm not really familiar with the 8.1 engine, but what in the world is an oil injector?

If I had to guess I would say it is an oil jet that is bolted to the block underneath the pistons and sprays oil up at the piston skirts and underside of the crown to keep them cool and lubricated.

Very common on diesel engines, not so common on gas engines

...But i have been wrong before.

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blytle473
4 hours ago, Kmfish87 said:

If I had to guess I would say it is an oil jet that is bolted to the block underneath the pistons and sprays oil up at the piston skirts and underside of the crown to keep them cool and lubricated.

Very common on diesel engines, not so common on gas engines

...But i have been wrong before.

Thats what we were told. I was also a little hesitant when the re-manufacturer said "oil injectors". I believe it is what Kmfish87 said above.

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Sixball

What make me think someone is not using the best steps. I would never pull the engine before I have done a analysis of things or approved a rebuild without knowing the problems! GMHO.

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Woodski

It does not appear that the 8.1 has external piston cooling jets per the PCM manual.  That would be accomplished via small holes in the connecting rods that would aim a spray of pressurized oil at the bottom of the pistons.  In addition, the description of 2 of 3 would not make sense, there are 8 pistons & rods.  In a reman situation I could see some of the con rods being installed backwards thus not aiming the oil spray correctly.  If the piston and con rod asm was installed backwards, that would tend to lead to a cold start piston slap condition.

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oldjeep
6 minutes ago, Woodski said:

It does not appear that the 8.1 has external piston cooling jets per the PCM manual.  That would be accomplished via small holes in the connecting rods that would aim a spray of pressurized oil at the bottom of the pistons.  In addition, the description of 2 of 3 would not make sense, there are 8 pistons & rods.  In a reman situation I could see some of the con rods being installed backwards thus not aiming the oil spray correctly.  If the piston and con rod asm was installed backwards, that would tend to lead to a cold start piston slap condition.

What is weird is that the rebuild manual does not indicate that there are any sort of oil holes in the connecting rods, or any "correct" orientation of rod/piston.

https://www.bakesonline.com/images/MediaLibrary/Indmar_8.1RepairSpecs.pdf

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Woodski

I also noticed that the marine versions may according to info on the net have specific forged pistons rather than the stock version.  Assembly part is way down on page 134 and gives orientation note on piston marking & treats piston & rod as an assembly so orientation should be correct at that point.  But correct on no indication of any oil squirter holes in rods.

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blytle473

I am now very confused. Unfortunately I cannot go back to the original engine re-manufacturer since the business has since went belly up. Since the block did not come back painted, I am now thinking that this whole thing was a bunch of bs. I was very lost when they said "injectors" like I stated above. It made no sense to me that there would be 3 injectors on an 8 cylinder engine. I am sorry for being wrong, I just believed what I was told since I payed the professional to do the job. I really didn't do in-depth research on the engine itself, which in hindsight I should've done.

16 hours ago, Sixball said:

What make me think someone is not using the best steps. I would never pull the engine before I have done a analysis of things or approved a rebuild without knowing the problems! GMHO.

I cant approve the work without something being found. The engine had to be shipped before I could even open it up. It already costed me and I wasn't going to be a stickler about every little thing that needed to be done. It had to be fixed regardless of the issues found.

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Woodski

@blytle473:  FWIW my advice given you have put in quite a bit of your hard earned cash would be to search out an engine shop that does big block GM / Chevy engine builds and see if they are willing to give you some time to describe or even show you the internals on an 8.1 so you at least may get a better understanding of what did or is going wrong.  It is always challenging to get a good description when you are dealing with a second or third interpretation of information.  There are some excellent high performance engine shops in the Detroit area as you note Skiers Pier as the local dealer.  Katech, Tyler Crockett (marine high performance engine specialist), Dart Engines among a few of the engine gurus in the area.

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Sixball
1 hour ago, blytle473 said:

I am now very confused. Unfortunately I cannot go back to the original engine re-manufacturer since the business has since went belly up. Since the block did not come back painted, I am now thinking that this whole thing was a bunch of bs. I was very lost when they said "injectors" like I stated above. It made no sense to me that there would be 3 injectors on an 8 cylinder engine. I am sorry for being wrong, I just believed what I was told since I payed the professional to do the job. I really didn't do in-depth research on the engine itself, which in hindsight I should've done.

I cant approve the work without something being found. The engine had to be shipped before I could even open it up. It already costed me and I wasn't going to be a stickler about every little thing that needed to be done. It had to be fixed regardless of the issues found.

In many cases its not necessary to open a engine up to know what is going wrong. Its very hard to say much as diagnosing on a computer is as far from ideal as it gets. Just today we have so many tools to understand what is going on internally before you go much beyond pulling spark plugs and valve covers. I would have started with a leakdown test. you would know if you had piston or valve issues. A quick look at oil could tell much about bearings, maybe even a scope inside.  Just thinking as much time and money spent I would have know more before it would have come out. Its easy for me to say this as I have had enough experience working with engines. Its easy to say this but the cost to pull a engine is hi and I would like to have an idea of what I would be confronting before pulling and deciding who will do the work. As Woodski said the Detroit area has a host of very very qualified shops that I would trust. This would allow you to stay in close communication with any work being done or requested.   Good luck and hopping all woks out in the end.

 

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Cap305

You MAY want to consider contacting your insurance company if you have one.  If it's incompetence by a certified mechanic or business it MAY be covered (either the first dude or Skiers Pier).  I'm currently going thru a similar saga with a grenaded engine that killed my summer but won't hijack your thread.  I'm currently working with my company, Progressive, and they've been pretty receptive so far.  Good luck. 

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