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DaDeuce

Weird no start issue

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DaDeuce

So I have what I now believe is a reoccurring no start issue. Here's how it manifested this weekend:

2006 Malibu VLX

We were running around the lake last night when we came across a kid absolutely shredding behind a new MasterCraft. We trailed them for a little bit and when it looked like they were done for the night (kid was getting in the boat), we idle up to them and start talking to them. We let it run for a few minutes, and when it became apparent that we were going to talk for a few more minutes we turned it off. When we went to leave we tried to start up and got a half crank or so and then it wouldn't do anything else (blower and other accessories still worked) and we ended up having to get towed back. When it did this the gauges wouldn't cycle/swipe and the bottom right accessory/dash light rocker was lit. We metered the batteries on the way back in and one was at 12.4 and the other 12.5 (both batteries are less than a year old). We get the boat back to the house, get it on charge and still no crank. Try cleaning all the terminals on the batteries and still get nothing this morning. Buttoned it all back up to take to a local dealer (pontoons and outboards only) to at least have him check our batteries to make sure they aren't bad for some reason. He brings out his load tester and tells us both batteries show good. On a whim we try cranking it again and sure enough it starts to turn over. We go straight back to the boat ramp and lower her in and she fires right up. Literally the only thing that we did between the time it wouldn't crank and the time it would was haul it to that dealer (couple miles). Ran it all day today (turned off and on twice) with no issues. Could something like a starter solenoid be going bad and have been jarred on the drive? Anyone have any idea what the dash light rocker light being on the dash indicates?

Boat had done this once before when we were anchored over in a cove and the boat got rocked pretty good by passing waves, but we were able to get started after a couple attempts and power cycling the batterie ray switch.

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formulaben

Did you clean the terminals at the engine block/starter?

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shawndoggy

fact that gauges wouldn't cycle suggests kill switch, but boat should crank all day long but not fire with kill switch pulled.  No crank is more symptomatic of being out of neutral.  The fact that you idled for a while before shutting down tho.... doubtful you turned the key off in gear.

Bad starter relay would potentially prevent cranking too, I think.  Other than the most obvious bad starter, but the fact that the starter hadn't given you trouble before ....

I dunno!

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Kmfish87

does t sound like the starter if the gauges weren't registering either. Sounds like a bad common ground...

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DaDeuce

Would a bad common ground still let everything else work? (Stereo, lights, blower, etc)?

Also we did not clean terminals at the block or the battery switch.

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Kmfish87

Depending on how it's wired, yes. 

Check all connections at the battery switch, starter and any ground wires on the engine. Also check that you are getting battery voltage at the back of the key and the starter solenoid. Batteries are not your problem if both batteries at 12.5 volts. You should have very close to the same voltage at the batteries, starter, alternator and key switch with the engine off.

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DaDeuce

So I had some more time to mess with this on Wednesday. Boat still started ok, but I discovered that it wouldn't start off battery #2 even though it is the newer battery and had a full charge (12.6 volts). Everything appeared tight so I swapped the batteries positions (physically hooked battery #1 up to the #2 position and vice versa), still no start from position #2. Swapped everything back and start ohming everything out and low and behold the ground from battery #2 back to battery #1 was actually loose on the back of the terminal (which also shares the connection to the main ground for the engine). Cleaned/tightened it up and it would start right up on battery #2. The back of the terminal was actually pretty corroded and felt tight originally, but once I messed with it some it could be easily turned around the ground cables. Hopefully this solved the problem, but I'm also going to check the main grounds on the motor when I get a chance.

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