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Engine struggling, sputtering and black smoke when surfing

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I purchased a 2013 Waksetter LSV 410 horse last year specifically so I could surf but I have had many challenges with the boats performance and my dealer cannot figure out.  I have approx.  3,000lbs of ballast in the boat, have an Acme 1873 "14.5 x 12" prop and I'm getting 3300 RPMs when at surfing speed and it produces a nice wake when it works properly.  If I run the boat normally I don't have issues but once I engage the surf gate and put the wedge down the boat sputters and I get black smoke.  The engine is also working very hard.  My dealer is telling me that I may need a different prop however I find it hard to believe all LSV owners need to change out the prop in order to surf without sputtering and black smoke.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Edited by Mollmat
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Black smoke is unburned fuel, something is wrong with your engine or tune as you should never be running that rich. Check the spark plugs first to see how they look, keep track of which cylinder they came from. It should be obvious if all cylinders are running really rich or if it's just one cylinder with an issue. If it's just one you probably have an injector getting stuck open or a problem with the ignition system somewhere causing a dead miss.

Don't keep running it. The excess fuel from running that rich will wash the oil off of the cylinder walls and cause serious damage.  

If your dealer doesn't know these things and is just trying to sell you a new prop you should probably find a better dealer.

  • Like 3
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Thanks for the feedback Brett.  This only happens when I am pushing a lot water and its intermittent then.  Yes, next closest dealer is 300 miles away.  Very frustrating.  

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I definately think something else is going on, but with that said....prop selection makes a TON of difference.  I would call the guys at ACME and tell them your set up and ask them their opinion. I've done this a few times and they really know their stuff.  They will be able to tell you if you are simply under-propped or if they think something else is going on. 





Edited by M235Ozark
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55 minutes ago, Mollmat said:

Yes, next closest dealer is 300 miles away.  Very frustrating.  

You're out of the warranty so you don't need a Malibu dealer - just an Indmar qualified mechanic or even a GM marine mechanic.

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3300 rpms that engine should be making nice power for what you are doing (unless you are throwing obscene amounts of ballast in there). To me it sounds like when the engine is loaded, it is opening the throttle more and you are having this issue. It might be a throttle position sensor failing at the upper range. 

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22 hours ago, boardjnky4 said:

Could be a bad cap and rotor. I'd start with the usual tune-up items and go from there.

Yes, agreed, especially if you have no record of them ever being changed. It's possible that the heavy load is causing spark blowout with weak ignition components. The cap and rotor were surprisingly corroded on my previous 2012 VLX when I changed them at around 400 hours.

Edited by Brett B
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1 hour ago, minnmarker said:

You're out of the warranty so you don't need a Malibu dealer - just an Indmar qualified mechanic or even a GM marine mechanic.

or some basic tools, and time to search and ask on this forum

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