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Garry

2001 VLX \ Indmar monsoon EFI - suddenly died @3k rpm

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Garry

I have a 2001 Malibu VLX with Indmar EFI Monsoon 5.7L with 890+hrs.   Boat has been tuned up recently, and running well.

Last weekend when when touring people (~3k RPM) the motor suddenly lost power down to idle RPM, struggled to maintain idle RPM for several seconds,  as motor was clearly struggling to stay running - at which point I keyOFF to stop the motor.   after checking the motor, I tried restarting a few times, the fuel pump did cycle on for 3sec and motor cranked but no signs of firing, and finally had to be towed in.   When the issue occurred, the motor clearly tried to continue running at idle, that doesn't 'feel' like electrical as that is usually a hard-cutout.     I've never experienced fuel issue on a EFI motor, but given way the motor lost power & struggled to run (and after reading other comments in this form) -  Im suspecting a fuel delivery issue, the original fuel pump is still in-service

 I cranked a few times back at the dock, but no signs of life, not even a sputter....   upon keyON, the fuel pump does 'wine' for the expected 3sec, so I know the FP is getting power.    I didn't have time to check anything else, and am going back tomorrow to pull the boat, drag it home, where I can do a deeper dive.   I checked this forum and saw several articles about the fuel pump failures, so given the age and symptoms the assumption makes sense.  When I get it home will try to to a quick spark check, but someone mentioned that if fuel pressure is not senses, the ECM will not allow the plugs to fire - can anyone confirm that.   

Since its coming out anyway, I pulled the trigger on a replacement pump (556014-fuel-pump-replacement-kit).  My current pump seems to have 2 input feeds (to/from tank) and 2 output feeds (to/from fuel rails)The dealer said the new pump only uses 2 tank -> pump -> fuelrail, and **NOT* to us the bracket for the return.   My question is, do I connect the fuelrail return line directly to the tank return line (fuelrail -> tank return) which doesn't seem correct.   There was another posting that described a similar situation, and sounded like the same advice (connect fuelrail return -> tank return), but that seems like it would simply bleed all the highpressure fuel back into the tank, and drop fuelrail pressure.    What am I missing?   I wanted to check with people here who has actually DONE the fuel pump conversion from 4 lines -> 2 lines, before I put the boat on the operating table :-)

all advice is appreciated      (as is a winning PowerBall number...so I can simply throw $$$ at a new boat LOL :-)

TheBaer

Edited by Garry
spelling correction

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MadMan

The spark plugs will fire whether or not there is fuel pressure (or oil pressure) when you are cranking the engine.

And yes, the fuel return line from the regulator, will go straight back to the fuel tank. 

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boardjnky4

If you hear the fuel pump, that's likely not the culprit. You can purchase a fuel pressure gauge and hook that up at the fuel rail to read fuel pressure. The older engines do not have fuel pressure sensors on them, so the ECM doesn't actually know if you have fuel pressure or not.

Edited by boardjnky4

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kerpluxal

As @boardjnky4 stated... Check the fuel pressure on the rail.

When was the last time the fuel filters were changed?

Any chance you have water in your fuel? (Will cause the same symptoms you described as well)

Getting Spark?

Coil? (Had to replace coil on my 2000 Sunsetter)

Need to diagnose the culprit first. 

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Bozboat

Always check the annoying safety lanyard first.

I have had fuel pumps fail to make enough pressure and still make the noise on Key up. 

If you have the correct fuel pressure at Key up, and no spark, then replace the ignition control module. (Under distributor cap)   Make sure to use the paste that comes with it when installing the ICM.

Edited by Bozboat

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Steve B.

I just put that same pump kit in. I have a feeling you don't need it. But if you do the install isn't too bad. The return lines connect to the included bracket. You'll see.

Steve B.

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Garry

Great, thanks EVERYONE (above) the feedback and advice!

   When the motor cut out, it dropped to idle suddenly but stumbled and could not idle for several seconds before i keyed off, like running out of fuel would act.  every attempt to restart just cranks with no sign of life.  it was one of the hottest days in New England (approaching high 90's) and I had been cruising slow for 15 minutes (giving a tour) before throttling up to 3k for ~1/4 mile before engine cut out.  

- fuel tank was 3/4 full.  I have a gas caddy and very particular about fuel grade and quality (keeping bad stuff out is best approach);

- fuel filter was replaced every year (including this year) in May before launching.  I will pickup another one and swap;

- a full tuneup was done at start of last year (plugs, wires, cap, coil) and the boat has been running excellent (easy/quick start, good idle, no stumbles)

- I have checked the lanyard (it was in place) and did remove/replace anyway to double-check it but NoJoy;

- fuel pump does 'wine' for 3 sec at key-ON, but the 'wine' is a different pitch.   several posts said that just means you have power, not that the pump is good.

- the marina\service said: given the symptoms described, pump linage (the old carter style) and its 18year\~900hrs  age, its most likely the fuel pump.   

- filter issues dont typically fail that suddenly with no previous symptons, and prevent any sign of life when cranking (but again not out of the question).

- Picked up a replacement kit fuel pump and have it inhand (the marina has done several FPin the last year on boats of similar vintage, so there is that datapoint).

 

Tonight, I plan to stop at parts store tonight to pickup: 

1) fuel pressure guage (never had a reason to own one in Carb days, given my first go-round with EFI, now I have a reason!);

2) starting fluid;

3) new inline fuel filter (its cheap and eliminates a simple thing);

 

The boat was pulled this week, and I plan to have the 'patient' on the front-yard operating table first thing Saturday am:

PlanA: (per madmans comments "the spark plugs will fire anyway...") - thats good to know, as I can do a quick/dirty check to see if its fuel (starter fluid into TBI while cranking).  Since I have no signs of life now on crank, if the motor sputters that's pointing me to a fuel issue.  next step will be hookup the fuel pressure gauge next and check keyON pressure.   Is there a schrader valve somewhere on the 2001 Indmar Monsoon fuel plumbing to hook a fuel pressure gauge onto? (that would be too convenient to be true).  That will tell me if I should continue on to do a fuel_pump replacement.      Along the way I will take a look-see at a gas sample (while replacing the fuel filter), to ensure no obvious visual contamination signs.     

PlanB:  if no sputter (above) I will pull a plug and see if I have spark.   if no spark, then Im into electrical diagnosis.   I might have saved the old coil (dont ask) otherwise will be back online trying to figure out if there is a easy coil test (I do have a volt/ohm meter.    beyond that, I dont have a shop manual so not really equipped to dig into the ECM & sensor components issues.    Assuming my Powerball number doesnt hit on Saturday night (just throw money at a new boat LOL)  I will post an update after I have more data...

Thanks again for everyone's help, greatly appreciated.  stay tuned...

Edited by Garry
spelling

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boardjnky4

I'm pretty sure that there is a valve on the fuel rail for a gauge.

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Garry

thanks boardjnky4 for the intel...

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BlindSquirrel
1 hour ago, Garry said:

Is there a schrader valve somewhere on the 2001 Indmar Monsoon fuel plumbing to hook a fuel pressure gauge onto?

Yes it does. You will find it on the fuel rail, it has a black cap on it to keep it clean. You'll need to take the spark arrestor off to access the whole rail. The valve will be towards the rear of the boat on the rail since you have a VLX.

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Garry

thanks BlindSquirrel

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Bozboat

Congratulations on the repair

Hang onto the new fuel pump, you will need it at some point.

If it dies again put your hand on the ICM if it gets hot you may have to replace the  coil.  (I am sure there is a more exact way of testing this stuff, but I am more  of a throw parts at the problem repair technician.)

Edited by Bozboat

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Steve B.

Glad for the fix !! On a related note, I wonder if folks use aftermarket coils if these old ones go bad ?

Steve B.

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HRemington

Amazing that I had almost the identical problem this week while running our 2000 Response LX.  I had to have the transmission rebuilt after much help from the MalibuCrew with pulling the transmission myself then reinstalling after getting the rebuild done.  So the past week I began trying to get the 10 hours of cruising speed break-in done before changing fluid again.  I have been so excited to be nearing letting 'er rip and getting back on the ski behind my new transmission.  Boat running great otherwise, until it wasn't. 

First problem when getting about ready for first run a couple of weeks ago, while I still had in carport with garden hose running, was that I found my fuel pressure regulator was leaking.  Again, with the great resource library of TMC at hand, I found a match at AutoZone and seemed to be back in business.  Then inexplicably, running smoothly this week at the lake after work, it started running rough like about to run out of gas, which it actually probably was at the time.  Had a five gallon can ready, cut engine, added gas, turned key and had nothing.  Fiddled with battery cables and gauges came to life and engine cranked, so I thought just a poor connection. Later started running rough again, but way too soon to be out of gas again.  Scared to cut engine this time, so added another five gallons but engine finally coughed and died while idling.  Light fading fast and a long way from the dock.  Mercifully, it finally labored to a start and we got underway.  Made it back with it really running okay. 

So yesterday morning we headed back out, hoping things went more smoothly.  Dunked the trailer, eased boat off, wife turned key and we had nothing.  Gauges all came to life, but not a hint of engine life when the key was turned. We came home and I fired up TMC and a search led me right to this thread.  Thanks for your work and reporting back Garry.  Thanks to Bozboat and others.  I like Boz am strictly a throw the cheapest parts at it first, so I may try the ICM first.  I have no idea what it is, but hope mine is also under the distributor cap and that I can find a compatible one at a parts store like Garry did for $11 bucks.  

I'm also calling Vince at SkiDIM first thing in the morning, since I have very little time to solve this before taking the boat on our annual vacation to Pickwick.

Thanks all and cheers.  

Hank

P.S.  After re-reading Garry's last update, he mentioned pulling a plug, cranking engine, no spark. I need to clarify that when I say gauges power up but no other signs of engine life, I mean none, nada.  No cranking, no ticking, nothing.  The only hint of anything I see when turning key fully to the right is the digital depth display flickers and blanks out.  Just in case any of these clues help.  Thx.  

Edited by HRemington
added postscript

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JeffK

Make sure your throttle is in neutral (Might have to wiggle it), make sure your safety lanyard is on and make sure your battery has enough juice to crank the boat over. 

After reading your post again, make sure your cables are tight and not corroding or broken at the attachment points.  You shouldn't be able to wiggle them.

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Garry

@Bozboat - I hear you, I'm a big believer in off-season Preventative Maintenance (if its a component that likely to fail with age, replace it beforehand in Fall when winterizing) particularly with a 18y.o. boat - so fuelpump conversion kit is hanging on the pegboard, & on the fall todo list.

@Steve B.- yes, we went with an Accel aftermarket coil during the previous tuneup, that was cross-referenced matched to the partnumber on the old coil.  no problems after 3+ years, and it was significantly less $$....

@HRemington-   If you cannot get the starter to CRANK over, that should be straight-forward path to follow.   I 'second' what @JeffK said (above) about Lanyard, then cabling-corrosion as the obvious 1st place to look.   Also check the big relays (under the ECM cover), a lake-neighbor had a corroded starter relay on his Mastercraft earlier this year, and had similar symptoms to yours.  good luck.   I store my boat on the property, and despite all efforts after 18years, I am starting to see  electrical issues every spring (some dash switches dont work every year w/o TLC, keyswitch needed replacing, a dash panel popfuze went bad internally, etc).  Given the age of our boat,  I would be suspecting corrosion, maybe in areas you cant see,  as corrosion showing up on all my boats untreated metal surfaces.... 

 

We spend a wonderful day boating on Newfound lake (Bristol NH) yesterday - all is well with the world again (until the next breakdown) :-)    

Edited by Garry
additional comments

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boardjnky4

@HRemington

Can you hear your fuel pump run when you key-on?

If the fuel pump runs, then it does sound like a lanyard or neutral safety issue. Or, it could be starter relay.

If the fuel pump doesn't run AND the engine doesn't crank, then I would investigate your ignition switch.

Edited by boardjnky4

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Garry

@HRemington  I agree with boardJnky4 comments- From your symptom description (no CRANK condition), it doesn't sound like  ICM as IgnitionControl that is separate from StarterControl. 

- the ICM is located at the base of your distributor cap, its where the external wires enter the distributor  Pull the (2) Distributor cap screws off, and at the base you will see the ICM mounted with 2 screws.  unplug the 2 EXTERNAL connections to it, remove the 2 screws, then slide the ICM unit away from the Dist-shaft, that will disconnect the INTERNAL connector.   you should have the ICM in hand.

 

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Steve B.

Thanks Garry !

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HRemington

Well, here's where I am so far, and thanks to all for the great input and ideas.  I had checked and double checked battery connections and even put a new cable end and quick connect on the positive cable just to be sure. All clean and snug.  Had already tried starting while having wife bump throttle a tad forward, neutral, and back.  Rapped on starter a bit, just to be sure.  

After talking to Vince at SkiDIM yesterday morning, he suggested I check the starter with a voltage meter to be sure it was getting juice.  That would help detect if issue was starter itself, if getting power, or elsewhere if not.  But first he wanted to rule out a neutral safety switch issue.  Had me remove the two small screws on top of nss, put both wires together, and screw both to one post.  Now engine would turn over in forward, neutral, or reverse, if it was able.  So I did, pulled the lanyard so it wouldn't fire up in the carport, and it cranked like a champ.  Whew, so at least it's not the starter or a bigger electrical issue.  I guess either the neutral safety switch itself or one of the two small wires.  

What concerns me next is the rough running and cutting out that I experienced last Thursday evening.  I'm still concerned about fuel pressure or fuel pump.  Last night when I had 'neutralized" the neutral safety switch and pulled the lanyard, when I turned the key on, I got the beeping, but no gauges or pump seemed to come alive.  Engine cranked though.  Does no pump whine mean trouble, or was that because nss disabled and lanyard pulled?  

Thanks guys! 

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JeffK

The gauges won't cycle if the lanyard is off, IIRC.  I think you are narrowed down to the NSS or the wires.

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boardjnky4

I'd put the lanyard in and start the boat. You can run it for 10 seconds or so without causing problems.

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Garry

@HRemington - divide and conquer.   

first ** keep focused on resolving the no-start issue (NSS and/or Lanyard) and that sounds like your well onto solving that.  (if Laynard is pulled, you wont see gauges powerup-cycle or hear fuelpump 3sec wine.    getting this resolve will make tackling the next issue easier...

second **  as the folks here suggest to me - buy a fuel pressure gauge at your local auto supply store, as it will tell you what you need to know if fuel delivery is the culprit.   the Schrader value on the fuelrail was easy to locate (thanks all) and easy to connect to.   With that in place, you can fire up your boat (with water flowing) and see what the fuel gauge is reading, first at idle then at 2k rpm.   I was showing 39-40psi at idle, and when accelerating to 2k rpm saw a slight dip but a quick recovery to 39-40psi.  I only kept it at 2kRPM for 10 seconds, and the fuel reading was rock solid.     Also my motor has been performing well in the water, and on Sunday I did a few tests in-the-water, and had no hesitation or lag on extream accelerations.  (I brought the guage with me, but it was running well so no need to do in-water PSI reading)

third ** Ive been told (by a local auto mechanic) the ICM will fail when excessively overheated.   Given the age of your motor is similar to mine - IMHO - I would pull the ICM and replace it while you are at the parts store.   if nothing else - to remove that as a potential intermittent failure source.  mine was under $11, and that is short insurance money...

good luck - keep us posted...

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HRemington

Again, thanks to all of my TMC brothers.  Keep those cards and letters coming.  Yes, Garry, hopefully tonight with a couple of more tests/adjustments to try, I'll have NSS sorted out.  Vince told me to try a few minor cable adjustments that might solve the neutral safety issue and if not, I'll order a new switch from DIM.  Next I'll be on the fuel pressure.  Last fall I borrowed a free pressure gauge from AutoZone and tested on water, but I'm going to check again now, since I had that leaking fuel pressure regulator recently that I had  to replace.

I also like the idea of replacing the ICM.  At AutoZone/NAPA/O'Reilly's, what am I asking for?  Just an ICM for a GM 350 5.7 or what?   Is it year range specific?  

Vince also suggested always backtracking and starting with the basic maintenance items.  I've already changed the fuel filter by the engine and have one to replace back at the fuel tank.  Fuel is just so crappy these days.  His own boat wouldn't start  this past weekend, so he started where he always starts a customer.  Pop the distributor cap, check for corrosion, etc.  Swapped his out and fired right up.  He said while not necessarily an annual  maintenance item, always suspect it with starting issues. Easy and  cheap. 

Thanks and I'll update after tonight's session.  So much for watching the All Star game tonight. :( 

Hank

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