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3boysdad

Newbie w/ 1999 Malibu Sunsetter LXI

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3boysdad

Found a great looking boat, single owner and only 286 hrs.

Last 6 years he has had a newer boat to use and just "held on to his original baby". Maybe 3-6 hrs per summer.

It runs great, but gauges bounce around and seem sluggish.

Had a warm engine start issue which seems to have been fixed by replacing starter, wires and scraping buildup from inside distributor. (new cap / rotor on its way)

Also replaced bilge pump.

1) I've felt a "slip" on a couple of occasions. I think it's a slip... don't really know.

2) It runs great, but gauges bounce around and seem sluggish.  Depth, temp, pressure all seem ok.

speedo and RPM mostly off... occasionally seem to work.

3) Transmission fluid swap straight forward ? which fluid does it use.

 

Thanks for reading  / helping.

ps  how do i add pic of boat ?

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UWSkier

To add a photo here you need to be a contributing member.  It's worth the price.

Your gauges moving around being sluggish, what do you mean by that?  It's pretty common for the oil pressure gauge to waver around a bit on these older boats but fuel, voltage, and temperature should be relatively steady.  The gauges are driven by servo motors so the needles don't snap to a specific location.  They'll rotate gradually to the indicated point.  The only gauge that's rapid in its response should be the Tachometer.  You should be able to rev the boat in neutral and see the gauge follow along.

On that vintage boat, there's what's known as the "cannon plug."  It's a large round plug that comes off the back of the ECU.  These are a bit notorious for becoming fouled a bit over time.  You might try marking that for alignment when reconnecting, cleaning it out, and putting some dielectric grease on the contacts.

Transmission should use standard ATF.  Can you be more descriptive about the "slip?"  If the shift cable isn't adjusted properly, it's possible it's not moving the shift lever on the transmission far enough forward to go into gear.  Another thing to check would be that the prop is indeed tight on the shaft.

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Brodie

Welcome to the SSLXI club, and congrats on buying the greatest 21' ski boat ever made(21.5' to be exact)! :rockon:

Edited by Brodie

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Bozboat

What propeller do you have?

The 1999 came with a CVP stainless Steel prop, or at least mine did. I felt the CVP prop cavitated or shuddered some on take off.  Switching to the ACME 515 made a dramatic difference.    

The nibral or brass/bronze material of the Acme prop will absorb a hit and bend, but it is better to sacrifice the prop than the prop shaft or strut.  Also, there were some reports of CVP props shedding blades.

The other thing to check right away:  The pitot tubes connect to the Medalion Dash Computer (MDC) under the dash above the drivers feet.  Disconnect this at the pitot tubes.  Left alone, at some point water will make its way into the MDC and it will stop working.  Switch to the nautilogic gps speedo or add a perfect pass system based on GPS not pitot.

Pull the dash panel out and unplug and replug the gauges.  Also check to make sure the ground bar under the dash is well grounded and not corroded.  You can run an larger wire from the ground bar to the battery as well.

Edited by Bozboat

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3boysdad

I think it has stock prop... looks stainless steel.  Def noticed pulling delay when i had 10 people in it.. .but still pulled up teens w/o problem.

The MPH gauge slowly rises with speed...(if at all)  Then appears stuck and rises further... and I now it doesn't to do 45 :)

But most of time MPH and RPM do not work at all... very random. I do believe that a faulty ground might be at fault, but have no evidence of that.

Replaced wires, plugs MR43LTS at 45, cap and rotor.... Now I don't know where the wires go... rookie mistake.

Sequence is 1-8-4-3-5-6-7-2 clockwise.... but where is #1 on cap ?

one guy said #1 on cap is usually pointing at cyl 1 ? never heard of that before,

I think a GPS based easy pass would be awesome.

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Eagleboy99

Definitely dump the SS prop - the CVP (now out of business - probably for good reason) is a gel coat killer and a new OJ (what I have) or Acme will make a world of difference.  And the gauges of that era are ... well  - hopeless.  Be prepared to dump them.

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Bozboat
13 minutes ago, 3boysdad said:

I think it has stock prop... looks stainless steel.  Def noticed pulling delay when i had 10 people in it.. .but still pulled up teens w/o problem.

The MPH gauge slowly rises with speed...(if at all)  Then appears stuck and rises further... and I now it doesn't to do 45 :)

But most of time MPH and RPM do not work at all... very random. I do believe that a faulty ground might be at fault, but have no evidence of that.

Replaced wires, plugs MR43LTS at 45, cap and rotor.... Now I don't know where the wires go... rookie mistake.

Sequence is 1-8-4-3-5-6-7-2 clockwise.... but where is #1 on cap ?

one guy said #1 on cap is usually pointing at cyl 1 ? never heard of that before,

I think a GPS based easy pass would be awesome.

take off the cap, the rotor will point toward cylinder one when the piston in cylinder one is at the top,

take out all the spark plugs, rotate the crank by hand until the rotor points to number one cylinder, check with flashlight to see if piston is up. if not then keep turning the crank until the piston is at the top on cylinder one

then work your way around the sequence putting wires back on 

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3boysdad

I'm hoping not to do that ....

anybody fell like tracing cylinder 1 on a mid-engine malibu w/Indmar ? first on right when you face belt...please 

I know... i'm being a little lazy.

I'm worried that if try to find TDC on piston 1... i'll pick exhaust stroke or it will go past etc...

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oldjeep

It is a chevy smallblock  #1 is always in the same relative place on the cap.  Not to mention most caps have #1 labelled

 

 

SBCFiring.jpg

Edited by oldjeep

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UWSkier

OJ's diagram is correct 

IMG_20180926_115536.jpg

IMG_20180926_115530.jpg

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Bozboat
39 minutes ago, 3boysdad said:

I'm hoping not to do that ....

anybody fell like tracing cylinder 1 on a mid-engine malibu w/Indmar ? first on right when you face belt...please 

I know... i'm being a little lazy.

I'm worried that if try to find TDC on piston 1... i'll pick exhaust stroke or it will go past etc...

It is pretty easy.  I know this because I lost control of the wires once when I replaced my exhaust manifolds.  I managed to guess close enough to get it to start and scare me, then I started over from the beginning and was surprised how easy it was to straighten out.

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justgary
3 hours ago, 3boysdad said:

Sequence is 1-8-4-3-5-6-7-2 clockwise.... but where is #1 on cap ?

And check again, you have it wrong in your post.  Use the diagram @oldjeep posted. 

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Cazan
5 hours ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Definitely dump the SS prop - the CVP (now out of business - probably for good reason) is a gel coat killer and a new OJ (what I have) or Acme will make a world of difference.  And the gauges of that era are ... well  - hopeless.  Be prepared to dump them.

What do you mean by gel coat killer? 

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Eagleboy99

CVP props had a nasty habit of losing a blade that usually hacked into the bottom of the boat.  Hence gel coat killer.  :)

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Michigan boarder
4 hours ago, 3boysdad said:

I'm hoping not to do that ....

anybody fell like tracing cylinder 1 on a mid-engine malibu w/Indmar ? first on right when you face belt...please 

I know... i'm being a little lazy.

I'm worried that if try to find TDC on piston 1... i'll pick exhaust stroke or it will go past etc...

It has to be the compression stroke for TDC.  So put your finger over the hole when rotating the engine (with a 1/2 drive socket attached to the crank) and you'll feel the air inside the chamber compress, that's how you know you have the right stroke.

Unfortunately, there's no lazy way to do it. 

 

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justgary
1 hour ago, Eagleboy99 said:

CVP props had a nasty habit of losing a blade that usually hacked into the bottom of the boat.  Hence gel coat killer.  :)

Of course, your CVP (if that is what you have) is 20 years old now, and if it was going to break it would have done it a long time ago.  I have the OEM CVP on my boat and trust it completely, since it doesn't show any cold cast lines at all. 

"If you like your prop, you can keep it."  - Baracco Barner

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Eagleboy99

I dumped my CVP ages ago - Eric @ Oj hooked me up with a very, very nice  prop. I did this once the reports started rolling in.  I sincerely hope your CVP does not go on you.  There were some nasty stories/pics.  BTW, it is not just cold cast line one needs to worry about.

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braindamage

+1 on Eric and OJ. He fixed me up with a new prop that gave me a better hole shot without losing my top end.

keep your cvp as a spare.

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Brodie

I have had ACME 525's on both of my LXI's and they are perfect for this boat IMO.  Big difference over the CVP

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3boysdad

Thanks for help... yep that is what works. 

Running like a kitten.... when it decides to start.

 

Ran it for 15 min's and supersmooth.

Ignition new... last 6 months

Starter w/coil new x2 last one 1 week.

still click-click-click x 5-50 than is starts like nothing.

runs idles perfect all day... but if i stop it.. good luck... click 5-50 times again...

 

  • Battery tested, pretty new and good tight connections.
  • Starter connections tight and good and also new.
  • Who votes for...
  1. ECM
  2. something between key and ECM ?

or what ?

 

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tvano

is your click-click-click a VERY soft sound (small relay) or a heavy mechanical sound (starter solenoid)?

soft = swap relays (near ecm) around.  all three are similar.  if symptoms move it's a bad relay.

solenoid = starter(solenoid) / battery / cable / connection issue.

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SkiPablo

welcome!  i too had the CVP prop on my boat a few years ago when i bought it - when I test drove it it felt like it ventilated the prop (slipped) on take off - put the Acme 525 on it and it was like 50% more take off power and no slip.   515 might be more appropriate for your boat depending on which engine you have.  i keep the 525 on my boat b/c I run heavy frequently

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justgary
5 hours ago, tvano said:

is your click-click-click a VERY soft sound (small relay) or a heavy mechanical sound (starter solenoid)?

soft = swap relays (near ecm) around.  all three are similar.  if symptoms move it's a bad relay.

solenoid = starter(solenoid) / battery / cable / connection issue.

Or a ground issue.  New starter, good battery with good connections... I vote grounding. 

Check the cannon plug near the ecm and the engine grounds at the back of the starboard head. 

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Michigan boarder
On 9/28/2018 at 11:07 AM, 3boysdad said:
  • Battery tested, pretty new and good tight connections.

 

 

How new is pretty new, was it replaced this year or like 3 years ago?

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3boysdad

So... I remember testing compression back in the day with a "starter gun"...

I've always thought problem was electrical due to.. click click start 5-50 times

Got a remote starter at local auto parts and plugged to small ( controller) pin on solenoid and large hot pin

started easy peasy.  So left it on... and gun sits in pocket next to drivers seat.  When I winterize I will have local shop

swap ECM... or I might do it myself and see if it fixes everything.

Oh ... and I looked at "water" driven speedo.. one of tubes off.  Speedo seems to work pretty well now.

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