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02 Wakesetter issues starting

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Hi guys, I have an 02 wakesetter that runs fine then while out in the water for couple hours it has a hard time starting again. Feels like it’s getting fluded and oil dip stick has way to much oil in it. Have to try starting multiple times giving is lots of gas in order to get it running. Not sure if it needs oil changed or if filter is clogged, spark plugs need to be replaced? Any ideas or advise would be appreciated before I pay a mechanic to come a take a peak. Thanks in advance. 

Edited by OkanaganMatt
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Good morning,

My 1st guess is you are having vapir lock.  Is it happening on a hot day?  Try soaking a small wet towel and cool the fuel pump and fuel rails and see if that helps.  If running hard I let the motor run a bit before I shut it down to let it cool some.  Also run your blowers and if it is real hot I lift my engine hatch.  Search vapor lock.

Strange on the oil being high as usually it reads low until the oil drains down to the oil pan.  How does it read when cold?

Here is great info:


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I wouldn't waste another minute of your time until you install a secondary pump.  It totally cures the dreaded vapor lock issue.  I fought it for 2 seasons before I finally wised up and never had a hard start since.

There are several threads out there, but this will give you an idea.  You can buy a turnkey kit or save some money doing the DIY version which is just the same basic 6-8psi carter fuel pump that you splice into the power going to the (primary) fuel pump.  Not hard at all.



  • Like 1
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Thank you for the replies! Your right, it happens on a hot day and when I’m using the boat aggressively. The oil does read normal when on a cold day, it was actually very low on the hot day. I could probably use my blower more frequently as I hardly use it after the first start of the day :|. 

I will keep the cold towel trick in mind! I’ll have to locate the fuel pump and rails however. (Not very mechanically minded). 

I’ll also inquire with the local Malibu dealer regarding the secondary pump! Thanks for the suggestion and that sounds like the safest bet considering my 2 year old is usually with me. Although I wouldn’t trust myself to install it lol. Thank you guys! 🙏

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