Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

1988 Malibu Skier-20 years in storage..help electrical


Recommended Posts

This boat gifted to me by a buddy.  Has 180 engine hours.  New Battery, new starter, new 50A Circuit breaker, new starter slave solenoid, new fuel filter.

Getting power from battery to all dash components.  NOT getting power to engine.  Engine does turn jumping from starter.  Can anybody have any thoughts as to why no power going to engine to start??

This boat is a gem waiting to get in the water.  Any help appreciated.


Link to comment

there is a cylindrical canon plug at the engine that is a multiple contact electrical connection. 

pull it apart, clean it, VERY SLIGHTLY pry open the male prongs and add a bit of dialectric grease.

no start troubleshooting may be useful, too: www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25158-no-start-troubleshooting-procedure/


  • Like 2
Link to comment

I'm not super familiar with the electrical setup on carb'd boats (I don't believe there's an ECM to contend with?) so you are probably/might be/could be looking at a relay issue.  Have you tried pulling / switching the relays (I'm assuming that there's still a starter relay and a fuel pump relay)?  Barring that, as @SkiPablo suggests, double check the neutral safety switch.  If the boat is not in neutral, it won't crank.  If I recall correctly (at least on the newer fuel injected engines) the neutral safety switch makes the ground for the starter relay.  So if it's not grounded (closed) then you won't crank (which makes sense... it'd be like starting a stick shift car in gear and the crank of the starter would turn the prop and move the boat, which is undesirable for obvious reasons).

I don't know how the safety lanyard works on older boats but on the newer ones the boat will crank but not fire.  The telltale sign of a safety lanyard issue (again on modern boats) is no guages. 

Edited by shawndoggy
Link to comment

I vote the starter relay or corrosion on the connections if it's not the neutral safety switch. Trace the small wire going to the starter solenoid back and it should go to a simply relay. Take apart all connections and clean with a wire brush or sandpaper, even if they look ok. Same for the connections on the starter and solenoid.

It could be the cannon plug as stated above but the gauges all go through this connection too and they are working.


Link to comment

Also, check your grounds.  One time I forgot a step when winterizing my 02 VLX and had already pulled the batteries.  Being lazy, instead of wiring them back in where they normally were, I put them on the seat and used jumper cables to the positive and negative lines in the storage compartment where the batteries are normally hooked up.  I couldn't get the damned thing to start.  Tried jumping the starter, etc.  Actually replaced the starter too.  Then in frustration, I reinstalled the battery and realized that there was a larger negative terminal in there which I wasn't connected to from the battery with the jumper cables, thus leaving an open ground.  When I installed the battery normally, all was well.  It's possible you have an open/bad ground connection somewhere.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...