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380 Hammerhead - No power (electrical)

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Hi guys,

To start: I bought myself a boat out of Texas, sight unseen. Stupid move, I know but I work for the military and because of the pandemic could not leave to pick it up in person. Seller knew this and took advantage of it. Unfortunately, the boat came significantly not as described. Boat was kind of trashed, wouldn't start, full of water and it came to Canada in the winter. The seller (who is a complete piece of crap) told me that it had a bad fuel pump and wouldn't start. Tested it while I was putting it in storage but didn't think to check and see if the engine was powered. My bad, it was a stupid mistake.

Turns out the fuel pump is fine. Ran 12v direct to it, and sure enough fuel spurted out. However, this leaves me with another problem. The fuel pump is not getting power (potentially the whole engine after the starter). I checked the relays (all good), and fuses (middle one was blown so I replaced it). The power wire coming from the starter has continuity all the way back to the fuse. Fuel pump ground is also good.

The plan right now is to crank it again, and check for spark. If there's spark, I'll run 12v direct to the fuel pump and attempt to start it. Assuming that works, I'll pull the conduit off the wiring harness and start tracing wires from the starter back.

Because of the water left to sit in the boat, a portion of the engine area was submerged (up to the top of the starter). I rebuilt the starter as it was seized but one of the power wires leading to the engine wiring harness may also be bad? Perhaps the one saving grace is that before the sellers dad passed on (it was his boat) he was meticulous with it so a lot of the wiring was sprayed with a protective coating.

Does anyone have any suggestions of things I can try? I have a commercial car scanner as my brother is a mechanic for a major car manufacturer but no MEFI to connect to the ECM. Is there some other way to test it to see if it's live?

Also, is there somewhere I can get the wiring diagram for it? 

Current status:

  • Engine cranks over with key
  • most dash functionality works 
  • At least some wires have breaks (I replaced a couple)

Thanks in advance


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The easy button is to check the kill switch on the dash.  Bypass it with a jumper and try to start the engine. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Apologies for the late response. I hate it when people start threads but don't report back.

Turns out that I made another dough head mistake. Rather than connecting the fuel pump to the engine to test that the pump was getting power, I bench tested it. To confirm power to the pump wires coming from the engine, I used a multimeter. As luck would have it, one of my multimeter leads was bad and showed as no power :Doh:. It was just the fuse that was bad, pump worked fine when installed, and the engine started up immediately. 

Another issue arose when I got it in the water. Boat would not go above 10mph, just backfiring. Turns out the main point on the distributor cap (that contacts the rotor) had broke lose from the cap and worn an oval in the plastic. When throttling up this caused the point to break from the rotor, and a backfire occurred.  Once replaced, everything ran okay for the most part. Figured I'd share to help others who might have had the same problem.

This boat has turned out to be a complete restoration project, and I've taken it right down to fiberglass. I'll see about doing a write-up when it's all done.

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