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Boat will not go forward


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Molarroller

So the boat will not go into gear going forward.  It will not click into drag either.  But the engine revs.  The boat will go into reverse but it needs to really be rev'd up to get it even moving.  I find it strange that it will not click into that first gear going forward.  Thoughts?

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Molarroller

I have not but will.  would that make it not click into drag?  I mean, there is no physical stop into that "first gear"

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1 minute ago, Molarroller said:

I have not but will.  would that make it not click into drag?  I mean, there is no physical stop into that "first gear"

I suggest it because you said that if you rev it enough that it will move some in reverse.  Boat trans is like an automatic on a car - low fluid - no move.  But sometimes if you rev the crap out of them you get some motion.

And there is no "first gear"  There is only 1 gear FWD or REV but if the trans isn't sending power to the Vdrive you don't get that clunk.

Edited by oldjeep
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Molarroller

Got it.  I know there is no "first gear".  I was having a hard time articulating it:).  I will have to check out the fluid when I get home.

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24 minutes ago, footndale said:

Ideally fluid level is checked with boat on water. 

Probably not as big a deal on a Vdrive since the trans is so short (length) .  Mine always gets checked on the trailer, because that is where it is serviced.

One tip though - fluid level is checked with the dipstick unscrewed.  Remove it - wipe it and then put the dipstick in without screwing it down, then look at level

 

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Molarroller

Thanks!  was actually just reading the manual about checking the fluid and I did see it says to not thread it in to check.  Also said engine should be warm.

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3 hours ago, Molarroller said:

It will not click into drag either.  But the engine revs. 

What does that mean?  I've never heard that term. 

 

@oldjeep is right, there is more to it than you'd think...luckily @Engine Nut was kind enough to share the proper procedure with us.

 

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Molarroller

You guys are sharp….blew a coupling to the transmission so no tranny fluid left.  Will see once that is fixed how things go.  Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Captcrunch

Hey all, I'm having a similar issue with my 2020 23 LSV. Had it back to the dealer twice. Boat will go in reverse no problem but forward gear it just revs then if I'm 'lucky' it may slam in forward gear and move. 

Dealership replaced the solenoid for forward on the tranny but the problem resurfaced yesterday and wow is this dangerous. Last time I was out it completely lost forward gear and I had to swim the boat on the trailer. Lost confidence is killing my enjoyment.

Does this sound like the same problem to you all? Could it be a shifter problem? Anything else I can check?

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Proper fluid level is important.  Are the shift solenoids on your transmission round or square?  Can you take a picture of them?

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Captcrunch

yes, they are round. Pic. on the way!

My fluid check indicated both tranny and v-drive to be above the max line but dealership performed the 15 hr break in and these levels are their doing. Caveat that it checked cold and in my garage so likely invalid. Boat now has 50 hours total so should be as new.

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Captcrunch

Sorry, I can't figure out how to post a pic here. Solenoid is silver circular device with two blue molex plugs. One is labeled as forward and the other reverse.

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2 hours ago, Captcrunch said:

Hey all, I'm having a similar issue with my 2020 23 LSV. Had it back to the dealer twice. Boat will go in reverse no problem but forward gear it just revs then if I'm 'lucky' it may slam in forward gear and move. 

Dealership replaced the solenoid for forward on the tranny but the problem resurfaced yesterday and wow is this dangerous. Last time I was out it completely lost forward gear and I had to swim the boat on the trailer. Lost confidence is killing my enjoyment.

Does this sound like the same problem to you all? Could it be a shifter problem? Anything else I can check?

Sounds like it could be a bad throttle.  Easy way to check would be to swap the wires between the solenoids.

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Captcrunch

Good point, I may try that next time I'm the water. At this point it has been pretty intermittent maybe every 10-15 times i go into forward gear i get a empty rev before it bangs into gear. If it were completely dead it would be easier. I may just try to get the dealer to swap out the throttle unit.

Any chance this is bad tranny?

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1 hour ago, Captcrunch said:

Good point, I may try that next time I'm the water. At this point it has been pretty intermittent maybe every 10-15 times i go into forward gear i get a empty rev before it bangs into gear. If it were completely dead it would be easier. I may just try to get the dealer to swap out the throttle unit.

Any chance this is bad tranny?

This won't solve your problem, but you can put the boat in gear and leave it at idle until it shifts and then add throttle.  I can't think of any time when I would want to "hit it" without the boat already in gear.  I shift to forward/reverse, wait to hear and feel it shift, then add throttle.  No empty rev, no bang into gear, no unsafe operation in the case of a no shift.

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The round/cylindrical transmission shift solenoids are the newer ones, the square ones had some issues (mainly with being incorrectly installed on the shift valve shaft).

The trans fluid level when cold should be far above the max mark on the dipstick, usually almost three times higher than normal. 

The best way to check the transmission fluid is on the water.  Run the engine to operating temperature, shift to forward, neutral, reverse, and back to neutral, then turn off the engine.  Remove the brown dipstick and then fully insert it without threading it in and do it within 30 seconds of shutting off the engine.  The fluid should be between the two marks on the dipstick.  Also, look for any fluid in the bilge that would indicate a possible leak.  The M6DI trans uses Mercon/Dexron III compatible ATF.

Once the transmission fluid level is correct, you can let it sit overnight and recheck the fluid level cold with the boat on the trailer.  Make a new mark on the dipstick at the current fluid level to indicate the correct cold level.  That way you can check the fluid level when it is cold and on the trailer which is usually more convenient.

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Captcrunch

I'm heading to my dealer in the morning and will ask them to check the trans fluid and see if they will swap out the throttle. It's mostly a solid state electronic shifter so nothing really user service friendly. I really hope it's not a tranny rebuild issue. Wondering if the dealer really swapped the solenoid the first time. They didn't want to do it but after the second trip down there I insisted they try it rather than just the "re-torque to manufacturer spec" plan they did the first time.

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I hear these stories about dealers shining customers on and I cringe.  My local dealer (AWS - oc) has been phenomenal.  I have replaced a throttle, cats, 2 new ecms... etc with never even more than paying for an hour of diagnostics time.  Their mechs have always figured my problem out, got the parts on the way, swapped them out quickly and got mY boat back to me within a week.  If my boat was new and under warranty I would be taking recordings of it doing what it’s doing and email them to Malibu support and have them recommend a dealer with a better maintenance record.  I absolutely know the feeling of “loss of confidence”.  I will say that once it is fixed, these boats run so nice that the confidence comes back quickly.  I get towed in once per year and feel like I hit rock bottom, then I’ll get the boat back and put 100+ hours on without a single maintenance buzzer for the rest of the summer.  FWIW it really sounds like a throttle issue to me.  Mine would shift ok into/out of gear, but it would pop out of gear at surf or cruising speeds.  Took less than an hour for the dealer to troubleshoot and replace that throttle for around $700 iirc.

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