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383 hammerhead starts the day hesitating on the first couple pull-ups then runs fine


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orwood59jb

My boat is a 2005 Malibu response LXi 383 hammerhead that I purchased new. The boat has 1,200 hours used about half for barefooting and half for slalom. The engine has always run perfect, the only non-annual maintenance item that isn’t factory original are the spark plugs. The plugs were changed about 200 hours ago.

The last day/run of last season everything was smooth and normal. This year the first two or three runs of each day the engine hesitates pulling the skier up, won’t maintain consistent rpm (surges) and won’t go past 39 mph pulling a footer. After two or three pull-ups the engine runs normal for the rest of the 1 to 2 hour session.

For the first run of the day the boat is at operating temperature. This morning revved the engine while in neutral several times all the way up to barefoot RPM with no hesitation or other issues. But under load it did exactly what it did  the previous day for two starts then it was fine for all of the rest of the runs and went as fast as needed to for barefooting. 

It does the same thing with or without Perfect Pass engaged and I don’t use perfect pass for barefooting.

I’m in Northern Utah at about a 5K’ elevation, the boat has been run here for 10 years with no issues, prior to that it was at sea level.
At this point my initial actions will be to change the in-line fuel filter and put some injector cleaner in the fuel. Beyond that I’m open to observations or suggestions. 

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50 minutes ago, orwood59jb said:

the only non-annual maintenance item that isn’t factory original are the spark plugs.

You didn't list what annual maintenance means to you, but it sounds like you have never changed the cap, rotor, or plug wires.  Do that first.  If no joy, check the fuel pressure.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Buhcky33

I have had a similar issue early this season with my 2007 Response LXi (383 Hammerhead). I replaced my cap and rotor but have not changed plug and wires yet. Much better speed output but still hesitates a bit during acceleration. 

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On 6/16/2022 at 2:55 PM, orwood59jb said:

My boat is a 2005 Malibu response LXi 383 hammerhead that I purchased new. The boat has 1,200 hours used about half for barefooting and half for slalom. The engine has always run perfect, the only non-annual maintenance item that isn’t factory original are the spark plugs. The plugs were changed about 200 hours ago.

The last day/run of last season everything was smooth and normal. This year the first two or three runs of each day the engine hesitates pulling the skier up, won’t maintain consistent rpm (surges) and won’t go past 39 mph pulling a footer. After two or three pull-ups the engine runs normal for the rest of the 1 to 2 hour session.

For the first run of the day the boat is at operating temperature. This morning revved the engine while in neutral several times all the way up to barefoot RPM with no hesitation or other issues. But under load it did exactly what it did  the previous day for two starts then it was fine for all of the rest of the runs and went as fast as needed to for barefooting. 

It does the same thing with or without Perfect Pass engaged and I don’t use perfect pass for barefooting.

I’m in Northern Utah at about a 5K’ elevation, the boat has been run here for 10 years with no issues, prior to that it was at sea level.
At this point my initial actions will be to change the in-line fuel filter and put some injector cleaner in the fuel. Beyond that I’m open to observations or suggestions. 

Check your intake gasket. 

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On 6/25/2022 at 8:23 PM, Buhcky33 said:

I have had a similar issue early this season with my 2007 Response LXi (383 Hammerhead). I replaced my cap and rotor but have not changed plug and wires yet. Much better speed output but still hesitates a bit during acceleration. 

Plugs and wires are part of the tune up.  Your wires are probably 15 years old, and they do change as they age.

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