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2000 Escape VLX stalls out randomly


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BB5069

Hoping someone has experienced this and has some incite. I bought the Malibu new in 2000 always garaged and in perfect condition never have had any issues until last year 2023 . While boating at normal speed the motor stalled it would restart but sputter after several attempts it would restart and run fine for awhile then do it again. I took it in they installed a new fuel filter checked all normal stuff like plug wires cap and rotor fuel pressure and we installed a new battery. other than that they said all looked good. 

Took the boat out this year and it did it again. this time while doing the restart there was some loud odd clanking noise. Got it restarted died a couple times in forward but oddly i tried reverse and it did'nt die no matter how much throttle I gave. I got going again so this seems to be a random but current event . i have it scheduled to go into the shop but would like to know if any of you who have a 2000 Escape VLX have ever experienced this issue and what the fix was. seems to be more electrical related than fuel related. 

One other thing is if I hit rough water there's an alarm that goes off and won't reset till I stop and restart the motor. I wonder if these are related? This issue started in 2022 from what I read it is some sensor for the gear box. 

Almanor Bob 

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21 hours ago, BB5069 said:

Hoping someone has experienced this and has some incite. I bought the Malibu new in 2000 always garaged and in perfect condition never have had any issues until last year 2023 . While boating at normal speed the motor stalled it would restart but sputter after several attempts it would restart and run fine for awhile then do it again. I took it in they installed a new fuel filter checked all normal stuff like plug wires cap and rotor fuel pressure and we installed a new battery. other than that they said all looked good. 

Took the boat out this year and it did it again. this time while doing the restart there was some loud odd clanking noise. Got it restarted died a couple times in forward but oddly i tried reverse and it did'nt die no matter how much throttle I gave. I got going again so this seems to be a random but current event . i have it scheduled to go into the shop but would like to know if any of you who have a 2000 Escape VLX have ever experienced this issue and what the fix was. seems to be more electrical related than fuel related. 

One other thing is if I hit rough water there's an alarm that goes off and won't reset till I stop and restart the motor. I wonder if these are related? This issue started in 2022 from what I read it is some sensor for the gear box. 

Almanor Bob 

You are describing a relatively common issue with boats that don't see regular tune ups and maintenance.  Before you take it in, change the plugs, plug wires, cap, and rotor (get a cap and rotor with brass contacts, not aluminum) and try again.  If still no joy, test the fuel pressure at the Schrader valve on the fuel rail (I assume you have a multi port injected engine, but you didn't say). 

I would also get a can of carb spray and use it to thoroughly clean the inside of the throttle body.  Be sure to open the throttle so you can get the edges of the butterfly and the side passages all clean.

If it isn't running well after that, come back for more tips.

The transmission or Vee drive oil may be low.  Have you ever changed it or checked the level?

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