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88inNH
07-07-2006, 10:53 AM
"New to me" 1988 Prostar. Standard (points) ignition.
I've probably only got about 5 hrs on the boat. Mostly short trips and ski runs.
Yesterday, I had the kids "tubing" for maybe 40 mins (I mention that because it's the first real "hard work" the boat has done since I bought it).
The boat hesitated for a second, the gauges all dropped toward "zero" and then everything went back to normal (engine, gauges, etc.). Boat never stopped it basically just skipped a beat and continued on.
Temperature, voltage, oil pressure all fine. Headed back to the cottage (a few hundred yards), still fine so I hoped I was just passing a spec of dirt in the fuel (or something). Headed back out, but got another hesitation/drop and called it a day.

Any opinions on what to check? Fuel filter? Electrical?
Any risk in running this way?

Last hint, but I didn't want to influence the responses. Had 1/4 tank of gas in tank. Bought 12 gals (in 2 six gal tanks). One in boat, one in jetski. Jet ski also stalling. I'd go with bad gas, but also filled my pickup truck and it's running fine. If bad gas, any recommendation on emptying tank or running additives through (STP water remover, etc).

Coincidentally, I've got fuel filter on the way from Skidim. My plan was to have a filter, t-stat, belt, etc. on hand. Looks like I may be using the filter sooner than planned.

Sorry for the long post. Any help greatly appreciated.

rektek
07-07-2006, 11:14 AM
88inNH,
I don't see how bad gas would make the gauges drop to zero.
I'd say you intermittently lost power from the ignition switch.

see if you can reproduce the problem by jiggling the switch around, does it feel loose ? worn contacts can cause this.

of-course recheck all your battery connections and have a look behind the dash for loose connections

cheers
Jeff

JimN
07-07-2006, 11:54 AM
Go through the boat and look for any wire connections that could cause this- the ignition switch, safety switch, starter where the battery cable is attached or the boat harness could be loose. Run it in neutral and wiggle any of these wires. Don't forget the fuse holders/breakers on the dash. The wire on the back could have a problem and when the power drops when the boat starts moving, think in terms of inertia- if things want to stay where they are and are loose, the connection can be broken.

The first few things we were taught for troubleshooting were:

Verify the complaint
Do a visual inspection- loose or corroded terminals, cut wires, melted insulation, etc
Do a wiggle test- wiggle the wires that are likely to cause the problem. If these don't do it, check the ones that seem unlikely.

If the battery cable ends were replaced, don't assume they're good. Look at the butt connectors on the ignition and battery leads to/from the dash. Give them a tug and if they come apart easily, re-splice them properly. This means no twist and tape, no Scotch Locks, no wire nuts. Either use the proper butt splice (crimped correctly) or solder and shrink wrap the connections. Again, no electrical tape on these. The only time I would use tape is after the butt splices are on and even then, I don't like going back into it with all of the glue. Dielectric grease is good for eliminating the chance of corrosion in crimped splices.

BuoyChaser
07-07-2006, 11:59 AM
"New to me" 1988 Prostar. Standard (points) ignition.
I've probably only got about 5 hrs on the boat. Mostly short trips and ski runs.
Yesterday, I had the kids "tubing" for maybe 40 mins (I mention that because it's the first real "hard work" the boat has done since I bought it).
The boat hesitated for a second, the gauges all dropped toward "zero" and then everything went back to normal (engine, gauges, etc.). Boat never stopped it basically just skipped a beat and continued on.
Temperature, voltage, oil pressure all fine. Headed back to the cottage (a few hundred yards), still fine so I hoped I was just passing a spec of dirt in the fuel (or something). Headed back out, but got another hesitation/drop and called it a day.

Any opinions on what to check? Fuel filter? Electrical?
Any risk in running this way?

Last hint, but I didn't want to influence the responses. Had 1/4 tank of gas in tank. Bought 12 gals (in 2 six gal tanks). One in boat, one in jetski. Jet ski also stalling. I'd go with bad gas, but also filled my pickup truck and it's running fine. If bad gas, any recommendation on emptying tank or running additives through (STP water remover, etc).

Coincidentally, I've got fuel filter on the way from Skidim. My plan was to have a filter, t-stat, belt, etc. on hand. Looks like I may be using the filter sooner than planned.

Sorry for the long post. Any help greatly appreciated.
where in New Hampshire are you???that's a great hull...i would call ski dim and ask them...sounds like it is the "white resistor" block which causes the hesitant starting and stalling problem...that would be my first best, especially since the guages come into play...

otherwise my suggestions, upgrade to electronic ignition, get rid of those points...and replace the distributor cap every year...will save on gass and running rough problems...

88inNH
07-07-2006, 04:14 PM
Man, you guys are fast. Thanks for the info.
Before I read the posts, I dumped the gas in the jetski, put in fresh, removed/drained the fuel filter and ran some gas through the fuel pump. The container from the pump and the filter had about a tablespoon of water collected at the bottom. Put it all back together, fired it up. No more check engine light or symptoms. Good thing because it's my brother's and he's on vaca next week. Of course, now I've got 8 gallons of "suspect" gas that I need to dispose of. Maybe I'll just run it through my pickup truck.
I also pulled the filter on the MC. No obvious water, just some brownish looking gas. Then I read the posts, fired up the MC and did some wiggling. Couldn't replicate the problem. Did about an hour of "ski lessons" for my daughters friends. Lots of starts and stops. No re-occurance of the "burps".
I'll run the wiring harness as time permits (after the leaking packing nut, other unidentified leak(s), bilge pump). Anybody got anything like a wiring schematic for an 88? Seems pretty straightforward / simple from what I've seen so far (with my temp bilge pump install).
I'm basically still evaluating my overall confidence in the boat. So far I'm very happy with my purchase as the engine seems sound. Broken bilge pump (on order), radio (threw in an old one that was in the basement), temp gauge (found broken connector), occasionally squealing blower and a few leaks (under control) are more a reflection on the previous owner than the boat itself.
Definitely planning on the electronic ignition at the end of the summer, after I've had a chance to "bond" with the boat.