View Full Version : Engine Cuts Out

04-30-2007, 07:53 AM
I have a 1994 Pro Star 190 with an Indmar 350, that I have taken out three times now. The first time I had no issues, but the 2nd and 3rd times, the engine began cutting out. I was able to run for 4-5 hours each time without shutting the engine off. without a flaw. As soon as it got very rough out, the engine began "cutting out" like it was running out of gas. I had 1/4 tank of old gas (from when I bought it) in the boat, that I put octane booster into, and then completely filled with ~20 more gallons of 93 octane. Boat runs find until it gets rough. After the 2nd trip out I replaced the inline canister fuel filter by the engine, the small inline filter above the gas tank, impeller, spark plugs, and plug wires. Ran it yesterday for the third time, and after about 5 hours, once it got rough, it started cutting out while running. Doesn't matter the speed, could be at 1200 rpms or 3000 rpms. The boat even died twice, but restarted rather quickly.

Any ideas? Fuel pump issue? Odd that it only happens once it gets rough (and the girls are in the boat). This last time, I was about 10 miles from my trailer on the bay. Would not make for a cheap Sea Tow bill!

04-30-2007, 08:03 AM
Loose wire connection? Does it only happen when the tank is low, or only when it's rough? If it only happens when low AND rough it kinda sounds like a fuel pickup issue.

04-30-2007, 08:56 AM
Before you go out the next time, get there early and put it in the water so you can start the motor. Before you start, remove the motor box (if practical) and do a visual inspection of any plugs and harnesses on the motor, the starter, battery and where the ground wires attach. Check the plug on the fuel pump, the battery cables (how clean and tight are they?) and with the motor running, wiggle the fuel pump plug, the grounds at the rear of the motor, etc.

04-30-2007, 09:22 AM
Before you drop a lot of money trying to diagnose and resolve the problem, I recommend trying a can of Sea Foam. I was having similar issues last summer and spent a great deal of time, money, and stress trying to figure out what was going on. Turns out a can of Sea Foam for less than 5 bucks fixed the problem. I believe the gas in the tank (left there by the previous owner) had accumulated some condensation as it had sat for a while. The Sea Foam knocked that right out and I haven't had a stalling issue since. Good luck!

04-30-2007, 06:29 PM
You could also check the screen at the inlet of the pump,you have to remove the brass fitting and there is a screen.Mine gets block every 2 years or so with carpet fibers and dog hairs.Same problems as you describe...
The other canister filter is after the pump if i remember correctly...

04-30-2007, 06:39 PM
Check your kill switch. The Lanyard that attaches to your kill switch just below your throttle control. That switch is subject to jarring or losing contact if old, corroded, loose, etc. You can jump a wire across it/bypass it to see if that resolves the issue. Good luck

05-03-2007, 08:11 AM
Took the boat into the marine mechanic today (no MC dealers close). He ran the codes and found a faulty engine control module. Replaced it to the tune of $300, and I took it for a ride last night. Same exact thing is happening. Before it would only happen when in gear, and run flawlessly out of gear. After running it for 45 minutes yesterday tooling around, it began doing it even when out of gear.

Time to take it back in.

05-03-2007, 08:45 AM
How did he arrive at the conclusion that the ECM was bad, what warranty is he giving you on his repair and why was the ECM only $300? They're normally a lot more than that.

Did you do a wiggle test, like I suggested? The one I fixed with this symptom had a disconnected ground wire at the rear of the motor, and once the motor was warmed up and they took a hard turn, the wire fell away from the ground bolt and it wouldn't start at all. It took about 5 minutes to find and repair the problem, but I was using a diagnostic computer and when I saw that the voltage was a lot lower than the gauge on the dash (which he must have been using too, if he said that the ECM was bad. If it showed a 51 or 52 code, that indicates a bad EEPROM). There are a few other things that can indicate a bad ECM but unless he specified what it was, I would start asking questions.

05-03-2007, 04:37 PM
I apologize, it was early, it was the "ignition control module." $110 for the part.

I tried the wiggle test. Spent about 45 minutes out there messing with it, with no luck.

I recently recarpted the boat, any chance carpet fibers could have clogged something?

Again, I apologize for the wrong term this morning (been spending too much time in the Indmar manual.)


05-03-2007, 08:04 PM
OK, but you said it's happening in and out of drive, so it's not fixed. Did they check the distributor's ground connection to the block?

05-03-2007, 08:33 PM
At first it would only happen in drive. If it started to die I could pop it back to neutral and it was fine. I could also rev in neutral and it wouldn't hesitate. After running for 30+ minutes and warming up, it is starting to run bad even out of gear. Idling a little rough and won't rev too well. But, after out of the water and doing my routine 20 minute flush on a fake a lake, it idles and revs like a dream...

I am not sure what the shop did today, I haven't got a call back. Should I pull it out of that place and take it to another?

Thanks for your help JimN, it is very much appreciated. The budget is tight, as summer semester tuition is due any day now!


05-03-2007, 08:50 PM
Admittedly, electrical problems give most techs the biggest problems. They don't all know electronics, which is the direction everything has been heading for a long time. The first time I went to MC training, some of the guys were marveling at the little Bosch relay that needed to be wired to a light and a blower, with a whole three wires and it has five tabs for the wires to go on. Hopefully, they learned what is needed, only work on carbureted motors, or no motors at all. As bad as electrical problems are for some, intermittent ones are the biggest PITA for everyone. You can't always see where the problems are, they won't show up when you want and do when you don't want them to and as much as a shop keeper would like to charge for every minute spent on a problem, if it's not showing up, they have to find a way to work on something with a definable issue so they can make a few bucks. That said, I would ask how they will charge you for diagnosing this- maybe they'll compromise on the price.

Power supply and ground are the two most important connections, followed by the actual signal and returns to whatever they go to. That's the place to start, and then they need to check for continuity and shorts.