View Full Version : help save me a trip to the marine plz

05-08-2008, 10:24 PM
ok, so we bought a boat in the states first week of april. test drve, had compression test, its 2000 prostar 195 300 hrs. great boat... ran like a dream while we were there.

as we were leaving the guy took the plug out an asked if it would still be freezing overnight back in canada, we said yes so i guess he drained it too.

today we went up to the cottage for the first time out with our 1st mastercraft...i was pumped!

we get the boat in the water and it starts fine, but when putting it in gear, all of a sudden we get a loud constant beep and the check engine light comes on the dash and if you try putting in gear, it dies. we turn it off and on many times giving time in between....same thing. leave it in neutral to idle for a minute, eventually same thing....beep, check engine light, boat dies.:confused:

i checked the manual, the troubleshooting pages don't mention a loud beep, and -get this- i can't find anywhere in the manual an explanation of what the check engine light means.

i'm not sure if there's something i forgot to do in the startup process, or if after the guy in the states drained everything i have to do something special now since its been sitting in the driveway for over a month unused?

any suggestions are much appreciated!

east tx skier
05-08-2008, 10:29 PM
Did he put the plugs back in? Knock sensor not installed?


05-08-2008, 10:35 PM
my boat beeped at me last weekend..it had been sitting idling waiting on my son to put on his wakeboard...got a little hot.

Check your impeller and take a look at the temp gauge.

east tx skier
05-08-2008, 10:40 PM
my boat beeped at me last weekend..it had been sitting idling waiting on my son to put on his wakeboard...got a little hot.

Check your impeller and take a look at the temp gauge.

Did the P.O. pull the impeller and it never got reinstalled?

05-09-2008, 06:16 AM
he didn't pull the plugs, but i'm not sure about the impeller or knock sensor.

to tell you the truth i'm not sure where the propeller or knock sensor are located, where would i be looking?

much appreciated

05-09-2008, 07:03 AM
as far as clearing the codes, would that not apply here because the engine is cutting out?

if it does, can someone confirm that the following is how to clear the codes?

turn the boat on, let idle to 160 degrees, turn it off, let cool. 3 times.

is that it?

05-09-2008, 07:19 AM
he didn't pull the plugs, but i'm not sure about the impeller or knock sensor.

to tell you the truth i'm not sure where the propeller or knock sensor are located, where would i be looking?

much appreciated
Those are very important things for you to know where they are. On that motor your impeller is in a water pump mounted to your crank. The knock sensor is on the side of the block, you'll see it hanging out if it's removed.

Since you don't know where this stuff is, are you aware of the required maintenance that is necessary to keep this boat running? I don't mean to sound condescending, but this stuff is pretty important.

As far as clearing the codes, why does that matter? Find out what the problem is, and get the boat running. The codes will clear themselves out.

05-09-2008, 08:04 AM
i've read the manual many times and know about the maintenance that is required every 50/100 hrs and will of course, be sure all work is done (not by me).

re clearing the codes. i read through some of the old threads and noticed people talking about the battery and other possibe problems. some members recommended clearing the codes and seeing if the boat runs alright - i just wasn't sure if this might apply since my boat is cutting out.

05-09-2008, 09:05 AM
Check your KILL SWITCH !

05-09-2008, 09:37 AM
"turn the boat on, let idle to 160 degrees, turn it off, let cool. 3 times.

is that it?"

No. One way is by using a diagnostic computer and another is using a scan tool, turn the key to ON and go (without starting it) from neutral to WOT (Wide Open Throttle) 3 times. This doesn't always work, I would be doing a thorough inspection but before clearing any codes. If it didn't do anything out of the ordinary when you saw it run, there has to be a reason for it to beep now. Codes are stored to make diagnosis easier, not just to be cleared as soon as they show up.

If you aren't familiar with a particular item, be it a car, boat, antique or anything else, having it inspected by someone who is can save you a lot of grief. A complete marine survey BEFORE buying a boat is always a good idea. This would include connecting to a diagnostic computer to get the data and any codes.

An owner's manual won't give you the basic service and maintenance info you need for this motor- better to get a shop manual for a GM car or truck or if one is available, an actual GM engine manual. It won't have the same ECM and if you have the LTR motor, the plenum and some other details won't coincide but the motor itself is the same.

If it won't run or if it seems like it only wants to run when you crank, but kills when you turn the key back to ON, make sure the lanyard is clipped to the safety switch. If it was left clipped to the switch, press the clip at the center of the switch to see if the clip has relaxed and isn't pressing in enough. If this is the case, replace the clip.

east tx skier
05-09-2008, 09:39 AM
i've read the manual many times and know about the maintenance that is required every 50/100 hrs and will of course, be sure all work is done (not by me).

The knock sensor is on the forward drain plug on the starboard side of the block. If you didn't have an impeller, your temps would go up pretty fast as you would be drawing no raw cooling water.

I don't know if any of that stuff would lead to the symptoms you're seeing or not. I only mention it because of your statements that the P.O. drained it.

In the FAQ thread on the general forum, there are some checklists for winterization/dewinterization. These may provide you with a good way to just see if it's something easy that wasn't done that needed to be done before getting the boat wet.

Also, just for grins, check your spark plugs and make sure the wire boots are on tight both at the plug end and the distributor end.

05-09-2008, 10:11 AM
Does it only do it when you put the boat in gear? Will it cut out and beep if you just left it in neutral at the dock? Does your temp. stay stable at 160? Maybe the thermostat is not opening and the temp keeps climbing quickly.

05-09-2008, 10:11 AM
Jim, if i clear the codes, will they return if the problem isn't solved?

05-09-2008, 10:26 AM
rhsprostar, as for the cutting out, if i try to put it in gear it dies. if i put it into gear and give it 1/4 throttle it goes for a few seconds and dies. if i leave it in idle, it idles for 30 seconds and dies.

the gauges look good, voltage and temperature were right in the middle.

05-09-2008, 11:01 AM
If the problem exists after clearing the codes, they will return. If they're cleared and nothing else is done, it's still not going to run.

The knock sensor needs a 7/8" wrench to tighten it (finger tight, then another 3/4 turn only) and if you see a dark blue wire with a black plug dangling under the exhaust manifold, that's what it connects to but not having the knock sensor connected will not make the buzzer sound and it definitely won't keep it from running.

If a motor won't continue to run, the first thing needed is a fuel pressure check. If that's good (>30 pounds), check for spark. If that's good, check compression and make sure fuel is actually being delivered to the cylinders.

Make sure the flame arrestor is clean.

How did the temperature rise if you couldn't keep it running?

05-09-2008, 11:22 AM
jim, thanks for the steps to try - really appreciate it

if we left it in idle it lasted 10-30 seconds before dying. we tried over and over again as we were in the middle of the bay, fully clothed and the water is still in the 50s...
by the time we got back to the dock i remember checking a couple of times and noticing the temperature was in the middle fo the gauge

05-09-2008, 11:51 AM
Are you sure the raw water hose is attached? Check at the transmission cooler. On the side of the motor down low it is a black canister with the water lines going into it.

05-09-2008, 12:29 PM
Can you rev it at all in neutral? Sounds like a fuel delivery issue to me. Maybe your fuel pump isn't keeping pressure (as JimN said). In idle it takes a while to clear out any fuel but as soon as it asks for more fuel it starves. Does it smoke when it dies? Do you smell fuel? Have you pulled a spark plug and checked to see what it can tell you? How does it sound when it is running?

05-09-2008, 01:08 PM
we tried over and over again as we were in the middle of the bay, fully clothed and the water is still in the 50s...
by the time we got back to the dock i remember checking a couple of times and noticing the temperature was in the middle fo the gauge

Maybe it's only me, but I took your first post that this was all happening at the dock immediately after you put it in the water. However, the above tells me you were able to run it enough to get out in the middle of the bay. If so, please detail the situation leading up to the event(s) so that the knowledgeable members on this site can help you better.

Just suggesting...


05-09-2008, 02:17 PM
Your impeller is messed up or you have a hose off somewhere. The water down here is probably 65ish and my boat was not getting above 130 degrees, which is about 1/5 of the gauge

jim, thanks for the steps to try - really appreciate it

if we left it in idle it lasted 10-30 seconds before dying. we tried over and over again as we were in the middle of the bay, fully clothed and the water is still in the 50s...
by the time we got back to the dock i remember checking a couple of times and noticing the temperature was in the middle fo the gauge

05-09-2008, 02:35 PM
I don't know what "middle of the gauge" would be since I don't own a MC. Exact same thing happened to Betty Bonifay's 197 a couple months ago. Didn't stick around to find out what exactly the problem was though. Do these boats have a "limp mode" if there was very low oil pressure? Check the oil, if that is fine then I'd be looking at the fuel system. Is there gas in it??? If so, how old is the gas? Was it treated before layup?

05-09-2008, 02:44 PM
The 2000 doesn't have an oil pressure switch and the ECM doesn't monitor that.

Cars have a "limp mode" because they have a closed cooling system, boats with raw water cooling only go into RPM reduction and if they remain running, the motor dies. Only a bad overheat will set RPM reduction and the only reason they allow it to keep running is for when a boater needs to get away from trouble, like rapids, waterfalls, thunder storms, waterfalls, etc. Otherwise, it should always be shut down.

There are few things that will interrupt the fuel flow and the only good way to find them is by actually checking things on the boat, not guessing. We're guessing, so until it's inspected and tested, we're just making digital noise.

That said, the oil cooler needs to be checked. If it's clogged, a new impeller should be installed after the oil cooler is cleared out and flow has been established.

05-09-2008, 02:57 PM
Did the P.O. pull the impeller and it never got reinstalled?

no, I think it got a little clogged when we launched it...a quick rev of the engine cleared it. I changed the impeller right when I bought it and again when I winterized.

05-09-2008, 03:00 PM
my brothers's up there, and the marina guy just came by.
apparently there was 1/2 a litre too much oil and the pressure was built up. he took off the oil sensor, ran it, put it back on, and it was fine. then i guess he drained a little oil out afterwards.

i'm off to the cottage for my first run with the new mastercraft
thanks for all the suggestions and help!

05-09-2008, 03:02 PM
Have lotsa fun!

05-09-2008, 03:18 PM
Cool. I'm done for the day since I just learned something new!

05-09-2008, 05:41 PM
What did that oil look like?

I don't know if 1/2L is enough to cause this problem. I have seen motors with more extra oil than that and they ran better than you described. A half liter is about 3.1"x3.1"x3.1" (7.875 cm)³, for those in the rest of the world) - that's not a lot.

Hopefully, it's fixed. Enjoy it!

05-11-2008, 07:03 PM
hey jim, looks like you might be right

marina guy said he thought there was too much oil becuase when he disconnected the sensor, the check engine light and beeping stopped.
he took out 1/2 litre but after we got up there, the pressure gauge still showed 60-70 when driving.
boat ran fine all afternoon saturday, then sunday morning (after overnight low of 0 celcius) the problem reoccured.
after a few hours around noon, when the sun was out and temperature was up, all was fine again.

so my first thoughts are we need to take more oil out... can anyone comment about the temperature/oil pressure relationship?

05-12-2008, 08:45 AM
Did he bother to look at the dip stick?

The oil pressure sender only shows that- pressure. It doesn't sense the level, quality, moisture content, blood alcohol content of the driver (Yeah, that's a dig for Bears fans) or anything else.

It's time to check the rest of the things mentioned. If he doesn't want to, have someone else do it. Guessing just wastes time and your money.

If it starts and kills, the fuel delivery needs to be checked and if that's stopping, there are only a few things that will affect this.

CHECK FUEL PRESSURE. This one doesn't even get a number because if the mechanic has gone to MC training, he would know that this is the first thing to test when a motor doesn't run. Second, check for spark. If it stops running, check these again- it doesn't take that long.

#1 The ECM needs input from any sensor that tells it where the crank is (or if it's TBI, the tach signal from the distributor).

#2 If the ECM thinks the motor is overheating, because it is or the coolant temperature sensor is showing open or shorted, it's going to have a hard time running.

#3 If heat causes a wire to relax, it can break it's contact, and this does happen. Make sure all ground wires are tightly connected. If the mechanic has a diagnostic computer, have him connect it and check for voltage. If it's low and the voltmeter on the dash shows that it;s good, look at the grounds on the motor.

05-12-2008, 10:53 AM
first of all i'd like to thank everyone for sticking with me and trying to help me solve this, i really appreciate the help.

unfortunately its not the easiest thing to explain
it doesn't just start and kill everytime.

it does many different things listed below

starts fine, when you put it in gear it dies, sometimes right away sometimes after 5 seconds.

thursday night we took the boat up, it started fine, but when we put it in gear and tried to advance the throttle the problem came up. we tried restarting it died sometimes right away after putting it in gear, sometimes after 5-10 seconds of putting it in gear... since we tried giving it half throttle to see if that helped to keep the engine going... it would keep it going for 5-10 seconds and then die.

friday the marina guy went up, saw the oil pressure gauge, took out 1/2litre of oil, took off the oil sensor and ran it... put the sensor back on. when i got back up to the cottage friday night, boat ran fine.

saturday we didn't start using the boat until the afternoon when it was warm - and it ran fine

sunday morning when it was cold i started the boat. sounded fine, i let it warm up for a couple of minutes then hit it... when it got to wot it started to surge, going from full power to losing power for a second, back to full power etc... so i backed it off to 1/2 throttle and drove it for 3 or 4 minutes. turned it off and when i tried to start it and put in gear same problem as before... sometimes it died immediately after putting in gear, sometimes 5-10 seconds depending on the throttle i gave it.

we parked the boat at the dock and revved the engine in neutral starting slowly and working our way up... when we got to about 1/2throttle it would start to surge, lose power, regain, the revving sounded like as if i was takign the trottle from 1/2 to 1/4 to 1/2 etc over and over again.

an hour later i disconnected the oil sensor, let it warm up for a few minutes, drove it around for 10 minutes under 1/2 throttle.
seemed fine, tried taking it up to wot, no problem. ran great for a half an hour.

parked the boat, covered it and went home more confused than ever.

btw the oil on the dipstick seems high, but its nice and clean.

05-12-2008, 11:45 AM
How high is high on the dipstick??

05-12-2008, 12:02 PM
With the boat level, check the oil level. If it's high, remove enough so it isn't.

The oil sensor- what color is the wire- tan/black, blue/black or a two wire plug with yellow and black?

05-12-2008, 01:32 PM
i'm just going from memory on the dipstick. there were several different lines on the dipstick, it was above all of them... how far above, i can't remember to be sure - should have taken a picture.

the sensor was on the passenger side under the manifold. it was covered by a small cap similar to spark plug caps (but smaller). when you took the cap off it was a single blue wire with a metal U end (similar to the old style uhf tv antenna connection) held down by a screw.

05-12-2008, 04:13 PM
If the wire was light blue and was just above the oil filter, that sounds like the oil pressure sensor but the ECM doesn't get any signal from that, only the gauge. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me, but I can't see any reason for that to make a difference in how it runs.

I hate to sound the way I undoubtedly will in this next comment but, if the mechanic spent more than an hour on this, he should know what is causing the problem. If he has never been to MC training and doesn't know fuel injection systems, he needs to go ASAP because if he doesn't learn fast, he's going to ruin a lot of people's summers by taking longer than needed to diagnose/repair their boats. If he doesn't know how to diagnose electrical problems or use a meter, he needs to do something else, because these motors are nothing if not electrical systems, at this point. It's really not that complicated but if someone is flying blind, it's not going to tell them what to look for, either.

Ask whether they have been trained on these motors. Otherwise, it's gonna be a long wait. The tests I mentioned before have to be done. If the oil level is indeed high, it needs to be corrected first. Then, the fuel pressure/quality. Then, spark.

You only need three things for a motor to run- air, fuel and spark. It's not rocket surgery. If it doesn't have air, remove the flame arrestor. If it doesn't have fuel, squirt some in and see if it wants to run. If the spark is weak or non-existent, make sure the harnesses are plugged into the distributor and coil. If that doesn't do it, connect a wire from a known good ground point to the distributor base. This stuff is in the manuals. If he needs them, he's behind the 8 ball. If the dealer doesn't want to spend the money for training, get another dealer.

05-13-2008, 07:38 AM
hey jim, thanks for the help.
the problem is we don't have a mastercraft dealer within 400km of the cottage. the marina guy on our lake services like 10 other mastercrafts but i doubt he has done the mc training.
we're going back up this friday. i'll talk to him and mention your suggestions before we get him to look at it again.
i'll update you guys after next weekend, but thanks for sticking with me.

06-10-2008, 10:22 PM
over the past month i've read many posts trying to figure out my problem.

i noticed a lot of people don't post the solution at the end of their thread .... probably so excited the boat is running :) they forget to check back in....

our boat (2000 PS195 w predator 350tbi) would do many different things. die at idle, die when advancing the throttle slowly, surge at higher rpms, run ok one day and poorly the next...when it died the check engine light and alarm would come on... i hate that alarm ... early on i thougth we had solved the problem when we noticed high oil pressure on the gauge - around 40 at idle - 60/70 under load... tried draining some oil... for some reason we were good for 1 day... problem returned the next

after reading about the indmar shop manual on a thread here... i found a copy from a store in toronto... amazon has it permanently "temporarily unavailabe"
i'm mechanically inclined but had never worked on an engine... mastercraft dealerships are few and far between in canada and though my local guy assured me he'd "worked on a few ski boats" i figured that meant he'd be happy to replace things at $90/hr til he found the problem.

with the help of the threads on TT and the manual, we replaced the in tank fuel filter, pcv valve, cap/rotor, plugs, tested the fuel pressure, cleaned the inlet screen, iac and flame arrestor, put water absorber and sea foam into the fuel... i'm sure these helped (they were due) but didn't solve the problem....

finally i used the paper clip method and got code 34. last weekend jim let me know code 34 referred to the map sensor and we bought a replacement yesterday - the voltage from the multimeter was good and the connection as well as grounds/connections at the battery and all over the engine showed no signs of corrosion.

my brother went up today, put the new map sensor in and it runs like a champ.

i just wanted to say thanks very much to everyone for their replies and past posts/threads - this place is a community service

can't wait for the weekend - never had an inboard before.. slalom/barefooting is gonna be awesome compared to the old johnson v4 115.

06-10-2008, 10:29 PM
What is a MAP sensor???

06-10-2008, 10:34 PM
Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor

i don't have the shop manual with me for the definition .. but heres what wikipedia has to say

"This is necessary to calculate air density and determine the engine's air mass flow rate, which in turn is used to calculate the appropriate fuel flow"

06-10-2008, 10:38 PM
Good work. Sorry i didn't get you the fuel pump replacement pics and how to. I have been meaning to get around to it but the weather has been so good i have been skiing a ton.

06-10-2008, 10:44 PM
no worries, i found some pics in another thread on here... i know.. we couldn't ski all last weekend when it was 30+.... going to have to make up time now

06-10-2008, 10:56 PM
RHS- if you have ever been in a Saab with the gauge that has a needle going from the green 'Economy' area to the red area, it indicates the same thing- vacuum under the throttle plate. At idle, the engine is trying to draw air into the cylinders, but the throttle plate restricts it. If you open the throttle plate while it's running, the cylinders are still drawing air in but the throttle plate doesn't restrict as much. Closed throttle plate=idle or low speed and high vacuum, while throttle plate that's more open=higher speed and low vacuum difference between above and below the throttle plate.