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H20skeefreek
08-11-2008, 09:39 PM
So, I thought I had the problem fixed, but evidently not.

Boat has been cutting out and dying after running for a while (at least a whole set). It usually dies at the end of the course. It loses all power, it usually dies, but sometimes will keep running. I had thought it was the alternator, b/c volt meter was reading low. I did have a loose connection inside of the alternator, but took it apart and fixed that. Alternator tests good, and shows 14volts while underway. I was picking up some junk from the fuel tank pickup, but I've cleaned out the tank, so I don't think it's that. There is an inline filter and a fuel/h2o seperator after the tank. I know that the filter is clean. There could be a SMALL amount of h2o in the tank/lines/filter from cleaning but it was doing this before I cleaned that tank, so I don't think that's it.

Where should I start checking?

Chief
08-11-2008, 10:05 PM
So, I thought I had the problem fixed, but evidently not.

Boat has been cutting out and dying after running for a while (at least a whole set). It usually dies at the end of the course. It loses all power, it usually dies, but sometimes will keep running. I had thought it was the alternator, b/c volt meter was reading low. I did have a loose connection inside of the alternator, but took it apart and fixed that. Alternator tests good, and shows 14volts while underway. I was picking up some junk from the fuel tank pickup, but I've cleaned out the tank, so I don't think it's that. There is an inline filter and a fuel/h2o seperator after the tank. I know that the filter is clean. There could be a SMALL amount of h2o in the tank/lines/filter from cleaning but it was doing this before I cleaned that tank, so I don't think that's it.

Where should I start checking?

Carb or EFI? If its carb, sounds like the fuel is getting too hot. Not too familiar with the setup, but don't some carbs have a small cooling route to the carb? Maybe the manifold is clogged? If it's EFI (did 85 have EFI?) ECM?

Could be a vapor lock condition. Maybe run it without the cover and see if it does it.

H20skeefreek
08-11-2008, 10:12 PM
It's carbed. I've had this boat for 5 years and never had a vapor lock problem before, so I don't know why it would manifest itself now....anything else? I always have my 14month old daughter with me, so I can't run it without the motor cover.

trickskier
08-11-2008, 10:15 PM
Has the fuel pump ever been changed? And water will clog the paper element in the water / fuel separator.

H20skeefreek
08-11-2008, 10:20 PM
Changed fuel pump last year. The fuel/h2o seperator was just changed, and there definataley isn't enough h2o in the fuel to clog it.

trickskier
08-12-2008, 08:44 AM
Changed fuel pump last year. The fuel/h2o seperator was just changed, and there definataley isn't enough h2o in the fuel to clog it.

It doesn't take a lot of water to clog the paper element. I would change the water / fuel element and the in line filter and see if there is any difference. Also, if you can, blow air through the lines to make sure there's no blockage.

Bruce Carr
08-12-2008, 09:09 AM
My first impression was the fuel pump getting weak but if its new, that probably not it. I would pull out the fuel line check valve next. It could have some junk stuck in it. The check valve is in the elbow where the fuel line exists the tank (at least that whwere it is on my '83). Next I would check out the coil. I have had coils in cars go bad and they start breaking down when they are hot. Also if your are still running points, replace them and the condensor (condensors also break down when they get hot). Good luck!

H20skeefreek
08-12-2008, 06:22 PM
checked check valve, coil is new last year (I know this doesn't really matter), already has electronic ignition......next......thanks guys.

Sodar
08-12-2008, 06:54 PM
I love it when people try to troubleshoot the problem, but are really only half-way listening and are disregarding every suggestion that is given.

SkiFreek, I think it is your muffler bearings... change those out and add some running light oil and it should run like a champ. :D


With that said, we had a similar issue in my friends '86 MC and it turned out to be the fuel line getting kinked between the tank and the transom. I would follow the fuel line a try to make sure everything is nice and free flowing.

JimN
08-12-2008, 06:58 PM
Sine you have mechanical fuel pump, can you borrow a gas tank from an outboard, to use instead of the one in the boat? If the fitting to the outboard motor has a hose clamp to keep it in, that's best. Remove that firring and attach the line directly to the MC fuel pump. Prime the line with the bulb and run it. If it runs without problems, it cuts down on some of the mystery. If it has a problem, it rules out everything before the pump.

Inspect the fuel line, front front to back and see if it has any kinks, anything pressing on it (like the tank) and if needed, remove the line from the tank and check for de-laminations inside.

H20skeefreek
08-12-2008, 07:54 PM
Sodar,

I love it when people act like they know what's going on, and don't. I have checked these things, otherwise I would never disregard them. Otherwise I wouldn't be on here asking. Why would I recheck something I JUST checked 3 days ago? I'll take a timing light out next time so I can check to see if the coil is firing, however, if the boat is dieing or trying to die, it's going to fizzle out.

Jim,

I'll see if I can check it that way. I may have to just buy and outboard fuel tank, as I don't have any friends with an outboard. It's also pretty new fuel line, so I doubt the delaminations, but I'll check anyway. I did relocate the fuel line, but changed it to the front of the tank rather than the back, so it SHOULD be less restricted, but I'll make sure it's not getting pinched between the tank and the tank cover.

TX.X-30 fan
08-12-2008, 08:08 PM
Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man. 8p

JimN
08-12-2008, 09:13 PM
Did you say that you looked at the anti-siphon valve and fuel pickup tube? They're connected at the top of the tank.

H20skeefreek
08-14-2008, 02:05 AM
Did you say that you looked at the anti-siphon valve and fuel pickup tube? They're connected at the top of the tank.
Jim,

Yes, I looked at the anti-siphon valve and pickup tube. That's where this all started (I thought). I had picked up some "trash" in the pickup tube, so I followed your advice and removed the tank and cleaned it out. I was suprised that I'm still having problems. Whenever I've been breaking down, the first thing I check is that pickup tube.

JimN
08-14-2008, 02:43 AM
If you have an air compressor, blowing air through the fuel lines wouldn't be a bad idea. Not extremely high pressure but you may find something in there. Probably easiest to remove the forward end from the filter if that's in the middle of the boat and let the gas siphon into a container, then blow from the front and repeat from the end at the tank.

H20skeefreek
08-14-2008, 05:08 PM
Jim,

I'll try that, however if that was the problem, wouldn't it manifest itself either at start up or when at a certain rpm for a certain amount of time (specifically, the amount of time it takes to drain the fuel bowl of the fuel which it gathered at a lower rpm) not after 20-30 minutes of running at 34mph? When I replaced the fuel pump, thats how we diagnosed it. I'd run out of gas 3/4 of the way down the course only at 32mph or higher, leading us to decide that I wasn't getting enough pressure at higher rpms.

Again, I'll try it, I'm not soliciting advice and not listening or whatever Cameron said. I just want to be able to use my boat.

JimN
08-14-2008, 05:24 PM
It might but if the stuff is between the pump and filter, it may not end up in the filter, especially if the hose was lifted to keep gas from draining into the bilge. There are also some cases of fuel line developing a "flap" internally and that can restrict the flow. If you have a fish tape, for electrical wiring, maybe passing that through the line will show something.

trickskier
08-14-2008, 11:15 PM
I love it when people try to troubleshoot the problem, but are really only half-way listening and are disregarding every suggestion that is given.

SkiFreek, I think it is your muffler bearings... change those out and add some running light oil and it should run like a champ. :D

Did you consult with TMCNo1 before posting this answer??? 8p

Cloaked
08-14-2008, 11:34 PM
If you're running the 4160 carb, it should have the spacer plate under it. Some of the 80's models did not.

http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=R062010A


Or the carb may have a dry gasket and is sucking air. The rebuild kits are easy enough. I just did one last month on a 4160.

Carb may have internal clogging or be gummed up. If you have had it for 5 years and have not rebuilt the carb, a fresh set of gaskets and such will not hurt it regardless.

After all of the eliminations in your posts, its possible.

H20skeefreek
08-15-2008, 08:45 AM
I have the riser. The carb was rebuilt oh.....3 years ago I think. I'll put in on my trouble shooting list, though that's the last thing I want to dive into right now.

So far I'm going to:
Try another tank with fresh fuel, fresh filter element, all after blowing out the lines and running a piece of wire down the inside of the hose. I'll also check for pinches at the same time.
I'm going to hook up a timing light to the coil output line and make sure I've got spark throughout the time on the water.
I'll also make sure the muffler bearings are good and I have plenty of running light oil......Cameron, how do I check the muffler bearings? If they are bad I think I know where I can put the ones I take out......

THANKS GUYS!

Jesus_Freak
08-15-2008, 01:58 PM
...There could be a SMALL amount of h2o in the tank/lines/filter from cleaning but it was doing this before I cleaned that tank, so I don't think that's it.


Is that h2o or h20, because there is a significant difference. :D

Sorry bud you are having trouble, seriously.

kawagaskier
08-15-2008, 02:18 PM
what it sounds like to me is a float / needle valve problem in the carb (probably sticking needle valve). When the bowls drain and the floats drop to open the needle valves, no or very little fuel flows in causing the engine to become fuel starved. This would explain your ability to run for a little while (as the bowls drain off) then the engine cuts out or is just able to run at idle. When you let the boat sit for a min, will it fire up and run ok for a short period of time again?

Cloaked
08-15-2008, 06:46 PM
Are you still running points in the distributor?

Cloaked
08-15-2008, 06:49 PM
what it sounds like to me is a float / needle valve problem in the carb (probably sticking needle valve). When the bowls drain and the floats drop to open the needle valves, no or very little fuel flows in causing the engine to become fuel starved. This would explain your ability to run for a little while (as the bowls drain off) then the engine cuts out or is just able to run at idle. When you let the boat sit for a min, will it fire up and run ok for a short period of time again?
Agreed.


The new rebuild kits have a different valve seating material as well (for the betterment).

H20skeefreek
08-16-2008, 11:57 AM
When you let the boat sit for a min, will it fire up and run ok for a short period of time again?

Yes, but sometimes it doesn't even die, it just loses power we come to a stop.

H20skeefreek
08-16-2008, 11:58 AM
Are you still running points in the distributor?
No, it's been converted to electronic ignition.

JimN
08-16-2008, 12:58 PM
As I mentioned before, using a small tank for an outboard will let you isolate the location of the problem. If it happens with the substitute fuel source, you know it's in the engine. Also, I don't remember reading that the filler cap was removed while it was sputtering. Do that, if it hasn't been done yet. If there's a sound of suction when the cap is loosened, the vent needs attention.

H20skeefreek
08-16-2008, 01:02 PM
I think the vent is ok, I use a ventless fuel can to fill the boat, and I don't have any problems. That relies heavily on the boat's vent.

JimN
08-16-2008, 01:22 PM
It's worth checking.

WilliM1940
08-16-2008, 01:37 PM
It is possible that your electronic ignition could be the culprit. They are sensitive to heat, you may have a faulty one. Are you still in a position to remount point style ignition or have you gone completely electronic?

H20skeefreek
08-16-2008, 03:25 PM
Oh, if Jimn suggests it, I check it out! I'll check the vent first, if it's that, there isn't much that's easier to fix.

Willi,

It's completely electronic, can't go back. Any suggestions on how to check it?

WilliM1940
08-16-2008, 10:38 PM
If you can't go back to points, I think I would bring a buddy and hook up a timing light on the coil wire as while you are doing your sets. If the engine begins to die trigger the light to see if the spark is still with you. If it is still there check the timing. You should still have fire when you crank the engine after it dies if that is not the problem. Hopefully you changed your coil when you went electronic, the internal characteristics change, and mismatches shorten the life of the coil or electronic unit. Without the dog house on maybe the thing will just keep running due to better cooling, who knows?

I would definately try the substitue gas tank, or even a modified gas can for the short term.

I haven't switched to electronic, but read often of its advantages, also of its sudden death.

H20skeefreek
08-31-2008, 09:35 PM
Ok, it seems that I have found another piece of mystery red plastic (found some in the pickup when I first bought the boat 5 years ago) in the nipple going to the fuel filter. I have no idea where this is coming from. It has to be from the tank, but I don't know where. Anyway, I'm going to replace the tank, fuel hose (again) fuel filter, fuel/h2o separator and all associated fittings. I'm NOT going to have another summer like this one next year, or I'm just going to sell the boat and buy a pontoon to go tubing.

Does anyone have their '81-'86 boat at home and could take measurements of their tank for me? I need to order a new tank, but won't be near the boat for a week or so.

JimN
08-31-2008, 10:00 PM
Wanna post a photo? There should be no red plastic in the tank. Of any kind, for any reason.

Why do you need a new tank?

Is it possible that the red plastic is part of a broken funnel?

H20skeefreek
09-01-2008, 12:08 AM
I don't have the piece any more. It was bright red, and kinda curled up. Looked like a shaving of some kind of plastic. When I first bought the boat, I found some pieces like this in the anti-siphon valve, causing the same problem. I took it to a mechanic, and he thought it was pieces of the gelcoat from when they cut the hole in the deck for the fuel fill......and I just realized as I wrote this that it's shavings from my friggin' gas cans.

I was going to replace the tank b/c after cleaning the tank 50 times and not finding anything in it, I was going to just replace the whole fuel system.....but I don't need to now, I'm going to blow out the fuel lines and nipples and get new gas cans, or just clean these out.