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View Full Version : Cold starting problem - 2000 Maristar LTR


Wake Faller
12-15-2009, 03:01 PM
Hi All-

Hoping you could help me (please).....

I went out to winterize my boat over lunch today and it would not start. It does crank well but will not run. The fuel pump initializes when I turn the key and I am getting pressure to the valve on the fuel rail (cannot tell you how much as I don't know what type .

I have checked the kill switch repeatedly (have not bypassed it yet) and even removed it while cranking to see if it made a difference - the buzzer that normally sounds when starting stopped buzzing when I pulled the lanyard off and started buzzing again when I put it back on.

The boat has not been run now for 2 months - the last time it had sat up for a month it took a long time to start. Is it possible I am getting condensation in the fuel lines or something?

I am going to continue trying to troubleshoot this evening - any thoughts / suggestions you may have would be most appreciated!

Thanks

dummy
12-15-2009, 03:23 PM
Next time it does it, put a gauge on the port at the fuel rail. Should be something like 40psi with the key on and 42-45 when running.

If it's getting fuel, pull a spark plug, ground it on the engine, and have somebody crank it over to check for spark.

My '00 Maristar was doing something similar, although mine would do it cold or hot. Wound up being the ignition control unit, but there are other things with that Northstar ignition on the Vortec LTR 350 that'd cause it not to have spark like the crank position sensors, bad ground(s), etc.

Do the simple math first - check fuel, then spark, then go from there.

Wake Faller
12-15-2009, 05:35 PM
Thanks Dummy (sounds rude for me to say that ;)

What type of gauge do I need to check the fuel pressure on the fuel rail? Surely it's not a regular tire gauge?

Also, this is not an intermittent problem - it won't start period. Will turn over all day long but no fire. I will have to get some one to come help me to check spark as I am by myself today.

I am pretty sure it is not the kill switch at this point (have done that before) and it is definitely not in gear (done that too).

Thanks for your help.

dummy
12-15-2009, 05:59 PM
You need a dedicated fuel pressure gauge. Most auto parts stores sell 'em. Some will rent them.

Since you don't have a gauge, start a bit more simply. Turn the key-on and listen for the pump to prime. You'll hear it. Then, take the cap off the Schraeder valve on the fuel rail and (covering it slightly with a towel or something to catch any spray) depress it to see if fuel sprays.

If you have fuel, pull the plug, leave it hooked up to the plug wire, hold the plug against an engine ground, and watch for spark while cranking.

If you've got no spark, then take it from there checking grounds, breakers, sensors, etc.

MariStar-Man
12-15-2009, 06:12 PM
I'm not a mechanic and not sure if this relates but how about cleaning the PCV valve? Somone told me it can make engine run rough/intermittent...?

I would also look around entire engine and see if anything is loose or has Arc marks, or cracked...?

I have a 1999 Maristar, and am curious as to what it can be.

JimN
12-15-2009, 06:21 PM
I'm not a mechanic and not sure if this relates but how about cleaning the PCV valve? Somone told me it can make engine run rough/intermittent...?

I would also look around entire engine and see if anything is loose or has Arc marks, or cracked...?

I have a 1999 Maristar, and am curious as to what it can be.

PCV valve may make it run rough at times but it shouldn't keep it from starting. Check for spark and fuel pressure, then try opening the throttle a bit. How cold is it where you are? If it's cold and opening the throttle helps, it could be the coolant temperature sensor or the IAC. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about either part, at this point.

How dirty is the flame arrestor?

Which motor- TBI or LTR?

Wake Faller
03-06-2010, 11:04 AM
Jim and Dummy-

Sorry for the delayed response but it has been really cold here this winter - last two winters, I boarded into December and started again in Feb / March. I guess this winter should put Al Gore out of business.

Anyway, I am out this weekend and hope to get the boat ready for spring. Nearest dealer is two hours away + a significant tow to the boat ramp. So I am trying to figure this out best I can.

The engine is an LTR. Flame arrestor is clean. It looks like I have fuel but no spark (enough spray to soak my hand even with a towel). I can hear the fuel pump prime and I get a solid spray off the Schraeder valve. I pulled a plug and held it against the block (not a ground but the block itself - is this sufficient?) and no sign of spark.

The engine is a 2000 LTR - Northstar ignition on Vortec 350 - 330 hp. Do you have any suggestions on how I can troubleshoot from here? (ie. how do I check the grounds, cam position sensors, ignition control, etc.).

Thanks again for your help and sorry for the lapse in response.

Craig

JimN
03-06-2010, 12:21 PM
Jim and Dummy-

Sorry for the delayed response but it has been really cold here this winter - last two winters, I boarded into December and started again in Feb / March. I guess this winter should put Al Gore out of business.

Anyway, I am out this weekend and hope to get the boat ready for spring. Nearest dealer is two hours away + a significant tow to the boat ramp. So I am trying to figure this out best I can.

The engine is an LTR. Flame arrestor is clean. It looks like I have fuel but no spark (enough spray to soak my hand even with a towel). I can hear the fuel pump prime and I get a solid spray off the Schraeder valve. I pulled a plug and held it against the block (not a ground but the block itself - is this sufficient?) and no sign of spark.

The engine is a 2000 LTR - Northstar ignition on Vortec 350 - 330 hp. Do you have any suggestions on how I can troubleshoot from here? (ie. how do I check the grounds, cam position sensors, ignition control, etc.).

Thanks again for your help and sorry for the lapse in response.

Craig

Check the fuses on the motor, near the ECM. One is for the ignition system. Look at the ground wires, where they attach to the block. If you see corrosion, disconnect the negative battery cable and clean all of those ground wires, as well as the bolt they're on.

You don't have a cam position sensor- you have crank position sensors. Look at them and make sure they're both in place, and haven't worked loose. If you unplug them, only do one at a time- if they're reversed, it CAN'T start.

Use a timing light to determine spark. I would determine if the kill switch is the problem. Look at the harness, under the gunwale and find the purple wires going to it. One will have 12VDC whether the lanyard is on it, or not. The other will be the one you want to use to verify the switch's function. If you have to remove the lanyard to activate the switch, you may only have a bad lanyard. If the pin on the switch needs to be pressed deeper than the tip of the housing, you should replace the switch. Don't just bypass it, replace it with the same part.

When you turn the key to ON, what do the gauges do? If they do nothing, your kill switch or lanyard may be bad.

mtajpa
03-06-2010, 12:43 PM
I have attached a PDF I got from Indmar. It is quit detailed maybe it will help.

JimN
03-06-2010, 01:22 PM
If the pdf is used, DO NOT pierce the insulation or cut any of the wires. That will cause corrosion inside and wire failure in a way that will make diagnosis almost impossible, in the future. The plugs on the loom have a weatherproof seal and it's silicon, so it can be back-probed with a stick pin.

The first thing I would look for, after the steps I laid out before, is go to the IC module under the coils and look for the purple/white wire(s). You should see about 1-2VDC while cranking. If you don't, you may have a problem with the crank sensor(s) or their harness.

MariStar-Man
03-06-2010, 02:00 PM
If all else fails, take it to the Dealer and get a diagnosis. Then at least you know if you could attemp the repair...

Wake Faller
03-06-2010, 03:37 PM
Hi Jim-

Hope you are well.

The gauges all snap to position when I turn the Key on. I eliminated the kill switch as a possibility when going through this initially. It acted completely differently with the lanyard off than it did with the lanyard on - did not bypass it completely but was convinced it wasn't that.

The ground connection to the block is clean as a pin. The connection is tight and the wires / connectors and the bolt are all like new.

I think I am ready to move on to the crank position sensors / fuses. This is where I really could use some help. What do they each look like?

Also, the ECM and Ignition Control all seem to be up under this black metal box next to the ski pole which I cannot get to - do I need to remove my rear seats / ski mount, etc to work on this or is there an easier way which is not readily apparent to me? Sorry for the newbie questions.

Also Mtajpa - thanks for the PDF - this will no doubt be helpful - it mentions an OBD Test - is there an OBD connector just like my car and will my OBD tester (at home -darn the luck) work?

Thanks all!
Craig

JimN
03-06-2010, 04:01 PM
Hi Jim-

Hope you are well.

The gauges all snap to position when I turn the Key on. I eliminated the kill switch as a possibility when going through this initially. It acted completely differently with the lanyard off than it did with the lanyard on - did not bypass it completely but was convinced it wasn't that.

The ground connection to the block is clean as a pin. The connection is tight and the wires / connectors and the bolt are all like new.

I think I am ready to move on to the crank position sensors / fuses. This is where I really could use some help. What do they each look like?

Also, the ECM and Ignition Control all seem to be up under this black metal box next to the ski pole which I cannot get to - do I need to remove my rear seats / ski mount, etc to work on this or is there an easier way which is not readily apparent to me? Sorry for the newbie questions.

Also Mtajpa - thanks for the PDF - this will no doubt be helpful - it mentions an OBD Test - is there an OBD connector just like my car and will my OBD tester (at home -darn the luck) work?

Thanks all!
Craig

The fuse holders are the usual type for the blade-style fuses that were used in cars until the late-'90s. The wires connected to them should be marked for their function. You'll see one for Ignition, Fuel and System (IIRC). Can you post a photo of the ECM and the surrounding framework? IIRC, the pylon is mounted to a rectangular aluminum piece, with two U bolts. Once that comes out, you should be able to remove the metal cover on the ECM. Once that cover comes off, disconnect the battery and unplug the harnesses from the ECM. Look into the entry for the plugs and if you see corrosion, green pins or green residue and it looks like one of the pins is missing, post a photo.

Wake Faller
03-06-2010, 04:58 PM
OK -

I believe I found the Crank Position sensors - two black boxes with plugs coming off them looking at notched wheel on the main shaft coming off the front of the engine (under the water pump). It there a way to eliminate them as an issue before I start dismatling things to get to the ECM? I unpluged, inspected and re-plugged each of the wires (separately) - they were a bit grimey on the outside but the connections were clean.

Still don't see any fuses unless they are under the black metal box with the ECM.

Thanks again for the help!!

Craig

Wake Faller
03-06-2010, 05:02 PM
Jim-

I just saw from your previous post how to eliminate the crank sensors -

"The first thing I would look for, after the steps I laid out before, is go to the IC module under the coils and look for the purple/white wire(s). You should see about 1-2VDC while cranking. If you don't, you may have a problem with the crank sensor(s) or their harness."


I'll try this and look for the fuses again and check back - thanks.

Wake Faller
03-07-2010, 01:58 AM
Jim-

I tried to test the purple / white wire with a safety pin (not sure it was long enough) and could not get a reading. Is there a way to know for sure that I am hitting the terminal?

I removed the black metal box covering the ECM, removed the plugs and inspected them - they were like brand new - no corrosion or dirt to speak of - I took pictures if you want them. I also removed the ECM so I could examine the pins - all is well there too - like brand new (also have pics if you want). I noticed a date of 2007 on the back of the ECM - leading me to believe this was replaced shortly before I bought the boat in late 2008.

I want to turn my sights on trouble shooting the ICM / Crank position sensors. I will heed your sound advice on not piercing or cutting the wires - but I am neither an electrician nor a mechanic. Are there any other things I can do to test these or do I simply need to find a longer pin?

Also, still cannot seem to find fuses - any advice on where to look? They were not under the box with the ECM. The ECM itself mounts to a heavier black plate which attaches to the engine (gobs of wires / things under it) - I cannot imagine how to get this thing off as I would have to dismantle many things which I have no idea what they are.

Again, your advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Craig

mtajpa
03-07-2010, 09:37 PM
I will try and post a few pictures of were the fuses are. They have little square covers over them I believe.

mtajpa
03-08-2010, 08:20 PM
Here's a few pic's of where the fuses are located and the OBD connector. You have to unplug the connector to get to the fuse. Mine has 3 right next to each other and the wire loom is marked.

dummy
03-09-2010, 10:45 AM
Read through this http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=25568&highlight=maristar+start

Lots of good info and some links to less-expensive replacement parts from some knowledgeable members. May as well give another shout of thanks to JimN and the others who helped me through my no-start saga. Here's hoping your fix is less expensive than mine.