View Full Version : Engine Fires, but won't keep running

07-17-2011, 09:35 AM
Hi - my '88 PS 190 developed a problem yesterday where it just quit running in the middle of a run. After a short swim back to the boat and a once-over to make everything looked right, it started back up and we finished 6 more runs before it cut out again.

What I've found is I can get it to crank and fire, but once I let key go back into run, it dies. I was able to play around with some things and get it started again, but only for about a minute before the problem returned. Thus I'm pretty sure this is an intermittent electrical problem.

The boat's about an hour away so I want to be prepared to look for all options when I head back down to fix it. I'm thinking the main places to look are the ignition switch and the hot wire (in key "run" position" from the ignition switch to the coil). Any other suggestions? I don't think it sounds like a coil problem. Also, it has the HEI ignition, if that matters.



07-17-2011, 10:52 AM
Sounds like you are on the right track to finding the problem

07-17-2011, 11:13 AM
Not sure but in some of the older cars when you had the key in the start position it bypassed the resistor that is in series with the coil. When the car started the voltage was redused to the coil by the resistor. If you have this type set up it could be the resistor. From what I've read on hear it does sound like a possible coil that is maybe overheating.

07-18-2011, 09:01 AM
Just an update -- I did some searching on the net, and found this, which describes my situation pretty well: For $25 I'll just install a new ignition switch. Any thoughts on whether I need a Marine ignition switch or can I just get one from the auto parts store. I'd like one quickly...

When it is starting to fail, the "run" contact will overheat and open,
causing the car to stall. A usual symptom is the dash will also go dark
when it dies (no warning lights, no shift indicator, nothing). Attempts to
restart usually result in the engine starting and running while you hold the
key in "start" and it immediately shuts down as soon as you release the key.
Wait five or ten minutes for the switch to cool down and it will start and
run normally until the "run" contacts overheat again. The cycle gets more
frequent as time passes, until it just won't run at all.
Some people have reported they can get it to run for a while by holding the
key between "start" and "run" - try to find the sweet spot where it [the engine] keeps
running, but the starter doesn't.

07-20-2011, 10:30 AM
I've had problems with my kill switch, that's the goofy little button that has a cord that maybe you are supposed to hook to the driver somehow. In my opion the kill switch is critical on a sea doo but not a Mastercraft, wire snipes and black tape issue eliminated. My kids would goof around with ours and then the clip wasn't holding. Cut the wires behind and tape them together, 5 minutes and see how that works first would be my recomendation.

The inginition switches do go bad and it's a great ideal to have a spare in your toolbox/boat. Most the time with boats it's on and off, so the ignition switch gets a work out and they are in a wet environment so easy for them to got bad especially in a 22/3 year old boat.

I bought them at auto parts store and marine stores, the auto parts stores have a marine book and the main choice is between 3 or 4 posts, depending on accessories.

07-20-2011, 10:41 AM
Thanks -- My kill switch was removed long ago by the previous owner. I replaced the switch last night and think things are working OK. Tried to prove to myself that the old switch was indeed not working, but got the expected continuity with my ohmeter in run and start. I always like to be sure that I've indeed fixed the issue, so still have a bit of playing to do to make sure I don't get stranded on the water again.

07-20-2011, 02:23 PM
If I understand correctly your meter shows the old ignition switch working?

My ignition switch seemed to work with meter but not on the water, worth keeping the old one around just in case.