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View Full Version : 1999 X-star won't start after shutting off


phillywakeboarder
08-14-2011, 02:22 PM
Hi everyone. I have a 1999 x-star with the LTR motor. It starts fine the first time and runs great, but if I shut it off it won't start for 30 minutes or so. It'll just crank and crank and crank. When it does finally start, it seems like it has to burn through a load of fuel - the motor revs up to about 2500 rpms (with the throttle in neutral), stays there for about 5 seconds, belching smoke, and then settles down and runs perfectly. I've been dealing with this for about 2 years (and probably 100 "idling" hours) and would love to ideas on what the problem may be. Thanks so much!

Jerseydave
08-14-2011, 08:19 PM
First off welcome to TT! I think we've communicated before on Wakeworld.

I'm no expert but it sounds like you may have a sensor issue since it starts and runs fine at the beginning of the day but gives you problems after the engine gets hot. Assuming it's not running too hot, fuel pressure is ok and spark plugs are good, you may need to look at the temp sensor.

Hopefully JimN will chime in. He's the resident expert on these problems.

JimN
08-15-2011, 09:56 AM
Hi everyone. I have a 1999 x-star with the LTR motor. It starts fine the first time and runs great, but if I shut it off it won't start for 30 minutes or so. It'll just crank and crank and crank. When it does finally start, it seems like it has to burn through a load of fuel - the motor revs up to about 2500 rpms (with the throttle in neutral), stays there for about 5 seconds, belching smoke, and then settles down and runs perfectly. I've been dealing with this for about 2 years (and probably 100 "idling" hours) and would love to ideas on what the problem may be. Thanks so much!

Have you scanned for codes? Do that first. If it comes up with code 14 or 15 (I would doubt it will be 14), it means the ECT (Engine Coolant Temperature) sensor is bad or disconnected. If you have a multi-meter, remove the plug from the sensor and measure the resistance- if you see more than about 5K Ohms when the engine is hot, the ECT is bad. The fact that it revs to 2500 RPM and drops to normal idle tells me that the IAC is OK.

Next time you shut it off when it's hot, open the throttle a little bit and see if it starts. If it does, remove the flame arrestor and look through it from the side that mounts on the intake manifold. If you can't see much light coming through it, clean it with mineral spirits or gasoline.

This link has a lot of good info that applies to marine diagnostics, but it also has some car-specific info. Codes 14/15 (ECT), 21/22(TPS), 33/34(MAP), 41/42(IC Module), 43(Knock sensor), 51(EE-PROM fault) and 55(ECM Fault) are the only ones you need to be concerned with.

http://www.freeautomechanic.com/diagnostictroblecodes5.html

Make sure your battery posts and clamps are clean, the clamps are tight and the ground connections at the rear of the engine are clean and tight. Smell the oil- if it smells like gasoline, change the oil immediately. If it doesn't want to start, stop cranking- that's the fastest way to kill a starter.

Why haven't you taken it to a MC dealer? If it's because you think they charge too much and for no other reason, letting this problem continue for two years may mean that permanent damage has been done to the engine if gasoline has diluted the oil. If it's because you don't think the dealer can do this and you have factual examples of them doing a bad job, MC needs to know about it. The cause of this issue shouldn't he hard to find if someone knows where to look and they have some diagnostic equipment/tools & physical access to the boat. This kind of thing is covered during MC service training. If you know a GM mechanic, they could find the cause, too.

phillywakeboarder
08-16-2011, 11:54 AM
Thanks so much for your responses. So far, I've had the boat to 2 MC dealers. The first, Bay Watersports in Maryland, which I believe has gone out of business, was unable to replicate the problem. The second, Sterling Marina in Pennsylvania, was also unable to replicate the problem, but they changed the spark plugs. For some reason, it seems to happen more when it's hot out, and I had my boat at their dealerships in early spring.

I check and change my oil regularly, and it's always fine. I don't have a code scanner, but maybe I can take it to my local non-MC boat mechanic and have them read the codes. I'll also try the other things suggested. Thanks again!

02ProstarSammyD
08-16-2011, 12:06 PM
Thanks so much for your responses. So far, I've had the boat to 2 MC dealers. The first, Bay Watersports in Maryland, which I believe has gone out of business, was unable to replicate the problem. The second, Sterling Marina in Pennsylvania, was also unable to replicate the problem, but they changed the spark plugs. For some reason, it seems to happen more when it's hot out, and I had my boat at their dealerships in early spring.

I can agree with the temp sensor. I've also seen problems with electrical connections and high heat which could be a prob. Regardless should pull the codes

phillywakeboarder
08-16-2011, 12:28 PM
Okay fellas. I called skidim and they had the ECT sensor in stock and since it was only like 12 bucks I went ahead and ordered it. Should be here in a few days. I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks again!

JimN
08-16-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks so much for your responses. So far, I've had the boat to 2 MC dealers. The first, Bay Watersports in Maryland, which I believe has gone out of business, was unable to replicate the problem. The second, Sterling Marina in Pennsylvania, was also unable to replicate the problem, but they changed the spark plugs. For some reason, it seems to happen more when it's hot out, and I had my boat at their dealerships in early spring.

I check and change my oil regularly, and it's always fine. I don't have a code scanner, but maybe I can take it to my local non-MC boat mechanic and have them read the codes. I'll also try the other things suggested. Thanks again!

If you read the link I posted and for other code issues here (the process for reading codes before O2 sensors should be stickied), you'll see t hat you don't need an actual code reader or scanner- a paper clip does the same thing and you just need to look at the check engine light for the codes.

Retoxtony
08-17-2011, 02:01 AM
I have a similar problem with my 99 205 with the ltr motor. Occasionally it will not start after shutting it off. After messing around with it I traced the problem to a bad connection at the fuel pump. If it doesn't start I have to go push the connector together and then it starts. Might be something worth checking out before taking it to the dealer again.

phillywakeboarder
08-31-2011, 12:03 PM
Hey guys. So, I replaced the ECT but I still have the same problem - the motor starts fine when cold, runs great until I shut it off, and then won't start for about 30 minutes. Then, when it does start, it's a "slow" start, barely chugging to life. This weekend I hope to check for codes using the paperclip method and to check to see if the motor is getting spark when its hot. JimN - I was going to go ahead and replace the coils because some guys at my marina "guaranteed" me that it was the problem, but I'm gonna hold off for now. The motor has 1100 hours on it, and the coils and spark plug wires are original.

JimN
08-31-2011, 12:32 PM
Hey guys. So, I replaced the ECT but I still have the same problem - the motor starts fine when cold, runs great until I shut it off, and then won't start for about 30 minutes. Then, when it does start, it's a "slow" start, barely chugging to life. This weekend I hope to check for codes using the paperclip method and to check to see if the motor is getting spark when its hot. JimN - I was going to go ahead and replace the coils because some guys at my marina "guaranteed" me that it was the problem, but I'm gonna hold off for now. The motor has 1100 hours on it, and the coils and spark plug wires are original.

Guaranteed it, eh? Based on what, exactly? Make sure the crank sensors are good, they're not too far from the star wheel and they're not corroded. You can have no spark with good coils.

As far as the coil packs having 1100 hours on them- I had a '92 Buick LeSabre with 196K miles when I got rid of it. They're sealed and there's no difference between the ones I had and yours.

JDK
08-31-2011, 08:02 PM
Next time you shut it off when hot..... unplug the ECT sensor and try starting it (mine always would).

phillywakeboarder
09-02-2011, 12:56 AM
JimN, I owe you a case of beer. You managed to do what none of my local dealers have been able to accomplish. Tonight, for the first time in 2 years, my boat started while the temp was at 160 degrees. To say I was surprised would be a drastic understatement. I took it out, ran it for about 15 minutes, then shut it down in the marina. My plan was to try to start it, have it not start, and then use the paperclip method to check for codes. Then I remembered that in a previous post you told me to advance the throttle a bit and then try to start the motor. I did so and to my amazement the motor started. It wasn't a great start - the motor didn't fire right up as it does when cold - but it slowly chugged to life, ran up to about 2200 rpm for about 4 seconds (after I had the throttle back in neutral) and then settled into a nice idle. I shut it down and repeated the procedure 5 times, and it did the same thing each time. So . . . thank you, thank you, thank you! Of course, I still need to figure out what's really wrong, but it's nice to know that progress is being made. To this end, I crawled underneath my dashboard and looked everywhere for the place to insert the ends of the paperclip (I believe it's called the diagnostic terminal?) but I couldn't find it. To refresh your memory, I have a 99 x star. If you could point me in the right direction or describe what the diagnostic terminal looks like I'd be most appreciative. And thanks again!

JimN
09-02-2011, 02:46 AM
JimN, I owe you a case of beer. You managed to do what none of my local dealers have been able to accomplish. Tonight, for the first time in 2 years, my boat started while the temp was at 160 degrees. To say I was surprised would be a drastic understatement. I took it out, ran it for about 15 minutes, then shut it down in the marina. My plan was to try to start it, have it not start, and then use the paperclip method to check for codes. Then I remembered that in a previous post you told me to advance the throttle a bit and then try to start the motor. I did so and to my amazement the motor started. It wasn't a great start - the motor didn't fire right up as it does when cold - but it slowly chugged to life, ran up to about 2200 rpm for about 4 seconds (after I had the throttle back in neutral) and then settled into a nice idle. I shut it down and repeated the procedure 5 times, and it did the same thing each time. So . . . thank you, thank you, thank you! Of course, I still need to figure out what's really wrong, but it's nice to know that progress is being made. To this end, I crawled underneath my dashboard and looked everywhere for the place to insert the ends of the paperclip (I believe it's called the diagnostic terminal?) but I couldn't find it. To refresh your memory, I have a 99 x star. If you could point me in the right direction or describe what the diagnostic terminal looks like I'd be most appreciative. And thanks again!

The ALDL (Assembly Line Data Link) is on the engine at the rear, above the transmission. It has a black plug with a gray/black cap. Use terminals A & B. If the dash light doesn't come on and flash, use a test light in terminals in E & F (I'll have to verify that one) to show the codes. My guess is that the ECT is bad and the resistance is too high, causing the ECM to deliver too much fuel. If it's not that, I would recommend having the IAC reparked (something I would do anyway).

phillywakeboarder
05-16-2012, 05:51 PM
Hello everyone!! It's a new season, and I'm committed to solving my hot start problem. To this end, I tried the paperclip method to check for trouble codes, and discovered that my check engine light, which has never come on, doesn't work. So, I got a MEFI code reader from Rinda Technologies, plugged the thing in, and it returned diagnostic trouble code 14, which I understand to mean Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit - Low Temp Indicated. I found the following manual online http://www.bakesonline.com/images/MediaLibrary/Indmar_MEFI4manual.pdf, and my understanding is that I have to start checking the ECT circuit with a digital volt ohmeter. (I've already replaced the ECT itself, which didn't make any difference. So, my question is, does anyone have a recommendation for such a device? I'm new to electronic diagnosis, and any recommendations would be much appreciated. I'm guessing I can pick one up at an auto parts store, but if anyone has a particular brand/model they like I'd appreciate hearing about it. Thanks!!

treptowr
07-03-2012, 06:18 PM
Have you figured out your problem yet?

JimN
07-04-2012, 10:17 AM
Hello everyone!! It's a new season, and I'm committed to solving my hot start problem. To this end, I tried the paperclip method to check for trouble codes, and discovered that my check engine light, which has never come on, doesn't work. So, I got a MEFI code reader from Rinda Technologies, plugged the thing in, and it returned diagnostic trouble code 14, which I understand to mean Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit - Low Temp Indicated. I found the following manual online http://www.bakesonline.com/images/MediaLibrary/Indmar_MEFI4manual.pdf, and my understanding is that I have to start checking the ECT circuit with a digital volt ohmeter. (I've already replaced the ECT itself, which didn't make any difference. So, my question is, does anyone have a recommendation for such a device? I'm new to electronic diagnosis, and any recommendations would be much appreciated. I'm guessing I can pick one up at an auto parts store, but if anyone has a particular brand/model they like I'd appreciate hearing about it. Thanks!!

You can get a meter from Radio Shack, Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, Parts Express, wherever. It doesn't need to be expensive unless you'll be using it all the time and need the ultimate in accuracy/reliability because of some requirement standard. I have one from Harbor Freight that was on sale for $3 and it works fine. You will need to learn how to use it, though. Measuring voltage is done by connecting the red probe to the connection and the black to ground. Current is measured in series with the connection in question- most meters don't handle more than about 1 Amp, which really isn't very useful but some meters have an accessory for measuring higher current (Fluke, Beckman, etc).

Read the info that comes with the meter- you can damage sensitive electronics if you set the meter to current but intend to check for voltage.