View Full Version : New Boat - Need repair advice

04-24-2012, 11:39 AM
So here it goes again, since I posted this thread yesterday and it was lost in the Team Talk Meltdown they had!!

I just bought a new MC this weekend - 99 Prostar 205 V-drive. It is my first MC and inboard, so I have never worked on them. I am pretty mechanical and work on my own stuff, especially toys. Though I know sometimes it's best to have the dealer do some things. So the boat has a few issues I am looking for advice on things I could try or do myself, and what should I leave to the dealer.

The list:
- There is a rattle in the rear when you are in gear at low RPM. The seller said this was normal and had done it the full 7 years they owned it. Is this normal?? Should I have dealer look at it? I'm going to put it in the lake tonight and check into this more. Dealer wanted $180 to do a lake test.

- Steearing is a little stiff. Seller said it was fine last year and just needed lube. Dealer said it may need a cable. - $525 to install. Can I do this, or how do I clean and lube it?

- Fuel gauge is stuck on E. Dealer said $200 to intall a sender. Can I repair sender, or can I install one? How?

- Impeller - I have been told I can do this. Does anyone have any links to instructions on a boat like mine? I haven't searched on my own yet but will this afternoon.

- Is there any other maintenance I should do to be proactive or check on it?

Thanks for your advice!!

04-24-2012, 12:40 PM
not sure about the first two but do a seach on the fuel sending unit and impeller. I fixed my sending unit for about $10 (re-epoxying some magnets) and replaced the impeller. This is a great forum and someone will give you some good info.

04-24-2012, 03:23 PM
I have changed steering cable, easy job. Cables where in the 120 dollar range I thought the last time I looked

The rattle should be easy to find. Is the strut loose? Rudder have excess play in it?

sending units are 60 bucks, where is the gas tank? middle of the floor? is there a panel to unscrew and pull up? I did the one in mine the other day in 25-30 minutes. I bought one, and then fixed mine in minutes. I can sell you one LOL

04-24-2012, 03:40 PM
The rattle is most likely the flex plate in the trans. Depending on how bad the sound is it is pretty normal to have some rattling going on. The older boats used to use trans fluid in the transmission and this would allow for the rattle. They later changed from trans fluid to 15-40 (the same as the new recommended engine oil) which greatly reduced the noise. I've heard of people switching over but I'm not sure how you would go about this. It would most likely require draining then running then draining the fluid several times to eliminate the trans fluid from the system.

The steering is most likely the cable and as stated above it's pretty straight forward and based on your stated skill level is within your reach. Same with the impeller which I would put as number one on the list of things to change now. The fuel gauge is in the same category as the cable. Do it yourself and save some money.

Most everything you have to do can be found by searching this site. Google will also pick up most of these items straight from your home page. Discount Inboard Marine (skidim.com) is a great place to get advise and parts for many of the items you'll be looking to correct.

I look forward to seeing posts on your repairs. Welcome to the club!

Jeff d
04-24-2012, 03:47 PM
I would grease that cable first. You should have 3 zirk fittings at the rear. One on the rudder, one on the end of the tube, and one where it attaches to the bracket. Pump some grease in each one then go move the wheel back and forth. Once is probably sufficient for the rudder but I'd repeat that process 3 or so times for the other two fittings.

Then get some aerosol lithium grease and spray it into the small gap between the pinion and rack under the dash. Move it back and forth and repeat 3-4 times there too.

If it's still tight you likely need a new cable.

04-24-2012, 03:49 PM
I found another post saying the steering is just tight after the winter. So I think I will greese it up and check rudder for play/tightness and see if it clears up after a few outings.

Gas tank is in the center. It has the pull out floor board over it, which I pulled out and did not see a sender on top. I could see something in the tank located very inconveniently under the rear seat in front of the engine. Is that the sender??? Looks like a pain to pull out if it is.

Jeff d
04-24-2012, 04:13 PM
On my 230 the sender is right next to the fuel pump module. A little black puck bolted to the tank.

I'd get some DeOxIt connection cleaner/improver and clean the connections at the sender and the fuel gauge. You can get it at RadioShack or order it from Amazon:

I ordered from Amazon because I got a can of DeOxIt D5 that's about 4x larger for a few bucks less than those two tiny cans from RadioShack.

I did this to mine based on another forum member's recommendation but haven't really gotten a chance to see if the gauge works yet. It's definitely reading the level now to some extent though because it shows 3/4 tank which is close to correct. The other poster said this fixed his fuel gauge issues.

04-24-2012, 07:19 PM
1. Transmission Noise. Check this thread (http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=32910), and read the attachment that BigMac provides. Some transmissions rattle with the standard ATF, and switching to 15w-40 helps if the rattle bothers you. If that doesn't help, I'd ask a mechanic to check the flex plate.

2. Stiff steering generally means that you'll need a new steering cable. Try greasing the rudder; if that doesn't work you can either live with the stiff steering or do the cable. Greasing the cable itself probably won't help. Note that the cable isn't really designed to be lubricated. The zerk doesn't have a check ball in it, and most of the lube that you squirt in is going to get shot back out of the zerk when you turn the wheel. Be careful on your first trip out, because turning one direction is going to be hard if you overfilled the cable.

3. If your sender is like mine, there is a float inside the fuel sender that has a magnet glued into it. Generally, the magnet comes loose and the sender stops working. I was successful in taking it apart and regluing the magnet in place, but it's a fiddly operation. Buy a new sender.

4. The impeller is pretty easy (search here for instructions, or see the owner's manual). If you order one from SkiDim, order a couple of extra brass screws because the first time you change it out, you're going to break one of the screws when you overtighten it. Just a word to the wise from the school of hard knocks.

5. Check the engine/trans oil levels. Check the battery (don't wanna drive to the lake and find it won't turn over). Check that you have both plugs, and put them in now so you don't forget them on the first outing. Check that the bilge pump runs, and that the blower blows. Check that the steering wheel turns, and that rudder moves. Check that the trailer tires are in good shape, and correctly inflated (including the spare). Check that you have a float firmly attached to the boat keys. Check that you have a hide-a-key on the truck.

On your first outing, if you have a friend with a boat, have him float his boat also in case yours breaks down 5 miles from the ramp. Don't take a bunch of friends and family and skis and tubes and wakeboards, etc., to the lake on the first outing - plan it as a picnic lunch on the lake. There's going to be enough stress without extraneous stuff.

When you put the boat in the water, before you release the bow from the trailer open up and look in the bilge - is there water coming in? Check that the plugs and the stuffing box aren't leaking much (dripping from the stuffing box is OK, more than a drip every 5 seconds or so means you should eventually get around to adjusting it). Start the engine, and make sure the transmisssion goes into both forward and reverse. Release the bow, and back off the trailer. Note that your boat cannot be turned to the left when backing - you WILL be backing up to the right. Plan your clearances appropriately.

At least, that's my opinion.


04-25-2012, 01:23 AM
So we took it out tonight for the first time and here are my updates.

1. Rattle - It is definately coming from the Transmission, right in front of the engine. It is definatly noticeable (my sister was with and even asked what it was). It only rattles when in gear and going at No Wake speeds. So it is annoying because we go to a lot of chains of lakes where you are going through channels a lot. It goes away when you increase speed just a little past no wake. Glad to hear it is normal and not a concern. I was a little worried on the water! I think I am going to have the dealer look at it out of the water and adjust flex plate and change to 15w - 40.

2. Steering - I greased the crap out of the shaft. It just kept taking it, so I stopped not knowing where it might be oozing out. The rudder (vertical shaft, with horizontal zerk above rudder) zerk I was unable to add to. The grease gun just wouldn't compress. I'm not sure if it was full or just dried up and clogged. I might try again. Anyway, the steering seemed a little better. It is harder to turn left and easier all together when going faster. I might check into more details on how to do a cable since I plan on keeping a while.

3. rear Nav light did not work. I brought a tester and the terminals had juice. So I sprayed some WD40 in the terminals on the light pole and tried. She lit right up! Glad to have one easy fix!

4. I have an aftermarket ballast set up. The pump didn't turn on but the fuse was blown. I swapped out fuse and it still didn't work and didn't blow the fuse...... So I will have to dig into that one a little farther.

Everything else worked good - bilge, blower, perfect pass, speedo, depth finder, etc.

I'm still wondering if someone can tell me where the fuel sender is on the tank. I would like to take it out and clean terminals like Jeff recommended. Then check the magnets....I'm a JB Weld master, lol! That stuff is amazing!

Thanks for all the great advice. Keep it up!

04-25-2012, 02:10 AM
Rattle - there's no adjustment for the flex plate - it's either good, or you need to pull the engine/trans and replace it (it sits in the bell housing between the engine and trans). Threads here (http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=42372) and here (http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=31118). Search for "flex plate" and you'll find lots of information.

It's normal not to be able to lube the rudder port. There's only a tiny amount of space in there, and if it's filled with grease you're not going to get any more in. I'm not sure what "shaft" you said you were greasing - hopefully not up under the dash.

The fuel sender (at least on mine) is right on top of the gas tank, with (IIRC) one black and one pink wire going to it. Six or eight screws hold it in place. Here's a thread (http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=31039) on repairing it.


04-25-2012, 04:54 AM
Just my 2 cents, my 2000 rudder has a small hole on the underside that oozes grease so you can push a bit of fresh stuff in there and know when it has adequate. If that zerk (grease nipple in OZ) won't take any I would be inclined to pull your rudder clean everything up and refit. I found mine was just tight from old stale grease that had gone hard. Hope this isn't too hard with your V-drive.

04-25-2012, 03:57 PM
OK, I have read several threads on Fuel Sender repair and replacement. I still have not found where mine is located. I'm going to look again tonight. I lift up the fuel tank door in front of the rear seat and it is not under there. There appears to be something under the rear seat which is hard to get to since the transmission and engine are right behind it.

If anyone can point me to where it is on a 99 V-drive and how to get at it, I think I have enough info to tackle the rest.

04-25-2012, 04:20 PM
I have another question I thought of after the run last night. The Perfect Pass speedo was a lot faster than the standard MC one. They did not match up very well. Which one is more accurate (I'm guessing perfect pass). Is there a simple way to calibrate them? Is it normal to have them not match up?

04-25-2012, 04:58 PM
don't know which one to trust but you can calibrate with gps unit, I phone, etc

04-26-2012, 01:39 AM
In my boat, the fuel tank is forward of the transmission. Actually, in mine, removing the drain plug access cover in the middle of the boat shows the tank. The fuel sending unit is under the rear seat.

Once you find the tank (it's the big translucent white plastic tank that looks like it could hold 30 gallon or so of gas. You can't miss it), get in position to look across the top of the tank. Somewhere you'll see the sender, and it'll become more obvious how to access it.


04-26-2012, 12:52 PM
Frank, My tank is in same place as yours. I couldn't find the sender under the access door. I saw something under the seat but didn't know if that was it. So it must be just like yours and that must be it. How do I take it out then. Do I actually have to take the rear seat out or can I pull one of the walls next to the engine out and get in from the engine compartment? It doesn't look as easy as everyone explains. I'm going to pick a sender up tonight so I have one ready once it's out. If I don't need it, I will just return.

04-27-2012, 03:48 PM
Update - I pulled my sender last night. It is located under the rear seat. Not easy to get at. I was able to pull the screws with a stubby screwdriver. I had just enough room to reach in between the tank and the front kick pannel of the seat with the tank cover off.

The sender has no moving parts in it. I can't find a float anywhere. It has a part inside the tube that looks like it should be moving (white plastic star piece). Anyway, I am bringing it to the dealer tonight to get a new one and try that out.

I also have a ballast pump issue. Previous owner never used it. They didn't really surf and said wake was fine for boarding. I pulled the pump and it was waterlogged probably from freezing in the winter. I WD40ed the shaft and got it running both directions on a battery in garage.
Once reinstalled, it only goes the one direction. The other direction it locks up. Tested voltage at pump wires and it is good.......Do I need a new pump? Is this just cause it is dry? Can I take it apart and clean it.

Jeff d
04-27-2012, 04:52 PM
That's the more modern fuel sender. No moving parts. It's based on the electrical impedance of the fuel or something. You could probably test it with an ohm meter and try dipping it in at different levels into some gas. The resistance should go up and down but I don't know what they appropriate range is.

04-27-2012, 05:00 PM
That's the more modern fuel sender. No moving parts. It's based on the electrical impedance of the fuel or something. You could probably test it with an ohm meter and try dipping it in at different levels into some gas. The resistance should go up and down but I don't know what they appropriate range is.

So was this changed out at some point already? Is it maybe just not calibrated right?

Jeff d
04-27-2012, 05:14 PM
So was this changed out at some point already? Is it maybe just not calibrated right?

Not necessarily. My 2000 has the same sender and as far as I know it's original. When you go back to the mid 90s and before they have the float type.

04-28-2012, 01:16 AM
Check the final posts in this thread (http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=45380) for some info on testing your fuel sender...

04-28-2012, 09:27 AM
My old boat (02 X star) should be similar to yours. To comment on a couple of your questions:
Impellar removal - I used to spend a good 30+ minutes of cussing and scratching up my forearms with a pair of pliers trying to get it out. There are a couple of threads on TT somewhere that show making a homemade puller using a couple of paint can lid openers. I upgraded boats before I had to pull the impellar again, but the comments on the thread sounded like it greatly improved ease of removal.
Speedo calibration - my boat had a momentary swich on the dash for calibrating the speedo up and down.

04-30-2012, 03:18 PM
Update - I will keep posting my journey for others to learn and to keep the advice coming.

Impellar - The cover was easy to locate and remove. (Just behind the motor under the silencer) The impellar was not so easy to remove. I tried with a needle nose at a terrible angle for leverage untill I got pissed off. Then I got on Team Talk, read some other creative ideas and made up my own. So I took a small vice grip, locked it on from the shaft hole to the outside between two blades. Then took a screw driver and pried it between the jaws to get outward leverage. Then it came right out! Oh... and I sprayed some WD40 in there all over for lube.

Sender - got a new one and learned how to calibrate the old one with the screws. Calibration didn't change anything. So I installed the new one and that didn't work either!! Gauge still reads empty. So there goes $75 for nothing! Now I need to test the gauge to see if that is the cause or if it is wiring. I tried pluggint the sender into the voltage meter and it read 12v, but I don't think that is the same kind of gauge. So, I plan to just pick one up and try it out.

Does anyone know if I need to set the new sender somehow? It was a new OEM one that was cut right and is auto calibrating. Or can I test the gauge somehow? It is a 3 wire.

05-01-2012, 10:31 PM
Fuel Gauge update - I tested the power to the sender and the gauge with a voltmeter and it was good. So I talked to my dealer and he said he could test the gauge on his bench tester. Tested today and it is junk! So he told me that they don't make those gauges anymore. He could order a white one for $75. So I am going to try to find a matching carbon fiber used one online first. I will settle for a black one too. White will just totally stand out on the dash, but better than a broken one.

Let me know if you know where I can find a replacement.