View Full Version : 2002 X-30 sitting for 2 years, now need to start

10-17-2012, 03:49 PM
I just got my first MC a few weeks ago: a 2002 X-30 with 250 hours on it. The reason that the hours are so low is that the woman that owned it before me got the boat in the divorce and let it sit outside uncovered for two years before selling it (it literally has the bow tag from the last time it was in the lake two years ago). During that time it filled with water and caused all sorts of problems. She had $4000 of work done on it in August before selling it, where the shop got the engine running again but never did a water test. Then we bought the boat.

After buying it we charged the batteries and tried to start it: no go.
We siphoned out the old gas and put in some fresh gas: no go.

It will turn over really strong, so the battery and starter motor sound good, but then it doesn't make any attempt to get going. Doesn't sound like there's any kind of ignition. So is it air, fuel, or spark?

Fuel: We swapped out the gas already, siphoned out as much as we could and put in 5 gallons of fresh gas. The fuel pump is an integrated part of the fuel tank on this model, with high pressure lines (I'm assuming one going out and one return line?) going directly into the block. I don't know how to test the fuel pressure on this system. The fuel injection is electronic, so there's no carburetor to clean.

Air: The intake is coming from the center of the boat, I don't know what issues it could be having getting air in.

Spark: Electronic spark distribution, so no distributor to check. How can I check the spark? Just pull the plugs and ground them to the block and turn the engine over? Or is there a better way? How do I ground the plug cases to the block?

My last boat was an old analog 1997 Malibu Tantrum entry level boat. Direct drive, carburetor, distributor, fuel pump going back to the tank, lots of parts to troubleshoot! On this guy there isn't much to break, so not much to troubleshoot it seems. Any advice would be much obliged. Also anything else that I need to look out for while I'm bringing the boat back up to speed.

Here are some pictures I took during the pre-buy investigation if anyone is interested.

10-17-2012, 04:23 PM
Looks like it a nice boat!

To check for spark I would disconet one wire from the spark plug, put a long screwdriver (good plastic handle) in the spark plug boot and touch the screwdriver to ground (the engine).

First thing, Id make sure the key fob is connected.


10-17-2012, 04:29 PM
As in connect the ground from the wire to the block? Where would I see the spark at, between the screwdriver and the block? Sounds like fun!

Thanks for the help.


10-17-2012, 06:13 PM
I would first check the safety lanyard, if this is disconnected it would crank but not start. if still no start check for spark and the fuel pressure, or maybe take it back to the boat shop that got it running back in august it could be under some kind of warranty. You stated it had been running recently so I would assume its something simple.

10-17-2012, 08:15 PM
To check for spark, remove a spark plug, reattach the wire and hold (with leather gloves so you don't get the shock of your life) the bottom of the plug against the block and you should see the spark between the center pin and the bottom.
When the ignition is first turned on (not cranking, just ignition postion) you should hear the fuel pump come on for a second or two to prime the lines. You may have to have someone else with their ear at the back to hear it. That will at least tell you if the fuel pump is operating.

10-17-2012, 08:19 PM
Thanks for the advice. We can hear the fuel pump doing something when we turn the key, and then it stops, so I'm assuming that it is pumping up to pressure and then shutting off, satisfied with a hard day of work.
We checked the continuity of the safety key, and made sure that it was plugged in.
The spark test is what we'll try next, when I can get my spark plug wrench up to my buddies where we're keeping the boat.

10-17-2012, 09:20 PM
keep us informed. and get some more pics of that baby up here!

10-18-2012, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the advice. We can hear the fuel pump doing something when we turn the key, and then it stops, so I'm assuming that it is pumping up to pressure and then shutting off, satisfied with a hard day of work.
We checked the continuity of the safety key, and made sure that it was plugged in.
The spark test is what we'll try next, when I can get my spark plug wrench up to my buddies where we're keeping the boat.

Yes, the fuel pump should run for 2-3sec to pressurize the system then shut off until the engine fires, then the ECM commands it to start pumping again.
Easy way to check fuel pressure, there's a schrader valve (like a tire valve stem) on the injection rail. After the pump primes the system for the 2sec, pusht he valve in. If you get a strong squirt of fuel the pump is pumping.
Correct way is to hook a fuel pressure guage to the valve and then run the fuel pump.
Exact pressures are listed on here somewhere, but you should see 40-50psi.
Check for spark like ricford said.

If you can't isolate th problem toa bad fuel pump, not enough or no pressure, then I'd start cleaning any ground connections you see. Since the boat was left out AND filled with water, alot of corrosion could be hampering the electrical grounds and that would cause the ECM and other functions not to work well or at all.

10-29-2012, 12:46 PM
Yesterday I finally got a chance to check for a spark using the screwdriver method Matt originally suggested. Sure enough there was a nice blue spark jumping from the screwdriver to the block. I didn't pull the plugs because they're brand new.

So now I'm back to the fuel pump. I looked for the schrader valve on the fuel injection line, but I didn't see anything that looked right.
(Like this (http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=1280&bih=899&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsfd&tbnid=BZTDDBRT3PEPOM:&imgrefurl=http://www.installuniversity.com/install_university/installu_pages/freshman_year/fuel_filter_replacement_1.htm&docid=heDOVpeC8t4v6M&imgurl=http://www.installuniversity.com/install_university/installu_graphics/freshman_year/fuel_filter/schrader_valve_locator.jpg&w=576&h=432&ei=0rGOUIm1PKf1igLk4IHoBg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=586&vpy=254&dur=49&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=120&ty=106&sig=115867333976798271956&page=1&tbnh=135&tbnw=188&start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:84), right?)

Am I looking for this on the high pressure lines coming from the fuel tank to the engine? These are the only fuel lines I can see, but they seem to just disappear into the top of the engine and I don't see any other fuel distribution lines.

10-31-2012, 08:03 PM
So there's spark and the engine's turning, I'll test compression this weekend, it's looking like a fuel issue. I looked for the Schraeder valve on the fuel line that Thrall mentioned. Here are pictures of the fuel lines that I can see, with no valve on them. Do I need to take the LTR cover off to get to the relevant fuel injection rail?


10-31-2012, 09:55 PM
I'm just going to jump in to say congrats on the new boat. You're in the right place to get the help you need. I'm sure it'll be running soon and will bring you many years of enjoyment.

Nice looking rig!

11-03-2012, 10:08 PM
Okay, so we got some more time in on the boat today. First we did a compression test on all 8 cylinders, not because we thought it was bad compression but because we wanted to know. All 8 cylinders came back at 180 psi, which is awesome, no engine life/wear problems, as expected on a boat with 250 hours.

The gaps on the spark plugs were all set at around .030-.035", when the manual recommends .045". Does anyone know what the effect of having differently gapped spark plugs will be? I suspect the shop that installed them didn't gap them properly on installation.

Next we took off the air filter and sprayed some starter fluid in the intake. The engine would rev up when it hit the starter fluid and die right after, so we knew for sure it was a fuel problem.

Eventually we finally found the Schrader valve everyone has talked about. It's got a cap on it, on the back of the engine underneath the cover. It's easy to miss. Sure enough when pressed the valve would just release pressurized air. Basically we didn't know the difference in noise the fuel pump made between when it was pumping fuel and pumping air, so we guessed incorrectly that it was pressurizing the gas lines with gas. We didn't want to add more gas until today because we didn't have fuel stailizer. Sure enough, added another 7 gallons to bring it to 12 gallons in the 60 gallon tank, and she fired right up. Sounds beautiful now.

Below is a picture of the Schrader valve on the engine.

11-03-2012, 10:41 PM
awesome... now time to enjoy it

11-03-2012, 11:13 PM
Success!! Congrats on your acquisition!

11-04-2012, 12:13 AM
awesome. looks like you got an upgraded radio as well.