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View Full Version : Sporatic no start when warm - 330HP Scorpion


Ski-me
07-22-2013, 01:13 PM
Yes, I know, different boat but I feel slightly responsible. :(

Sister-in-Law's 1999 Cobalt 202cs that we bought over in Seattle a few years ago. Had some help from a fellow TT'r checking it out and he said it was "OK" but not exceptional by any means. We went ahead and bought it though.

Now, 2 years later we still continue to have reliability issues with it (glad I brought my MC up to use in Idaho this summer :cool: ).

She told me last summer they had issues with it not starting last year and the repair guy this spring, put in a new alternator. I did not get the real reason it did not start...just that "it did not start" on several occations.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try it out and after driving around for quite a bit, I parked it to change the tranny fluid. So maybe an hour rest. I went to start it again and the engine just cranked, fired up but then sputtered and bogged down and eventually quit. I tried various techniques of feather the throttle, giving it more, giving it none......it still had difficulties firing up. I even heard a little bit of stumble/backfire type sound. It would run terribly for a few seconds to 10 seconds and then stall.

Rest it a few more minutes and then try again, starts right up.....idles up on it's own to about 1700 rpms and then tapers back down to normal throttle rpms. Drive the boat away and no issues.

Obviously, very frustrating for her (widowed) with 4 kids. She is very understanding and logical but I still feel bad.

My 94' was the " o'l reliable" and was used most of the 3 weeks we were there.

I'm now back in Colorado so I can't do much but I just don't know what to tell her. I've suggested taking it "back in" and have any codes read but I also did not notice any check engine light. So would any codes even be stored if no light?

I think she is starting to consider selling it. :(

Ski-me
07-22-2013, 01:18 PM
I did install new plugs, cap, rotor, fuel filter, fuel water separator, last year.....

Redstorm
07-22-2013, 01:43 PM
Cobalt is known to be an upper-end rec and performance boat co.. They pay attention to detail, quality and looks. Nice lookin boat! Sounds to me it might be a computer issue. Contact a Cobalt dealer. Goodluck!

rgardjr1
07-22-2013, 02:14 PM
Sorry to hear your still fighting this. It is a good looking boat.

mikeg205
07-22-2013, 02:16 PM
I bet it's ECT sensor... when was the last time that was checked - engine running temp okay - or running a little high? when was thermostat changes last. Weird thou after an hour still starts hard. Any codes saved in ECU? I bet this is the issue.

ignition control module.

http://www.jegs.com/i/Delphi/117/DS1004/10002/-1?CAWELAID=1710518859&catargetid=1784159215&cadevice=c&&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CNmjr73bw7gCFctcMgodDXQAXg

Ski-me
07-22-2013, 02:28 PM
Rick, yea....definitely frustrating. I was going to pull my boat back last weekend but left it there just because they were still having problems with her boat. And secretly, our ski wake is still a lot better than hers so my girls are becoming more and more ski snobs and wanted to keep it longer. :)

Mike, any reason a code might be stored? I don't recall the temp reading but it didn't catch my eye as being unusual.

This is also, on top of the tranny kicking out of gear and then re-connecting "issue". :mad: I changed the fluid so hopefully that got fixed. :confused: Oh, and the gearshift coming loose again not allowing the boat to go back into neutral to start. Just an allen wrench tightening but still irritating. These are the major 3 issues.

Ski-me
07-22-2013, 02:30 PM
Cobalt is known to be an upper-end rec and performance boat co.. They pay attention to detail, quality and looks. Nice lookin boat! Sounds to me it might be a computer issue. Contact a Cobalt dealer. Goodluck!

That's why we bought it. When I was younger we had a 79' Cobalt and it was a tank! Solid!

But I do recall my dad spending a ton of money on that lower unit! OMC unit if I recall correctly.

mikeg205
07-22-2013, 02:34 PM
Mike, any reason a code might be stored? I don't recall the temp reading but it didn't catch my eye as being unusual.

.

Yes - for example on the LT-1 engines a 42 code indicates a ignition module fault or connection to module fault. Rockman here just had that issue - wound up being a busted connector on ignition module - so I am just guessing you have a similar problem.

After an hour engine still warm - maybe Ignition module just needs to be replaces or there's corrosion there... on connectors.. or something not connecting.

mikeg205
07-22-2013, 02:36 PM
ny
This is also, on top of the tranny kicking out of gear and then re-connecting "issue". :mad: I changed the fluid so hopefully that got fixed. :confused: Oh, and the gearshift coming loose again not allowing the boat to go back into neutral to start. Just an allen wrench tightening but still irritating. These are the major 3 issues.

when is it kicking out of gear - near neutral. Does the Cobalt have the same throttle control as MC?

Ski-me
07-22-2013, 02:55 PM
when is it kicking out of gear - near neutral. Does the Cobalt have the same throttle control as MC?

No, on acceleration! I'd idle out with a skier and then floor it when ready. Boat would take off and then slip out of gear (with engine reving up) and then clunk, into gear again and take off as normal. The level was at half way on dipstick. I topped off and help but then occured again. Looked in records and could not see any tranny change in the 150 hours so I did a change with Mobil 1 Synthetic. I have not noticed any other issues since (fingers crossed).

Yes, same as MC. Velvet Drive and the gear shift is similar to my 205 but the neutral button is on the lever instead of a separate one.

I lost track of Rockman's final solution.....glad to hear. He was starting to get really frustrated!

Ski-me
07-24-2013, 11:30 AM
I bet it's ECT sensor... when was the last time that was checked - engine running temp okay - or running a little high? when was thermostat changes last. Weird thou after an hour still starts hard. Any codes saved in ECU? I bet this is the issue.

ignition control module.

http://www.jegs.com/i/Delphi/117/DS1004/10002/-1?CAWELAID=1710518859&catargetid=1784159215&cadevice=c&&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CNmjr73bw7gCFctcMgodDXQAXg

Mike, does she have this module even if she has a separate Cap and rotor? I know our LT1's don't have a cap/rotor.

I just got an email from her saying she is still having problems and that she would like to take it into the Cobalt dealer.

I did run by the MC dealer while I was there and asked them about the tranny issue. They were familiar with it (because it being a velvet drive) so in my mind, they probably know this boat better than the Cobalt dealer.

On that same day, I also visited the Cobalt dealer and he said any tranny work for this boat would be taken out, and shipped to Seattle for repair. They just don't have the expertise for a DD tranny (he said).

So, comparing MC and Cobalt, I am more enclined to go to the MC service because they are more familiar with inboards, whereas the Cobalt service is more familiar with I/O ones.

Or, should we just stick with Cobalt because it's a Cobalt?!?

The Cobalt dealer also was curious on color because there just aren't a lot of these boat around. I told him purple but he didn't recall ours.

Redstorm
07-24-2013, 01:54 PM
That's why we bought it. When I was younger we had a 79' Cobalt and it was a tank! Solid!

But I do recall my dad spending a ton of money on that lower unit! OMC unit if I recall correctly.

Yeah...the OMC had its issues! The ball gears was a terrible design!

I hope u can fix the the problem! That is a sweet lookin boat.....clean lookin! I never seen a DD Colbalt.

mikeg205
07-24-2013, 02:05 PM
Mike, does she have this module even if she has a separate Cap and rotor? I know our LT1's don't have a cap/rotor.

I just got an email from her saying she is still having problems and that she would like to take it into the Cobalt dealer.

I did run by the MC dealer while I was there and asked them about the tranny issue. They were familiar with it (because it being a velvet drive) so in my mind, they probably know this boat better than the Cobalt dealer.

On that same day, I also visited the Cobalt dealer and he said any tranny work for this boat would be taken out, and shipped to Seattle for repair. They just don't have the expertise for a DD tranny (he said).

So, comparing MC and Cobalt, I am more enclined to go to the MC service because they are more familiar with inboards, whereas the Cobalt service is more familiar with I/O ones.

Or, should we just stick with Cobalt because it's a Cobalt?!?

The Cobalt dealer also was curious on color because there just aren't a lot of these boat around. I told him purple but he didn't recall ours.


If Cap and rotor than the ignition module will be much cheaper - a good thing...

mikeg205
07-24-2013, 02:06 PM
No, on acceleration! I'd idle out with a skier and then floor it when ready. Boat would take off and then slip out of gear (with engine reving up) and then clunk, into gear again and take off as normal. The level was at half way on dipstick. I topped off and help but then occured again. Looked in records and could not see any tranny change in the 150 hours so I did a change with Mobil 1 Synthetic. I have not noticed any other issues since (fingers crossed).

Yes, same as MC. Velvet Drive and the gear shift is similar to my 205 but the neutral button is on the lever instead of a separate one.

I lost track of Rockman's final solution.....glad to hear. He was starting to get really frustrated!

Yes that's a morse throttle control... which transmission is in the boat?

Ski-me
07-24-2013, 02:12 PM
Yes that's a morse throttle control... which transmission is in the boat?

All I know is Velvet Drive....don't recall any more specifics.

Ski-me
07-24-2013, 02:15 PM
Yeah...the OMC had its issues! The ball gears was a terrible design!

I hope u can fix the the problem! That is a sweet lookin boat.....clean lookin! I never seen a DD Colbalt.

Yep, that was it. If we had the unit even slightly up, it would eat those gears up. I do remember that we really could not use the unit in any way in the up or slightly up position.

But it sure looked pretty to me vs. the ugly, black mercury units (from a 12 year old's viewpoint :rolleyes: )

mikeg205
07-24-2013, 02:20 PM
All I know is Velvet Drive....don't recall any more specifics.

It should never slip out of gear when running... but would if fluid was low... loss of hydraulic pressure causes the transmissions to act crazy...

Velvet drive is a good transmission...

TeamAllen
07-25-2013, 11:29 AM
The fuel issue sounds like vapor lock? The way it has problems after a hot soak like that then restarts after cooling back down. Maybe I missed something and you already got that cured?

Ski-me
07-25-2013, 11:55 AM
The fuel issue sounds like vapor lock? The way it has problems after a hot soak like that then restarts after cooling back down. Maybe I missed something and you already got that cured?

No, not cured and this is the main issue right now. I was also something like a vapor lock. I told her to video it on her phone if it happens again so she can show the service guy exactly how it's behaving.

Since my tranny fluid change, it has not skipped in anyway yet. So, fingers crossed. I did also suggest while it's in to be sure the tranny cooler is OK and not leaking any moisture into the fluid.

We'll see. I haven't heard back from her from yesterday's conversations.

I hope she can get this fixed or she is starting to feel like selling the thing (which I don't blame her).

And for a 330HP boat, my LT1 is MUCH quicker out of the hole than hers. And at lower elevation, mine is a rocket! Love it! :cool:

TeamAllen
07-25-2013, 12:58 PM
The out of the hole feel might just be about proper propping vs HP?

The ethanol added to fuel these days really makes these older engines susceptible to vapor lock. There is a Merc. TSB that adds an additional fuel pump for a vapor lock condition. Some remedies she could try to minimize it, is to use Marine Sta-bil in the fuel. Run the blower constantly to reduce heat in the engine box and let the engine idle down a little (one minute), allowing it to run cool water through the engine before shutting of the engine.

pkreusch
04-23-2014, 11:05 PM
ski me;
This sounds very similar to my 330 HP scorpion issue. I found that the addition of a low pressure fuel pump sorted the problem out. Newer models added the pump prior to the water filter. Here is how I diagnosed it and the tools needed... Get yourself one of those metal schrader valve removal tools and a 2-3 ft piece of clear hose sized to fit onto the fuel rail test port at the top of the engine. When the suspected vapor lock occurs, open the brass cap and remove the schrader valve from the test port. Be careful as gas will be under pressure. Push the clear hose onto the valve port and put the other end into a suitable container. Turn the ignition key on and bump the starter to cycle the fuel pump. Bump the starter again when the pump stops. Continue in this fashion until the gas runs clear (no air bubbles). Re-install valve and brass cap. If engine starts then vapor lock is your issue and you need to install the recommended TSB additional fuel pump.
Good luck.

mzimme
04-23-2014, 11:08 PM
Didnt read every response here, but did you check the timing?