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Old 07-11-2013, 09:43 AM
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Help with diagnosis?

I'm having a weird problem that seems to occur only when we surf but will continue on for a while even after the ballast has been emptied.

I have an 02 X30 (1st gen 230 hull) with 1100# sacs in each rear locker and the stock KGB in the ski locker. Two of the things I did as off season maintenance were to add a Fresh Air Exhaust and to replace the fuel pump with an Airtex (OEM pump was running fine). We often surf goofy with the KGB and starboard locker full. The fuel fill is on the starboard side. When surfing, the fuel fuel is not submerged but there does seem to be times when it is hit by a steady stream of spray.

After surfing for a little while, the motor will act like it is running out of gas. It will hesitate (sometimes violently) and occasionally sputter and die. It has always restarted but usually continues to hesitate for another 5 to 10 minutes even after emptying out the ballast. Surfing is usually the last thing we do, so prior to this we will have ski'd and boarded with no issues. we don't run full ballast boarding as we are usually switching between boarders and skiers. this seems to be getting progressively worse and only started during the week were at the lake over the 4th of july.

To add to this, I will fill the tank with a combination of gas from our local marina and from 5 gallon cans I haul from home. The cans ride in a bumper mounted carrier and sit under a porch. As you all know it rained a ton during that week and it's possible some water may have gotten into the cans during transport or just sitting outside. The boat also sits in the water with only the snap on covers that only protect the main cabin and bow area so it got pounded with rain as well.

To give a few examples, on the next to last day we ran the boat during our vacation last week, the water was trashed by weather and the holiday weekend so we pulled 2 tubes for about 30 minutes without issue, docked the boat, about 1-2 hours later went out to surf and after about 15 minutes of surfing started to have the hesitation. I didn't stray far from home as I know we were having problems. After a 10 minute ride to the dock with some hesitation, it idled fine and let me run it at higher RPMs with the transmission disengaged. The next morning, I took my youngest daughter out for one last run as she had just learned to ski on a single ski and wanted to try behind the boat. No problems there or with the run back to the marina for storage.

My thoughts are that I'm getting water into the tank. I don't think its the fuel pump as we can do activities without ballast and not have any issues. I always add Sta-Bil blue to my 5 gal cans and the marina gas is ethanol free so I don't think its bad gas. Given the design of the gas tank and the location of the fuel pickup, I'm wondering if the attitude of the boat during surfing is letting the water in the tank collect in the rear of the tank where the fuel pump canister sits and when the ballast is empty, the water layers out more and doesn't get pulled into the fuel filter.

Finally my questions: Do you agree with my diagnosis of water in the tank? If so, do you think the water could be coming in the fuel fill from the spray or rain? If my assumptions are correct, how do I fix this?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:51 AM
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I would get a code reader and see if there are any trouble codes. Is your fuel vent getting water splashed up into it?
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:55 AM
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The fuel vent is built into the gas cap so I'm not really sure how it works. How do I get a code reader? thanks.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:02 AM
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:30 AM
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Rossterman Rossterman is offline
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Could it be that gas is filling vent tube and creating suction inside the tank because it is blocking airflow? You may want to try surfing it on the other side and see if it does the same thing.

Last edited by Rossterman; 07-11-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:45 PM
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jafo9 jafo9 is offline
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hey mike, which one?

http://www.michiganmotorz.com/advanc..._description=1
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:03 PM
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update:

so i poured 2 cans of sea foam in the tank and left it for a week to go back to work. came back a few days ago and the boat seemed to run fine. i pulled the fuel pump assembly and inspected the tank. i really didn't find anything to be causing the problems. the boat ran fine for 3 days and then today we boarded and skied and then went to the local marina to fill up. took about 30 gallons to top off my 60 gallon tank. we pulled my youngest on the slalom ski for maybe 10 minutes and then the boat started to sputter again at low speeds. my wife was driving and we were heading to another marina to look at some t-shirts for an upcoming poker run. she was able to run the boat about 3500 rpm with no problems. when she came off plane to let me dock the boat it died. i basically had to idle to the marina as any throttle would stall the motor. the marina guys were very nice and tried to help. good fuel pressure. the pulled half a peanut butter jar of gas off the fuel gauge attached to the schrader valve and didn't feel there was water in the gas. they hooked their laptop up the the motor and no codes were thrown. the mechanic there thought it was a crank position sensor but really didn't have any evidence to back it up. the boat will start most of the time and sometimes you can get to the higher rpm's but often it just dies after around 2000 rpm. i was able to make it home running around 4000 rpm but as soon as i came of plane at my slough it died. to get it to start i had to put it in neutral and put the throttle down about 1/3.

so now i'm totally lost. no water in gas and no codes. any suggestions? thanks.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jafo9 View Post
Call them and tell them which motor you have - they will tell you which one to buy.
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