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Old 05-11-2009, 07:29 AM
jmmcalpin jmmcalpin is offline
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Boat: xstar, 2004, mcx,
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Engine won't start intermittently

I brought the boat out of storage , it started right up on the driveway, I drove it to the boat ramp and it would not start, starter turns but engine won't kick. After checking I had no fuel pressure and voltage was correct at the pump so I put in a new fuel pump. Everything checked out good so I took it back out on the lake and the first time I stopped it would not start, no fuel pressure, no voltage.. very intermittent. Eventually the mechanic found when he 'bumped' a black connector in the Fuel pump wiring about 6 inches away from the Fuel pump it would send voltage to the fuel pump and start.

The mechanic took out the black connector and but spliced the wires to the fuel pump. 2 questions , does anyone know if the black connector serves any purpose? There is a connector right at the fuel pump so it is not necessary to disconnect the fuel pump. And is it likely that was the problem, it has been so intermittent I am afraid next time I take it out I will get stuck again...

Thanks John
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:30 AM
jmmcalpin jmmcalpin is offline
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Boat: xstar, 2004, mcx,
Location: southeast
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Engine won't start

I forgot to mention the boat is an X star with the Indmar engine , I believe it is a 5.7L.
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2009, 08:14 AM
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JimN JimN is offline
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The connector makes it possible to remove the pump without having the harness get shorter every time. The terminals could have been spread from previous contact and bent back, instead of removing the whole connector. That's not the preferred repair.

If it runs every time now, the diagnosis was correct but I wouldn't recommend the method of repair.

What model year? If the harness goes from three wires to two, it would probably be a '99.
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:18 PM
jmmcalpin jmmcalpin is offline
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JimN, it is a 2004 Xstar. there is another connector right on top of the fuel pump, so we did remove the pump using this connector and also have checked the voltage there to see if it was getting voltage.. The connector we removed was a few inches down the wire (there are 3, I think green , grey and black) and is a black connector. So far the boat is working but I was wondering if the connector served any other purpose.. thanks
John
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2009, 10:26 AM
jmmcalpin jmmcalpin is offline
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Ok, it wasn't the connector.. I was out on the boat again yesterday and it rode fine all day until we were ready to go home... then it would start for a second and stop, sounding like it was out of gas...I got a tow in and while being towed I checked all the wiring and tapped what I think was the ECM and the boat started and ran fine all the way in (the boat never stalls, just won't start intermittently)..

HELP! what do I look at next, I have a new fuel pump and the wiring all checks out perfect, the fuses are good and I swapped the relays, can't find it...
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2009, 12:03 PM
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JimN JimN is offline
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Originally Posted by jmmcalpin View Post
Ok, it wasn't the connector.. I was out on the boat again yesterday and it rode fine all day until we were ready to go home... then it would start for a second and stop, sounding like it was out of gas...I got a tow in and while being towed I checked all the wiring and tapped what I think was the ECM and the boat started and ran fine all the way in (the boat never stalls, just won't start intermittently)..

HELP! what do I look at next, I have a new fuel pump and the wiring all checks out perfect, the fuses are good and I swapped the relays, can't find it...
Post a photo of what you think is the ECM. If it's black, has fins on the top, is located above the transmission and has two large connectors plugged into it, it sounds right.

Before you change anything else, go to the starter and look at all of the wires- are the nuts tight? The yellow/red one goes to the ignition switch and if this is loose, it'll do all kinds of weird things. Also, make sure the wires are tight on the ignition switch.

The first four things they told us to do in troubleshooting when I went to MC training were:

Verify the complaint (you have done this, with gravy)

Do a visual inspection. If anything looks like the cause, verify that (loose/corroded/damaged wires, broken parts, etc)

Wiggle the wires and connectors and collect any data possible. All over- make sure all connectors are snug, clean and all terminals are making good contact. (BTW- a terminal is what's on a wire, a connector is a one or more terminals that are in a retainer that allows connection of wires or harnesses). DO NOT DISCONNECT THE ECM WHEN THE BATTERY IS CONNECTED OR IF THE MOTOR IS RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Start by wiggling the connectors and if that does nothing, wiggle individual wires, but don't bend them sharply. Make sure you do this where the harnesses are grounded at the rear of the motor.

Make the repairs, based on the visual, wiggle test and data collection.

If you still can't find it and you have a MC dealer anywhere near you, you should take it to them so they can connect it to the diagnostic computer and run it. Then, while it's running, tap on the ECM and look for changes in the data. The should also be able to connect to it when it's not in the boat.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- the shotgun method of diagnostics is expensive, frustrating and inefficient. Diagnostics needs to be done methodically, completely objectively and any measurements/observations need to be documented before, during and after repairs are made.

For every sensor, power source or process, some kind of measurement can be made. This means that when you want to find out if you have good fuel pressure, you need to measure that. When you want to find out if a sensor is good, you can measure the voltage to it, the resistance through it and the voltage returning to the ECM (this only applies to the coolant temperature sensor as far as resistance, based on immersion temperature).

DO NOT PIERCE THE INSULATION ON ANY WIRES!!! This allows moisture to get in, corrode the wires and cause problems later. If you see any wires that have odd bulges at a place that looks like it may have been poked, use that as a starting point- tug on the wire and if it seems to stretch, you'll need to repair it by soldering it and using sealing shrink tube.

Last edited by JimN; 05-25-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2009, 01:53 PM
jmmcalpin jmmcalpin is offline
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Thanks Jim, That is the ECM that I was talking about, it is black with fins and has 2 connectors , one on each side... I did wiggle the connectors and tap lightly with my hand on it and tried the boat a little later and it started.. I will go to the starter motor and ignition switch and make sure they are both connected tightly.. interesting the first time i had this problem was after I did the oil change this year and I had to snake the oil hose behind the solenoid on the starter, that is where it was routed.. so that may have merit..

John
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2009, 09:53 PM
jmmcalpin jmmcalpin is offline
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Thanks Jim, I finally diagnosed it to the ECM , my boat dealer has ordered one up so I hope to be operational by next week.. (still going to miss one more weekend)

John
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:20 PM
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JimN JimN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmcalpin View Post
Thanks Jim, I finally diagnosed it to the ECM , my boat dealer has ordered one up so I hope to be operational by next week.. (still going to miss one more weekend)

John
Not that this is the time to mention it (because you already ordered a new one), but Indmar can check the ECM for problems.
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