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Old 08-17-2004, 01:45 PM
RC65951
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Problems with 92 Maristar

I have a 92 Maristar 210 with 350 and velvet drive (1.5:1) transmission. Last Sunday my wife was pulling me on the wakeboard when the boat completely lost power. It felt like we had dropped the prop. The engine was still running fine (I think) so had my wife try to put it back in forward but still no power to the drive train. I had her shut the engine off and swam back to the boat. When I tried to start it, the engine would not turn over. When we got it back on the trailer, I inspected the prop and shaft but saw no evidence that we had hit anything. I manually turned the engine a bit and then tried to crank it over. It turned about one or two revolutions then seemed to lock up. It sure seems like something let loose in the drive train and is now preventing the starter from cranking the engine. Does this sound possible? Any ideas? I checked the transmission fluid and it does not appear to be burned but was a bit foamy. I had not detected any noise from the transmission other than the “chatter” at low RPM that most people attribute to the damper plate. I just bought the boat earlier this summer on consignment. The marina owner claims that he rebuilt the transmission late last year and that it had less than 20 hours of use since the rebuild. I was going to try to troubleshoot this myself but have decided to take it back to the marina that did the transmission due to lack of time. Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:54 PM
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lakes Rick lakes Rick is offline
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Boat: MC Maristar 225 VRS 1994 350TBI
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Almost sounds like hydraulic lockup..

I would take out the spark plugs and try to crank it over to eliminate that first..
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:25 PM
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Put the transmission in neutral and try to turn the prop. If it doesn't want to turn, the trans is the problem. You may need to remove the shift cable and do it manually, but theoretically, if the neutral safety switch is good, it shouldn't even turn over in gear. If it works manually, you might just need to adjust the cable and/or the safety switch.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:52 PM
RC65951
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What is hydraulic lock-up? I have not heard of that before.

The prop shaft turns fine in neutral. I think that the neutral safety switch is working because if I put the transmission in forward or reverse and try to crank nothing happens. If I then return to neutral and try to crank the engine, I can hear the starter kick in.

If I put the transmission in forward should I be able to easily turn the prop? When I do this and manually turn the prop it gives no more resistance than when it is in neutral.

Last edited by RC65951; 08-17-2004 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:43 PM
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JimN JimN is offline
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I mentioned putting it in gear because of the possibility of the transmission locking up. It sounds like this isn't the case.

My hunch, knowing the shaft turns in or out of gear, is that it's a voltage/current issue. If the battery can't put out the needed current, it's from:
being old and needing replacement anyway,

it has been discharged too many times and the cells are sulphated,

the alternator is failing,

the starter is drawing too much current, possibly from the battery being weak. Weak batteries and the low voltage they supply is the #1 killer of starters.

Hydraulic lock is caused by liquid being in the cylinder(s) and when the piston moves up during the compression cycle, the valve hasn't opened and since liquids can't be compressed, the piston can't move. The only way to get it to move is by relieving the pressure, either by removing the spark plug or by something failing, like a gasket. If a head gasket or the exhaust manifold riser gasket is leaking, you can get water into the cylinders.
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:36 AM
RC65951
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Thanks for the ideas. I hope to get some time tonight to pull the plugs.
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Old 08-27-2004, 02:49 PM
RC65951
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I did not have time to work on this myself so took it to a marina. The damper plate was the problem. It had separated and part of it was lodged such that the engine could not be cranked with the starter. Looks like the total repair bill will be about $600. I guess that it could have been a lot worse.
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