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Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-15-2013, 9:46 PM Reply   
Got my boat last year with 340 hrs. Its at 390 now. Its a 99 mastercraft 230vrs with indmar ltr engine. (gm 5.7 liter same as malibu's monsoon 340) On the first start up when its cold it will start then die. Then i re-start it and it runs but idles rough and will die when put into gear(usually backing off trailer). If I start it and let it run for a couple min then put in gear it will stay running but will act like its going to die. After its warm putting the boat in gear has no effect on anything but does sometimes have a slight hesitation when applying throttle to take off. Last year had it checked at the local malibu dealer and they weren't able to find anything wrong. The compression is at factory specs for brand new engine, the plugs were changed, fuel pressure was checked and also is to spec, I changed the IAC valve as part of the elimination process, ran fuel system treatment through it as well. I'm not much of an engine guy but i'm capable of changing things if you guys have any suggestions. I don't know if i just have a cold blooded engine (is that even possible these days?) or an underlying problem but any input would be appreciated..
Old    9Drozd            04-15-2013, 10:48 PM Reply   
When just idling, listening to the motor, is it knocking pretty bad or running normally? If it is, check to make sure whoever winterized/dewinterized your boat, didn't disconnect the knock sensor wire.

Last edited by 9Drozd; 04-15-2013 at 10:53 PM.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-17-2013, 6:36 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by 9Drozd View Post
When just idling, listening to the motor, is it knocking pretty bad or running normally? If it is, check to make sure whoever winterized/dewinterized your boat, didn't disconnect the knock sensor wire.
I would be amazed if you could get an engine to knock at idle with no load. I don't think you understand what a knock sensor is.
Old    9Drozd            04-17-2013, 7:26 PM Reply   
I would be amazed if you could get an engine to knock at idle with no load. I don't think you understand what a knock sensor is.
With good fuel, no. Having been sitting over the winter months with a little bit of water mixed in, yes if its un plugged. Please enlighten me then, because as far as my understanding and experience goes with knock sensors, it's there to to detect detonation and adjust the timing due to an improper fuel to air mixture. Being that its located on the side of the block in a drainage port, chances are it may have gotten touched during the winterization/dewinterization process. And yes they do go bad as well, hence the lean code and hesitation. Which is why I threw that suggestion out there. It's real easy to check and mark off the list of possible problems. Being that its an older boat with pretty basic efi, they do tend to knock here and there when idling if you really listen for it.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-16-2013, 6:52 AM Reply   
Doesn't seem to be knocking at all..
Old     (Elliottsx80)      Join Date: Feb 2012       04-16-2013, 6:56 AM Reply   
check for a vacuum leak. will be one of the rubber lines coming off the intake somewhere. i see that more than anything on boats. vacuum hoses get dry rotted and brittle and leak
Old     (tinytdubb)      Join Date: Jul 2007       04-16-2013, 12:39 PM Reply   
Have you changed your fuel filter water/separator? Simple fix and a dirty one usually gives those exact symptoms.
Old     (madcityskier)      Join Date: Jun 2012       04-16-2013, 5:51 PM Reply   
X2 on the fuel filter. At that age injectors may also be an issue. Filter is most likely IMHO.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-16-2013, 8:56 PM Reply   
I'm not sure where the fuel water separator would be located on the ltr? I've been told the fuel filter is actually located inside the fuel tank with the actual fuel pump... But if it was the filter wouldn't the fuel pressure be low?
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-16-2013, 9:12 PM Reply   
I also remember that the engine had a lean code when the mechanic had it on the scan tool but he didn't recognize what would cause that... I forget what the exact code is now its been a long year...
Old     (Dmac420sj)      Join Date: Mar 2012       04-17-2013, 7:30 PM Reply   
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-18-2013, 7:29 AM Reply   
You could lock out your timing at 32* in these low compression marine engines and they wouldn't knock or ping at idle with no load. Flat out not gonna happen. Not even with 6 month old gas. Water in the fuel would not result in knock/ping/predetonation. It would result in poor running or stalling but will not cause detonation. If you're concerned with timing issues, check the initial timing and ensure it is advancing properly to where it should be.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-18-2013, 8:52 AM Reply   
thanks for all the help guys. don't get to into it with each other, this isn't an mb vs tige thread hahaha ... would a bad map sensor or tps sensor cause any of these symptoms too? i haven't had a chance to get the boat from storage a do much else to it except check some of the hoses as mentioned and noticed the map sensor was pretty lose so i tightened it down. My hope would be that it was causing a vacuum leak but since its my boat and not somebody else with better luck i'm sure it probably wont be that simple
Old     (WheelerWake)      Join Date: Mar 2013       04-18-2013, 5:15 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by bass10after View Post
would a bad map sensor or tps sensor cause any of these symptoms too?
Yes to both of those...
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-19-2013, 10:51 AM Reply   
Locked out timing at 32* mean 32* initial, and 32* at any RPM. Even like that this low compression marine engine will not detonate at idle with no load. If your numbers are correct and the ECM will try to get 36* timing at idle, it still would not detonate. There's no load and we're talking about a relatively low compression marine engine. Simply not gonna detonate at idle with no load.

Beyond that I highly doubt Indmar set up the timing table to shoot for 36* of timing at 700 RPM. This can be seen by letting the engine idle normally and putting a timing light on it. I'd bet dollars to donuts you're not gonna see more than 14*, and I doubt even that much. On most fuel injection systems ignition timing is set by RPM and manifold vacuum. i.e. As RPM increases the timing will be advanced. It will be advanced more if engine load is light (high vacuum) and less if engine load is high (low vacuum), or less in either case if detonation is detected.

Personally I won't own anything fuel injected. I need my stuff to be reliable, just plain work. It's probably some sensor, electronic component, or wiring. I don't know though, but I do know your engine will not detonate at idle with no load even with the ECM trying to advance the timing to whatever its limit is, regardless of if the gas is 6 months old.

Bottom line is that the OP's problem is not detonation related.
Old     (EngineNut)      Join Date: Nov 2010       04-21-2013, 6:58 AM Reply   
The LTR has a distributorless ignition ... the timing is not adjustable. That engine has two temp senders, one for the gauge on the dash and one for the ECM. It is possible that you could get the correct reading at the dashboard and the signal going to the ECM could be wrong. The one going to the ECM is used to adjust the fuel when the engine is cold. I would get the engine hooked up to a scan tool and see what temp the ECM thinks the engine is at.
Old    9Drozd            04-18-2013, 12:05 PM Reply   
You're right, if you put 32 degrees of total timing in it, it should not ping or detonate assuming you have a mechanical distributor advancing the timing as the RPMs increase with absolutely no computer interference. With the efi systems on the gm marine engines, the distributor is set at 6-10 degrees of initial timing and that's all the timing that the distributor will ever have. The ECM advances the other 22-26 degrees for the total timing. The knock sensor tells the ECM to retard or advance timing all across the RPM range based on it sensing pinging or knocking regardless if its audible to the human ear or not. So yes, at idle you may occasionally hear slight engine knock due to the ECM advancing the initial timing. This can also happen with 6 month old gas that has lost some of its octane and or with a bit of water mixed in. Regardless if the knock sensor is the underlying cause of the OP's issue, when called out, i'm going to justify myself.
Old     (HighVoltage)      Join Date: Aug 2010       04-18-2013, 1:32 PM Reply   
You can try running a higher octane fuel in there too.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-02-2014, 9:18 PM Reply   
Ok so i have finally have solved the problem and wanted to report back in case some poor sap like me ever comes across this and can be helped. Turns out there was 2 ecm updates for the 99 ltr and mine hadn't had either. I had changed plugs, wires, every sensor possible one at a time and when that didn't work would re install the factory one back, went to an indmar dealership and they were at a loss ($600 later). Came across one article from 2004 and a guy had a similar problem and said there was an update and it fixed his problems, so i drove out to mastercraft in pleasanton a 1.5hr trek each way and had them check the ecm. The tech said it was "within spec" but when i found out it wasn't the most current insisted we update it. Def worth the drive and the boat performance is night and day. Zero stalling, zero hesitation. Its like theres a new engine installed in my boat now.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       06-03-2014, 7:12 AM Reply   
Interesting. I have a 2000 230VRS w/ LTR. Do you have a link to the article? Mine always is super smooth but sometimes at WOT cruising it will kinda "pause" for a fraction of a second and then restart for lack of a better description. I've been through all of the normal stuff over the last couple of seasons (Plugs, wires, fuel delivery, ignition) and everything checks out but since I never cruise at WOT other than for the purposes of testing and blowing the cobwebs out at the beginning of the season I had given up on fixing it.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       06-03-2014, 7:18 AM Reply   
Also, I'm wondering if I could just send my computer off to Indmar in the off season. I really don't want to have to bring my boat to MC. I know I've heard of people sending them in when they've swapped in a 350 block in place of their 305s for reprogramming.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-03-2014, 3:51 PM Reply   
Jeff in my case my hesitation was when the boat was cold and the initial throttle up to speed. Once underway I don't recall any hesitation up to wide open, but after all the trouble I've been through I'd recommend doing an update if there was one for your year too. The chart they had listed software updates for years, motors, ignition and type of injection system and 99 was different than 00 even for the ltr. Its worth looking into if you feel like you're chasing your tail though.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       06-03-2014, 4:11 PM Reply   
Mine was built in '99 for whatever that is worth. It's likely the engine was marinized by indmar in early '99 or even late '98. I know the behavior is different but figured if there was updated software that would probably be the cleanest place to start.

I've replaced the ignition switch since it was problematic anyway (it would sometimes stick in the "crank" position). I've also replaced plugs, wires and cleaned/dilectric greased everything related to ignition. It runs flawlessly but occasionally cruising at WOT it will behave as if I've turned the key off for a fraction of a second.


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