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Old     (kent_fowlie)      Join Date: Mar 2003       06-24-2006, 4:37 AM Reply   
I was out last night with the boat when out of nowhere the engine started sputtering, so I shut it down. It was as if it ran out of gas (but no it didn't). We tried starting it after but there was no ignition, it would turn over but no spark.

2003 X-Star (MCX engine)
320 hours (20 of them this year)
Always doing the 50 hour check

Does anyone have any suggestions? This just REALLY sucks considering the long weekend is in a week and I NEED a boat.
Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       06-24-2006, 4:48 AM Reply   
maybe fuel pump? Does it idle ok and just die when underway or does it sputter at idle to?

If it sputters all the time, could be fuel injector broken/clogged or timing may be off.
Old     (nbeihl)      Join Date: Mar 2004       06-24-2006, 6:00 PM Reply   
I know you said that there is no spark, but I would just make sure that there is no spark by taking off one of the spark plug wires and sticking a screw driver in the end of the plug. Hold the metal part of the screw driver next to something metal (ground) while it is in the plug wire and turn the engine over. You should hold it about 0.5 in away. You should see spark. If not, you definitely have a spark problem. You can trace back from there to find out where the problem is. If you get spark, you know it is a fuel type problem like mentioned before. If you do not get a spark, you know that it is an ignition problem. Let us know if you are absolutely positive there is no spark. If there is no spark, you should be able to pull one of the spark plugs and see if there is a bunch of gas on it. If there is, you know that you are getting plenty of gas.
Old     (lakeguy77)      Join Date: May 2002       06-24-2006, 6:23 PM Reply   
I'm assuming the engine is entirely computer controlled? Like nbeihl said, check for spark. If there's no spark, it could be an issue with the crank position sensor. I'd doubt it would be anything else, like ignition coils and such. If there's spark, you may have a pooched fuel pump or clogged fuel filter.
Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-24-2006, 7:29 PM Reply   
I've had similar trouble before. I made sure all the checked wiring connectors on the engine were tight, and it fired right up.
Old     (rmbrinner)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-25-2006, 8:12 PM Reply   
Sounds like this is definitely the result of a bad ignition module. I have an 02 X-Star and had the same problem last summer when I had 335 hours on it. I do have the 310 Indmar Engine, but it sounds exactly like what happened to mine. I was cruising down the lake at around 25 mph and suddenly it just started sputtering, so I pulled off on the throttle, and at that point it either died or I shut it off - don't really remember which. When I went to start it back up, it would turn over fine, but like you said, there was no spark. Everyone thought it was a problem with the fuel pump, but no.

I think I paid a little over $100 for a new GM ignition module from I would also suggest checking your cap and rotor while you are at it. I went ahead and replaced these as well at the same time because they were pretty corroded at the time. Plugged in the new module, and it fired right up.

Good luck! I am not a mechanic, but I almost 100% sure that this is the problem.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-26-2006, 7:31 AM Reply   
Before you go replacing anything, check your fuel filter. Water can build up in it and when you are underway it can get bumped out and sent through the engine, thus making it sputter and die. It will also make it just crank over and not start because you are not getting any spark. The same thing happened to my boat a few years ago.
Old     (will5150)      Join Date: Oct 2002       06-26-2006, 11:12 AM Reply   
Matt's right on- Ignition mod, cap and rotor too. also see if there's any loos wires on the alternator. I had the same problem last year.


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