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Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-21-2003, 4:20 PM Reply   
was out on the lake all afternoon. waited out a small rainshower on shore (20 min) when we came back couldn't get boat running. half an hour later it fired right up. GRRR

BTW 2002 Wakesetter LXi with 325 Monsoon.

Anybody know if Malibu has addressed this problem and offered a fix for it?

I would really like to be able to turn my boat off and know it will fire back up without waiting an hour.


Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       02-21-2003, 4:33 PM Reply   
Never seen a Monsoon 325 up close but...

If it's vapor lock, wrap some insulating tape around the fuel rails or vent the engine compartment more to prevent the heat build up that is evaporating the fuel in the rails.
Old     (john)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-21-2003, 5:27 PM Reply   
Tim, go to and do a search on the subject. ( or go the lazy route-my preferred path- and just post your question. )
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-21-2003, 6:49 PM Reply   
I have yet to see a fuel injected engine vapor lock. The fuel pumps recirculate the fuel at over 30 psi. Most inboard boats you can put your hand on top of the engine with out burning it. That is not enough heat to cause vapor lock in even a carbed setup. The problem is something else most likely and could be computer related. Is the fuel pump kicking on, sticking pump or bad relay? Is there spark, module? Is the motor flooding due to a bad temp sensor? Welcome to the modern world!
Old     (wkerat)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-21-2003, 7:16 PM Reply   
From what I know fuel injected boats can't vapor lock and i think there is even something in there (can't think of the name) to prevent it just in case...
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-21-2003, 7:41 PM Reply   
I believe Roy is talking about the check valve that holds residual pressure to help with quicker starts. If the check valve fails it will take a little bit of time to start the boat, but with enough cranking it should always start as soon as it builds pressure.

Is the software written for boat motors smart enough to use a clear flood mode at full throttle? Are they running software to prevent overheating like on a car were they pump just air into the cylinder on every other power stroke? I still wonder why they are not running MAF's or MASS's.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-21-2003, 7:50 PM Reply   
all i know is i after the initial start and die, I tried everything to get it started. it was a PITA. then after an hour it started up no problem.

this is quite unacceptable. and very embarrasing!

Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-21-2003, 8:16 PM Reply   
Check to see if the pump is running while cranking. It sounds to me like you have enough residual pressure to get the motor to run for a couple of seconds then it runs out of fuel. If it does it again you could tap on the pump assembly while cranking and see if it starts. This is it's warning to you. The problem will most likely only get worse, and leave you stranded. I recommend taking it to a dealer under warranty and make sure you get documentation on the problem. Of course hopefully they fix it.
Old     (sloboat)      Join Date: Feb 2003       02-22-2003, 6:48 AM Reply   
We always turn turn off the engine(Monsoon 320) when people are getting in and out of the water. It never fails that in a 2-3 hr session that one time it won't start right away and takes a little cranking to get it going. Is that the check valve you are talking about? My mechanic also said it was vapor lock. Is he just not up to date with EFI?
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-22-2003, 7:08 AM Reply   
Peter, my question for you is how is EFI not supposed to get vapor lock? If the fuel pump is at the engine, and the fuel in the line before the pump gets warm and vaporizes, the fuel pump can't handle this. I don't see how EFI ir carbed engines would make a difference if the fuel system up to the fuel pump is the same. Most pumps are designed to pump either gases or liquid, not both.

Comparing the system to a car is not apples to apples. Most cars now have the fuel pump in the tank.

The starting up for a few seconds then dying makes sense, as there is probably a little fuel between the pump and the engine. Once that runs out than Kaput.

engine temp is normal (160) and i usually run the blower the whole time.

Also, there is no way that I am venting the engine box or wrapping the fuel lines. I shouldn't have to modify a boat this expensive just to make it work properly.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-22-2003, 7:21 AM Reply   
Just talked to the local dealer (recently moved here to FL) and gonna have them take a look. Luckily they apparently have the "#1" rated service department amongst all the malibu dealers. Hopefully this problem will be resolved!!!
Old     (wkerat)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-22-2003, 8:16 AM Reply   
I never knew Malibu rated there service depaertments and I work for a dealer (lol)...Anyway you were right on with the check valve, I just could not think...I had an Lxi that did the same thing during a hot humid stretch. It was a mix of 2 things: 1) after hours of riding our gas would be low and we would park the boat for the night. At night the air woudl get colder and condensation woudl form which after a while put enough water in my tank to cause problems, and 2 the check valve failed as Peter said. Hopefully they can get you in and out in no time.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-22-2003, 8:34 AM Reply   
perhaps it has something to do with all those surveys malibu keeps sending us. hehe
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-22-2003, 9:01 AM Reply   
I have not had this problem yet on my '02 LXi with Monsoon. I turn it one and off multiple times when on the water and have 260 hours of usage on the engine.

I know my friend's '01 Mastercraft has a very difficult time restarting when hot.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-22-2003, 9:19 AM Reply   
Paul I am jealous!

(Message edited by timmy on February 22, 2003)
Old     (malibudude)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-22-2003, 1:31 PM Reply   
Tim sorry to hear about your troubles no problems on my monsoon of course it's hot and dry here. I agree w/ you no modifications should be needed. I'd just have the dealer check it out like you mentioned.

Good Luck
Old     (gator)      Join Date: Feb 2003       02-22-2003, 5:48 PM Reply   
I see in your profile that you ride on Lake Santa Fe. I too went to UF for grad school and left about 3 years ago. When I left there was a bad drought and Santa Fe was getting pretty low. How is the water level out there.
Old    calpolymustang            02-22-2003, 6:13 PM Reply   
Don't know if this helps, but I was reading the Indmar manual (I have an 02 wakesetter w/monsoon) and it tells you how to clear the motor when it becomes flooded. There are also a few other troubleshooting tips in the manual as well that might be worth trying. Hope this helps
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-22-2003, 6:23 PM Reply   
Curtis - Actually we have been riding at Lake Alto. it is 3 miles east of santa fe. small lake, 1.5 miles by .5 miles approx. it is at normal lake level. santa fe, while only 3 miles away is still down like 3-5 feet. odd.

Grant - I highly doubt it is flooded. funny thing is, just looking at the manual:

Engine Cranks/Won't Start
6) Vapor Lock

Hard Start Hot
9) Vapor Lock

On these trouble shooting lists, there are some items that say carbureted engines only, but not the vapor lock.

Unfortunately no corrective action is suggested.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-22-2003, 8:52 PM Reply   
Apples to apples....that is a car engine mounted in your boat, not a boat engine mounted in a car. The technology for them came from cars. The fuel pump I believe is mounted in a canister away from the motor. If I am correct they have the fuel filter in the same assembly. This I am not sure of as I do not work on Malibu's or any boats and I sold my Nautique. Now can someone explain to me how a pressurized system running at 35 psi and holding a steady 30 psi can vapor lock? If you do the math the boat is running at about 180 degrees after shutdown and the boiling point is lower than water but the pressure brings it up alot. It is 3 degrees for every one psi with water. The pump is also mounted away from the motor immersed in a bath of fuel. I know many are running a pre-pump and a secodary pump. If the pre-pump fails it can cause problems. Having worked on cars for years I have learned to look for the unexpected and not over look any possibilities. A fuel pressure test will reveal all with fuel related problems.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-22-2003, 10:13 PM Reply   
peter, while i appreciate your input, i have to respectfully disagree with you again.

apples to oranges. cars fuel pumps are in the tank. malibu fuel pump is mounted (in a canister) on the engine. vapor lock would be pre-fuel pump. 30 psi is AFTER the fuel pump. (MC has fuel pump in the fuel tank.) also, if fuel line is under a vacuum, boiling point decreases.

yes it is a car engine, but it is not an engine problem it is a fuel system problem.

another interesting thing to note is that the 'winter gas' is formulated to have a higher vapor pressure, which makes it easier for cars to cold start, but causes the vapor lock problem to be worse. kind of interesting that the malibu dealer mentioned this and it was confirmed after some research that I performed.

let's not lose sight of my original question, which was if anyone had heard anything from malibu or dealers regarding a (warranty, recall, etc) fix.

I'll be talking to the mechanic on monday to see if he heard anything (he was actually at some malibu training this weekend...fingers crossed) and probably will be bringing the boat in to have the computer read and the system checked.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-23-2003, 8:35 PM Reply   
Tim "Most cars now have the fuel pump in the tank" "cars fuel pumps are in the tank" FYI many are not mounted in the tank, but tend to be within a couple of feet and near fuel minumum level. Although I get the feeling you already know that. No disrespect meant.

Now if Malibu knows of this problem hopefully they have a fix for it. Why didn't they recall it in the first place? To find the actual problem maybe very hard for them as it is intermittant. As I said above make sure you get documentation from the dealer, ask for everything in writing.

What ever it is let us know the outcome. Good luck with your baby Tim.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-23-2003, 10:30 PM Reply   
good call on the 'near the fuel tank' i guess my experience with my mustang and its in-tank pump had me generalizing.

I'll let you know the outcome. Hopefully it will be extremely positive.
Old     (s4inor)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-23-2003, 11:38 PM Reply   
Tim, as you know from MBO, there is no solution to the problem yet, and no fix has been released to the dealers. AFAIK, Malibu has no official documentation outlining a probable solution that I have been made aware of.

There was some talk of switching to the higher pressure pump of the LS1, and in some cases that fixed the problem, but it depends entirely on the situation surrounding the problem.

Two permanent fixes have been outlined on MBO, so a solution is available to the consumer.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-24-2003, 8:05 AM Reply   
OK so it looks like it is MY fault for running the engine least according to the dealer. Kind of funny that they supply boats to some of the pros here in FL, yet they were 'surprised' with the fact that I am running 1800 lb. of ballast.

not good.

Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-24-2003, 8:35 AM Reply   
Tim, that is completely unacceptable and if I were you I'd be on the phone with Malibu in Merced right now. Ask for Guy Coward.

This is particularly true since you have the "Wakesetter" version of the LXi. Good god, they actually claim to be "surprised" that people are weighting down their boats?

I agree, not good!
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       02-24-2003, 8:38 AM Reply   
Vapor lock (in this case) has nothing to do with the fuel pump, where it is and what pressure it operates at. The vapor lock is happening in the fuel rails. Late 90's Honda Civics and early 90's Toyota Supra (especially the turbos) were very prone to this problem. After stopping the engine you will be able to start it again easily in the first couple minutes but a longer delay will allow heat to build up and vaporize the fuel in the fuel rails. This will cause hard starting until the temperature comes down and the fuel condenses or the pressure is relaesed. I suspect that a check valve is malfunctioning in Tim's case but nonetheless, vapor lock in injected engines is very real.

A boat running at 180 degrees is the water temperature, not the temp of the outside of engine.

I don't know what MBO suggests but a simple solution may be to wrap the fuel rails in insulating tape and see if that fixes the hard start problem.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-24-2003, 8:58 AM Reply   
Yes, that is what the dealer told me, in the rails, after the pump (this was news to me, but made sense). Location of the pump is not an issue.

They tried to pass it on as working the engine too hard, winter gas, and said it is 'not a problem.' The funny thing is that they said another customer had similar problems with an unweighted LSV pulling kids around, then stopping for lunch. This is contradictory to their statement that I am working the engine too hard. Also, If I ran around the lake WOT unweighted for 10 minutes I am sure that I could duplicate the problem pretty easily. Also, if winter gas is a problem (higher vapor pressure) then why did they not design the sytem to accomodate that?

They suggested opening the engine box (something i should not have to do in order to turn the engine off for 20 minutes) and also propping the boat differently. It is kind of hard to open the engine cover with sacs and gear all around. I don't want to prop the boat differently, as I got the LXi because I like to barefoot as well.

The bottom line is, this boat is under warranty, and I will not be 'fixing' the 'problem' (DESIGN FLAW) myself. If Malibu does not address this, I will simply deal with it (not turn the engine off while using the boat}) until I am done with grad school, then start shopping for a different brand of boat.

I will try talking to Guy. See what he has to say.
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       02-24-2003, 9:35 AM Reply   
See if the dealer will wrap the rails in insulating tape. It'll take 10 minutes and should take care of the problem. I've used it in several automotive projects and it has always solved the problem or helped greatly.

Any situation where you can not start your boat for an extended period of time is a problem and I am really surprised that the dealer is telling you different. Hopefully Malibu will step up and help you with this.

(Message edited by csquared on February 24, 2003)
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-24-2003, 10:13 AM Reply   
Guy seemed to think that a recalibration of the ECM might help. Of course, I have no idea how this would help, other than if it somehow tells the fuel pump to circulate fuel (blow out the vapor) before starting the engine?

He knows the mechanic I talked to and told me he would have him talk to the technical guy at 'bu. Fingers are still crossed that this will work out.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-26-2003, 5:29 PM Reply   
taking the boat in on monday to the deler, they are going to look at the fuel pump to see if it is losing presure when it is hot. we'll see if this helps. this was a suggestion to the mechanic by the malibu tech dude
Old     (malibudude)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-26-2003, 10:40 PM Reply   

If you have the engine box insulation kit installed check to see that at the rear of the box (above the drink holders) is an opening. Make sure that the insualtion isn't covering that area preventing free air flow.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-27-2003, 7:22 AM Reply   

thanks for the suggestion. I'll check that this weekend.
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       02-27-2003, 8:00 AM Reply   
Hmmm...a "recalibration" of the ECM. Unless Indmar is doing something really special with the GM computer, that involves disconnecting the battery for about 15 minutes, reconnecting and running the boat to let the computer relearn the running conditions.

Is the indmar fule pump like the PCM where there is a canister next to the engine that contains the pump and filter?
Old    rob4senate            03-04-2003, 10:44 AM Reply   
I ride with a guy (Dave) who owns a 2000 SangAir with a Mercury engine. We had the same problem all last summer. We would board for about an hour and them the boat would start to chock on itself and shut down. Sometimes it would start right after, but could hardly idle. Sometime we could not get it running for an hour or so. If you can get it to re-started, it coughs and back fires with fuel smelling exhaust (and a lot of black smoke).

He thought it was spark plugs, so we changed those on the water once after it died, that did not work. He was told it could be fuel pump, so we replaced that on the water once after it died, that did not work. He has had it to the dealer several times, all they do is put it on a computer and tell him there are no errors.

We usually ride with about 1600 lbs of weight (plus factory ballast), but have had the same problems without any weight in the boat. At one time we had 120 lbs of sand bags in the rear storage compartment (over the fuel tank), but removed that because we heard it was putting pressure on the fuel tank, problem still existed.

Does anyone have any advise or suggestions. He is thinking about selling the boat (to get a 2003 ) but can not due to this problem. Otherwise it is a great boat, no problems until this.

Any help would be helpful!
Old    skippyh2o            03-06-2003, 7:15 PM Reply   
bosh had a problem with they're high AND low presure pumps. Replace them under warranty and GO RIDE!!! We replaced 27 of them last year (02's) in our mercruiser service dept.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       03-06-2003, 8:02 PM Reply   
i am thinking it is the fuel pump. mainly due to another (very minor) problem on take-off

i didn't get to take it in monday, but I will plan on it next week.


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