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1997 prostar cold start issues

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  • 1997 prostar cold start issues

    I have a 1999 Prostar 190 (title says 1997 but my fingers are fat) (Chevy 350 TBI) that SOMETIMES after sitting it will not fire up. Like when we go out for the day to get our fun started, it has a hard time starting. Once it does start up there is never another issue that day. Sometimes it will go a month in between having this problem. So random to me and I have changed the plugs and wires out over the winter. The time of day doesn’t matter when it does happen but truly annoying when the issue rears it’s ugly head. Yesterday we dropped in and it would not start, as I was pulled back out I lifted motor cover, unplugged and plugged a spark plug wire and then it wanted to crank. Dropped back in and it fired back up. Not sure if that was a pure coincidence or not. Does anyone have any ideas? I also replaced fuel sending unit over the winter since I was getting false readings on the fuel gauge. I know for a fact it’s full of fuel. Any help/ideas would be more than appreciated. Scott
    Last edited by linzandscott; 05-16-2022, 01:33 PM.

  • #2
    If you pull the knob out and give it throttle does it fire?

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    • #3
      That does not do the trick. Also, my fat fingers hit the wrong number. It’s a 1999…. I tried the throttle but that didn’t work.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by linzandscott View Post
        I have a 1999 Prostar 190 (Chevy 350 TBI) that SOMETIMES after sitting it will not fire up. Like when we go out for the day to get our fun started, it has a hard time starting. Once it does start up there is never another issue that day. Sometimes it will go a month in between having this problem. So random to me and I have changed the plugs and wires out over the winter. The time of day doesn’t matter when it does happen but truly annoying when the issue rears it’s ugly head. Yesterday we dropped in and it would not start, as I was pulled back out I lifted motor cover, unplugged and plugged a spark plug wire and then it wanted to crank. Dropped back in and it fired back up. Not sure if that was a pure coincidence or not. Does anyone have any ideas? I also replaced fuel sending unit over the winter since I was getting false readings on the fuel gauge. I know for a fact it’s full of fuel. Any help/ideas would be more than appreciated. Scott
        Just to clarify the problem. When you turn the key is the starter turning the engine over (cranking) but the engine doesn't fire up? Or is the starter not turning the engine over when you turn the key?

        If it cranks fine but doesn't start, check to see if the safety lanyard is working. With key in the RUN position (not cranking) your fuel pump should prime and the gauges should be working. Pull the safety lanyard and put the key in the RUN position, the gauges don't come no and the pump doesn't prime. This is on my 95.
        Last edited by ahhudgins; 05-16-2022, 01:52 PM.
        “You realize your odds of winning the lottery are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day”….E-Trade Baby.

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        • #5
          When I turn the key the starter turns the motor over just as it should. I can hear the fuel pump prime it just will not fire. One time it sat there for 30 mins then started up, one time I trailered it back home (5 miles) and it fired right up. Yesterday like I said above, pulled out of water and it cranked. We went to Smith mountain lake last year used it all day for 3 days. One morning it would start but 30 mins later I turned the key and fired up. It’s like there’s no rhyme or reason to the madness.

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          • #6
            I had a similar problem in my 94 prostar,it turned out the relucter wheel in the distributer was cracked,put in a new distributer and never had another problem.

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            • #7
              Intermittent problems are hard to diagnose when it only shows up once in a while. It needs fuel and spark to run, so the next time it happens remove the flame arrestor and see if the injectors are spraying gas when it's cranking. My 95 doesn't have a port to check the fuel pressure. You can either use a timing light or a spark tester to check for spark, you just have to keep them in the boat at all times and wait for it to happen again.
              “You realize your odds of winning the lottery are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day”….E-Trade Baby.

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              • #8
                Beauty of a TBI boat is that you can pull the spark arrestor and crank it and just watch to see if its squirting fuel that's pretty hard to do on the MPI boats.

                So if its squirting fuel you have a spark issue if its not you have a fuel issue. It is possible to have both.

                Neither should have a condition where they don't want to crank, both can not want to fire.

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                • #9
                  I’m almost leaning towards the ignition control module. I’m going to take it apart and clean all the contacts and see what happens. Has anyone had to replace theirs before?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by linzandscott View Post
                    I’m almost leaning towards the ignition control module. I’m going to take it apart and clean all the contacts and see what happens. Has anyone had to replace theirs before?
                    Ya for sure, its literally pop the cap off, undo 2 screws, pop the wires off, clean the heat sink goo, and replace.

                    That said... throwing parts at problems like this is going to cost you money and time you need to sort of work through things incrementally by being critical. IF you don't have fuel what can cause that problem, IF you don't have spark what can cause that problem. What checks can you do for each of those parts before buying it and putting it on?

                    Hell I have a spare fuel pump, rotor, cap, set of injectors, plugs, wires, coil, pick up coil, fuel water separator. I even have a kill switch, ignition switch, starter, and a spare pylon.

                    But I have all of those because I've been running these boats for years.

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                    • #11
                      Mine was a phantom for a year until I took the distributor apart,it had two tiny cracks in it,like ps190 I have every spare part on hand.

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                      • #12
                        ignition control module either works or it doesnt

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                        • #13
                          Like the others have said, you need to figure out whether you are having a fuel issue or a spark issue when it won't start. It is usually easier to check for a fuel problem. After cranking the engine (when it won't start) pull a spark plug. If the plug is wet with fuel, you know you are getting fuel and the problem is spark. If the plug is dry, the answer is not so conclusive. You could have either a fuel pump pressure issue, or a timing control issue that is not telling the fuel injector to spray fuel.

                          Common electrical issues that could cause this are the lanyard switch and the fuel pump electrical connector.

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                          • #14
                            Appreciate all the replies. I’ll start going through all electrical parts cleaning up connections and putting dielectric grease on things and I am going to replace kill switch (cheapest replacement part). I’ll post back what the results are.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by linzandscott View Post
                              Appreciate all the replies. I’ll start going through all electrical parts cleaning up connections and putting dielectric grease on things and I am going to replace kill switch (cheapest replacement part). I’ll post back what the results are.
                              Dont replace it just check voltage on the purple wire.

                              I have a spare kill switch I would never replace it with out checking if working.

                              on your boat key on not cranking fuel pump should go bzzzzt and prime. If you pull the kill switch it should not go bzzzzt.

                              if when the kill switch is on it goes bzzzt you do not need to replace your kill switch.

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