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  • 2000 X-Star Cranks but thats it...

    First of, I have to thank this forum, the wealth of knowledge you can find here is unparalleled. I read through a pile of wont start threads including the newest thread and while I may have the same problem as others reading those threads made me think my issues is unique but who knows, I am hack mechanic at best.

    Here is what I have. I live 180 Miles from the nearest MC dealership, and 100 miles from the nearest inboard dealership so I am hoping to figure this out between myself and my local auto shop guys....that occasionally work on inboards.

    I have a 2000 X-Star with the Indmar Predator Engine, bought it new in 2000 and currently has almost 1400 hours. Last week while idling the boat sounded strange so I popped the hatch to listen to the engine. The engine sounded odd, almost like it was missing, but not as loud as I would expect if it was missing, then very abruptly it sounded like the engine choked and it shut off, the shut down sounded identical to running out of gas. (Gas gauge died this spring and is on the list of "fix it this winter" projects). I attempted to restart the engine but nothing it will crank for days but not turn over at all. I added 12 gallons of gas I thought I must have run out of gas, but the results are the same, cranks but wont fire. So I dove into trouble shoot mode. Here is what I have checked.

    Over all there seems to be no spark and no fuel.

    Fuel Pump is working and pushing 32-35 PSI.
    Kill Switch seems to be functioning and the Relay is good.
    Main Coil seems to have power on both ends in and out.
    Test the Spark that the engine, and there is no spark.
    Removed Flame cover and verified the injectors are not firing gas.
    Opened Distributor Cap and its rotating.
    All plug wires seem fine and clean.
    Issue seems electrical..............insert head bang emoji.

    Today I brought it to my local auto mechanics that can fix anything. They went down the path of "if this was in a truck why would it not start." The checked the electrical just about everywhere, verified the coil is good, that the distributor is functioning, checked for power at the fuel injectors, checked the relays, etc.

    After a few hours of screwing around we replaced the Ignition Control Module with a GM Truck version, still nothing. We reinstalled the original ICM and tested the connections and they seem fine.

    What now? I am fearing the ECM is dead or am I missing something dumb that's right under my nose.

    Does anyone know if the Ignition Control Modules are specific to Indmar? The original said "GM" on it.

    Thanks so much for the help!

  • #2
    Not sure if the Predator engine used it, but it could be the crank position sensor that went bad.

    Basically you have verified that there is no spark going to the spark plugs?

    Comment


    • #3
      Correct, we verified there's no spark at that engine. A Mechanic buddy of mine says crank position sensor as well. No to find the dang thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Andy_Nintzel View Post
        First of, I have to thank this forum, the wealth of knowledge you can find here is unparalleled. I read through a pile of wont start threads including the newest thread and while I may have the same problem as others reading those threads made me think my issues is unique but who knows, I am hack mechanic at best.

        Here is what I have. I live 180 Miles from the nearest MC dealership, and 100 miles from the nearest inboard dealership so I am hoping to figure this out between myself and my local auto shop guys....that occasionally work on inboards.

        I have a 2000 X-Star with the Indmar Predator Engine, bought it new in 2000 and currently has almost 1400 hours. Last week while idling the boat sounded strange so I popped the hatch to listen to the engine. The engine sounded odd, almost like it was missing, but not as loud as I would expect if it was missing, then very abruptly it sounded like the engine choked and it shut off, the shut down sounded identical to running out of gas. (Gas gauge died this spring and is on the list of "fix it this winter" projects). I attempted to restart the engine but nothing it will crank for days but not turn over at all. I added 12 gallons of gas I thought I must have run out of gas, but the results are the same, cranks but wont fire. So I dove into trouble shoot mode. Here is what I have checked.

        Over all there seems to be no spark and no fuel.

        Fuel Pump is working and pushing 32-35 PSI.
        Kill Switch seems to be functioning and the Relay is good.
        Main Coil seems to have power on both ends in and out.
        Test the Spark that the engine, and there is no spark.
        Removed Flame cover and verified the injectors are not firing gas.
        Opened Distributor Cap and its rotating.
        All plug wires seem fine and clean.
        Issue seems electrical..............insert head bang emoji.

        Today I brought it to my local auto mechanics that can fix anything. They went down the path of "if this was in a truck why would it not start." The checked the electrical just about everywhere, verified the coil is good, that the distributor is functioning, checked for power at the fuel injectors, checked the relays, etc.

        After a few hours of screwing around we replaced the Ignition Control Module with a GM Truck version, still nothing. We reinstalled the original ICM and tested the connections and they seem fine.

        What now? I am fearing the ECM is dead or am I missing something dumb that's right under my nose.

        Does anyone know if the Ignition Control Modules are specific to Indmar? The original said "GM" on it.

        Thanks so much for the help!
        Did anyone check for codes?

        Does your tach needle move when you try to crank?

        You have no spark and no fuel getting to the intake, but you have fuel pressure- did the mechanic use Noid lights on the injectors? If not, have them do that- if they illuminate (or, if they use a meter and see voltage between the terminals), it would seem that the injectors may be clogged. If you don't see lights or voltage, look at the FUEL relay and fuse. If these check out OK (check for voltage at the relay- it has a pink wire that should hav12V on it, the injectors have a red wire that should also have 12V. The dark blue and green wires should see a grounding pulse from the ECM- if you see nothing on the red wires, trace back to the relay and find out why. If you have 12V on the red wires, turn the key to ON and connect a wire from the green and dark blue wires to the throttle body (one at a time)- if the injectors are OK, gas should come out. If you see nothing from the ECM, it would point to a bad ECM, but since you wrote that you have no spark, it could be the IC module or something associated with it.

        Is this only happening if you try to start it when the engine is hot? If so, open the throttle a bit and see if it helps. If it does, remove the harness from the ECT and measure its resistance- if it's more than about 500 Ohms at 70 degrees F, replace it. If it's open or shows much higher resistance at 70 degrees, definitely replace it.

        Try a different coil wire. Put the timing light clamp on the coil wire and see if you have spark- if not, make sure the graphite button is still in the cap.

        How old are the cap, rotor, wires and plugs?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Andy_Nintzel View Post
          Correct, we verified there's no spark at that engine. A Mechanic buddy of mine says crank position sensor as well. No to find the dang thing.
          The IC module tells the ECM if the engine is cranking and how fast- there's no separate crank sensors.

          Does your mechanic buddy know injected GM engines from the '90s? If so, he should have no problem diagnosing this- it's the same system, other than the marine ECM, cooling system and a few other things. Ask if he knows how to read codes with a paper clip- if he doesn't, he doesn't know GM- they showed codes this way before 1981.

          If YOU want to check for codes, and it's a good thing to be able to do, remove the cap and insert a paper clip in terminals A and B of the diagnostic port at the rear of the engine. Turn the key to ON and watch the check engine light- it will flash 1, short pause, then flash twice (designates the number 12); it will do this three times before showing any codes and every time it flashes and will do the same at the end of the sequence. If it only flashes 12, you con't have any stored codes. Try to start it again, then leave the key in the ON position so you can check for codes again.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JimN View Post
            Did anyone check for codes?

            Does your tach needle move when you try to crank?

            You have no spark and no fuel getting to the intake, but you have fuel pressure- did the mechanic use Noid lights on the injectors? If not, have them do that- if they illuminate (or, if they use a meter and see voltage between the terminals), it would seem that the injectors may be clogged. If you don't see lights or voltage, look at the FUEL relay and fuse. If these check out OK (check for voltage at the relay- it has a pink wire that should hav12V on it, the injectors have a red wire that should also have 12V. The dark blue and green wires should see a grounding pulse from the ECM- if you see nothing on the red wires, trace back to the relay and find out why. If you have 12V on the red wires, turn the key to ON and connect a wire from the green and dark blue wires to the throttle body (one at a time)- if the injectors are OK, gas should come out. If you see nothing from the ECM, it would point to a bad ECM, but since you wrote that you have no spark, it could be the IC module or something associated with it.

            Is this only happening if you try to start it when the engine is hot? If so, open the throttle a bit and see if it helps. If it does, remove the harness from the ECT and measure its resistance- if it's more than about 500 Ohms at 70 degrees F, replace it. If it's open or shows much higher resistance at 70 degrees, definitely replace it.

            Try a different coil wire. Put the timing light clamp on the coil wire and see if you have spark- if not, make sure the graphite button is still in the cap.

            How old are the cap, rotor, wires and plugs?
            So much goo info here. Thanks. We did not pull the codes, as I only have access to automotive code readers.

            The Plugs are maybe 4-5 years old, but the cap, rotor and wires are original. We did take a meter to the Fuel Injectors and they seem to have power. We didnt use a Noid Light but plan to this evening. I tried a different coil on it with no luck, that said, it was a used coil that we majorly assumed was still good.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Andy_Nintzel View Post
              So much goo info here. Thanks. We did not pull the codes, as I only have access to automotive code readers.

              The Plugs are maybe 4-5 years old, but the cap, rotor and wires are original. We did take a meter to the Fuel Injectors and they seem to have power. We didnt use a Noid Light but plan to this evening. I tried a different coil on it with no luck, that said, it was a used coil that we majorly assumed was still good.
              Would you leave the original cap, rotor and wires on a car for almost 20 years?

              I told you how to check codes on your boat- do that. If your check engine light doesn’t flash, post it and I’ll tell you how to see the flashes.

              Comment


              • #8
                No need to pull any codes, I got my hands on a Indmar Wiring Diagram and a 1995 Chevy Truck Wire Diagram and Trouble shooting guide for No Spark, No Gas. We worked it backwards one part at a time until we found the Pick-Up Coil was only producing 0.2 volts when cranking and it should be a 0.7 volts when cranking. I decided to just put an entire new distributor in the boat and she's purring like a kitten again. It was a great exercise in that while setting the timing I discovered that my belt was close to shot and my water pump has a slight leak, so I change both of those while I was at.

                Thanks for the Help!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice work on getting it running again.

                  Did you put the old cap and rotor back on?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Andy_Nintzel View Post
                    No need to pull any codes, I got my hands on a Indmar Wiring Diagram and a 1995 Chevy Truck Wire Diagram and Trouble shooting guide for No Spark, No Gas. We worked it backwards one part at a time until we found the Pick-Up Coil was only producing 0.2 volts when cranking and it should be a 0.7 volts when cranking. I decided to just put an entire new distributor in the boat and she's purring like a kitten again. It was a great exercise in that while setting the timing I discovered that my belt was close to shot and my water pump has a slight leak, so I change both of those while I was at.

                    Thanks for the Help!
                    When I wrote "...it could be the IC module or something associated with it.", that would include the pickup coil which is part of the IC module and that could have been replaced without buying a new distributor. Not sure why you went that far/paid so much for the repair when an IC module is so much cheaper, but the upside is that you could replace the IC module and sell the old distributor.

                    I had also asked if the tach needle moved while you cranked it while the engine wouldn't start- did you notice that?

                    Checking for codes would have shown that the IC module was faulty, too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jim,

                      It only made sense to change the entire distributor, the part is only $102 and I have the piece of mind that it is all new. The inside of the distributor cap was pretty corroded and 20 years old. The priced difference was pretty nominal at the end of the day, IC Module was $37, the pick-up coil was $20ish and the entire distributor was $102. Im a fan of everything new. The engine sounds better now after retiming it than it has in the last 2 years.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wheelin98TJ View Post
                        Nice work on getting it running again.

                        Did you put the old cap and rotor back on?
                        No I changed the entire distributor out, new everything. The price wasn't to bad. Only $102.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Andy_Nintzel View Post
                          Jim,

                          The engine sounds better now after retiming it than it has in the last 2 years.
                          That's because tune-up parts had been neglected for so long. It's not just mileage that determines when these parts need to be replaced- it's also environmental.

                          You put it in diagnostic mode when you adjusted the timing, right? If not, do that- you would know if it was in this mode by seeing the timing mark staying in one position, rather than jumping around. It was set to 10 degrees BTDC, right?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JimN View Post
                            .... If your check engine light doesn’t flash, post it and I’ll tell you how to see the flashes.
                            I have a 2002 xstar with the LTR. The paper clip does not cause my check engine light to flash. Is there something else to do? Could this indicate an ECM issue?
                            2002 X-Star
                            1993 Prostar 190

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Paper clip goes between a&b and you can use either a light or get an ohm meter and read ohms between e&f to check the code

                              Comment

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