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Old 06-27-2019, 09:07 PM
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Exclamation MCX – Good Fuel Pressure, Good Spark, No Start

Long story short…we get to our campsite at Lake Powell 30 miles from the marina, set up camp and then go out to do some boarding. Engine starts fine, we idle about 100 feet away from our anchor and the engine sputters and dies. We end up being blessed by some VERY GENEROUS pontoon boaters towing us all the way back to the marina the next day! They used their entire afternoon to help us. He wouldn’t take a dime for his trouble.

Symptom…and it never changed. The engine cranks but shows no signs of starting.

First, I thought the fuel we added at camp somehow water got in the cans. We pumped out 10 gallons from the bottom of the fuel tank through the sender hole.

Next, I bypassed the lanyard switch by shorting the two wires together.

I have circuit breakers and fuses on my dual battery ACR (automatic charging relay) and they were all fine.

The fuel pump was running and pressure at the rails was ~55 psi. When we tried to start the engine it bounced from 50-60 psi.

I pulled each spark plug and added one mL of fuel to each cylinder through the plug hole. I don’t know if this is OK, but I was desperate.

I did not know of a way to check the injectors so I’m not sure if they were sending fuel into the cylinders. If you could point me in the direction of some good ways to check them, I’m all for it. I don’t recall the smell of gas when I removed the spark plugs but since I was adding gas...

The circuit breaker on the engine was not popped and I checked for continuity across the bolts on the rear. All good.

I had a spare cap, rotor and ignition control module. Swapped them in various combinations.

I checked the spark using a wire off one cylinder with a spare spark plug touching a ground wire and I had a strong spark.

I swapped the three relays (Fuel pump, ignition, ECU I believe are their functions) to see if one was bad. Fuel pump primed to ~55 psi and nothing changed.

I looked at the three 15 amp fuses for the relays and they all looked good.

I looked at electrical connections. I never found corroded leads.

I pulled the two large connectors off the ECU and they all looked in good order.

All gauges, stereo, lights, pumps, etc work as normal.

I don’t know if there are any trouble codes stored. Since the engine wouldn’t start, the “Check Engine” light isn’t any help. I am going to search for codes tomorrow using the procedure mikeg205 posted in #9 of this thread:
https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com//sh...ad.php?t=74785

To me it seems like there's a bad connection, a blown fuse, or a broken circuit, I just don't know where to look.

We must have tried starting it 60-70 times but nothing changed. I had two good batteries but the Interstate battery for the engine never lost power. We enjoyed using the house battery to listen to music on our 6-hour tow back to the marina.

Any help would be great. We are hoping to take it on another out of town trip in two weeks and I don't trust others working on my boat nor that they can be timely this time of year.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:30 AM
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just a thought.. ignition wire.. see this thread

https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com//sh...ad.php?t=60838
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradodude View Post
just a thought.. ignition wire.. see this thread

https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com//sh...ad.php?t=60838
Thanks for the thought. I went through all the ignition connections and even replaced the rotor, cap and ignition control module with no luck.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:55 AM
37tr3n5k 37tr3n5k is offline
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You have fuel, you have spark.. Have you checked compression? (and the ECM fuse block) You have pressure in your rails, but you have not confirmed your injectors are sending fuel into the cylinder. A very light shot of ether into the intake may tell the story if it is a fuel sending problem. It could be the pink Wire 439 to terminal J2-19 on the ECM is a problem or 467 or 468. If it doesn't fire with ether, Id double check spark (all wires). If you've got good spark, Id start hunting compression issues. Look at page 45 of 290 in the manual in this post: https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com//sh...d.php?t=100738

I have a 2004 MCX and the first thing I did was buy the Diacom software and got the Indmar Technician's manual. I keep a tablet in my boat with the wire connected to the engine. I also keep copies of the PDF's above on the tablet. Although Diacom is expensive, there is another software that does the same and is less than half the price; MEFI Burn; http://mefiburn.com/mefiscan.asp

I'll say this- having the software eliminates LOTS of guesswork I see many people having issues go thru.

Before you order (If you are considering) call the guy and talk with him to make sure you are getting what you need.

The PDF attachments in the link I posted above may be a big help. Good luck.

Last edited by 37tr3n5k; 06-28-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:07 AM
rossi_the_heeler rossi_the_heeler is offline
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I had an ect that would keep my 5.7 tbi from starting if it sensed higher than 165 degree water temp. If I pulled the ect it would give the computer a default value and fired right up. Might be something to check. It was maddening...I had fuel I had spark I had compression, but the computer must retard the timing just enough so it would just crank...
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:38 AM
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OK, using the MEFI 4 DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) process to pull codes, this is what came out:

1 - 2 (code 12)
1 - 2 (code 12)
8 flashes
1 flash
8 flashes
1 flash
repeat

The MEFI Section 1, page 3 said Code 12 should repeat 3 times but for me it's only repeating twice.

"Once the MDTC tool has been connected, and service mode or ON selected, the ignition switch must be moved to the key ON, engine OFF position. At this point, the MIL should flash DTC 12 three times consecutively. This would be the following flash sequence: flash, pause, flash-flash, long pause, flash, pause, flash-flash, long pause, flash, pause, flash-flash. DTC 12 indicates that the ECM's diagnostic system is operating. If DTC 12 is not indicated, a problem is present within the diagnostic system itself, and should be addressed by consulting the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) System Check in the Diagnosis section.

"Following the output of DTC 12, the MIL will indicate a DTC three times if a DTC is present, or it will continue to flash DTC 12. If more than one DTC has been stored in the ECM's memory, the DTCs will be flashed out from the lowest to the highest, with each DTC being flashed three times. At the end of the DTCs, the ECM will simply go back and start over with flashing DTC 12."

If I read the flashes right, this is a DTC code 81. The MEFI Section 5, page 100 reads:

"When a DTC 81 is flashed out using a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) tool, a scan tool MUST be used for further diagnostics. DTC 81 has multiple failures, and are only distinguished using a scan tool."

So I guess I'm done guessing. Can I use the MEFI Burn software or do I need Diacom?

I've attached a PDF one pager that I made to make the MEFI DTC Tool process easy to print and reference in the boat. Note, I did use some images off the web from a post by "Dave N" on offshoreonly.com and some text from "mikeg205" from the post I referenced in my first post.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf MEFI 3-4 DTC Reader Tool.pdf (195.1 KB, 52 views)
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Last edited by Soder; 06-29-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2019, 05:19 PM
37tr3n5k 37tr3n5k is offline
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Bob MEFI ECM burn
Mobile +1 310-991-9072

You can use MEFI Burn, but call him for your own reassurance.

Also... Larry at Indmar is pretty fantastic.
Larry Indmar Customer Support
Mobile (901) 353-9930
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2019, 05:59 PM
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Thanks so much for the references! I ran this past the head technician at my local MC dealer and he was stumped. He said "bring it in and we'll have a look." At $140/hr I'll be doing what I can before I take it in.

I ordered the $200 MEFIburn cable and software today. I'm excited to get it not only to solve this but for future reference as well.

However, looking further into DTC 81, since my boat does not have ECT (Electronic Throttle Control), there are only a few causes:

-Fuel Pump High, Low or Open
-Injector Driver A Circuit High, Low or Open
-Injector Driver B Circuit High, Low or Open
-Recirc J1-32 Fault
-5 Volt Reference Circuit Out of Range
-CAN Bus Fault
-Oil/Catalyst Temperature High
-Can Bus Contention

I'll go through the service manual diagnostic procedures to see what I can find.

The other 20-ish errors are all ECT. I'm going to look into some of these while I wait for my MEFIburn.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:33 PM
37tr3n5k 37tr3n5k is offline
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Im curious how this turns out. I have the same engine. Please update this thread when you get your tool and figure it out. The injector driver circuit is the 467 or 468 I was referencing above. Did you try a small dose of ether on the air filter?

EDIT: Wait.. I was reading your post again. Im not sure this makes a difference because I have not referenced those trouble codes you are referencing but I noticed your Acronym "ECT" is not Electronic Throttle Control. Your T and C are switched. Are you sure the ECT code is not referring to "Engine Coolant Temperature"? The ECT sensor is sending the temperature to the ECM. I would not discount this info-- just in case. Perhaps the ECT is sending a false high temp signal and the engine is in a mode not to start. Like I said- Im not looking at the codes, but that would make sense aside from your alarm not lighting up. This would coincide with what the poster (Rossi_the_Heleler) was describing above

Just out of curiosity: What does your thermostat say?

EDIT 2- Sorry- I went back and it is ETC for Trouble Code 81.

Last edited by 37tr3n5k; 06-28-2019 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 37tr3n5k View Post
Im curious how this turns out. I have the same engine. Please update this thread when you get your tool and figure it out. The injector driver circuit is the 467 or 468 I was referncing above. Did you try a snall dose of ether on the air filter?
No, I haven't tried the ether. In fact, I don't even know where to purchase ether. Is it called by a different name like "starting fluid?"

I'll check 467-468 tomorrow when I get some time to work on this.

I will keep updating this thread for posterity of course.

I just updated my "MEFI 3-4 DTC Reader Tool" PDF with instructions to clear DTC codes. I wonder if I could have cleared my code 81 at Lake Powell and made it home. I know that risks further damage without fixing the problem, but if the pontoon boat had not come up our little canyon, we could have been stuck there for a while. I've cleared OBDII codes on cars a million times but that's just the emissions stuff and doesn't risk damaging the drivetrain. Maybe it's the same for boats. Please educate me.
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