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_sT_
07-01-2010, 12:08 AM
Hi all

My 1998 Outback has been running great all week. Today we had about an hour long tubing session in the morning with the kids. Then about an hour later, we trolled out to the deeps so I could drag my wife on the wakeboard. I figured it was still warm so I didn't bother much with a warm up spin. While idling and straightening the rope to get ready to pull her, my Outback stalled and I could not get it running again. I ended up having to phone my neighbor and ask him to run out and pull me in (there was a breeze offshore so we weren't making much headway rowing or swimming).

I figured I had somehow flooded the engine and just couldn't get it running, even after reading and re-reading my Indmar manual's startup procedures (which talk about flooding scenarios).

Then I thought there was vapor lock happening but my engine has both a fuel pump and a really huge fuel filter, so I think that problem has already been handled (my boat started life as a demo unit for Wizard Lake Marine in Canada so it probably got lots of little upgrades like that). By the time I got this far the fuel filter should have been cooled anyway, eliminating that problem as well. Also, I should mention that there was a 4 barrell holly carb upgrade done at some point as well in case that matters.

So after a bunch of reading on these forums I decided that I probably just ran out of gas even though my fuel guage was reading half full. I've not been paying much attention the last few days (and we never stray out of the bay). So, on that assumption, I started filling jerries and refueled my boat at the dock. However it filled at about 14 gallons added (it's a 30 gallon tank). But here's the weird thing - now that it was full of gas, it started up and ran like nothing was wrong.

So, any ideas? I don't think I ran into this at all last season. I'm sure I ran the tank down to nearly empty before.

Maybe I did just super-duper flood it?

polar21
07-01-2010, 03:57 PM
I am taking a complete shot in the dark here but I had a similar symptom about 5 months ago. I dont know what motor you have, but on mine (99 outback w/indmar) right beside the distributor there is a silver cone looking thing with 3 wires coming out the top. That is the oil pressure relay switch which turns on the fuel pump. I think yours might be going bad judging from what you said in the post. They have these parts at O'reily's or most other auto parts store and its like $5. Might be worth putting a new one and seeing if that was your problem.

_sT_
07-01-2010, 04:27 PM
Alright, I'll check into that.

Just got off the lake from a boarding run with the family. Running great, but staying close to shore right now.

_sT_
07-03-2010, 08:50 PM
Happened again today once the fuel level got down (not altogether surprised, I wasn't far from my place.)

After getting back and having a closer look, we loosened the pressure side line off the fuel pump. When turning over, no fuel came out, which should be happening. This means either the fuel pump is dead, or there's a blockage. I started to move up the line to the fuel filter to check fuel flow but rain started and I bailed for now.

When troubleshooting the fuel pump with my test light, I noticed that my fuel pump doesn't get power unless I've got the ignition to the "start" position (i.e. turning over the engine). Is this normal? My dad mentioned that the fuel pump should get power when the key is merely "on", as well as "start".

AaronWhitt82
07-03-2010, 10:07 PM
Happened again today once the fuel level got down (not altogether surprised, I wasn't far from my place.)

After getting back and having a closer look, we loosened the pressure side line off the fuel pump. When turning over, no fuel came out, which should be happening. This means either the fuel pump is dead, or there's a blockage. I started to move up the line to the fuel filter to check fuel flow but rain started and I bailed for now.

When troubleshooting the fuel pump with my test light, I noticed that my fuel pump doesn't get power unless I've got the ignition to the "start" position (i.e. turning over the engine). Is this normal? My dad mentioned that the fuel pump should get power when the key is merely "on", as well as "start".

When was the last time you changed the fuel filter?
Has the carb ever been rebuilt?

It sounds like the stupid problems I was having lately....
Check the wire connections to the bottom of the fuel pump. Wiggle them back and forth and crank the engine and see if fuel comes out.

The fuel pump should only get power to it while you are cranking the motor and while the boat is running.

Check several of my posts that relate to this kind of problem....
I have replaced the fuel pump, cap, rotor, and coil within the last few weeks.
When the boat dies check the coil and see if it is hot at all...
I also took the primary and secondary fuel bowls and metering blocks off the carb and cleaned them out along with the needle and seats.
Also check the level of your floats, but it sounds like that isn't the problem.
I also took the fuel tank out and cleaned that out.

I figured out my problem yesterday and it was the wire connection to the fuel pump.
After the boat started to bog on me and eventually die out I knew it had to be something electrical because I had just replaced all those parts.
I disconnected the fuel line and cranked the boat over and no fuel. I cranked it again while wiggling the wires on the bottom of the fuel pump and sure enough fuel started to come out again.
It seems as if from hitting other wakes and bouncing around that the connection on the bottom of the fuel pump works itself loose and it isn't a real tight connection.
I am now going to solder the wires to the pump and that should fix the problem forever I hope LOL

_sT_
07-03-2010, 10:14 PM
Great post thank you!

I will check the wire connections to the fuel pump shortly. Also, thank you for confirming for me that the fuel pump should only run while the engine is cranking or running.

I've owned the boat less than a year, so I've never changed the fuel filter myself. Nor have I rebuilt the carb, however I have the original receipt from when the 4 barrell Holly carb was installed, so when I get back home I'll need to check when that actually was.

Also, the boat doesn't bog or anything, it literally just dies.

Thanks!

AaronWhitt82
07-03-2010, 10:54 PM
Great post thank you!

I will check the wire connections to the fuel pump shortly. Also, thank you for confirming for me that the fuel pump should only run while the engine is cranking or running.

I've owned the boat less than a year, so I've never changed the fuel filter myself. Nor have I rebuilt the carb, however I have the original receipt from when the 4 barrell Holly carb was installed, so when I get back home I'll need to check when that actually was.

Also, the boat doesn't bog or anything, it literally just dies.

Thanks!

Are you any good as far as mechanics go? I don't want to have you take too much apart if your not going to be sure what your doing.

I would say to change the fuel filter then. It is recommended to change it every 50 hours or once a year...

If the boat just plain old dies it sounds like the fuel supply is getting cut off.
Check the oil pressure safety switch located in the back of the motor to the left and below of the distributor. Should be an orange, purple and red wire to it.

It is possible that it is bad and thus cutting power to your fuel pump.

It is also possible your fuel pump is going or is low in pressure.

It would nice if you had a fuel pressure gauge to check and see how much pressure you are getting....

The boat should have come stock from the factory with the Holley installed. I wonder if they replaced it with a new one?

Any other history on it as far as maintenance or any work done to it?

_sT_
07-03-2010, 11:10 PM
Maybe it was replaced at some point. I have the original sales receipt and work order, maybe it will say on there.

I think I'm going to pick up a replacement fuel pump, filter, and oil pressure switch tomorrow if I can and see where I can get with that.

Right now we really suspect the pump though. As I mentioned before, if we back off the pressure side line from the fuel pump and try to turn over the engine, nothing comes out and there's definitely power going to the fuel pump when I turn over the engine.

_sT_
07-04-2010, 02:35 PM
Did some more troubleshooting today before I went to town for parts.

Unhooked the pressure side line from the fuel pump and jumpered 12v straight to it. It fired gas. So, pump appears good.

Tightened the fuel pump postive line connection (the ring inside the boot) and forced it back on the terminal. Just took it for a spin, hit some wake (a la tubing) and did a bunch of mock ski starts. Good as gold now.

This is our last day on the water before heading home. I've got tow support lined up if I need it, but I'm up and running!

AaronWhitt82
07-04-2010, 04:52 PM
Did some more troubleshooting today before I went to town for parts.

Unhooked the pressure side line from the fuel pump and jumpered 12v straight to it. It fired gas. So, pump appears good.

Tightened the fuel pump postive line connection (the ring inside the boot) and forced it back on the terminal. Just took it for a spin, hit some wake (a la tubing) and did a bunch of mock ski starts. Good as gold now.

This is our last day on the water before heading home. I've got tow support lined up if I need it, but I'm up and running!

Great to hear !!!!
Sounds like you were having the same issue as me with the connections to the fuel pump....