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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake Orion, MI
    Posts
    424

    Default Boat won't start, sometimes...

    Ok I'm having a strange issue. My boat fired up no problem this year. I put it in the water last weekend and went surfing, then parked at my neighbor's dock. The boat sat for maybe an hour, with the fat sacs full (1100 left rear, 400 locker). When I came back out, the boat wouldn't start. I emptied the fat sacs and let it sit for a while, then it started and ran perfectly fine.

    Yesterday, I went surfing and the boat fired up perfectly fine. After, I parked the boat on my hoist with the fat sacs full but with the hoist down (so the boat was level) and it sat for probably 2 hours. I came back and it wouldn't start. I emptied the fat sacs and came back about a half hour later, it fired up no problem.

    So it starts fine at first, I fill ballast and surf, then it doesn't start again until I empty ballast (even if it's sat for a bit) and it sits for a little while without the ballast full...but it's regardless if the boat has been sitting level, that's why I tried it on my hoist yesterday.

    Any ideas? I think maybe fuel filter or fuel pump, but the crazy thing is it starts and runs perfect at first. It's so strange how it's doing it, and the only common denominator I've found is the ballast being full from surfing, but I've never had an issue before.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    2006 Mobius LSV
    Previous ride - 2000 Supra Launch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Park City, Utah
    Posts
    156

    Default

    vapor lock, I have the same issue, starts right away, runs great, ski, wakeboard, surf etc. Drop anchor and turn it off for an hour or so to eat lunch, swim whatever. Go to start and it try's, but nothing. Open up the engine compartment, it's hot as can be, let it sit with the lid open and turn on the blower it will start pretty quickly after that. Do a search above for Vapor Lock. I'm in the process of testing a possible solution listed as one of the search results.
    2006 Mobius LSV
    2004 Stingray 190LS - Sold
    2013 RAM 2500 Diesel - Tow Rig

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    120

    Default

    Mine did this and it was also throwing codes (check engine code) The ground wire was lose where it connect to the motor. You might want to check that. if you are facing the motor on the right hand side front of the motor the grounds are bolted onto the block. Dealer thought it was vapor locking but I would get weird codes ever once and a while. (during trouble shooting they also add a second fuel pump for vapor locking).
    2007 supra 21v

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I would also ask if you fuel tank is full at the beginning, but after running for a while, does it reach a level that it isn't able to pick up any more until you even it out by emptying the tank (only common denomitor I read in your two scenarios). Could be a fuel pickup issue...If possible, I would run it as is, when it doesn't react, fill it with some 5 gal cans and see if it starts...
    2004 Supra 22 SSV
    325 Indmar Assault 320 HP
    "One more hour"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    De Pere WI
    Posts
    4,106

    Default

    vapor lock is pretty common but I wouldn't think it's been hot enough up here yet. try running the blower for your entire session and see if it starts again afterwards. that was my solution with the supra to fix vapor lock. blowers are cheap if you burn one out.
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    3,844

    Default

    Ballast pushing against a wall/divider and somehow pinching a gas / return line? When the engine is running there's enough pressure for it to push past. After shutting down, no pressure, line gets pinched? Call me crazy...
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    741

    Default Boat won't start, sometimes...

    I have now experienced Vapor Lock twice mow while out. First time it happened a few weeks ago I had my boat towed back as I thought it was the batteries. Come to find out it happened again yesterday and by some miracle a real nice guy on a paddle board stopped over who had a malibu who experiences the same problems and told me it might be vapor lock. He showed me the fuel pump and put some ice on it to cool it down and it started right up. Friggin weird! I have never had to deal with this problem for the last three years until recently. I had seen many posts and discussions on it but had never taken the time to find out the symptons. Well now I know!.
    2008 Supra 21V
    2,600 lbs., Gravity III
    Z5 Cargo Rack
    Stereo: Pair of Wetsounds Pro 80's, Rockford Fosgate P500-2, Kicker ZX200.4, Exile ZLD, stock Kicker in-cabins, stock Kenwood HU
    Tow rig: 2008 Slate Tundra, Bilstein 5100's (F&R), 295/65/18 wrapped in Duratracs

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default

    So I've never heard of vapor lock, what is it? I just bought a 2005 Outback and love it, but it won't start after its been warmed up (getting embarrassing to be stranded on my new boat). The marina I bought it from is two hours away, but he thinks its a choke issue. Any other comments or helpful suggestions?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    958

    Default Re: Boat won't start, sometimes...

    Replace the fuel pump.. It's probably the original one..

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    2002 Moomba Mobius LSV - Sold
    2006 Moomba Mobius LSV

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    741

    Default Boat won't start, sometimes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lori Moomba View Post
    So I've never heard of vapor lock, what is it? I just bought a 2005 Outback and love it, but it won't start after its been warmed up (getting embarrassing to be stranded on my new boat). The marina I bought it from is two hours away, but he thinks its a choke issue. Any other comments or helpful suggestions?

    Vapor lock is essentially what it sounds like. It happens after you've ran the boat for a while, then let it sit while rafted or docked or whatever where the heat inside the motor box actually gets to the fuel in the fuel pump and from the heat of the oil lines just "vaporizes" the fuel. So when you go to start up the boat it won't start. The boat "sounds" like it wants to start but you will be able to tell that it is starving for fuel. The tricks I've read are to open your motor box hatch, turn the blower on, wrap a cold wet towel around your fuel pump for a bit, or just do like I did and put a chunk of ice to melt on top of the fuel pump. After "cooling" down you should be able to start the motor and be off. Usually happens when the air temp is hot and I've also heard and read that the ethanol in the fuel you use plays a part.

    I had my boat for 4 yrs and never had this problem until just recently but now I know what it is.
    2008 Supra 21V
    2,600 lbs., Gravity III
    Z5 Cargo Rack
    Stereo: Pair of Wetsounds Pro 80's, Rockford Fosgate P500-2, Kicker ZX200.4, Exile ZLD, stock Kicker in-cabins, stock Kenwood HU
    Tow rig: 2008 Slate Tundra, Bilstein 5100's (F&R), 295/65/18 wrapped in Duratracs

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