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Old 07-01-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
LaFuga
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Default Undiagnosed stalling concern

Hi guys, I have a 1974 Sea Ray 20 ft inboard outboard. New to the Boating world and found what I thought was a honey of a boat for a good price. it has a 305 GM MerCruiser electronic fuel injection. I've been out four times on Winnipesaukee and all four times have had a problem and three out of the four I had to be towed back. The marina that's close by to me is in Dover New Hampshire had gone through the boat initially telling me everything works perfectly. The updated Driveline has approximately 340 hours on it. The first time I brought it out on the lake it Road perfectly 4 hours until the fourth or fifth hour while I was on my way back it's stalled and could not start again so i figured I ran out of gas.... The second time I went out on another day, hours on the lake it had the same ending and it stalled way out in Gilford and could not start. I was towed again by seatow. Brought it to the marina and after they did several tests including a compression check, fuel pressure check, fuel sample check, they ended up putting in new plugs, cap and rotor, and i had them replace the coil just to be sure....$700 later I thought It was all good and went out for my third time. I always leave from Alton Bay and I was in the Meredith area when it decided to do it all over again and spit and sputter and stall with no ability to start up. I was towed once again back to Alton. Brought it back to the marina and they said they had a fuel pump code on their diagnostic computer and found that the fuel pressure while in the marina was jumping up and down sporadically so they put a brand new fuel pump and solenoid in. $970 later I go out for my fourth trip, and again leaving Alton Bay and driving to Weirs Beach everything was great then driving back to Alton going anywhere's from 10 miles an hour to 40 miles an hour it was running perfectly until a half a mile before the boat ramp and then started to hesitate, lost power and wanted to stall but didn't quite stall so I limped it back to the trailer and it is now back at the marina. Of course the mechanic is scratching his head not knowing where to go from here and I am so frustrated I've spent so much money on obviously a problem that continues to be undiagnosed. I'm running out of money and quite frankly hate owning a boat at this point because I haven't had even one good run with it. Of course I'm In Too Deep to be able to sell it so I have to get to the bottom of it somehow. Can somebody please suggest some things so I don't go crazy! Thank you all for your suggestions.

now today on the 1st, the news from my marina is that mercury was called and the tech told them whats going on and they told the marina to put in a boost pump kit because the marina said they found the system vapor locked..... im not an expert on this whole thing but i did remove the gas tank cap when its acted up before and nothing changed, the tech said thats not what hes talking about when he says it was vapor locked......ugh

Last edited by LaFuga; 07-02-2019 at 05:28 PM. Reason: new info
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:21 AM   #2
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Personally my mind would be going to an electrical gremlin with a wire harness somewhere. works under load and then after a while (wire heating up) it starts to give you problems. Other issues could be corroded fuel tank through crap and/or water in the line and then into engine
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:31 AM   #3
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Default A similar problem ...

I had a problem with the fuel supply tube coming out of my gas tank. The original manufacturer had put a filter screen over the intake end of the tube. Over the years sediment accumulated in the tank and would slosh around, block the intake and cause a stall. Then the sediment would settle down, the tube would open again and the cycle would start all over. Had my mechanic remove the filter screen, clean the tank and no more problem.

To me, it sounds like fuel...Please let us know the outcome.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:33 AM   #4
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Sounds like a blocked fuel tank vent to me. Try opening the fuel cap when the engine stalls, If there's rush of air into the tank and the engine starts running normally again, fix the fuel tank vent problem. Might be as simple as an insect next in the vent.h
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:34 AM   #5
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Default Heat?

If you, or he marina, do nothing, will it start 'tomorrow' after being shut down and fully cooled? Does the boat have gauges or just warning lights? i.e. how does the temperature gauge read over time?
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2717 View Post
Personally my mind would be going to an electrical gremlin with a wire harness somewhere. works under load and then after a while (wire heating up) it starts to give you problems. Other issues could be corroded fuel tank through crap and/or water in the line and then into engine
Thanks, it did sit for 2yrs out of water.. Lots of acorns were cleaned out... Definitely a possibility of a chewed wire! Fuel/water filter were changed in the tune up the marina did.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
I had a problem with the fuel supply tube coming out of my gas tank. The original manufacturer had put a filter screen over the intake end of the tube. Over the years sediment accumulated in the tank and would slosh around, block the intake and cause a stall. Then the sediment would settle down, the tube would open again and the cycle would start all over. Had my mechanic remove the filter screen, clean the tank and no more problem.

To me, it sounds like fuel...Please let us know the outcome.
That's very possible! I'll have them check the tank. I was going to install a visual clear fuel filter on the hose that runs by the driver's seat from tank to engine to see if the fuel is moving when it does act up...
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Descant View Post
If you, or he marina, do nothing, will it start 'tomorrow' after being shut down and fully cooled? Does the boat have gauges or just warning lights? i.e. how does the temperature gauge read over time?
Temp stays at 150-160 all the time, but yes, it will start back up later on
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:09 AM   #9
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Sounds like those guys in Dover will fix it this time for another $900... you could have put on all those parts for a lot less and still got the same results!
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:43 PM   #10
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Sounds like those guys in Dover will fix it this time for another $900... you could have put on all those parts for a lot less and still got the same results!
I'm feeling the same except there's no way I'm paying them another penny... Seeing I just bought the boat, it's nice to know I've got all these parts replaced now, but the next attempt has gotta be on them... I've been very patient and respectful so there should be no argument they need to make this right by no more charges
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LaFuga View Post
I'm feeling the same except there's no way I'm paying them another penny... Seeing I just bought the boat, it's nice to know I've got all these parts replaced now, but the next attempt has gotta be on them... I've been very patient and respectful so there should be no argument they need to make this right by no more charges
It sounds like you need to find a real "Technician" vs just a parts changer who is using your money to throw parts at the problem in hopes of hitting the problem.
I'd give them another chance with the understanding that you are paying for no more unneeded parts and labor. Did you hopefully pay for the previous repairs with a CCD?
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:09 PM   #12
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I would strongly demand they get in the boat so they experience what you've been dealing with! testing out of water with a pair of ears does not mimic a loaded situation as on the water.I agree taking off the fuel cap when she dies is a great idea.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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Default Stalling

MY 2003 Doral with Mercruiser had same symptoms, After extensive troubleshooting at marina, issue turned out to be a rubber washer on high pressure fuel pump.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie T View Post
It sounds like you need to find a real "Technician" vs just a parts changer who is using your money to throw parts at the problem in hopes of hitting the problem.
I'd give them another chance with the understanding that you are paying for no more unneeded parts and labor. Did you hopefully pay for the previous repairs with a CCD?
Actually, I payed cash but have all the customer bill copies. And I'd never be able to take the boat without paying..
I'm in deep so I need to keep with them till its figured out without paying for another bill. Going to someone new and paying all over again isn't in the budget this year
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:58 PM   #15
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I would strongly demand they get in the boat so they experience what you've been dealing with! testing out of water with a pair of ears does not mimic a loaded situation as on the water.I agree taking off the fuel cap when she dies is a great idea.
Yea, I've takn off the fuel cap and no change.. And believe it or not, they took the boat out for them selfs after the fuel pump replacement and it didn't act up for them! Don't think they stayed in it long enough tho
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:36 PM   #16
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So I just got the word from the tech that it was vapor locked. He said after talking to mercury, they told him to install a boost pump kit for the problem. Anyone think that's the problem?? God knows how much they will ask me to pay this time....
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
I had a problem with the fuel supply tube coming out of my gas tank. The original manufacturer had put a filter screen over the intake end of the tube. Over the years sediment accumulated in the tank and would slosh around, block the intake and cause a stall. Then the sediment would settle down, the tube would open again and the cycle would start all over. Had my mechanic remove the filter screen, clean the tank and no more problem.

To me, it sounds like fuel...Please let us know the outcome.
Had a boat with same issue, after a few hour would quit like it was out of gas. Sometimes pumping the throttle kept going a little longer. After many try’s with tuneup parts and manifold gasket I pulled the gas tank. Looked at the pickup tube and screen was partially plugged and lots of debris in the bottom of tank. Ordered and installed a new tank and no more problems! The debris must have been blocking the screen on the pickup tube and starving the flow. Sometimes after waiting for a while it would start right up. I think some of the blockage was cleared after the suction was stopped. Still have a jar of that old fuel in the shed.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:30 PM   #18
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Default Undiagnosed stalling problem

I think I read in one post that the boat had been out of the water for two years; and I haven't read where it came from - private sale individual, used boat from a marina, other. What I am driving at is that the previous owner may be a source of either similar problems (and what was the solution) or a record of previous maintenance either by an owner or marina.

I wish you all the good luck in the world, my friend.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:52 PM   #19
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You typed “1974” and say it has EFI.

Is that a typo? Was it repowered?

I cannot imagine it being a 1974 with EFI.

If 1974 is correct, as stated above, pull the tank pick up, it is very nasty!
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:26 AM   #20
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I think I read in one post that the boat had been out of the water for two years; and I haven't read where it came from - private sale individual, used boat from a marina, other. What I am driving at is that the previous owner may be a source of either similar problems (and what was the solution) or a record of previous maintenance either by an owner or marina.

I wish you all the good luck in the world, my friend.
Hey there, heres where i hit a brick wall....i bought it from a private sale up north. The story i got was it was a one owner and they sold it when they moved to florida to a friend of the family. this friend is who i bought it from. he said he never had it in the water like he had thought he would, and never ran it. he gave me all the good stories for it, saying it once had a 6cyl and the original owners put a 305 gm new motor in it with all new outdrive, gas tank etc...all which the marina says was done nicely..but when i wanted to reach out to the original family, this guy said they sold it to him with sentimental feelings, so he didnt want them to know he had sold it...so dead end on talking to them... ill keep trying to find out who the last marina was to get more answers..but my marina told me yesterday that they called mercury and they told them to put a boost pump kit in it because the marina said it was vapor locked....thats where i stand at this moment....
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:35 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
You typed “1974” and say it has EFI.

Is that a typo? Was it repowered?

I cannot imagine it being a 1974 with EFI.

If 1974 is correct, as stated above, pull the tank pick up, it is very nasty!
not a typo, the people who bought it from the original owners who moved away to florida says the first people redid the boat a couple years ago and removed the original driveline and put all new in, including updating the engine from a 6cyl to a 305 fuel injected mercruiser. and, says that the fuel tank was replaced all at the same time... i looked at the tank under the bow and it does look new... the marina says that the driveline also looks new. they put new guages in it also and i was told, and it does say on the gauges that its got 340 hours on it.. my marina told me yesterday that they now found it vapor locked and mercury told them to install a boost pump kit. they say they have checked all wires and vent line and this is what they say will finally fix it....im of course very skeptical ...so we will see....i just feel i shouldnt have to pay any more seeing the first diag was the cap and rotor, second diag was a new fuel pump...now this "pump kit"... idk....super aggravated
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:42 AM   #22
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I have spoken to Mercury many times via telephone.

They are quite generous with their time and expertise.

I am not saying that the marina is wrong or lying but you may wish to get some additional confirmation on your own.

Be advised that there can be variance in the knowledge and experience level of the tech you reach on any particular day.

If you call Mercury, have the model and serial number of the engine handy.

Here is their number:

(920) 929-5040
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:46 AM   #23
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The parts that have been put in so far may not have been needed but they will benefit you.

I suggest that you negotiate for free labor for the boost pump if you choose to have it installed.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:32 AM   #24
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Default Call Steve Hinchey...

Wherever he is!
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
I have spoken to Mercury many times via telephone.

They are quite generous with their time and expertise.

I am not saying that the marina is wrong or lying but you may wish to get some additional confirmation on your own.

Be advised that there can be variance in the knowledge and experience level of the tech you reach on any particular day.

If you call Mercury, have the model and serial number of the engine handy.

Here is their number:

(920) 929-5040
Thank you very much! I will do that!
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:43 AM   #26
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Default Undiagnosed stalling concern

Hey guys, so after my last post a few days ago, the marina said they found my stalling problem to be caused by the system being vapor locked. I mentioned all the different attempts by the marina to figure out why it would stall on my last post. So one of your comments was to call mercury myself so I just did. They felt confident the marina was doing the right things and that the last decision was to put a boost pump kit into the system which would stop the system from vapor locking... Which the tech at the marina said he found after 3 attempts to fix my problem. Apparently vapor lock won't show up always so after it did this last time, I'm crossing my fingers this will finally be my cure and I'll be able to enjoy my boat once and for all! I'll let you all know how it runs after the kit is installed. Happy fourth!
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:47 AM   #27
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What is the fuel vacuum on the fuel line going to the engine? If you have vapor lock as they say, the vacuum should be high. Substitute a good know portable fuel tank and hose going to the engine and drive it. If you have a restricted fuel tank lick-up, anti siphon valve, or supply line, opening the fuel cap will have no affect on it. Vacuum should not exceed 2.5 inches of vacuum. A boost pump will not fix a restriction in the fuel supply.
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