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  1. #1

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    Need your help...Sportster Issues

    Well I got the Subwoofer installed today...hooked up all 4 6.5's and went to go give it a try on the intracoastal..

    Engine acted funny.

    I started it on the trailer and it was fine...a little rough, but I figured that was normal becuase it hasnt been ran in 2 weeks.

    I launch it and it fires up then dies. This happened once before and I thought it was bad gas. Normally after about 3-4minutes of rough running, it takes off and flys. But today I went solo and I had a tough time getting it going. I got it going and it felt ok, but the RPMS never went over 5500rpm. This thing felt like a sportster from 1996!! 5500 and no more!. Then it died about a mile a way from the ramp. I spent 35 minutes trying to start it. No loose wires, nothing looked out of the ordinary. I thought I got a whiff of gas after all the starting.

    I then called Sea-tow and they said 1.5 hour wait.. I then tried again and it barley fired up and it got me home (5500rpm max) and running very rough.


    Could this be the plugs? The boat only has 20 hours on it and this seems like the problem I had when I first got it last month. Since then, it has ran 1 tank of fuel through it and it was perfect.

    I put $15 in it today for a quick run and it did this. I heard back firing as well/ popping.


    Ideas guys?

    Thanks,

    Joe


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Have you taken the spark plugs out to check them?

  3. #3
    Pull the plugs. It can tell you a lot. Usually backfiring is caused by a rich Air/Fuel mixture. Could be from faulty plugs or an ignition component.
    How old is the gas ? Is this Supercharged?. Backfiring can also be caused by Timing.

  4. #4

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    Pulled the plugs and two of them look a little white and the other looks a little rich. Also the bottom threads were wet..not sure if this is normal or not. I am off to buy new plugs now and I am going to charge the battery as the bat light is now on..

    Non supercharged, fresh gas, but it has always acted funny in the first few minutes.. There is no doubt it was retarding the timing as it would only hit 5500rpm...

  5. #5

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    Heres a pic of one of the plugs...


    Also, if the battery is low, would it cause the engine to run funny? It did plenty of cranking, but it never ran that great yesterday. I am trying to think of what else could have caused this..

    Boat ran great last time 2 weeks ago.

    Since then, as stated. Installed the subwoofer on the drivers side, ran the battery for a while while working on the boat, and put gas in it.

    That's it.
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  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svtjoe View Post
    Heres a pic of one of the plugs...


    Also, if the battery is low, would it cause the engine to run funny? It did plenty of cranking, but it never ran that great yesterday. I am trying to think of what else could have caused this..

    Boat ran great last time 2 weeks ago.

    Since then, as stated. Installed the subwoofer on the drivers side, ran the battery for a while while working on the boat, and put gas in it.

    That's it.
    Spark plugs look fine.

    With all the engine cranking and listening to the music, the battery may need charging, OR the battery could actually be failing.

    Charge the battery with a good quality battery charger.

    Then check the battery voltage (put a multi-meter right on the battery posts) with the engine running, it should be right around 14 volts. This will confirm that the boat charging system is working.

    When cranking the engine before it starts (or leave the spark plugs disconnected for this test), battery voltage should be 11.0 volts or a little higher, with a well charged battery. A lower voltage during cranking indicates the battery is not as strong as it should be, and you should consider replacing it.

    If you need a new battery, buy a factory sealed AGM type battery, like the East-Penn Deka AGM batteries. AGM batteries are very strong, don't leak acid, and can deliver solid cranking power.

  7. #7

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    I went out (had to check 5 places) to get new spark plugs just for the heck of it. I got the sam NGK plug, but this one has a cap on it. Our boats require a screw on type. Can I take the cap off the new plug or should I just go to the Doo dealer?

    Thanks,

    Joe

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Spark plugs look fine.

    With all the engine cranking and listening to the music, the battery may need charging, OR the battery could actually be failing.
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by svtjoe View Post
    ...I got the same NGK plug, but this one has a cap on it.
    Our boats require a screw on type.
    Can I take the cap off the new plug or should I just go to the Doo dealer?...
    If the new spark plugs are different than the ones you removed, then they might not be the same plugs.
    Is the 'cap' on the new plugs removable?

    Judging from the photo, the firing end of the removed plugs (do all the plugs look the same as the picture?) look just fine, no need to change them.

    The battery may be a different story, and you should check it as described previously.

  9. #9

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    They are the same number, but the cap doesnt come off. I just broke one trying to take it off. That is just a picture of one plug, the others look similair. What a pain in the a$$. I guess I have to go to the dealer to get them...

    As you mentioned the battery. Would a low charge cause backfiring and stalling?
    Thanks for your help,

    Joe

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svtjoe View Post
    ...the battery. Would a low charge cause backfiring and stalling?..
    I don't know enough about your engine to comment on all the possible causes for your symptoms, but a weak battery can create headaches and phantom symptoms while you are trying to diagnose the main problem.

    You want to be sure your battery is well charged and healthy (which are different things). A fully charged but internally weakened battery can and will cause you grief, sooner or later, often sooner.

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