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  1. #1

    2004 Sportster 4TEC Wont Start

    I am looking at buying a used Sportster 4TEC but it is not working.

    I looked at it today and apparently it worked fine... It was taken in for its yearly service and a fuel pump had to be changed out...

    After it came out of service it worked for about 30 min then died and never started back up.

    The current owner doesn't want to deal with it anymore and is selling it as is.

    He did say that he replaced the battery to try and fix the issue but with no luck.

    How can I check to see if the engine is seized?

    When I attempt to start it I would diagnose it as a weak battery, loose connection or a bad ground. I have seen in the past connections pass a continuity test but once any substantial current is required on the circuit it will open.

    I am a fairly competent mechanic but I have no experience with this engine!

    I have searched the forums and I have seen a reference to two known issues with this craft but I can not find out the details. I can not find any posts regarding one that will not start.

    One is an electrical issue and the other is a vent issue.

    Any ideas?

    The boat was a rental boat and it has around 220 hours.

    Can someone explain to me the BUDS system? Dealer only correct? Is there any way to pull trouble codes?

    Typical rates for dealer to clear the ecu codes?

    Thanks Guys

  2. #2
    EZ Dock of Long Island Shibby1485's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Long Island, NY
    hey tony...

    few quick things you can do "onsite" without getting to carried away with taking apart a boat that's not yet yours... it will give you a good indication of how serious things could be.

    jump the starter relay and just see if bypassing all the electronics of the boat will let the engine crank over... the starter relay is on the port side of the engine compartment in that boat mounted against the backside of the back seats. two red cabls going to it, it's tan-ish in color... take screw driver or pliers and jump those two terminals and see if you get a revolution out of the engine or if it kinda just sparks and clicks and does nothing as if maybe something is locked up...

    if it cranks, and cranks pretty freely... COOL!

    if not... back of the engine on the PTO cover where the driveshaft comes out of the motor and passes thru the hull. there's a black rubber boot there... flip that flap cover up so u can see the driveshaft. now while trying to do the same as mentioned above, jumping the relay, look at the driveshaft. see if it's moving AT ALL. is it budging and kinda barely twisting and going back to its original position? (couldn't indicate the pump is locked ed, but the engine is free) ....

    is the driveshaft not even moving at all? or maybe it's only moving and rotating in tiny increments at a time? .... could be a locked up motor...

    take the spark plugs out... get a pair of channel locks and grab the driveshaft and see if you can rotate the driveshaft either way at all... (you'll be fighting the pressure of the valvesprings, but u can still get movement and turn the engine a little bit with good pliers back and forth rocking it.

  3. #3
    Doo It Till It Hurts! holdnon72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    South Jersey

    When the boat was running for 30 minutes...How was it running? Was it running good nice and smooth? Nice steady Idle or was it missing?

  4. #4
    It was apparently running just fine until it mysteriously stopped.

    My first concern was if the engine has seized. Then if it hasnt and it is an electrical issue how difficult would be be to track down? What scares me is the ECU and the electronic key or kill switch (I cant remember the proper term). DCSS?

  5. #5
    GOT BOOST? Dockside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Whats the oil look and smell like?????

  6. #6
    King_Of_Fun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Catawba Island, Ohio
    The 2004 engines had problems with the valve heads breaking off and seizing the engine if the engine was not winterized properly. Pull the plugs and look for evidence of something hitting the center electrode... Ron

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