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ilockert

1986 chaparral 178xl Acting like it was running out of fuel and steering issue

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So today the wife, kids and I decided to take the boat to the lake. This is our first boat and second time going out on it.

First time out we noticed the boat pulled real hard to the left, so hard I had to basically keep the steering wheel almost all the way to the right to keep straight. Well I got home and noticed there was a fin by the prop that was crooked, So I straightened it up.

Well today I want to go and see if that fixed the issue, well it did but it didnt, I was able to go straight but still had to keep a right turn on the wheel. messing with the trim did make it easier to handle.

Well after about 2 hrs of riding around and just enjoying the fact that we own a boat now and are able to have this moments with our kids, I noticed power was dieing off as was the speed, then I noticed a rattle from the engine compartment and then the temps started to climb, so I backed off the throttle and just sat for a minute to allow the temps to go down.

Once it cooled down we started heading towards the dock at that point is when the boat started acting like it was out of gas, (it still had 3/4 of a tank) then it finally just died, we sat in the middle of the lake for roughly 15 mins trying to start the motor, It would start idle rough then die.

Finally it started back up and we limped it towards the dock about 1/2 way there it started acting like it was out of fuel again and then backfired a couple of times. Died again but started back up and we limped to the dock, could never go over barely an idle pace, when the boat tried to die I would but it in Neutral and it would smooth out and then we could start again.

Im at a lost for ideas on what is wrong with this thing. My first guess was fuel filter, or fuel pump but now I have no idea. Im also at a lost on my steering problem.

I figured I would try here first and see what other thought, but end result I think im going to take it to a shop and have them give the boat a good once over. The guy I bought it from "said" the engine was just rebuilt.

But then again I know nothing about the 3.0 i/o mercruisers.

Im starting to under stand the whole Break Out Another Thousand thing.

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The fin shouldn't be straight that's what is wrong causing you to over correct. Try adjusting it the opposite way it was and see if that helps. You do not have power steering so fin assists you via water pressure on fin.

Fuel filter pluged. Gauge way off and it is empty

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Your overheating is most likely caused by a worn impeller in your water pump down in the lower unit if you have a merc. You have to remove the foot in order to gain access to the pump. i suggest you get a mercruiser repair manual for your model and year. As you increase speed and load on your engine, it generates more heat. If your impeller is worn, then it cannot keep up with the increased demand. So when you slow down, the engine creates less heat and thus will cool down. If you have to turn your wheel to the right, then shift your trim tab so that the back of it is to the right. You may have to tweak it a couple of times but that is what is causing the pull.

Good luck,

Al

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Thanks for the help, Tomorrow I plan to go back to the lake and make the adjustments. The fuel issue seems to have been bad gas, My truck which I filled up at the same spot that I filled the boat up at is also now have the same issues.

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You need to solve the overheating issue first. Most likely, bad impeller that needs to be replaced - make sure it's still in one piece and that fins haven't broken off. Hopefully, there's no damage to the valve train or heads.

Do a search on the forum for the bad gas piece.

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Change your gas station !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never go back there again !!!!!!

Call the gas station and tell them both vehicles are toast now. You expect money for mechanical parts & labor. If they say no. Get the name of their gas supplier & tell them the same thing...............Getting bad gasoline removed is NOT a cheap operation. They caused it. They pay for it........Your insurance company might help you on collecting the money for the bad & toxic fuel removal & disposal. Check it out.

Old boats have problems just like old cars do. Cheaper to check easy to get to parts, than difficult part to get to.

Boat ran O K the first trip ??? Lets replace the problem causing fuel.

Clogged fuel system CAN CAUSE a very lean running engine which can cause a overheated engine above idling in neutral.

FIRST get ALL the crappy fuel out of EVERY PART oft yhe boat. Then the boat may be good again.

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Your style of Alpha 1 MR drive has a high pressure, low volume impeller. (1991 and newer Alpha 1 Gen II drives have a high volume, low pressure impeller)

Anyway, the MR style impeller only last 3 years or so before they're done in freshwater. A Gen II style last much longer.

If you need a new impeller, I highly recommend getting kit # 46-96148T8 or Q8. Depending on the severity of the overheat, you may also need 42724A3, 46-44292A3 if the impeller caused it. (likely culprit) NOTE: an Alpha R/MR drive can't be started without water going to the impeller for even a very short time - impeller gets burned up. Sitting in the egg-shaped housing is also hard on impellers, especially that style with the short vanes.

Lastly, there should be an -in-line fuel filter on your carburetor fuel line to carb. Need a 5/8" wrench and a 1" (I think) wrench. Fine micron filter that can get repeatedly clogged. If you need a new filter, don't just get 35-53336, but rather 13975-8767T or Q which includes the gaskets, washers, and filter.

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It appears the running rough was water, since I have no fuel water separator, and the sticking in gear or hard to move from forward to reverse ended up being a lack of oil in the lower unit. So after installing a fuel water separator and changing to oil in the lower unit, the boat now purrs like a kitten and shift like butter. The over heating never happened again. But I will look into that kit and prepare to change out the impeller.

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