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Suzy-Q

Will turn over but won’t start

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If you have a minute....I think we broke the boat. Trying to run through some things before we bring it in to the shop. There are probably some things we don’t know to do. Situation: had the boat in Florida and may have run both batteries all day with engine off (rookie move but we know better). Leave, starts fine. Ran aground and sucked up sand. Overheated, shut it off immediately. Waited and started again, overheated so shut it off again. Waited, then it wouldn’t start. Jumped it once and I think we had to turn it off again due to overheating. Wouldn’t start again after that, low battery voltage (Sea Tow to the rescue). On land, attached hose and flushed A LOT of sand out. Bought new batteries to replace the others. Turns over but won’t start. Checked fuses by motor. Boat is in neutral and safety lanyard in place. All spark plugs seem to be snug. Seems like we have power, fuel but no fire (spark) Any thoughts??  Thanks in adavance! 

2009 Chaparral Sunesta 

Volvo Penta 8.1 

 

 

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Is your 8.1 Fresh Water cooled? When you get an overheat alarm on those engines it's typically only the exhaust temperature alarm, and the block itself never gets above 200 degrees, which will set an additional alarm, but will not damage the engine internals. As you repeatedly tried to limp home and experienced several consecutive alarms, likely you cooked the inside of your 4" rubber exhaust hose segments at the very least. Raw water pump impeller is likely toast also. Re-establish a viable cooling system first, and remove the hoses on the raw water cooling circuit for internal inspection to verify that you have removed all the sand. A substantial choke point is the inlet side of the tube to shell heat exchanger. Getting her back running again needs to take a backseat until you resolve the cooling water issue. W

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W.  The 8.1Gi-J is freshwater cooled. 

11 hours ago, Suzy-Q said:

Jumped it once and I think we had to turn it off again due to overheating.

What does this mean... "... I think we had to turn it off again due to overheating."?  The "I think" makes me wonder if there is more to the story, and/or more information to share.

11 hours ago, Suzy-Q said:

Boat is in neutral and safety lanyard in place.

Suggest double checking both and one other thing.  (1)  Often commotion follows alarms, and things get jostled around inadvertently.  So, and please indulge me here, (a) take the shifter and move it back and forth and ensure it's in neutral, and (b) also pull the safety lanyard and reinsert.  If not in neutral or the safety lanyard is not inserted, the motor will not start.  (2) Next, please verify the drive is fully down.  The motor won't start with the drive in the trailer position.

11 hours ago, Suzy-Q said:

Checked fuses by motor.

If none of the above do the trick, the fuel pump has a cooling circuit.  With all of the sand, it's possible the heat exchanger plugged and/or sand reached the fuel pump (cooling circuit).  For understandable reasons, heat and fuel don't mix.  With restricted water flow and high temperatures, the thermal switch (relay) may have cut power.  To confirm, open the engine hatch and then insert and rotate the key to the on position (stop before the start position).  The fuel pump should come on right away.  Listen for the sound of an electric motor (a dull, but steady whine).  If no noise, the fuel pump relay/fuse is the root cause.  (P.S.  I don't recall if it's a relay or fuse, and don't have this wiring diagram with me.  I believe it's a relay, but can't guarantee it.  Either way, if the pump doesn't come on, it's a bad relay/blown fuse.)

8 hours ago, Wingnut said:

As you repeatedly tried to limp home and experienced several consecutive alarms, likely you cooked the inside of your 4" rubber exhaust hose segments at the very least. Raw water pump impeller is likely toast also. Re-establish a viable cooling system first, and remove the hoses on the raw water cooling circuit for internal inspection to verify that you have removed all the sand. A substantial choke point is the inlet side of the tube to shell heat exchanger. Getting her back running again needs to take a backseat until you resolve the cooling water issue.

All of what the esteemed Wingnut writes is very sage direction.  Please follow it; i.e. before anything else, replace (or have replaced) the hose and freshwater pump impeller.  In addition, ensure this pump housing is free from scratches and gouges.  If any, replace.  If none, ensure the pump bearing and seal are not damaged.  Neither do good with heat, and these are often compromised when this happens.  (Typically this "failure" shows up a few outings later, and is missed at the outset when the focus is on getting "her" to run again.)

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6 hours ago, Suzy-Q said:

If you have a minute....I think we broke the boat. Trying to run through some things before we bring it in to the shop. There are probably some things we don’t know to do. Situation: had the boat at Crab Island and may have run both batteries all day with engine off (rookie move but we know better).

Hey, it happens.  Chalk it up to a learning experience and you'll be better at it now and know what to avoid, particularly getting the drive stuck in any sand.

I have the same exact engine and outdrive and if you're taking it to the shop anyway, it's going to get fixed so you'll be all set.  Not sure you need to pull off hoses to check for sand unless you know which ones and are willing to do that yourself before taking it to the shop.

You do know that engine has a flush port for the hose to connect into it, right?  It should be a 1-inch blue, plastic hexagonal cap on the top starboard side of the engine.  Make sure you identify it's the flushport from your manual first.  With the engine shut off, you unscrew that cap and connect the garden hose to it.  Lower the drive and turn the water on and before turning the engine on, you should see water coming out of the outdrive.  I think it's a much better way to flush the motor than using muffs.  If you're boating in salt water, this is the best way to flush the engine after each outing.  I let the water run through the engine and out the drive for a couple of minutes before I turn the engine on, just to help clear anything before hand.  Then crank the engine and let it get up to temperature which in this case is 160 degrees.  Let it run at temperature for about 5 minutes and then shut engine off.  Turn water off and disconnect the hose but don't forget to screw the blue cap back on.  If you forget, the engine will overheat the next time you're out.  In your case I would let the water just run through the engine for at least 10 minutes before cranking the engine, but I think your impeller is most likely worn out from the sand and maybe even stuck or seized if you had that much sand in there.

The shop will probably flush out the whole cooling system and replace the impeller and check the thermostat, fuel pump and relay and you should be back in business. 

Definitely avoid sticking the drive in sand at all cost.  Whenever I beach the boat, I back up slowly with the drive raised just enough with someone looking out on the back and then shut it down and jump off.  Bow is anchored and then I'll anchor the stern by hand.  Then when it's time to leave, take out the stern anchor, push the stern out sideways a little bit so the drive is in deeper water then crank engine and pull a bit forward to retrieve the bow anchor and I'm off.

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4 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Is your 8.1 Fresh Water cooled? When you get an overheat alarm on those engines it's typically only the exhaust temperature alarm, and the block itself never gets above 200 degrees, which will set an additional alarm, but will not damage the engine internals. As you repeatedly tried to limp home and experienced several consecutive alarms, likely you cooked the inside of your 4" rubber exhaust hose segments at the very least. Raw water pump impeller is likely toast also. Re-establish a viable cooling system first, and remove the hoses on the raw water cooling circuit for internal inspection to verify that you have removed all the sand. A substantial choke point is the inlet side of the tube to shell heat exchanger. Getting her back running again needs to take a backseat until you resolve the cooling water issue. W

Thank you. Yes, it’s freshwater cooled. 

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9 hours ago, Chap243 said:

Any idea of how hot the engine got?

I believe it was 185 but not 100%. I did have a few adult beverages (I'm not the captain :D)

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Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions!! We both work all weekend and will give it another look. I will update y'all when we know more. 

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4 hours ago, Hatem said:

Hey, it happens.  Chalk it up to a learning experience and you'll be better at it now and know what to avoid, particularly getting the drive stuck in any sand.

I have the same exact engine and outdrive and if you're taking it to the shop anyway, it's going to get fixed so you'll be all set.  Not sure you need to pull off hoses to check for sand unless you know which ones and are willing to do that yourself before taking it to the shop.

You do know that engine has a flush port for the hose to connect into it, right?  It should be a 1-inch blue, plastic hexagonal cap on the top starboard side of the engine.  Make sure you identify it's the flushport from your manual first.  With the engine shut off, you unscrew that cap and connect the garden hose to it.  Lower the drive and turn the water on and before turning the engine on, you should see water coming out of the outdrive.  I think it's a much better way to flush the motor than using muffs.  If you're boating in salt water, this is the best way to flush the engine after each outing.  I let the water run through the engine and out the drive for a couple of minutes before I turn the engine on, just to help clear anything before hand.  Then crank the engine and let it get up to temperature which in this case is 160 degrees.  Let it run at temperature for about 5 minutes and then shut engine off.  Turn water off and disconnect the hose but don't forget to screw the blue cap back on.  If you forget, the engine will overheat the next time you're out.  In your case I would let the water just run through the engine for at least 10 minutes before cranking the engine, but I think your impeller is most likely worn out from the sand and maybe even stuck or seized if you had that much sand in there.

The shop will probably flush out the whole cooling system and replace the impeller and check the thermostat, fuel pump and relay and you should be back in business. 

Definitely avoid sticking the drive in sand at all cost.  Whenever I beach the boat, I back up slowly with the drive raised just enough with someone looking out on the back and then shut it down and jump off.  Bow is anchored and then I'll anchor the stern by hand.  Then when it's time to leave, take out the stern anchor, push the stern out sideways a little bit so the drive is in deeper water then crank engine and pull a bit forward to retrieve the bow anchor and I'm off.

 

4 hours ago, Hatem said:

Hey, it happens.  Chalk it up to a learning experience and you'll be better at it now and know what to avoid, particularly getting the drive stuck in any sand.

I have the same exact engine and outdrive and if you're taking it to the shop anyway, it's going to get fixed so you'll be all set.  Not sure you need to pull off hoses to check for sand unless you know which ones and are willing to do that yourself before taking it to the shop.

You do know that engine has a flush port for the hose to connect into it, right?  It should be a 1-inch blue, plastic hexagonal cap on the top starboard side of the engine.  Make sure you identify it's the flushport from your manual first.  With the engine shut off, you unscrew that cap and connect the garden hose to it.  Lower the drive and turn the water on and before turning the engine on, you should see water coming out of the outdrive.  I think it's a much better way to flush the motor than using muffs.  If you're boating in salt water, this is the best way to flush the engine after each outing.  I let the water run through the engine and out the drive for a couple of minutes before I turn the engine on, just to help clear anything before hand.  Then crank the engine and let it get up to temperature which in this case is 160 degrees.  Let it run at temperature for about 5 minutes and then shut engine off.  Turn water off and disconnect the hose but don't forget to screw the blue cap back on.  If you forget, the engine will overheat the next time you're out.  In your case I would let the water just run through the engine for at least 10 minutes before cranking the engine, but I think your impeller is most likely worn out from the sand and maybe even stuck or seized if you had that much sand in there.

The shop will probably flush out the whole cooling system and replace the impeller and check the thermostat, fuel pump and relay and you should be back in business. 

Definitely avoid sticking the drive in sand at all cost.  Whenever I beach the boat, I back up slowly with the drive raised just enough with someone looking out on the back and then shut it down and jump off.  Bow is anchored and then I'll anchor the stern by hand.  Then when it's time to leave, take out the stern anchor, push the stern out sideways a little bit so the drive is in deeper water then crank engine and pull a bit forward to retrieve the bow anchor and I'm off.

Thank you. Yes, we do use the water hose and flushport. We will def not be beaching this baby ever. I will keep your advice in mind and practice!

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19 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Is your 8.1 Fresh Water cooled? When you get an overheat alarm on those engines it's typically only the exhaust temperature alarm, and the block itself never gets above 200 degrees, which will set an additional alarm, but will not damage the engine internals. As you repeatedly tried to limp home and experienced several consecutive alarms, likely you cooked the inside of your 4" rubber exhaust hose segments at the very least. Raw water pump impeller is likely toast also. Re-establish a viable cooling system first, and remove the hoses on the raw water cooling circuit for internal inspection to verify that you have removed all the sand. A substantial choke point is the inlet side of the tube to shell heat exchanger. Getting her back running again needs to take a backseat until you resolve the cooling water issue. W

Thank you, Wingnut. I will be making a parts list to start troubleshooting, hopefully on Monday.

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13 hours ago, Suzy-Q said:

I believe it was 185 but not 100%. I did have a few adult beverages (I'm not the captain :D)

The actual block overheat senders trip at 188, so your engine should be fine. Almost impossible to get all the debris out of the raw water cooling loop by using the flush port only. Best to pull at least one end of every hose on that circuit, inspect, and flush as necessary. The engine closed loop water jackets could see 220 for a brief period without issue as it is a pressurized closed system, but your exhaust temperature senders (*one in each exhaust manifold) would be telling you that all the rubber parts after the exhaust risers are toast long before then. Those switches alarm at 212 degrees, and my guess is that they are the ones that tripped on your ride.  W

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I want to thank everyone again for taking the time to give us some advice. We decided we were in over our heads and brought her in to the shop. Apparently there was sand in the exhaust manifolds. $2600.00 to fix. Ouch. 

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Correction, $2600 to flush it and hope that it fixes the problem. Very nervous. Does anyone know how bad this can be? Thanks

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23 minutes ago, Suzy-Q said:

Correction, $2600 to flush it and hope that it fixes the problem. Very nervous. Does anyone know how bad this can be? Thanks

Depends on what exactly are they going to do to "flush it" for that much money.  Did they give you any information on what that entails, such as replacing the water pump etc.?  They must be replacing a few parts as well for that number, and not just taking things apart and flushing the sand out of the system.

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2 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Depends on what exactly are they going to do to "flush it" for that much money.  Did they give you any information on what that entails, such as replacing the water pump etc.?  They must be replacing a few parts as well for that number, and not just taking things apart and flushing the sand out of the system.

My husband spoke with them yesterday. He told me this was just to flush everything out and doesn’t include replacing anything because they don’t know if this will fix the problem.  I assume they will be pulling the motor (?) and this is mostly labor costs. They also said they’ve never seen sand in the exhaust manifold before. From my understanding, this is a dealership who is certified to work on Chaparrals. My husband is worried that the engine may have been damaged (but I don’t have the knowledge to know why). 

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Hydrolocked indicates a water intrusion into a cylinder. If that`s the case you have a cracked manifold/riser or a bad gasket somewhere in the exhaust system. $2600 should cover removal and replacement of the manifold/riser system, not just a flushing. Somethings not adding up.

21 minutes ago, Suzy-Q said:

I also don’t get how it went from turning over and not starting to hydrolocked. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Suzy-Q said:

 I assume they will be pulling the motor (?) and this is mostly labor costs.

Might be worth finding out if they are in fact pulling the engine out or not, to be certain.  That might help justify the cost since that's not exactly a small operation.  Outdrive needs to be removed, all connections to it from the engine need to de disconnected and then the engine hoisted out of the boat and put on a stand so they can take it apart and flush all the sand out of it.  If they're not pulling the engine out, then I would question why it's so high and get details.

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44 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Depends on what exactly are they going to do to "flush it" for that much money.  Did they give you any information on what that entails, such as replacing the water pump etc.?  They must be replacing a few parts as well for that number, and not just taking things apart and flushing the sand out of the system.

Sent my husband screenshots of the replies. He said “What I meant was that was for the brake down and rebuild with gaskets. “

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55 minutes ago, Suzy-Q said:

Sent my husband screenshots of the replies. He said “What I meant was that was for the brake down and rebuild with gaskets. “

Hopefully this won't be the first time they see sand in the exhaust manifold like they said.  I think @Chap243 is right, the cost should cover replacing the manifold and risers if that's what they mean by "rebuild with gaskets."  If that's the case, I don't think they need to pull the engine out for that.  

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I did one once on a raw water cooled motor that plugged up a manifold with sand .Had to remove the core plugs to flush it out of the block.also. Never would have believed you can ingest that much into an engine block

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I guess we can close this thread now. The boat needs a new engine. It can’t be rebuilt. We just got this boat in April and it’s heartbreaking because we’ve waited years to get it. Now we will have to save money over the winter to replace the engine. I would like to sincerely thank each of you for taking the time out to help us. 

 

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