Challenger suddenly stopsMay 20 2004 at 1:23 PM
|Wayne Lipe (Login slipe)|
I have a year 2k Challenger 2000 with a 240 EFI. It will be running fine and just stop dead. I have to crank it a couple of times before it catches and runs. It will then accelerate and run at full speed until it stops again. It takes about 10 minutes until the first stop and then the interval decreases to the point where it will stop at idle.
It stops as suddenly as if I had switched the key off or pulled the safety lanyard. But if I switch it off electrically it cranks instantly, which makes me think it might be a fuel problem rather than an electrical fault. It isnt normal for fuel problems to happen that instantly, but it is definitely starved of fuel when it stops on its own.
My mechanic and I took it out yesterday and he went through all of the normal troubleshooting after it stopped. He found that he could blow both ways through the one-way check valve that attaches to the fuel line at the fuel pump. That probably isnt the problem but he ordered a new one anyway since they are cheap. Otherwise he is mystified.
I replaced the fuel filter on the end of the fuel pickup and siphoned the bottom at the lowest point. I got a little gunk out but there was no water.
The only mechanic I can get to come to the house isnt really up to speed on the EFI, but he is consulting with several people who know the engine. Does anyone know of anything that could cause the indications I am getting?
Re: Challenger suddenly stops
|May 20 2004, 3:17 PM |
What about a Lanyard Short or the Battery Switch? If the engine shuts off instantly, I would lean more toward an electrical open problem. It might not be out of the question for a fuse to be faulty. Although rare, a cracked fuse might work until it heats up. Another possibility is a loose battery connection. When the engine stops, does all the other electrical devices work exactly at that time? The next time it kills, turn on the blower or hit the horn to see if the 12 volt system is working.
I can't stress to you enough, this is a serious problem. You need the 240EFI to run for steering. Likewise, if you mess around and somehow fix it without really diagnoses it... it might reappear when you least expect it. Be careful!
This is what I would doo. Setup your jet in flush mode in your drive way. Run the water and start the engine. Very carefully, perform a wiggle test on all the wiring... one thing at a time. Be careful not to get shocked-grin. I would start with the battery, then the wire on the starter/ground, then the lanyard, then the neutral switch, then the wires inside the driver side dash etc... until you find the problem. I bet you can recreate the problem in this manner. Driving her on the water is unsafe as is and you really can't diagnose anything while cruising at 50mph anyway.
One other thing, make sure your oil tank caps are secure.
Let us know what you determine!
Probably not electrical
|May 21 2004, 12:54 PM |
Thanks for the input. The mechanic bypassed both the ignition and emergency lanyard switch and it still stopped.
If I just pull the lanyard while at speed the boat stops (of course) and it is just as instant as when it shuts itself down. The difference is that it will crank instantly if it stops because of pulling the lanyard or shutting off the ignition. When it stops on its own it cranks and tries to run but sputters to a stop. Usually on the second crank it barely runs for a few seconds and then comes up to speed. The mechanic has come to the same conclusion as I have that it is starved of fuel when it shuts itself down.
He spent time checking all of the electrical connections while running as part of his normal trouble shooting, but it isnt likely to be electrical. Fuel problems usually manifest themselves as a gradual loss of power or a sputtering stop rather than the instant stop I get. The engine maintenance instructor at our Power Squadron had initially said it had to be electrical also, but after seeing the fuel starvation after it stops itself he now also agrees it has to be instant fuel starvation.
Oil cap it tight and both the main and aux tanks are full.
I am confused...
|May 21 2004, 2:49 PM |
And, it's not the first time-grin.
I thought you stated you could be cruising along at 40mph and the engine suddenly stops, nothing about a slowing down to a stop. In this reply, you mention the engine slowing to a stop and after you start back up, it sometimes speeds up and other times it slows to a stop.
You have two different problems. What doo your plugs look like? Is there any indication of water or hot operation? Does your 240EFI has a real alterator or a stator charging system?
There are a ton of things which can kill an engine. It doesn't sound like the mechanic is isolating the true problems. If the mechanic can recreate the kill condition... why can't he figure out what is going on? Some are better than others and it is possible this problem is new. I can imagine all kinds of issues... what if the computer believes the engine is always operating at the rev-limit and retards cyc#2 to such a degree to kill it? What about bad gas, causing the fuel injectors to foul. Who knows, this one is a tuffy.
The solutions are to isolate the problems separately. If you have the stator charging system as employed on the earlier 240EFI versions... it is likely your idle is too low. If the engine starts and the idle does not make it up above or near 1,000 RPMs, the stator charging system can not produce enough juice to fire the injectors properly. After the injectors foul a bit, it gets difficult to restart and reach the RPM break even point. This is one problem which is different than your "kill" problem. If your fuel pressure drops the injectors won't work. Likewise, if the pressure is too high. These items must be tested when the problem occurs. It isn't going to be easy to diagnose this one, but I believe it can be done. And, hurry up... Summer is here!!!
Where doo you live? I wish I could help more.
These problems you are having is one reason why perhaps an OptiMax would have it over the 240EFI because they is the ability diagnose problems...
Just one problem I think
|May 21 2004, 9:21 PM |
Thanks for the reply.
I said that normally when you have a fuel starvation problem the boat doesnt stop instantly. Mine does stop instantly, which caused everyone here to assume an electrical fault.
But it doesnt start the same way after it stops on its own as it does if I turn the ignition off or pull the lanyard. If I break the ignition it restarts instantly. If it stops on its own it requires 2 or 3 cranks to start running, and takes a couple of seconds to get to idle once it catches. After that it accelerates normally and runs normally until it suddenly stops. The only thing that could explain the difference between starting after I turn it off myself and starting after it stops on its own is fuel IMO.
The mechanic cant duplicate the failure. We just run the boat until it suddenly stops. Once it stops the first time it is a fairly short interval before it stops again, so it is possible for him to try things to see if it helped. He said the plugs look OK. It idles at 1000 RPM and starts crisply except just after a failure.
I have also ruled out heat. The problem first started on a cool morning a couple of months ago. We removed the engine cover and left the hatch open, so it acted like a large air scoop. We were able to run about 5 minutes at 30MPH before it quit again. With that much cool air being circulated I dont think it is a heat problem. We were ignominiously hauled home by Tow Boat US.
I guess what I really need is to find something that would stop the fuel flow instantly and subsequently allow it to start and run again. I havent been on the board for a while, but last year it seems the shop manuals were available for some other models on CD but not the Challenger 2000 with the Mercury engine. Does anyone know whether that has changed?
Im in the Tampa Bay area at Indian Rocks Beach.
What does Mercury say?
|May 22 2004, 3:55 PM |
The symptom might be enough for them to tell what is going on. Does your 240 have an alternator?
Can your mechanic measure the fuel pressure during the test? I would change the fuse to the fuel pump, easy and inexpensive.
When the engine kills, I bet the boat really jerks with the sudden lack of power and steering.
I'm in Wisconsin, so I wouldn't be able to help. You might want to check with the guys over on the www.jetboating.net board. They might be able to help you. However, I never heard of this problem before.
Good luck and I hope you find the problem(s) soon!!!
Thanks for the link
|May 24 2004, 10:55 PM |
I appreciate the input. I assume it has an alternator sure would be nice to have a shop manual. Ill ask the mechanic to pick up a fuse before he comes over with the new one-way check valve.
It stops with the same J turn at the end as it does if you just cut the power suddenly. Not much fun on a busy weekend on the intercoastal.
Ill try the other board and get back if we ever solve this.
I have the same problem!
|May 26 2004, 5:09 PM |
My gosh have you described my 2001 Seadoo Speedster problem to the finest detail. I just bought the boat and am heart sick about the problem. I live in Bradenton, Fl. and if you find the problem please let me know. I am also going to have this looked in to locally and if I find the cure I will likewise let you know. Please e-mail me so we can keep up.
Thanks so much.
I'll let you know
|May 30 2004, 11:54 AM |
Im a bit embarrassed about the fuel separator. 4 people looked at that engine including a mechanic and our Power Squadron engine maintenance instructor and none of us looked on the other side of the engine for it. The fuel system and hoses all seemed to be on the left side.
The mechanic never showed up with the little filter or check valve that screws into the primer pump. I tend to go with what the mechanic was told at the dealer that it is a check valve. It doesnt come apart to take a filter and doesnt appear to be something you replace often. If it is a check valve it could cause the sudden stops if it is freezing.
West Marine doesnt carry the separator so it will have to come from the dealer too. It had no water in it and I am guessing it couldnt have caused sudden stops without water. It surely needs changing but a cruddy filter isnt going to cause the boat to run like a top and then suddenly stop.
Unless the valve that attaches to the pump is bad Im afraid the engine is coming apart unless I can get a better idea from someone knowledgeable about that engine. Ill get back if I ever solve the problem.
The separater filter...
|May 30 2004, 6:33 PM |
We have had our SpeedSter for several years and the fuel separator looks like new. How in the world did your's get so rusty? It must be salt water or something. Looking at the rusty filter, it appears water was gushing out around the seal and caused it to rust. I think if you get all that cleaned up... your jet will run.
It would be gasoline gushing out
|May 30 2004, 6:55 PM |
I live on salt water and the boat stays on a lift behind my house. There are other items with rust besides the separator and I doubt gasoline gushing out would do anything but retard the rust. There has never been a gasoline smell in the engine compartment and there was no water in the separator when I removed it. There is no way I can think of that it could cause such an instant shutdown. I will change it but I dont think it has anything to do with my specific problem. Maybe the check valve does though fingers crossed.
I'm goin in!
|June 1 2004, 1:11 PM |
Hey Wayne, I dumped my seperator also and found no water. I forced air into the engine compartment on Saturdays run and it still shut off just like yours. I am not going to fool with it any longer. I am taking it in to my Seadoo dealer and they said they could diagnose and fix it relativly quickly. I will let you know what the deal was. E-mail me so I can call you.
On its way
|June 2 2004, 11:38 AM |
Thanks for the offer. Ill do the same for you of course if I get it sorted out first. Let me know if you dont get the e-mail.
I ordered the service manual for my engine, but I doubt the 2002 is much different. I printed the 2002 version out for the mechanic in case he gets here before the correct manual comes in. It took over a half ream of paper printed on both sides Im guessing about 550 pages or so. I buy premium black pigmented ink by the pint and my HP black cartridges are a snap to refill or it would have cost more to print it than I am paying for the correct manual.
The service manual lists the little metal thing between the pickup pump and the fuel line as a filter. My mechanic thought it was a filter but was told that the parts catalog lists it as an anti-siphon valve. The service manual troubleshooting for the pickup pump has you troubleshoot with it disconnected from the main pump and says to check the anti-siphon valve, which means the valve has to be between the tank and the pickup pump.
There is also no mention of an inline fuel filter in the maintenance schedule. Small inline filters like that have elements that have to be changed regularly or they clog up. The metal unit between the fuel line and pickup pump doesnt come apart to take filters. Since it doesnt take replacement elements and isnt mentioned in the regular maintenance I think the parts catalog is correct and the service manual mislabeled.
There are several places in the fuel system troubleshooting where it mentions the anti-siphon valve as a potential problem, and at one point it even suggests you might have to replace it with a solenoid operated unit. It might be a reach, but I can see the valve sticking and instantly shutting the fuel off. The part came in yesterday so it is just a matter of swapping it out. Hopefully the mechanic will get here this week as he is the one who ordered the valve.
Instant fuel shutoff
|June 7 2004, 10:52 PM |
My guess is you probably have a faulty fuel pump relay. Yes, the pump has a fuse, but I think there is also an electronic relay controlling the fuel pump.....This, obviously, would make your problem both electically based AND fuel starvation based. Look to replace the relay... (unless it just happens to be loose or pulled away from the fuse panel!)
|June 8 2004, 5:53 PM |
Thanks good idea.
I brought the fuel filter/check valve to the mechanics attention and he consulted with the parts people. It is a fuel filter after all. The check valve looks similar. Cant imagine why it isnt in the normal maintenance or doesnt have an element you can change. Odd fuel filter.
The check valve goes between the reserve oil tank and the outlet hose at least I think that is what they identified.
Online 240efi service manual
|June 1 2004, 3:50 PM |
Try this link for a great online manual.
|June 2 2004, 11:40 AM |
Online 240efi service manual and operators manual
|July 10 2004, 9:34 PM |
I was wondering if there was an updated link. The one listed here takes me to the seadoo forum.
Can't get through
|April 13 2005, 7:37 PM |
Has this site been blocked by Seadoo- my search is redirected to Seadoo site and then shows manual info, but denies access.
I know what this link is...
|April 14 2005, 1:20 AM |
The Gapman built a seadoo forum a while back. The guy is quite the web designer and he has a nack for illustrating interesting useful data. Over time... his site changed a great deal as he added content. I believe this link maybe dead or perhaps the page was relocated. Nevertheless, if you search around his site... you should be able to find the info you are looking for. I think he does a great job. We have contacted one another and I have recommended his site from time to time. I haven't looked at it lately. I've been too busy with work. As I remember he has an extensive list of recall info which will benefit all Seadoo jetboaters. Its worth it to check it out.