Motor Won't Run in Water

Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
LOL - I had some major weirdness happen this weekend.

2001 - 55 hp Johnson 2 stroke.  Last used 3 weeks ago - ran 45-50 miles that day.

Trailered to Canaveral and fired it up in parking lot - I always do this.  Started right up, turn off, launch - park, get in boat and it wouldn't start - messed with it 1/2 hr and pulled it - in parking lot it fired again.  Launched again - it wouldn't start again.

Went home and hooked it up on hose. Ran fine. 

Went to nearby ramp, launch and it wouldn't start.

Went home and put in garbage can - filled it up as much as it would handle and fired motor - ran fine, fiddled with carb setting, ran smoother.

Went to nearby ramp, launch and it wouldn't start. 

Pulled it out, started it, back it in while running.  Ran about a minute while I went and parked truck - wasn't running when I got to it.  Wouldn't start.

Gave up, put boat up.

Anyone have any ideas WHY this is happening?

Replies

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,520 Admiral
    Not saying it's your problem, but i had a similar issue last year and I replaced the poppet valve and it solved the problem.   
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 932 Officer

    Exhaust back pressure?  But your garbage can test doesn't support this...

    Pony tank to ensure not fuel tank related?  Even if that doesn't seem to be water related.

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    I'll look into the poppet valve - engine doesn't have any issues peeing water - it starts peeing when turning on the key if the motor won't run - always has.

    Yes - tried a diff tank.  I use a couple above deck tanks at this point in the game - the oldest gas is 3 weeks old.  The other gas was bought that day.

    Have no idea what the diff is between the garbage can and the ocean other than back pressure.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,518 Moderator
    The launch ramp is at an angle it will effect the fuel level float it may be sticking, on the level it`s ok. Just a thought.
    larrywitt
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    We were talking about that, Larry - maybe the angle is diff in the water vs the trailer.  I have the carb kits and they include new floats.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,232 Captain
    It will be interesting to see what this is all about. :*
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • plumber1969plumber1969 Posts: 193 Deckhand
    My guess is floats in the carb
    2013 Xpress H-18 115 Yamaha
    Camo'd out to hide from the fish better:cool:
  • bubbanorbubbanor Posts: 39 Greenhorn
    Had a 80’s Evinrude that wouldn’t start in water. Turned out to be burnt rings on pistons. Had to rebuild. I’m not saying this is your problem, but is a possibility.
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    Wanted to give an update - last weekend I rebuilt the carbs, put new fuel line in, switched gas tanks - ran it on hose and in garbage can to set carb.

    Went and launched it - wouldn't start.  Back to house and put her away.

    The only thing I think I have left is the power trim & tilt wiring - PT&T went and I'm not sure I'll use the boat enough to spend $500 or so on replacing actuator. 

    SO, that's my plan for this Saturday - instead of fishing, i will be pulling the wiring harness and hoping that makes a diff - it is connected to motor in like 3 spots and may be shorting something out when the actuator/wiring is wet.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,520 Admiral
    I'm surprised you didn't go all Hulk on it at that point.    I can imagine the frustration.  
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 259 Deckhand
    Have you tried a fresh water lake? From what you said runs in a fresh water tank and hose but saltwater does not run. Saltwater is more conductive then fresh you may be on to something shorting out in saltwater. You can try discounting your magneto ground wire. (Black and yellow wire)
  • GRIZZLGRIZZL Posts: 726 Officer
    Do a spark test at the ramp. Get an inline spark tester


    Make sure you have spark on all wires (you may be shorting out at the ramp..make sure no water getting to powerhead

    Then I'd change the fuel filer..the angle might be just enough to stop flow on a clogged filter that will flow gass when upright.

    Disconnect neutral safety switch to rule out ignition switch short..spark test

    Sound electronic- short

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    I took power T&T harness off and launched it - motor started right up, ran about 1/4 mile and died...

    Went fishing on kicker.  4 or so hours later started motor up, ran it a couple of miles WOT, then hit slow zone and almost made it back.

    Ignition key would turn on motor but not turn off motor - and had voltage in steering wheel.  Def pointing at electronics. Something to work on next time I get over there.
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 259 Deckhand
    Run the motor in the dark look for jumping sparks. Look at the coils and spark plug wires.
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    Excellent - I didn't think of that - have the ability to do that in a barn.  Thanks!
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 766 Officer
    Sounds to me like a bad key switch or wiring harness.
  • GRIZZLGRIZZL Posts: 726 Officer
    Gary S said:
    Sounds to me like a bad key switch or wiring harness.
    YUP..the fact that it runs at all eliminates the power head shorting..The Ignition switch probably has the black wire or black/yellow loose and intermittently contacts the hot wire under vibration..thats why it runs on the muffs bot not on water...either the switch or the harness is shorted. Do am OHMS test at the power head back to the switch and check for grounding. Do you have a electrical plug at the motor in the harness connecting switch to powerhead or is it straight wired  unplug and check for grounds with multimeter. I had that exact problem on mine and had to re-run a ground wire cause it had shorted in the harness
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    Thanks. 

    Will do - boat is over an hour from me during the week, so not able to work on it in the side yard after work...  Got another week or so before I get to it again...
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,520 Admiral
    Rich M said:
    Thanks. 

    Will do - boat is over an hour from me during the week, so not able to work on it in the side yard after work...  Got another week or so before I get to it again...
    That's the worst.   I keep mine at a storage facility.   I can get it any time but if I bring it home I get a nastygram from teh HOA ****.    My next house will not have an HOA.   
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    I'm with you.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,232 Captain
    That is funny, my buddy at work took a trailer home once and parked it out front overnight, not supposed to do that but, it was only one night. He got a nasty gram letter that they posted on the trailer that said he had to move it within 30 days, he said "dang I was only going to leave it overnight, now I can keep it here for 30 days!!" Win, Win!!
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,011 Officer
    That's hilarious!  They are really strict and do serve some purpose but tend to try and abuse their power.
  • SaltySardineSaltySardine Posts: 159 Deckhand
    HOA is incredibly lame. Lived in a house with one but it was run by the most disorganized old folks (75+ years) ever. One told me I could leave the boat in the driveway while I waited for a storage space to open, then I got a letter saying they would tow it. I called the head person and he said he would talk to so and so about it. Never did. I got another letter. I met with the head guy and the other lady who wrote me the letter and he proceeded to yell at me (Im 29 and he was 80) that he never told me at all that I could leave it there. I put my phone on speaker and played the message he left for all to hear then proceeded to strip every bit of dignity and morality that man had left and would not be surprised if he died from shame that night (or heart attack). He left and the lady told me she had never seen a bashing quite like that before and he rightly deserved it for yelling at me when he was clearly wrong. I told the lady I was leaving my boat in the driveway until I found a new place to live...

    never got another letter for that entire 2 month period. 
    F**kin HOA's
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