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2005 SeaDoo Challenger Frustrating Starting Issues

gobnu

Active Member
Messages
9
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0
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25
Location
Iowa
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2005
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
19
Anyone have any new ideas? 2005 Challenger 180 that has spent most of the past 2 seasons in the shop. Always runs great once it’s started, but one day (usually when at the shop), it will fire right up every time, and then next day (usually at the lake), it won’t start. Get the two beeps and can hear the fuel pump. Cranks well, but never lights. Sometimes sounds like it’s going to catch but blows out. Never throws any codes. Fuel pump is working well, spark plugs and battery have been replaced and working. What am i missing? Is there some wiring harness or something in the mpem that could theoretically prevent it from starting, yet allow it to run normally if it does? First time out this year took it out. Started right away cold and hot. Idled well. One week later, towed it 100 miles for an outing and wouldn’t start again. Same thing it did repeatedly last year and a few times the previous year. Service center basically grasping at straws at this point. “We could try replacing xxx, but not sure if it would help or not...”, and they don’t like working on boats more than 12 years old to begin with. Suggestions? Places that work on SeaDoo boats few and far between in the Midwest.
 

Bilmon

Jetboaters Lieutenant
Messages
407
Reaction score
449
Points
167
Location
freeport il
Boat Make
Sugar Sand
Year
2003
Boat Model
Mirage
Boat Length
18
Anyone have any new ideas? 2005 Challenger 180 that has spent most of the past 2 seasons in the shop. Always runs great once it’s started, but one day (usually when at the shop), it will fire right up every time, and then next day (usually at the lake), it won’t start. Get the two beeps and can hear the fuel pump. Cranks well, but never lights. Sometimes sounds like it’s going to catch but blows out. Never throws any codes. Fuel pump is working well, spark plugs and battery have been replaced and working. What am i missing? Is there some wiring harness or something in the mpem that could theoretically prevent it from starting, yet allow it to run normally if it does? First time out this year took it out. Started right away cold and hot. Idled well. One week later, towed it 100 miles for an outing and wouldn’t start again. Same thing it did repeatedly last year and a few times the previous year. Service center basically grasping at straws at this point. “We could try replacing xxx, but not sure if it would help or not...”, and they don’t like working on boats more than 12 years old to begin with. Suggestions? Places that work on SeaDoo boats few and far between in the Midwest.
Mercury or Rotax?
 

CrankyGypsy

Jetboaters Lieutenant
Messages
340
Reaction score
284
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Location
Tampa, FL 33615
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2008
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
18
"usually at the lake" - please update your location.

more often than not, mine was having the issue of taking quite a few tries to start (it would catch and die, too) - it didn't matter if it sat two days or a week. I had considered the fuel pump wasn't holding pressure (this seems to be common), but it didn't matter how many times I cycled it before trying. it has always had fresh plugs and good gas.

two weeks ago, I tore the entire intake out: the air filter to the supercharger, the throttle body, and intercooler manifold. I found tons of grime in everything - it was a thin, wet, brown gunk, maybe a mix of breather oil and salt air moisture? mine was once stored on a salt water lift and you how these hulls do not come anywhere close to draining completely. I cleaned the inside of all the tubes, pulled the intercooler from the manifold, got meticulous with the throttle body, and split the SC to clean the fins that had a light rusty patina.

I'm still waiting on the Riva catch can to eliminate the recirculation of that through the intake. I put everything back together after it had sat a couple weeks, so expected to have a harder time than usual starting. it took a couple cycles (probably to prime), but it caught and started a lot easier/quicker than any other cold start.
 

gobnu

Active Member
Messages
9
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Location
Iowa
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2005
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
19
"usually at the lake" - please update your location.

two weeks ago, I tore the entire intake out: the air filter to the supercharger, the throttle body, and intercooler manifold. I found tons of grime in everything - it was a thin, wet, brown gunk, maybe a mix of breather oil and salt air moisture? mine was once stored on a salt water lift and you how these hulls do not come anywhere close to draining completely. I cleaned the inside of all the tubes, pulled the intercooler from the manifold, got meticulous with the throttle body, and split the SC to clean the fins that had a light rusty patina.
I don't think the particular lake was associated to the issue, just stating that Murphy's law was in full effect when it came to not being able to get it to fail at the shop, and not being able to get it to work out of the shop.

That was a big project! Glad it worked out for you. At this point I'm probably not looking at dumping a ton of time or money into it, as I'll never get it back in resale value.
 

Bilmon

Jetboaters Lieutenant
Messages
407
Reaction score
449
Points
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Location
freeport il
Boat Make
Sugar Sand
Year
2003
Boat Model
Mirage
Boat Length
18
Ok, Merc I know, no help on the rotax. With the Merc they are very sensitive to voltage and at 9 volts the ecm cuts out though it will still crank don't know if rotax is that sensitive or not so I was wondering if your starter could be getting bad and drawing too much juice especially with the added load on the pump when it's in the water
 

CrankyGypsy

Jetboaters Lieutenant
Messages
340
Reaction score
284
Points
162
Location
Tampa, FL 33615
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2008
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
18
the particular lake you're on has squat to do with it - I'm concerned with potential history and relative distance to salt.

I tore it down bc that's part of preventative maintenance as the new owner and every boat needs PM constantly. this was a tiny project compared to my threads here - this took two weeks because I was doing other things, as well. also, I didn't do it to remedy anything, it just happened to help an issue that, although was not as bad, was very similar to your own.

in any case, you're free to take the advice or not.
 

gobnu

Active Member
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
25
Location
Iowa
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2005
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
19
the particular lake you're on has squat to do with it - I'm concerned with potential history and relative distance to salt.

I tore it down bc that's part of preventative maintenance as the new owner and every boat needs PM constantly. this was a tiny project compared to my threads here - this took two weeks because I was doing other things, as well. also, I didn't do it to remedy anything, it just happened to help an issue that, although was not as bad, was very similar to your own.

in any case, you're free to take the advice or not.
Ah... gotcha. It's always been an Iowa boat. No salt. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

Brianelmostro

Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
10
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2008
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
17
So where you bake to figure out the issue my seadoo challenger started doing the same thing and I need help getting it running
 

gobnu

Active Member
Messages
9
Reaction score
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Points
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Location
Iowa
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2005
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
19
Quit trying. Traded it for a 2019 Yamaha sx195. It was a frustrating problem. Could have kept replacing different components, but the boat wasn’t getting any newer and wasn’t much fun anymore when you never knew if it was going to start or not. Plus, only had a year left before the local Sea-doo dealer would have stopped working on it due to difficulty in finding parts for older sea-doos. Good luck!
 

JTrottaNY

Member
Messages
43
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17
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Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2014
Boat Model
242 Limited S E-Series
Boat Length
24
Another avenue to explore- If possible, when it wont start, check the plugs for any signs of moisture. A leaking IC can allow moisture into the cylinders essentially fouling out the plugs until it cranks enough to dry them out. Also an internal leak in the exhaust manifold water jacket can cause the same issue. Start by looking for evidence of moisture on the plugs and work your way backwards. If your problem IS related to moisture on the plugs you can also close your tow valve (if you have one installed) about 20 seconds before you kill the engine to help purge any remaining water from the cooling loop.

Besides that check the basics- Plugs, coils, injectors, fuel filters, fuel pump pressure
 

Beachbummer

Jetboaters Captain
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Location
Houston TX
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Yamaha
Year
2008
Boat Model
SX
Boat Length
23
Starter Fluid will take the guessing out of the game... If it starts with a good spray, it's fuel.
 
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