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Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 14305
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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I have a 1997 baja outlaw with twin 454 and while on the lake

Customer Question

i have a 1997 baja outlaw with twin 454 and while on the lake i lost fuel to both engines. i have replaced both anti siphon valves, made sure the fuel dip sticks are clear and changed both fuel filters. i have manual fuel pumps but i dont think there is anyway they could both go out at the same time. now i am guessing there is some kind of electrical issue such as a blown fuse. Why would both engines not get fuel?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with? Do you have 1 tank for both engines, or separate tanks? Have you tried running one of the engines off of a portable tank?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i have one tank for both but everything else is separate including the fuel pickup straws. i have no tried running one of them off of a portable. it is so bazaar that both of them died at the same time. i was haveing trouble last year towards the end of the season. power would start cutting out at high RPM. I figured it was dirty filters

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
There are only 2 things that would make them both die at once if they died for the same reason. The first is if the boat ran out of gas. Fuel gauges in boats are not the most reliable things in the world. The other thing is if the fuel tanks vent was clogged, and the tank was building up a vacuum as the fuel was trying to be drawn out. Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I had just put 50 gallons in and so that is not it. Also when i took the straws out there was plenty of fuel in the tank. i figured it could have been the vent so i took off the gas cap. Also i tried to start one engine and the other straw was out so i dont think it could have been a vacuum issue. Is there any kind of over ride switch or fuse or even wires that would have screwed with it. neither engine is even getting a drop of fuel. i took the fuel lines off of the carbs and put them on plastic bottles and not even a drop

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

You said you had mechanical pumps, there would not be any kind of electrical involved in mechanical pumps.

What make/model are your engines?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1997 454 mercruiser 330hp

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Do you happen to have the serial number on one of the engines?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

where would i find it? i can go check

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
It might be on sticker on top of the engine someplace. But if not, it will always be on a metal plate just above the starter motor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i will go take a look. Are the starters on the bottom of the engine?

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
They are, as you face he front of the engine they are on the left rear.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

K165885 is one of the serial numbers.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Got it. Now follow the fuel lines back from the pump to the tank. Do the fuel lines connect directly to the tnaks, or is there anything in between the pump and tank?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The fuel lines come off of the pump and go straight to the anti siphon valves to the tank. i replaced the anti siphon valves this morning and the fuel line.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Have you checked both fuel/water separating filters to see if there was water in them? If the tank was loaded with water that would kill both engines at the same time. Have you dumped the filter contents into a glass jar?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. I replaced the old filters and there wasnt any water. That was the first thing i did. The filters were pretty old but looked great. i keep the boat in indoor dry storage.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
At this point what you need to do is get a portable gas can and stick the end of the fuel line down in it and crank away and see if it starts or not. If it doesn't, then you would install a vacuum gauge before the pump and see if the pump is generating any vacuum. Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Do I stick the fuel line with the aluminum dipper in the can or just the rubber hose? Also. Where do I install the vacuum gauge? Put it on the runner fuel line? Can I buy a vacuum gauge at the auto part store? Thank you

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
I'm not familiar with an aluminum dipper, what do you mean by that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I guess straw would be a better term. It is the long tube that the gas gets sucked up through. I attached a picture

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Ahh gotcha. No you do not need to put that tube in a gas can. Just disconnect the fuel line form the engine and get some cheap fuel line from the autoparts store and run it from the fuel pump to any old gas can. It does not have to be marine rated fuel line as this is just a test. For a vacuum gauge yes you can get that at an autoparts store. What you need is a vacuum gauge and a t fitting. I'm attaching a picture to this response. What you want to do is hook up the vacuum gauge, and the new fuel source and see if the engine starts or not. If not, pinch the fuel line off between the fuel t fitting and the fuel tank. And have a helper crank the engine over while you watch the gauge. The fuel pump should be able to generate 5 to 7 HG of vacuum in just 5 to 10 seconds of cranking.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

excellent. thanks. i will do this tomorrow morning and let you know how it goes

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Okay keep me posted.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Good morning, just checking in, any luck?

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