View Full Version : Problems Starting Up (Cont'd)

07-27-2014, 09:38 PM
So, we took the boat to the Marina, and they could not get the boat to reproduce the issue we are experiencing on the lake. We took the boat out for the first time in three weeks today, and stopped and started half a dozen times over a 2-3 hour period, and then later in the day, it happened again. The first time, it probably took a dozen attempts over a 15-minute period before we got the starter to engage. The second time, we didn't think it was going to restart, and we actually swam it to a nearby public dock. While my wife was off looking to see if there was a ramp at that park, I started messing around. I disconnected the quick connect from the ignition switch, and blew it out like an old Nintendo game. The first time I tried to start it up, I had disengaged the prop, the boat was full throttle, and it didn't crank. The second time, it started right up. This was after over 2 dozen attempts over an hour period. The issue we have is that the starter is not getting power when we switch the ignition, but only sometimes. When we pulled the boat onto the trailer, my wife stopped and started the boat two more times with no issues. I'd like to go ahead and change out the ignition switch and the associated quick connect. Does anyone know what type of ignition switch I need for a 2003 Moomba Outback LSV? I don't know if I need one directly from Moomba, or if I can just buy a generic one. I prefer that it fits the old hole, of course. Also, with the quick connect, is that something I can get from Lowe's, or is it something special. Is there a problem with removing the quick connect altogether? Finally, we could probably test out if the ignition switch is the problem next time, if there is a way to hotwire the boat. Is this possible? Can I just rub two wires together like in the movies? If so, which ones? All of these problems started when I had trouble starting the boat on July 4th. I was having trouble getting the engine to turnover, and tried to start the boat three times right in a row. The owner's manual says your supposed to give it a break between start attempts. Not sure if this did the damage, or was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Below is a link to my original thread.


07-27-2014, 10:55 PM
Order a new switch from Atlanta Marine. They will have the right one in your hands quickly.

Yes, you can easily hotwire your boat. Do a quick search of the forum for details.

07-28-2014, 09:33 AM
Atlanta Marine had to order one. I guess they didn't have one lying around. I am in Atlanta, so it should be easy to get, once it is in.

I found the way to hotwire the boat, doing the search. If we don't have the ignition switch by this weekend, I am going to attempt this method, to determine if the switch is really the problem, if we have more problems.

Do you think the quick connect in the wiring for the ignition switch could have gone bad or gotten dirty? I'm thinking of changing that out, too. I've never installed a quick connect, and don't know if I would have to splice it in, or if the existing wires can just be connected to a new quick connect. I was also just considering removing it altogether. I'm not sure why it is there, other than just disconnecting power to the switch. We have a battery switch, so we can switch power off, there.

07-28-2014, 10:50 AM
More than likely it's the switch and not the connector. Shine a flasglight in the connector and make sure the leads are clean and not corroded. When installing new switch, use some dielectric grease. There's a history of these switches failing.

07-28-2014, 11:05 AM
Where am I installing this dielectric grease? At the wire connections? Do you have a link to what I need to use? I'd still like to replace the quick connect, unless there is more to it than I am thinking.

I did a few searches last night, and I caught on that quite a few people have replaced these switches, after trying to troubleshoot other things, and the switch was ultimately the problem. Hoping this solves our problems, so we are not at the mercy of the boat any longer.

07-28-2014, 11:23 AM

This is a link that I had going and ended up being the switch. Toward to end will show you the wires you need to jump if you want to just try and bypass the switch. I also ordered one from ATL Marine and they have to get it from Skiers. Ordered and had it in a few days so their pretty quick with the turn around.

07-28-2014, 12:09 PM
Dielectric grease helps keep moisture out of electrical connections. Just squeeze a little in the plug on the leads before you connect the two plugs together. Also make sure the half of the connector attached to your boat that you will be plugging in the new ignition switch connector doesn't have any corrosion. The leads shouldn't be green and crusty. If so, scrape them clean with small screw driver or file or something.
You can get a small tube of dielectric grease at any auto parts store.


07-28-2014, 12:18 PM
My Moomba is beginning to have the same issue. Glad I saw this! By chance, would you mind sharing how much the switch was?


07-28-2014, 01:15 PM
They told me $30. I'm sure they will charge me shipping if it is mailed or shipped. I live and work fairly close to Atlanta Marine, though, and may just go pick it up. I may do that just to talk with a mechanic, while I'm there. I'm new to this stuff, but can no longer afford the cost or wait of having a marina try to fix it. If you look through some old threads, you'll find that some people have replaced there old ignition switch with something other than one by Skier's Choice. I just wanted to make sure I had the same one going in that was coming out, mainly for simplicity and fit. If this doesn't work, I'll probably move to the quick connect (if I don't do both at the same time). After that, I'm going to start looking at the breaker in the engine compartment (I've looked, but haven't even seen this button, yet).

07-28-2014, 03:23 PM

This is a link that I had going and ended up being the switch. Toward to end will show you the wires you need to jump if you want to just try and bypass the switch. I also ordered one from ATL Marine and they have to get it from Skiers. Ordered and had it in a few days so their pretty quick with the turn around.

Funny, glad the hotwire instructions have been able to help so many. I documented the wiring while putting in a push button start (not as cool as my buddy's push button start and stop, but still works well for me). Here is a diagram that may help.


07-28-2014, 10:44 PM
My Moomba is beginning to have the same issue.

Payback for leaving her for another.

08-16-2014, 10:11 PM
Just wanted to post an update. We were still having issues, so I replaced the ignition switch a couple of weeks ago. The boat did great the day we changed the ignition switch. Started up every time. We took the boat out today, and after putting in and driving over to our usual wakeboarding spot (about a 20 minute drive), we shut it off. About 15-20 minutes after turning the boat off, we tried to start it up, and starter wouldn't engage, which is what we were experiencing before. While we were sitting there, I stripped the wires to the ignition switch down in some small spots, to try and hotwire. I was able to get the beep, and the fuel pump to engage, but starter would still not engage. We just tried to keep the boat running the rest of the day, but shut it down a couple of times after that. No issues restarting those times. Almost like the boat has a mind of its own, and just starts whenever it wants to. Unless somebody has suggestions, I'm going to go ahead and check and see how much an ignition coil costs. Just replacing parts, at this point.

08-16-2014, 10:30 PM
When the starter did not engage, I take it that the starter did not rotate and the voltage at the starter connection was zero. Did you do a voltage check at the solenoid at that point? You need to work your way from the starter back through the solenoid to the switch. I don't think there is any interlock in between. A loose connection on the starter cable will drop it out fairly quickly with some heat and discoloration.

08-16-2014, 10:46 PM
could be a "dead spot" on your starter. If (when) it happens again, try tapping/hitting the side of the starter with a hammer or wrench or something while someone is holding the key to start. Another possibility is the starter solenoid may be going. If beating on the starter doesn't work, you could try jumping across the solenoid to see if the starter turns. Finally, or initially actually, you should remove and clean the wires on the starter and the ground wire to the engine block. Also, if you're handy with a volt meter, if you get another "no start" check and make sure you have 12 volts at the starter when the key is turned to the start position. If you have 12 volts there, and it ain't turning, you can figure on a starter or solenoid. It's not at all uncommon for starters to work intermittently before they eventually fail. Another method I've used to trouble shoot a starter, similar to using a volt meter, is to hook up a temporary test light. All you need to do is run a 2 lead wire, like a speaker wire to the starter. Hook one lead up to the red 12volt input on the starter, and hook the other lead up to the ground. Run that wire up under your seats to the helm. Grab any kind of 12 volt light bulb like a brake light bulb or trailer light or whatever and hook up the other end of the wire to that and temporarily zip tie it on or around the helm where you can see it. So, whenever you turn the key to start, the starter will be energized and so will the new test light. (just like using the volt meter mentioned above but this temporary test light is much more convenient). That way, if you get a no start condition but the light comes on, you know you have 12 volts to the starter. Conversely, if you turn the key to start, get a no start AND the light doesn't come on, then you're not getting 12 volts to the starter. Could be ignition switch, neutral safety switch, or whatever else is in the start circuit.

If you're problem is the starter not engaging, I would focus on that rather than ignition coils.

08-16-2014, 10:57 PM
There is no action out of the starter when it fails to engage. I've yet to start checking the ignition system for voltage or continuity. I will check the connecting wires.

08-23-2014, 11:13 AM
I don't immediately see the starter. Any idea where it is?

08-24-2014, 12:24 PM
Found the starter. It is on the underside of the engine. It is somewhat accessible from one of the storage bays. I cleaned the terminals for the wire from the battery, as well as whatever else connects to the starter at that location. I wasn't able to remove the other two wires. for various reasons. One was a small, yellow looking one. The other was black, and appeared to be routed directly into the starter housing. I assume this is the ground? If this isn't the ground, can someone tell me where to find the ground to the engine block? Since I couldn't get all the bolts off, I just connected a light to the positive terminal, and then back to the negative terminal of the battery. The light is then lit. I'm not sure if this is accomplishing what was recommended above, though. The light was just a small LED, but it was drawing enough power, that the starter wouldn't turn the engine over. It would try, but just wouldn't get there. I removed the light, and the boat started right up. I'm leaving the storage bay beside the engine empty, so that I can get to the starter, if we have issues again. Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on banging on the starter next time we have an issue. Not sure how well I can get to the starter, but I'm going to make an attempt. If anyone fan tell me where exactly I should be tapping the starter or solenoid, that would be helpful, too.