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OK need help with 04 LXi backfiring! 2 years dealer cant fix it!

IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
We have a 2004 Malibu RLXi. Runs great except that once every 35-45 passes it backfires. This has literally been going on for 2 years, in the shop about 11 times, and the guy still has not fixed it. Rough estimate of what has been replaced:
Entire ignition system
Transmission plates
ECM (2 times)
Fuel pump
Filters in injectors
Throttle body
Much more but this is all that I am 100% sure of

The current theory is that the a fuel injector screen was clogged so it was dripping gas instead of spraying a mist. Adding up over many passes it caused a back fire. Mechanic changed the filter in all 8 injectors and said on one of them it was more dirty than the rest making him think that is the issue. He said if it keeps backfiring it may have damaged the injector bring it back and we will put in a new injector. It is still backfiring. We have not yet taken it back to get the new injector, but my question is weather or not this sounds like it could be causing a backfiring issue.

Comments

  • gregygregy Posts: 2,452 Mega Baller
    My skiing partners 08 mastercraft had a Random misfire that finally got so bad we couldn't ski on it. 2 dealers looked at it and couldn't fix. We pulled the distributor and the teeth on the drive gear were badly worn. Boat had about 550hrs. New distributor and no problems for a couple years now.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,796 Mega Baller
    Does your boat commonly have a dead battery if it sits?
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
    @bracemaker Define sits. It took 2 weeks off mid june and the battery was fine. Other than that it dosent take more than 2 days off at a time and I have never had a problem with that.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,796 Mega Baller
    Gotcha - where I was going with it is that occasionally you'll see misfiring/dieseling/backfire or other oddities that resist diagnosis when the voltage is low. What's the voltage gauge read when running? do you have a multimeter to take a solid reading across the battery?

  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
    @BraceMaker The gauge reads normal i believe and I do not have a multimeter. Defenitly something to bring up tho to mechanic
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,796 Mega Baller
    Normal being? 14 volts or 12 volts? Particularly if you have electronics like speed control/radio on when you're operating.

    Again I'm spit balling, but I wouldn't overlook the possibility that a diode could be bad in the alternator.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
    @brucemaker to be honest I am not sure I have never noticed. I will be skiing at my lake with my boat on friday and I can check.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    Is it backfiring (combustion when the intake valve is open so it comes up through the intake/throttle body) or is it misfiring (improper combustion).

    Things to check
    - spark plug wires
    - distributor (cap, rotor, gear on distributor and cam shaft)
    - timing (I think everything is electronic but if there is a mechanical advance mechanism in the distributor check that too)
    - timing chain or gears
    - crank position sensor
    - fuel injectors
    - injector wiring (ECM would have fixed a bad injector driver)

    What conditions does the problem occur (skier pull out, steady speed, when ZO or PP engage, constant throttle, opening throttle, closing throttle)?

    Also has it ever set a fault code? Active or in the history the dealer tech should have looked to see if there was anything to guide his/her diagnosis.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
    @wayne it is backfiring not misfiring. Spark plugs have been checked. Timing has been checked. The problem occurs when pulling skier up. So right as my dad gives it throttle to get me out of the water, before the boat is back on plane. It has sent a fault code, not sure which one. The whole thing started when the boat would not start one day and it would not start because the code was active.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,452 Mega Baller
    That sounds a lot like my buddy problem. Random misfire code was what he got. That boat shouldn't have a mechanical advance. My 99 with monsoon doesn't. Themalibucrew site there's a lot of info there.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,252 Crazy Baller
    @Ilivetoski‌ , I've got a meter. We can check voltage Friday.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
    Ilivetoski
  • DWDW Posts: 1,837 Crazy Baller
    @Ilivetoski: Under the assumption of mechanical throttle, have you checked the throttle body shaft bushings for wear / air gap and leak?
  • jackskijackski Posts: 263 Baller
    Also, can you tell if it's backfiring up the intake or just out the exhaust ?
    Jack
  • PeebsPeebs Posts: 14 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    I had a very similar problem on a 2000 MC Prostar - Indmar...the engine would back fire randomly when under high load. After alot of time (12 months) and money was wasted in replacing parts....the issue was determined to be the factory flame arrestor.

    The arrestor's internal baffle was backwards to that of what it should be (our arrestor baffle was in the front half, and the other factory baffle was in the back half, or the other way around as I can remember at this point).

    Tried a new flame arrestor and the problem was resolved. I guess the original flame arrestor was just one of those factory blems.
    Its not what you ski on, its how you ski on it!
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    edited July 2014
    Get the fault code, that will help eliminate a lot of guessing.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,796 Mega Baller
    @wayne - suppose that depends on the nature of the code - when I see something like
    "Rough estimate of what has been replaced:
    Entire ignition system
    Transmission plates
    ECM (2 times)
    Fuel pump
    Filters in injectors
    Throttle body"

    I can sense someone is chasing a code down a rabbit hole and overlooking something more basic that can also cause a fault to pop.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    @bracemaker I see it as throwing parts at something with out following the proper fault diagnosis tree. I see technicians do this all the time because they don't really understand what they are trying to diagnose. A fault code sets me on a diagnosis path and a series of checks to root cause the issue before replacing parts. @live2ski has thrown a lot of money in parts at this issue with no resolve, knowing the fault could help more unnecessary spending.

    Sorry, if I seem harsh. I am not intending to come off that way, I just see this same scenario play out in my working career all too often and if I can prevent it I go after it pretty aggressively. I don't want to offend anyone on this forum, just need all the pieces of the puzzle to help the most.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    edited July 2014
    @bracemaker rereading what you said again, we're on the same page. The fault code may help be some help though.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
    @DW I would assume that was checked with he overhauled the throttle body.

    @Wayne I plan on being near the dealership that has been working on it tomorrow and will stop by as ask these questions.

    You guys are giving me some great things to point out and for him to possibly check!!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,796 Mega Baller
    edited July 2014
    Oh I'm with you.

    I'm just more cynical about the value of fault codes after dealing with a BMW service manager and a 4K quote off a fault code.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,149 Crazy Baller
    @BraceMaker My dad had a similar BMW issue. 2004 745 Li electical something that made the car run went out after $6,000 to repair just that he was in a 2008 CTS
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    @bracemaker I've developed logic and the fault analysis procedures for OEMs. The fault code is only as smart as the person reading it. There are defined diagnosis processes for every fault to avoid unnecessary spending on fixing the wrong part. It really comes down to training and experience, no matter what badge is on the car or boat they all have technicians that know what they are doing and ones that don't. Unfortunately the latter are in the majority.
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