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1999 Mercruiser 4.3LX prop question-gctid813505

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    1999 Mercruiser 4.3LX prop question-gctid813505

    1999 Bayliner Capri 2050 W/4.3LX Mercruiser. This is the boat I'm working on. Just so you can all have a good laugh I'll tell the back story of this boat. Disclaimer: I did not grow up boating and never owned a boat prior to this. This Bayliner was purchased new by my wife's parents and is the boat she went boating in as a kid. As the story goes her parents got divorced and the boat went to her brother who had it for like 5 years before ending up back with her moms now husband. From the time her brother owned the boat it never had a cover and was left outside 100% of the time (10 years) prior to this story. I did ride in the boat prior to being married and remember her brother having a hell of a time steering the boat.

    It all starts with my wife being told by her Mom they are going to sell the Bayliner. If we want it we can have it for 1000 bucks but they will make sure its ready for us to use. My wife asks me if i'm interested and my response is NO!!!! Well after my wife agrees to purchase the boat anyways the fun begins. Her Mom lives 7 hours from us and can't deliver the boat. At the time she agreed to purchase the boat I could have gone and picked with her but was told they wanted to make sure everything was good so the grandkids could enjoy it right away. That meant waiting to get it because it needed a new starter because it wouldn't turn over. He had the starter rebuilt and then discovered that it wouldn't stay running without putting gas in the carb. So he needed to fix the fuel system also. About a month goes by and finally the call comes the boat is ready to go. I can't go at this time to get the boat so my wife and 3 kids plus the neighbor girl make the trip to get the boat 7 hours one way remember. Before she leaves I make it very clear they must take the boat out and make sure it operates correctly before she buys it.

    So it begins! The next day I get a picture of the boat behind my truck and told they are heading home. I ask how the test run went to find out it didn't happen but he knows its ready to go because he had it running in the driveway. Ugh! So like 4 hours into the drive back I get a call that she has a flat on the trailer and is sitting on the interstate. Oh and by the way the boat is not sitting correctly on the trailer because the bow is off to the side of the rubber stop which is missing and the boat is resting on the nut/washer. I have roadside assistance so a tow truck is coming to help with the tire. My wife's Mom's husband threw a spare in the bed she could use incase she needed it. I make it very clear she needs to have the tow guy help her get the boat back on the trailer correctly before continuing home. A short while goes by like 2 hours and I get the call they are back on the road but the tow guy couldn't get the boat back on the trailer correctly but he said "It will be ok". Finally she arrives home for me to discover the washer had dug a hole in the bow of the boat. On top of that the tire that didn't blow was in the worst shape of any tire I had ever seen on the road. I wouldn't have drove the thing around the block and she just drove 7+ hours with 4 kids in the truck. She somehow didn't end up with 2 blowouts or worse. So I get the boat in the air and repair the fiberglass. I purchase 2 new tires and after the fiberglass cures I strap it back down to go around the block. I return with the boat and once again its off the rubber stop and discover that a board the boat rests on it broken.

    The next day I ratchet the front of the boat down and take it to a local river so I can repair the trailer. This is my first boat launch and its one for the record books. We get everything unhooked and launch the boat for it to die and my wife is unable to get the boat started. She is also unable to get a rope to me so I end up having to swim out and pull the boat to the dock. Ugh! After getting it tied down we go home and to my disbelief smoothly replace the broken board on the trailer. So we go back to the river to find out why it won't start. Instantly it sounds like a low battery and it will hardly turn over. I run to the parts store get the battery tested and it fails so I purchase a new one. After that we get that replaced and hooked up first crank and the boat starts right up. Perfect! My thought is we are in the water the boats running lets go drive it. Get the kids in the life vests start unhooking the ropes and the boat dies. So not only will the boat not start but it won't even turn over and only clicks. At this point I figure I might as well trailer it back up and figure out what is wrong with it at home. So that's what I do. I start diagnosing the problem I have power to the key power to the starter so it must be the starter. Hmm wait a minute I just had to wait a month because he needed to replace the starter which he said was really hard to get at and I probably couldn't do. I double check everything and conclude it must be the starter. So I go the marina and purchase a replacement. I get it swapped out and it starts right up. While doing this work I got to looking and see the inline fuel pump he put in which he said is just a universal 50 dollar cheap pump because the factory replacement was expensive. The wires are just wing nutted together and the hose he ran was too long so he rapped the excess around the filler neck rather then just shortening it. I am able to rev the engine with a garden hose so all is good.

    So the next day we head to a semi local reservoir for a test run. We get the boat backed into the water, starts right up. My wife puts it in reverse and it dies. Starts back up again and she is able to get it to the dock and I park the truck. When I get back she tells me it died a couple more times while I was parking. So to not make the trip a waste I figure we can just go for a small ride and see if we can get it to run. Well needless to say the only time the boat would stay running was at an idle or under very little throttle. Every time you gave it any throttle it would die. We didn't make it out of the no wake zone before giving up and trailering the boat to go home. On the way home I start thinking about what would cause this and decide its got to be a fuel pressure issue. The next day I get to looking and decide to call my wife's Mom's husband to figure out the problem was he was having with the boat not running. He tells me he couldn't get any fuel pressure and had no power to the factory fuel pump connector. That is why he put the other pump in. Well he did add a pump between the tank and the water fuel separator filter but did not remove the old pump. He just bypassed the connector to get power to the new inline pump he added. At this point I'm really scratching my head and decide to figure out why there is no power to the connector. So I also don't have power to the connector with the key on but have power to the oil pressure sensor thing the wire goes to from the fuel pump connector. So I get on the internet and discover this is a safety feature so if there is no oil pressure it won't give power to the fuel pump and only has power under crank. So I pull the coil wire turn it over and yup I have power at the fuel pump connector. So I look online for a new pump and he was right they are not cheap. I call around the area and find a factory replacement for 150 bucks. I remove the pump he added and replace the factory pump and the boat sounds better then ever. Wait a minute I just waited a month to get this boat because he needed to replace the starter and fix the fuel system and I just had to replace/fix both of those things. So I call him up and let him know that there was power to the connector and wanted to know where he got the starter rebuilt at so they can either give us our money back or I guess rebuild it again. His response is just take it to some place local it shouldn't cost much to have them rebuild it LOL. What a joke! Oh and while I was fixing the fuel pump I looked in the power steering reservoir to find it bone dry. I fill it up and when I started the boat after doing the fuel pump install I find all the ATF ran out under the motor. Over 10 years prior to this her brother was having a hard time steering this thing I wonder why? NO FLUID. I cut the end off the hose and reconnect it and holy cow no more leak!

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    After all that we finally take the boat out and have a good outing to end 2016. Over the course of the winter they came and visited us and took the spare tire back with them after all that LOL!

    So that brings us to 2017. The prop that was on the boat when we got it was really bad. A new prop was purchased and put on. We went boating today and I could only get the RPMS at WOT 3600. It would only go 30MPH and barely plain out. I went off what I thought was a Bayliner website that stated a 14" prop with a 23 pitch. was factory so that what I put on it. The old prop had no markings and unfortunately was recycled. That is my question for today. Is this the wrong prop and would this cause the boat to not rev over 3600 RPMs?


    1999 Capri 2050 4.3LX.

    Couple quick notes I forgot to add. The tires were factory from 99. When I told my wife she should maybe ask for the 1000 bucks back her mom said yes but she wanted the boat. Lol.
    1999 Capri 2050 4.3LX.


      Original prop was 131/2 X 23 on that boat...
      Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
      Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
      93 3058 sold
      92 2855 (day boat)
      91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
      Longbranch WA
      Life is Good


        I have a 1950 with a 4.3 -4 barrel and use a stainless 5 blade 19 pitch. Its is a little to low ( you could over rev it slightly with one or two light people on board but not when its loaded). I had a 20 4 blade aluminum and it worked fine. I just wanted a little more low end for tubing.


          Welcome to the world of boating. You may never have owned a boat, but you sound familiar with some things mechanical. It might be time to get back to a few basics before you spend money "chasing" props.

          So far you have been putting out fires, and got the thing running. Even planing and that's a miracle. What about the rest of the systems? An actual tune-up with all new parts might be in order to get some more power. Leaving the boat in the weather for years sure could have an adverse affect on many parts. Rust here, brittle insulation there, condensation in who-knows where. The entire secondary electrical system (including coil and wires) short of the distributor itself are candidates for replacement. You can investigate the distributor for wobble or worn bushings on another day.

          Peek inside my book on Amazon : Fuelish Pleasure Boats. I think they left it "open" by mistake and the entire section on your engine (gas) might be free.

          Happy boating.



            That's Classic. My wife would have stroked a check for $2000.00 instead of the $1000.00 to "help Mom cover the expenses of getting running for us"..

            Regardless, great story and it sounds like you are "committed" at this point to get this running again. If it were me, I would be the same and wouldn't sleep until I got her running strong...then I would sell it...

            Just the principal of it....of course showing the mrs. All the receipts that were accumulated along the way and smiling ear to ear...

            Good luck.
            Lake Hartwell, GA
            2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
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