2000 Challenger 1800 Bogs Down - Solution?

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Challenger 1800 with Mercury 210 hp
#1
This is my first post and I would really appreciate some help. I have a 2000 Challenger 1800 with the 210hp Merc. I bought it last August and it ran beautifully all the way through to end of October (in Connecticut). I then had it shrink-wrapped for the winter. It was parked in my driveway. This past April I had it opened up and serviced (basic plugs, filters, etc.). They found a bad fuel line and replaced it. Otherwise, there were no repairs or issues. I had spinal surgery and was not able to launch the boat until this past weekend. It started and ran fine, but when I started to open the throttle it choked and almost died; I shut it down to idle and it ran fine. I took my daughter's BF out on a tube and it got to a max of 23 MPH before choking again. After that it got worse and worse, to the point where I didn't think we would get back to shore. So, any suggestions as to the problem would be greatly appreciated. Could this be the cause of the issue: Every piece of power equipment I have ends up with a mouse nest over the winter. Could there be one in the intake gate or, now, further in the jet pump mechanism? Since the issue got worse and worse as I used the boat, could the nest/debris be way inside the jet? If so, how can I clean this out? Thank you for any help you can offer! Brad.
 


Dr Honda

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#2
When you have an obstruction in the jet... the engine will rev high, but you don't go.

If the engine is bogging... I would say the carbs are plugged up. But, if you were pushing it, with plugged up carbs... it was running lean, and you could have roasted the engine. Unfortunately... with your description of it slowing down over time... that's what I'm thinking.

So... lets start with a compression check.
 

SeptemberC

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#3
I’m just curious.... do you use any fuel stabilizer? How did they determine that you needed a new fuel line? Could deteriorated fuel line particles clogged up the carb? Did you get any alarms? Have the alarms been checked to make sure they are working. Do you know if who ever worked on it ever had it in the water?

Dr. Honda... if he overheated wouldn’t have he gotten an alarm of some kind? Does his engine have a “limp” mode?

On the 2000 Challenger 1800 we had before the Islandia, we had an issue with the carb and David had to rebuild. I don’t recall our symptom though. Our (old grey) fuel lines had already been replaced prior to buying each boat. We use fuel stabilizer each fill up just because we never know how long it will be until we are out next. Thankfully we’ve been out every day/evening since getting the reeds replaced. Trying to make up for lost time
 

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Challenger 1800 with Mercury 210 hp
#4
Unfortunately, I'm not sure the alarms work. I filled the tank before launching with 37 gallons of 91 octane and added a good fuel stabilizer. I did not push it much at all. As soon as I detected it was bogging down I backed off on the throttle. It did not appear to be overheating. The fuel line was old and leaking so they replaced it. The mechanics did not run it in the water. I'll take it back and get a compression test and have the carbs checked. Thank you for your help! Will post results.
 

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Challenger 1800 with Mercury 210 hp
#5
Hello folks: A small update with more to come tomorrow. I am hoping you can give me some direction that I can pass on to the tech who is troubleshooting my boat. I finally found someone to troubleshoot (Boat Works in South Windsor CT), although somewhat reluctantly because they don't have access to parts. They cleaned out the carbs and repaired an additional fuel line leak. The boat passed these tests: compression, spark and water in the fuel, but the sea trial gave them same problem: engine idles but bogs down under load. I'll pass on any suggestions you folks kindly provide and post more details about their work tomorrow. Thank you!!
 

Dr Honda

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#6
ok... before I believe it passed the compression check... what was the results?

Also, What did the sparkplugs look like when they came out? How was the spark tested? (at what RPM's?)

If over heating is a concern... then we need to make sure the alarm works.
 

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Challenger 1800 with Mercury 210 hp
#8
I was not able to get much info from the company that is troubleshooting my boat's issue(s). They did not record the RPMs for the spark test, but since it was out of the water they couldn't have had it much above idle, if at all. They can't tell me what the spark plugs looked like and they did not record the compression for each cylinder. They said they are satisfied with compression testing if all cylinders have similar pressure over 100 psi. They did not do the carb work they previously told me they did.

So, looks like they didn't do any repairs (just the above testing) except a leaky fuel line and replacing a screw for the fuel pump. Then they took it for a sea trial (at $300+) and had the same problem I reported to them. I'm thinking they guy who winterized the boat did not do it correctly and hope that carb cleaning or rebuild will solve the problem.

I'll have to find a good outfit to work on this boat... I'll post a question about that in the northeast regional forum. Hopefully there is someone in or around CT that is competent and trustworthy.
Thanks!
 

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