2009 Challenger 180 (255HP)

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I have a 2009 Challenger 180 with 56 hours on it, been a great boat!! I pulled it out to get it ready for the season, has a brand new battery and had the charge topped off the other day. When I turn the power switch on the gauges go through the "check" just fine. When I attached the lanyard I get one long beep and nothing when I press the start switch. Looking through the posts I've determined it's one of the following:

1. Dirty key/ DESS post - is there anything special to cleaning these? Mind you they don't appear dirty or corroded.
2. No communication to MPEM - where is the MPEM located?
3. Bad ground to battery/ engine - the ground does not appear corroded or bad, but I'll clean it tonight
4. Bad ground to MPEM - where is this ground located?
5. Bad Ground at starter - I need to locate the starter and check the ground

Another clue to me it's a grounding issue is that for the past two years whenever we would shut down to anchor or stop, I would pull the lanyard. However, the gauges would occasionally "check" like I had just turned the power switch on, this would happen unless I shut the power switch off. I'm open to other ideas as well, thanks.

1. If it looks clean and in good condition, it's most likely fine. When putting on, do it in a quick firm push.
2. You don't have an MPEM, that's for older models. You have an ECU and a cluster that communicate with each other. ECU is on top of the motor, cluster is your gauge.
3. Always good to check but probably not your problem. The main ground is on the left side of the engine under the exhaust manifold towards front.
4. The secondary grounds are at the front of the motor just above the single engine mount. Good to check but probably not your problem.
5. Starter is under your exhaust manifold as well but towards the rear of the motor. Again, good to check but probably not your problem.

Start with the basics. You say battery is good but what you are describing is exactly what a weak battery will do. What is your voltage? Have you had it load tested? Have you tried a known good battery with jumper cables? (Never jump start your boat from any running vehicle) It will never start unless you get the 2 beeps. You can always jump the solenoid to see if the battery is strong enough to crank the motor. Follow the positive battery cable and it will lead you to the solenoid.

The gauges doing initial start up when pulling off is fairly common, especially if you don't pull off quickly and firmly.

It's possible you have a bad ground situation but not the first thing to check.
Yes firmly put the dess key on. Mine does it but noticed if I put it on firmly and twist it recognizes the dess key everytime

Thanks for the info. I actually took the battery back to where I bought it last year. They placed it on a charger and load tested it. Battery dies check out good, it’s less than a year old. I’ll try and work with the key again, I did try all that, but I’ll give it another go. The boat was in neutral. I did cycle the lever into and out of gear back to neutral. If I can’t get it working, I’ll have to have a mechanic put a computer on it. Which I hate cause I like to fix my own stuff. Thanks for the comments, I’ll keep tinkering.
I have had issues occasionally with finding "Neutral" that makes the ECU happy. The control doesn't lock excatly anymore, so sometimes it just takes a handle wiggle to find the sweet spot.
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