Hard Starting Engine

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The port engine on my 2010 Challenger 210 430 was having trouble starting this weekend.

Usually both engines start very quickly. The starboard engine acted normally, always starting quickly. The port engine did not want to start. I cranked it for a few seconds, stopped cranking, then tried again. Usually it started on the 2nd or 3rd attempt. Once it started it ran just fine.

This did not happen always, only about every third time I tried to start the engines. We were stopping and starting a lot as the kids where attempting to wakeboard/kneeboard and were falling a lot.

We were mostly towing, so no high rpm usage. The engine started just fine when we first put into the water. We have about 150 hours on each engine. We run premium gas. The plugs and oil were changed before the season started. We're at the lake almost every weekend so we know it normally starts just fine.

Any suggestions for what to look at?
When you say hard to start, was it cranking slowly, or did it sound like it was trying to turn over at normal speed, but not starting. I would check plugs, starter relay, positive cable to starter for signs of corrosion or melting (which would indicate a failing starter) and also remove the j-pipe and look into the exhaust manifold for signs of corrosion or a leak (hydro-lock).
The engine was turning over at normal speed. The starter sounded normal.

It did not make a difference which engine I tried to start first. The starboard engine always started immediately. The port engine sometime would not fire on the 1st or 2nd attempt.

I'll pull the plugs on both engines to see how they compare.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Check compression first and if thats ok I would start with checking your fuel injectors to see if they are spraying fuel. Next I would look at the idle control valve and give the throttle body cleaning. Perhaps the TPS unit is bad but if you remove and replace this you will need a Candoo or BUDS software to reset it to Zero.
Sounds like dirty or water in your gas line try check the filters

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Gas comes from the same tank so the other engine would be doing the same if it was the filter or water in gas. The good thing is you have another engine that is running so you can always just swap throttle bodies and see if the issue transfers to the other motor. Same with the fuel rail, coils and injectors.
You can do a couple of easy things:

1) You can swap fuel rails between engines. This just requires the right star socket, side cutters for the zip ties, and replacement zip ties. This will let you know if it is a fuel injector issue.
2) you can swap fuel pumps. This is not as hard as it sounds, as you don't actually move the pumps. You just need to swap the fuel connection and the control module connection to the fuel pumps. Both connections require no tools, but you may need to cut a few tie wraps to get enough slack to swap them. This will tell you if it is a fuel pump issue.

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Thanks for the suggestions. The photo with the arrows showing the parts to swap looks really helpful.

I'm not going to get a chance to swap anything before we go out again on Saturday morning. At least I'll get a change to see if I'm still having the same issue.
O boy........make sure you know what cooling line to pinch if you have to run on one motor to get home. If not water will enter your exhaust and dump into the motor.
O boy........make sure you know what cooling line to pinch if you have to run on one motor to get home. If not water will enter your exhaust and dump into the motor.

Good advice!
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I have line pinch clamps in my boat tool box and instructions for where to clamp the lines.

I did not need one today. We just got back from the lake and both engines started perfectly every time.

I did make an initial high speed run when we first got to the lake. 48 mph into the wind, 51 mph with the wind. We did not go fast at all last weekend. Maybe that has something to do with it.

I guess I'll report back if the hard starting happens again.
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