View Full Version : X-18 Not Shifting & Backfire When Getting on Plane

speed demon
08-10-2015, 09:32 PM
Hi! My family has a 1976 X-18 that we got last summer. It's a great ride and a neat addition to what we already had (Sweet 16).
Problem #1:

About two days ago the throttle/shifter started to become "finicky" and every once in a while it would get stuck in neutral and just rev before clicking into gear. It wasn't major and it didn't slow us down from using it heavily skiing and running it hard, it would only happen a few times. But today when coming off plane at the gas dock it wouldn't shift into neutral and suddenly made a grinding noise and being stuck in forward gear. The Sixteen pulled it in and we put it on the trailer this afternoon. Could it be something to do with the gearing or something else?

Problem #2 (about the same boat):

The boat just came back from the shop exactly a week ago as it got a new MSD distributor put in. It was running great except that you had to be gentle with the throttle when getting on plane, it wasn't running normally as you had to slowly give it gas or else the boat would backfire, probably through the carburetor. This would make it especially hard when skiing behind the boat because it got out of the whole EXTREMELY slowly. Once on plane though it had no effect with performance from than on and didn't lack any top end speed. This is somewhat of an issue because last year (our first summer with this boat) the boat pretty much leaped out of the whole and still had plenty of top end.

Thanks so much in advance! Any ideas as to what these two issues could be are appreciated!

Also: The engine is a 1990 Chevy 350 w/ 270 or so HP

Lake Champlain, VT

Ed Donnelly
08-11-2015, 12:57 AM
[Sounds like the timing got screwed up when they put in the new distributor..ED

08-11-2015, 01:58 AM
Merc or Volvo ( '76 )

Shift interupter ? if Merc

speed demon
08-11-2015, 08:51 AM
Merc or Volvo ( '76 )

Shift interupter ? if Merc

This model is a Volvo AQ 280


speed demon
08-11-2015, 08:55 AM
[Sounds like the timing got screwed up when they put in the new distributor..ED

That could be part of it. It's going to the shop today. But we thought that it was the carburetor that had to do with the backfire - it'll get checked on at the shop though.

Thanks for the help!

08-11-2015, 09:05 AM
Ed has a good idea also check the carb if it is a Holley you may have blown the power valve

In the drive disconnect the shift cable at the back of the drive under the shift cover then move the shift flange ( bowtie looking thing) by hand and see if it shifts from fwd to neutral then reverse. Check by trying to move the prop by hand it will lock in one direction or another in gear