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Problem with Axius - 2017 Sundancer 350 (8.2L)

Discussion in 'Gas Engines/Drives/Transmissions/Props' started by RVM, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. RVM

    RVM New Member

    6
    Sep 28, 2020
    2017 Sea Ray 350 Sundancer
    8.2L Mag ETC x2
    Looking for advice here ..... Last weekend I was pulling out of our dock with the Axius joystick. Everything was fine while backing. When we cleared the slip, I pushed the joystick slightly forward to stop our rearward movement and spun the joystick to port in order to spin the bow. As soon as I did this the bow immediately lunged forward and to starboard pinning the bow against the dock. The joystick was not responsive, so I abandoned it for the levers. I tried both levers and could not stop the spinning to starboard and forward motion. After "pin balling our way down our channel, we were able to get fended off and pulled by rope into an open slip. I ended up shutting down engines and opting for the "catch our lines" approach since there was no real control. After being towed back to our dock and tied, I again tried starting both engines. The starboard was normal, but the port immediately moves the boat forward as soon as started, so it is clearly stuck in gear. Both levers are in the neutral position and both are also showing lit as in neutral.

    No error messages on the VesselView4 for port engine at all, even now. This is scary in tight quarters, even more so without warning or any error message now. Has anyone ever heard anything like this? Also, how do you regain trust in the Axius? I would've killed for a normal set of levers here.
     
  2. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    It sounds like the electronic actuator on the port engine's drive is stuck.

    There is a procedure in the Axius Joystick Piloting for Sterndrives on page 57 to follow.

    If you don't have a copy of the manual do a google search for: axius joystick piloting for sterndrives manual and download it.


    In regards to regain trust......that is a tough one......just ask anyone with Zeus drives.

    The good news is the Axius system does have overrides but they are complex/frustrating to use when the boat is drifting in a fairway. Also, the electronics still limit what you can do. For example if you shut down one engine and the drive is not centered....the other drive "knows" where it is (to avoid striking it) and limits how far it will turn which will result in a pinwheel.

    Again.....very frustrating/scary at the same time. Sounds like you did a great job of handling the crisis.

    Welcome to CSR!
     
  3. RVM

    RVM New Member

    6
    Sep 28, 2020
    2017 Sea Ray 350 Sundancer
    8.2L Mag ETC x2
    Thank you John. We are waiting for the mechanic to take a look. He hasn't heard of this happening, but is going to check around as well. We are hoping we at least figure out the problem and what created it, so we can gain our trust back in it. I looked in the manual you referenced and couldn't seem to find a cause or "emergency procedure" for something like this.

    If in the open, it doesn't seem all that tricky, but pulling into or out of our slip does have me concerned. I am hoping this is just a "ghost in the machine" that once fixed isn't a worry. I can't believe if it is something that happens more than at an absolute rarity, that there wouldn't be more concern with the technology.

    Again, much appreciated.
     
  4. stg099

    stg099 Active Member

    294
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2013 370 Sundancer
    8.2L V-Drives
    We watched this happen a few weeks back to a 350 Slx. The admiral and I were enjoying a drink on the bow of our boat and the 350 pulled out nicely using the joystick then all hell broke loose. He called for help as he bounced off of the dock and nearby boats and shut it down before anything serious happened. We determined that one engine was stuck in forward while one was stuck in reverse. I was shocked when we stared the engines and they started while in gear. It’s since been fixed but I don’t know the diagnosis
     
  5. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    Page reference should be 30 not 57. Section 3 is Troubleshooting.

    I believe you have a stuck actuator where the drive is engaged and Axius thinks it is in Neutral. The bottom of Page 30 and the top of Page 31 show you how to manually shift it.

    Let us know what your mechanic finds.
     
  6. RVM

    RVM New Member

    6
    Sep 28, 2020
    2017 Sea Ray 350 Sundancer
    8.2L Mag ETC x2
    Much appreciated guys. It certainly sounds like this is our problem... and pretty similar to our situation, but only one engine out of whack. Thankfully, there were plenty of people around to fend us off and pull us in. I will let you know the diagnosis for sure. Cheers!
     
  7. Seapig

    Seapig Active Member

    127
    Dec 25, 2018
    Oakham MA or Winnipesaukee NH
    12 Sundancer 310 w Axius
    Twin 350 Mags w Bravo drives
    My guess is a seized or broken shift cable
     
  8. RVM

    RVM New Member

    6
    Sep 28, 2020
    2017 Sea Ray 350 Sundancer
    8.2L Mag ETC x2
    Pretty Spot-on guys. A bad actuator switch. The actual actuator was fine. Apparently when the switch went out, the computer thought the port engine was in neutral even though in forward. Took three weeks to get someone to look at it, but an easy fix....I am hoping if this ever happens again it isn't with 15 feet fore and aft. From what the mechanic said, they don't have many issues with these, but I am hoping that's true. Thanks again for the responses everyone
     
    PlayDate likes this.

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