View Full Version : Choke question

01-28-2005, 01:46 PM
HI Everyone,

I have a problem with the electric choke on my Holley 4160 carb. The element works fine and opens and closes the butterfly valve to restrict air flow as it should, but I am not getting any fast idle. The black plastic fast idle cam is there and the choke rod is under it as it should be, but it does not make contact with anything connnected to the throttle plates. There is a strangely shaped metal piece connected to the throttle shaft but there seems to be no way to have it come in contact with the fast idle cam at any throttle setting.

Can anyone describe or take a picture of what the set-up should look like with the electric choke?

Thanks for any info you may have.


01-28-2005, 01:50 PM

I dont know if this will help.


01-28-2005, 07:01 PM
Look at the pics on page 2 and 3.

Tell us how what you see there looks compared to yours.


01-31-2005, 12:42 PM

I knew something had to be missing. What I am missing is the part illustrated directly above figure #3 on page two. I don't have that or the spring above it. I only have the small part that is the shown at the top. That is definitely the problem.

Thanks so much for posting that. I will have to find a Holley dealer in the area to see if I can get that part, without buying the whole choke kit I hope.

As a side note, while I was fiddling with the motor this weekend I had the starter solenoid decide to stick in the closed position so I had the motor running and the starter still turning as well. Not good. Luckily the battery is exposed right now since I don't have a spotter seat so I managed to rip off a cable and stop it. I would have preferred to have the silly thing fail in the open position but I guess it wouldn't have been as exciting.

Thanks again for the choke info ! I will follow up if and when I can find the parts I need.


01-31-2005, 12:48 PM
Must have make a nice sound!

01-31-2005, 02:14 PM
Glad those pics helped.

...the starter solenoid decide to stick in the closed position so I had the motor running and the starter still turning as well. Not good.
That's a POS Ford Starter solinoid for you. :rolleyes:

01-31-2005, 04:29 PM
yeah, I kind of wonder about some of Ford's 'better ideas'. While I'm messing with the electrical stuff do you know if I should change my plug gap or heat range when upgrading to an electronic distributor?



02-01-2005, 02:26 PM
No need to change heat range, or the gap, unless you are changing the coil, then you can go up in gap.


02-02-2005, 02:05 PM
I have changed to a 12 volt high output coil so I will increase the gap on the plugs. How much is recommended?

I talked with Holley the other day and they are sending the parts I need so I can have a fast idle setting on the choke. They said they don't normally recommend a fast idle on marine applications, which I thought was strange. They are sending the parts free of charge anyway so that's a bonus.

Thanks for the input.


02-02-2005, 04:59 PM
I would recomend .045" on the plugs w/a high output coil.

Holley probably doesn't recommend the high idle because the trans isn't going to like being shifted at 1500+ RPM's. If you wait for it to kick down though, I don't see a problem w/using it.


02-02-2005, 10:08 PM
I have a Holley 4160 carb on a 351 and I do not have fast idle either. It really hasn't ever been a problem as long as the motor is in good tune and I wait about a minute after starting cold before I return the throttle to the neutral position. It will idle between 600 and 700 rpm regardless of engine temperature and it never stalls or stumbles. Is there enough play in your throttle cable to allow fast idle to work. I would estimate that there is only about 1/8" play in mine. I have electronic ignition with a high output coil and I set the plug gap at .032. The timing is set at 10 deg btdc at 600 rpm. The motor really runs strong with these settings. I have a powerslot and I have pulled 7 adult skiers out of deep water and the boat will top out at around 4400 rpm 43mph. We burn about 3 gallons of gas an hour when we are skiing.

02-03-2005, 02:01 PM
Thanks for the replies,

I think I will still put the high idle on the choke and just set it for about 1100 RPM and see if that works O.K. I also think I will open the gap up on the plugs a bit as it should make for a better burn.

Are you really burning only 3 gallons/hour when skiing !!! I will be thrilled if I get that kind of economy out of this motor/boat combination. I have been skiing behind the same boat for the last 30 years, if you can believe that. It's a 1975 16 1/2 foot Glastron with a Mercury 115 in line 6 cylinder that is absolutely bomb-proof. It's been sunk twice, has a million hours on it, and it still gets up and goes every day. But it burns a lot more gas than 3 gallons/hour when skiing. I hope I get that kind of economy.

Thanks for the info


02-03-2005, 03:21 PM
You should. I get 3-3.5 GPH w/my '92.

I used to have an 18' HydroStream w/a 200 hp Merc O/B. Although that boat hauled azz (85+mph), that engien was unfortunately NOT bomb proof. It did last a long time (well over 2000 hours), but it was always acting up. Smokey, noisey, sucks gas and oil...you won't miss the O/B. :)

02-03-2005, 03:34 PM
I hope I don't miss the outboard. I know I won't miss the desperate struggle with the steering wheel in the slalom course, or my drivers won't anyway. I won't miss the smoke either, or the cost of the mercury oil, or having the rope tangled on it all the time. It has been a remarkably reliable motor but it burns a ton of fuel.


02-03-2005, 05:20 PM
Nope you won't miss it. The first time you back in to the water, give three squirts on the accelerator pump, turn the key and hear a muffled and smoooooooth;

of the V-8 engine, you'll know what I mean.


02-03-2005, 11:05 PM
My previous boat was a 16 ft aluminum Crestliner with a 115 in line 6 merc. That boat served us well for many years and it is still going strong. Believe me you will notice a huge difference engine driveability and performance. As far as fuel consumption goes the Mastercraft burns less than the Merc did. I was suprised by how economical the Mastercraft is. I think that a lot of our fuel economy comes from how we ski. We have a wide variety of skiers ranging from 6 years old to the seniors who are in their 50's. We are recreational skiers and usually ski between 27 and 32 mph. The little kids and the boarders go slower. The only time we go faster is when one of the college kids is feeling their oats or if someone wants to foot. One of the lessons I have learned concerning fuel economy is to drive the boat in a way the prevents the 4 barrel from opening unless it is absolutely necessary. It isn't as much fun but it saves gas. On my boat the 4 barrel opens up at about 38mph. If you are primarily running a course at 36mph you probabally aren't going to do as well as I do for fuel economy but I would be suprised if you didn't do at least as well as you did with your Merc.

02-03-2005, 11:12 PM
Seniors in their 50's? Since when is 50 old? I'm not yet, but c'mon!

02-07-2005, 06:06 PM
This has got me thinking about the fast idle thing. Does anyone have a fast idle when the choke is engaged? I was thinking I needed a fast idle because the motor struggles a bit and tends to stall at idle when cold, but if I turn the idle screw up it's too high when warm. I thought originally that the perfect solution was a fast(er) idle when cold. I have since talked to a couple of people who have said you shouldn't have a fast idle because it's hard on the tranny etc.

So......back to my original question I guess. Do any of you guys with carburetors have a fast idle when cold? What about the fuel injected boats?

Thanks for any info


02-07-2005, 07:25 PM
Boats normally don't have fast idle because, as was mentioned, it's hard on the transmission if someone gets impatient. Ideally, the driver just waits till the motor is warmed up fully. Older fuel injected motors can have a fast idle because the ECM can pull the IAC out and hit an RPM target, based on the program. When it's warmed up. the IAC closes more and normal idle is the result. The new motors have a sequential warm-up cycle and if someone tried to go WOT with a cold motor, it won't happen. Personally, I would just warm it up by letting it idle. It shouldn't take that long and fast idle won't really save a lot of time. Getting up to speed before the motor is warm is just not a good idea and it wastes gas.

02-07-2005, 07:51 PM
Thanks for that,

It seems it will be best to let it warm up before driving. Where I park the boat will require some forward and reverse in order to get out and I'm a little concerned about stalling while shifting and ramming someones boat. It sounds like I should just make sure it's idling well before leaving the dock.

Thanks again. I'm sure I will have more questions as I rebuild this boat.


02-07-2005, 08:59 PM
Hey Hunterb,

It looks like you're taking the same trajectory with boats as I made.

I had a 1976 Glastron CVX16 with 115 hp Mercury outboard. Great hull and good all-around boat, except a bit small. I trailered it everytime I went out, and it was very easy to get on and off the trailer, etc.

I now have a 1989 Prostar 190. I've been more than pleased with it, especially the drivability. Whereas the Glastron w/outboard the driver would trim in/out and spin the wheel like a maniac with a heavy, hard pulling skier like myself, the Prostar lets the driver pay attention to the speed without worrying about the trim and with essentially no correction for a skier.

Evidence is in the ease with which I can talk my wife into driving. With the Glastron, there had to be an experienced spotter and no traffic on the lake. Plus she'd have a lot of anxiety. Now, as long as the traffic isn't real heavy, she'll happily volunteer.

I swapped boats about twelve years ago, and haven’t looked back. Wheeling the boat into and out of tight spots at closed throttle will be a challenge at the beginning, but after you've got the hang of it and stay patient you'll handle it as well as an outboard.


02-07-2005, 09:05 PM
you could just let the boat warm up before skiing.

02-08-2005, 07:29 PM
HI Bongo,

Yeah I have to say the Glastron/Mercury has been an incredible boat. It is a challenge in the slalom course though as it's light and gets pulled around a lot. I'm only going a max of 34. The 'tower of power' sucks a lot of gas at skiing speeds.

My worry with not having the high idle is that the boat would stall while maneuvering out of the marina where I have my summer place. I have visions of diving over the windshield to prevent the nose from poking a hole in someone's boat. I'll just make sure I figure the cold idle thing out before the summer and then practice the docking thing a bit. It's definitely different than an outboard. There are a number of tournament boats in the marina and I notice a few of them have a heck of a time getting in their slips. It seems to be partially the slip placement and partially the driver skill level. I don't even want to think about it in the wind.

I'm really looking forward to the boat. I hope the wake works well for slalom. It has a tower as well but so far I only dabble in the dark side.

Thanks for the replies.


02-08-2005, 10:53 PM
If you keep the boat in a marina you won't have problems with getting it warmed up. You'll be the first person there and can turn on the blower while everyone gets organized. After 5 minutes as you wait for someone to park the car, go to the bathroom, etc... you can fire it up and then stick the throttle a 1000-1500 rpms while you store stuff in the boat. By the time you get everyone in and get everything stored, etc... the boat should idle fine and not stall when you put it into reverse. If it's going to stall, it'll likely do it on the first or 2nd time you go into a gear and you won't have any momentum built up anyway. After 3 sessions of this, you'll know exactly how long you need to wait till you can get going. Nothing to be worried about at all!

I would recommend seeing if you can find someone with an inboard that can give you a few pointers about docking. With an inboard the boat will generally not be steerable in reverse and will tend to back in one direction. Most MC's back to the right I think. I find that the trick if the stern is getting to far to the right in reverse is to keep the wheel all the way over to the right and just bump it into forward and then go back to reverse. The little bit of forward will kick the stern out to the left and straighten you out. Takes some practice but isn't a big deal. Just go slow at first, practice out in open water and you'll get the hang of it quick.