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kentro
07-09-2007, 10:04 AM
Greetings all.
I have a 92 Prostar 190, with 351 engine. After 2 years of sitting idle, I am bringing her back to life, and have reached a point where I am stumped. I can get the engine to fire up, and actually run ONLY while the key is fully turned to engage the starter motor. Immediately upon letting off the key, the engine dies as if I actually turned it off...no sputtering, no nothing. It did this prior to replacing the carb, and its where I stand now.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, anything I need to know about replacing the starter? I think I wore the poor thing out...

etduc
07-09-2007, 10:40 AM
Greetings all.
I have a 92 Prostar 190, with 351 engine. After 2 years of sitting idle, I am bringing her back to life, and have reached a point where I am stumped. I can get the engine to fire up, and actually run ONLY while the key is fully turned to engage the starter motor. Immediately upon letting off the key, the engine dies as if I actually turned it off...no sputtering, no nothing. It did this prior to replacing the carb, and its where I stand now.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, anything I need to know about replacing the starter? I think I wore the poor thing out...

This just happen to me, 2 weeks ago.

Check your, distributor and coil. In my case, a really badly corroded, distributor. ( My boat sat, for about 9 months, but my distributor was already in bad shape.) Be careful, about over cranking, starter cylenoid
can over heat.

kentro
07-09-2007, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the response...
so even tho the engine runs/Va-Rooms! with ignition fully engaged, you think its the distributor/rotor. I wouldnt have thought that, but then again, if I had a clue, i would not have posted here.

And thanks for the caution on the starter, but its too late. Now when I turn the key, all I hear is a *thunk*. That the starter, or the solenoid?

TMCNo1
07-09-2007, 11:01 AM
Greetings all.
I have a 92 Prostar 190, with 351 engine. After 2 years of sitting idle, I am bringing her back to life, and have reached a point where I am stumped. I can get the engine to fire up, and actually run ONLY while the key is fully turned to engage the starter motor. Immediately upon letting off the key, the engine dies as if I actually turned it off...no sputtering, no nothing. It did this prior to replacing the carb, and its where I stand now.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, anything I need to know about replacing the starter? I think I wore the poor thing out...
That is exactly what happened to our boat 4 years ago and it was the kill switch on the dash. Disconnect the Clip/lanyard and spray WD-40 into the switch hole/plunger, work the plunger in and out several times to get WD40 into the switch and reattach the lanyard/clip and see if it will start. If that doesn't help, go ahead and replace the kill switch.
www.skidim.com, Item #1331, http://www.skidim.com/products.asp?dept=1041&pagenumber=2&sort_on=&sort_by=

kentro
07-09-2007, 11:08 AM
TMC - I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Im fairly certain its not the kill switch. I say that because when I started working on the boat, i spent 3 weekends where the engine would crank, but not start, and I was getting no movement in my guages. Long story short, when I discoved the lanyard was off the kill switch and replaced it, the guages fired up as expected. Also, the engine now will fire up, not just crank, as long as the key is turned fully to the right as if starting. Spark and gas are mixing when the key is held to the right, but doesnt when one lets go of the key. Do ignition switches fail like this?

pilot02
07-09-2007, 11:29 AM
If you're certain it's not the kill switch, id say it's either the ignitioin switch itself or the ballast resistor at the coil. Check for voltage on both sides of the ballast resistor when releasing the key.

kentro
07-09-2007, 11:38 AM
Pilot02 - well, Im no mechanic...
is it possible that the kill switch would allow the engine to run with the ignition switch in the start position, and not when the ignition is in the run position?
Thanks for the input on the ballast resistor checking...Ill google that for more info.

etduc
07-09-2007, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the response...
so even tho the engine runs/Va-Rooms! with ignition fully engaged, you think its the distributor/rotor. I wouldnt have thought that, but then again, if I had a clue, i would not have posted here.

And thanks for the caution on the starter, but its too late. Now when I turn the key, all I hear is a *thunk*. That the starter, or the solenoid?

Are you getting 12 volts, to the coil, when the key is in the on position?
Coils either work or don't. If you are not getting 12v to the coil, then you could have a bad ign. switch, wire, etc. IN MY CASE, I was dealing with multiple issues, but it was the distributor.

My engine would literally go, VROOM, then immediately go dead, when key was moved to "ON" position. Like the switch was turned off, but still getting 12v at the coil. Better mechanics, than me, could probably fix my distributor. But mine, was in extremely bad shape.

Buy a new marine grade solenoid and new starter. Put on the solenoid first, if starter doesn't engage, replace the starter. At least, you need to inspec the starter, for damage. (gear damage,etc.)

TMCNo1
07-09-2007, 11:54 AM
TMC - I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Im fairly certain its not the kill switch. I say that because when I started working on the boat, i spent 3 weekends where the engine would crank, but not start, and I was getting no movement in my guages. Long story short, when I discoved the lanyard was off the kill switch and replaced it, the guages fired up as expected. Also, the engine now will fire up, not just crank, as long as the key is turned fully to the right as if starting. Spark and gas are mixing when the key is held to the right, but doesnt when one lets go of the key. Do ignition switches fail like this?


That's exactly what my local mechanic and I thought while spending 3 weeks trying to figure it out. I got a 8:00am Monday morning appointment, drove 368 miles to the dealer I bought our boat from 14 years before and planned on spending 3 days in Marietta, GA if needed to get whatever the problem was fixed. The mechanic hooked it up to water, tried to crank it and 15 minutes later, he had replaced the kill switch, tightened up a bilge blower connection to it's switch for $38.00 and we were on the road home by 10:00am.

Just be sure to keep us informed as to what you find is the cause of the problem when you do get it running, thanks.

etduc
07-09-2007, 11:56 AM
Pilot02 - well, Im no mechanic...
is it possible that the kill switch would allow the engine to run with the ignition switch in the start position, and not when the ignition is in the run position?
Thanks for the input on the ballast resistor checking...Ill google that for more info.

Not all distributors use a ballast resistor.

kentro
07-09-2007, 12:03 PM
TMC - Marietta, Ga. My current residence! And yes, i will definitely shout from the rooftops when I get this sucker figured out. So, maybe it is the kill switch...that would be almost TOO simple.

etduc - yeah, I dont think i have a ballast resistor after having researched.

I wont be able to work on it again until this weekend, I am in Atlanta, and my boat is at Lake Wedowee, Alabama, so stay tuned!

pilot02
07-09-2007, 12:06 PM
Does the boat have electronic ignition or points? 92, I would think it's points. If so, it definitely will have a ballast resistor unless it's been converted to electronic in which case the resistor should have been bypassed.

kah68
07-09-2007, 12:14 PM
I put one of these in my boat, a bit pricey but man did it simplify my ignition system and the boat has never run better. http://www.performancedistributors.com/

I also installed a gear reduction starter, awesome !


Kirk

kah68
07-09-2007, 12:50 PM
I know my last post has nothing to do with the key switch, but if the Distrib. is the issue you should look at this.

jwchapman
07-09-2007, 12:51 PM
I have to second (or third?) the kill switch as a possible problem. Had the exact same issue this spring. Would start and then immediately stop. Cleaned the kill switch (a little WD40) and it has worked fine since. Just my 2 cents worth - good luck.

kentro
07-09-2007, 12:52 PM
EDIT * body deleted as duplicate of above

kentro
07-09-2007, 01:34 PM
So, anyone know off hand what starter I need? Boats in Alabama and Im in Atlanta. 1992 Prostar 190, 351 Ford engine. :confused:

TMCNo1
07-09-2007, 01:46 PM
So, anyone know off hand what starter I need? Boats in Alabama and Im in Atlanta. 1992 Prostar 190, 351 Ford engine. :confused:


www.skidim.com, Item #1201,
http://www.skidim.com/products.asp?dept=1030
I would call them just to verify that is correct!

kentro
07-09-2007, 01:47 PM
You da man!

etduc
07-09-2007, 03:19 PM
Could you guys use something, besides WD-40. You do know it contains kerosene!

Hope it is the kill switch. Just saying, what was wrong in my case.

Basically, get voltage to the coil. Even if you, have to wire around kill switch. Which will give a direction, to look. (Towards the battery, or toward combustion chamber.)

After I changed the distributor. I had to really retard my timing, to get mine to stay running, because it had bad fuel. Finally, after about a hour of running, readjusted the timing. Runs strong, right to the throttle stop. (45 mph and still pulling)

To save time,(it is summer) I orderd everything, I thought, I might possibly need. Some parts needed to be replaced, anyway. Then return, what I didn't need. Well, with a 1990 TRISTAR, pretty much used everything. Good luck.

kentro
07-09-2007, 03:28 PM
etduc - the thought had occurred to me to wire around that switch... It really feels like its an electrical problem...and since one or 2 others have had the same symptoms, with it resulting in being a kill switch, i just want to believe!
If it IS the kill switch, and i burned up a starter because of it, its hard to tell if I will be happy, or upset.
I understand the need to replace parts on that 1990, mines a 1992. Got about 550hrs on it. Im sure that carb I replaced on it was original...nasty too.

etduc
07-09-2007, 03:58 PM
etduc - the thought had occurred to me to wire around that switch... It really feels like its an electrical problem...and since one or 2 others have had the same symptoms, with it resulting in being a kill switch, i just want to believe!
If it IS the kill switch, and i burned up a starter because of it, its hard to tell if I will be happy, or upset.
I understand the need to replace parts on that 1990, mines a 1992. Got about 550hrs on it. Im sure that carb I replaced on it was original...nasty too.

I with you on that, brother. Interesting, because I just replaced my carb, I thought I had screwed something up.

There is a little vidication, associated with owning older boats.

July 1, I was still working on my boat in the lake, off shore of the camp. I lovely wife, wanted to know, if I needed a PADDLE! In front, of EVERBODY! Well, boys... thems fightin' words, here in Texas. (Wife is from Oklahoma.)

As I puttered, around the bend, I decided, it was time for an ICE cold beer. Engine started sounding better... so what the heck. Full speed ahead, came around the bend... beer in hand. (When done in a responisble way.) I don't regret, spending the money.

Life is short, Summer is even,shorter.:cool:

LakePirate
07-09-2007, 10:47 PM
I would replace the solenoid on the starter just to be sure. I had the same problem with mine, espically after I cooked it trying to crank it after 3 years. It would fire and upon release of the key in the ignition it would die. But I could be wrong...pretty cheap fix.


Pilot02 has one in his truck.

Where in 'Bama?

kentro
07-10-2007, 09:36 AM
LakePirate - what did you find the solution to your problem to be? was it the kill switch?
I have a new starter/solenoid on order after having 'cooked' mine as well trying to start the dang thing.

My wife and I are building on the mud hole formally known as Lake Wedowee in Alabama. They have lowered the lake to winter pool, or durn near, because of the drought.

kentro
07-16-2007, 08:42 AM
Ok, another chapter in the continuing saga...
First off, it appears the old WD-40 in the kill switch was a step in the right direction. Once I installed the new starter, sprayed the kill switch, there are indications of life after the key is moved from Start (crank) to ON, the engine doesnt just immediately die...but the idle is just one step from death, VERY rough & sproatic, and if you dont keep pumping the throttle, it does die. So far, I have replaced the plugs, the distributor cap, rotor and carburetor. To be sure the gas is as fresh as possible, we pulled the cap from the fuel pump and filled with brand spanking new gas. Tried new gas poured into the carb - nada. We fiddled with the 2 adjustment screws on the sides of the carb (4bbl - holley). About the only thing left to replace is the plug wires, however, the current (no pun intended) ones 'look' is super shape. Any thoughts or comments?

wesgardner
07-16-2007, 09:01 AM
Get one of these
http://www.performancedistributors.com/marinedui.htm

You'll eliminate ballast resistor and coil.

Rebuild your starter/solenoid, run in new 10 ga. wire for the entire ignition/starting circuit, add NEW fuel and I'll bet she cranks and runs like new. You'll be able to advance your timing some as well as open your plug gap to .050

This was my final solution after jinking with starters, solenoids, key switches and wiring... all is well now. Might as well just cut to the chase and get the dang boat running.

etduc
07-16-2007, 01:11 PM
Ok, another chapter in the continuing saga...
First off, it appears the old WD-40 in the kill switch was a step in the right direction. Once I installed the new starter, sprayed the kill switch, there are indications of life after the key is moved from Start (crank) to ON, the engine doesnt just immediately die...but the idle is just one step from death, VERY rough & sproatic, and if you dont keep pumping the throttle, it does die. So far, I have replaced the plugs, the distributor cap, rotor and carburetor. To be sure the gas is as fresh as possible, we pulled the cap from the fuel pump and filled with brand spanking new gas. Tried new gas poured into the carb - nada. We fiddled with the 2 adjustment screws on the sides of the carb (4bbl - holley). About the only thing left to replace is the plug wires, however, the current (no pun intended) ones 'look' is super shape. Any thoughts or comments?
Screws on the side of Holley (4160) is for setting fuel bowl, float level. Doubtful, all your plug wires are bad, but in for penny-in for a pound.

You could still have some residual bad gas, in you fuel system. For your carb to function properly(at idle) engine needs to be turning at least 500-800 rpm. If it is badly stumbling, you are flooding the engine by pumping the gas. (Compounding the problem.)

(NOTE: I wired around kill switch.)

Try this, in this order.
1) Confirm spark at the plugs.
2) Set fuel bowl float level. According to Holley recommendations.
3) Slightly adjust your idle screw, for more rpm. (1000-1200rpm, guess)
4) Slightly loosen, the retainer bolt to your distributor. (Should be a slight drag, as you rotate the distributor.) DO not try to loosen or tighten this bolt, with engine running!
5) Be sure to have proper water source, to raw water intake.
6) BE CAREFUL. You will be working around a running engine!

P.S. - be sure to have a very good battery, continuous cranking, will get voltage below 10v, pretty quick.

Objective is to get the engine running.

As you crank the engine, rotate the distributor. (Counter-clockwise for more advance, Clockwise for less advance.) To much advance, engine will backfire. To little advance, engine will stumble. Make small adjustments. Resist the temptation, to pump the gas. Let engine rest, a few minutes (have a Coke), between starting attempts.

IF after, 1 hour, you are not running. Throw in the towel. Call an engine guy, your done.

If the engine starts. DON'T touch anything, except idle stop screw. Try to get it, to idle at 1000 rpm. Let it run, for awhile. Then, reduce rpm top 800-900 rpm.

Time to slip it in gear. Rpm will drop, due to tranny, prop, drag, etc. Engine may die. If it does, just crank it up. If it doesn't die, go for slow (no wake) cruise. (This runtime is running fuel through the system, and cleaning combustion chambers.) Gradually, increase speed, but stay below 25 mph. Engine should be plenty warm. Set timing between 6-10 BTDC. (FORD) Tighten the retaining bolt. Go for a ride.

This is what worked, for me.(I finally, replaced a bad distributor.) Best done, when no one is watching or waiting

kentro
07-16-2007, 01:36 PM
Well, thanks guys. I have a couple more things to try now. I appreciate your inputs. Hopefully I can get the boat in the water soon. We are being told that due to the drought, the lake could soon be dropped to 7feet BELOW winter pool. It'd be a great time to dredge out my cove, but not for boating. (Lake Wedowee, Alabama)

pilot02
07-16-2007, 01:46 PM
kentro, you need to catch up with James aka Lake Pirate. That's his lake...

kentro
07-16-2007, 02:41 PM
Pilot = He had posted earlier in this thread, asking where in Alabama I was... I responded, but dont think he has been back since.

Hunterb
07-19-2007, 12:12 AM
HI there,

The screws on the side of a Holley 4160 do not adjust the float level, they adjust the idle mixture. To adjust the float level you have to take the bowls off and bend the support tab. If you have been messing with the mixture screws I'd suggest you put them back to the bench settings, which is 1 1/2 turns out from the bottom. It should run OK at that setting with minimal adjustments required from there. From what I've read in your posts I suspect your problem is definitely between the ignition switch and the coil. If your engine is not converted to electronic ignition then you should find an orange wire coming from the starter solenoid to the coil. This wire allows a full 12 volts to the coil during cranking to make for easier starts. Once you turn the key to 'run' the power to the coil is routed through a ballast resistor that knocks the voltage down to 9.5 or so. This keeps you from having to replace points all the time. It appears you are getting voltage to the coil during cranking but not in the 'run' position. You could try jumping a wire directly from the battery to the coil and firing it up. If it does fire up, which I suspect it will, then you can start looking for the point where the voltage is being lost. Start with the ignition switch and, using a voltage meter, or a test light is actually better, go from the ignition switch to the kill switch to the coil etc. You should find somewhere where the voltage disappears and that will be your problem.

Good luck with it. Make sure to let us know how it worked out.

Bruce

etduc
07-19-2007, 09:33 AM
HI there,

The screws on the side of a Holley 4160 do not adjust the float level, they adjust the idle mixture. To adjust the float level you have to take the bowls off and bend the support tab. If you have been messing with the mixture screws I'd suggest you put them back to the bench settings, which is 1 1/2 turns out from the bottom. It should run OK at that setting with minimal adjustments required from there. From what I've read in your posts I suspect your problem is definitely between the ignition switch and the coil. If your engine is not converted to electronic ignition then you should find an orange wire coming from the starter solenoid to the coil. This wire allows a full 12 volts to the coil during cranking to make for easier starts. Once you turn the key to 'run' the power to the coil is routed through a ballast resistor that knocks the voltage down to 9.5 or so. This keeps you from having to replace points all the time. It appears you are getting voltage to the coil during cranking but not in the 'run' position. You could try jumping a wire directly from the battery to the coil and firing it up. If it does fire up, which I suspect it will, then you can start looking for the point where the voltage is being lost. Start with the ignition switch and, using a voltage meter, or a test light is actually better, go from the ignition switch to the kill switch to the coil etc. You should find somewhere where the voltage disappears and that will be your problem.

Good luck with it. Make sure to let us know how it worked out.

Bruce

Bruce is right, I mis-spoke. Actually, I meant to fuel level in bowl, not float level. Fuel level in bowl, affects drive-ability. (Lean or rich) Small screws, on side, are for idle (fuel) adjustments. (Not the same as, throttle adjustment screw.)

Here's a link on carb adjustments, (The guy sells carb tuning books.) has some good basic info, on link.

http://www.bob2000.com/carb.htm

Holley pdf on float adjustments:

http://holley.com/data/TechService/Technical/Adjusting%20Your%20Carburetor.pdf

Here's a Holley link, on installing Holley carbs and adjustments.

http://www.holley.com/data/Products/Technical/199R8108-2.pdf

Then again, you probably got electrical gremlin.

kentro
07-19-2007, 12:38 PM
When I get back to the lake this weekend, I will give all this a try. It's kind of frustrating to only get to work on it on the weekends, in between my 'honey-dos'...of course, that could very well be a blessing in disguise.

Yes I will post my results, probably Monday when I get back.

*Edit* My ignition is electronic. No ballast resistor.

Hunterb
08-23-2007, 01:59 PM
Did this ever get sorted out? Just curious as to what the problem turned out to be.

Bruce