View Full Version : Engine Dies, Won't idle.

02-23-2005, 12:02 AM
Hello everyone, I have a 92 prostar 190 which I purchased a few years ago. When I purchased the boat, it was very cold natured. I adjusted the choke and have seemed to have fixed that problem. On July 4th of 03, I was out at the lake, I had put about 50 hours on the boat by then (total of 550). Idling around waiting for the fireworks, the boat shuts off. Turn the key, no start. Pump the throttle, boat starts, shuts back off. The boat would crank and run above 2000 rpm, but anything less, it would die. Got it back on trailer, next morning I pulled the carb, expecting to find some trash or water. Looked great no problem found. Boat gave no more trouble next time out. Went to Lake Martin in Alabama for a week. After the third day, same thing happens again. Went to MC dealer, replaced plugs, wires, dist cap, rotor button, fuel filter, and cleaned carb.. Next day runs great for about 3 hours of skiing, then same thing. So I tried an old "California Carb Cleaning" (take off the breather, crank motor, rev up, and then throw a towel over the carb until the engine almost dies). Everything is back to normal for about another hour and then well you know. Took the boat to the dock, tied it up for the rest of the day. Ran the boat the rest of the week with no problems. This problem has been occuring on and off since then. I have tried everything. I had a mechanic check out the carb and he found no problems. It usually occurs after cruising and then pulling back on the throttle, it will idle for a minute then shut off. The boat idles around 800 rpms when its running good. The boat accellerates very good without any hesitation. It runs like a new boat 95 percent of the time. Sorry about the long story, but sometimes it helps to paint a picture. Any help would be appreciated. Could it be something other than carb.??

02-23-2005, 06:58 AM
Look at the fuel pickup tube in the tank, make sure the fuel shut-off is in the open position, the check valve is clear, the fuel/water separator is clean and has no water in it, the fuel pump isn't leaking and if there's a screen in the carb, make sure it's clean.

800 RPM is too high and if you're putting it in gear above this, the transmission won't last too long. Take a fuel sample. You may have debris or water in the tank, but it only has a problem after the water gets into the chamber where the fuel pickup is located. I would slide the tank out ar the rear and remove the plate on top so I could look in. If the tank has a lot of gas in it, you may want to siphon or pump most of it out, but put it in clean containers.

How many hours/year do you run the boat? Maybe you could list what is done to winterize it when you're done for the season.

02-23-2005, 09:28 AM
I think there is another thread on here about this problem as well. Also I have been in a 93 205 that does just about the same thing. It runs and pulls great. once it gets warmed up though it seems as though it dies after a stop, almost like it is flooding out. :confused:

east tx skier
02-23-2005, 10:09 AM
Me: Hello, my name is East TX Skier, and I had an early 90s MC with hotstall issues.
Group: Hello East TX Skier.

While I'm no mechanic, I've solved a similar problem with my boat thanks to input from others with these problems. In the early 90s (91-93 I believe), MC went from the Holley 4160 single feed carb to the dual feed Holley 4010 "fishbowl" carb on its boats sporting the 351 HO. The 4010 was heat sensitive and, if my memory of my boat mechanic's explanation serves, when coming off plane to idle, tended to have a bit of fuel slosh back down the venturies (please forgive my ignorance if this doesn't make sense). As a result, when you'd come to idle (and shut down), you couldn't start easily without pumping fuel. When you did restart, if you were up to operating temp, sputtering and stalling was a problem.

Correct Craft was using these same carbs at the time, and as a result of the complaints, recalled them and retrofitted the 4160 carb. Indmar said that there was no problem and so, twelve years later, many people (often new MC owners of older boats) get to deal with it.

Last year, after a professional rebuild failed to solve the hot stall issues with the 4010, based on a friend's experience with the same, I replaced it with a 4160 purchased through skidim.com. The problem is 100% solved and the boat runs like a champ.

The 4010 has a "right now" responsiveness that the driver won't feel quite so much from the 4160. However, the skier won't notice the difference and that's what counts in my opinion. If you're the kind of person who can work on carbs, you might be able to make the 4010 behave. I'm of the opinion that life is too short to mess with such nonsense that should've been corrected by you know who at no charge long ago. I'm a much happier person (as is my wife/driver) now that we've thrown money at this problem and made it go away.

In sum, don't rebuild it. Replace it and leave the problem in your wake.

02-23-2005, 08:02 PM
Thanks for all of the advice. As far as the idle situation goes, how much drop in rpm should you have upon gear engagement. It seems like when I idled it down lower than that, it idled very poorly, and would shut off when engaged. To answer the question about winterization. I put stabil in the tank, and pull it out of the garage about once a month and crank it on the hose. The boat is in near mint condition, the previous owner spent alot of time maintaining the boat, and I have tried to do the same. I only run the boat about 50 hrs a summer, that may be alot, but I change the fluids and filters at each 50 interval. Will I see a loss of performance with the 4160 carb you mentioned.
Thanks for the help.

02-23-2005, 08:52 PM
I think your problem is related directly to your idle circuit in your carb.

You said,
"Pump the throttle, boat starts, shuts back off. The boat would crank and run above 2000 rpm, but anything less, it would die"

That is VERY symptomatic of a LEAN mix on the idle circuits. Actually no fuel flow. You pumped the throttle and by doing that the accelerator pump put a shot or two of fuel into the motor, then it fired. Then it died because there was no fuel there after it burned up the pump shot, to keep it going. When you run it above 2000 RPM, your onto the main circuit by that time, and the idle circuits are out of the picture. The fact that it runs w/a pump shot, and anything above 2k tells me that you've got no problem w/fuel delivery to the carb. Your carb has a problem delivering fuel at idle. After all this I'll (finally) get to what I think the cause is.

I think it's either debris moving in and out of your idle circuits, or damaged idle circuits.

I know you said the carb has been cleaned, but to what extent? Did someone literally blow air or liquid though the tiny idle passages, emulsion tubes and air bleeds? What do the idles mixture screw needles look like? Some times people turn those all the way in and bottom them too tight, putting a groove in the needle. When this happens the needle does a poor job of metering the fuel and is very inconsistent. Something to check that's easy to check. If it were my boat, I'd take that primary metering plate out and go through every single passage w/and air chuck, or "Brake Cleaner" etc., check the needles, and re-assmeble and try again.

02-28-2005, 05:43 PM
Just another thought: A member of our club had a similar issue last year with his 94 205; same issues with when it was hot, it would just shut down. It would refire after about an hour and then it might or might not do it the rest of the day. His cap and rotor were in very POOR condition. He changed them, along with a new coil, and the boat never missed a beat the rest of the summer and fall.

02-28-2005, 05:54 PM
I second bret's notion. My '89 190 had the same problem bret described. When the boat was cold, it'd start right up and off we went. On rare occasions and after the boat had been run for a while, it'd sputter and stop. Let it set for a while (> 1 hour) and off we'd go again. Very intermittent, though, when we'd have problems.

It seemed to me to be a fuel problem, so I check everything I could with the carb, emptied water seperator, changed fuel filter, etc. A while later, same thing.

Finally went after the points, cap and rotor. Problem solved.


02-28-2005, 06:05 PM
A guy on a tractor forum that I monitor always says, "if it feels like a fuel problem check the ignition, if it feels like an ignition problem check the carburetor"... his general message is that once you have checked the basics on one side (fuel or ignition) do the same for the other before you go too far down the same path (i.e. a whole carb rebuild or replacement before spending the $15 on ignition in this case). Probably not a solution but at least food for thought.

02-28-2005, 09:34 PM
If you guys read his post, you'll see that he replaced the cap rotor, plugs and wires and the problem persisted.

I still say start w/the carb, clean it yourself and verify that EVERY passage is clear in the metering block, and that the idle screw needles are in good shape. This costs nothing, and the symptoms and history point to this area, not new caps and rotors.

02-28-2005, 11:08 PM
If you guys read his post, you'll see that he replaced the cap rotor, plugs and wires and the problem persisted.

Oops; duly noted. :o

What Storm861triple says. :D


03-02-2005, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the advice. The boat does not have to sit after it shuts off, it will crank back up, just won't idle. Ive been looking at my skidim book at new carbs. Will the new 4160 perform the same as my stock holley carb? Im going to check the carb over again before making a $500 carb purchase though. Does anyone know where I can get a carb cheaper than that? That seems a bit pricey for a holly four barrell.
Thanks again for the advice.

03-02-2005, 09:58 PM
$500 for a Holly is great DEAL Retail is $660. Full rebuild is $329

Marine carbs are more expensive that AUTO. Any dealer who is good WILL NOT work on a boat with automobile parts. Starters, alternators and carbs... Thats a NO NO

[email protected]

east tx skier
03-03-2005, 11:13 AM
You don't want to use an automotive carb that has not been marinized, end of story.

I got my 4160 from ski dim and it was much cheaper than they're selling them for now. I seem to remember $419 for the carb and about $12 for the fuel line. For a while, recently, I saw rebuilt ones on there for about $100 cheaper, but those may be gone.

Rebuild on a 4010. $50 for the kit and just shy of $200 for the labor was what I paid last year to my local inboard dealer.

Performance. This is my experience. The advantage of the 4010 appears to be out of the hole responsiveness. I've heard it described as a "right now" feel. With the 4160, that "right now" feel is gone from the driver's perspective. The 4160's hole shot is solid, but smooth. From the skier's perspective, I could not tell the difference at all---just felt solid pull and was up on the stick before the wake got to me. As for horsepower, all I can tell you is that with the 4010, I was getting 36 mph on the gps at 3475 rpm. After the switch, I was getting 36 mph on the gps at 3425 rpm. No other changes were made in between my getting the first set of numbers and the latter.

From my experience, the only thing you'll lose is the "right now," feeling, which is traded for smooth and solid. But if the skier can't tell the difference, who cares, right?

03-03-2005, 12:01 PM
ORRRRRRRR.........you could go to www.summitracing.com and buy a Holley marine carb for about 50 bucks less. And it is brand new. Part number for the 351 is 0-80319-1. Just type it in on their search function and you will find it.

03-03-2005, 03:27 PM
Will the new 4160 perform the same as my stock holley carb? Im going to check the carb over again before making a $500 carb purchase though.

Isn't your stock carb a 4160? Mine is ('92 PS 190)

I agree w/checking out the carb thoroughly, as I mentioned above. There is really no reason why you should have to buy a new carb unless a part of yours is worm out, and that is rare! The only things that wear out on a carb that make it un-servicable are the throttle shafts and the throttle shaft bores. And the needle and seats for the idle circuits if someone bottomed the sh!t out of them at one point.

Other than that, everything is perfectly servicable w/a cheap-o re-build kit and a thorough cleaning.

I personally, I would never spend that money on a Holley carb. They aren't worth that much, IMO. For that money, I'd buy an AUTOMOTIVE Road Demon carb and put "J" vents on it (now it's a marine carb), and enjoy better throttle response, more power, and better economy for about $220 LESS than that Holley you quoted!


Heck, for the same price how about this?


Eitherway, please don't spend $550 on a carb whose technology is 40+ years old.

east tx skier
03-03-2005, 04:55 PM
I always thought 4010 was stock on the 351 HO from around 92--93, but I only own one of those boats (93), so I'm not familiar with 92.

If you have a dual feed fuel line, it's a 4010. In my personal experience, a full rebuild by an inboard mechanic very familiar with my issues did not solve my hot stall issues. I'm not saying that someone who knew these things backwards and forwards couldn't make it work. I'm sure it's a possibility, just not for me anymore. I'd add that the issue would have to be somewhat unserviceable for Correct Craft to recall them on its boats.

03-15-2005, 10:32 PM
Man, thanks for all the great tips. My carb is the single line not the dual line. Does anyone make a updated Marine carb that will be a direct bolt on. If this is old technology, shurely someone has something better by now. I have never considered putting a automotive style carb on my boat, and I will spend $500 if I have to, just thougt there might be something a little cheaper. Im going to check out summit's marine carbs. Thanks again for all the help.

03-15-2005, 11:02 PM

CARB 351 4 BBL
Code: HOL0-80319-1
Price: $439.00
Quantity in Basket: none

Brand New 4 bbl 600 CFM for Ford 5.8L V8

03-15-2005, 11:04 PM
How can I tell which carb I have? There are numbers stamped on the carb, but none of them say 4010 or 4160. Like I said before It has a singe feed line, not a dual.

03-15-2005, 11:06 PM
How can I tell which carb I have? There are numbers stamped on the carb, but none of them say 4010 or 4160. Like I said before It has a singe feed line, not a dual. What cfm are these carbs??

east tx skier
03-15-2005, 11:08 PM
Indmar is currently using the 4150 dual feed carb on their carb'd engine. Indmar is the only source I was able to find for the 4150 with vacuum secondaries. They were running about $700 or more. If you've got the 4160, why not mess with what you've got. I just briefly looked back through and didn't see that you'd rebuilt it. Thomas and Jim will probably be able to tell you if that would be the best route or recommend another carb if you go that route.

03-16-2005, 07:55 PM
Does anyone make a updated Marine carb that will be a direct bolt on. If this is old technology, shurely someone has something better by now.

Someone DOES make a better carb by now, adn I posted two links above to those carbs. Barry Grant "Marine Demon" carbs. They are WAY better than Holley's for a variety of reasons. If you'd like I can get into the specifics of what features make the Demon carb better.

As for identiying your carb, if the float bowls are removable, then it's a 4160. If the top, or lid is removable, then it's a 4010. Both styles use a single feed.

The only difference between the 4160 and the 4150 mentioned immediately above is that the 4150 uses a METERING BLOCK between the secondary float bowl and the main body, where as the cheap-o 4160 uses a "metering plate". The advantage to the metering block is that it contains adjustable idle circuits (sometimes), replacable main jets, a power valve(sometimes) and other features that let you ADJUST the secondary side of the carb, which the 4160 doesn't allow you to do. If your carb is a 4160, you can "make" it into a 4150 by removing the meterign plate and installing a metering block.

Both the factory carbs (the 4010 and the 4160) are rated to flow 550 CFM but any carb 550 to 650 would work fine. Especially a large Demon, since one of it's features is a stronger signal at the discharge nozzle.

No matter what you need to end up w/a carb that is "marine spec", but if you're clever and informed, you can buy an automotive carb and turn it into a marine spec carb. Not much to it really.


east tx skier
03-16-2005, 09:53 PM
Thomas, the 4010 carb I had on my boat through last year had a dual fuel inlet. From Holley's website, it appears that the 4150s listed also have dual fuel inlets. I've got a link on a different computer to a pretty good marine carb resource that talks a little more about the 4010. I also remember reading that OEM was 600 CFM (or maybe that's just what I've got now), but my memory could be fading. You've no doubt forgotten more about this stuff than I'll ever know, but here's what I just pulled off Holley's website. What am I missing?


This is the fuel line skidim shows for the "fishbowl" carb.


east tx skier
03-17-2005, 10:04 AM
This article has a good breakdown on the various Holley carbs. From this, it looks like the 4150 can be dual or single feed. My brother in law has an Indmar engine in his Supra Comp with a 4150. Next time I'm down there, I'll try to remember to take a look at it to see if it's single or dual feed.

Holley Marine Carbs (http://www.boatsunlimitedny.com/tt_marinecarb.php)

03-17-2005, 12:37 PM
You're right that the 4010 is dual feed. I don't know why I was thinking it was single. (?)

Either the 4150 or the 4160 CAN be a dual feed or they can be asingle, depending ont he float bowls used. All 4160's (that I have seen)come "stock" w/a single feed, and use that little pipe/o-ring to connect the two float bowls together.

All 4150's (that I know of) come "Stock" as a dual feed. You could use the same float bowls that come standard on the 4160 and that pipe, but why would you?

On that Supra, Indmar, as an OEM, might have specified a single feed on the 4150 and had Holley deliver them w/the float bowls and connecting pipe the 4160 normally comes with. That, IMO, would be foolish as the dual feed is a better design IMO. But who knows how Indmar did that application. It'll be interesting to see when you get a chance to look.

east tx skier
03-17-2005, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the reply, Thomas. For a bit there, I thought I might be editing a lot of posts about the 4010 being dual feed even though I'd held that fuel line in my hand.

I'm almost positive the 4150 on the Supra, from my conversations with unnamed guy at indmar in early 04 when I was trying to figure out what to replace my 4010 with, is dual feed. I see from the catalog that the 4160 and 4150 are capable of going both ways.

Sorry to get off topic with all this, but just wanted to be sure that that limited knowledge I have gained over the years is accurate.

You mentioned the metering block on the 4150 versus the plate on the 4160. Any idea what was on the 4010? I've got a thick 1" or so piece under my carb and wondered what it was, especially with my clearance issues after the new intake manifold. I don't think this is what you're talking about, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that it could be removed (not that I'm going to do that at this point).

By the way, the manifold/carb combo is running well enough for govt. work

I always learn something when I read your posts.

03-17-2005, 01:34 PM
You mentioned the metering block on the 4150 versus the plate on the 4160. Any idea what was on the 4010? I've got a thick 1" or so piece under my carb and wondered what it was, especially with my clearance issues after the new intake manifold. I don't think this is what you're talking about, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that it could be removed (not that I'm going to do that at this point).

The 4010 has neither. It is all one casting that incorporates most or all of the functions/features that the metering block does/has on the 4150/60. The metering block is a place to put all of the devices that meter the fuel, so that is where the jets are, the power valve, idle circuits and screws, and so on. When they designed the 4010, they just designed all that metering system into the casting of the carb.

On the 4160, they tried to save a few bucks off the cost of the older 4150, by eliminating the metering block (intricate casting), and replacing it was a thin steel sheet, with holes drilled in it that were a specific size to flow the "correct" amount of fuel through each of the circuits. The problems is, you can't change it and the "correct" amount of fuel is no longer correct once you change something. Like elevation, engine configuration (cam, heads, intake etc). They used to make replacement plates for the 4160, but I don't believe that you can get those anymore.

If you look closely at a pic of a 4160, you can see a piece of metal about 1/2" thick, between the float bowl and the main body. This is were the idle mix screws are BTW. This is the metering BLOCK. If you look for the same thing on the secondary (rear) side of the 4160 carb, you won't find it. That is where the PLATE is sandwiched betweeen the float bowl and the main body.

The 1" piece under your carb is none of the above. It is a simple hunk of plastic (resin) whose function is to prevent heat from transfering from the hot intake manifold into the carb. This prevents fuel boiling (Vapor lock) and allows a cooler, denser intake charge by keeping the carb cooler. Seeing that boats run at about 160* and the boil point of gasoline is, well, I don't know what it is exactly. But it's higher than 160*. I think you'd be fine w/o the spacer. Not that you need to remove it, but if you did, I don't think it would hurt anything.

east tx skier
03-17-2005, 02:29 PM
Thanks for the explanation, Thomas. I'll have a look at it when I get home. Right after I submitted that last post, I knew the hunk o' plastic wasn't what you were talking about. The boat ran so beautifully last weekend that even my wife noticed. At this point, I could only make matters worse by attempting to make adjustments. ;)

03-17-2005, 02:56 PM
Is there a difference between dual-feed and dual-inlet???

east tx skier
03-17-2005, 03:38 PM
Not that I can see. This is, I believe, different from (double pumper).

03-17-2005, 04:15 PM
Is there a difference between dual-feed and dual-inlet???
No. Different term, same thing.


03-28-2005, 09:42 PM
Thanks for the advice from everyone. I talked to vince at skidim, and got some great advice. I have just installed the renew kit and the fuel filter in the fuel pump. I didn't know about this one until I talked to him. I don't think it had been replaced in a very long time, if ever. He said it could be restricting fuel enough to keep the boat from idling, especially after a long run at higher RPM's. I did not replace the fuel/water filter because it's only been on their for about 5 hours worth of running. The renew kit was very simple to install, took about 2 hours to tear it down, clean it, blow everything out with air, and put it back together. Any one who is going to try this rebuild should note that it requires a special tool to remove the screws in the secondary metering plate. I was able to use a torx bit to remove them because they were not that tight. I haven't had time to try it out yet, but Im glad I went ahead with the rebuild. The blue gaskets that come with the kit are far better quality than the factory gaskets. Once again, thanks for all the great advice. I hope I can be some help to someone in the future.

east tx skier
03-28-2005, 11:29 PM
Good deal. Let us know how it runs after your next time on the water.

04-26-2005, 11:00 PM
FYI, I had my boat for a summer and noticed something similar happening...

1. Be sure your not taking in water through the fuel vent line as it is very close / below water when making a driver's side U-ey to pick up the skiier (if you do that). I found two cans of "HEET" cleared up my water issue in the tank and watching my turn direction pretty much cleared it up. My issue was more out of the hole stalls and sluggish. I did also pickup a new vent to install that was a covered vent rather than a flat screen to avoid the "pitot tube" draw effects if the vent is underwater.

2. I understand that some engines, if they are shut down immediately, after hard runs (getting to the ski hole) can cause issues. Let the engine idle until cooling temp is stable. I get a heat rise due to the instant lack of cooling flow and about 30 seconds to a minute at idle helps.... (a quick check is to run it hard, shut down and key on - watch the temp gage rise 10-30 degrees and fall). Seemed to help with little to no cost!

Just some thoughts... :toast:

east tx skier
04-27-2005, 10:56 AM
Welcome b-moore. One of the inherent problems with the 4010, as it was explained to me, is that it is quite heat sensitive. You raise a good point as to engine heat soak. Fortunately, the extra heat doesn't seem to be an issue with my 4160 or my brother in law's 4150.

05-16-2005, 09:46 PM
I agree with Storm's assessment that it is the idle circuit. Those orifices are so tiny practically anything will clog them. Classic symtom is running fine above 1500-2000; anything less, just dies.

I totally drain my carb if I will not use the boat for 2 weeks or more. The gas evaporates and leaves a residue (ever wonder what the phrase "all gummed up" referred to?). There is a shutoff close to the fuel pump on my boat. To save the starter, I installed an outboard squeeze bulb to fill the bowl on restarts. It takes my boat 120 seconds of idling to drain the bowl and have the engine die. Without residual fuel in the bowl to evaporate, I have eliminated the gum problem.

In the spring coming out of winterization, I spray carb cleaner up into the overflow tube to cover the bottom of the bowl. This clears the idle circuit, and she fires immediately (and I still run points).

I agree he may also be getting water into his fuel which will attack the idle circuit first. Fix the source of the water problem, then move to the carb. Might try removing the idle screws (run them in gently first and count the turns to replace them correctly) and spraying carb cleaner thru those holes, looking down into the carb to see the flow.

05-22-2005, 10:09 PM
I ran the boat last weekend, Sat and Sunday, but less than 2 hours each time. Boat ran really well, Im guessing I did everything right on the rebuild. I will have to let you know if the problem still persists after some more run time. The problem was so intermident before that im still not 100% sure its fixed. Thanks for all the great posts on this subject.

05-25-2005, 08:54 PM
You should do a compression test after about 10 hours. Also, if the crank was out and bearings/rings replaced, make sure to vary the RPM when you run it. I'm just including this in case you hadn't heard it before.

11-22-2008, 02:15 AM
Following up a little more. This may be as E Tex skier relates to a heat soak issue. My '88 seems to have a heat soak after coming off plane. I have to sit and idle around and watch the temperature rise and fall before I can shut her down to start with the skiers otherwise I fight for a while (a learning thing). Usually the largest issue is when you thoroughly heat soak (high speed finding the ski hole) then shutting down quickly which may be why you only see it sometimes. If my memory serves me right a minute is not enough time to bake and then cool down (stabilize temperature). All in the temp gauge - just keep an eye on it!