View Full Version : Starting Issues

07-31-2007, 09:55 PM
Hi everyone. New to the board, but I do lurk a fair amount.

I have a 1987 American Skier (yes, I know...not a master craft) with a 350 Chevy (Indmar). I am having some starting issues with it.

First of all, I should say that I have replaced a few things in the last week.

--New starter last week
--New Coil
--The dist. cap is very good looking and new. Points are bright in color and there is no tracking.
--New plugs and wires within last 100 hours
--New alternator within last year or so?? (Not sure as the boat is new to us within the last two weeks, but alternator looks very new).
--Battery was tested last week and said to be good.

First starting issue: the starter catches the fly wheel fine...but then grinds as the boat finally starts to fire. It's almost as if the starter isn't retracting correctly? Shimming doesn't seem to be a fix, but maybe I should shim more?

Second (and most annoying) starting issue: Hot starts. It starts pretty well when cool, but after a short run she doesn't want to fire back up. I have read insesintly on vapor lock, sounds like that is a possibility, but not sure. I have cleaned the flame arrestor and I prop the engine cover when I stop. I have even tried running the blower. The engine does seem to get very hot, though. When the engine isn't running, that cooling system isn't doing anything, seems like this might be a problem that I can't fix! Next step is to insulate the fuel lines.

Any thoughts? I have so many things going through my mind and I don't know where to start. Could it be electrical? Could it be carb related? Kill switch related?

Kind of at a loss with where to go, as there seems to be so many possibilities.

Thanks for any help.

08-01-2007, 08:58 PM
Could be all of the above, and could be a comination of some. I would do the free stuff frst. Check resistance and continuity on all starting leads. Move them with your tested connected and see if the contimuity cahnges when you move the lead. I had a lead test fine but would lose cont. when I bent it and I finally replaced it. make sure you are getting 10 to 12 volts at the starter itself while it is cranking, be careful not to get lose clothing around rotating parts.

Could be fuel. When engine is hot and you can predict that it is not going to fire right off, open the box remove fire arrestor/air cleaner, and see if the butterflies are wet and closed. IF they are you have a carb issue, dropping fuel into the carb while sitting, so you are basically flooded. If you have that condition, a WOT start can help (neutral pin out and throttle control pulled backwards towards reverse), but be quick to come off of the WOT once it fires. oil rings don't like zero to 5000 rpm in a nano-second.

Could be kill switch. Pop the dash and jumper past it to see if it changes things.

Starter grinding is a mystery to me. Could be shimming (Typical of Chevy's), or could be solenoid retraction as your post suspected. Did you new starter come with a new solenoid or was it seperate?

Some have written that heat wrap reflective tape around the fuel lines helped them with hot start issues. Good luck and let us know what the outcome is.

08-01-2007, 10:59 PM
when you had the starter out did you inspect the Flex plate, teeth, rust, cracking ? cracked flex plates can cause all kinds of weird noises and impossible to shim properly.

hot restarts faults could be almost anything, you need to narrow it down to spark or fuel. do you have a mechanical fuel pump ?

I have seen the check valves go bad in those and cause this type of fault. carb internal leaking can cause hard restarts. lots of smoke when she finally starts.

post more info if you can.


08-02-2007, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the replies! I will follow some wires tonight and post more if I can. I have read about the "fuel dumping" thing a bit, so I need to take the flame arrestor off and peak at that.

By the way, I would've gotten a MC if I could've afforded it. :)

08-02-2007, 07:56 PM
On my 1998 prostar 190 the starter would cold start ok but, after warming up it would not turn. I took the starter apart and found rust comming from the end plate and it was stuck to the armatures permanent magnets preventing the armature from turning properly when warm. Cleaned and painted the end plate near the brushes and haven't had a problem since. If they would have painted or plated the endcap I would not have has a problem.