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View Full Version : 89 tri-star 351 wont start


typhun
05-31-2008, 01:02 AM
Put my boat in the water first time this year and it started right up. Ran it over to the beach and when i went to go use it again it wouldnt start, engine turns over good and rapid but wont fire up. After maybe ten times cranking it started but would cut out and die when i tried to accelerate or when i was up and running sometimes. Each time i was able to restart it. After a while it stopped cutting out and ran fine under the load of wakeboarding. Few weeks later i took it out and i couldnt get the boat started (again turns over fine) at the dock at all and had to load it back on the trailer and come home. Once here i finally got it started and the boat ran for an hour on the fake a lake with no problems, no missing at all. Reved it up a little to 2K rpm and still smooth. Turned it off and let it sit for an hour and then it again wouldnt start. Havent been able to start it since. I have strong spark to the ends of the plug wires which are new from skidim. Points are new also and look fine. Cant tell dwell as it wont read when not running but it was fine at 30 degrees when i put them in. Just replaced all the spark plugs which looked very fouled, still no start. Poured some gas down the carb and still no start. No sure what my problem is. Any ideas? Could my carb be bad. I thought if i poured some gas down it and it ran that the carb could be an issue but nothing. it acts like it wants to fire just wont stay running. If the kill switch is bad would i still get spark at the plug wires? Anyone know where i can find a set electrical prints? I remember long ago that i was able to connect a small lamp accross points and check to see if they opened when the timming marks came up. That should tell me if my timming is even close. Anyone have any tips on how to rotate the crankshaft by hand as there is no large nut to access. any ideas anyone has as to what my problem may be i would love to hear. I have a trip scheduled to Lake Shasta in about 20 days so i need to fix this.

thanks
Ty

sk8salomon
05-31-2008, 08:12 AM
pop your dizzy cap off so you can see the points & condensor. hit the key a few times and you should see spark between the points contactor pads. might be a bad condensor or coil. sometimes a bad coil will still show spark just not enough to run the engine correctly.

are you sure the carb is getting fuel?

phecksel
05-31-2008, 08:29 AM
Check the ballast resistor too. IRC correctly, but would advise waiting until someone that knows better chimes in, you can jumper the ballast resistor to diagnose.

Over the years with my tristar, I had problems with ballast resistor, kill switch, and starter (wouldn't turn). WRT to kill switch, i eventually bypassed the switch, never used the dang thing anyway.

TMCNo1
05-31-2008, 11:18 AM
If it wants to run as long as the ignition switch is in the start position then stops when you let off the key to run, it's the kill switch that is bad. It will cause it to run/stop/start/shut down/start/run/stop as you describe if it has not totally failed, but it making sparatic contact!

Rallyspitman
05-31-2008, 12:11 PM
hi there - this is probably not what you want to hear, but I had a really annoying mifire at the start of this summer the first time out. I only get to use the boat every months or so so when I turn up I want it to go!
This is what I'd do if I were you:-

Try it with the fuel filler removed - could be a blocked vent. It has
happened to be but on a differnt boat.
If that doesn't work then:-
Throw mechanical points in the trash. Replace with electronic.
Bin rotor cap
Bin leads
Bin Plugs
Bin coil
Bin all filters
Bin fuel hose
Replace all of above with new, next day delivery from Skidim.

It's costs a bit but sooner or later all those bit's need replaced anyway - hell you don't buy a boat to save money. If that doesn't fix it then you still have 2+ weeks to replace your carb.
It worked for me and you're safe in the knowledge that the bits wont go wrong again anytinme soon.

typhun
06-01-2008, 03:22 AM
thanks for the replys. problem solved. TMCNo1 you nailed it. Seems a previous owner must have either replaced the kill switch or something but there were horrible crimp connections at the switch. One wire fell competely off when i touched it so the connection was flaky. Again thanks everyone for all the input.

TMCNo1
06-01-2008, 06:08 AM
thanks for the replys. problem solved. TMCNo1 you nailed it. Seems a previous owner must have either replaced the kill switch or something but there were horrible crimp connections at the switch. One wire fell competely off when i touched it so the connection was flaky. Again thanks everyone for all the input.

It just sounded familar and having been thru it myself it was the least I could do to respond with that possibility!