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View Full Version : Hiccups - Game for Engine Experts


Ryan
07-29-2008, 11:26 PM
I need some serious help here. I am about to hand this over to a shop but fear the 11 hours they could take to just find the problem let alone fix it...at $100/hour.

Situation
When the transmission is engaged, forward or reverse, there are significant hiccups that have a similar feel as a cylinder missing or the prop thumping into a piece of soft wood. In other words, a slight and very brief reduction in forward momentum with a shake occuring every 2-5 seconds. This happens from 850rpm to 1500rpm, from there on up it stops. Although throttle respons isn't as good as it used to be. Additionally, when coming off plane the engine can die, and at times have a back pressure pop. A discomforting situation I don't want my wife in while driving me skiing. This occurs in the water, or on dry land with a wetted drive shaft. On dry land I have also applied some resistance to the coupler to simulate some resistance that would occur in water, with my boot.

Strange part: Engine runs perfect in neutral and when the transmission is disengaged. It revs great and at worse it only needs two pumps of the throttle and fires right up.


Facts & Conditions
-1993 PS 190 with Ford Indmar engine; BorgWarner Velvet Drive 1:1
-Original Holley carb, has not been rebuilt in the 4.5 years I’ve had the boat
-Issues began after I put on new GT40P Heads, and after shipping from CA to OH
-Heads & rockers torqued to proper specs
-Can still hear the springs popping after running engine as they break in
-New spark plugs – wired in proper firing order
-FantasticFinishMarine.com a ski boat tranny shop in Medina OH says my problem is not the tranny. As much as they’d like it to be so they can sell me a new/rebuilt tranny.
-Pumped and replaced tranny fluid
-Cleaned every connection that deals directly with the engine
-Can’t exactly source the origin of the sound/hiccup since it shudders the whole driveline
-I've played with adjusting timing and believe it's dang near as good as it gets but could be wrong
-New MSD Coil - fleeting hope it was the cause

Questions/Theories
-With higher performance heads do I need a performance intake manifold? Easy to replace
-Could my tranny be going south? Easy to replace
-Could I have an issue with the pressure release valve on the tranny?
-Could I have one valve giving me issues with, possibly one spring that’s a little to taught or too soft?
-I do still need to replace the fuel water seperator.

I will take some video of the condition and post up soon to lend more clarity to the explanation - at least from the driveway, maybe from the lake.

Maybe I'll offer a prize like a whole bunch of ZonePerfect nutrition bars, Stabucks or gas card to the genious that can help solve this gremlin problem.

JimN
07-29-2008, 11:32 PM
Check the compression. Make sure the valve springs are set correctly, but worry more about the compression.

How old are the plug wires, cap and rotor? Does it have electronic conversion or points?

Re-check the firing order and remember they go 1-2-3-4 on one bank anad 5-6-7-8 on the other. No offense but it happens.

Ryan
07-29-2008, 11:43 PM
Check the compression. Make sure the valve springs are set correctly, but worry more about the compression.

How old are the plug wires, cap and rotor? Does it have electronic conversion or points?

Re-check the firing order and remember they go 1-2-3-4 on one bank anad 5-6-7-8 on the other. No offense but it happens.

Jim, just the guy I was hoping would reply.
I'll check the compression. Wires are 3 years old and have zip-tied them to the appropriate lengths to prevent such a goof up with how much I've taken things off & on. Cap & rotor unknown age, but has electronic ignition as was standard on '93s.

Can you clarify what you mean for valve springs being set correctly, do you mean seated on the rocker? Should I be hearing them pop at all after running the engine & shutting down?

Ryan
07-30-2008, 12:10 PM
Anyone else have some good ideas or similar experience?

Sodar
07-30-2008, 12:27 PM
Anyone else have some good ideas?

I think the boat misses the salty Pacific and is pissed at you for taking it to some landlocked, snow barren place that she only gets to be used 4 months out of the year. I recommend you buy a new boat that is used to that climate and send the homesick boat back here, so I can use it in the Stadium! :cool:8p:cool:

Ryan
07-30-2008, 12:55 PM
I think the boat misses the salty Pacific and is pissed at you for taking it to some landlocked, snow barren place that she only gets to be used 4 months out of the year. I recommend you buy a new boat that is used to that climate and send the homesick boat back here, so I can use it in the Stadium! :cool:8p:cool:

You're probably right and if so my boat and I are having issues then because I'm pissed at it too. I'll make you a pretty good deal if you're interested, I know you have a shipping contact already. Although I just removed the painted on CA reg numbers and put on OH in chrome...

Did you sell your boat yet? Maybe we could just do a straight trade since you don't want yours in salt. :)

Sodar
07-30-2008, 01:09 PM
You're probably right and if so my boat and I are having issues then because I'm pissed at it too. I'll make you a pretty good deal if you're interested, I know you have a shipping contact already. Although I just removed the painted on CA reg numbers and put on OH in chrome...

Did you sell your boat yet? Maybe we could just do a straight trade since you don't want yours in salt. :)


No... boat is staying right here.

I am actually thinking about buying a BF200 for the salt. Its for sale down in SD and has been a Mission Bay boat for its life. Could be a sweet deal and a big upgrade from the 16' Avenger! :D

Good luck on the boat issues! Sorry I am no help and jacked your thread pretty well, but at least I keep bumping it to the top! :)

Ryan
07-30-2008, 01:20 PM
No... boat is staying right here.

I am actually thinking about buying a BF200 for the salt. Its for sale down in SD and has been a Mission Bay boat for its life. Could be a sweet deal and a big upgrade from the 16' Avenger! :D

Good luck on the boat issues! Sorry I am no help and jacked your thread pretty well, but at least I keep bumping it to the top! :)

That would be a great boat!

Feel free to continue this threadjack habit of yours. I really need some ideas on this. I really have a hard time understanding how different the engine is behaving in & out of gear.

D3skier
07-30-2008, 01:52 PM
also check the plugs and see if there is one that is cracked possibly arcing during acceleration

JimN
07-30-2008, 01:54 PM
Now that we know your plug wires are really, really close to each other, snip the wire ties and set them free. You may have a crossfire issue. If the wires' insulation has become partially conductive, the spark from one cylinder may be arcing to an adjacent wire. If you separate the wires and the problem goes away, buy a set of plug wires.

Hunterb
07-31-2008, 07:26 PM
Is there any possibility that this is a damper plate issue?

Bruce

JimN
07-31-2008, 07:46 PM
Why would you think it's that?

Sure, it's possible but with old wires that are tightly tied to each other, it's less likely.

Check the easy stuff before you dig into that kind of thing.

Diagnostics is testing, not getting suggestions and asking more questions after not doing the testing. It would be nice to have a little light that goes on and corresponds to the exact causes but we need to do the work in order to find out why things have failed.

Ryan
07-31-2008, 10:19 PM
Is there any possibility that this is a damper plate issue?

Bruce

I thought that too, but the tranny shop seriously doubts it. I'm going to check compression and put on new spark plug wires this weekend. I'll return & report.

Ryan
08-12-2008, 09:00 PM
So much for getting that done last weekend.

Compression comes in between 135 -140 psi with most right smack in the middle at about 138. I need to verify my methodology, I had all spark plugs out and for each test cranked 5 revolutions. I also checked it with 7 revolutions and all come in just a hair over 150 psi. Let me know if I am off base and should be taking the first or second reading.

New Bosch spark plug wires have made no difference.

JLeuck64
08-16-2008, 07:49 PM
Ummm,
Ryan have you checked your drive shaft alignment lately???

The only reason I ask is because earlier this season I was experiencing a vibration much like yours. Come to find out my alignment was OK, but the bolts/nuts had loosened just a tad.

Footin
08-17-2008, 01:04 PM
Any new news Ryan?

JimN
08-17-2008, 03:41 PM
Have you looked into the mufflers, from the rear? I would also look from the engine side, too.

Just a thought.

rob935
08-17-2008, 06:21 PM
if you havent changed the cap and rotor yet i would recommend that you do !! i had a similar problem few years back with a hairline crack in the cap being the route cause , but it only broke down when the engine heats up . do you know if the electronic ignition module is the original as this can also start to break down under heat as it starts to go south ??

just a few thoughts .

rob.

Ryan
08-17-2008, 09:23 PM
I checked the alignement and the cutlas bearing at the end of the season last year and all is well.

Jim, I've got to know...what would I be looking for inside under the exhaust flap? A mouse nest perhaps?

Thanks for all the ideas guys.

Current update - I'm out of time.

I dropped it off at the local Bu dealer the only shop in town with a mechanic that knows Indmars well.. Their mechanic has been working there for 15+ years back when the dealership sold MCs. Being the middle of August I can't go two summers with a boat not in full operation. We're missing good valuable time on the water tinkering and testing in between a busy schedule. I'll keep you posted on the diagnosis.

Footin
08-17-2008, 09:30 PM
As I told you before, good move taking it in.

We had a great time on Buckeye Lake Saturday, even called the pizza shop on the lake an placed a to go order and picked it up on the boat. Went to the sand bar and had a family picnic.

Ryan
08-17-2008, 11:08 PM
As I told you before, good move taking it in.

We had a great time on Buckeye Lake Saturday, even called the pizza shop on the lake an placed a to go order and picked it up on the boat. Went to the sand bar and had a family picnic.

See, now we could meet out there before the lake freezes over.

btriantos
08-18-2008, 12:16 PM
Hve you checked the prop??

Ryan
08-19-2008, 02:28 PM
Yes. It would have to be missing a blade to do what it does in the water. But, the trick is, the condition can be replicated in the driveway after I wet the drive shaft and cutlass bearing. It can happen as soon as I put it in gear, and if not then it will do it when I carefully apply some pressure to the drive shaft coupler with my boot.

Sodar
08-19-2008, 02:40 PM
Has the dealer called you for an update, yet?

Ryan
08-19-2008, 03:50 PM
Has the dealer called you for an update, yet?

Nope, I know it's OH and all but there is still a little wait list. I had to drop it off Sat for a Tues eval. I'll let you know.

Here's to keeping it under 12 hours to remedy eh? :toast:

Sodar
08-19-2008, 03:53 PM
Nope, I know it's OH and all but there is still a little wait list. I had to drop it off Sat for a Tues eval. I'll let you know.

Here's to keeping it under 12 hours to remedy eh? :toast:


What a load of BS! I am sure the SoCal dealerships could have had you in on Saturday..... It would have been Saturday, Sept. 20th, but it would have been Saturday! :D8p:D

Hunterb
08-19-2008, 07:22 PM
I still think you might want to check the damper plate. I suspect the sound you are hearing when you engage the transmission and the backfiring are separate issues.

Hopefully it's not too expensive or too long before you get the boat back.

Bruce

JimN
08-19-2008, 07:31 PM
Have you checked to see if the strut wobbles? If it doesn't, with the keys in your pocket, sit on the ground or a blanket, facing the prop. Grab the prop (wear gloves to avoid cutting your hands) and rotate the prop quickly. It should move smoothly with no additional sounds.

Footin
08-19-2008, 07:49 PM
Ryan, If you get it back in the next week a few families are getting together at Alum Creek.

Ryan
08-19-2008, 09:02 PM
Have you checked to see if the strut wobbles? If it doesn't, with the keys in your pocket, sit on the ground or a blanket, facing the prop. Grab the prop (wear gloves to avoid cutting your hands) and rotate the prop quickly. It should move smoothly with no additional sounds.

I tested this at the end of last season. At the time I thought believed the cause had to do with the shaft, bearing, alignment, strut, loose prop etc... but I never could rule out the damper plate as a culprit.

I do regret not replacing the shaft packing while I had the floor up and all.

I still wonder if the timing is off and that putting the transmission in gear is just enough resistance on the crank shaft to miss a spark here and there. I don't have a timing light and have never used one. But, lack of experience hasn't held me back before. I figure I'm at least as smart as the guys in the shop, if they learned how so can I...as long as I have time. Plus, my wife started saying she wants to hurry up and get on the water twice a week!

JimN
08-19-2008, 09:44 PM
Without being able to actually hear it, I would have to say that it's possible for the timing to be off enough to backfire and not be a hard "typical backfire" sound. It's hard to describe this kind of sound but I haven't heard a lot of motors produce the sound you mentioned. Still timing is something that should be checked if it hasn't been, yet.

Ryan
08-20-2008, 10:08 AM
Without being able to actually hear it, I would have to say that it's possible for the timing to be off enough to backfire and not be a hard "typical backfire" sound. It's hard to describe this kind of sound but I haven't heard a lot of motors produce the sound you mentioned. Still timing is something that should be checked if it hasn't been, yet.

I only checked timing by slightly rotating the distributor cap while the boat was on the trailer on the boat ramp in gear and out of gear. I got it positioned for the best running as I could.

JimN
08-20-2008, 10:25 AM
Was that at idle only, or did you rev it to listen for pinging?

Ryan
08-20-2008, 11:13 AM
Was that at idle only, or did you rev it to listen for pinging?

I positioned for optimal between idle and 1200 rpm or so. My wife hated that part while she sat in the Armada feeling the boat pushing her up the ramp a tad.

Footin
08-23-2008, 07:54 PM
Any news?????

Ryan
08-25-2008, 09:45 AM
WE"RE BACK IN BUSINESS!!!!

A meger $194 later this puppy runs fantastic. 1.5 shop hours included a timing adjustment, and replacing a tempermental/failing kill switch. I kick myself for not trying to replace that last one on my own, but now I know the timing was done right. The timing was off just enough to miss a cylinder once it was put in gear. I trusted some reco's from some Mustang forums about adding GT40p heads to a 351 and must have retarded the timing too far. From best I can tell the distributor is in the position it was before I swapped heads.

The mechanic was so sure it was fixed he didn't lake test it. To be sure all was well, we took it up to O'Shaughnessy for a couple of hours on Saturday. We're going out tonight to take the kids tubing on Buckeye.

The boat is certainly quicker out of the hole and a has a higher top end up to 4400 rpms with these new heads. I'll take the GPS to check real top speed.

Thanks for all of the insight and ideas shared.

Ryan
08-25-2008, 09:50 AM
Skinny ramps. But, I'll take them any day since they have good docks and most refreshing there are no launch fees! That $10 a pop I was used to paying in CA feels much better spending toward gas $.

Footin
08-25-2008, 09:52 AM
Great news!!!!