View Full Version : Need help with S&S engine systems layout

12-22-2008, 09:15 AM
I have a 77 Stars and Stripes i am restoring with a PCM 351 W, The boat ran when i purchased it but the systems layouts on the engine do not seem to make sense. I have manuals for the Engine and Transmission but they do not give a clear picture of how the engine controls and wiring are intended to be routed. To make things worse there have been several replacements, repairs, patches, rigged work around's. I have a new Edilbrock performer manifold and would like to start from scratch when i install it, repaint the engine and put the accessories back in the way they were intended......or at least a way that makes sense

I have created most of a new wiring harness for the boat,however i would like to know how these things were originally routed on the engine , or at least a good suggestion of how to do it

What i would like to know

How does the shift cable get from bilge to transmission, is it supposed to go over the engine?, does it have any clips prior to reaching the aft end of the engine?

My throttle cable routing seems to be correct however if anyone has a picture of how this exits the engine bay and intercepts the brackets, carb that would be helpful

The holly carb has been replaced however the fuel line exits at a 45°angle and comes very close to the manifold before the soft fuel line is connected (This creates a great opportunity for a kinked fuel line it seems) How is the fuel line typically routed.

the coil.........heck....i have no idea where its supposed to go......it seems i have a couple options.

the plug wires are routed up and over the exhaust manifolds (which i think i should replace since they do not look anything like modern exhausts with risers)..........the manual seems to indicate that they should go below

the on engine wiring harness i have is a mess, I would like a good idea of how the wires are supposed to look which run to the electric choke, coil, water temp, oil pressure and distributor.

Let me clarify that i have good wiring diagrams already.........its more about routing and looming that my knowledge is lacking.

I will try to post some pictures when i get a chance.

Thank you for reading my post and any info you can provide is greatly appreciated.


12-23-2008, 09:40 AM
I found a picture on one of the other message boards that shows the shift cable location running over the port side of the engine just inboard of the valve cover but i cannot tell if it is retained to the engine or just sitting there, the transmission in the picture appears to be slightly different from my velvet drive 710.

12-23-2008, 09:44 AM
JimN may be the best resource on this site for your question. Try shooting him a PM

12-23-2008, 09:46 AM
If your looking at the engine from the drivers seat back the coil would be on the left side of the distributor set back a bit. The wiring for plugs should be under the manifolds and come up to the dis. Thats all i got

12-23-2008, 10:38 AM
I got pictures at home of what I think you are asking here. Pm me your email address and I will forward you some good pictures to maybe help clarify your dilemma...later;)

12-23-2008, 10:39 AM
I got pictures at home of what I think you are asking here. Pm me your email address and I will forward you some good pictures to maybe help clarify your dilemma...later;)

What if he needs them now slinky:rolleyes:

12-23-2008, 10:55 AM
What if he needs them now slinky:rolleyes:

He would basically be SOL..... :D luckily for me I still have a job and have to be here :D

12-23-2008, 11:37 AM
I just reworked my '86 351W and basically pulled off all wires and accessories, so I'll see IIRC where some of this stuff goes. Also, could take some pics of my engine later.

Shift cable: should go up the front of the engine, over the starboard side of the intake manifold/valve cover area. On my '86, there is a clip mounted to the block/top of tranny (can't remember 100%) that holds the cable "housing" or sheath or whatever call it.. the sliding part of the cable then attaches to the shift lever.

Throttle cable: should go under the engine and loop up over the back. There is a bracket that bolts up to two intake manifold bolts. IIRC, its the center 2 bolts, on the starboard side of the intake man. I.E. centered from front to back on that side. Anyway, this bracket hold the outside of the cable, (cable "housing" or sheath or whatever you call it). The sliding part of the cable then attaches to the carb. There is a spring loaded ball and socket type linkage at the carb, but yours may be different. The bracket should point to stern of the boat.

Fuel line: should be rigid. You can order a replacement from Skidim if all is stock. carb/intake/fuel pump. The routing is up from fuel pump, across the engine/intake manifold then back around to fuel rail. There is a couple pretty good bends in it, so you may not be able to avoid that. post a pic and we'll see if anything is out of place.

Coil: typically to the left of the dizzy. However, just find somewhere to mount it (intake manifold bolts work well) and bolt it down.

Engine wiring harness: Gets to be a mess no matter how you do it. Some zip ties and black plastic wrap will go along way to clean all this up. Oil pressure needs to cross the manifold and go down to sending unit. Dizzy/coil/water temp are all in the same area and need to be secured. Choke is the first one off the harness. Just make sure everything is secured and ziptied down, there isn't really a right or wrong way to do it IMO. just secure everything.

plug wires: mine are run over the exh manifolds. seems like too much heat in there to run them between block and manifolds, but I'll take a look and see. Good to know what it should look like.

post some pics! I love looking at old engines and all the different variations. have fun!

12-23-2008, 11:41 AM
I will post some Pic's this afternoon, if i can get in the shop for a few minutes before we go deliver Christmas baskets with the wife............sometimes my leash isn't as long as i might hope..

12-23-2008, 11:50 AM
Safety should be your #1 concern, after that you can get creative all you want really.

Shift cable goes up and over the engine

Throttle cable comes from behind, under the engine

Coil should mount in a clamp on the manifold (make sure it is epoxy filled, not oil since it will be horizontal). There should be a mounting boss to bolt on to.

The fuel line should be metal all the way down to the pump unless it is an approved USCGA soft line. You can cut your own tube, flare and bend it, or just buy a stock flared tube from the parts store and bend it to fit.

The wiring is really up to you.


12-23-2008, 11:56 AM
Mine is very similar. My Shift cable comes up the PORT side over the top of the engine and then down to the transmission. Throttle goes under the PORT side and up to the bracket and carb.

You can also see the location of the coil on the engine just as someone else had described its location.



12-23-2008, 12:13 PM
Hollywood your fuel line does the same thing that mine does however that sporty manifold gives you allot better clearance than my stock cast iron intake, my current fuel line is regular USCG a1 fuel line but i have no qualms fabricating a custom metallic assembly or just buying one of the prefab ones....probably the former..... Thank you for posting the pictures they help out considerably.......nice job.

12-23-2008, 12:24 PM
CRAP I always get those confused!!! PORT side for throttle and shift cables...

CAmeron, you can see the shift cable clip I mentioned in M-Funf's second pic. An inch or 2 below the "shift" bubble...

12-23-2008, 12:26 PM
CRAP I always get those confused!!! PORT side for throttle and shift cables..

Just remember that all the short words are on the same side (Red, Left, Port) and the long words are on the same side (Green, Right, Starbord)


12-23-2008, 12:34 PM

12-23-2008, 01:15 PM
Yes i have that one, on my engine its centered atop the bell housing on a similar bracket..........

port starboard trick
..........supposedly in the middle ages most people were right handed so they stuck the stearing board on the right side of the boat (Starboard is middle English for steering board), so it wouldn't get slammed up against the dock when at port....

thats probably BS but thats how i remember it

12-23-2008, 01:18 PM
with regards to the shift cable.........does it just loops up there, where does it pass through on the front side of the engine? and are there any p-clamps or retainers elsewhere?

12-23-2008, 01:20 PM
M-Funf one more question, are those non riser type manifolds on your boat?, i have the same type and i wasn't sure what they are, or where they came from.......or if i should replace them with something more conventional.............that was my next line of questions for the forum...

12-23-2008, 01:28 PM
Most shift cables I've seen are just strategically tucked in and under certain hoses and wires to keep it in a general area. I wouldn't zip tie it tight to anything, you could loosely tag it though.

Your manifolds are just fine.

12-23-2008, 02:53 PM
yea, even with the monikers, i still screw it up!! :confused:

exh manifolds: look like Commander exhaust logs.

Yep, the shift cable is strategically placed, and mine isn't attached to anything either. There should be a comfy spot for it to the left (port!) or right (starboard!) :cool: of front accessories. Sounds weird, but it hangs out in there without getting in the belts. PRetty stiff, so it doesn't jump around when connected.

M-funf's setup is a little different than mine, so just find a happy spot for it. Once everything is secured and in place, you'll can zip it down if you want.

12-23-2008, 03:25 PM
M-funf's setup is identical to mine save the sporty valve covers.........which i am in the process of procuring .........if i can find some that match my budget 8o)

12-23-2008, 04:25 PM
M-Funf one more question, are those non riser type manifolds on your boat?, i have the same type and i wasn't sure what they are, or where they came from.......or if i should replace them with something more conventional.............that was my next line of questions for the forum...

Yup, non riser type. They seem to work just fine, and are original to the boat, so I'm not changing them...unless somebody can give me a good reason to change them...:o

12-23-2008, 05:47 PM
these are the pics of my engine.....Not sure how i got so confused 8o)

12-23-2008, 05:48 PM
the good news is..........i probably cant make it look worse

12-23-2008, 05:52 PM
Yup, non riser type. They seem to work just fine, and are original to the boat, so I'm not changing them...unless somebody can give me a good reason to change them...:o

my hull is a late 77 hulll .....the funny thing is i was told those risers were replaced.......wonder where in the heck they found those..

12-23-2008, 08:45 PM

12-24-2008, 03:37 PM
Thanks for all the pictures and guidance, i think i have a better picture of what the layout should looklike...and got a little more insight in to my strange exhaust manifolds. i will post some before and after pictures...........once i get to after....

12-25-2008, 02:21 PM
CameronCarey: I am also building a 77 Stars & Stripes. Your engine and exhaust looks the same as mine. Only difference is the owner before me learned how to winterize the engine the hard way, and he replaced the 351 with a low hour 302. The boat is in storage since we have a few feet of snow and just came through a week of almost entirely sub-zero weather. I also have some wiring issues to work through as the three left handed fiend that hooked up the wiring did some creative splicing. I have a bunch of pictures. If you need anything specific give me a shout.

12-25-2008, 09:58 PM
Will do Mr Mastercraft, looks like yours was a more favorable color choice than my brown on brown stylish combination, after reading the suggestions here ive come to a few conclusions pardon me if it seems like im just rambling....

....im going to buy the throttle cable bracket from skidim. it just looks much nicer and less......univesal fit..
i need to order the adapter plate for my edilbrock manifold from them anyway .......whats another 30 bucks for a throttle cable bracket at this point. ......

my wiring harness is an all new tinned copper masterpeice ........... but i think im going to take a collective of the suggestions here to lay out the routing, re route my plug wires under the manifold........replace the coil bracket with a new one and i will probably heat shrink then plastic loom wrap the cables to make them more modern and ready for the next 31 years.

The suggestion to switch to electronic ignition was already on my list........although i havent decided if i want to change the entire distributor or just do the conversion.........mine is not a low hours boat and the top end was done around 1995 but i think the distributor is factory 1977 original....its got a bit of play that i havent decided if im comfortable with.....I would like to hear some stories about new distributor choices ......but i am not there yet......i plan to pull the engine tommorow.

I guess those manifolds worked there way on to more boats than mine.......i havent asked one of the gurus here to run down my engine numbers yet but thats next on my list.

12-29-2008, 10:55 AM

12-29-2008, 10:57 AM

12-29-2008, 08:52 PM