PDA

View Full Version : changed plugs/wires and ...


87MCProstar
05-15-2009, 01:20 PM
now the boat won't start. i have checked and double checked the wiring connections both at the distributor and plugs and the wiring order. getting spark from coil to distrib, but the engine is just turning over a couple times then will poof (pop/blowing sound will happen). whats my issue??

Gamble
05-15-2009, 01:37 PM
either the timing is off, you have a bad set of wires...........check the order again of the wiring again........do you have electronic ignition?

87MCProstar
05-15-2009, 01:48 PM
No I have points, but those r new also. Boat started first turn of key b4 new plug and wires.

mark g
05-15-2009, 01:53 PM
I know i'm stating the obvious but i would recheck the points (gap) then as said recheck the wires, if still no go you could allways reinstall the old ones to see if that cures it

denverd1
05-15-2009, 02:04 PM
Make sure your dis cap is lined up right on the dis. Sounds stupid, but I've got my boat back from the shop like that before. (needless to say, I never went there again) Just make sure the two clips line up with their old spot.

Gamble
05-15-2009, 02:41 PM
If had to bed, the point/gap is off.........do yourself a favor and get a Mallory Electronic Ignition Conversion Kit..........boat will run much better, start easier........you'll be glad you did it!!

etduc
05-15-2009, 04:15 PM
now the boat won't start. i have checked and double checked the wiring connections both at the distributor and plugs and the wiring order. getting spark from coil to distrib, but the engine is just turning over a couple times then will poof (pop/blowing sound will happen). whats my issue??

If you are getting spark, to the plugs....

Your number one cyclinder was not at top dead center,so your off by maybe one plug, on your start plug for wiring(firing) order. Blowing sound is air/gas mixture bleeding out of one cylinder, equalizing pressure.

Disconnect the battery...
Confirm number one plug, old school way (assuming this is a Ford Windsor engine) Pull all plugs. Put your finger (or friends) over number one plug opening. Turn engine over, using a brakeover bar or ratchet(DO NOT use starter) As cylinder pressure rises, you are approaching
tdc, if pressure suddenly decreases you have gone beyond TDC. Go around again, as pressure rises, watch the timing marks. Look the 0 or 10, this is close enough, for rough tuning. Reference the location of your rotor, this is number one. Ford rotors turn counter clockwise. Number 1 cyclinder front left to back, number 5 is right front to back. Be sure to let the engine, warm up before setting final tune. At idle, your looking for about 10 degrees btdc.

This happen to me little over 2 years ago. I was in denial, swore up and down, I had it right.

Mech had it fixed, in less than 30 min! I was off, one plug. but they were in order.

Oh, check your impeller, it's probably toast.

east tx skier
05-15-2009, 04:41 PM
The cause when it happened to me this year was that the boot hadn't snapped on the plug like I could've sworn it had. Checked them all and was sure I had it right and apparently missed two of them. After three passes, I finally got them all. Those new boots sounded like they were secured, but they weren't. Give 'em a little pinch and make sure.

87MCProstar
05-17-2009, 03:06 PM
thanks guys for all the advise, i'll do that as soon as the weather breaks

87MCProstar
05-18-2009, 04:24 PM
how do you check the gap in the of the points? and adjust them if needed?

TMCNo1
05-18-2009, 04:43 PM
how do you check the gap in the of the points? and adjust them if needed?

Here is a decent tutorial, http://autorepair.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/aa052502a_2.htm
and http://www.highperformancepontiac.com/tech/hppp_0712_ignition_contact_points/index.html

JimN
05-18-2009, 04:44 PM
Put the pickup for a timing light on the coil wire. That way, you can see if it's leaving the coil. If it's not, put the old coil wire back on and see if it runs. I had a lot of problems with coil wires on Ford motors for some reason.

87MCProstar
05-18-2009, 05:37 PM
Jim, what happens if neither work?

JimN
05-18-2009, 05:49 PM
Jim, what happens if neither work?

Then, you look into the points or electronic ignition setup. If the points, coil or condenser are bad or set improperly, the spark will never happen or it will be weak. Make sure that if it has points, the gap and dwell are correct, the condenser is good, you have 12V on the coil and the coil/distributor have a good ground.

If it has electronic ignition, make sure the reluctor wheel is in place and the pickup is good.

Dan K
05-18-2009, 07:20 PM
When I had this issue I found the distributor gear was worn to the point it would not always turn properly and have been rebuilding the beast completely since then. I'll pray you don't have the same problem.

denverd1
05-19-2009, 11:44 AM
Go electronic.

Also, i think the cylinder numbers listed previously are off.

Front right is 1, back to 4 on that side.
Front left is 5 back to 8 on that side.

TMCNo1
05-19-2009, 01:17 PM
Go electronic.

Also, i think the cylinder numbers listed previously are off.

Front right is 1, back to 4 on that side.
Front left is 5 back to 8 on that side.

This may also help,
47597

87MCProstar
05-19-2009, 01:47 PM
That is what I used to double check the wire set up.

TRBenj
05-19-2009, 06:16 PM
Its worth noting that the diagram is correct, but the post for cyl #1 can be in any position on the cap. You have to figure out which one it is (the rotor will point at it when the motor is @TDC on the compression stroke), then follow the order around appropriately.

87MCProstar
05-20-2009, 10:25 AM
Would I be better off elminating this problem by just getting a new updated distributor?

TRBenj
05-20-2009, 10:34 AM
No, not likely. Have you been able to determine what the problem is? If its a loose connection, etc, fix it before deciding to upgrade. If not, theres a good chance that upgrading wont help a bit! You'll still need to wire it up correctly and get the plug wires in the right order.

Are you sure youve got the plug for #1 in the right place? I have a sneaky suspicion that you have spark at the plugs but the firing order is off. Set the gap, get the plug wires in the right place and report back. Id swing by to help, but this weekend is looking absolutely crazy.

87MCProstar
05-20-2009, 01:21 PM
I talked to my auto mechanic friend, and I'm right on with the #1 plug and have it set close enough to TDC for the motor to start. I checked the to see if there is spark while the key is in the 'on' postion at the point, and there is. but when i button everything up and turn the key to test spark to and from the coil there is nothing. what else can it be? I'm getting 12.3V at the coil while the key is in the on postion, the solenid is reacting to the crank position as well. Engine is turning over but just not firing because doesn't have spark.

flipper
05-20-2009, 01:29 PM
I don't know it it would do this or not, but could it be the the kill switch?

87MCProstar
05-20-2009, 01:41 PM
I don't have/nor never had a kill switch in this boat. even when I bought it

JimN
05-20-2009, 06:29 PM
I talked to my auto mechanic friend, and I'm right on with the #1 plug and have it set close enough to TDC for the motor to start. I checked the to see if there is spark while the key is in the 'on' postion at the point, and there is. but when i button everything up and turn the key to test spark to and from the coil there is nothing. what else can it be? I'm getting 12.3V at the coil while the key is in the on postion, the solenid is reacting to the crank position as well. Engine is turning over but just not firing because doesn't have spark.

There are only a few reasons that would keep you from having spark- bad condenser if it has one, bad IC module and bad coil wire. The pickup coil is supposed to be a specific distance from the star wheel (for lack of a better name that will be fairly well understood) and if it's too close/far, the signal won't cause the IC control to cause spark. You should probably test the coil, too. You can do this by disconnecting everything from the (-) side, attaching a wire to the block's ground stud and clipping the timing light's pickup to the coil wire. Once this is done, turn the key to ON and tap the grounded wire on the coil (-) post. You should see spark. You can also use an ohmmeter to check for continuity. If you see none at all between any posts, you have a bad coil but you should be able to take it in for this test, too.

87MCProstar
05-20-2009, 08:24 PM
Jim,
I went back to my buddies shop and his father gave me a dwell meter to test the distributor as well. I was supposed to see a number between 27 and 30. I didn't see any, whether the key was on or the key was cranking. I had the coil tested and it was a good coil. So from what you are saying it sounds like its a bad condenser. So I ordered an electronic upgrade from SkiDim this afternoon. If everything else was to say the same, I should see spark which would then let the motor fire, right?

JimN
05-20-2009, 09:02 PM
Jim,
I went back to my buddies shop and his father gave me a dwell meter to test the distributor as well. I was supposed to see a number between 27 and 30. I didn't see any, whether the key was on or the key was cranking. I had the coil tested and it was a good coil. So from what you are saying it sounds like its a bad condenser. So I ordered an electronic upgrade from SkiDim this afternoon. If everything else was to say the same, I should see spark which would then let the motor fire, right?

If you have points, just get a tuneup kit, which will include the points, condenser and lube. This could easily be a bad condenser and if you have a multi-meter, remove it from the distributor, set it to ohms and measure in both directions. If you see a continuous reading, it's bad.

87MCProstar
05-21-2009, 07:17 AM
Jim, you wouldn't advise the upgrade?

JimN
05-21-2009, 08:48 AM
Jim, you wouldn't advise the upgrade?

Points work, but they need to be checked occasionally and if they were a total failure, they would have stopped making them by now. Electronic is definitely more trouble-free but they still go bad and they're part of the reason it's hard to find people who know how to diagnose problems with points.

From the standpoint of future performance, I would recommend replacing the points with electronic but this thread wasn't about whether points should be replaced by something else, it was about getting a poof/pop after changing the plugs and wires which usually indicates incorrect firing order or timing. You had spark immediately after changing these parts or you would have just kept cranking without anything else happening. If it doesn't fire now, I would check the plugs to make sure they're not fouled, since I'm sure gas has been going into the cylinders and if it does fire, the gas in the exhaust will also ignite so I would check into whether the exhaust needs to be cleared of this. If you're still not getting spark, put the battery on a charger to make sure you don't kill the starter and battery, shut off the fuel and only restore fuel after you have spark. The raw gas will get into the crankcase and dilute the oil if it continues.

If you're trying to get it working without a timing light or spark indicator, buy or borrow one of either. If you replace the points with new or electronic ignition, you'll need to verify your timing anyway and you can get a timing light pretty cheaply. If you have an AutoZone near you, they loan tools (pay for it and get a refund when you return it).

87MCProstar
05-21-2009, 01:33 PM
I know this thread wasn't about replacing points with electronic, but it just seemed that I had to replace the points anyways. So to me it sounded like the better choice, spend a few extra bones and do the upgrade.

I'll check the plugs again to make sure there are not fouled, but how do I go about shuting the fuel off?

I have been using a timing light to verify everything.

Again, thanks for your advice, you know your stuff.

JimN
05-21-2009, 02:16 PM
I know this thread wasn't about replacing points with electronic, but it just seemed that I had to replace the points anyways. So to me it sounded like the better choice, spend a few extra bones and do the upgrade.

I'll check the plugs again to make sure there are not fouled, but how do I go about shuting the fuel off?

I have been using a timing light to verify everything.

Again, thanks for your advice, you know your stuff.

I didn't remember seeing anything about using a timing light, so I didn't assume anything.

You can clear the cylinders first by removing the plugs and cranking it over- the compression will blow out any gas and since there will be no vacuum, it won't draw any gas into the cylinders. Clamp the fuel line before the pump, or remove the fuel line from the pump. That way, the only gas that can possibly get in is what's in the bowl of the carb.

Once this is done, you need to verify where the crank is in relation to cylinder #1. You may be able to see the top of the front valves by looking in at the oil filler cap. Look for the intake valve and crank it over (you can do it pretty easily by hand if the plugs are out)- you want to watch for it to open and then close. Once it closes, advance the crank to TDC. Now, you can look for the rotor's position and assign the #1 plug wire. Also, verify the distributor rotor's direction during cranking.

Remember- the crank rotates twice for every rotation of the distributor. I'm just saying.

Personally, I don't have a problem with points. They need occasional checking but they do work well. The electronic module is great for not having to deal with it but if the charging system is flakey and the voltage drops, the module can die young.

87MCProstar
05-21-2009, 02:23 PM
And just to make sure I have this right, the #1 cylinder is the one behind the driver's seat correct?? I don't want to assume anything but with the diagram I have it looks that way.

etduc
05-21-2009, 03:24 PM
And just to make sure I have this right, the #1 cylinder is the one behind the driver's seat correct?? I don't want to assume anything but with the diagram I have it looks that way.

Standing in front of engine, facing the back of the boat. Left (behind driver's seat.)

JimN
05-21-2009, 06:49 PM
The #1 cylinder is the farthest forward on the motor, without respect to orientation in the boat.

87MCProstar
05-21-2009, 08:22 PM
okay, well i know i have that correct ;-)

H20skeefreek
05-23-2009, 12:22 PM
The #1 cylinder is the farthest forward on the motor, without respect to orientation in the boat.

What if you've sub-marined the boat, and it's on the bottom of the lake?

JimN
05-23-2009, 01:31 PM
What if you've sub-marined the boat, and it's on the bottom of the lake?

Does that change the area of the motor that's considered to be the front?

Would you prefer that I referred to the cylinder that's closest to the plane of the timing chain?

87MCProstar
05-23-2009, 05:20 PM
Well I must not have it correct then. I found the problem of why I didn't have any spark, one of the spring inside the distributor was busted. Now with the electronic ignition mod inside I have a ton of spark, but still no fire. So I'm gonna have to let the boat win again and bring it to an actual mechanic to fix the timing, since i don't know how to do it correctly. Summa beach

JimN
05-23-2009, 08:39 PM
If you have spark, you should be able to get it to run. It only needs three things to run- the proper fuel/air mix, spark at the right time and compression. You can turn the crankshaft manually with the plugs removed, as I posted before. Once you have it at TDC compression cycle (Intake, compression, combustion, exhaust), you only need to rotate the distributor with the key ON to get it close enough to start. With the key ON, rotating it past the #1 spark plug wire will fire that plug (leave them out and use the timing light with the pickup on the #1 wire to find your position). Rotate it back a little and clamp it down until you're ready to actually check the timing. Unless you run it hard, it won't damage anything if it backfires a little for a short time. Make sure you have the wires on the plugs for the correct firing order and as long as it gets fuel, it should run.

87MCProstar
05-23-2009, 09:01 PM
Jim, thats where I think I messed up. How do I know what stroke of the cycle the motor is on to make sure I have it on TDC compression? I'm sorry for being mildly slow, but when you say key ON that just means on position right? Thanks for spending the time to help the guy who took the short bus to shop class.

JimN
05-23-2009, 11:28 PM
Jim, thats where I think I messed up. How do I know what stroke of the cycle the motor is on to make sure I have it on TDC compression? I'm sorry for being mildly slow, but when you say key ON that just means on position right? Thanks for spending the time to help the guy who took the short bus to shop class.

I posted before about looking into the oil filler hole on the valve cover and IIRC, it's on the front of the valve cover just behind the #1 valves. If that's the case, remove the breather or filler cap and look into the hole while you or someone else rotates the crankshaft manually, with no spark plugs (use a ratchet wrench with the appropriate socket on the bolt at the center of the crank pulley- it should rotate fairly easily). Watch for the intake valve to open, then close. Rotate the crank until it gets to the timing mark and stop. As you look at the intake manifold, it'll have a raised section going toward each cylinder- that's called a runner. The runners are more or less in line with the intake valve for that cylinder so if you look at the runner going to the #1 cylinder, that's the valve you want to look at. The exhaust valve will be directly aligned with the exhaust port. You should be able to see the intake valve being pushed down as the crank rotates and when it comes back up, you only need to rotate the crank a little farther to get the timing mark to line up with the indicator on the block.

If you still can't see when the intake valve is opening and closing, you can use low pressure compressed air blown into the #1 spark plug hole, listening at the throttle body for the sound of rushing air. It will start when the intake valve opens and stop when it closes. Any further rotation and you should be able to hear the rushing air at the exhaust flaps and that will be the sign to rotate the crank until you can hear it at the throttle body again.

CantRepeat
05-24-2009, 05:44 AM
If you don't have it on the right stroke you should only be 180 degrees out.


Jim, the one thing I don't understand about that diagram is when ever I put a distributor in I always point the rotor at the number one cylinder while number one is at TDC. I don't remember who I learned that from but it's what I've always done.

JimN
05-24-2009, 09:23 AM
If you don't have it on the right stroke you should only be 180 degrees out.


Jim, the one thing I don't understand about that diagram is when ever I put a distributor in I always point the rotor at the number one cylinder while number one is at TDC. I don't remember who I learned that from but it's what I've always done.

Any time a distributor is removed and either reinstalled or replaced, the timing has a chance to be wrong and a Ford motor, with the hex shaft makes it possible to be off by 60 degrees at a time, in addition to the chance that the crank is in the "wrong" position. The way you describe is great but when someone wants to get the job done, it's not always remembered and if it's a one-time thing, it may not even be a consideration when the job starts.

Another good way is to mark the position of the rotor on the motor and reinstall the distributor in the same position without cranking the motor but there are a couple of other things that can be forgotten- shaft rotation beinf clockwise or counter clockwise and the fact that Ford has cylinders 1-4 on one bank and 5-8 on the other vs GM having odd on one bank and even on the other.

I usually number the plug wire boot at each end and mark #1 and the next one in order on the cap just because of interruptions when I'm working on things. That way, I have no doubt about where things go.

northof52
05-24-2009, 11:03 AM
Thinking of replacing my cap and rotor to HEI for my 1990 prostar............anyone have experience with this?

JimN
05-24-2009, 12:17 PM
Thinking of replacing my cap and rotor to HEI for my 1990 prostar............anyone have experience with this?

There are a few electronic modules available- do you want to use a hotter coil, too? Make sure you check/change the centrifugal advance springs and if badly corroded, clean the weights and pivot points.

87MCProstar
05-24-2009, 01:08 PM
Jim,,
A couple of questions. One what does IIRC mean? And two that picture that #1 attached its the one I'm working off of too, and it shows the #1 cyclinder behind the driver, but my oil fill is on the other bank. So how would/could I still use your technique in finding TDC?

JimN
05-24-2009, 01:18 PM
Jim,,
A couple of questions. One what does IIRC mean? And two that picture that #1 attached its the one I'm working off of too, and it shows the #1 cyclinder behind the driver, but my oil fill is on the other bank. So how would/could I still use your technique in finding TDC?

IIRC is If I Recall Correctly.

Removing the valve cover is a relatively easy way to see the valves open and close but it won't come off completely because the exhaust manifold and some linkage os usually in the way, but it can be propped open enough to see.

CantRepeat
05-24-2009, 04:47 PM
Just to be clear, when you are looking down on the motor the number one cylinder is on the left.

TMCNo1
05-24-2009, 04:57 PM
#1 plug is the one shown with the orange boot, just behind the alternator, starboard/driver side,
47728

47729

47730

47731
47735

TMCNo1
05-24-2009, 05:03 PM
Here's the port/observer side,
47732

47733

47734

87MCProstar
05-24-2009, 08:42 PM
Okay, thats what I was thinking and just wanted to make sure, the oil filler threw me for a loop. I was at my uncle's house today for my cousin's graduation party had he had a compression tester that I borrowed, figured that would be easier for me as a novice to make sure I have motor set up right. I'll just have to borrow a couple extra hands though.

87MCProstar
05-26-2009, 03:21 PM
After spending a little time in the boat this holdiay weekend, I have spark going into the distributor but nothing coming out. Is that a bad cap and rotor? the points of connection in the cap look a little pitted but the rotor looks to be okay. Would that cause me not to get any spark to a plug?

TMCNo1
05-26-2009, 03:41 PM
After spending a little time in the boat this holdiay weekend, I have spark going into the distributor but nothing coming out. Is that a bad cap and rotor? the points of connection in the cap look a little pitted but the rotor looks to be okay. Would that cause me not to get any spark to a plug?

No more than it costs, replace both and take that out of the equasion.

87MCProstar
05-26-2009, 05:20 PM
Do we know what else it could be? Why would I be getting spark into the distributor but not out?

denverd1
05-26-2009, 05:45 PM
Unless you messed something up in the distributor, you should be getting spark out of it.

Another way to test if you're on compression stroke is to take out the #1 plug. Put your thumb over the spark plug hole and rotate the engine until it blows at ya. Then advance the crank to TDC as indicated on the balancer.

At this point, you're thinking the distributor is the culprit. Although you wouldn't have any "POP" without spark.

I think you're 180* off on the timing. Made the same mistake this weekend after installing my intake manifold.. there's just a lot of stuff to keep up with.

JimN
05-26-2009, 07:47 PM
I seem to remember that you used a dwell meter, right?

Make sure the cap and rotor are a matched set- these used a Mallory and Prestolite cap and rotor and they don't mix.

87MCProstar
05-26-2009, 08:33 PM
Jim,
I used a dwell meter before I changed over to electric. I switched because I thought I needed new guts, but when I took the guts apart I found that a spring was broken on one of the weights. So I switched those out and put the new ones from the elec. kit in. Once I did that I was getting spark back from the coil to the distrib, but now I'm not getting it at the plugs for one reason or another. I put back the old wire and plug to see if that made a difference, and it didn't. And each way I get it going in but not coming out. I'm just about ready to put it in the lake and pull the plug out.

JimN
05-26-2009, 08:57 PM
Jim,
I used a dwell meter before I changed over to electric. I switched because I thought I needed new guts, but when I took the guts apart I found that a spring was broken on one of the weights. So I switched those out and put the new ones from the elec. kit in. Once I did that I was getting spark back from the coil to the distrib, but now I'm not getting it at the plugs for one reason or another. I put back the old wire and plug to see if that made a difference, and it didn't. And each way I get it going in but not coming out. I'm just about ready to put it in the lake and pull the plug out.

OK, so you're saying that if you put the pickup from a timing light on the coil wire, it flashes, right? If that's the case, you need to measure the height from the mounting surface of the distributor body to the metal tab on the rotor and compare that to the distance from the edge of the cap where it mounts, to the electrodes inside of the cap. If the rotor is lower, it's not the right one.

Another thing that you may not have noticed is that the center electrode inside of the cap may be missing. I had one that fell out when I checked it at night and I ended up killing the starter on that car.

87MCProstar
05-26-2009, 09:03 PM
Yes, I put a timing light on the coil wire and it does flash.

Checking the measurement by taking the cap off using a ruler and then try to do the same on the distributor egde to the top of the rotor?

Someone also mentioned that cap/rotors could be different, would the dimensions change from a cap for points to a cap/rotor for electronic?

And I'll look at the center of the cap too.

And the worst part too, is I have been searching issues like mine here and I can't find anything that has had the same situation or has tried something that I haven't yet

JimN
05-26-2009, 09:42 PM
Yes, I put a timing light on the coil wire and it does flash.

Checking the measurement by taking the cap off using a ruler and then try to do the same on the distributor egde to the top of the rotor?

Someone also mentioned that cap/rotors could be different, would the dimensions change from a cap for points to a cap/rotor for electronic?

And I'll look at the center of the cap too.

And the worst part too, is I have been searching issues like mine here and I can't find anything that has had the same situation or has tried something that I haven't yet

That was me and the cap/rotor don't change when you use points vs electronic but as I posted, the Prestolite and Mallory aren't interchangeable. One screws down and the other clips down.

If it flashes when you put the timing light pickup on the coil wire, definitely look at the center electrode. Some caps come without it in place. Stupid, yes but it probably saves them $.000000000000000001 by not paying the labor.

JimN
05-26-2009, 09:43 PM
And the worst part too, is I have been searching issues like mine here and I can't find anything that has had the same situation or has tried something that I haven't yet

That's what makes this part of the fun. We're having fun, right? Tell me we're having fun!

randyb
05-26-2009, 10:26 PM
I had a very similar issue on a car once that turned out to be a hairline crack in the distributor cap that oil had gotten into allowing the spark to short to ground.

87MCProstar
05-27-2009, 07:25 AM
oh okay, it does screw down so it is the right cap, i'll have to look inside the cap to look at the center electrode.

Jim, I ordered a new cap and rotor from SkiDim yesterday afternoon. I should see it tomorrow, if that doesn't work what else can be happening?

TRBenj
05-27-2009, 09:28 AM
That was me and the cap/rotor don't change when you use points vs electronic but as I posted, the Prestolite and Mallory aren't interchangeable. One screws down and the other clips down.

If it flashes when you put the timing light pickup on the coil wire, definitely look at the center electrode. Some caps come without it in place. Stupid, yes but it probably saves them $.000000000000000001 by not paying the labor.
Jim, just one piece of info that Tim told me that Im not sure he's mentioned here... cap and rotor are not new. Theyre only 2 years old and the boat ran just fine with them at one point. Strange.

87MCProstar
05-27-2009, 09:59 AM
Yes I had the boat running with same cap and rotor three weeks ago, then this problem started with not starting and no spark. We'll see what happens with brand new cap and rotor.

JimN
05-27-2009, 10:57 AM
Jim, just one piece of info that Tim told me that Im not sure he's mentioned here... cap and rotor are not new. Theyre only 2 years old and the boat ran just fine with them at one point. Strange.

Mine was only about 6 months old when the center electrode fell out. Once that went back in, it ran fine.

87MCProstar
05-30-2009, 03:02 PM
Well, had time to get in the boat to change cap and rotor and double checked timing. Looked like I was off 180* becasue when I adjusted and tried to start it popped out of the carb. So now I'm thinking I need to recheck, again, the timing to make sure I'm at TDC that way I can adjust once I get it started. Am I on the right track?

JimN
05-30-2009, 03:43 PM
If you get it to TDC again and it pops through the carb, remove the distributor and turn it 180 from where it is. Make sure to use the timing light when you try to run it and if you want, only install the #1 plug. That way, if it fires, you'll know if it's popping through the carb or exhaust. When it's no longer popping through the carb and the timing mark lines up with 6 or 10 degrees BTDC, put the rest of the plugs in and try it.

As I posted before, the crankshaft rotates twice for every rotation of the distributor rotor.

TRBenj
06-01-2009, 04:18 PM
Well, had time to get in the boat to change cap and rotor and double checked timing. Looked like I was off 180* becasue when I adjusted and tried to start it popped out of the carb. So now I'm thinking I need to recheck, again, the timing to make sure I'm at TDC that way I can adjust once I get it started. Am I on the right track?
So you had spark all along?

Sure sounds like your #1 plug is in the wrong place... but that doesnt mean youre 180 out. Rotate the engine over so that the pointer is ~10deg. Pull your cap and see where the rotor is pointing. Put the plug wire for cyl #1 at that position and follow your order around. If it still doesnt start, then Id try 180 from that point.

87MCProstar
06-01-2009, 04:44 PM
No I just got spark when I was fiddling on Saturday for a couple of minutes. But when I check the wires for spark on all the cylinders, with the timing light, there are a couple (2-3) wires that have a very speratic flash where others have a nice rythmic flash. Why's that?

JimN
06-01-2009, 06:40 PM
No I just got spark when I was fiddling on Saturday for a couple of minutes. But when I check the wires for spark on all the cylinders, with the timing light, there are a couple (2-3) wires that have a very speratic flash where others have a nice rythmic flash. Why's that?

Could be that the plug wires have worked loose and aren't making good contact. Make sure the distributor cap is mounted level on the flange. If it's tilted, you should see it clearly.

87MCProstar
06-28-2009, 02:03 PM
Jim, I got something for ya now. Got the boat started yesterday, 180* off. looked like I needed an extra set of hands to help out in boat. Went to the lake to test drive it and it was great, though it was running ATDC. Started it this morning, let it warm up checked timing (with a light) wasn't anywhere near a marking on the dampner, make a few minor adjustments with distrib, made the motor miss every now and then. tried to put it back to where it was at start of morning and nothing, boat won't start again. I pulled the brand new plugs (installed yesterday) there is no oil or gas on them, but where a grayish color. I'm at a loss here, I thought I had everything figured out and now this. Any ideas?

JimN
06-28-2009, 05:06 PM
Make sure you know which way the rotor turns when you try to advance/retard the timing. It's possible that you went too far one way or the other but were trying to do the opposite of what happened. Get the motor to TDC and put the timing light pickup on the coil wire, then turn the key to ON but don't crank it. Now, turn the distributor until you see the light flash. If you end up with the plug wires too tight, move them all in the direction that allows some slack. Once it flashes, turn the key off and remove the cap so you can see where the rotor is pointing. It may not be pointing at the #1 wire. If you find that it's about 1-1/2 plug wires away from where it should be and the wires don't reach, remove the distributor and rotate it 60 degrees, so it lines up with the correct plug wire. That's about the only thing I don't like about the hex drive on Ford distributors- if it's wrong, it can be off by 60, 120, 180, 240 or 300 degrees.

The best way to not find yourself in this situation is, after knowing that the timing is correct, to mark the distributor base and intake manifold before loosening anything. Mark it with a file, if needed, so it will always be visible. Next, make a mark on the valve cover so you know where the rotor was pointing. ALso, mark the #1 plug wire's position on the cap and mark the plug wire boots on both ends.

87MCProstar
06-29-2009, 04:05 PM
Did exactly that, got it to fire and run idle great for almost 30 minutes in the driveway. Turned it off, fixed a loose clamp tried to start and would not start again. I tried to start from square one again, but I had to stop out of frustration. What would of made it run great for that long then just turned it off left it for 10 minutes, then won't start again???

silverblueBP
06-29-2009, 04:17 PM
Have you checked or replaced the coil?

JimN
06-29-2009, 04:34 PM
Did exactly that, got it to fire and run idle great for almost 30 minutes in the driveway. Turned it off, fixed a loose clamp tried to start and would not start again. I tried to start from square one again, but I had to stop out of frustration. What would of made it run great for that long then just turned it off left it for 10 minutes, then won't start again???

Next time you run it, go around and wiggle some of the wires. Not the plug wires but anything else is fair game. Power, grounds, sensors, main harness- anything with 12V on it. You'd be surprised by what can cause stuff like this, even though it looks perfect. Also, tap around on the main circuit breaker, bump the dash with your fist (when you aren't already too frustrated) and generally make it simulate being on the water, hitting waves and wakes. Over time, a lot loosens up and this can be the result.

If I didn't already recommend it, try another coil wire. I have had a lot of 351 motors run before a tuneup and not at all after and it seemed to always be the wire from the coil to the cap. These were from wire sets, not made up on the fly.

87MCProstar
06-29-2009, 04:34 PM
The coil is brand new a in working order, boats been started multiple times with it

87MCProstar
06-29-2009, 04:55 PM
The wires were from a kit and not custom made. Should I try another coil wire even though I'm getting a great spark from that wire to the distributor? I'll try again in the morning, once I calm down, and start from zero again and if I get it running I'll play with wires. I forgot before to mention I just adjusted the idle screw on the motor before shutting it down, it didn't stumble and die it was idling high (at 1,000) brought it down to 750-800, stayed there until I shut down. From there it wouldn't start. Would that have anything to do with it?

JimN
06-29-2009, 05:22 PM
The wires were from a kit and not custom made. Should I try another coil wire even though I'm getting a great spark from that wire to the distributor? I'll try again in the morning, once I calm down, and start from zero again and if I get it running I'll play with wires. I forgot before to mention I just adjusted the idle screw on the motor before shutting it down, it didn't stumble and die it was idling high (at 1,000) brought it down to 750-800, stayed there until I shut down. From there it wouldn't start. Would that have anything to do with it?

If you know that you definitely have spark to the cap, don't worry about it. However, adjusting the idle when the motor is warmed up and trying to start it after it cools down will have an affect. Add some gas and see if it starts. If it does, you need to either use the choke or make it richer.

87MCProstar
06-29-2009, 05:42 PM
Okay, we'll try that in the am.

87MCProstar
06-29-2009, 07:56 PM
on the carb which way do you turn the screw on the side of the bowl where the fuel line enters to make it richer??

JimN
06-29-2009, 08:15 PM
on the carb which way do you turn the screw on the side of the bowl where the fuel line enters to make it richer??

Usually, unscrewing it will make it richer.

JimN
06-29-2009, 08:19 PM
Does anyone have a document with carb setup instructions?

87MCProstar
06-30-2009, 06:18 PM
Jim, got the boat started and killed today, again for the enth time. Found the coil was toast, changed that and switched the electronic ignition back to points to rule out and issue with that and the coil. and it started right up multiple times, but seems to have caught a vaccum leak somewhere. How do I fix that flippin issue now?

87MCProstar
07-02-2009, 08:26 PM
I finally gave up and bringing the boat the Echo Bay Marine, the Mastercraft dealership in CT, tomorrow. Hopefully now it will run right everytime.

rob935
07-06-2009, 01:56 PM
moving to e.i. will be the best thing you can do for your boat , changed mine 3 yrs ago and havent had any ignition problems since, had a bad condenser on a previous boat and like you it was the last thing i replaced after upgrading basically every other ignition part ....its always the minor details eh ?
best of luck getting her going

87MCProstar
07-07-2009, 04:47 PM
Well heard back from the dealer and seemed to be my tach shortening everything out. Summa beach.

87MCProstar
07-08-2009, 10:58 AM
Jim, how do you diagnosis that? For future reference

flipper
07-08-2009, 11:16 AM
Glad the problem was solved and you can finally get back out on the water. I'm guessing they disconnected everything that wasn't needed to get spark and narrowed it down to the tach wire.

denverd1
07-08-2009, 11:20 AM
Damn, talk about a needle in haystack. Hopefully, your summer can now begin!

JimN
07-08-2009, 11:53 AM
Jim, how do you diagnosis that? For future reference

Old car guys used to put a switch inside of their cars and trucks, with a grounded wire to the tach or coil, to keep someone from stealing them because they knew that if the coil couldn't develop voltage in the secondary, they wouldn't be able to start the motor. This only goes on the tach lead, not the coil primary.

If a motor has no spark, the tach lead is not only where the dwell meter connects, disconnecting that lead is also the easiest way to find out if it's shorting. It doesn't happen that often but it's a prime candidate once the points/condenser/cap/rotor/plug wires and EI module have been changed or checked out.

87MCProstar
07-09-2009, 10:42 AM
So since that was shorting, that obviously will toast the coil and or e.i module. Making the motor start one time but not the next

JimN
07-09-2009, 11:37 AM
So since that was shorting, that obviously will toast the coil and or e.i module. Making the motor start one time but not the next

It can if the coil is energized for too long. If this happens when the points are closed, they'll burn and possibly fuse together.

The short keeps the points or EI module from breaking the ground contact at the secondary. The secondary's purpose is to develop high voltage (based on the ratio of turns when compared to the primary) and when the points open, the magnetic field caused by the stored voltage collapses, it causes a big burst of voltage to flow (the principle being that moving a magnetic field near a coil of wire or by moving a coil near a magnetic field causes, or 'induces', current flow) and making the field collapse performs the same function as moving the voltage, relative to the coil. When the secondary is shorted to ground (also called shunted), it causes the field to be being formed in the secondary but if the points or EI module don't open the connection, no field collapse/no spark occurs. The primary is a continuous circuit through the coil and is basically unaffected by this but the secondary is isolated from the primary, other than the two having a common negative, which is where the points/EI do their work. By making/breaking contact to ground (the reason points are called 'breaker points'), the field's intensity is allowed to develop over a specific amount of time (dwell) and when the points open, the field collapses, causing the spark event.

This may be something you already know but if not, here's a link:
http://autorepair.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/aa052502a.htm