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View Full Version : '89 Tristar dead in water - on labor day wknd!!


Adks
09-06-2009, 11:59 PM
Just grabbed an '89 Tristar 220 with the Ford 351 (Indmar) engine. Thing runs like a top - former owner was a Corvette mechanic and it's apparent by the overall appearance, sound and overall performance of the motor and carb. HOWEVER, was out with the squad (have 6 kids - YES, 6!!) and boat was running great. Turned boat off to let kids back on boat after tubing and.... dead. Turned key and dead silence. Had turned it on and off numerous times that day and previously with no issues at all. Got back to dock (after getting a tow by a Nautique who quickly told me I shouldn't have bought a "Mastercrap"...) Came here first and have read numerous threads here about starter issues so I'm thinking it's a solenoid issue (since starter doesn't even engage - yes, I whacked it lightly with a hammer.) Battery reads well. All connections look solid and no corrosion. Anyone have thoughts?? Am I on the right track with the solenoid? If so, do I need to pay particular attention to the specific make/model of solenoid? Thx to all in advance!

ROB
09-07-2009, 12:30 AM
Been down the solenoid road. Purchased a brand new starter motor with gear reduction, less amps more torque. For $200, it's well worth the investment.

This might help:

http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RK122014

ROB
09-07-2009, 12:34 AM
PS - You can usually score a 10% discount as well. Just look on their homepage for details. Good luck.

Adks
09-07-2009, 12:37 AM
Thanks Rob. Any thoughts on the electronic ignition? That seems to be a favorable path as well...

ROB
09-07-2009, 08:34 AM
Again, EI will be money well spent. Skidim has what you need. You'll find that they are a great source for parts and solid information.

Jim@BAWS
09-07-2009, 08:37 AM
Try this....when starting the boat. Take your SHIFT lever and giggle ever so slightly back and forth Forward to Reverse. NOT so the throttle clicks out of neutral. What might be happening is the NEUTRAL SAFETY switch is out of adjustment. (Less than 1/4 in each way) Do this while you are starting the boat.

Jim@BAWS

bturner2
09-07-2009, 10:11 AM
Good advise from BAWS. Also make sure the saftey lanyard is connected fully and that the clip hasn't bent or broken.

I had a 89 190 TriStar that the ignition switch just quit working one day. Try turning the key and giggling it a bit and see if anything starts to work or if the starter kicks in a bit.

I'm sure JimN could provide better dianogistic help but this is quick and easy.

Jim@BAWS
09-07-2009, 10:17 AM
Again, EI will be money well spent. Skidim has what you need. You'll find that they are a great source for parts and solid information.


89 EI was standard

Replace only CAP AND ROTOR

Not condensor or points

Jim@BAWS

ROB
09-07-2009, 10:18 AM
I bow to the master.

TMCNo1
09-07-2009, 10:25 AM
Thanks Rob. Any thoughts on the electronic ignition? That seems to be a favorable path as well...

On our 1989 Prostar190 351W, I went from points/condenser in 2003 with a Prestolite EI/Breakerless ignition conversion kit and haven't look back, money well spent.
Here is a great EI/Breakerless conversion tutorial for your use in the General Discussion FAQ, http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=3533&highlight=electronic+ignition

Jim@BAWS
09-07-2009, 12:24 PM
I bow to the master.

Please don't say that...Just quoting facts.

In 89 it was probably a mid year upgrade. Some may have had it others may have not.

I remember that being a BIG DEAL as we never had to mess w/ points and condensers again. The PRESTOLITE upgrade is nice. It is not REALL electronic iginition but just a nice upgrade that makes a TON of sense to do. Pretty easy. Older motors you need to bypass the ceramic ballast resistor

Jim@BAWS

Adks
09-07-2009, 12:27 PM
Put new solenoid on this am and it didn't do a thing, so I've backed my way to the ignition. I'll try to giggle the throttle as Jim suggested. Thanks for all the input!

JohnE
09-07-2009, 12:38 PM
You did read about the safety lanyard in an earlier post, right? I've had one of those switches fail in the past as opposed to the lanyard being pulled.

Edit - on second thought the lanyard would allow the boat to turn over but not start.....

Adks
09-07-2009, 12:40 PM
Jim - your throttle suggestion was spot on! Fired right up. Suggestions on off-season maintenance to keep it from happening again?

Jim@BAWS
09-07-2009, 02:06 PM
Jim - your throttle suggestion was spot on! Fired right up. Suggestions on off-season maintenance to keep it from happening again?

It is such a MINOR adjustment. I would not worry about it. Just know what you need to do in the future. Probably your best bet is a NEW shift cable. Do not worry about it today. Enjoy the next couple of weekends on the water. I know that up there in NY you have not had the warmest, longest summer possible. Just enjoy the rest of it. Glad I was able to help.
Labor Day or not !!!!

Jim@BAWS

Adks
09-07-2009, 02:45 PM
Appreciate all the help!!

SkiDog
09-07-2009, 02:47 PM
It is such a MINOR adjustment. I would not worry about it. Just know what you need to do in the future. Probably your best bet is a NEW shift cable. Do not worry about it today. Enjoy the next couple of weekends on the water. I know that up there in NY you have not had the warmest, longest summer possible. Just enjoy the rest of it. Glad I was able to help.
Labor Day or not !!!!

Jim@BAWS

You ARE the man! JimN better look out!:D:D Somebody's gunning for his spot!:D

T-Rager
09-07-2009, 03:06 PM
Please don't say that...Just quoting facts.

In 89 it was probably a mid year upgrade. Some may have had it others may have not.

I remember that being a BIG DEAL as we never had to mess w/ points and condensers again. The PRESTOLITE upgrade is nice. It is not REALL electronic iginition but just a nice upgrade that makes a TON of sense to do. Pretty easy. Older motors you need to bypass the ceramic ballast resistor

Jim@BAWS

Jim,

My 1990 PS190 came new with points. I converted to electronic ignition and MSD Blaster coil about 10 years ago the results were very noticeable.

Jim@BAWS
09-08-2009, 11:41 AM
Jim,
My 1990 PS190 came new with points. I converted to electronic ignition and MSD Blaster coil about 10 years ago the results were very noticeable.


Are you the original owner? Did someone convert it back? I do not know why someone would do that. I remember opening new 89s back in the day and seeing BREAKERLESS iginition.

I don't know maybe some had it and other did'nt

Anyway...back to the subject at hand. Glad we where able to get you back on the water for
labor day weekend

Jim@BAWS

Now back to the normal grind...getting ready to the Tampa Boat Show

76S&S
09-09-2009, 09:18 AM
Adks, have the battery load tested as well.

I had a similar problem this past weekend. We had been on the water for about 3 hours, then went to start only to hear click, click, click..........
Bad battery.

michiganTristar
06-14-2012, 09:36 AM
Hoping someone can help out here! 89 Tristar 351, new battery, started right up drove across the lake and shut it off to suit up and then just 'click', sounds like the solenoid is engauging. tapped on the starter still no avail. the most noticeable thing is that the power lead wire (heavy gauge) running from the solenoid to the starter was extremely hot after only three short attempts at starting it. If i let it sit for a long time and the wire to cool and i hit the key the engine will spin about 2 degrees then stop again.

Thinking about getting a new starter today just looking for reasoning why it would just up and stop working and make the wire get so hot so fast?

Also i replaced at the start of the season all the leads that go to the battery and solenoid and starter so no corosion there.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-14-2012, 09:50 AM
Hoping someone can help out here! 89 Tristar 351, new battery, started right up drove across the lake and shut it off to suit up and then just 'click', sounds like the solenoid is engauging. tapped on the starter still no avail. the most noticeable thing is that the power lead wire (heavy gauge) running from the solenoid to the starter was extremely hot after only three short attempts at starting it. If i let it sit for a long time and the wire to cool and i hit the key the engine will spin about 2 degrees then stop again.

Thinking about getting a new starter today just looking for reasoning why it would just up and stop working and make the wire get so hot so fast?

Also i replaced at the start of the season all the leads that go to the battery and solenoid and starter so no corosion there.

Sounds like you have it narrowed down to the starter. It wouldn't hurt to have the starter tested before you buy new, but sounds like you have it handled.

DooSPX
06-14-2012, 10:36 AM
FYI since we are all talking about starters, etc. I replaced my starter w/ a Arco mini the other week for slow turn overs when hot or after sitting for a while.
here is how it went...
replaced starter- tried to start, click-click...
tried brand new battery that was on a tender- same deal
checked all positive and negative connections- same deal
all sourced back to the starter relay- replaced- seemed to fix it with out a hitch, super fast turn overs

for the heck of it, I broke apart the relay and the positive lead was hardly making contact with the plate behind it. You can see just a very small part of the lead was making contact.

Not saying thats your issue, but check in the order of this...

1. check all positive and negative power cables going from the battery to the relay to the starter
2. try a different battery
3. check neutral safety switch
4. check kill switch
5. starter
6. relay

LYNRDSKYNRD
06-14-2012, 10:47 AM
Can you get the starter relay from auto parts store? thinking of changing mine for preventative measures.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-14-2012, 10:52 AM
As a general thumb rule, I always replace the solenoid when replacing a starter. Used solenoid goes into "known good parts box".

michiganTristar
06-14-2012, 11:01 AM
Can you replace the starter with a standard starter from the auto store/also the solenoid in that case, if so does anyone know what the part numbers are. All I can find is skidim's parts and really don't want to waste this weekend off the lake. Only number I have is "59-2007" and "75-5005"

LYNRDSKYNRD
06-14-2012, 11:10 AM
You need a marine starter, I do know that, they are sealed so your boat won't explode.

LYNRDSKYNRD
06-14-2012, 11:11 AM
As a general thumb rule, I always replace the solenoid when replacing a starter. Used solenoid goes into "known good parts box".

I replaced starter two seasons ago but not soleniod...

DooSPX
06-14-2012, 12:23 PM
I do not know if you can get the relay at an auto parts store. I ordered mine from SkiDim. 27 bucks

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
06-14-2012, 04:12 PM
Can you get the starter relay from auto parts store? thinking of changing mine for preventative measures.

Yes your local auto parts store should have them, just take it with you so you can match it up. If you tell those guys it's for a boat they always have a puzzled look on their face, the last one I replaced I got from advanced auto and went with the motorcraft heavy duty type iirc less than an andrew jackson.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-14-2012, 04:40 PM
I usually tell the parts monkey to look at a 1975 Gran Torino which was available with a 351W. Better yet, check it out online yourself first at home, then go to the store with a part number or two to match up your part with.

michiganTristar
06-18-2012, 11:33 AM
The starter was the issue, once chagned it fired right up and ran perfect all day. but only for the day. Getting back to the dock the engine felt as if it was running out of gas while under full throttle it nearly died, (Fuel gauge doesnt work yet, part on its way). I thought that was the issue i slowed down to idle and cruised back to the dock. Filled it up to find out only 10 gallons were needed with a 25 gallon tank...

Thinking its the fuel pump, fuel pump filter, or water seperator filter, or fuel hose. buying all of them and changing them all out. Hoping to finally spend a weekend on the water just enjoying myself and not working on the boat. Got to love when the previous owner didnt take care of what they had....