View Full Version : Finally At Home Here!

08-19-2004, 03:59 PM

What an great forum you all have going here, I feel very privledged to now be a part of it and be an owner. This weekend I'm finalizing the purchase of an 1988 Prostar 190, 351 with 242 hours -- very excited.

As a new Mastercraft owner, I just wanted to say Hello, and thank you in advanced for all of the redundant questions that may come up -- I've checked the archives and will try to stay clear of already talked about items. Killer forum!


08-19-2004, 04:01 PM
Welcome aboard Pete, we do have alot of fun here! :dance: Great choice on the 88". I have an 87' and love it! We will be waiting on the picture of that MC.

08-19-2004, 04:05 PM
Don't worry about redundant questions, if you've got one someonw will help you or give you a link. Congrats on the new boat and welcome to the forumn.

08-19-2004, 04:08 PM
BriEOD, go ahead and tell him to change those POINTS :uglyhamme !! But I think I may just keep mine.

08-19-2004, 04:11 PM
Wow, two amazing looking '87s there guys! Thanks a lot for the kind welcome.

I guess the first question is, should I put in the electronic ignition right away to eliminate any "point" maintanence?


08-19-2004, 04:12 PM
You must be a mind reader, Brad.

08-19-2004, 04:28 PM
This may help


08-19-2004, 04:33 PM
I say "Toe-may-toe" and Brad says "Toe-mot-toe" on this issue. Spend the money and do it. It's easy and works great!!!

08-19-2004, 04:34 PM
That does help big time, Mark! I'm going to read it a little more carefully to get both sides of the story before making a decision, but it sounds like you can go both ways.

08-19-2004, 04:34 PM
This also may be of use...


east tx skier
08-19-2004, 04:52 PM
Welcome, Pete.

Don't worry about the redundancies. We love repeating ourselves.

I'll see if I can beat you to this question.

How do I go about ordering new "skins" for my MasterCraft?

Here's the drill. Get your hull number off the right side of the transom. Call your MC dealer and give them the number. They can order the replacement skins that will match your color pattern exactly. It takes about 4-6 weeks, but the skins come pre-sewn. You just remove the old ones and staple on the new one on. Very easy. They aren't too cheap. You can have a local shop redo the upholstery for less, but it won't match exactly and won't feel like the same vinyl.

08-19-2004, 04:52 PM
Pete, BriEOD does make a great point. Electronic may be the way to go for you, and I will not try and change your mind. But for me at this point, I may just keep the points. This winter when I just need to touch the boat, I may break down and change them?? Hey working on points in a MC is better than working on points in a SN!!!!!!! :D And I have done BOTH!

08-19-2004, 05:14 PM

I donít know if its an all time record, or not, but we havenít even seen his boat yet and we are already spending his money on it:uglyhamme

Sorry Pete:o ..

08-19-2004, 05:27 PM
Nice to have yet another 87-90 Prostar owner. :toast: You will love it. Now to chime in on the electronic ignition thing. If you are having issues by all means change to electronic. If everything runs great just enjoy it until you have an issue.

I changed my perfectly good points to electronic and ended up losing a couple of days on the water due to a bad modual and then troubleshooting everything else before I realized I had a bunk one. :uglyhamme Now that I have a working unit all is well. But if "it aint broke" I wouldn't fix it until you need to.

08-19-2004, 05:55 PM
Welcome PeteS. I am a relatively long MC owner (I bought my 87 Prostar 190 in 1989) but also new to this forum. I have heard a lot of good things about going to electronic ignition but have also heard of problems as others have described above in receiving bad units. It seems I have also read that if the ignition switch is left on for awhile without the engine running they can burn out.

For me I will stick with the points for now. These things aren't rocket science and with a few tools, some preventive maintenance, and early replacement of the $5 points you shouldn't have problems. To me it seems that the move to electronic this and computer controlled that generally results in less maintenance and fewer problems but if / when you do have problems you are down hard. With the old analog stuff you usually get a little warning that things aren't right and as long as you pay attention to these warnings and take action you won't get stuck dead in the water on the best weeked of the summer.

You get equally good advice though from those that recommend moving forward.

My 2 cents.

08-19-2004, 06:15 PM
There's alot more older PS190 owners than I thought..! BriEOD and I have twin '87's..

It's been great and w/ 1100hrs and still going strong.. You're new edition should have a ton of hours left in 'er..!

I upgraded to electronic ignition as-well, due to some sound supporters on here, and some other forums aswell.. and I couldn't be more impressed, just touch the key away she goes... I don't live by the if it ain't broke don't fix it.. I'm more of a; if it ain't broke, change stuff until it is guy myself.. hah... or change things first ask questions later.. that's why this place comes in so handy :D

08-19-2004, 06:24 PM
Welcome to the board!
There is no stupid questions to ask here...But if we really work hard at it,we can give you a lot of stupids answers!!!

242 hours on a 88 :eek3:
Was the previous owner a Priest? :D

08-19-2004, 06:46 PM
My 87' had 278 hrs. Now it has about 350 after less than a year.

Hey Sledneck, don't forget me an my 87' :cry: ???? Mine's just a different color.

tall_ andy
08-19-2004, 09:26 PM
Welcome Pete!!!
I share your excitement I just got my first MC this year an 88' PS 190 also. Great choice.
I can't add anything to the points discussion, but I would like to try to take something away

How do I tell if I have the old system with points, or if the boat was upgraded by the previous owner??

Congrats on the new boat again

08-19-2004, 10:10 PM
I had some problems with my points. I would get some condensation or they would get oxidized etc and I lost performance. I am very glad that I changed. My boat starts MUCH easier and I picked up a bunch of RPM's.

Sledneck, yep same boat. The only difference I've seen is my pylon isn't black and my rocker switches are different (not stock).

Tall Andy, to tell you need to take off the distributor cap (2 small screws). If it looks like the photos at the beginning of this thread you have points, and if it looks like the photos at the end you have breakerless electronic ignition. http://classifieds.mastercraft.com/messages/13777/15161.html?1090685505

tall_ andy
08-19-2004, 10:22 PM
Thanks for the post and the link. I'll be checking that tomorrow before we head out for the 2nd time this week(finally two ski days in one week this summer!)
I just hate proving my wife right. She said when we got the boat "you will be spending all your free time working on the boat" Well at least she's only have right I spend some of the time skiing behind the boat also :D

08-20-2004, 07:27 AM

I donít know if its an all time record, or not, but we havenít even seen his boat yet and we are already spending his money on it:uglyhamme

Sorry Pete:o ..

nope, not a record. you guys were spending my money before I got a boat.

welcome pete! you'll really enjoy it here.

question on E-ignition. looking at the maint records from the previous owner, it seems that he changed the timing and the gap on the spark plugs when he changed to electronic....should he have? just need to know whether or not to go with factory settings or what? I haven't even checked the timing, but i got a couple of backfires yesterday, thought this could have to do with timing. also, i'm running mid-grade gas with no lead additive, is this right??

08-20-2004, 08:48 AM
Lead went out in the mid-70's for everything but aviation (and maybe racing), I can't imagine your engine requiring lead additive! Mid grade should be right, I run premium just because where I get my gas it costs the same as mid :confused: . As for your Electronic Ignition. Generally the factory settings are at .35 gap and depending on your ignition, you should run with a .35 to a .45 gap. I know my 5.8 HO runs a .45 gap, as do GM's HEI distributors...

08-20-2004, 08:51 AM
Welcome Pete!

Since I'm a relatively new boater also, I'm probably best at redundant questions so fire away! :purplaugh

You still have few good weeks left enjoy the ride before you change out those points!

08-20-2004, 08:57 AM
Pete, if you don't like having to mess with the boat and fix little things, like the points, change them! But for me, the boat is like a new girlfriend, I just can't keep my hands off it!!!! :woohoo: :banana: Lakes Rick is having an effect on me!!!! And I like it.

08-20-2004, 09:05 AM
H20skeefreek- There's no reason to set up a Ford motor the same as a GM motor. Unless it was designed to be. Go with the factory settings but when you check the timing on the 351, look for the timing mark to be very steady and not jumping around. Also, see if you can get the setup instructions for the ignition module in your boat, in case they have any specific recommendations. I have never heard anyone say lead additive is a good idea for these motors, especially if there is a chance of inhalation of the exhaust.

How old are the plug and coil wires on your motor?

08-20-2004, 09:34 AM
Gosh guys, thank you very much for the generous welcome and much needed advice! Again, seems like I'm very lucky to now be a part of a outstanding group.

First off while it's fresh in my mind, I have to response to Andre's comment. You won't belive this, but it just so happens that the previous owner was a Pastor ;) ! He seems very honest and meticulous, and quite frankly, an outstanding owner. Look like I got my hands on a good one!

Also, what beatiful 87's and 88's you have around here -- I'll be hard pressed to make mine look as good as Brian's, although is exactly the same boat and color scheme I believe. Do the 87s-88s like premium better than mid-grade, H2O? Thanks again, all.

08-20-2004, 09:42 AM
How bout all of our older Prostars still running strong!...we are a smart group to be Mastercraft owners!....from a points and condenser fan.....I like going to the parts store and talking to the younger guys and seeing their faces contort when you ask em about carbs and points :confused:

east tx skier
08-20-2004, 10:22 AM
Love spending people's money before they get the boat, or shortly thereafter.

When did MC go with electronic ignition standard?

08-20-2004, 12:55 PM

My 1987 owners manual recommends an octane of 93. That's all I have ever put in it so I can't elaborate on any comparisons. JimN might be able to weigh in on this for us, being the resident expert mechanic on the board.

08-20-2004, 03:25 PM
So now I feel bad... looks like I might be the only one running standard grade fuel in mine. I didn't realize that the owners manual for the 1987 prostars is recommending 93 octane. I had been lead to believe that the higher octane isn't very important unless you have a high compression (or turbo or supercharger) engine where high compression can cause temperatures to increase causing autoignition (knocking). My turbo supra (toyota not boat) always got mid or high grade fuel but the standard compression marine engine runs fine with the cheap stuff.

I guess maybe I will switch. It doesn't take as much fuel as it used to now that I generally spend time on the water with kids on the pontoon so price differential doesn't make much of a difference.

Thanks for info.

east tx skier
08-20-2004, 03:30 PM
Really, my owners manual recommends 89 octane? But for the heads for the HO, it's pretty much the same engine, right?

08-20-2004, 04:47 PM
I use the 93. I have no owners manual.

east tx skier
08-20-2004, 04:49 PM
Mark, did you ever email them about that? I'd be glad to send you a copy if you'd like one.

08-20-2004, 04:53 PM
Doug, I did. Got no response. My email may have been acting up at the time. I think the next time I talk to Mastercraft on the phone I will mention/request the manual, thanks though. Or I may use a rain check on that offer sometime

east tx skier
08-20-2004, 05:35 PM
If you want it, and haven't had luck with MC, just email me your address and I'll get it in the mail to you.

08-20-2004, 05:36 PM
Thanks Doug, I'll let you know

08-20-2004, 05:44 PM
Pete, I changed out the points on my '88, and it was one of my better moves. Technically, it's like moving from the 1930's to the 1990's. Spend the money.

08-20-2004, 09:58 PM
my owners manual says " Regular grade, leaded 93 Octane minimum (research method)"

then it says "NOTE: low lead fuel of proper octane rating may be used intermittently. Unleaded fuel should not be used."

so, honestly, i'm quite confused. Research method is not what we use at the pumps anymore, and why would they say NOT UNLEADED?

08-20-2004, 10:12 PM
H20 the only reason that I can think of is (if Iím not mistaken) The leaded fuel used for earlier year motors was to protect the valve seatsÖ??

08-20-2004, 10:15 PM
Oh and I think they make safe/non toxic additives to do this

08-20-2004, 11:15 PM
If it says to use only leaded, they must have thought it would be around for a while longer. I honestly don't remember when they stopped selling leaded. Obviously, unleaded doesn't instantly kill valve seats. They may wear a bit faster, but they apparently survive. The higher octane will definitely not hurt anything and you can even get away with a bit more advance if it's not too hot and dry.

08-21-2004, 06:42 AM
If it says to use only leaded, they must have thought it would be around for a while longer. I honestly don't remember when they stopped selling leaded. Obviously, unleaded doesn't instantly kill valve seats. They may wear a bit faster, but they apparently survive. The higher octane will definitely not hurt anything and you can even get away with a bit more advance if it's not too hot and dry.

OK, so we are all pretty much in agreement that lead is unnecessary, and there is no need for me to use a non-lead lead additive.

so, for my other question how does 93 octane research method compare to 93 octane r+m/2 method? anyone know. sure I'd like to run more advanced for better performance, but honestly I'd rather run 87 octane, it's easier on the wallet. My new ski spot charges to use the ramp, whereas my old spot didn't. wish i could make it up somewhere. And please no one give the the "if you can afford the boat, you can afford the gas speech, b/c i really can't afford the boat.

08-21-2004, 08:03 PM
Fill it at the gas station on the trailer or gas can it.

08-21-2004, 09:17 PM
Fill it at the gas station on the trailer or gas can it.

oh, i've never filled up on the water, not gonna take that rape job getting gas at the marina.

08-23-2004, 01:24 PM
$2.44/ gallon premium at the dock.

Welcome Pete - from another 88 owner. Mine had 340 hrs when I bought it 2 years ago :noface: I told the guy that he shoulda atleast got the meter going for the test drive if he wanted me to believe that...

FTR - I hope yours was right and we can trust a man of the cloth...

08-23-2004, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Knoxes! I've just posted some shots of the new ride, sorry for the low quality. I've also just ordered an Acme 13 x 12, 3-blade, that took a nice chunck out of the ol' bank account!

Here's a question for you experts! I've noticed about a half-inch of water in the engine compartment after running at 30mph for a hour or so. The current prop, which will be replaced, was bent badly on all three blades when this happened and the vibration was quite noticable. Could the vibration from the bad prop be what was causing water to get past the stuffing box? Please tell me "yes" :rolleyes: ! Thanks a million, everyone!

08-23-2004, 01:40 PM
Two other quick details on the leak. The water only appears to leak in when the boat is in-gear -- I noticed no more water in the boat after leaving in the water for a period of time. When turning the prop manually, it turns smoothly with no sticking -- visually, shaft appears to be straight. Thanks again!

08-23-2004, 01:56 PM
The stuffing box should leak a bit. It helps with keeping things cool. I think a few drops a minute is the norm.

08-23-2004, 02:48 PM
I'm hoping that with the new prop, it'll drop back to a few drops per minute. Unfortunately I had a half inch of water coving the floor of the bilge area after an hour of use. Thanks for the info!

08-23-2004, 06:08 PM
I always ran lead additive in my old boat. I used about 1/2 the recommend amount though. The engine guru's I spoke with said that if I didn't, I'd end up needing a valve job much sooner.

08-24-2004, 01:04 PM
I'm hoping that with the new prop, it'll drop back to a few drops per minute. Unfortunately I had a half inch of water coving the floor of the bilge area after an hour of use. Thanks for the info!

This would be good to post in the Maintenance thread. It could be several things, really. I always have at least half an inch in the bildge.

08-24-2004, 01:06 PM
If anything it may make the depth guage work better. :)

08-24-2004, 05:40 PM
Check your speedos tubings,they can leak...

tall_ andy
08-24-2004, 06:10 PM
I did a bit of work in a lab for a gas company in college(I know why they call it crude oil.....Have you ever smelled that stuff UUgghh)
the R+M/2 method of obtaining an octane rating is based on the sample against two other types of fuels (constants) and dividing the outcome by two. I don't recall all the reasons, but I think it is a more accurate way to obtain the octane rating. The Research method alone normally gave a higher octane rating.
I am pretty sure that my memory is correct, but I'm not going to swear by it.

tall_ andy
08-24-2004, 06:17 PM
Here is the real stroy for those interested in Octane Ratings.

The octane number is determined by comparing the characteristics of a gasoline to isooctane (2,2,4-trimethylpentane) and heptane. Isooctane is assigned an octane number of 100. It is a highly branched compound that burns smoothly, with little knock. On the other hand, heptane is given an octane rating of zero. It is an unbranched compound and knocks badly.

Straight-run gasoline has an octane number of about 70. In other words, straight-run gasoline has the same knocking properties as a mixture of 70% isooctane and 30% heptane. Cracking, isomerization, and other processes can be used to increase the octane rating of gasoline to about 90. Anti-knock agents may be added to further increase the octane rating. Tetraethyl lead, Pb(C2H5)4, was one such agent, which was added to gas at the rate of up to 2.4 grams per gallon of gasoline. The switch to unleaded gasoline has required the addition of more expensive compounds, such as aromatics and highly branched alkanes, to maintain high octane numbers.
Gasoline pumps typically post octane numbers as an average of two different values. Often you may see the octane rating quoted as (R+M)/2.
One value is the research octane number (RON), which is determined with a test engine running at a low speed of 600 rpm. The other value is the motor octane number (MON), which is determined with a test engine running at a higher speed of 900 rpm. If, for example, a gasoline has an RON of 98 and a MON of 90, then the posted octane number would be the average of the two values or 94.
High octane gasoline does not outperform regular octane gasoline in preventing engine deposits from forming, in removing them, or in cleaning the engine. Consumers should select the lowest octane grade at which the car's engine runs without knocking. Occasional light knocking or pinging won't harm the engine, and doesn't indicate a need for higher octane. On the other hand, a heavy or persistent knock may result in engine damage.

08-25-2004, 05:55 AM
It truely is amazing the kind of info you can get on this board!

Thanks Tall_Andy - I always wondered about that. :worthy:

08-25-2004, 06:04 AM

I agree. Good info Andy, thanks.