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Pax4d
05-21-2010, 09:54 AM
I have an 82 S&S with a 351 PMC. I am having issues starting the engine, after it has been running. I have replaced plugs, wires, coil, upgraded to electronic ignition, new carb, filters, oil, etc. All the basics. I put the boat on the water after all the maintaince was done and it started and ran fine, in fact it ran great. It then would not restart, it turns over but would not fire off. I took it back to mechanic and he said the coil (new) and Ignition (new) were bad. He replaced them both (no charge) and off I went. Next trip to lake boat starts up fine. I ran it for 2 hours just cruising around, I did not shut off the motor I was still afraid to do that and be too far from dock. I then took boat back to dock to load up, and it would not restart to load on trailor. The engine just spins over, but wont fire off.

I have fuel, the engine runs great (when running), Carb seems ok, so I am leaning toward electrical. If my coil is bad again, what could be causing it? Short? Ballast Relay? Looking for any help, going to spend some time trying to diagnose it this weekend, so any suggestions greatly appriceated.

oxberger
05-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Pax4d,

I have an '85 that had similar issues for a very long time. I did all the upgrades you did and still had problems (also put on a fuel/water separator on). When you're out there and it doesn't start I would:
1. check to make sure you are getting fuel to the carb
2. check for spark

If you are getting both of those, it could be vapor lock which may require a carb adjustment I believe. That was not the problem I had. After all my issues, we found out the gas tank had varnish in it. The boat would run great for a while, but once it got warmed up and started bouncing around the varnish would start getting into the fuel system and kill the engine. I could crank and crank, but it wouldn't start. If it sat for an hour or so, it would start righ back up, but you couldn't go far because it would die quickly. Very frustrating situation you have. I hope some of this helps. Where in the Southeast are you? I'm in Murfreesboro TN.

Pax4d
05-21-2010, 10:27 AM
Ox,
Thanks for the reply. I am located in Shreveport, La.

Varnish in fuel? WOW! I bet you didn't see that one coming.

I still leaning toward something electrical, cause the boat runs so well when running. But once its hot, it doesn't want to restart. But I am open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks

thatsmrmastercraft
05-21-2010, 10:36 AM
I'm assuming that when it won't restart you have verified that there is fuel going into the carb by taking the spark arrestor off and seeing the fuel spray when the throttle is advanced, and that you have verified you are getting spark by pulling a wire (or using a timing light)and checking for spark. Assuming that you have spark and fuel, perhaps it is more in the technique. Mine can be a bit of a bear to restsart hot, but a couple shots of fuel with the throttle and leaving the throttle advance to approx the 1500 RPM position will fire her up every time.

oxberger
05-21-2010, 10:42 AM
If you're thinking electrical, I just remembered this on mine. Get a multimeter and check the battery cables, both positive and ground, and see if they are getting good voltage (can't remember what it's supposed to be, I'm sure someone else on here knows. I've seen it inother threads). If they are then check your positive lead to your starter for voltage. What happened to mine was the positive lead to the starter was corroded just enough that once the cable got hot there wasn't enough current going through to start the engine, but enough to crank. That was the reason it would start first thing after putting it in, but wouldn't after running for awhile. Replaced that and continued with the other problems on my boat. At least it was one less thing to worry about. Glad to tryr and help. Good luck. By the way my boat came from LA, Lake Charles I think. Never been there myself, but my fiance has family there. Looking forward to visiting eventually.

Pax4d
05-22-2010, 11:36 PM
Looks like I have fuel, but no fire. I checked the coil and it looks like it is dead. Again. That is 2 brand new coils in only 2 trips to the lake. So something is causing the coil to go out after running the boat. The first time I could see maybe just a bad part, but after 2 in a row, a blown coil is just a by product of the real problem.

Any ideas????

cbryan70
05-23-2010, 10:12 PM
Next time it does it take the flame arrestor off and pop the secondary hatch down while cranking...... Could be your choke. When mine does not fire after a hard run this usually lets it fire right up.

oxberger
05-24-2010, 08:35 AM
Pax, I would run through the electronic ignition set up. There may be something loose, corroded, or broken causing some problems.

glassmaster
05-24-2010, 09:26 AM
Pax, If you think it is electrical start from the ignition switch then the solenoid, starter, coil resistor, distributor, all grounds, neutral safety switch etc. and take every wire off its terminal and lightly sand them one at a time. I know it may seem like overkill but all it takes is a little corrosion on one of these to cause a big headache.
I would also take off flame arrestor check for fuel and get yourself a spark tester at Auto Zone for a few bucks to keep on the boat it makes checking spark far easier than using a timing light or getting a shocking experience from a screwdriver, besides you probably wouldn't want to carry a timing light with you all of the time.
If you do have spark remove spark tester or replace wire and then pour a couple of caps full of fuel it the carb if it starts you have a carb problem. What is it a Holley or other and how new is it or is it rebuilt? All it takes is a little varnish or dirt in on to make it do some strange things.

Pax4d
05-25-2010, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the input guys. I was working through wires on Sunday with multimeter, just checking out power, and when I disconnected my Coil wire, it broke. The portion that attaches to the coil broke off when I removed it. I am not sure this is my entire problem, or just bad luck. This particular wire looks to be old to me, all my other plug wires have been replaced during winterization/tune up, but this one was not. I will take that up with my mechanic.

Carb is brand new, (Holley) and I am sure could use some fine tuning, but it runs very well, when the boat starts...

Thanks again for all the insight.

thatsmrmastercraft
05-25-2010, 12:22 PM
When they break it is almost always from extreme corrosion. Get a bunch of green powder when it broke?

Pax4d
05-25-2010, 09:40 PM
No I didn't. Great thought, but I don't recall any. I have the wire in my truck I will double check in am.

Basically I have "gremlins", haha. I will find them and fix them, thanks again for your help.

oxberger
05-26-2010, 12:49 PM
NOOOO, not Gremlins. I had those and they are a huge buzz kill and very expensive. Gremlins and boats don't mix. I think it has something to do with getting them wet.

Pax4d
05-26-2010, 09:37 PM
Maybe so. :)
Friggin Gremlins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll get them, don't you worry. Going to start tracing all wiring this weekend. Pull everything off and clean up all connections.

thatsmrmastercraft
05-27-2010, 12:58 AM
Maybe so. :)
Friggin Gremlins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll get them, don't you worry. Going to start tracing all wiring this weekend. Pull everything off and clean up all connections.

Best way to get rid of the Gremlins/Demons short of utilizing a priest with Exorcism experience is to get your boat in close proximity to other boats. No matter if in the water or on a trailer, just get it close to other watercraft so they have the opportunity to move on to terrorize another subject. Best not to do this to boating friends, but in a pinch............. any port in a storm. Be careful though, because you run the risk of some other wise guy doing the same thing and you could end up worse than before you started.

oxberger
05-27-2010, 08:54 AM
Best way to get rid of the Gremlins/Demons short of utilizing a priest with Exorcism experience is to get your boat in close proximity to other boats. No matter if in the water or on a trailer, just get it close to other watercraft so they have the opportunity to move on to terrorize another subject. Best not to do this to boating friends, but in a pinch............. any port in a storm. Be careful though, because you run the risk of some other wise guy doing the same thing and you could end up worse than before you started.

You know what... I bet that's EXACTLY what happened to mine!!!!! Before I got it it was stored next to Bayliner for 2 years!

Pax4d
05-27-2010, 09:01 PM
I ordered some Gremlin bait today, I had them add a sprinkle of Malibu attractant. Going to park boat next to a Malibu and see if I can cleanse myself of the Gremlins.

cptskier15
05-28-2010, 02:38 AM
I have the exact same problem with my '81 351 motor. Its the off season on RSA so we start the boat 3-4 times a week on the trailer to keep everything running. The motor starts everytime from cold with just the turn of the key, no pumping fuel or touching anything else. Runs well for 10 min until at temp then when turn it off I have no chance of it starting again. I may as well go finish a 6 pack and then come back and try. Have plenty of fuel in brand new carb and all new coils and distributor.

Could it be a timing issue? Does anyone know how many degrees @ which revs the motor should be tuned to? Ours is @ 4 degrees ATDC then goes to about 9 degrees ATDC at 3500..

Any suggestions would be great, all wires are great and have industrial sized battery.

cptskier15
05-28-2010, 02:38 AM
Oh, and Gremlins dont survive well her in Sunny South Africa... They got rid of them for the world cup :D

Kyle
05-28-2010, 03:00 AM
I have the exact same problem with my '81 351 motor. Its the off season on RSA so we start the boat 3-4 times a week on the trailer to keep everything running. The motor starts everytime from cold with just the turn of the key, no pumping fuel or touching anything else. Runs well for 10 min until at temp then when turn it off I have no chance of it starting again. I may as well go finish a 6 pack and then come back and try. Have plenty of fuel in brand new carb and all new coils and distributor.

Could it be a timing issue? Does anyone know how many degrees @ which revs the motor should be tuned to? Ours is @ 4 degrees ATDC then goes to about 9 degrees ATDC at 3500..

Any suggestions would be great, all wires are great and have industrial sized battery.


Set your base timing at idle at 10deg BTDC.

cptskier15
05-28-2010, 05:56 AM
10 deg before at idle, will try that. It will then increase obviously as engine revs increase?

JimN
05-28-2010, 06:10 AM
I have the exact same problem with my '81 351 motor. Its the off season on RSA so we start the boat 3-4 times a week on the trailer to keep everything running. The motor starts everytime from cold with just the turn of the key, no pumping fuel or touching anything else. Runs well for 10 min until at temp then when turn it off I have no chance of it starting again. I may as well go finish a 6 pack and then come back and try. Have plenty of fuel in brand new carb and all new coils and distributor.

Could it be a timing issue? Does anyone know how many degrees @ which revs the motor should be tuned to? Ours is @ 4 degrees ATDC then goes to about 9 degrees ATDC at 3500..

Any suggestions would be great, all wires are great and have industrial sized battery.

ATDC? You mean Before TDC, don't you?

You should have about 30 degrees of additional advance at WOT, under load and this should be checked on the water, not on the trailer. If you only see 9 degrees of advance, check the centrifugal advance weights and springs.

cptskier15
05-28-2010, 06:19 AM
I did mean before, sorry... At the moment can only test on trailer as our lake is having the slip re done at the moment. But I am sure that we do not get that much advance. Could this be a problem with the strength of the springs. Rain has stopped now so should be able to get into the boat by this afternoon. The weights are original but when got the boat 1 spring was missing. Took it to a distributor guy and he 'fixed' it up.

87MCProstar
05-28-2010, 07:22 AM
Pax, I had the same issue last spring. Boat would start great cold but nothing after it was warm. Turned out to be a faulty tach, which was keeping the negative side of the coil open (I beileve) which then would let it send the signals to the distributor. I found this out after replacing EVERYTHING electric and then finally giving up and bringing it to a dealer. They found it in 20 minutes and replaced with a $50 tack. I wouldn't definately take a look at that

With my problem I also went through 3 brand new coils, because with the constant juice they just toasted themselves. Definately worth the $50 to get a new tach even just to try, since you are going through coils like crazy.

oxberger
05-28-2010, 08:34 AM
I ordered some Gremlin bait today, I had them add a sprinkle of Malibu attractant. Going to park boat next to a Malibu and see if I can cleanse myself of the Gremlins.

I'm going to have to try this fix. Will Moomba attractant work instead of Malibu?:D

Kyle
05-28-2010, 04:03 PM
I'm going to have to try this fix. Will Moomba attractant work instead of Malibu?:D

Yes, their not made as well as a BU so they will take over faster.

Pax4d
05-28-2010, 08:24 PM
MCprostar, That sounds like a great idea to check out. Thanks, I will look at the tac in morning.

Pax4d
06-07-2010, 09:42 PM
Ok guys, here's the latest. Looks like the ballast resister was bad and therefore pushing too much juice to the coil. So a hot coil doesn't work well. Also the alternator was wired (previous owner) ineffecently and only pushing out about 12 volts. So got it rewired and now have 13.5. Seems to work much better in the driveway, but I will try and get her in the water after work this week and see how she does. Thanks to everyone for the help.

JimN
06-07-2010, 10:17 PM
Ok guys, here's the latest. Looks like the ballast resister was bad and therefore pushing too much juice to the coil. So a hot coil doesn't work well. Also the alternator was wired (previous owner) ineffecently and only pushing out about 12 volts. So got it rewired and now have 13.5. Seems to work much better in the driveway, but I will try and get her in the water after work this week and see how she does. Thanks to everyone for the help.

Actually, the resistor is so the points don't burn. The coil can use more voltage but the point's can't.

Pax4d
06-08-2010, 08:05 PM
I have already converted to electronic ignition, so no points.

Pax4d
06-14-2010, 04:43 PM
I have defeated the Gremlins!!!! Looks like a new ballast resistor and rewiring of alternator did the trick. Boat ran well on Sunday, with plenty of starts and stops. Thanks eveyone for your advice.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-14-2010, 04:49 PM
You never really defeat them, more like entertain then (or they you) until they decide to move on to another subject.

Great to hear things are back to proper working order.

oxberger
06-15-2010, 10:15 AM
Parking it next to a Malibu surely helped too! Cngrats on getting it taken care of. It's nice to enjoy the weekedn without having to worry about being towed back.