View Full Version : '80 S&S needs help

07-11-2010, 10:53 PM
hello everyone-
I'm starting the process of bringing the old MC back to life,i hope to post some pics soon.it needs alot of work and I will need alot of help on some things.
It has not ran in 2 years and I can't get her started at this point I hope someone can help.

351 will only turn over if you arc over the solenoid with a wrench. key won't work. things I have done new battery,cables, solenoid and key switch.I have 12.8 volts at the solenoid,also at the key.The lights on the dash dim when you turn the key. I bypassed the neutral saftey switch. I cleaned the ground wires on the block and reconnected them. i even ran a wire from the post that turns hot on the switch when you turn the key, to the small terminal on the solenoid,nothing.
I am running out of ideas on what to do next. just want to get the key to turn it over. any ideas appreciated.


07-11-2010, 11:45 PM
Welcome to the site! You have some gremlins there.
First a few questions - 1)How was it running when you last had it going - history, did it run in the driveway, at the lake, etc - was it you who had it running or perhaps the folks you bought it from? 2) Has it been stored under cover or outside ? Was there accumulated water in the bilges? 3) What's the history of the battery - will it maintain a charge? 4) Does the wiring seem "undisturbed" or are there many splices and color changes?

07-11-2010, 11:54 PM
One more thing. I have recently learned that an early 70's Ford "auto" solinoid (for a points style distributor) is different than a "marine" solinoid for the same application. They look exactly the same but there is a difference in continuity between the "S" & "I" small terminals.

07-11-2010, 11:55 PM
My dads boat, he last ran it out in the drive. It ran fine,then got stored outdoors for at least a few years. He has had it for a long time and used to run it afterwork each night, he worked at a marina. I sell batteries for a living so I know the battery is good, I have a new optima in there at the moment. Wiring seems normal,fuses under dash are ok.

07-12-2010, 12:02 AM
I did get a napa solenoid, it looks just like this one:http://www.shop.tungstenmarine.com/product.sc;jsessionid=7835C5E4CD7D52A5573856FC8629 B232.qscstrfrnt05?productId=181

Maybe I should order that one just to be sure.

07-12-2010, 08:44 PM
Good news,got a marine solenoid today and it turns over good. I guess that proves they are different for sure. next issue is geting the old gas out, after getting a mouthful of nasty fuel I got most of it out.
It was orange in color. Is that what old varnished fuel does ,turns orange ? Not from rust I hope.

07-12-2010, 11:37 PM
Great news - I was hesitant to spend your money, but glad you got it to turn over!!! After my debunkle, I posted a thread titled "Solinoid differences - the mysterious "I" and "S" terminals" as I wanted an answer to these differences - got no replies???
For the fuel issue, you may have water in the gas. If you can siphon some gas into a clear container you'll see the water at the bottom, but then it may also be old fuel. BTW, Harbor Fright has a siphon hose with in-line squeeze bulb that takes the nasty outta suckin' fuel.
Good luck, hope yer on the water soon

07-13-2010, 09:30 AM
Ryan, I've had the same fuel/tank issues with mine. My gas tank is trashed. I have someone working on it now to try and get the varnish out of it. I would replace your fuel filter, fuel line, and pull the carb and rebuild. I think if i had done that right off when I got mine, it would have saved me a ton of headaches and needless troubleshooting. There's a few threads on here about cleaning out the tank if it's not oo bad on the inside. Welcome to TT!

07-13-2010, 09:37 AM
Old fuel will form different levels depending on what is in there. Use a siphoning hose with a squeeze bulb. Sucking gas is not good. Even if it looks good do not use in anything you really prefer to run and not work on. Change all the fluids and filters. Some say change the oil hot. In this case change it cold. You can change it later again but I don't like running old oil that has set for a long time. Too many acids and settlement to want to push pass my bearings and rods. Just my opinion--your boat.

07-13-2010, 09:46 AM
Good point oldair. Just let the oil drain plenty long since its little thicker cold. But cold is only relative here.

07-18-2010, 06:12 PM
Here is a pic-


07-18-2010, 06:58 PM
Great looking boat Ryan. Good luck with bringing it back to life.

07-23-2010, 04:31 PM
Nice boat Ryan. Cant wait to see this one come back to life.

07-23-2010, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the compliments everyone.

I would post some more pics but my home pc died.

Started taking off the exhaust manifolds got 7 bolts out of the left side but the last one I think will have to have it's head cut off.The other side was bad news, 5 came out good. 3 bolts came out but they were about a half inch shorter than normal. There is still a piece of bolt in the head on those 3.
That is a big setback because I was still hoping to change manifolds and try to start it.
On the subject of manifolds it it possible to get some that have the original pleasurecraft logo on them or are they all going to say osco?


07-27-2011, 12:03 AM
Hello again,its been just over a year since my last post. I haver spent a ton of time doing different things to get the boat in the water.Finally it was ready after so many hours. Had to mess with just about everything.new manifolds,carb rebuild,gas tank overhaul,hoses ,switches,ect.
Installed ignitor 2 ignition and had the engine running good .

Took it to the lake and noticed right it was getting hot, raw water pump not pumping.took it home, inspected and found the new impeller shredded.I replaced the impeller with a new one but still no suction.
but thats only half the problem-
the next day when i get the new impeller in and pump on I try to start it, nothing,turns over no fire.The dash lights are on with the key out-
It starts and runs fine with a jumper wire from battery to coil.Mechanic said bad ignition switch, replaced it ,same thing dash lights on key out.
i have voltage to both battery and ignition terminals on ignition switch even with key out. I can't figure out why. I've spent hours and hours just tracing voltage around.not sure what to do next.

any ideas on the water pump or electrical would be great thanks
80 s&s 351

07-27-2011, 12:48 AM
Anytime I encounter weird electrical happenings, I first check for a bad ground. Secondly I look for a blown fuse and back-feeding current.

1985 Skiier
07-28-2011, 12:58 AM
Ryan, Are the dash lights on a togle?
I had a similer gremlin with an old Jeep. What I did was buy all the correct color wires tape them to the old wires and pull them through, what I found was a place in the loom were two wires were shorting on each other and causing all kinds of intermintent problems. Also it will reveal bad connections, corosion, etc. I know you replaced your ingnition switch but I think it is something in the connections to it or shortly thereafter. Good luck keep us posted

07-28-2011, 02:24 AM
No toggle for dash lights. I removed my purple wire on ignition switch and at other end on coil and ran a new wire . engine runs and dash lights work properly,thought it was fixed but the choke and coil are getting voltage at all times.didn't notice that til I about burned myself on the choke housing.
The ballast resistor has been removed(pertronix) and there are four wires joined where it was .even with those apart the dash lights stay on. I just don't know what to do right now. fuses look good, redid ground at manifold. wiring hasn't been hacked or messed with and it was working fine ,so i'm sure connections are in the right spot.Just started doing this after the short trip to the lake.
i will figure this out somehow,hopefully in time to go skiing.