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View Full Version : When do you replace points, plugs, etc...


Tom Wortham
07-11-2005, 01:05 PM
For the older MC-Boat owners.... I own an 86. Have had it for over 10 years (second owners). I bought the boat with 286 hours. It just rolled 418 hours... (I know what you are saying... and yes.. I am a low hour user... Have access to other water toys through friends and In-Laws.) When I bought the boat the previous owner said... it had a fresh tune-up and new points. The boat has always ran GREAT :D . Curious to know when to change these items... Or just keep running it. I would not think I am causing any damage? :eek: Comments?

LakePirate
07-11-2005, 01:09 PM
You need to replace them as soon as the breakerless ignition from skidim arrives.

From what I have read, I believe it should be done annually as part of the tune up process.

BG1772
07-11-2005, 01:14 PM
I totally agree. Get rid of the points. Call Vince at SkiDim and order the electronic conversion. Simple to install and makes the engine run so much better.

I use to have an 86 and I changed my plugs anually.

Double Overhead
07-11-2005, 01:18 PM
get rid of them - I did, now im happier

Tom Wortham
07-11-2005, 01:19 PM
I totally agree. Get rid of the points. Call Vince at SkiDim and order the electronic conversion. Simple to install and makes the engine run so much better.

I use to have an 86 and I changed my plugs anually.
Thanks BG, Do you have a number for Vince?

BG1772
07-11-2005, 01:22 PM
SkiDim is 803/345-0996. Vince is usually extrodinarily busy on Monday. Anybody there should be able to help you.

Tom Wortham
07-11-2005, 01:39 PM
Thanks again. Any other recommednations regarding up-grading this oldie? What about plug wires, coil?

BrianM
07-11-2005, 01:45 PM
While you are ordering the electronic ignition kit from SkiDIM go ahead and order the 8mm silicone wires, a set of plugs and a new rotor and cap. I would replace the plugs, rotor and cap every 50 hours or so. The silicone wires are technically lifetime warranty but I would replace every 100 hours or so. If the coil is still working and strong (the electonic kit needs a strong coil) then keep it. If not go down to the autoparts store and replace it (no difference between marine and auto coils) with a standard (non high output coil). All of this stuff including the coil should cost less than $200 and will keep you running good.

Note: If you are replacing everything I would first change out the electronic ignition and make sure everything is running good first. Once that is done go ahead and change out the rest with new parts. This will make it easy if you have to trouble shoot anything. Otherwise you won't know what could possible be causing the problem if everything is changed at once.

LakePirate
07-11-2005, 02:00 PM
I second that.

Learned the hard way about that little deal. Of course I started with a boat that wasn't running so I didn't have a choice. (in my best commercial voice) Skidim is also on the web at www.skidim.com

Tom Wortham
07-11-2005, 02:10 PM
Great stuff here Brian & Pirate. Thanks.. How do I know if my coil is "strong"?

BriEOD
07-11-2005, 02:15 PM
Electronic Ignition is the way to go. It will definitely run better and you don't have to worry about moisture etc. It's a 30 minute job.

According to the owners manual it's recommended you change plugs annually.

Brian is right on. But, with that all being said if your boat is running fine and you aren't having to do a lot of maintenance well, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." I had some moisture issues so I changed to EI. Some people on here have been mighty frustrated doing it though. Just a thought.

BrianM
07-11-2005, 02:17 PM
Great stuff here Brian & Pirate. Thanks.. How do I know if my coil is "strong"?

I would just put in the new electronic ignition as per the instructions (removing the balast resister). If it runs good the coil is fine. If the coil is week it may get hot and cause intermitant running trouble, or other problems, etc. Or just switch the coil out. They are only about $20 at the autoparts store and if yours is old my be worth the piece of mind to eliminate a future problem at an inopertune(sp?) moment.

Tom Wortham
07-11-2005, 02:19 PM
Electronic Ignition is the way to go. It will definitely run better and you don't have to worry about moisture etc. It's a 30 minute job.

According to the owners manual it's recommended you change plugs annually.

Brian is right on. But, with that all being said if your boat is running fine and you aren't having to do a lot of maintenance well, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." I had some moisture issues so I changed to EI. Some people on here have been mighty frustrated doing it though. Just a thought.
Thanks Bri. I would like to hear from the the "frustrated" ones. As I said.. it sure runs good now.. Hard to beleive it would/could run any better. Thanks.

BriEOD
07-11-2005, 02:21 PM
I didn't have any trouble changing mine out and I posted a tutorial with photos. But, I have seen 2-3 people or more with fits.

If it's running great I'd leave it. That's just me though.

BrianM
07-11-2005, 02:22 PM
with that all being said if your boat is running fine and you aren't having to do a lot of maintenance well, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." I had some moisture issues so I changed to EI. Some people on here have been mighty frustrated doing it though. Just a thought.

That is true as well. When I put my electronic in (no problems with the points) I got a bad modual first time around. Cost me some frustration. Once I got a new modual it has run like a champ since. Save your old points just in case. They can be swapped out on the water in just a few minutes.

Also if all of that stuff is old you probably have a loss of performance but don't really realize it. Fresh ignition parts will give you a nice strong spark and should give you a little performance boost.

Tom Wortham
07-11-2005, 04:17 PM
I didn't have any trouble changing mine out and I posted a tutorial with photos. But, I have seen 2-3 people or more with fits.

If it's running great I'd leave it. That's just me though.
Found it Bri. This will help a ton. Thanks!

BG1772
07-12-2005, 09:01 AM
I replaced my points with the electronic ignition after my points failed while I was on a houseboat trip. Of course, I did not have a spare set. I called skidim the monday after my trip was over.

My boat was stored outside, which caused moisture to be trapped under the cover and as a result moisture would sometimes collect in the distributor cap. Occasionally the boat would run horribly and I would have to pop the distributor cap off and clean the points. Never had this problem again after changing to electronic ignition.

bradamerry
07-12-2005, 09:30 AM
I still have points in my boat. I just carry an extra set in the boat and could change them in about 5 minutes for about $5.00. If that elec. stuff goes out it will cost much more.. I know it should last for a long time, but I have seen them go out and the boat is down when they do. Points are an easy fix, most of the time a fingernail file will do the trick. :twocents: So if you see my with the motorbox up filing away, you know what happened. :rolleyes: Hope which ever way you go, works best for you. I just perfer the points. Both ways work. ;)

scott88prostar
07-12-2005, 09:36 AM
Point are easy and fun....and I love my carb...this is how I rationalize an older paid for boat :D

Workin' 4 Toys
07-12-2005, 11:02 AM
I second that.

Learned the hard way about that little deal. Of course I started with a boat that wasn't running so I didn't have a choice. (in my best commercial voice) Skidim is also on the web at www.skidim.com

I second, that second!!! Or would it be Third, or fourth?!?!? :confused:

east tx skier
07-12-2005, 11:34 AM
Any opinions on whether the plug swap should be at winterization or at dewinterization?

BG1772
07-12-2005, 12:08 PM
If you fog your carb when you winterize, I would wait and change the plugs in the spring.