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john jones
07-23-2011, 12:59 PM
I will start from the beginning. I bought an 89 tristar with a 351. I decided to install a pertronix electronic ingition and a coil. When I was done I started it, it runs great.

I decided to check timing per the instructions. When I checked the timing the timing tab says that it is at 30* at 900rpm. I figured I would adjust to 10* I moved the distributor to 10* idle went down so I adjusted up to 900rpm. Boat runs good, feels like it runs better.

When I try to start it while hot, it cranks but wont start, unless I let it cool off for 15 minutes So, I moved the distributor back to the original setting, runs fine and when I turn it off I can start it everytime.

Not sure if I am doing something wrong or not. I was told that if I am facing the motor, (looking at the belts) I am hooked up to #1 which is on my left behind driver chair.

Anyone have any clues?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 01:15 PM
Maybe your timing indicator or balancer has shifted, I would pull out #1 plug and put its on tdc on the compression stroke and look at your indicators, should be on 0, if not there is your problem, then you could make a new 0 and use an advanced timing light that has a dial so you can find 10 and make another mark, without replacing parts, On rare occasions timing chain could be stretched...

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 01:49 PM
Sounds like the distributor was removed from the engine and not reinstalled properly. Follow j.mccreight's advice and check to see where the rotor is pointing when #1 is at TDC of the compression stroke. Did you change spark plug wires or remove the dist during the process of installing the Pertronix ign and possibly cause this?

Did you use a coil with a built in resistor or are you using the original ballast resistor? If no Ballast resistor you could be overheating the coil. Have you checked how hot the coil is when it won't restart?

john jones
07-23-2011, 01:55 PM
I had an external ballast resistor, the directions with the new coil said to bypass it. I didn't check the coil for heat when it didn't start

I didn't remove any wires from the motor or distributor when I installed.

When I get home I will check for 0*

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 02:06 PM
Had you checked the timing prior to changing to the Pertronix ign?

john jones
07-23-2011, 02:08 PM
no I made that mistake, and wished that I had:(

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 02:10 PM
Been there for that. Did you run the boat with the points ign, or did you just get the boat and make the change?

john jones
07-23-2011, 02:20 PM
I ran it once with the points, when I took it for a test ride, then changed to electronic.

It started hard when we took it for the test ride, I was checking the wires to make sure everything was good and noticed that the coil which was oil filled was seeping where the wire plugged in, which drove me to the electronic (and the fact that I don't understand points)

After the install it started so much better, but trying to dial in this timing is taking sometime.

It feels like it runs stronger when I set it to 10* but it just won't start on a hot start

Is it possible the firing order could be off?

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 05:38 PM
I would start from scratch, and first determine where the rotor is pointed when the #1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke. Then I would also confirm the firing order is correct by following each wire from the cap to the plug.

When I got my boat, the PO had installed the dist incorrectly, so he changed the wires on the cap but crossed two. was a royal pain in the a$$ till I figured things out. Backfired a couple times and blew the power valve during the process just for fun.

FourFourty
07-23-2011, 08:15 PM
Is there not a base timing connector that you should be pulling out to set base timing?? I have never set ignition timing in a boat engine, however, the ford 351 in automotive applications has to have a connector removed to set base timing.... Otherwise, it will read higher than what you are trying to set it at. A 351 with all of the timing advances working should read about 25-30*BTDC while idleing..... Once you remove the timing advance from the equation, it should be 8-10*BTDC, for a base setting.

Disclaimer- The above is "off the top of my head" from 10-15 years ago, so it may be inaccurate info by now..... It is hard to remember way back to my Ford Tech days :D

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 09:31 PM
There is not a module to remove on this marine application, just set it in idle and warmed up, I do know what your talking about though my old 1990 F150 lariat had this module.

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Ok, here is some more info:

My rotor turns cw.

My intake manifold has numbers on it 1-8 and #1 is behind the driver seat.

I pulled #1 plug out, bumped it over, when I felt air come out of cylinder I stopped. I did this numerous times, looking at the balancer and rotor position. I found the compression stroke, stopped at TC on the balancer and the rotor is pointing towards the back of the motor.

I took some pics so you guys could see what I am seeing. The second pic is blurry but it shows my white line at 10* btc, you can tell that I am at 0* tc and the rotor is facing towards the rear.

Curious to figure this out!

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 11:04 PM
I just covered my boat because a thunderstorm is approaching otherwise I could go look at mine. There must be someone here with their boat accessible that can take a look.

Now look to see if the rotor is pointing at the #1 plug wire.

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 11:06 PM
Also you are better off turning the engine with a wrench. You can be much more accurate than bumping it with the starter.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:10 PM
Stick a long screwdriver down the plug hole and watch it when its reaches the heighest point then you know when the piston is at tdc use a wrench to make fine adjustments like mrmastercraft then look at the rotor and balancer.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:13 PM
Where does the rotor line up on the cap?

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:15 PM
forgot to add. I stuck a wooden dowel in the cylinder and the piston seemed to be at its highest point, cause when I hit the starter again after the pics I took the dowel started going down.

Where do you guys get on the motor to turn it?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:15 PM
Btw your first picture of the balancer is on the atdc of the indicator

milehigh970
07-23-2011, 11:17 PM
Is the timing spec between pcm and indmar different? My pcm manual i have says 6? Sure like those valve covers though ;)

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:20 PM
In the pic it is just past the TC 0* Is that top dead center?

I see what your saying now. The rotor should line up with the #1 plug wire on the cap, for some reason I had it in my head that it was going to point the direction of the #1 sparkplug

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:25 PM
Have to take the raw water pump off to get a wrench on the balancer bolt

milehigh970
07-23-2011, 11:26 PM
When the piston is at tdc the pointer will line up with the tc 0 line. In the pic it looks one mark off.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:27 PM
Is the timing spec between pcm and indmar different? My pcm manual i have says 6? Sure like those valve covers though ;)

Yes indmar is 10

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 11:30 PM
Use a deep socket and a long 1/2" ratchet on the crankshaft bolt. Makes turning the engine easy. Be cautious about a screwdriver, or even a dowel on the piston. I prefer to just put my finger over the spark plug hole and use a remote start to get close, then use the ratchet to get it right on the mark.

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:33 PM
Ok, I will have to take off the water pump. The rotor is pointing in the direction of the #1 plug wire on the cap, so I am not far off like I thought.

If it turns out my distributor is right, wonder what my next step would be?

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:35 PM
When I tried to set my timing the pointer showed at 30*

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 11:36 PM
I wouldn't take off the water pump unless you just can't get it right. On my engine, there are no accessories in the way.

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:42 PM
from my pics, the timing tab is close on the balancer and my rotor is pointing towards the #1 spark plug. what should be my next move

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:47 PM
Close is not good enough, its should be dead on, rotor centered on plug wire and right on the balancer, you might just have to put it whete it starts and runs the best without detonating, if you wanna pm me your number we could talk about tomorrow.

thatsmrmastercraft
07-23-2011, 11:48 PM
If the pointer is right at zero, the rotor should be just before #1. Have you verified the firing order by tracing each plug wire?

john jones
07-23-2011, 11:51 PM
I will send a pm. Thanks for the offer, I appreciate all the help and will post the results when this has been fixed

I will trace out the wires tomorrow after properly aligning top dead center

thatsmrmastercraft
07-24-2011, 12:05 AM
Good luck tomorrow guys.:toast:

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-24-2011, 12:09 AM
Fyi, counterclockwise 1 3 7 2 6 5 4 8 is the firing order.

john jones
07-24-2011, 12:35 AM
thanks for all your help today, thatsmrmastercraft

thatsmrmastercraft
07-24-2011, 12:41 AM
You're welcome. I'm sure you and j.mccreight will get it straightened out tomorrow. If not, I will be on around lunchtime.

Thinking back, when I got my boat, the PO had the dist off by one tooth so no matter how hard I tried, things just didn't make sense and I was coming up with huge timing numbers that simply couldn't be.

oldairboater
07-24-2011, 02:06 AM
Your on the right track. Find tdc and the rotor should be pointing at no.1 plug in the cap. If the distributor is off by a tooth it will drive you nuts. If the timing chain wasn't installed with the marks lined up it will drive you nuts. I am going to show my age. I have timed engines by ear and the ability to start hot without dragging-----then checked my timing with a light. Usually they agree, but we have had engines timed by ear only over not being able to get it right with a light. We didn't want to work on something that was running good.

milehigh970
07-24-2011, 10:57 AM
Am i missing something? The distributor can't be a tooth off! The rotor in theory can point to any position on the cap at tdc. As long as this is the post where the #1 wire is and all other wires are on in correct firing order. The distributor housing will spin 360 degrees. When i got my boat the distributor was 180 off of where manual shows but it was perfectly in time. I had to pull it and spin it to get the new oem wires to fit. Pulled bolt and tab lifted twisted and installed, lined up rotor to #1 on cap and retimed fine. Have you checked the weights/springs in the distributor? I am leaning towards the gas, i don't even leave gas in my lawn mower! Stagnant gas will gum and varnish quicker then most think.

oldairboater
07-24-2011, 11:53 AM
Yes, you are missing something. Timing can get screwed at the distributor and at the timing chain. The rotor and the distributor cap usually only go on one way. The distributor can go in anywhere in a 360 degree circle. I have seen timing screwed up by timing marks on the timing gears not aligned right and I have had to pull distributors and put them back in right because someone dropped them in either 180 degrees out or simply one tooth past where it should be. I have never had one more then a tooth out. The best one I have ever had was a ford engine with the firing order put on the cap almost in Chevrolet firing order. Seems a Chevy man installed the distributor and cap on a ford 351 and attached the plug wires in a Chevy firing order. That engine actually ran--------but poorly. Spitting, back firing, and wouldn't time. I actually had to call a friend and put a fresh set of eyes on that one. TDC on number one wasn't tdc on number one. I assumed that number one was number one. I was missing that part of the timing puzzle trouble shooting that problem. That was twenty years ago and I still remember that puzzle. I still buddy mark a distributor if I am going to pull it out.

thatsmrmastercraft
07-24-2011, 01:45 PM
Yes, you are missing something. Timing can get screwed at the distributor and at the timing chain. The rotor and the distributor cap usually only go on one way. The distributor can go in anywhere in a 360 degree circle. I have seen timing screwed up by timing marks on the timing gears not aligned right and I have had to pull distributors and put them back in right because someone dropped them in either 180 degrees out or simply one tooth past where it should be. I have never had one more then a tooth out. The best one I have ever had was a ford engine with the firing order put on the cap almost in Chevrolet firing order. Seems a Chevy man installed the distributor and cap on a ford 351 and attached the plug wires in a Chevy firing order. That engine actually ran--------but poorly. Spitting, back firing, and wouldn't time. I actually had to call a friend and put a fresh set of eyes on that one. TDC on number one wasn't tdc on number one. I assumed that number one was number one. I was missing that part of the timing puzzle trouble shooting that problem. That was twenty years ago and I still remember that puzzle. I still buddy mark a distributor if I am going to pull it out.

Good answer.

milehigh970
07-24-2011, 02:22 PM
I disagree. Along as the rotor points to the position on the cap you have number one it should not matter. If the motor is at tdc the rotor can be pointing back, forward, right or left or vise versa as long as this is where the #1 plug wire is and the rest are in the correct order afterwards. You may fight spark plug wire length but timing it should not be a issue.

milehigh970
07-24-2011, 02:28 PM
Not trying to start a argument. Just trying to clarify for all of our interests. The distributor don't have a crank or cam position sensor in it and the cap don't care where you start with number one.

Kyle
07-24-2011, 03:04 PM
I disagree. Along as the rotor points to the position on the cap you have number one it should not matter. If the motor is at tdc the rotor can be pointing back, forward, right or left or vise versa as long as this is where the #1 plug wire is and the rest are in the correct order afterwards. You may fight spark plug wire length but timing it should not be a issue.

I agree with this.

"IF" the cam and crank marks are in line the harmonic balancer will always be at tdc on the compression stroke of #1. Put the distributor in and where it it lines up in the cap make sure the rotor is on the #1 wire and then make sure all other wires are in the correct order. One tooth off will not matter. If it's one tooth off then spin the cap cw or ccw to time. The cam and crank would not effect the 0* mark one bit. Where you can get issues is if the cam-crank marks are one tooth off. That would have caused timing issues before adding the electronic ignition.

If I remember correctly the starboard side is 1,2,3,4 and the port side is 5,6,7,8.

I remember it not being 1,3,5,7 and 2,4,6,8 and I thought that was weird.

If you are trying to time 1,3,5,7 2,4,6,8 you are crossing wires.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-24-2011, 04:36 PM
I agree with this.

"IF" the cam and crank marks are in line the harmonic balancer will always be at tdc on the compression stroke of #1. Put the distributor in and where it it lines up in the cap make sure the rotor is on the #1 wire and then make sure all other wires are in the correct order. One tooth off will not matter. If it's one tooth off then spin the cap cw or ccw to time. The cam and crank would not effect the 0* mark one bit. Where you can get issues is if the cam-crank marks are one tooth off. That would have caused timing issues before adding the electronic ignition.

If I remember correctly the starboard side is 1,2,3,4 and the port side is 5,6,7,8.

I remember it not being 1,3,5,7 and 2,4,6,8 and I thought that was weird.

If you are trying to time 1,3,5,7 2,4,6,8 you are crossing wires.

You are correct ford' s numbering of cylinders if different than chevy:D

I spoke to the op on the phone, got him diagnosed down to a bad timing light or his ei is bad, my gut says timing light, he's going to get another timing light and recheck.

CantRepeat
07-24-2011, 04:42 PM
Timing chain jump a tooth? But, normally if that is the case the chain is so worn out you can hear it slapping.

milehigh970
07-24-2011, 07:16 PM
I spoke to the op on the phone, got him diagnosed down to a bad timing light or his ei is bad, my gut says timing light, he's going to get another timing light and recheck.
Solid work! :)

john jones
07-24-2011, 09:52 PM
I spoke with J. on the phone today (Great guy, lots of help) We decided that the timing light could have an issue. I will double check with a different one this week.

Later this afternoon, I decided to check all connections that I had made when I put in the EI I pulled the wires off the coil to clean, and the connector on the orange wire that goes to the coil came apart, it was just barely hanging on, not sure if this the a source of my problems, but it can't be good.

I also looked at my coil terminals, it came with 2 flat washers. I ran the wires from the EI to the coil and put on the purple and orange wires. It is possible that those washers could be touching the black plastic part of the coil next to the terminals, I wonder if that could make my timing reading wrong. Or if my timing light is right, could that reduce my spark enough that the motor wouldn't want to start when it is hot and at 10* instead of 30*?

Not sure if any of this is related or not, but thought I would post my findings and get some opinions.

Again, thanks everyone for the help!

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-24-2011, 10:38 PM
Repairing the connector is a good start, having those washers touching the plastic is a non issue, as plastic is an excellent insulator. The connecter on the coil being loose could possible cause hard starts by not being able to carry the current when hot but not affect timing. Good luck and update us when you try a different timing light or find something else out of the ordinary.

oldairboater
07-24-2011, 10:56 PM
Hot engine not wanting to start is a timing issue---that is old school. Starts good cold--starts bad or drags hot--timing is usually wrong. Your making this harder then it has to be. Check your timing light. Doesn't take but a minute for me to throw my light on another motor that is running right and see if my timing on this engine is right. If I find two good running engines out of time with my light---it is either me or the light. Milehigh it is a 360 degree circle and you can start anywhere as long as you follow firing order in relation to rotor position. Milehigh your theory is right but your distributor would be disoriented to where I expect to see number one plug on my cap in relation to position on the motor. You can time off of the rotor and get your marks on the harmonic balancer to read right but your distributor would be disoriented to the norm.

83starsstripes
07-24-2011, 11:10 PM
just wondering is the idle supposd to be 900? our 351 is 600 which if it aint running at proper speed it will throw everything off idleing at 900 seems fast if you ask me

milehigh970
07-24-2011, 11:13 PM
I agree.. To your "visual" and what you are used to it would be off. However the motor does not care. Didn't go back to look but someone was saying the distributor was a tooth off. I was just trying to make sure the op didn't go messing around pulling a distributor trying to find his "magic tooth" ;)
Now the connection at the coil could definitely be a issue. If it was bad enough causing enough resistance the coil would not get the proper voltage so it would never saturate enough to produce a viable spark. This was my issue basically with a bad resistor.. And my boat sounded similar to yours on the hose. Thus why i was asking about if it had a ballast resistor. Have you started it since fixing the connection?

john jones
07-24-2011, 11:57 PM
I bypassed the resistor when I installed the EI. I have not fixed my connection and tried it yet. Of course I am out of the connection I need, so it will wait till tomorrow.

When I got the timing set to 10* it ran great, but wouldn't start hot. It cranked fine just wouldn't start.

When I moved the distributor back to the original setting 30* it starts fine. Hopefully the connector on the orange wire is the issue.

What is the function of the orange wire? It comes from the starter solenoid

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-25-2011, 12:46 AM
Fix the wire and try the starting, Might be it then go from there.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-25-2011, 08:28 AM
look at his indmar site it has some good info that you might be able to use, on home page click on forms http://www.indmar.us/

Kyle
07-27-2011, 08:27 PM
Is this boat fixed yet?????

john jones
07-28-2011, 12:13 AM
Alright, just got inside from more testing. I redid all the connections at the coil, no fix, I thought it was cranking over alittle slow, so I had my battery tested, it had 550 cca. Battery was rated for 650, not perfect but not bad. My buddy has been working alot and hasn't brought over his timing light to double check the one that I am using.

I started taking off connections of the solenoid cleaning reinstalling. Tried to start, it cranked finally started. Timing was set at 10* I shut it off felt the starter to see if it was warm. I checked the positive cable and it was hot. Took the connection off, (it was dirty) cleaned it up, tried to start, it cranked easier.

Then I took the battery out of my car (optima) The motor spun better than it ever has and started right up. I tried it 5 times and it kept starting, I think I am ready for a test at the river.

So, the original issue was that it would start if my timing was at 30*(hot motor), but had a tough time starting at 10* not sure why 30 would be easier than 10? So with the starter connection being dirty and a battery that doesn't have full cca, maybe these were contributing factors to my issue. But now it is set to 10* at 600rpm, and will start when the motor is hot.

I will give it a test Friday and give some results! Thanks to everyone for the help especially j.mccreight.

thatsmrmastercraft
07-28-2011, 12:20 AM
Sounds like real progress. Good luck on the water.

john jones
07-28-2011, 12:26 AM
Thanks, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

thatsmrmastercraft
07-28-2011, 12:27 AM
I've had a couple of those anxious test drives.:rolleyes:

Kyle
07-28-2011, 12:37 AM
Thanks, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Make a mental note. Take cell phone

thatsmrmastercraft
07-28-2011, 12:40 AM
Make a mental note. Take cell phone

And a paddle.

john jones
07-28-2011, 12:48 AM
Thats funny! But true, I will also take my towrope... It runs great, its the restart that concerns me. I won't shut it off unless I am by the dock, I hate that feeling of being stranded:(

Kyle
07-28-2011, 12:58 AM
And a paddle.

Rotflmfao

Peter you must know from experience :)

I used a trick ski one time and it took 3 hours of rowing while extremely pissed off. I blew my ignition breaker and I had to replace it. I thought about using a jumper wire to bypass the breaker but I just did not want a very volatile situation worse. I was alone with a phone that was not charged and it died. I was ready to abandon ship and start swimming back to the truck, leaving the boat floating with the keys in it. I have a paddle now :D

Another mental note:

Test drive close to the ramp and bring a buddy to help paddle just in case. Also include a cooler of beer and maybe a few sandwiches. You never know how long you will be out there.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-28-2011, 01:15 AM
Corrosion and loose wires really play havoc on electrical systems almost impossible to avoid on a 20 year old boat, hopefully your test drive works out without incident,:steering:

Kyle
07-29-2011, 09:01 AM
JJ today's your day. Good luck on the test drive...

CantRepeat
07-29-2011, 09:16 AM
Thats funny! But true, I will also take my towrope... It runs great, its the restart that concerns me. I won't shut it off unless I am by the dock, I hate that feeling of being stranded:(

Freud says you should blame your mom for this behavior. :D:D

thatsmrmastercraft
07-29-2011, 10:23 AM
Rotflmfao

Peter you must know from experience :)

I used a trick ski one time and it took 3 hours of rowing while extremely pissed off. I blew my ignition breaker and I had to replace it. I thought about using a jumper wire to bypass the breaker but I just did not want a very volatile situation worse. I was alone with a phone that was not charged and it died. I was ready to abandon ship and start swimming back to the truck, leaving the boat floating with the keys in it. I have a paddle now :D

Another mental note:

Test drive close to the ramp and bring a buddy to help paddle just in case. Also include a cooler of beer and maybe a few sandwiches. You never know how long you will be out there.

Funny story. On one of my first test drives with my boat, the PO had crossed two plug wires that I wasn't smart enough to check. The result was a backfire when I gave it some throttle and blew the power valve. I had not managed to put the paddle I had bought in the boat, so I had to swim the boat a hundred yards to the boat ramp. Fortunately I didn't take off across the lake. Trick skis made pretty good paddles, though I don't I don't remember ever using one.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-29-2011, 05:59 PM
any update, how she run?

john jones
07-29-2011, 09:38 PM
Had to work late tonight, I will have to give it a try this weekend.

I hate when work gets in the way of fun!

john jones
08-03-2011, 01:24 AM
Alright, next update:

Took boat out last night timing set to 10* started fine ran fine, decided to shut it off after 30 minutes, tried to start cranks good no start, I mess with the carb: choke plate, throttle fully open and it starts (sign of a flooded condition?) get it running again I keep feathering the throttle to keep it running.

After messing around with it for another hour (driving for a while, try shutting off, hard to restart) I went back to my timing marks at 30* ( the original setting after installing the electronic ignition) boat starts fine runs great the rest of the night.

Today took it out again, fires up cold (I adjust my electronic choke while it is cold) boat runs great all night good power, from idle to wot. It restarts easy, and has good behavior.

Not sure what the deal is but it seems to run fine where the timing is set. It doesn't make any sense, but I messed around for 3 hours last night and ended up at my original settings on the timing. Should I leave it alone or try some other direction?

thanks

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
08-03-2011, 09:25 AM
I think if the engine is not detonating and if its runs good where its at, leave it where its at and go have fun boating.

Kyle
08-03-2011, 09:46 AM
Are you timing it with the rpm at idle or reved up a bit. If you are at idle it should be at 10 but reved up closer to 30

Now if you are 100% sure that the engine is not detonating or pinging then just leave it as stated above and always listen for engine noise. You sure don't want to run too lean.
Check your spark plugs at the next oil change and look to see if it shows any sign of running lean or too hot in the combustion chamber indicated on the plug.