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View Full Version : Hard to start S/S


DH9441
07-30-2012, 10:51 PM
I've replaced the plugs, rotor, cap, coil, and moved to electronic ignition. The carb is newer and my mechanic said he did adjust somewhat. My boat runs strong but really hard to start. Especially after its hot. The battery is newer turns over very strong. The alternator is new as well. Any thoughts on getting a better result when starting? The last thing I want to do is burn out the starter or put excess wear on the 27 year old fly wheel.

Do any of you smart people have any thoughts on this one?

jfw432
07-30-2012, 11:06 PM
What do you consider hard to start? Not firing instantly or taking 5+ seconds to fire?

84starsandstripes
07-31-2012, 12:31 AM
What's your start procedure?

DH9441
08-01-2012, 03:56 PM
It always lugs to start. If I can't get it to start I will then put in nutrual and give it some juice. And after it starts you can smell the unburnt fuel from the exhaust. However, before all the above work was compled and before it died. It would sart it the hit of the switch. Weird

tex599
08-02-2012, 01:39 PM
There's not much to adjust on the carb if it is the stock 4160. Just two idle air mixture screws (one on each side of the primary metering block). I would suggest you start with rebuilding the carb since you have removed the possibility of the electrics being an issue, also double check your timing this can cause hard start issues. Just had this same issue on my 81 S&S, rebuilt carb solved it. Make sure to get the marine rebuild kit, there is a difference.

TLR67
08-02-2012, 01:41 PM
Check your fuel supply.... Stick the fuel line in a alternateve fuel source... GAS CAN ect... see if it cranks... If it does I will bet its your inlet valve with the bearing and spring on top of your tank.. It can starve the engine at first making it hard to crank then just stay closed.... You can thank Ethanol for that...

thatsmrmastercraft
08-02-2012, 03:03 PM
It always lugs to start. If I can't get it to start I will then put in nutrual and give it some juice. And after it starts you can smell the unburnt fuel from the exhaust. However, before all the above work was compled and before it died. It would sart it the hit of the switch. Weird

Do you mean the starter is turning the engine too slow while cranking?

DH9441
08-07-2012, 11:21 AM
Battery and starter are good. The engine turns over very well. Im thinking carb rebuild kit. Is that job purty easy?

SilviaMan
08-07-2012, 11:32 AM
I had a similar problem with my 76. I adjusted the float levels and the problem went away.
While sitting on the water warm fuel would run into the intake causing it to be really rich. Hold the throttle open and it would crank right up and belch a nice puff of black smoke.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-07-2012, 11:48 AM
Battery and starter are good. The engine turns over very well. Im thinking carb rebuild kit. Is that job purty easy?

Simple job. Only need to make sure you soak the carb in cleaner long enough and follow the directions completely. No short-cuts or you pay the price. It doesn't cost much to get the correct marine rebuild kit and a gallon can of carb cleaner. Get the correct carb kit part number form the Holley site and order it through amazon and the carb cleaner from Napa.

DH9441
08-09-2012, 11:16 AM
cool, TY

DH9441
09-03-2012, 02:46 PM
What about fuel pumps issues? Could that be it?

Cloaked
09-03-2012, 03:04 PM
What about fuel pumps issues? Could that be it?
Doubt it. Typically, the fuel pump either works or it doesn't. What I do recommend is having a spare fuel pump on hand. They always quit working on Friday afternoons. Always.

Also, consider a new carb. Rebuilds are fine and will work for a while but eventually, the carb will need another kit. I know they are expensive but for me, I have seen a better return on the investment over recurring headaches. Been there too many times to count.

$0.02

.

DH9441
09-03-2012, 06:10 PM
Thanks

DH9441
09-12-2012, 09:22 AM
The more I think about this the more I don't think it's the carb. When I first purchased the boat it would fire up at the first touch of the key. Then I had all the issues....with it not running right etc. So now after all the above replacments-- thing is hard to start. It's also a little hard to start when cold. But way hard to start when hot. I've been just leaving it on for most outings to avoid the hard to start issues.

MikeyOrange88
09-12-2012, 01:36 PM
After turning off the engine, check to see if fuel is leaking from the carb primaries (it shouldn't be).

MikeyOrange88
09-12-2012, 01:45 PM
For the cold start issue, check that choke plate is closed when cold. Adjust the choke if it is not. On mine there was a very slight mark on the rotating black part of the choke that was intended as the starting point for choke adjustment with the fixed pointer. Mine is set one tick to the right of pointer.
Also, prior to a recent rebuild of my carb., I always had a difficult time cold starting it as I always wanted to crank it at the the house prior to heading to the ramp. It just would never start, now matter how much I cranked it and pumped the throttle lever. The standard operating procedure I used was to give a shot of starting fluid into the carb. It would then fire right up, and after that just a touch of the key would start it everytime. Assumed it was the float/needle sticking. Rebuilt the carb. and that issue went away.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-12-2012, 02:58 PM
For the cold start issue, check that choke plate is closed when cold. Adjust the choke if it is not. On mine there was a very slight mark on the rotating black part of the choke that was intended as the starting point for choke adjustment with the fixed pointer. Mine is set one tick to the right of pointer.
Also, prior to a recent rebuild of my carb., I always had a difficult time cold starting it as I always wanted to crank it at the the house prior to heading to the ramp. It just would never start, now matter how much I cranked it and pumped the throttle lever. The standard operating procedure I used was to give a shot of starting fluid into the carb. It would then fire right up, and after that just a touch of the key would start it everytime. Assumed it was the float/needle sticking. Rebuilt the carb. and that issue went away.

Your cold start issue was self-inflicted by cranking it at the house. When cranking at the house, the electric choke was heating and when you got to the lake, you weren't getting enough choke to start your cold engine.

MikeyOrange88
09-13-2012, 02:31 PM
What I meant was that I wouldn't leave the house without starting the engine (with water). Once it had been started initially, it started up with very easily after that with just a touch of the key.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-13-2012, 02:43 PM
What I meant was that I wouldn't leave the house without starting the engine (with water). Once it had been started initially, it started up with very easily after that with just a touch of the key.

I see. I have talked with other guys who spent time making sure it would crank and had too much key on time so that the choke was completely warmed up before the engine was ever started.

DH9441
09-28-2012, 03:31 PM
Do you think I can mess with the timing by hand? First marking where it is set. Then adjust from there.....and putting back where it was if the hard to start while hot continues.

DH9441
10-04-2012, 11:08 PM
???????

thatsmrmastercraft
10-05-2012, 09:53 AM
Old school tuning by hand is not seen much anymore as it brings with it potential for engine damage. Get your hands on a timing light. Most of the chain parts stores have a tool loaner program.