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Old 04-05-2016, 10:29 AM
logicflint logicflint is offline
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Boat: 1986 Mastercraft Prostar
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Fuel Injector question - 1986 190 ProStar

Hi All,

Again, great community - I posted about six week back pertaining to towing with a V6 Sorento and the responses were very helpful. (Would post a thanks there but didn't want to bump the thread)

Our 30 year old ProStar is having a bunch of trouble idling and sometimes starting. A friend of a friend recommended that we have the carb replaced with an electronic fuel injector. We gather that the cost will be significantly more than a carb rebuild/replacement, but after some disappointing experiences toward the end of last year (and knowing how impatient my dear wife is ) I'd probably rather err on the side of spending more but having extremely dependable idling capability around the ramp...

Could anyone comment if they have had this done on similar-aged Mastercrafts, and either way would esteemed members of the community here recommend it? :-) I'm especially curious if anyone has performed this upgrade themselves (and how difficult that is), but more generally I'm curious if it's a very common procedure and/or seems worth the investment.

Thanks again!

Chris
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2016, 11:00 AM
Roman Roman is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Boat: 1991 Maristar 240 Open Bow w/ 454
Location: Michigan/Windsor
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Quote:
I'd probably rather err on the side of spending more but having extremely dependable idling capability around the ramp...
So then replace all the fuel lines and filters, and have the carb sent out to be rebuilt, or get a brand new carb.

Then go over your ignition system. If you have points, learn how to set them up and replace/maintain them. Or upgrade to electronic ignition. Set up the timing properly. Replace all your wires and plugs. Clean up your grounds. Check the health of your battery.

The real problem here is when you do have problems, everyone here has the stock system so we can help you out.

If you upgrade, then you have to get help from the aftermarket world.

When you go to sell, your boat I would guess would be worth more with a brand new factory fueling system vs aftermarket.

Also, you might have a problem similar to what I had. The issue is not spark or fueling, but rather a ****ty combination of the two. A slightly ****ty carb, mixed with a ****ty old points system that hasnt been touched in years, means an engine that runs like ****.

You need a tuneup basically and some parts rebuilt. Save your money for gas or a new boat
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2016, 11:07 AM
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paco_06 paco_06 is offline
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Boat: 1993 prostar 205 previous 85 S&S
Location: southeast
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No, no, and no! I am very pro carb, and although what you are asking is very doable, it would be very very expensive and a huge pain in the...... Not sure which carb you have, but if it's not a Holley 4160, go buy one. It will cost you around 600 or less for the carb and fuel lines and gaskets to put it on. Literally only takes 30 minutes for someone that doesn't know what they're doing to install. Keep this in mind also, a properly tuned carb will perform just as well as any efi system!

If you want to take a lower cost approach, box up the carb and send it to thatsmrmastercraft! You may already have a 4160, if so, a rebuild is all you need.

Also, only run non ethanol gas in your boat! If it's not easily available, use an additive that will combat the negative effects of the ethanol. My last boat never had ethanol in it and the carb on it performed flawlessly for over ten years. It would crank with the bump of the key and idle perfectly all day long.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2016, 11:12 AM
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damaged442 damaged442 is offline
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Boat: 1989 Tristar 190, Indmar 351, 250HP
Location: Central NY
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^^^ X2!

A solid tune up can change your world. I have had issues similar to yours in the past. When was the last time any of the following has been changed?

Plugs
Plug wires
Distributor cap
Rotor
Points
Condenser
Fuel Filter

Replacing these are much less expensive options. Start here. If you are still sputtering, get the carb rebuilt.

My boat is only three years newer than yours. The carbed 351 is a rock solid setup when tuned properly.

Also, if there is ethanol in your gas, this will cause issues too. It is hygroscopic and absorbs water. It will also swell rubber fuel lines which will starve the boat of fuel.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2016, 01:47 PM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Boat: 1977 Stars & Stripes
Location: St. Paul, MN
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This is a topic that comes up here occasionally. Unfortunately there haven't been any marine fuel injection systems that have had any great reviews. These have all been made keeping costs as low as possible and have been prone to issues.

While the carburetor is certainly a part of the reliability issues you are experiencing, there are other issues that need to be addressed that changing fuel delivery systems would not solve. Here is what you need to do to restore your boat to a reliable condition:

1. New or rebuilt carb. My rebuilds run as well as a new carb - there are more than a few people on here that will attest to that. Remove and flush the fuel tank, replace the rubber fuel line from tank to fuel pump, and replace the fuel filter.
2. Upgrade to an electronic ignition system. I would recommend a Mallory brand conversion and a matching coil with proper resistance to eliminate the ballast resistor. this should include a new distributor cap and rotor as well as spark plug wires.
3. Test the wiring for the ignition system so that full battery voltage is available to the coil.
4. replace the starter with an Arco gear reduction starter, and also replace the battery cables and solenoid. Replace the ignition switch and key while you are at it.

Parts for this will all cost under $1000 and will give you a reliable starting and running boat. If you are reasonably capable with a wrench and a voltmeter, you can do all this yourself. I will be happy to assist you, as well as there are plenty of other folks more than capable of the same.

I have done all these things to my '77 and it starts and runs like a dream.
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CUSTOM WHEEL & TIRE PACKAGES

$125 LED LIGHT PACKAGE - FREE SHIPPING
REBUILDING HOLLEY MARINE CARBS - $249 DELIVERED
REBUILT COMPLETE MARINE HOLLEY 4160 CARBS
FOR 302, 351 & 454 STARTING AT $425 DELIVERED
Email - [email protected]
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2016, 03:36 PM
gweaver gweaver is offline
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Boat: 2003 VRS 230 w/X-boat package, 8.1L
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I won't parrot what has been said above, but I had similar problems. I did what many suggested- upgraded to electronic ignition, new plugs, wires, cap, and finally a reman carb. Boat runs nice and smooth now, no problems idling, and the hesitation/bogging when we 'Hit It' is gone. I think all in for the above stuff, I'm around 700 or so.

As far as fuel injection, your options would be aftermarket, with whatever support they provide, or find a donor boat and pull the entire engine/wiring harness/computer/fuel system out, which does not sound like fun.
G
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:41 PM
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BrianM BrianM is offline
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Boat: 1988 Prostar 190
Location: Mandeville, LA
Posts: 5,074
Wonder if a FiTech could be used in a marine environment? TBI for right at $1k
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2016, 03:53 PM
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paco_06 paco_06 is offline
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Boat: 1993 prostar 205 previous 85 S&S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatsmrmastercraft View Post
This is a topic that comes up here occasionally. Unfortunately there haven't been any marine fuel injection systems that have had any great reviews. These have all been made keeping costs as low as possible and have been prone to issues.

While the carburetor is certainly a part of the reliability issues you are experiencing, there are other issues that need to be addressed that changing fuel delivery systems would not solve. Here is what you need to do to restore your boat to a reliable condition:

1. New or rebuilt carb. My rebuilds run as well as a new carb - there are more than a few people on here that will attest to that. Remove and flush the fuel tank, replace the rubber fuel line from tank to fuel pump, and replace the fuel filter.
2. Upgrade to an electronic ignition system. I would recommend a Mallory brand conversion and a matching coil with proper resistance to eliminate the ballast resistor. this should include a new distributor cap and rotor as well as spark plug wires.
3. Test the wiring for the ignition system so that full battery voltage is available to the coil.
4. replace the starter with an Arco gear reduction starter, and also replace the battery cables and solenoid. Replace the ignition switch and key while you are at it.

Parts for this will all cost under $1000 and will give you a reliable starting and running boat. If you are reasonably capable with a wrench and a voltmeter, you can do all this yourself. I will be happy to assist you, as well as there are plenty of other folks more than capable of the same.

I have done all these things to my '77 and it starts and runs like a dream.
I did all this to my 85, it took a few years as I did the work as I felt it needed it, but there was no such thing as bumping that engine! It would start in a fraction of a second every time! It wasn't in the best cosmetic shape, but it ran so well, the engine sold the boat for me!
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2016, 05:38 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Boat: 1995 Pro Star 205 5.7 Liter
Location: Plainfield - Joliet, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatsmrmastercraft View Post
This is a topic that comes up here occasionally. Unfortunately there haven't been any marine fuel injection systems that have had any great reviews. These have all been made keeping costs as low as possible and have been prone to issues.

While the carburetor is certainly a part of the reliability issues you are experiencing, there are other issues that need to be addressed that changing fuel delivery systems would not solve. Here is what you need to do to restore your boat to a reliable condition:

1. New or rebuilt carb. My rebuilds run as well as a new carb - there are more than a few people on here that will attest to that. Remove and flush the fuel tank, replace the rubber fuel line from tank to fuel pump, and replace the fuel filter.
2. Upgrade to an electronic ignition system. I would recommend a Mallory brand conversion and a matching coil with proper resistance to eliminate the ballast resistor. this should include a new distributor cap and rotor as well as spark plug wires.
3. Test the wiring for the ignition system so that full battery voltage is available to the coil.
4. replace the starter with an Arco gear reduction starter, and also replace the battery cables and solenoid. Replace the ignition switch and key while you are at it.

Parts for this will all cost under $1000 and will give you a reliable starting and running boat. If you are reasonably capable with a wrench and a voltmeter, you can do all this yourself. I will be happy to assist you, as well as there are plenty of other folks more than capable of the same.

I have done all these things to my '77 and it starts and runs like a dream.
+1

Correct fuel mix, strong vacuum on start from powerful starter, good spark, and solid ground - boat with run like new.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2016, 01:58 PM
EricB EricB is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 77 S&S, 1983 S&& PS, and now a 98 Anniversary S&S LT1 PS
Location: St. Paul, MN & Balsam Lake, WI
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatsmrmastercraft View Post
This is a topic that comes up here occasionally. Unfortunately there haven't been any marine fuel injection systems that have had any great reviews. These have all been made keeping costs as low as possible and have been prone to issues.

While the carburetor is certainly a part of the reliability issues you are experiencing, there are other issues that need to be addressed that changing fuel delivery systems would not solve. Here is what you need to do to restore your boat to a reliable condition:

1. New or rebuilt carb. My rebuilds run as well as a new carb - there are more than a few people on here that will attest to that. Remove and flush the fuel tank, replace the rubber fuel line from tank to fuel pump, and replace the fuel filter.
2. Upgrade to an electronic ignition system. I would recommend a Mallory brand conversion and a matching coil with proper resistance to eliminate the ballast resistor. this should include a new distributor cap and rotor as well as spark plug wires.
3. Test the wiring for the ignition system so that full battery voltage is available to the coil.
4. replace the starter with an Arco gear reduction starter, and also replace the battery cables and solenoid. Replace the ignition switch and key while you are at it.

Parts for this will all cost under $1000 and will give you a reliable starting and running boat. If you are reasonably capable with a wrench and a voltmeter, you can do all this yourself. I will be happy to assist you, as well as there are plenty of other folks more than capable of the same.

I have done all these things to my '77 and it starts and runs like a dream.
Very solid advice, with the additional preventative maintenance of starter system & cable replacements. I gotta agree that Peter's suggestions are spot-on for making an older boat reliable.
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