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Old 05-29-2011, 01:19 PM
cgarmon cgarmon is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2006
Boat: 1986 master craft, 351
Location: Southeast
Posts: 11
Cranking problems

I have a 86' w 351 ford and Last year i changed to electric ignition and also changed plugs and wires. It ran good, cranked good last year after we got it in time, or as close as we could get it. I tried two timing guns one didn't work and the guy that was helping me said it would not read through new wires, to thick for old light. He just did it by ear, sounded good and ran good.
This year took a little to get it cranked put in some sea foam and ran for a little while. Put it in the water it would crank but would go dead in idle. It ran good and pulled good but would not idle.
Put it in water yesterday would not crank at all ran battery down trying to crank. I put it on fake a wake today and got it to crank, sounded ok, but when I turned it off and tried to re crank it would not. Seems like no gas, so I would give it gas and then it made a noise as smoke came out of the flame arrestor. Waited a minute and it would crank .
I have never changed my fuel filter should i try this first or does it sound like a carb problem.
Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by cgarmon; 05-29-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:19 AM
wheelerd's Avatar
wheelerd wheelerd is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: 2005 X2
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,880
Tough to say, but most starting/running issues come down to two things: fuel and spark.

Did you mess with the carb? Not idling could be that the idle mixture screws are out of whack. Or the throttle stop screw is allowing the main throttle bores to completely close. Or your choke is stuck. Or there is a vacuum leak. Or . . .

To see if it's a fuel delivery issue have a buddy pour a little bit of fuel down the primary barrels as you crank to see if it starts. (Be careful though -- if the timing is off and it backfires your buddy could have singed eyebrows!)

Not (or intermittent) cranking could be a bad connection between battery and solenoid.
Check all wires involving coil, distributor, plugs, starter, etc. and make sure connections are all secure. If you have a multimeter, there are numerous threads here that will give you advice on how to check specifics parameters -- voltage, resistance, etc. Failing that, just pulling a plug and checking for spark when you crank is the most basic and simplest test.

If you can get it to run and stay running, I really would make sure the timing is set correctly. Invest in a decent timing light -- it will pay for itself many times over.
2005 X2, Viper Red, MCX, OJ TZ-X5 prop, PPass, rear 750 sacs, KBS, IBS, Bennett Wake Plate, custom wake shaper
(previous) 2001 X5, 1991 TriStar 190
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:09 AM
liledgy liledgy is offline
TT Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 2006
Boat: 1985 mastercraft 351
Location: midwest
Posts: 348
After I put electronic ign. and a coil in my old 83 SS, I couldnt get it to run right. It would sometimes idle then it wouldn't start etc. . I called skidim and Vince said to put my old coil back in. In ran perfect. I got a defective coil. Skidim sent a new one promptly.
I just put electronic ignition in an 85 SS and no where in the directions did it tell me to change the timing, it's a petronox (?) product for a prestolite ignition. Good luck
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