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Old 08-30-2017, 05:59 PM
my86craft my86craft is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1986
Location: Northwest
Posts: 7
1986 Mastercraft Starting Problems

Hey All,

I have been all over this forum searching for answers and am looking for a good place to start before I go replacing a bunch of stuff.

Let me start by saying she runs great! Top speed 43mph via GPS.

The last few times I have been out, I noticed she doesn't start the first time. She cranks, starts and dies.

Also, when I was putting it on the trailer I had to give it a little gas to correct the steering and I backed off right away and it died.

Once she's running, she idles fine, no issues. Just initial starting cold or hot and if I give it a quick hit and back off she'll die

I am about to check the following:

Float Level
Water Fuel Separator and Fuel Filter
Spray carb fluid around the carb to check for leaks.

Any other advice is much appreciated.

I'll add pics today.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:26 PM
thatsmrmastercraft's Avatar
thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
MC Master Poster
Join Date: Sep 2008
Boat: 1977 Stars & Stripes
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 18,580
Hit all the basics first.
Spark plugs, cap & rotor, (points?), voltage supply to coil +, timing, fuel filter.
Checking fora vacuum leak is a good idea.
Check your choke. It should be closed on a cold engine (just a light amount of spring pressure) and fully open in 90 seconds. If you need to adjust it, loosen the three screws holding the metal retainer ring and turn choke cap accordingly.
With the engine idling, look into the carb for any fuel dripping out of the venturis. Shut the engine off and check for fuel dripping again. There should be no fuel present. If there is, you have a needle & seat or float issue.
How many hours are on your boat?
What is your idle speed set at?
How long since the carb has been rebuilt?

Custom wheel and tire packages
Rebuilding Holley Carbs $289
Rebuilt complete Holley Carbs $425

FOR 302, 351 & 454 STARTING AT $450 DELIVERED
Email - [email protected]
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:47 PM
1redTA's Avatar
1redTA 1redTA is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: 1981 MasterCraft 351W slot
Location: Pace, FL
Posts: 1,446
Peter nailed my first thought, choke I would slap check the idle speed
1981 MasterCraft
19' Skier 351W PowerSlot
Long gone is the Trans AM waiting for another
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:02 PM
my86craft my86craft is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1986
Location: Northwest
Posts: 7
Wow, nice!

I just bought the boat a couple months back. 1100+ hours on it. No sure if the carb has been rebuilt but the gaskets look like they could be replaced. Choke is closed but I have to run it with the fake a lake plunger to test your suggestion above. Cap and rotor were slightly dirty, cleaned the contacts so they're shiny again. I was happy to see there are no points so someone previous changed this to electronic ignition. Idle speed is 3mph via GPS.

Ok, new to boat engines...

How in the world do I get those plugs out? Do I have to take off the exhaust?

What should the voltage on the coil be?

Wires look new but i think I will replace the cap and rotor.

I watched one video where a guy said he had to replace his solenoid because the boat wasn't starting right. your thoughts?

Looks like there is a fuel filter at the bottom of the fuel pump on the motor and then the fuel/water separator is the old fram style. I need to find both those filters or upgrade to the Sierra I have seen people convert to on here.

I will definitely check out the carb either tonight or tomorrow when it is cooler. In the middle of a heat wave.

On and just found the positive battery cable(part that connects to the post) was broken so i replaced that.

Thank you!
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1986 staring problems

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