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Old 03-18-2014, 10:44 PM
msajecki msajecki is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, Tri-Star, 1988, 351 Ford
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1988 TriStar 351 - Warm Engine bogs / hesitates

I've got a 1988 TriStar with a Ford 351 in it.

The engine runs mostly well. Starts up, runs strong, seems solid and stable. I'm sure it's starting to get worn out in it's years. I've owned it about 10 years, no clue how many hours are on it, my guess is about 700.

I've started experiencing an issue as the boat warms up. Running for about 15-20 minutes pulling a rider. Then, stopping to change riders, and starting out, I have an issue where the engine hesitates / bogs when coming up on wake through plane. It sort of feels like it's starving for fuel, but I can't really tell. Once it's up on plane, or the the rider is up, the problem is gone. I can rev it out, full power, no problems. It's only on a warm engine, when pulling, and coming off idle.

I've had my local MC mechanic come to the house and test it. They checked all the filters, checked spark, plugs, distributor cap, etc. We weren't pulling anyone so we couldn't get it to duplicate the issue, of course....

I decided it made sense to have the carb rebuilt, so I did that. I actually noticed the engine running a little stronger after the rebuild, but alas, once the engine was warm and I had something under tow, the problem still exists.

I'm seeing some oil leaking out of the back of the head cover on one side, not much, but it just started happening recently.

I've also noticed a good amount of rust coming from the exhaust manifolds.

Since I only experience this on a warm engine, could I have an exhaust leak? I would think that problem would happen within the first few minutes of running, not only when warm.

Anywhere else to check?

How do I get my mechanic take the boat and water test it under load?


Lastly,

If I decide it needs a rebuild / new engine, what sort of expense am I looking at?

Any help you can provide would be great.

MS
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2014, 10:32 AM
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pkskier pkskier is offline
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Boat: 1987 & 1989 TriStar 190
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I had the same problem with my '87. Ethanol has soften the fuel line and the fuel pump sucks the line from the fuel tank to the pump and collapses the hose fuel starving the engine. $20 should fix your problem.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2014, 10:49 AM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Welcome to Team Talk. Sounds like a frustrating problem. At your first description, I thought accelerator pump, but the carb overhaul sort of covers that. I would still verify that you get good streams of fuel out of each squirter when the throttle is worked. Two man job, or disconnect the throttle linkage.

Sounds like most of the rest of the basics have been covered by your mechanic. If this is a fuel delivery problem, you might be able to duplicate the problem by running wide open throttle for a long run. Pkskier has a good point. Replacing the fuel line from tank to pump is a great idea. I'm sure it is over-due to be replaced. Be sure to use fuel line that is ethanol safe. There is also a fuel tank vent on the transom of your boat that if clogged, will also give similar issues.

This is also a good time to do a compression test to determine the mechanical condition of your engine.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:22 AM
msajecki msajecki is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, Tri-Star, 1988, 351 Ford
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Isn't it a hard line, solid brass line? That's what I recall connecting to the carb.

And, why would it only be an issue at low RPM under load? Because there isn't enough pressure to straighten / unkink the fuel line?
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:09 AM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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The hard fuel line goes from the fuel pump to the carb. The fuel line that goes from the fuel tank to the fuel pump is a rubber line that likely has not been updated to a modern material that will stand up to the ethanol in today's fuel.

This sounds like it could be a lack of fuel delivery problem. Anything that restricts fuel flow would be suspect at this point.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2014, 11:21 AM
msajecki msajecki is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, Tri-Star, 1988, 351 Ford
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Sorry, last question...

Will I need to pull the floorboard over the fuel tank to do this, or will I be able to get to it through the 2 round access panels?
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:40 AM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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No worries about questions here....that's what this place is all about. All I did for quite a while here was ask questions.

You will need to remove that center floor panel as well as the rear panel in front of the fuel tank and the motor box. You might also consider cleaning the fuel tank while you are this far into it.
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Single Axle Package Starting at $319 - 2 Aluminum wheels, 2 ST205/75R14 tires, mount & balance.

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  #8  
Old 03-21-2014, 11:55 AM
Bruce Carr Bruce Carr is offline
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Sounds fuel related but there is a possibility that your coil is breaking down when it gets hot. This condition shows itself when the engine gets under a load like accelerating onto plane and pulling up a skier. Also, I don't know exactly what year PCM went to electronic ignition but if you still have points, have a look at them as we'll.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:20 PM
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pkskier pkskier is offline
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thatsmrmastercraft, his fuel tank should be toward the front of the boat and not the rear. My '87 doesn't have the deck access that yours does, but it may be possible to replace the hose through the access opening. I had to remove the floor panel.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2014, 01:23 PM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkskier View Post
thatsmrmastercraft, his fuel tank should be toward the front of the boat and not the rear. My '87 doesn't have the deck access that yours does, but it may be possible to replace the hose through the access opening. I had to remove the floor panel.
I just reread the thread and realized the year of his boat.
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Peter

SPECIAL PRICE
ST205/75R15 KENDA LOADSTAR ON 15X5 WHITE SPOKE WHEEL, BALANCED & DELIVERED - $125 EACH


Tandem Axle Packages Starting at $569 - 4 Aluminum wheels, 4 ST205/75R14 tires, mount & balance.
Single Axle Package Starting at $319 - 2 Aluminum wheels, 2 ST205/75R14 tires, mount & balance.

CARBURETOR REBUILDING - $125 + PARTS
LED lights, Hubs, Spare Tire Carriers, Chrome & Powder Coated Lug Nuts

PM or email me tiresplease@gmail.com
*** FREE DELIVERY ON ALL ORDERS ***
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