[Question] stock 454 hard to start
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stock 454 hard to start

  1. #1
    Junior Member tinbob's Avatar
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    Unhappy stock 454 hard to start

    I have a stock 1994 454 carb motor. it is almost impossible to start while on the water. once it is running, it runs good. if I shut it down it will start right up. if I let it sit for more than 15 minutes I have to hold the throttle wide open till it fires. it acts like its flooded. it's done this for as long as I can remember and I'm getting tired of the looks of Horror from people watching me try to start it again. any help would be great.

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    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
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    What kind of carb? Sounds like your carb might be percolating when you shut it off.

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    Could be vapor lock like already suggested. Are the heat risers on the intake manifold blocked off? You could put an insulator spacer under the carburetor. Pretty cheap and easy way to check and see if reducing carb temp helps. The newer gasses are pretty light and tend to boil at lower temps than gas in the past.

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    BTC cardcarrying member sunkisst's Avatar
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    Yo, tinbob. Sounds to me like either needle and seat or float level. Run it hard, slow down, shut it off. Take your flame arrestor off and watch the top of the carburetor for seeping fuel. You will probably find dropping fuel. Hence leaking fuel from needle and/or float level issues. What carburetor ?
    Last edited by sunkisst; 09-23-2013 at 06:56 PM.

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    Junior Member tinbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunkisst View Post
    Yo, tinbob. Sounds to me like either needle and seat or float level. Run it hard, slow down, shut it off. Take your flame arrestor off and watch the top of the carburetor for seeping fuel. You will probably find dropping fuel. Hence leaking fuel from needle and/or float level issues. What carburetor ?
    It is the original carb. I cant remember ever rebuilding it. I've had the boat since it was new. can't remember it ever starting easy. I rebuilt the motor about 9 years ago. cant remember tearing down the carb.

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    I have had this same problem. Does it run fine on the trailer if so, It's crap being stirred up in the gas tank when running and getting your needle valves stuck open and flooding the engine. Put a screw in canister type fuel filter (looks like a oil filter) on and your problems should go away.

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    Junior Member tinbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard250 View Post
    I have had this same problem. Does it run fine on the trailer if so, It's crap being stirred up in the gas tank when running and getting your needle valves stuck open and flooding the engine. Put a screw in canister type fuel filter (looks like a oil filter) on and your problems should go away.
    it runs great once I start it. if I shut it down and try to start it, it will start fine. if I let it sit for awhile it becomes hard to start. I'm going to rebuild the carb and starter and see how it does. I'd also like to get some more speed out of the boat. but that's for another day

  10. #8
    gn7
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    The problem is caused by the carb float bowels sitting too close to the intake manifold in a effort to keep the profile as low as possible.
    The manifold has virtually no carburetor pad to speak of and the float bowels are virtually sitting on the manifold and the heat from the engine literally boils the fuel out of the bowels.
    The BEST fix is a Holley insulating base gasket.
    LINK: Holley insulating base gasket

    It that's too ugly for you under the hatch engine, then the Mr Gasket works pretty decent.
    LINK: Mr Gasket base gasket

    Or a just a 1/2" or thincker plastic 4 hole spacer will work.

    the main thing is to get the carb up off the manifold.



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    To add to what GN-7 said first question would be are you running pump gas? If so thanks to our friends at the EPA and tree huggers the alcohol content of pump gas will make it evaporate in a heart beat. Easy fix would be to add an electric fuel pump and let the bowls fill up prior to start. I doubt it is flooding but more the fact that the fuel in the bowls has evaporated away and running a manual pump it takes alot of cranks to get fuel back up. M

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol guy View Post
    To add to what GN-7 said first question would be are you running pump gas? If so thanks to our friends at the EPA and tree huggers the alcohol content of pump gas will make it evaporate in a heart beat. Easy fix would be to add an electric fuel pump and let the bowls fill up prior to start. I doubt it is flooding but more the fact that the fuel in the bowls has evaporated away and running a manual pump it takes alot of cranks to get fuel back up. M
    That's pretty much exactly what's happening. It was bad before the ethanol was added, it only makes it worse. But basically you have to refill the bowls



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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    That's pretty much exactly what's happening. It was bad before the ethanol was added, it only makes it worse. But basically you have to refill the bowls
    I drive a bone stock 1985 crew-cab dually with a 454 and I go through the same thing. I verified my thoughts by filling the bowl with a primer bottle and situation was gone! The newer vehicles with injection don't feel this issue due to the electric pump that instantly charges the injectors but for an older carb deal it's a whole different story--CRANK_CRANK till the carb gets a full bowl and the worst part it going to show up more and more with a carb boat with a mechanical pump! M

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    Didn't OP state that after it set for 15 min is when it has the problem? I vote for a float being set to high/or sunk, because it has run so long the same way dirt in the needle/seat would have washed its way through by now.
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    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoldHondaBoughtHondo View Post
    Didn't OP state that after it set for 15 min is when it has the problem? I vote for a float being set to high/or sunk, because it has run so long the same way dirt in the needle/seat would have washed its way through by now.
    Well without trying to be insulting or an asshole! 15 minutes would be enough time for the fuel to evaporate especially in a closed compartment. NOW without knowing the condition of the fuel system or carb it would be all precision guesswork! If the O.P. was running a tunnel ram in a cooler environment it could be a different story??? M

  16. #14
    gn7
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    If it was the float, it would be hard starting after sitting just a couple minutes, and he says its not. Because a couple minutes isn't enough time to dry the bowls. Part of the problem is like Ol Guy says, and its heat under the hatch, but the real problem is the carbs close proximity to the manifold. The damn things have virtually no carb pad.
    Engines with Air gaps and single planes don't have the problem, so its not all under the hatch heat. The isolation gasket or plastic/phenolic carb spacer helps a lot.



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