ignition problems....missing
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ignition problems....missing

  1. #1
    Member clarkph's Avatar
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    Default ignition problems....missing

    Hello All,
    I need some advice please, we are about to replace the complete ignition system but I thought I would ask for some advice...
    This boat has run great in the past, this is a new problem.
    The boat is a friends 1990 21' advantage jet boat. Indmar 330 hp, 454 BBC, Newer EDL 750 Marine carb, emi exhaust, mallory marine dist. magnetic pick up. "A" impeller, rebuilt berkley pump. Started missing a little, kept getting worse all this after we replaced the coil (MSD) because it never started as quick as I thought it should have. Worked great for a couple trips.
    Now it starts, runs misses and sometime idles ok, goes to full power then misses, falls flat picks up and gets worse with more time and heat. (hot colorado river area)
    We have checked the fuel system, cleaned the carb, drained tanks fresh fuel and filters (fuel water seperator) had a little water in the seperator before the tank was cleaned. The fuel pump is a new marine mechanical unit, fuel tanks are vented ok.
    Checked voltage to the ballast resistor it was only 11 volts, 5 volts to the coil - seems low to me, changed the coil and ballast no real effect at all
    same voltages....is that too low? also changed the coil to dist. lead.
    not much improvement with all that...
    So any ideas?

    next - wires, plugs, cap rotor, new module?? New DUI marine HEI dist?
    we are stumped..

    Thanks for the help!!

    clarkph

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  3. #2
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    Default ignition break up

    I would go back to the basics make sure the mechanics are good. Do a compression test or better yet a leak down. Also if you are running a electronic dist (no points) their is no need for a ballast resistor and you can run a full 12 volts to the coil. It is very rare to lose a pick-up, it is although common to have modules start to fail when they get hot. Yeah, I no not much help but sometimes you just have to fight your way threw the problems.

  4. #3
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    Default Mag

    Borrow a mag. Throw it in there and see if the problem goes away. If it does, buy the mag and have fun. If it doesn't, start looking for the mechanical problem causing the missing. Come by my shop and I'll loan you a mag, or I could drop it off to you if I knew WHERE you are.........Ray
    LOUD BOATS SAVE LIVES

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  6. #4
    Member clarkph's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks guys,
    I spoke to a Prestolite/Mallory tech today. he said the triggers rarely go bad and they usuall are on or off...the low voltage may be why it takes a while to start up. A Ballast resistor is required with the MSD blaster 2 coil and the others without a MSD box. (per their instruction sheets) The system is just a Mallory YL series Marine magnetic breakerless dist. a coil and ballast, worked for many years with no issues.
    Since we had some water in the fuel at one time.
    I think it could be as simple as fouled plugs or the wires.....
    The tech said check the spark, replace the plugs and wires, and bypass the ballast....simple first.
    I am in San Diego, the boat is in Yuma.
    Hope to get it fixed soon.....

  7. #5
    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    yep, do a general tuneup, then get rid of that ballast resistor, let the msd coil fully charge and send out full amps

    Dare to be different, if it turns out great you can claim you planned it that way.

    Jetboatperformance.com

  8. #6
    Seriously off center slowride's Avatar
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    I had those conditions with a set of (one year old) Accel wires I had on the Circus boat. A new set of Taylors with new separators and it was good as new.

  9. #7
    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    lot of shit plug wires out these days too, so check what ya put on with a meter. i bought some nice and purdy 8.5mm wires for my ls motor, some were 13k ohms, others over 25k, so as low as 5k ohms, and they're all the same damn length, stock wires all tested at 500ohms and they all tested the same or too close to call the wires i got were msd wires too, still layin on my toolbox cuz stockers are hotter

    Dare to be different, if it turns out great you can claim you planned it that way.

    Jetboatperformance.com

  10. #8
    Member clarkph's Avatar
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    Suspect MSD wires? If you tested them then I cannot argue that one.....
    I have a set on my hot rod and they seem to work great, pertronics ignitor conversion and coil with the 8.5 msd wires, fast starts and reliable 383 chevy motor. I had to keep the stock tach drive distributor.
    The MSD's are the most expensive wires I have ever used and I thought the best. I have also used a set of Summit wires also great and reliable. (probably taylors)

    Were gonna try some new plugs first and check compression.

    Does anyone know what compression a low compression Indmar 454 should have? This one has the truck peanut port heads on it, stock cast iron Qjet manifold 330 hp.
    Last time we checked it was 110 psi cold, pretty uniform all cylinders, uses no oil either. Sounds kinda low but it's a stocker...basic marineized truck motor.

    Moneypit, thanks for the very generous offer, I appreciate the help.

    Thanks to everyone for the great advice!

  11. #9
    Senior Member lbhsbz's Avatar
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    I would take that Mallory distributor and throw it in the water. If you want reliability, find your self an HEI and get rid of all the MSD crap.

    I've owned many mallory distributors....none that ever worked though.

  12. #10
    Senior Member lbhsbz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPATIENT 1 View Post
    yep, do a general tuneup, then get rid of that ballast resistor, let the msd coil fully charge and send out full amps
    A Mallory Unilite will die a quicker death with 12V. They need to get stepped down to 5 in order to have a chance in hell.

  13. #11
    Member clarkph's Avatar
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    This Advantage boat owner, like a lot of us these days is on a tight budget, so we are doing this on the cheap-est. Plugs are only 15-20 bucks and may be all that is wrong. I try to help my friends as much as I can for free to keep them out of a $65-100 per hour shop charge and a two week (or longer) wait....
    I have a good complete HEI distributor to loan him but it has vacume advance and is not a Marine unit. I suppose we could try the HEI, It would also require new wires with the HEI terminals (may need wires anyways)
    I have to disagree though....Mallory is crap?....MSD too....? everyone is entitled to their own opinion.....
    Prestolite/Mallory supplies Mercury Marine and others, very reliable.....MSD units are on a lot of winning race cars and boats...
    Well this Mallory distrib worked well for this owner and the past one also.
    It is 20 years old and I will bet it still works fine.
    This one is NOT A UNILITE it is a YL series Marine magnetic pick up distributor. I have heard they are much better, 20 years of service is way longer than most people even keep a boat.
    So we will try the plugs then new wires, see it that fixes the problem.
    A replacement distributor is the next step if the above fails...
    I will let you know!!
    Anyone want to give an opinion about the compression question in my last
    post please?
    As always thanks for the advice! and just because I don't agree with you I still welcome everyones opinion!
    clarkph

  14. #12
    Senior Member lbhsbz's Avatar
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    Throw your spare hei in there. Leave the vac advance unplugged and just use the mechanical advance....you should have about 10 or so degrees in it. Set your total timing around 35 or where ever it is now.... Don't worry about initial timing.

  15. #13
    Senior Member Uminchu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkph View Post
    Checked voltage to the ballast resistor it was only 11 volts, 5 volts to the coil - seems low to me, changed the coil and ballast no real effect at all
    Does he run an ammeter? A friend had the same problem and had a loose wire on the ammeter shunt causing voltage fluctuation any time the boat vibrated.

    Seeing 11 VDC sounds way wrong to me. Is there corrosion or a bad terminal lug in the ignition system? Do the other hot systems also read 11 VDC?

    I'd check all electrical connections under the dash and on the motor terminal block. If using a Mercury-type plug and harness system, I'd check for corrosion.

  16. #14
    I'm famous ! Lucky's Avatar
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    So the boat ran Great prior to this problem arising with all the same set up !

    started missing

    Replaced coil - ran fine again for a few times

    I'm with Ray on this on this one - borrow a mag , reset your plug gap to 18 ,

    see if the problem dissipears


    Then buy a new ingniton system . I would think the D.U.I would be the e ticket in a boat like that and clean up alot of the mess .
    " my carbon footprint is gonna kick your green ass"


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    WOWO!!!!! THat has to be the most beautiful crank that Ive ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    He has been allowing me to park my equipment in his backyard for a few years now...
    [/SIGPIC]

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