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Youngster
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this '77 19' Dominator Jet boat. It has a Ford 460 engine in it and runs like crap. Well it doesn't run at all really. It starts for a couple seconds then dies. I'm determined its the carb. Where should I begin...the carb does not look like its stock. It has Holley stamped on the side but everything looks half-assed on it and I'm not sure if it belongs on it. I am not familiar with carbs very much and need help! I does still have points and I will take care of that soon. I just want to get it started and actually idling. So, what is my first step? What is the pressure regulator supposed to be setup at?

Here are the pics...any help is appreciated! Thanks!
DSC03319.jpg DSC03334.jpg
DSC03332.jpg DSC03333.jpg DSC03331.jpg
 

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Member
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186 Posts
carb...

Cool looking boat!

That carb looks like it has seen better days. Just judging from the corrosion on and around the carb, at a minimum it needs to be removed and completely gone through and rebuilt. If it were me, after messing around with these boats for a number of years, If I bought a boat with that much corrosion on the carb I would be looking for a suitable replacement carb in better shape to start with- but that's just me.

I have taken Holley carbs that looked like that and tried to fix em' and ended up throwing them out in the woods behind my house cause' I got so frustrated with them. sometimes you can get them running right though. It's almost a crapshoot.

It's probably gonna have to come off the boat and get worked on. But you could try a few things first. Set the floats in the carb- make sure they are working right and not sticking. Take some carb cleaner and blow out the air bleeds and make sure they arent clogged up- that's the 8 little tiny holes just inside the tops of the barrels at the front and back.

As far as that kind of pressure regulator, it probably isn't doing anything anyway except adding fuel line restriction. I had a car with one of those like that on it- and it really didn't even work. IMHO those things are worse than not having a regulator. You want 6-7 psi fuel pressure that can sustain at WOT. You have to have good volume flow, as well as consistent pressure. You can get something like a Holley 12-803 regulator for around $30 & get you a fuel pressure gauge so you can tell what's going on. I use the small 1 1/2" gauges you can pick up for $15-20 and plumb it in with a "T" right up before the carb inlet. Also, don't forget a good in-line fuel filter. Check your gas tanks for trash and clean/flush as required to get anything out of there or you'll have neverending trouble out on the water.

Once again, I'd be inclined to replace the Carb with a new one.

It all depends on how much you know or can learn quickly about the Holley carb- do some searches, buy some books and read up on what it takes to fix & tune them and if you're up for it, then get busy.

Good luck!
 

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Glendale Arizona
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2,368 Posts
I'd have to agree here. That's a rough looking carburetor. Even though I've rebuilt a dozen or so, if it were mine I think I'd replace that one. It's pretty corroded. If the passages in it look anything like the outside, it's pretty much junk.

You bought the boat in that condition (not running). Pretty gutsy.
 

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B1 Racing
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6,523 Posts
Box it up and ship it to C&J carbs, he will make it look and work better than new and it will cost less than a new one.
 

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I'm baaaaack...
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4,365 Posts
You can get a carb kit from Jeg's or Summit, along with a Holley book, it will help you clean it up, and you'll learn all the circuits while you do so. I did mine that way because when you are out on the lake on a Saturday afternoon, and you need to get a little piece of paint flake out of the carb, you know how it goes together. There won't be a carb shop sitting there on the shoreline to help you save the weekend.
 

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Youngster
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Technically it does run...just not very long. I paid $750 for this boat and I've been looking at flat bottoms with taken apart 455's. Its easier for me to put something back together when I can see it together and working.

Sounds like the best solution here would be to just replace the carb.

What kind of carb should I be looking at? Am I looking for a 4bbl 650cfm with vacuum secondaries and electric choke? Only future mods would be dove-c heads (higher compression), camshaft, and maybe intake.

Also, the fuel pressure regulator is set at like .5psi. And I have to hold the throttle down for it to run any amount of time.


The reason I don't want to really put ANY money into the engine right now is because I found 4 freeze plugs sitting on the bottom of the floor! I can't believe how stupid I was when looking at this boat!!!
 

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Youngster
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You can get a carb kit from Jeg's or Summit, along with a Holley book, it will help you clean it up, and you'll learn all the circuits while you do so. I did mine that way because when you are out on the lake on a Saturday afternoon, and you need to get a little piece of paint flake out of the carb, you know how it goes together. There won't be a carb shop sitting there on the shoreline to help you save the weekend.
I don't have a problem taking carbs apart (I've taken apart a LOT of carbs in dirtbikes) I have NO idea what carb this is??? I don't see serial numbers stamped anywhere????
 

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Ignition

It looks like an old Holley single inlet truck carb. I have two of them sitting in my garage because I changed to holley 750 double pumpers instead. Besides the carb I would focus on the ignition. Actually i would probably start with the ignition and then move to the carb. Does it have points or electronic ignition? Is it running a ballast resistor, how are the plugs and wires, etc etc. Just my thoughts and I am sure you already looked at all that. I just wanted to throw it out there.
Purchased a boat that would cut out and sputter - you could feather the gas to make it run ok. Changed the carb - no change, chaged the dizzy and coil, boom. Good running engine. Then pulled it, bored it and stroked it. Now its an even better running engine.
Good luck.
 

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Youngster
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Discussion Starter #9
Still has points:))ThumbsDwn


It WILL be replaced...but have no yet replaced any ignition parts. That is on the list...
 

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Congratulations on your new aquisition Just Guessing by the blue paint that your engine might be a "take out" car or truck motor and although not an OEM carb your Carb is a Manual choke 1850 Holley 600 cfm non Marine carburator , suspect your cruiser likley has a covered engine and you may want to shop around for a Marine approved carb possible a bit more cfm


BTW that style fuel regulator drastically reduces fuel flow (volume) as well as pressure and is not neccesary with a stock pump producing 3.5 to 4 psi

also the distributor looks to be a Prestolite and the points are a bit difficult to find at times call if you need help Tom
 

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Youngster
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks Jetboatperformance! So i can remove the fuel pressure regulator and install a fuel pressure gauge there and see if it runs?

I never thought about it being a car/truck take out before...but now that I'm thinking about it it is very likely. This boat does have a doghouse. I removed it because it was rotting and easier to work on now.

The distributor says "Marine" stamped on the side. I don't want to mess with points...I just want to upgrade.
 

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Thanks Jetboatperformance! So i can remove the fuel pressure regulator and install a fuel pressure gauge there and see if it runs?

I never thought about it being a car/truck take out before...but now that I'm thinking about it it is very likely. This boat does have a doghouse. I removed it because it was rotting and easier to work on now.

The distributor says "Marine" stamped on the side. I don't want to mess with points...I just want to upgrade.
Not sure why someone put the regulator there but it make have been some effort to deal with other carb issues but I'd ditch it when you upgrade the carb , Upgrades to the ignition could be a multitude of good products like MSD but the Presto lite works very well woth points or a Petronics conversion An Engine house can easily be fabbed up from plywood Tom
 

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Youngster
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Not sure why someone put the regulator there but it make have been some effort to deal with other carb issues but I'd ditch it when you upgrade the carb , Upgrades to the ignition could be a multitude of good products like MSD but the Presto lite works very well woth points or a Petronics conversion An Engine house can easily be fabbed up from plywood Tom
So a Pertronix conversion is the way to go?

And whats the difference between a car/truck carb vs a marine carb? Thanks for the help and sorry about all these questions.
 

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www.highflowdynamics.com
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1,161 Posts
I bought this '77 19' Dominator Jet boat. It has a Ford 460 engine in it and runs like crap. Well it doesn't run at all really. It starts for a couple seconds then dies. I'm determined its the carb. Where should I begin... I does still have points and I will take care of that soon. I just want to get it started and actually idling. So, what is my first step?
The very first thing you need to do is determine whether your symptoms originate from a fuel problem or an ignition problem. There is absolutely no point in trying to evaluate carburetor or fuel problems when your ignition system is not functioning properly. This is a steadfast rule in engine diagnosis.

If your engine will reside under an engine hatch then you must keep the marine distributor. A non-points upgrade would be nice.

What kind of carb should I be looking at? Am I looking for a 4bbl 650cfm with vacuum secondaries and electric choke? Only future mods would be dove-c heads (higher compression), camshaft, and maybe intake.
For the Ford 460 in a jet boat, get nothing smaller than a Holley 850 Double-Pumper List # 4781. (If your engine will reside under an engine hatch then get the Holley 850 List # 80443 Marine carb.) That particular intake manifold on your engine is a factory 460 marine intake that is essentially an SCJ intake manifold, and it already has throttle bores that will accomodate the 850 baseplate. Other than the weight of the iron it is a fine intake for your otherwise bone stock 460.

LO
 

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Youngster
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Discussion Starter #15
The very first thing you need to do is determine whether your symptoms originate from a fuel problem or an ignition problem. There is absolutely no point in trying to evaluate carburetor or fuel problems when your ignition system is not functioning properly. This is a steadfast rule in engine diagnosis.

If your engine will reside under an engine hatch then you must keep the marine distributor. A non-points upgrade would be nice.

For the Ford 460 in a jet boat, get nothing smaller than a Holley 850 Double-Pumper List # 4781. (If your engine will reside under an engine hatch then get the Holley 850 List # 80443 Marine carb.) That particular intake manifold on your engine is a factory 460 marine intake that is essentially an SCJ intake manifold, and it already has throttle bores that will accomodate the 850 baseplate. Other than the weight of the iron it is a fine intake for your otherwise bone stock 460.

LO
So how do I determine if its a fuel or ignition problem? Throwing money at this would be the easier but most costly solution. It does run for periods of time, but like I said the carb is half assed and the choke isn't even hooked up. Just need to get things sorted out. And I need some direction of what to start with first.

So do I just need to replace the plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and ditch the points then work on the carb?
 

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points distributor

i have a like new but used pertronix that fits that prestolight. 75 bucks will get rid of the points. went msd instead.
 

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Youngster
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Discussion Starter #17
I'm going to post a video for all you nay-sayers!!! The smile on my face is so unbelievable!:wink2:
 

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Youngster
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Here you guys go!!!

[video]http://s869.photobucket.com/albums/ab251/trevor3500/?action=view&current=MOV03337.mp4[/video]
 

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Here you guys go!!!

[video]http://s869.photobucket.com/albums/ab251/trevor3500/?action=view&current=MOV03337.mp4[/video]
You need to check the fuel bowl on your carb to see if your out of gas after it dies. There should be a site plug on the side of the bowl of the carb. The gas should dribble out when you rock the boat side to side. If no gas, then thats your problem. Might be the old Carter fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel filter or water in the gas tanks. The carb does need to be rebuilt, but it sounds like the bowls are running out of fuel. When it dies and sits for a while, the pressure in the fuel system slowly fills the bowls back up.

If you have fuel in the carb, then you need to look at the ignition. You need to change out the disty points and go with a Pertronix Ignitor which will make it much more reliable. As stated earlier, I do have a new one that I'm not using. PM me if interested.
 

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Before I did anything I would check my block. You said there were freeze plugs in the bottom of the boat. I would put water to that motor and run it and see if it milkshakes. Might not even hold water.
 
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