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Old 12-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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Engine dies at 1300 RPMs and won't start....

I had some major work done, not on the engines but they were pulled. A few things replaced while out of the boat,
Spark plugs
New fuel filters on the block and in the carb
New fuel pumps
A few hoses
New fuel lines
When the boat got splashed the starboard wouldn't start. We checked for spark and fuel, both were present. The mechanic that was checking thought it might be the engine harness. Prior to pulling the harness he grabbed a jumper box, applied power to the coil, it fired right up. He pulled the harness apart and found the primary plug had some corrosion present. He did nothing but sprayed some die electric grease and it fired right up. He mentioned he didn't care for the style of plug used on the Crusader of this vintage. Said that there are better choices now, less prone to corrosion and poor contact.
So a few minor spins around the harbor since this issue and yesterday I am heading a few hours away - we were only about a mile out, I have been keeping a close eye on all the engine specs, oil, volts, fuel, etc all well within spec.
Not pushing the motors, just enjoying the time out on the waters. Cruising about 1300 RPMs and the starboard motor dies. Like I turned off the key....I immediately thought of the main engine harness and pulled it, used sand paper, cleaned off the contacts and used some more grease (what I had on hand)....Nothing. The engine fires but will not continue to run. I am wondering, could it be the coil causing this problem?? The harness at this point has been cleaned and the prongs re installed but I still have nothing. Thoughts?

1981 Crusader 5.7L 270HP Gasoline
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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try pouring a little gas in the carb,if it fires then you know that the spark is good you must have fuel problem?? I think that they also have a resister that cuts the 12 volts to nine on the start for the ignition coil.you gould jump that also to check,sometimes they get hot and die altoghter sounds more like a fuel problem to me. but what do I know?????
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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If gas in carb does not start it and keep it running for short preriod then switch coils per engine. Coil can some times be the culprit. Sounds like must be either gas or electric...
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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How old is the fuel? Have you checked the filter?
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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If you have elect fuel pumps - check em out... including their oil pressure shut off switch that shuts down elect fuel pump if oil pressure lowers to certain point.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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Mechanical fuel pumps. Fuel was purchased and added to the previous all w/i the last year. Most recently 60 gallons in September. Fuel filters were changed at the beginning of the season, new block/fuel filters, new carb filters.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #7
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Check wire connections to engine's main breaker (usually a big red independent button on top of engine toward its rear). Corrosion can sometimes break elect current to that breaker. MOF, clean all elect connections for best elect flow! Good Luck!
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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Had a similar problem with my last gas boat, a 30' Tolly. The anti-siphon valve spring lost it's tension and shut off the fuel flow when underway.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #9
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How old was the previous fuel? Could you have added good fuel to gunky fuel? I'd keep an eye on those filters.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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Just one harness connection? Had 2 on my towboat and the hidden one under the helm floor was the culprit.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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if it wants to run with gas in the carb,then you know that it is not a electrical problem. I had a problem once on a delivery and it was that anti siphon valve,it had some junk from the tank and it pluged the elbow going to the valve
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:45 AM   #12
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Sounds like the ignition. They sometimes fail for the last time exactly as you describe. I have had two different pertronix units fail in the last four years in the manner you expereinced. One was on a Ford and I have no idea how old it was. The last one was on a Chevy and the entire distributor and ignition module was less than 9 months old and the engine had only 90 hours on it. Each was installed and maintained by a different mechanic as well. Each time I swore it was a fuel delivery issue due to the symptoms. Since you have twins, you can swap the ignition module from the running engine and plug and play in the stalled out engine. Or you can go buy a new one anyway since spares are good to have as I can attest. If it does not solve the issue, then look to fuel delivery matters
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #13
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I'll be buying a new coil and will be installing one. I figure just as No Plans stated, good to have a spare on board. If it does fix the issue great. I will be moving to checking the fuel delivery. I will post back what my challenges and fix is.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
I'll be buying a new coil and will be installing one. I figure just as No Plans stated, good to have a spare on board. If it does fix the issue great. I will be moving to checking the fuel delivery. I will post back what my challenges and fix is.
if it will start by pouring gas in the carb,then there is nothing wrong with the inigition, it would have to be a fuel problem?????????????????????
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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So this morning I come down to the boat find a lose connection on one of the main bus bars, all the dash guages and accessories were non functioning. I took the fuse out and rrseated it. However it appears the actual prongs are coming loose from the bus. Not the fuse. Whole dash up and running and engine starts like a charm. I think the two are completely unrelated. As I took the fuse out and the engine still ran. So one has nothing to do with the other....now what?
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #16
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Could a coil cause the engine to die and than later work say after a day of non operation?
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Could a coil cause the engine to die and than later work say after a day of non operation?
Yes. It could cause it to work for a few days or longer and then quit. Example from this past September: my boat stalled on a Friday run to a state park. Restarted and it ran fine. Sunday it stalled about 45 minutes into our return. It restarted. Week later, the boat started fine. Exiting the marina breakwater the boat stalled. Restarted after about 20 minutes and ran fine to our destination. Sunday would not start (would turn over) and had to be towed back. Swore it was a fuel problem due to the intermittent stalls and restarts. Stumped my mechanic for a couple of days. It was the new ignition module failing and then finally, failed.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:05 PM   #18
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This is annoying. I'm guessing all ran well before the all this work took place.

I had a similar problem and I've got two 5.7 Lt engines.

My mechanic did most of the things you had done with no result.

I kept on mentioning batteries and in all fairness he did check them and said they were ok.

As a last result I turned up with two new batteries and told him to put them in.

Problem GONE and as you it was only one engine.

I'm not saying this is what your problem is but it does sound the same and I know how much this has cost you so far.

Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
So this morning I come down to the boat find a lose connection on one of the main bus bars, all the dash guages and accessories were non functioning. I took the fuse out and rrseated it. However it appears the actual prongs are coming loose from the bus. Not the fuse. Whole dash up and running and engine starts like a charm. I think the two are completely unrelated. As I took the fuse out and the engine still ran. So one has nothing to do with the other....now what?
just for the hell of it check the gas vent for that tank
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #20
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Sure sounds electric. Could be coil; as I and many have said... Also could be ignition switch at your salon or bridge key-start. Check and clean all the wire connections you can. Silly item like loose connection that accumulated corrosion can create intermittent electric failure... that acts just like turning off the key! For simple test on key-start... start and run engine from different pilot station's key-start.
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