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Old 08-10-2014, 09:15 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help!

We own a Tollycraft with twin 454 Crusader engines (330hp). Recently we started having problems with our starboard engine. It starts and runs fine...until we put it in gear under load; then it doesn't want to run. We suspected a fuel issue and replaced all of the following: fuel, fuel line, fuel pump, all filters, and carburetor. It still wants to die under load. We also replaced the points, condenser and rotor in the distributor. I dove under the boat, thinking the propeller shaft bearings were hanging up, but the propeller spins freely. We are very frustrated as to why this is happening and are open to any suggestions. Thank you!
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:21 PM   #2
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In neutral does it run up to full RPM?
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #3
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Sounds like a fuel restriction. Could be a deteriorated rubber fuel line that the inside is collapsing. Do your engines feed fuel from a common feed or each off a different tank? Could also be trash in the tank getting sucked up against the filter screen at the connector. Just my thoughts. I spent some time running down a similar problem of 454 Crusaders.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:20 AM   #4
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Weak fuel pump.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
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It sounds like a fuel issue, but it sounds as if you've addressed most components there.
What about the fuel shut off solenoid valve. Is it fully opening?
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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Todd - the only part of the fuel system you haven't addressed that I think might constrict supply is the tank's vent line. If that were plugged could it cause the problem? I don't think so, but worth checking...
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:25 AM   #7
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there may be a screen/filter in the pickup fuel line in your tank....maybe check that
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tolly40 View Post
We own a Tollycraft with twin 454 Crusader engines (330hp). Recently we started having problems with our starboard engine. It starts and runs fine...until we put it in gear under load; then it doesn't want to run. We suspected a fuel issue and replaced all of the following: fuel, fuel line, fuel pump, all filters, and carburetor. It still wants to die under load. We also replaced the points, condenser and rotor in the distributor. I dove under the boat, thinking the propeller shaft bearings were hanging up, but the propeller spins freely. We are very frustrated as to why this is happening and are open to any suggestions. Thank you!
try changing the spark plugs,they might be crabbing out under a load????
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:19 PM   #9
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Ignition dwell and timing at spec?
How SOON after putting in gear does it die?
Does it just shut off like you turned off the key or slow down and sputter to a stop?
Any black smoke at the exhaust?
The good news is just about any competent marine mechanic can diagnose an old school 454 fairly quickly.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #10
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Get rid of points and install electronic ignition....you'll love it.

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Old 08-11-2014, 08:17 PM   #11
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Get rid of points and install electronic ignition....you'll love it.



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Ditto! http://www.pertronix.com


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Old 08-11-2014, 08:26 PM   #12
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Get rid of points and install electronic ignition....you'll love it.



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Love the Mallory ignition on my 350
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:32 PM   #13
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I have a 1978 Chev Big 10 Silverado truck with a 454 and Rochester 4 barrel Carb - opps, no help for a Crusader - which I also had in an old Chris Craft 26'. But I would go with the electronic ignition, all the way :-)
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:51 PM   #14
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Points to electronic is a pretty low cost upgrade with some kits able to modify the distributor. I'd install a new distributor as an old distributor has enough slop in it to cause one grief. A few thousandths here and a few thousandths there, is where the gremlin lurks....the devils in the detail.

I installed Mallory equipment on my 1977 Carver and was hands down the best upgrade I did on that engine. Once you go electronic, you can darn near take ignition out of the problem solving equation.

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Old 08-12-2014, 12:16 AM   #15
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Does that model have a shift interrupter switch for shifting in and out of gear?I read about this being a stalling issue on other boats.I am grasping at straws with everyone else.

See post #10 for the problem and post #11 for the solution.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:28 AM   #16
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A fuel constriction sounds like the most reasonable explanation -- as distributor problems won't necessarily be restricted to whether the engine is under load. When the engine is under load, it uses more fuel, thus being more subject to failing if there was a fuel flow restriction.

The screen strainer at the fuel pick-up might be your culprit. You need to identify and eliminate sources of constriction systematically to trace the problem. As for the strainer in the tank, one thing you can do is run a line from a small tank (make sure it is approved for marine use) and connect it to the fuel intake port. Start your engine, place it in gear, and slowly increase throttle. You can most likely do this in your slip as long as your boat is well secured with dock lines and that your dock and cleats are in good shape.

If that doesn't eliminate the problem, look for any in-line strainers that might exist between your fuel tank and the fuel intake port. While it is not a normal practice for Crusader to supply or install these, they could have been placed there by the previous owner.

Also, check your fuel/water separator (if you have one). If there is water in there, it could cause a flow restriction.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:11 PM   #17
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Weak fuel pump.
This.

It sounds like weak fuel or weak spark, both can have similar symptoms. Fuel is very likely.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:39 PM   #18
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The OP mentioned they changed the fuel pump.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:19 PM   #19
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Boy does this sound familiar. Back in the late 80's I had a boat with twin mercruiser 228s. I could start the motors and as soon as I tried to give it the gas from idle one would die. Pulled my hair out. After all the fiddling with every piece of the fuel and Ignition circuits I finally started with the basics. What do you need to make an engine run. Pulled off all the wire and put back only what the engine needed to run. Guess what, it ran perfect. After replacing all the wiring and then checking each wire as I put them back on found a grounded tach lead. My hair has grown back now and I hope this helps you with your problem. Start with the basics. Larry
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:12 PM   #20
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Are you telling me that a grounded tach wire turned out to be the culprit?

RSVP ASAP!

Thank you - Todd
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