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Old 05-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #41
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replace plug wires

I routinely replace my plug wires about every 5 years or about two changes of plugs. The wires don't seem to do very well in a marine environment. My twin IH 240 cubic inch sixes have been in my boat almost 60 years and they have always run great by keeping up with routine maintenance!
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:27 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by RonR View Post
They were replaced in 2006 have about 400 hours. But your right it sat for 4 years before we got it. Even when I took the carbs apart they were clean inside. But someplace deep inside it had something in it !
I have seen misfiring where a boat with the same model engines had been idle for a long time. The carb was basically flooding and resulted in the misfiring.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:01 PM   #43
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When you say misfire.. Its missing, sputtering and backfiring? Id look at youre fuel filters and water separators... A little water in the fuel will make it backfire pop and spit like crazy. You may have a perfectly good ignition system only to have some bad fuel... do both engines run from the same fuel source? Can you cross fee them?
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:03 PM   #44
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Sometimes its the little stuff

I once had one of my engines backfiring... consulted a mechanic and he removed my heads and had them redone only to find out it was a bad
$2 condenser/capacitor ... in my distributor cap %*#*#!!!
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:26 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Bizsoft View Post
Hey Guys,

I have 1980 Uniflite 42 DC with twin 454 Crusaders. The port motor has a pretty bad misfire issue. I replaced the cap and rotor, no change. I want to replace the spark plug wires (plugs are also new) but some folks have said that some of the available wires don't work well or are mis-sized. Looking for advice on the manufacturer and where to get the new wires. Thanks in advance for your help. Stay healthy!

- Dave G.
A good resource for your engines is Iboats forum. Those 454s may still have points and condenser ignition, if not they have the older style hall effect sensor/module. I use to upgrade those with HEI and Accell spark plug wires and E3 plugs. It made a difference in performance and fuel efficiency.



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Old 05-26-2020, 09:41 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Bizsoft View Post
Hey Guys,

I have 1980 Uniflite 42 DC with twin 454 Crusaders. The port motor has a pretty bad misfire issue. I replaced the cap and rotor, no change. I want to replace the spark plug wires (plugs are also new) but some folks have said that some of the available wires don't work well or are mis-sized. Looking for advice on the manufacturer and where to get the new wires. Thanks in advance for your help. Stay healthy!

- Dave G.

Additional suggestions
1. Test for misfire using an infrared temperature gun. Runs the engine and aim the pointer at each spark plug. Pulling wires also works. Pull at the cap, easier to get to. You can buy a special set of insulated pliers to avoid getting bit. If you plug wires, have someone watch the tach. No change in RPM means that's the cylinder.

2. Look for hairline cracks in the distributor cap, if equipped.
3. Vacuum leaks also cause misfires. Look for missing or loose vacuum hoses. If the mixture is too lean, it will misfire.
4. Finally as mentioned by others this is like an automobile engine. Napa sells good quality ignition wires. Ask for the premium set. AC Delco is the OEM builder of the engine, so AC Delco wires should work fine. Unless you buy from the boat builder or a set specifically for that engine in that boat, be prepared to cut and reattach the wire ends if some are too long. Easy to do. Plenty of YouTube videos on making custom length spark plug wire sets.
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:10 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Newtrawlerowner View Post
Finally as mentioned by others this is like an automobile engine. Napa sells good quality ignition wires. Ask for the premium set. AC Delco is the OEM builder of the engine, so AC Delco wires should work fine. Unless you buy from the boat builder or a set specifically for that engine in that boat, be prepared to cut and reattach the wire ends if some are too long. Easy to do. Plenty of YouTube videos on making custom length spark plug wire sets.
Ignition wires, distributor connections and spark plug wire end caps are different for a marine application. They were marine rated 50 years ago when I bought my first Mercruiser. Remains so to this day I would guess.

All sorts of stuff that goes into the ER area of a gas boat is different than its auto or shore based cousin. But, not all follow the guidelines and rules when repairs are needed.
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:16 AM   #48
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Distributor caps and such are definitely different, but I can't identify anything different about the wires or their ends between the marine and non-marine versions. The plug wires all have sealing boots, etc. for both applications.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:44 PM   #49
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Distributor caps and such are definitely different, but I can't identify anything different about the wires or their ends between the marine and non-marine versions. The plug wires all have sealing boots, etc. for both applications.

I stand corrected. A look at Marine Parts Source, Thunderbolt Big Block Spark plug wires shows wire ends are stainless. Cars use copper, brass or cheap aluminum ends. The wire itself is a stainless steel wound conductor as well. And the price seems comparable to a premium automotive brand. Thanks for pointing that out.
Here is a link with Mercury part numbers.

https://www.marinepartssource.com/ma...-set-18-8804-1
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