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93 Prostar with Ford 351 was running great, just stopped in the middle of a ski run.

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  • 93 Prostar with Ford 351 was running great, just stopped in the middle of a ski run.

    We have a 1992 or 3 ProStar with a ford 351 (285 hp, carbureted version). Fired it up first time last weekend. Then took it our skiing yesterday. Started, idled, and ran great for 20 min. Then in the middle of a slalom run the engine just pretty much turned off. Now it just cranks with not even a pop. I pulled a plug and no spark. Safety kill switch was/is in place. I pulled it off and replaces. I pushed all the circuit breaker resets on the dash (I do not seem to have one for ignition). I pushed the red reset on the back of the engine, that seems very stiff and hard to push? Does anyone have any experience from the boat running as good as ever one minute to stopped with no spark the next?

  • #2
    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
    We have a 1992 or 3 ProStar with a ford 351 (285 hp, carbureted version). Fired it up first time last weekend. Then took it our skiing yesterday. Started, idled, and ran great for 20 min. Then in the middle of a slalom run the engine just pretty much turned off. Now it just cranks with not even a pop. I pulled a plug and no spark. Safety kill switch was/is in place. I pulled it off and replaces. I pushed all the circuit breaker resets on the dash (I do not seem to have one for ignition). I pushed the red reset on the back of the engine, that seems very stiff and hard to push? Does anyone have any experience from the boat running as good as ever one minute to stopped with no spark the next?
    First thought is your coil. They typically die chronically but a sudden loss of spark makes me think coil, or something associated. Electronic ignition module may have gone south. Several things to consider.

    Are you getting fuel into the carburetor (regardless of spark)?

    .
    Last edited by waterlogged882; 05-15-2022, 06:59 PM.
    93 190
    (safe click)
    John 14:6
    (safe click)

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    • #3
      We were getting fuel. But I tried spraying started fluid into the carb (it always starts with that), and still not even a pop.

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      • #4
        I was figuring coil or something with the distributor. But it was very binary. From running great, to off. Like I turned the key off. No sputtering, no odd firing, just off.

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        • #5
          They lost interest.
          Last edited by waterlogged882; 05-15-2022, 07:18 PM.
          93 190
          (safe click)
          John 14:6
          (safe click)

          Comment


          • #6
            So did I.
            Last edited by waterlogged882; 05-15-2022, 07:18 PM.
            93 190
            (safe click)
            John 14:6
            (safe click)

            Comment


            • #7
              Same thing happened to my 92 a couple of years ago, after a slalom run just idling along. More than likely as Waterlogged suggested it’s either the coil or electronic ignition module in the distributor.I have a pair of replacement modules for sale in Buy/Sell forum. A new module combined with a Pertronix Flamethrower II coil is money well spent especially if you are running the original coil.

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              • #8
                sudden death is typically electronic in my experience.

                I'd get the multimeter out and start checking stuff before replacing loads of bits:

                1) voltage at coil
                2) resistance of coil
                3) test bulb on the LT coil trigger
                4) pull a plug and check the spark on cranking

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                • #9
                  Well on Thursday I had the auto mechanic look at it, he works on a lot of boats in our neighborhood. There was no voltage going into the coil. There was voltage all the way to the battery side of the 50 amp circuit breaker on the right rear of the engine but no voltage on the side that the wire harness that goes to the coil and other bits. The button on my 50 amp circuit braker seemed froze. So I ordered that part and put it in today. No difference. Still no spark. Do we have a wiring diagram somewhere. In that wiring harness that leaves the 50 amp circuit breaker there are several thin wires, 2 purple, 1 blue, one brownish grey. The way the boat died it was like the safety kill switch engaged or the ignition turned off. If one of those failed, does it cause the voltage on the engine side of that circuit breaker to go to zero? As you can tell, I don't understand electrical stuff.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                    Well on Thursday I had the auto mechanic look at it, he works on a lot of boats in our neighborhood.

                    I presume he is an experienced mechanic, but nothing for you? Not being a smart @ss but you should work through this in one place or the other. It is difficult to take a second diagnosis and work with the issue here. Take that in a nice way.

                    There was no voltage going into the coil.

                    There was voltage all the way to the battery side of the 50 amp circuit breaker on the right rear of the engine,

                    Battery is connected.

                    but no voltage on the side that the wire harness that goes to the coil and other bits.

                    Starter relay and a breaker is the only two remaining components that will create an open circuit at that point.

                    The wiring harness is merely an avenue to connect the engine to the battery and dash. Just keep that in mind. Typical not faulty but never say never. You have the engine harness, the mid-run harness, and the dash harness phases.

                    The other bits are oil pressure sending,, alternator output, temperature sending, choke hot feed, coil hot feed, tachometer signal feed, and a common ground point. The distributor wires only goes to the coil and stops. Are your distributor wires connected to the coil (a check point...not a question for an answer, just make sure those are in tact).


                    The button on my 50 amp circuit breaker seemed froze.

                    Those are that way. I have spoken to that very thing a bunch of times here. Not uncommon.

                    So I ordered that part and put it in today. No difference. Still no spark.

                    Therefore the breaker is (assuming) good.

                    You have the circuit open somewhere along the path or a dead coil or a dead ignition module.

                    Do we have a wiring diagram somewhere.

                    Is that a question or an out-loud thought? I have posted a common-theme wiring diagram here multiple times if that is what you are looking for.

                    In that wiring harness that leaves the 50 amp circuit breaker there are several thin wires, 2 purple, 1 blue, one brownish grey.

                    See above.

                    The way the boat died it was like the safety kill switch engaged or the ignition turned off.

                    So let's stay focused on electrical. There is always the possibility that the ignition switch has failed open (breaking the circuit). The kill switch can also leave an open gap in the circuit. If your kill switch fails open (pulling the lanyard or electrical issue) it will tell the engine to stop.

                    If one of those failed, does it cause the voltage on the engine side of that circuit breaker to go to zero?

                    Ignition switch failed (same as turned off or open) = yes. The engine side sees no voltage. This brings me to another question...do you have the OEM starter or a newer starter? Have you changed and re-wired the starter?

                    Kill switch = yes (on your 93). That creates an open place in the circuit. Later models allow for the engine to turn but not start.

                    Have you (or you neighborhood auto mechanic) checked the neutral safety switch? That is part of the start circuit.


                    As you can tell, I don't understand electrical stuff.
                    You are asking the right questions. There are a lot of folks here that can assist with the issue, and some others here may see a different view than I do or something I may have overlooked. Patience.

                    It can be difficult to troubleshoot across the internet machine.

                    My downfall is a short attention span.

                    My next step would be a new starter relay.

                    As an outlier, a battery cable (or other) can be loose or corroded at the connection or under the sheathing, sight-unseen. I say that with some merit while looking at your photos. Not the cleanest engine I have seen (no insult intended). Regardless, just covering a possibility.

                    Best on the solution.

                    .

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	Starter Relay02.jpg Views:	4 Size:	120.3 KB ID:	2705347
                    Last edited by waterlogged882; 05-20-2022, 09:54 PM.
                    93 190
                    (safe click)
                    John 14:6
                    (safe click)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you Waterlogged. I will try to work thru this.

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                      • #12
                        There looks to be an opportunity to clean all the parts and goodies while you have it apart. There appears to be allot of corrosion on some of those connections.
                        I would short out the lanyard before I went any further diagnosing/trouble shooting... Remember to do one thing at a time. then test then do the next thing test till you find your culprit.. make sure to stay focused on the electrical, eliminate it first before moving to the next thing.

                        You should make sure you have spark at the plug until that is confirmed don't chase any more rabbits...

                        Best for a solution...

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                        • #13
                          Well - turns out it was the clip on the safety switch was not pushing the safety switch in far enough. Tho it looks like it was same as always, so switch was getting flakey. back to running good again. Thank you for the help.

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                          • #14
                            hey do I get a beer for that ??? LOL

                            Great news!!!

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