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Old 06-08-2009, 10:19 AM
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No Spark & Hot Start - 1987 Prostar 190

The old boat is finally starting to drive me nuts. I am guessing that I am encountering common issues, so hoping for some help...

Big problem now is no spark. Motor will turn all day. Had the same problem the end of last season, and cleaning/re-tightening the ground on the manifold did the trick. Problem has spawned again. Two days ago it happened, and I noticed the neutral safety switch screws were loose, tightened them and no problem (other than hot start issue). This morning, same thing, no spark - so recleaned and tightened the ground on the manifold and the rear of the block, also rechecked the neutral safety switch, but no luck. Also checked battery connections, bypassed the neutral safety swith... but no luck.

Second and constant issue is the hot start problem. After running 10-15 minutes, I often get a click and no cranking. Have to mess with the throttle / neutral button to get it to finally crank. Have replaced neutral safety switch but to no avail.

I would greatly appreciate any help here. Can repay with cold beers and pulls on Lake Austin!
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:02 AM
TMCNo1 TMCNo1 is offline
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The hot start issue could always be a timing issue. Check the timing after it has warmed up to operating temp.

When was the last time the points, condenser, rotor button and cap was replaced? Points could be burnt, worn and or stuck.
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Last edited by TMCNo1; 06-08-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:47 AM
Jerseydave Jerseydave is offline
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Boat: 1993 Prostar 190
Location: PA
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Not cranking when hot could be your starter is showing signs of age. Does it crank over slowly when the engine is hot? You may want to get someone to do a cranking test to see what the amperage draw is when cranking. Check/clean/tighten all you battery cable connections, esp. ground cable at the block.

No spark issue could be points, etc as #1 stated. Might be a good time to think about electronic ignition conversion.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:14 PM
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deereman deereman is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Boat: 1987 Mastercraft Prostar 190 Powerslot 351 Ford
Location: Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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If playing with the throttle does the trick and makes it start, I would check the throttle cable adjustment by the transmission. I had the same problem on my 87. If that was the problem, I wouldn't think it would be clicking either, but it's something to check.
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Old 10-06-2021, 12:01 PM
DVW70 DVW70 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Boat: Mastecraft, 190, 1987, 351
Location: Northeast
Posts: 45
Pertrornix EI

Hello folks the hit keep coming - 1987 190, and no spark today. Iíve been watching my voltometer stray from 12 when ignition is ďonĒ, and today no spark. Pulled center wire cranked. No bueno.

I checked battery voltage 12.3
Checked coil secondary and primary - good
Ignition switch (new last year skidim-) ďonĒ
And the voltage before the ballast (stock coil) 7v

Thatís a 5 volt drop!!!!!

My question is twofold

1. Will this cause the EI to NOT fire?
2. What is the circuit path between the ignition and the ballast? What am I doing next to test if itís the EI module or how do I troubleshoot the wiring??
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:42 PM
88 PS190 88 PS190 is offline
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Boat: 1988 MC Prostar 190, 351 Ford
Location: Midwest
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Originally Posted by DVW70 View Post

1. Will this cause the EI to NOT fire?
2. What is the circuit path between the ignition and the ballast? What am I doing next to test if itís the EI module or how do I troubleshoot the wiring??
Sure can EI usually will need good voltage. Its designed to work with a charged battery ~12.4 or a running engine 14ish.

Ignition to ballast is, Battery, + cable, Starter Lug, Wire to ignition switch, purple wire from ignition switch to kill switch lanyard, purple from kill switch lanyard ballast resistor, ballast resistor to distributor.

BUT in this case with a EI you should jumper the EI - I prefer to make a wire that goes across it so that the "factory" wiring is intact.
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Old 10-12-2021, 02:04 PM
curver900 curver900 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Boat: Mastercraft, prostar 2001 205v
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,926
The original battery cables? may be time to replace them if they are.
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