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John C in PA
05-02-2013, 09:29 PM
Good news: the prop work done to my SST by DAH Props gave me about 0.7 MPH (for a best ever 59.3 MPH GPS). The Garmin doesn't look too ugly :tooth: set dead center of the wheel and is EZ to read with the polaroids. The industrial strength velcro held fine. Powering it up with a lighter plug seems to work fine too.

Bad news: after blasting around for an hour I idled a bit to play with the GPS. Then the motor just stopped. I have fresh fuel and the acellerator pump injects gas nicely. It seems like no spark. The MSD High Vibration coil I added last year felt a bit hot but when I replaced it still no start. All guages move when powered up. New MSD 8.8 wires this year. All plug wires are tight on each end. Coil wire is fine. Distributor is electronic. Usually the motor starts as soon as I hit the switch. Ideas? What to try?

John C

duckhunter
05-02-2013, 09:47 PM
Ok, off the top of my head in order of likelihood:

- Engine circuit breaker - some of them are hidden.
- Bad ign module.
- Bad or weak coil.
- Short in the ign wiring somewhere.
- Some sort of neutral safety switch or safety lanyard issue. The motor shouldn't crank if either of these were the culprit, but who knows with electrical gremlins.

Tough to troubleshoot these things sometimes. Did you get it restarted? Is there any spark at the plugs? You aren't still floating around the lake waiting for an answer are you?

John C in PA
05-02-2013, 09:58 PM
Ok, off the top of my head in order of likelihood:

- Engine circuit breaker - some of them are hidden.
- Bad ign module.
- Bad or weak coil.
- Short in the ign wiring somewhere.
- Some sort of neutral safety switch or safety lanyard issue. The motor shouldn't crank if either of these were the culprit, but who knows with electrical gremlins.

Tough to troubleshoot these things sometimes. Did you get it restarted? Is there any spark at the plugs? You aren't still floating around the lake waiting for an answer are you?



Only 2 large CB's I know of are on the STB side at the front of the motor by the electrical plug in. Both were not tripped.
Bad Ign module: possible. Not sure how to check.
old coil re-installed. Still no indications of ignition.
short in the wiring. ****!!!
neutral SS: maybe
safety lanyard and main fuse in dash. I'll have to electrical test tomorrow.
I wonder if the Weapons Fire Starter failed?



Thx Tommie.

duckhunter
05-02-2013, 10:10 PM
Honestly I would guess your ign module overheated somehow or you have a short somewhere in the system. The CBs were just low hanging fruit to check... Maybe check your fuses too before you pull any (more) hair out, and double check your new ign switch and ensure that you didn't lose a wire end out of a cobble connector somewhere.

I would certainly pull a plug or two and see if you're getting a nice fat spark. How healthy is the charging system and battery?

Good luck, and good news on the prop and the GPS anyway!

mattyboy
05-03-2013, 09:43 AM
John,

usually the last point of entry into an electrically circuit is the best place to start when troubleshooting, that being the switch you just installed. DH has hit on several good points it is now a process of elimination.

these are quick tests assuming what you have is the motor cranks/turns over but will not start/run

most nuetral safety switches break the lead going to the starter solenoid so if it is not in nuetral or the switch is bad no cranking. try to turn it over in fwd then in nuetral

The safety lanyard breaks or grounds the lead going to the ign coil if the lanyard is active or bad it would kill the juice to the coil but the motor would still crank.

test the switch, do the other accessories work when the switch is in the on position? voltage at the coil? What was the electrical rating for the new switch? the gauge bounce means the switch is sending voltage to the gauges at least.

usually there is a wad of wires on the key switch "on" lug maybe one loose or as DH said slipped out of the ring terminal crimp.

If there is no voltage at the coil I would eliminate the new switch and temp. wire the old key switch and test.

does the coil have an internal resistor or external?

SanDogDewey
05-03-2013, 10:53 AM
Good news: the prop work done to my SST by DAH Props gave me about 0.7 MPH (for a best ever 59.3 MPH GPS). The Garmin doesn't look too ugly :tooth: set dead center of the wheel and is EZ to read with the polaroids. The industrial strength velcro held fine. Powering it up with a lighter plug seems to work fine too.

Bad news: after blasting around for an hour I idled a bit to play with the GPS. Then the motor just stopped. I have fresh fuel and the acellerator pump injects gas nicely. It seems like no spark. The MSD High Vibration coil I added last year felt a bit hot but when I replaced it still no start. All guages move when powered up. New MSD 8.8 wires this year. All plug wires are tight on each end. Coil wire is fine. Distributor is electronic. Usually the motor starts as soon as I hit the switch. Ideas? What to try?

John C

Does the coil have a ballast resistor?

mattyboy
05-03-2013, 01:44 PM
was thinking about it not really sure how much electronic stuff OMC used on their Fords. I think they have a shift interuptor as well , another point that kills spark.

John C in PA
05-03-2013, 10:07 PM
Lotsa of stuff to try tomorrow.

DH: your suggestion is on my list although I'll check electrical first.

Mattyboy: the new start circuit will be first to check. The motor cranks fine but there is absolutely no attempt at firing. I'll be checking everything behind the dash (and what a crappy job Donzi did for my build). I've tried to start by placing the controls in various F & R positions. No fire. Kill switvch still has to be checked. The original coil said it uses a resistor but it may be internal (what does it look like?). MSD said I don't need one with electronic ignition. This motor usually starts almost as soon as the starter is touched. One thing I remembered is the motor seemed to sputter a little before shutting down. The shift interrupter (new last year) only kills every other cylinder doesn't it? I get no evidence it even tries to start.

John C

pipnit
05-04-2013, 12:45 AM
Is your coil mounted horizontally by any chance?

mattyboy
05-04-2013, 07:06 AM
John

if you are saying the motor turns over with the shifter in gear then you can eliminate the NSS it is most likely disconnected or you don't have one. Not really sure how it could be wired in to the ign circuit?? it is only activated when in neutral so if it was wired into the ign coil you would only run when in neutral.

the coil either needs an external resistor or has one internally, this will be marked on the coil. If it needs an external resistor there will be two wires on the + side one comes from the resistor and one from the key switch start circuit. the coil runs on 9 volts from the resistor but for hot spark to start it gets a full 12 volts from the key switch in the start position. If a coil that needs an external resistor keeps getting 12 volts when running it will get warm and will eventually burn out. The resistor I had looked like something from frankenstein a big ceramic block with brass lug nuts on each end. I guess in the day this setup was also to save the points and condensor from burning up too. I switched my coil to one that had the resistor built in.

From what I know about a shift interrupter is it momentarily kills the spark going into the ign circuit to stall the motor for a split second when shifting into gear. if it was held beyond momentary the motor would not run, not just ever other cyl. btw my 5.0 will run on 4 cyl don't ask how I know that.

duckhunter
05-04-2013, 10:44 AM
John

From what I know about a shift interrupter is it momentarily kills the spark going into the ign circuit to stall the motor for a split second when shifting into gear. if it was held beyond momentary the motor would not run, not just ever other cyl. btw my 5.0 will run on 4 cyl don't ask how I know that.

Shift interrupter could definitely do it if it were sticking or shorting somehow.

Since you said this happened after a some running and idling I still think the module (if you have one) could have overheated or just up and died. That causes all kinds of flaky issues, from not running while hot to not running at all. Older Fords were notorious for this, I used to keep a couple of modules and a special ratchet for them under the seat of the tow truck. That and a ball peen hammer for whacking carbs with stuck needles - called it the Ford wrench. I just don't know if OMC used the same style module when they marinized the engine.

The new ignition switch should definitely get some scrutiny as well - as Matty pointed out, that was the last link in the ign circuit that was modified and could definitely be the culprit. The kill switch has stumped a lot of folks as well, myself included.

This stuff is frustrating, and it usually turns out to be something simple. Unfortunately it often takes a lot of troubleshooting to find the culprit.

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 11:06 AM
Original and MSD coil horizontal. But that was OEM setup. 2 wires on + side of coil. no start in gear. New interrupter last year but will check. After starter. How do I check ign module?

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 11:35 AM
Original and MSD coil horizontal. But that was OEM setup. 2 wires on + side of coil. no start in gear. New interrupter last year but will check. After starter. How do I check ign module?

mattyboy
05-04-2013, 11:39 AM
John not sure if you have one but maybe can borrow from a mech. you may know. I used a hot wire switch when I re-did my motor which bypasses the wiring harness and takes the place of the key switch. it connects to the battery the starter solenoid and the coil the one I used had two rocker switches "ON" the other was a spring loaded "start" that would give you an idea if it is the wiring in the dash/switch or if it is engine related. I spent a ton of time on mine getting it running before I decided to yank and rewired it. I don't think you are at that point just check all of your connections especially the one that you have touched good luck

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 11:39 AM
I get zero volts between ign switch battery terminal and distributor terminal when in run. Shouldn't I see 12 v?

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 11:58 AM
OEM coil and ign switch reinstalled. Checking under dist cap.

mattyboy
05-04-2013, 12:01 PM
yes with the key on there should be voltage at the coil at least 9 volts check to see if there are removable spade tips on the safety lanyard and temp. remove and short the 2 leads then re-test

at the switch on terminal 12 volts with it on??? 12 volts at the battery term on switch??? remove the two wires on the + side of coil test each for voltage

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 12:32 PM
12 v at main breaker. 12 volts to coil across lanyard switch. Inside of dist cap clean and no cracks or carbon tracks. Rotor OK. Rechecking volts at coil. Starting to think DH may hit it. If do, which dist do you guys like?

Conquistador_del_mar
05-04-2013, 12:40 PM
John,
Be sure to check that the rotor is actually turning when you crank the engine. I have had to replace a few distributor pickup modules over the years. Just a couple ideas. Bill

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 12:52 PM
Stripped dist gear? Going to check for a spark next. Is there a way to check module or cheaper to replace dist with new? This one is from 1992.

Keep 'em coming.

Conquistador_del_mar
05-04-2013, 01:10 PM
If your rotor turns it eliminates a few possible mechanical problems. My first two suspects would be the pickup in the distributor or the coil. If you don't have an epoxy filled coil I would highly recommend getting one. They are very shock resistant.

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 01:19 PM
Rotor turns when cranked. I'm getting no spark at plug. Hard to think both coils are bad. The MSD is the hi vibration model and epoxy filled so can run horiz or vert.

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 03:13 PM
9.26 volts across coil wIth all 4 wires connected. My VOM read negative 9.26 volts. What's up with that? Looking like dist.

John C

mattyboy
05-04-2013, 03:35 PM
on your voltage meter hold the red lead to the + of the coil and the black lead to ground not the negative of the coil . negative voltage is usually a flipped flopped test lead but i think if you read straight across the coil you get a negative reading it has been awhile.

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 04:19 PM
on your voltage meter hold the red lead to the + of the coil and the black lead to ground not the negative of the coil . negative voltage is usually a flipped flopped test lead but i think if you read straight across the coil you get a negative reading it has been awhile.

Oops. 0 volts + side of coil to engine ground. Bad coil? Wiring?

mattyboy
05-04-2013, 04:36 PM
is they key on?? take the ign wire off the coil and re test to ground with the key on



here is a pic of my setup

two wires on the + coil purple one to the ign switch via the lanyard and red one to the dist +

two on the - side of the coil gray to tach and green to - of the dist.

the brown on the dist goes to ground which i picked up on the alt

go easy i haven't detailed the motor yet from the off season

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 04:53 PM
Yep, I had the key in the run position and yes I checked the main switch is on :rolleyes:. You have 5 wires to/from coil? I'll re-do coil test and double check wiring to/from coil. Hang loose!!!

John C

PS: with all this help I feel bad I have towait until the Fall to make the LG Meet.

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 04:57 PM
Matty, 11.95 Volts to ground with key in Run, no leads on + side of coil.

John C

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 10:51 PM
Shift interrupter could definitely do it if it were sticking or shorting somehow.

Since you said this happened after a some running and idling I still think the module (if you have one) could have overheated or just up and died. That causes all kinds of flaky issues, from not running while hot to not running at all. Older Fords were notorious for this, I used to keep a couple of modules and a special ratchet for them under the seat of the tow truck. That and a ball peen hammer for whacking carbs with stuck needles - called it the Ford wrench. I just don't know if OMC used the same style module when they marinized the engine.

DH, are you referring to the module bolted to the power block on the STB side of the motor? Someone mentioned it could be checked by unplugging the connection. My actual microswitch was replaced last year. Fortunately I can still get these. I think this is a Prestolite dist. Do you know anywhere to get a replacement dist module? I can't source any so far.

John C

duckhunter
05-04-2013, 11:18 PM
DH, are you referring to the module bolted to the power block on the STB side of the motor? Someone mentioned it could be checked by unplugging the connection. My actual microswitch was replaced last year. Fortunately I can still get these. I think this is a Prestolite dist. Do you know anywhere to get a replacement dist module? I can't source any so far.

John C

The Ford module I'm familiar with is bolted to the bottom of the distributor with little torx screws, and trucks had them on the fender. Sounds like yours is mounted separately from the dist. Does it have aluminum fins on it? If so, it would be more like a truck module. Someone with some OMC knowledge can maybe chime in and help with sourcing one, or maybe bring it to a local NAPA or similar and let them try and cross reference the numbers.

Just did a quick google and found this write-up on troubleshooting Ford ignition systems: http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/ignition-articles/485095-troubleshooting-your-ignition-system.html

I suspect you've already found that kind of info though. Wish I could be more specific with the OMC stuff, it is probably different enough from OEM Ford to make it difficult. Good luck!

DH

John C in PA
05-04-2013, 11:42 PM
DH, this is the shift assist module that connects to the microswitch. It looks like my Sunday will be spent under the hood again.

JC

mattyboy
05-05-2013, 08:20 AM
John

let's see if I can catch up here you have 12 volts on the wire going to the + side of the coil with the key on yes? That would lead me to think your problem is from the coil or dist not in the shift microswitch, ign switch,or lanyard.

not really sure if the microswitch breaks the voltage or grounds out the circuit. if it breaks the voltage an easy test would be to see if the voltage on the coil wire goes away quickly then returns while shifting. If it is throwing a ground into the circuit maybe like you said remove the wires.

I would pick up an ignition tester at a local autozone and test the coil then dist. I think if I remember correctly if you touch a ground to the neg side of the coil it will cause the coil to fire.

when I was troubleshooting my 5.0 when i first got it I threw my arms up in the air she would not turn over then when she did turn over she wouldn't start. first thing a mech friend did was put in a set of points and a condenser over the prestolite electronic module in the dist. he tested with a screw driver from that point on it was a bad prestolite unit. I eventually got a mallory marine breakerless dist.

John I know you have the OMC manual that you sent me but maybe this might help as well this is the merc electric manual a few of the diagrams might help you sort out your system they should be somewhat similar

http://www.lgdonziclassic.net/pdfs/merc.pdf

John C in PA
05-05-2013, 11:53 AM
John

let's see if I can catch up here you have 12 volts on the wire going to the + side of the coil with the key on yes? That would lead me to think your problem is from the coil or dist not in the shift microswitch, ign switch,or lanyard.

not really sure if the microswitch breaks the voltage or grounds out the circuit. if it breaks the voltage an easy test would be to see if the voltage on the coil wire goes away quickly then returns while shifting. If it is throwing a ground into the circuit maybe like you said remove the wires.

I would pick up an ignition tester at a local autozone and test the coil then dist. I think if I remember correctly if you touch a ground to the neg side of the coil it will cause the coil to fire.

when I was troubleshooting my 5.0 when i first got it I threw my arms up in the air she would not turn over then when she did turn over she wouldn't start. first thing a mech friend did was put in a set of points and a condenser over the prestolite electronic module in the dist. he tested with a screw driver from that point on it was a bad prestolite unit. I eventually got a mallory marine breakerless dist.

John I know you have the OMC manual that you sent me but maybe this might help as well this is the merc electric manual a few of the diagrams might help you sort out your system they should be somewhat similar

http://www.lgdonziclassic.net/pdfs/merc.pdf

Matty, perhaps my distributor is non-stock. The pic on page 4E-2 (points) appears to be what is actually on my motor. I'll verify the wiring in a few minutes and then go to AutoZone. What is puzzling is I have returned to the same wiring setup as last year when the motor started immediately.

JC

duckhunter
05-05-2013, 12:12 PM
John

let's see if I can catch up here you have 12 volts on the wire going to the + side of the coil with the key on yes? That would lead me to think your problem is from the coil or dist not in the shift microswitch, ign switch,or lanyard.

not really sure if the microswitch breaks the voltage or grounds out the circuit. if it breaks the voltage an easy test would be to see if the voltage on the coil wire goes away quickly then returns while shifting. If it is throwing a ground into the circuit maybe like you said remove the wires.

I would pick up an ignition tester at a local autozone and test the coil then dist. I think if I remember correctly if you touch a ground to the neg side of the coil it will cause the coil to fire.

when I was troubleshooting my 5.0 when i first got it I threw my arms up in the air she would not turn over then when she did turn over she wouldn't start. first thing a mech friend did was put in a set of points and a condenser over the prestolite electronic module in the dist. he tested with a screw driver from that point on it was a bad prestolite unit. I eventually got a mallory marine breakerless dist.

John I know you have the OMC manual that you sent me but maybe this might help as well this is the merc electric manual a few of the diagrams might help you sort out your system they should be somewhat similar

http://www.lgdonziclassic.net/pdfs/merc.pdf

JC, I'm with Matty on this - I think you've ruled out the various safeties and shift interrupts and isolated it down to the distributor / coil or maybe the harness in that immediate vicinity. If you ign is prestolite you can look at the Ford troubleshooting manuals to figure out exactly which part is bad, same for OMC or Merc. If it is a hodge-podge of stuff it might be a little harder, but the basics are all the same. A tester is relatively inexpensive and should have a guide to get you through all of the tests to isolate the exact fault.

If you can't find a tester, a "good" parts store will be able to bench test ignition components for you, but those are getting harder to find. Many of them can barely cross reference part numbers on their computer, and heaven forbid you tell them it's for a boat - but that's for another thread! If you have a good Cooter Brown type local mechanic he might be able to bench test stuff as well.

I would kick back, have a coffee or a beer, and contemplate a little before it makes you nuts. Small block carb'd V8 stuff is fairly simple, so at least you're not chasing a muffler bearing or a bad sensor or wire in an EFI harness. Boats add their own degree of difficulty, but at the end of the day it's still a 302 Ford. Bet you'll figure it out today.

Conquistador_del_mar
05-05-2013, 12:22 PM
Matty, perhaps my distributor is non-stock. The pic on page 4E-2 (points) appears to be what is actually on my motor. I'll verify the wiring in a few minutes and then go to AutoZone. What is puzzling is I have returned to the same wiring setup as last year when the motor started immediately.

JC


John,
If your distributor has points then that is probably where your problem lies - especially since you said the engine sounded a little rough right before you last shut it down. Bill

mattyboy
05-05-2013, 12:31 PM
One more thought or clarification
I didn't have it quite right the coil will fire when the ground is removed from the - side of the coil so if you remove all the wires from the - side and use a jumper wire to a good ground Ground the - side of the coil then remove it the coil should fire if it does the dist, points or module is bad. If it doesn't fire it's the coil.
Think that test was in DH's link

Also the presto lite type magnetic electronic replacement for points type usually fit under the stock dist cap

donzidon
05-05-2013, 01:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJmqdhhduVc

It shows you how to test the circuit with a test light. Quite a bit more complicated than I thought. There is a caveat at the very end - a bad coil can give a false indication of no control.

I would buy a coil, swap it out and give it a try. If it fires, you're done. If not, you can return the coil and look for a loose wire on the control circuit and think about the module (which might run some bucks).

Good luck.

John C in PA
05-05-2013, 01:56 PM
Sorry if I was unclear. This is electronic ignition. Removed module and looked OK. Tried to start without ESA module or micro switch connected. Can someone confirm coil Wiring for me? I have a purple and a black wire from distributor; I have a purple and a B/W from the loom. Both purple wires, when not connected to the coil, individually show continuity with the electric choke wire terminals.

JC

John C in PA
05-05-2013, 02:55 PM
Both coils tested OK. OEM at 2.1 ohms; MSD at 1.9 ohms. Not much left. Trying to find a dist checker. Pertronics OK?

update: can't find a distributor tester locally. Any chance its a timing belt or chain?

JC

boatnut
05-05-2013, 04:11 PM
John and others, I tried to send in some comments yesterday but after doing all the typing I got bumped from the forum and all was lost. I just looked at the thread again and I think maybe returning to basics might be your best (and least costly) path to proceed. Let me apologize in advance to all trying to help you as I think most of what I will suggest has been suggested and most of you know more about these boats than I do. I suspect, due to the fact that you keep moving wires and changing coils etc. etc. you may be chasing more than one fault – the toughest problems to resolve.

First a couple of points that are important to understand to fix this.

1) A voltmeter measures the difference in voltage between the two points that you put the probes on. So if you put one lead on a place that has 12V and the other lead on a place that has 12V the meter will read zero (I thought you may have done this once). Put the negative lead on a good ground and the positive lead on what you are trying to measure. If you are not sure of the ground being good, put the positive lead on something you know has 12V like the battery and confirm the meter and the ground.

2) The ignition ckt on an engine of the vintage you are working with is very simple but also confusing for the inexperienced because the distrbutor has two unrelated functions. One function is to make and break the circuit (the current) to the coil. This function is done by mechanical points (or a magnetic/electronic replacement for the mechanical points). When the points (easier to visualize than the electronic switch but equal in concept) are made, current flows in the coil. When the points open, the current stops and a secondary winding in the coil causes a many thousand volt spark onto the high voltage (spark plug like wire) between the coil and the distributor. When this spark happens is adjusted by setting the “timing” of the engine and is accomplished by rotating the distributor to change the instant the points open.

The second function of the distributor is to take this high-voltage spark and distribute it to the proper spark plug in a certain firing order. This is accomplished by the rotor and the distributor cap.
So if the points were not making contact (or breaking contact) there would be no spark and the engine won’t run. If the points were working and the rotor was not in place or shorted out due to water in the cap, the spark would not be directed to the plugs and engine would not run.
I have found the simplest way to trouble shoot an ignition issue is to crank the engine as if you were trying to start it (usually takes two people) while chking to see if you have a spark on the high-voltage line going from the coil to the dist. Do this by taking this wire off of the distributor cap and holding it about a half inch or less from a ground on the engine (the wire is still connected to the coil). While the engine cranks you should have a series of sparks jumping from the wire to the ground.

If you have these sparks, your points (or dist module) are functioning, coil is good, and all the safety switches, ignition swt wires, interlocks, etc. etc. are OK. The problem is either that the spark is not getting to the plugs, or the timing of the spark is incorrect. Next chk would be to put that wire back into the dist cap and chk to see if the spark is getting to the plugs. The simplest way to do this is to have a spare plug and take the wire off of one your engines spark plugs, put it on the spare plug and hold the plugs threads against an engine ground point. Again while the engine is cranking you should get an occassional spark jumping the gap on the plug (not as often as on the coil wire as the “sparks” are being shared by all 8 plugs). If the spark is getting to the plugs, your distributor is doing both of its functions and your ignition is working. You either have a gas problem or the gas is not being compressed when the spark gets there which means a timing problem. Being your engine was running this would not be highly probable – but timing chain/gear issues happen (esp on SBF’s) and distributors get loose and turn so it is not impossible.

If you do not have a spark on the wire between the coil and the distributor, you have an issue in the primary side of the ignition wiring. As was mentioned, with points this is usually caused by points not making good contact – especially on a boat where they sit and corrode for long periods of time. The symptoms are confusing because I have had points be the culprit even though the engine was running prior to not running. This is why I finally took the mallory point dist out of my 302 Donzi and replaced it with an electronic pickup. It sounds like you do not have points. So as you have been doing, you can chk to be sure you have voltage (typically 8 to 12V) on one side of the coil primary ckt, if you do the issue is likely with your dist points or electronics or coil. If you don’t have voltage on the coil, you can chk all the ignition swt, and safety interlocks etc.

I won’t go on and explain ways you can chk the coil and the dist as you are getting lots of advice on that. But I suggest you try your best to go back and put everything the way it was originally and then do the above spark tests. I would go to these basics before I bought any parts or testors. Be careful to stay insulated from the ends of the spark wires as they can create quite a shock if you become the path for the spark.

Hope this helps, and I am sorry if it is too basic, Ed

John C in PA
05-05-2013, 05:19 PM
Before I go any further: the fuel is this year and it squirts from both nozzles when I work the throttle. The lanyard switch checked OK electrically, the main breaker checked OK electrically, the battery switch is on, the plug wires are MSD 8.5 this year, the cap and rotor were installed 2012 and I see no cracks or carbon tracks, I removed the trigger module from the dist and the module looks OK physically, the key switch is reinstalled, all instrument needles move when the key is on run. No breakers open. I will reinstall the OEM coil but I need confirmation of which posts the 4 wires go to. (As purchased is different than the wiring diagrams I have). The OEM and the MSD Hi Vibration coils checked OK at AutoZone (1.9-2.1 ohms) and both may be mounted horizontally. Every wire I've checked is hot when energized. But the wiring job by the factory (or the PO) is garbage. The battery is well charged. All electrical accessories work. No start with either or both the ESA and the microswitch disconnected. No cranking when in gear. Cranking speed is fine but there is no sputtering or false starts or any evidence the motor wants to start. I'm sure I forgot something.

Questions:


Can someone confirm the location on the coil terminals of the 4 wires (2 from dist module and 2 from loom)?
Does anyone know how to check the distributor trigger module?
If the dist module is shot I know there are none available. Whose aftermarket dist do we like? Pertronix? Mallory?
Could the problem be the timing belt/chain?


Boat nut, thx for the comments. I will have to get out a ream of paper so I can print it all out :biggrin:.

Donzidon, your youtube video is next.

Happy Spring to me :wrench::wrench::wrench::frown::frown::frown::frow n::hangum:

boatnut
05-05-2013, 05:59 PM
Questions:


Can someone confirm the location on the coil terminals of the 4 wires (2 from dist module and 2 from loom)?
Does anyone know how to check the distributor trigger module?
If the dist module is shot I know there are none available. Whose aftermarket dist do we like? Pertronix? Mallory?
Could the problem be the timing belt/chain?


Boat nut, thx for the comments. I will have to get out a ream of paper so I can print it all out :biggrin:.



Hey John, that ream of paper will be cheaper than buying a distributor if you need coil or whatever. Some comments on your questions:

- I am in Calif but I can guess, the two from the loom are probably the voltage for the coil (when swt is in run) and this should go to the positive (if it is so labled) side of the coil, the other from the loom is likely the tach and that should go to the other side of the coil -- probably purple is the voltage lead. The purple from the dist is probably the voltage to pwr the module and that should also go to the positive side of the coil with the other purple, the other wire from the dist is probably what switches the current in the coil so that should to the other side of the coil where you put the tach wire. (I am guessing so if you have better info use it, you don't want to screw up a module by hooking things up incorrectly)

- Yes hook everything up and do the first spark test I told you about. If you get the spark that module is OK.

- Too soon to buy parts.

- If the rotor in the dist turns when you crank, the timing chain and gears are OK enough to get the spark out of the coil. However, if all else chks OK and you can't start the engine -- you can chk and make sure the timing is correct as the timing gear/chain could have jumped a tooth or so (unlikely but not impossible)

There are too many possible problems, esp the way you have been changing things around to buy a dist at this time in my opinion, I wish I was down the road from you as I would have a beer with you and we could enjoy the hunt for the bug in your boat. Ed

John C in PA
05-05-2013, 06:10 PM
One good thing about being retired: my weekends can be spent playing with my boat (or fixing it) so I can go out during the week when the boat idiots are working or at school :jestera:.

I finally found a drawing and a method of checking my ignition. On the Autozone webpage. Surprise. I'll be back!!!!

JC

Conquistador_del_mar
05-05-2013, 08:35 PM
John,
There have been some good recommendations made by others. If I were in your shoes, I would replace the electronic pickup in the distributor now that we know it is not a points type distributor. Even if it does not solve the problem you will have a spare, but I am guessing it is the culprit. Bill

John C in PA
05-05-2013, 09:16 PM
John,
There have been some good recommendations made by others. If I were in your shoes, I would replace the electronic pickup in the distributor now that we know it is not a points type distributor. Even if it does not solve the problem you will have a spare, but I am guessing it is the culprit. Bill

I thought of that early on but try and find one. Google isn't my friend in that search.

JC

mattyboy
05-06-2013, 07:38 AM
John

i mentioned this earlier

the wires on the coil

not sure on the color code that omc used but in a std merc harness purple = ign switch gray = tach


on the pos side the loom goes to the ign switch the other one should go to the pos lead on the dist

on the neg side the loom goes to the tach and the other should go to the neg lead of the dist.


take some pics of your setup especially what is under the cap that would help

mattyboy
05-06-2013, 07:42 AM
this might help as well

http://prestoliteperformance.com/media/instructions/mallory/Mallory_Instructions_unilite_distributor_wiring_di agram_test_procedure_1214M_0000.pdf

John C in PA
05-06-2013, 11:15 AM
John

i mentioned this earlier

the wires on the coil

not sure on the color code that omc used but in a std merc harness purple = ign switch gray = tach


on the pos side the loom goes to the ign switch the other one should go to the pos lead on the dist

on the neg side the loom goes to the tach and the other should go to the neg lead of the dist.


take some pics of your setup especially what is under the cap that would help

Matty, apparently a PO did some re-wiring (the crappy wire crimps are a give-away) since there is a gray wire on the tach but it is a different color at the coil. I'll have to do some continuity testing before proceeding. As for the dist module, I'm sure black is the negative side and the purple wire (ign) is pos.

2 wires on the left are from the loom (purple and B/W); 2 on the right are from the ign module.
75774


75775

mattyboy
05-06-2013, 11:45 AM
ok a magnetic pickup electronic ign module


ok what wire in the loom do you get 12 volts from when the key is on when you tested red lead to that wire, black lead to known ground? the purple on the left? connect that wire to the pos side of the coil turn the key on plug your spark tester into the end of the coil wire that goes into the dist make sure it is making good contact in the coil or if you don't have a tester hold the rubber cap with a pair of well insulated pliers let a little of the conductor show . hold near a good ground like a part of the block or use a pair of vice grips to lock in it there so you don't have to hold it. ground the neg side of the coil and slowly remove the ground. when yo do this you should get a spark at the end of the coil wire

BE CAREFUL YOU DON'T WANT TO BECOME PART OF THE CIRCUIT AND GET ZAPPED BY THE COIL :shocking:

yes?? or no??


I had a coil that passed the ohm test but would not spark

John C in PA
05-06-2013, 01:27 PM
The purple wire from the loom is 12 voltas and goes to the starter solenoid. Connected it to the coil +, connected a sspare plug into a plug cable and plugged it into the coil and grounded the threads on the riser. Power on, then remove and replace a ground. Possible a little, tiny weak spare ON EITHER COIL. BTW: I pulled apart all 4 major connectors under the dash and tried to find continuity with the B/W wire, including to the coil. Nothing. I can't figue where it goes.

I'll go thru boatnuts proicedures but this is sure frustrating.

JC

boatnut
05-06-2013, 02:09 PM
The purple wire from the loom is 12 voltas and goes to the starter solenoid.

JC

John, the solenoid wire is likely there to bypass the dropping resistor and give you a direct 12V to the coil while the starter is engaged. You should also have another wire to the same side of the coil that comes from the run contact on the ignition swt and likely goes through a dropping resistor that is probably mounted on the engine somewhere. If you only had that solenoid wire on that side of the coil the engine would only try to start while the starter is engaged and then would die when you let the key go to the run position. Ed

boatnut
05-06-2013, 02:17 PM
John, just saw your pics. I would also get some wd-40 and spray the inside of the dist esp inside the cap, the rotor etc. if you haven't already done that. It doesn't take much moisture in the cap or dist to short out the high-voltage spark path. (probably not your current problem but good to do) Ed

John C in PA
05-06-2013, 04:11 PM
boatnut, no spark per this test: "I have found the simplest way to trouble shoot an ignition issue is to crank the engine as if you were trying to start it (usually takes two people) while chking to see if you have a spark on the high-voltage line going from the coil to the dist. Do this by taking this wire off of the distributor cap and holding it about a half inch or less from a ground on the engine (the wire is still connected to the coil). While the engine cranks you should have a series of sparks jumping from the wire to the ground".

I jumpered from Batt + to Coil + and no start.

John C

mattyboy
05-06-2013, 04:42 PM
John

when you saw the weak spark did you have anything else connected to the neg side of the coil or just the test ground.

also the risers might not be the best ground try the engine block.


to many variables in your testing methods why use a spark plug just pull back the insulation cap on the coil wire and hold it near a good ground. also try another coil wire


try and see if you have continuity from the tach sender lug to the B/W wire.

also note some fords instead of an external resistor they use a resistor wire. I will take a look but what connection on the solenoid does the purple wire go to ??????

John C in PA
05-06-2013, 04:56 PM
John

when you saw the weak spark did you have anything else connected to the neg side of the coil or just the test ground. Just the test ground.

also the risers might not be the best ground try the engine block. I cleaned the paint away first. The ground was good.


to many variables in your testing methods why use a spark plug just pull back the insulation cap on the coil wire and hold it near a good ground. also try another coil wire Will tr y again.


try and see if you have continuity from the tach sender lug to the B/W wire. Didn't get continuity but the needle jumps when I energize.

also note some fords instead of an external resistor they use a resistor wire. I will take a look but what connection on the solenoid does the purple wire go to Continuity thru the loom with both terminals on the back face of the port side 50 A breaker ??????

Another nice 75 degree day shot. Phooey!!!!

boatnut
05-06-2013, 08:02 PM
John, attached is a diagram of how my 302 Ford ignition is wired. It originally had a Mallory point distributor (H/M conversion). About 16 yrs ago we put in the Mallory dist with a module (no points) and the Mallory pro-master coil. Some notes about the wiring diagram:
1) There are three wires coming out of the distributor – they cannot be disconnected and go inside to the module (I didn’t open the cap). The red wire needs 12V to pwr the dist module, this is provided by the Ign Swt Run. Even though the red wire goes to a terminal on the dropping resistor, that terminal is just being used as a junction point. The Brown wire goes to ground. The Green wire goes to coil minus (this is the wire that will be switched off and on to ground as the points would have done.
2) The coil positive is attached to the other side of the dropping resistor, this voltage will be here whenever the Ign Swt Run is active, it will be less than 12V (9 or so?). The coil positive is also attached to a small terminal on the starter solenoid, this bypasses the dropping resistor while the engine is cranking to give the coil a little more voltage (the starter will pull the 12V down to 10V or so and the dropping resistor would make the voltage too low to start without this bypass.
Again, this solenoid wire goes to one side of the dropping resistor but that is just a junction – electrically it goes to the positive coil terminal.

Your setup is a little different, but conceptually it has to somehow accomplish the same thing. Both the dist and the coil need voltage to operate (unlike points) so if your test setups do not get the proper voltage to all the needed places you will get confusing results.

Hope this helps, Ed

mattyboy
05-07-2013, 08:10 AM
John

I know it is driving you crazy and it is hard to really see what is going on from a keyboard but In my electronic setup and the one boatnut drew is I don't see a ground on your dist wiring?

my point before was you are testing a circuit with points of failure. It can be confusing especially if you are adding points of failure like the spark plug and the ground from the risers. the plugs get there ground from block not the risers the electrical bond between the block the exhaust manifold and the riser might not be the best.

It may pay at this time to wire up your weapons switch with jumpers to the battery + to the B on the switch the coil + to the run of the switch and the s on the solenoid to the start on the switch the only other electrical connections needed are the battery - to block ground , the battery + to the battery side of the solendoid and the starter cable to the starter on the solenoid.
tape it up and now you can test by yourself in the bilge and also eliminate the wiring harness

now test each part of the circuit with the weapons key on

1 power to the coil

2 coil

3 connection to the dist cap coil wire

connect the dist. and the ign module wires this is where you need to hit the start switch

4 cap and rotor

5 ign module


hang in there you will get it figured out they are just fords I mean i just posted a video of old fords, guy chained sawed them out of a boat and got them running on the ground with a garden hose a gallon gas can, battery and jumper cables


my hunch is your setup the distributor case is grounded from underneath that's why we don't see a ground wire and the module is shot not giving the neg side of the coil the on off on off on it needs to fire.

I am sure if your parts store is good if you took a pic of the magnetic pickup and ign module they should be able to cross reference it also may be worth it to get a cheap coil matched to what you need external or internal resistor.

If I remember correctly my electronic magnet pickup came off the shaft and I fitted my old dist with points to test I'll see if I have that dist around to take pics of

mattyboy
05-07-2013, 09:06 AM
found the old dist it only has one lead from the points to the neg side of the coil. it looks like it is steel cased and pics up the gound thru the case then the case is wired to the points the condenser looks like it is grounded thru it's mounting bracket to the case. probably the same in your case no punn intended. so don't worry about my previous comment on the missing ground.

mattyboy
05-07-2013, 09:48 AM
here's another video on a honda but the basic methods and ideas are the same

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K78XIhhjAQ

BUIZILLA
05-07-2013, 10:28 AM
adjust the pickup to reluctor gap to .008 > 8 thousanths

if it still doesn't spark, then replace the pickup

John C in PA
05-07-2013, 01:42 PM
Guys, unfortunately home bound issues are making it diifficult to find any free time to track down the problem. I'll try to find time today. Both the key switch and the coil are as bought and re-installed. Since I tried a jumper from the battert + to the coil + the key is not the problem. I can imagine the 20 year old coil failing but unlikely (not impossible) that a new MSD Hi Vibration model failed.

There are only TWO wires from the distributor and both terminate at the module inside the distributor. The distributor body is aluminum and there are no other wires to/from it. There is NO cermamic resistor in the circuit between the dist and the coil.

Buiz, thx for chiming it. I didn't know there was an adjustment. Is the reluctor the white plastic part on the shaft?

I agree there are too many different attempts to resolve this. I even have Fixx involved. I really need to try and boil all the comments into one coherent plan of action-based on the setup I have described (eg: no. of dist wires, no resistor, etc.). I will try Buiz's adjustment then.........

Matty and boatnut, you both have been way helpful in offering troubleshooting info. If you don't mind please look over the info I've provided as regarding the system I currently have in place and think about a plan. My guess is the module crapped out. But at $195 and up, I'll rreplace the distributor first. But the module is just a hunch.

Thank you all for your time and effort. Matty I can't wait for the Fall meet to thank you and others personally for your time in this matter.

John Crociante

mattyboy
05-07-2013, 02:36 PM
John

I can see a 20 yr old coil failing I can also see a brand new one failing if it is in the wrong application. As I mentioned earlier a coil that is looking for an external resistor( like boatnut drew) is looking to run on lower voltage than 12 volts like 9 or so. on a short run or just idle it might last but on a long hard run It will heat up get hot and fail been there done that got the receipt . The coil should say that on the outside mine does , what it needs external or has an internal.

If I read your test results right you have 12 volts at the coil so your coil should have an internal resistor

SanDogDewey
05-07-2013, 03:22 PM
I read the specs for the coil you specified.

75844

"Improved output coil for electronic ignitions, and MSD Ignitions (ballast resistor required for points)"

The instructions say the coil is to be used with an MSD ignition and depicts an MSD 6 or MSD 7 ignition system. Since you are not running a MSD 6 or 7, I would treat your distributor as a points style ignition and install the ballast resistor. I'm betting the coil got hot and failed.

John C in PA
05-07-2013, 03:32 PM
Buiz, the gap was 0.015" so I reset it to 0.008". Still no start. Patrick I called MSD before I installed it last year. They said no ballast resistor with electronic ignition. New wrinkle: the coil that was installed when I bought the boat says on the side its supposed to have an external resistor. There is none to be found and I recall the connectors on the coil looked like they hadn't been removed in years.

mattyboy
05-07-2013, 04:31 PM
John,

I would check again on that, this is the unit I used, and on all the msd blaster coils it says check to see if your system needs an external resistor. If that is the case the ign module may be toast too


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prime-Line-18-5435-Sierra-Ignition-Coil-Internal-Resistor-Inboard-/300708316014?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item46039cc36e&vxp=mtr

SanDogDewey
05-07-2013, 04:34 PM
Patrick I called MSD before I installed it last year. They said no ballast resistor with electronic ignition. New wrinkle: the coil that was installed when I bought the boat says on the side its supposed to have an external resistor. There is none to be found and I recall the connectors on the coil looked like they hadn't been removed in years.

I don't consider a magnetic pickup distributor an electronic ignition. It is a point-less distributor, but not electronic with a module like the MSD-6/7. There is no difference in the signal that is sent to the coil from a set of points or a magnetic pickup distributor, hence I believe there is still a need for the ballast resistor. I would ask MSD to clarify what they consider an electronic ignition.

If you have a multi-meter you can check your coil. You should measure .7 ohms between the (-) and (+) terminals (primary resistance) and 4.5k ohms between the (+) and the center conductor (secondary resistance).

mattyboy
05-07-2013, 07:25 PM
John

also remember they made resistor wire where the wire itself added the resistance to drop the voltage so there would be no ceramic resistor present just a wire to the pos side of the coil . not sure if OMC used it but Ford sure did.

John C in PA
05-07-2013, 07:49 PM
I don't consider a magnetic pickup distributor an electronic ignition. It is a point-less distributor, but not electronic with a module like the MSD-6/7. There is no difference in the signal that is sent to the coil from a set of points or a magnetic pickup distributor, hence I believe there is still a need for the ballast resistor. I would ask MSD to clarify what they consider an electronic ignition.

If you have a multi-meter you can check your coil. You should measure .7 ohms between the (-) and (+) terminals (primary resistance) and 4.5k ohms between the (+) and the center conductor (secondary resistance).

Patrick, I read:

Old Coil: 1.5 primary and 10.51K secondary
MSD coil: 0.6 primary and 4.8K secondary

JC

John C in PA
05-07-2013, 08:01 PM
John

also remember they made resistor wire where the wire itself added the resistance to drop the voltage so there would be no ceramic resistor present just a wire to the pos side of the coil . not sure if OMC used it but Ford sure did.

Matty, remember I changed everything back to last years setup. I even removed the tell-tale light for the Weapons fire System (even tho the switch isn't the problem). As regards the wires:
the 2 from the dist are purple and black-typically, in order, ignition and ground. The two from the loom are purple (ignition) and B/W. I can't find any ref in the ABYC charts or the Donzi factory wiring diags indicating what a B/W wire is for. If there is/was a resistor wire it may have been removed or buried in the loom. The more I dig the more back yard wiring I'm finding.

I'll have until this evening to resolve this so its time to try and find what the 2 wires from the loom originate. Otherwise, health and family issues are going to tie me up.

John C

SanDogDewey
05-07-2013, 08:52 PM
Patrick, I read:

Old Coil: 1.5 primary and 10.51K secondary
MSD coil: 0.6 primary and 4.8K secondary

JC

The MSD coil looks good!

boatnut
05-07-2013, 11:38 PM
There are only TWO wires from the distributor and both terminate at the module inside the distributor. The distributor body is aluminum and there are no other wires to/from it. There is NO cermamic resistor in the circuit between the dist and the coil.



John, a couple of clarifications:

1) it is probably ok that you have two wires from the dist, one is for 12v to the dist, and the other is the switched lead that should go to the coil. The dist is likely getting ground through the casting to the block (I think Matty mentioned this also).
2) The resistor is not supposed to be between the dist and the coil (look at my diagram again), it is between the ign swt and the coil – so it can be anywhere, or be resistive wire somewhere, or not even exist.

My view on the resistor: its purpose was to cut down the amount of current going through mechanical points so they would arc and burn less (that is also a purpose of the condensor). On a module dist and especially with all these high performance coils I don’t think the resistor is even needed – especially with the low duty cycles of usage we put on these boats.

As a trouble shooting plan, if I was you, I would wire up a simple ignition circuit similar to my diagram (less the resistor, ignore that for now). You can even wire the 12V run lead directly from the battery (or plus cable on the solenoid) and not go all the way to the dash (hot wire the ignition like a thief would). Then you can crank the engine, see if you get the spark and if you do you know all the components (dist, coil, etc.) are good. If you don’t get the spark, you can trouble shoot why (e.g. dist module). Once you get this simple jury-rigged ckt working, you can go back to troubleshooting your wiring, connections, looking to see if you have a resistor, etc. Now you have created so many variables you don’t know what you have, you have to simplify the world you are trying to analyze (I think this is the direction Matty has been going also). Guessing at what is bad and what is out of adjutstment etc. is not the thing to do now.

Good luck, Ed

mattyboy
05-08-2013, 09:11 AM
John
here is the wiring diagram a bit confusing at first but it will let you trace wires to major components like the esa and the micro switch as well as the wiring harness.

things to note the red purple wire is the resistor wire and it get voltage from the splice at (34) it then goes to the coil(30) + side.

this diagram is for a point dist the only difference will be there is an extra wire on the + side of the coil to energize the breakerless ign module.

You can also see that the esa (31) and the rev limiter (32) are switching a ground (36)to the - side of the coil thru the esa (41).

the shift interuptor(33) looks to be breaking the voltage thru the esa and on the resitor wire (20)

you can see that the black purple goes from the start lug on the starter solenoid (14) to the + side of the coil for hot full 12 volt spark for cold starts (48)

of course this is from the factory and if the previous owner sparky fuuzblower hasn't hack the wiring all up



I know how maddening this can be I have been trying to work out an electrical bug on my nephew's 2007 azure with a merc 5.0 some of these riggers need to be given 50 lashes with 4 awg battery cable .

hope this helps also hope the health issues are resolved and place behind you quickly

mattyboy
05-08-2013, 12:17 PM
with the legend

John C in PA
05-29-2013, 04:43 PM
Hey folks. I have just a few minutes available to log in and end this string. First and foremost, thanks for all the time you guys spent trying to help me get my little boat started. Special Thanks to Mattyboy and boatnut for the extra energy you both expended. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, certain health and family issues caused me to stop the electrical circuit analysis.

Since I was going to be out of commission, I brought the boat to a boat repair shop that has OMC expertise and factory shop manuals. The same shop that laughed when I described the "work" my previous "Donzi Expert" mechanic did. It took the mechanic all of 2 hours to determine that my new coil (MSD Hi Vibration) wasn't correct for a rig with a resistor wire; which changed the voltage to the ign module; which blew out the module. New coil + new module = instant start. Moral of the story: if it ain't broke don't fix it :bonk:. BTW: the Weapons Fire Switch was not at fault.

Unfortunately, my issues around here are still not resolved so I will remain under the radar for awhile. Hopefully I'll be able to monitor the website on ocassion. See ya!!

John C

Ghost
05-29-2013, 05:38 PM
Hope you're feeling better soon, John.

SanDogDewey
05-29-2013, 06:53 PM
Glad the boat is up and running. Hope you get yourself up and running soon too!

mattyboy
05-31-2013, 08:42 AM
John Be Well !!!!!!

Ed Donnelly
05-31-2013, 11:02 AM
Hang tough, you still have a lot of boating to do....Ed

BOSTONCAMARO
07-29-2013, 09:44 AM
Hope you're feeling better soon, John.
so when you say the module was gone are you referring to the ignition pack on the starboard side manifold...or the trigger in the distributor? I am having the same issue I believe