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breaker points ignition distributor


JAllen72's Avatar
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05-29-03, 03:42 PM   #1  
JAllen72
breaker points ignition distributor

I have a 1986 mercruiser 140 io with the straight 4 cylinder GM engine. The distributor is giving me some problems, maybe you can help. I was not getting any spark so I took off the distributor cap and attempted to turn over engine to see if the points were opening properly. The rotor turns but the cam lobe does not. I think probably the distributor needs some fixing but not sure if the cost to have it fixed out weighs just replacing it with new. I can purchase an entirely new unit for 314.00 and I have no idea what the cost to repair would be. My concern with just repairing is if I spend nearly that much to get it fixed and still have an old unit. what do you think? Thanks, Jim

 
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05-30-03, 06:38 AM   #2  
Hello: Jim

If the rotor turns than so will the lobe on the shaft. The possible problem is the contact points themselves. Replace them.

A rough gap setting can be obtained using a standard business card folded over once. A feeler gauge and or dwell meter should be used, if available.

I certainly have not covered all of the potential possibilities. The other resident boat engine service and repair professionals will be able to offer additional suggestions, advice & help.

Check back on your question several times over the next few days for additional replies.


Regards and Good Luck.
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It doesn't function until it's OPEN.........

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05-30-03, 12:51 PM   #3  
JAllen72
Well, you are right, this time the lobe is moving with the shaft, I guess I need to figure out why no spark. Points are opening , they were new last fall. have not run it much since. Pulled the center distributor wire getting no spark. I guess next I will check coil.

 
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05-30-03, 01:58 PM   #4  
JAllen72

If the points are breaking open and set correctly but there is no spark, possible the condenser is dead. Replace it first and retest.

I always attempt to suggest starting with the easiest and least costly repairs first. Often times those small, over looked & low cost easy to replace parts cause many of the problems.

Possible the ignition switch is the problem. Engine may crank but not be getting battery current to the distributor or terminal block of the engines electrical system.

All terminals need to be checked for corrosion, good connections, current etc etc. Also test for current at the distributor. If there isn't any there while the engine in cranking, test in a backwards direction along the wiring to the electricals source of power, etc.

Electrical problems are the "Meat and Potatoes" of the electrical professionals in all boat repair yards...

Good Luck
Tom


Last edited by Sharp Advice; 05-30-03 at 02:38 PM.
 
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05-31-03, 02:17 PM   #5  
JAllen72
I have tried everything I know and everything in my boat manual and still no spark. Everything checks out properly as far as having the correct voltage at terminals with key on. The coil checks out good. The points are opening and closing good, I replaced them anyway and changed the condensor. I have cleaned every wire connection and checked every wire for continuity. It should spark, but nothing! The plug wires were brand new last year, but I do show resistance on all the plug wires I don't know if they should or not, but I am reading 10.45 ohms of resistance on average. I did however take the coil wire and swapped it with the coil wire of my other boat and it started that boat with that coil wire, so I figured they must be ok. I am at a dead end , any ideas? Ten paces turn and fire is not an option! However, I am very tempted. Thanks, JIM

 
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05-31-03, 03:51 PM   #6  
Hello: Jim

You will not need to take 10 paces and fire. However, take 10 paces and refocus on the checks and tests done thus far. If all is well and your are positive voltage is where it is suppose to be and all the parts are functioning, time to focus in on that distributor.

If you read voltage at the wires going to the distributor, regardless of the amount of volts, ohms and other assorted readings or measurements, it may be time to remove the inside plate of the distrbutor.

Never can be sure where corrosion will cause damages to wires, connections and terminals. Check the underside and beneath the plate for obvious or suspected problems.

If worse comes to worse, pull the entire distributor and take it to any boat or most automotive electrical repair shops for testing.

Be sure to set the rotor in the number 1 firing postion before pulling the distributor physically out. Note the location of the rotors position too. Reinstall it when done exactly as it is now or the timing will be off too much to compensate, etc.

Sure hope my boat machanic {BoatMech} chimes in here. Hey BoatMech, where are you... Bilge help needed.....Bail us out...LOL!...

 
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06-07-03, 08:07 AM   #7  
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I have been waiting for a reply from boatmech or boatcop but I guess they went boating. Jim

 
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06-08-03, 08:59 AM   #8  
Jim

Until boatmech or boatcop check their forum topic to help you further, the question is have you tested the ignition switch?

How about any of the other componets I mentioned? All of which can be the direct or indirect cause of the ignition spark problem.

There is no doubts that one of these componets or parts is causing the spark failure. The problem we are having is determining exactly which part or componet.

The ignition problem is difficult to diagnose. Until you check the ignition switch and other parts mentioned in a step by step process & reply back with those results, no moderator will be able to determine the cause.

Taking the boat to a boat electrical repair shop to have a professional determine the cause and fix it would likely be the last step in the process. Worse yet is the possible fact that a simply part replacement resolves the problem.


Regards and Good Luck.
Web Site Admin, Moderator Hiring Agent, Host and Forums Manager. Energy Conservation Consultant & Natural Gas Appliance Diagnostics and Repair Technician. Fast, Fair, Friendly and Highly Proficient...

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Not only is a mind a terrible thing to waste, it's like a parachute.

It doesn't function until it's OPEN.........

Elvis. "The Sun Never Sets On A Legend."

Gun safety is using BOTH hands!

Driving Safety Reminder:
Buckle Up & Drive Safely.
"The Life You Save, May Be Your Own."

 
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06-10-03, 12:23 PM   #9  
A simple check is the ground wire. Run your voltage checks from the dist. gr. Maybe and maybe not, good luck. An electronic ignition may be an option.

 
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