Boat will not start in water


Old 05-14-05, 08:32 PM
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Boat will not start in water

The boat is a 22' 1991 Advantage Citation with a 1992 Mercruiser GM 454 Engine package. Thunderbolt IV electronic ignition with the Carter/Weber carb. The Engine was recently rebuilt and starts/runs fine in my yard.

When I back the boat into the water it will not start. it cranks over fine but will not fire. I have started it on the ramp then backed it into the water and it continued to run but did not want to idle when throttled all the way back. After killing the ignition in the water the boat would not start. I pulled it up to the parking lot, cranked the engine for 5-10 seconds and it fired. So....

I flushed my fuel tanks and replaced all of the fuel filters. Rebuilt the carb. The ignition timing is set at 8 degrees BTDC as per my Seloc book. New plugs, wires distributor cap and rotor. Still will not start when I put it in the lake. Starts and runs otherwise.

I have not checked to see if I am getting spark while it is in the water. I asssume that I am not getting any spark but I do not know what would cause this. However, if I am getting spark why wont it start when it is in the water?

tomorrow I am going to check and recheck all of my electrical connections/gronds etc. I cannot think of anything else to do at this point.

I am stumped here so if anyone has any idea what this could be please
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Old 05-15-05, 08:02 AM
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Ok this morning while checking the engine wiring I found a ground wire that connects to a terminal on the bottom of the distributor that was not connected.
It is now connected.

The wiring diagram in the Seloc book does not identify this wire in the big block wiring diagam but it is there for the small block.

I am going to take it back to the lake after breakfast and see what happens. I will post the results.
Old 05-16-05, 09:53 PM
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Ok Yesterday I took the boat to the lake. I got it started and had it idling for about 5 minutes then it died and did not want to restart.

Today I found that my plugs were fouled from an overly rich condition. So I installed new plugs pumped the throttle twice and hit the ignition. It fired right up. It has not done that prior to this on a cold start.

I also found out that I did not set my timing correctly as I had the idle too high when I did it. I needed to be at 600 rpm to avoid any advance. At 600 RPM I found my timing was at 10 BTDC instead of being at 8. So I dialed in the correct timing at the proper RPM, I readjusted the air screws and I think I have corrected the overly rich fuel situtaion.

I did not have enough time tonight to get to the lake so will have to wait until tomorrow evening. I am crossing my fingers. I think I made several steps in the right direction tonight.

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