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Old 05-09-2019, 07:43 PM
mtnsail mtnsail is offline
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Engine Dies

1982 Catalina 27 with Atomic 4. when engine is first started and at idle in slip engine suddenly dies( no starving for gas) and quickly restarts. It did this twice in a couple minutes. Quickly restarted again ran for a few more minutes no problem. I then put in gear in slip and rain for another 5 minutes with no problem. ideas to trouble shoot would be appreciated
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:46 AM
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edwardc edwardc is offline
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Even though it shuts off abruptly, I would check the fuel pump pressure. It sounds like it can't keep up and runs the float bowl dry. Then refills it when you try to start.

I've seen this happen with the Facet electric pumps when they have the "stuck ball" problem.
@(^.^)@ Ed
1977 Pearson P-323 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

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Old 05-10-2019, 08:15 AM
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ndutton ndutton is offline
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The instant restart points me away from a fuel problem. I would perform an ignition hot wire test (alligator clip jumper wire between the small coil + post and battery +) to determine an intermittent (loose) connection in the ignition circuit. Treat the jumper like an ignition switch, do not leave it connected without the engine running or else you risk permanent coil damage.

Catalina's trailer plugs in the engine harness are a known problem.
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1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:24 AM
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On my A4 there is a wire that runs from the fuel pump to the starter. This wire supplies power to the fuel pump while the engine is being cranked. The insulation had worn off the wire where it turned the corner back by the distributor. This resulted in an intermittent short at this point. Sometimes the cut outs seemed fuel related and sometimes they seemed ignition related. Kept me guessing for many months. So, have look at this wire to see if it is responsible for your cut outs.

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Old 05-10-2019, 10:42 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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more info

mtmsail, what you are describing could just be a cold start. Since it died in neutral after starting was the choke used to restart? Since it ran in gear I doubt the fuel pump. A cheap pressure gage will answer a lot of fuel issues with just a peak at the gage.

A bit more info like did you notice anything the last couple of times out?

Did you check for spark? Those plugs Neil showed are ripe for disaster at this age and not a big deal to eliminate which is god idea either way you look at it.

An engine dying when cold is not real uncommon until it has warmed for a couple of minutes. I would first try turning the IDLE AIR SCREW "IN" a half turn and then try the cold start after preparing a way to quickly check spark and/or power at the coil when/if it dies. This would be a check for the plug. Also when the engine is running wiggle and twist the plug, if she dies then BINGO there will be wiring in your future.

Dave Neptune
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:55 PM
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roadnsky roadnsky is offline
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The guys have already given you some excellent advice and pointed you to some procedures for testing.

Attached are some written step-by-step procedures from Don to add to your arsenal...
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File Type: pdf Intermittent Shutdowns.pdf (62.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: pdf Troubleshooting lack of spark.pdf (13.0 KB, 30 views)
File Type: pdf Troubleshooting lack of fuel.pdf (12.3 KB, 33 views)

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:05 AM
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Another Thing To Check

The OPSS can die in all sorts of weird ways. It sounds like you are running on one carburetor bowl full of gas at times then a shut down happens. Test by bypassing or shorting across the OPSS and see if the shut downs go away.

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