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  #1   IP: 68.114.124.144
Old 04-06-2019, 05:39 PM
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A little help

Went to the boat today and did some engine work. Took a few pics to get some feedback on. The distributor has a cap with two screws (no clips), does that mean something? The distributor looks like EE, right? The rotor is a little pitted, but the inside of the cap looks good. Fairly new 8mm wires. Coil looks good, and has 4.1 ohms across it.
I'm working on giving it a tune up and a rewire. The engine was running but hard to start. I plan on checking the timing after the rewire and tune up. I tried to take the plate under the rotor off, but it was lifting the center rod up too. So I left it in place till I could get more info of what is going on.
I am open to any comments, questions, or advice about what you see in the pics or what I've said. Also the tube above the flame arrester is missing. ?
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:56 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPNetricks View Post
The engine was running but hard to start.
Check to be sure the choke is closing all the way.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:58 PM
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The antifouling paint is doing a good job keeping the barnacles off the rotor.

Hard starting: I would be thinking carburetor before timing.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:00 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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SPN, the first thing I would do is eliminate the "trailer" style plug especially if doing any kind of a rewire. This will possibly eliminate any weak connections to which these plugs are notorious and pretty much worthless after corroding a bit.

RE the distributor does the centrifugal advance "pop back" when twisted? If so just replace the cap and rotor while being very careful as to the firing order of the wires. A fresh set of plugs (gap @ .040 with the EI) and be sure all connections are clean and well snugged.

As per John do be sure the choke is completely closing!! This is a must for good cold starting.

Check the "spark" and what you want is a spark that is crisp and blue that will pop at least 1/4". This will confirm the coil and the EI.

Dave Neptune
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:56 PM
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I do want to remove all the wires (and there are a lot of them) and that plug before I clean the engine. The engine electronics should be isolated from the house electronics, other than charging possibly. I did not want to mess with the centrifuge until I did more research. That plate would not come out without removing it. I will check the choke and adjust if necessary as I work my way around the engine during this inspection. I just bought the boat a month ago and I am in the process of renovation it. The blue paint on the distributor was on there when I opened it up (I thought it might be marking something). I was surprised to see EE, everything else on the boat is from 1976. That is the first upgrade I have seen.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:58 PM
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  1. The rotor looks shot to me. The perimeter contact tab appears to be sintered. If it's worn as it appears to be, so is the distributor cap.
  2. Both the rotor and magnetic ring must be removed to remove the plate and access the advance mechanism beneath.
  3. Deal with the plug wires one at a time.
These issues are important to a good running engine so please don't shy away from them. It is important in this case to do the work without removing the distributor.
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
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Last edited by ndutton; 04-07-2019 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPNetricks View Post
...Also the tube above the flame arrester is missing. ?
Also called a "Slash Tube"
You can get one from MMI here on this site.
Although I searched the online catalogue and couldn't find it anywhere. (Bill?)
Maybe give Ken a call and he can get you one.

You can also, of course, make your own.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:25 AM
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Al Schober Al Schober is offline
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Here's a link to the breather tube:
https://moyermarine.com/product/brea...l-oval_11_203/
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'm a new A4 technician and an old sailor. This is my forth sailboat and first A4. The other sailboats had outboards and I got used to working on them. I will be going to the boat on Wednesday to do more inspecting and cleaning. The cart with MMI (so I get the right part) is getting full with the things I need, but I want to work my way to the other side of the A4 before ordering. I will also take more pictures. Personally, I like seeing other peoples A4's for a reference and comparison (plus I am going to need some before and after shots).
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:40 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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If you do not have a copy of the Moyer Manual then add that to your "cart" also unless you've done that already.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:03 AM
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Tenders: "The antifouling paint is doing a good job keeping the barnacles off the rotor."- so witty for so young you are
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:31 AM
zellerj zellerj is offline
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The fact that the distributor cap has screws instead of clips means that it is a marine cap. It is not kosher to have a clip dizzy cap on a boat.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:53 PM
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Being of Greek decent I am certainly not kosher but my thinking is as follows: A4's w/ screw on dizzy caps are later model w/ Delco distributors. Smaller "clip on" caps are for Prestolite distributors on early model A4's, around 1969 and before. The Prestolite dizzy has the condenser screwed to the outside, Delco incorporated into the inside plate.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:32 PM
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Well I went back to the boat today and worked on the engine. I cleaned it up and took off the nest of wires. (also the "trailer" plugs) A new rotor, cap, and plugs are in the order from Moyer coming tomorrow. Take a look at the plugs I pulled out. They are in order 1 thru 4. The first plug was tight, the second was snug, the third was a little more than hand tight, and the forth was hand tight. Thats what it felt like when I removed them with the spark plug wrench. Also look at the rust on the bottoms....not good. I hosed the openings with WD40 and vacuumed it out with the wet vac. Then dumped about a half a shot of MMO in the hole and spun the engine by hand. I cleaned the plugs with a wire brush and replaced them hand tight just to cover the holes till the new plugs come in. By the end of the day I had MMO coming out of the carburetor at the flame arrestor. (which was removed and cleaned, but not put back cause I need new screws for it) For those of you who suggested that I check the choke for the cause of starting troubles, kodo's to you. The choke was not staying closed and would snap back to open because of the spring that was attached to it. I removed the spring and adjusted it to working order. One last thing, these are the original gauges (see pic) does anyone know who makes them? Thanks in advance for any comments, concerns, statements, help, or questions.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPNetricks View Post
One last thing, these are the original gauges (see pic) does anyone know who makes them?
IF you are looking to replace those gauges (which I certainly would) then why not use the gauges offered on this website by our host?
Easy drop in replacements and they work.
I've had mine for over 10 years now with perfect performance.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:58 PM
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One thing none of us Catalina owners like are those damn trailer plugs...Looks like a 27' with the engine location and your avatar pic??

One piece at a time dude, and you'll get it back in order. Those spark plugs need to be replaced and plus 1 on the dizzy cap and rotor. You can get all that stuff here at MMI or we can also cross reference some parts to places like a local NAPA.

My gauge pod on my 30 looked like yours. I replaced the entire thing from the panel to the engine with direct runs and no plugs in the middle. There is a Blue Seas junction on the bulkhead. You can see that in the engine pic..it just takes a little time!!

One thing we can discuss down the road is some of us have eliminated the Ammeter up in the panel, because of the long run of the alternator wire. I put a simple volt meter in its place..if I see 14-ish volts I know the alt is working..don't need Amps in the panel.
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  #17   IP: 68.114.124.144
Old 04-28-2019, 07:51 PM
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Worked on the boat today and took some pictures. The manual gas pump is going to be removed and the cover plate (when it arrives from Moyer) will be installed. I do not see an oil pressure switch behind the gas pump. The carburetor appears to be in working order. While waiting for the flame arrestor o-ring (coming in the same order from Moyer) to be installed, I took a picture of the build number on the engine. February 3, 1976 is what it looks like. The boat is a 76 Catalina 27, so I believe it is the original engine. Also there is a picture of the serial number. The oil port plug is also coming out to be replaced by an oil change kit (in same Moyer order) The email I received told me the order will be in tomorrow, unfortunately I will not make it back to the boat till Saturday. Any comments are welcome as usual.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:31 PM
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I went to the boat today and TRIED to start the engine. It kept turning over but would not start. I checked the plugs and they had a spark. So I checked the coil spark and it was yellowish but sparking. I loosened the bowl screw and gas was in the bowl. As I tried to start the engine, (using the choke on and off) it was backfiring out the flame arrestor. Is that the timing? But how? I did not touch the distributor, just changed the cap, rotor and plugs. Could the timing be off without touching the distributor? I believe the wires are correct, clock-wise 1,2,4,3, with 3 being in front of the alternator. What else can I check? Should I move the distributor? I also connected the timing light and and the tab on the flywheel under the off center bolt was pointing up when the light came on. That's TDC? Right?
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:02 PM
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You need to be certain the rotor is pointing to the #1 distributor cap post when #1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke.
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:16 PM
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Here is the procedure for finding TDC from Don...
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File Type: pdf Finding Top Dead Center.pdf (9.7 KB, 15 views)
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:22 PM
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In the first picture is the engine before I touched anything. It shows the spark plug wires clock-wise 1,2,4,3. But the #1 and #2 plug is in front of the alt. on port and starboard respectfully. The second picture shows how it looks after the tune-up. The #1 and #2 wires are not in front of the alt. The #4 and #3 are in front of the alt. on port and starboard respectfully. I believe this may be the problem, but I will not know till I get back to the boat. That arrangement of the wires in the first picture goes against every diagram and photo that I have seen!? That is why I wired it as it looks in the second picture. When I return to the boat I will change the plug wires to resemble the first picture and see if that works. If not, the advice from ndutton and roadnsky will be next.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:58 PM
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Well I'm happy to report that my A4 has started and seems to be running well. I had the spark plug wires in the wrong location on the cap. Newbie mistake I guess. Taking a picture of the engine before I touched anything was my saving grace. The old picture showed the right location of the wires. And since I did not touch the distributor...Bingo. Anyway, the A4 is running well and the next project is an oil change. Also need to get a few bugs out the gauge panel. Thanks for the help. This forum, it's members, and the parts I ordered from Moyer are a valuable asset to anyone who owns an Atomic 4 engine.
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