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  #1   IP: 76.118.95.104
Old 07-10-2022, 07:48 AM
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southcoasting southcoasting is offline
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Help: Engine starting issues

Hi all,
I am a bit stumped. My engine had been running great so far this year. I would start right up without problems and run just as expected each time overt smoothly.

Recently, I had gone to boat to see if I can reduce my leaky stud issue Inhave been having since my rebuild. In doing so, I had removed one of my spark plug wires (number 1) to get to head nuts. Following day, I tried to start the engine forgetting to reattach the wire to spark plug. I noticed l after it would not start on me.

After some testing of spark, I though my number 1 wire no longer had spark but number 2 did so thought I needed new wires. Could not find any wires locally so had to buy some custom ones to make. When installing new wires, same problem. This time I got it to start if I increase throttle but runs super weak. When I increase throttle, nothing happens. It also runs at super low rpm (like 600) and stays there even if I give it throttle.

At this point, I have replaced distributor cap, rotor, condenser, wires.

Could my points have died? Do they die? Could it be my coil? Could it be that me leaving the number 1 wire unplugged caused a short somewhere?

Or could this just be random and a coincidence and be something totally unrelated like clogged carb?

I took a video where I am hitting the throttle and nothing happens but cannot post here
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1971 Tartan 34C Sloop "NOVA LUNA", Rebuilt (2019) Fresh Water Cooled A4 (Bought boat in 2014)
1968 Tartan 27 Yawl "Destinada", rebuilt Old Lyme freshwater A4 (Sold boat in 2014)
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  #2   IP: 32.211.38.220
Old 07-11-2022, 10:44 AM
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Al Schober Al Schober is offline
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Each plug wire should give you a healthy blue spark to the block, at least 1/4" long. You may have to shove a bolt into the boot to get some exposed metal. Likewise for the lead from the coil to the distributor.
A bad spark plug can be found by disconnecting the plug wires in turn with the engine running. Each disconnect should slow the engine down a bit. If the engine doesn't slow down when you disconnect one plug, that plug is suspect. The engine will run on 3 cylinders, just not well.
Yes, points do go bad. They will often develop a film over the winter layup and require cleaning in the Spring. The points control the primary (12V) current to the coil. The points and condenser are also the return path for the spark current to get back to the coil. The high voltage winding of the coil is not connected to the case of the coil. Rather it goes to the top terminal and to the (-) connection!
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  #3   IP: 76.118.95.104
Old 07-11-2022, 10:01 PM
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southcoasting southcoasting is offline
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Resolved!

Got it resolved!

I went and cleaned points…issue still there…then swapped out the wire that goes from points to negative post in coil mainly because it looked very flimsy and replaced coil with new coil and voila. All is back to normal!

BTW: I used a Duralast C838 coil as the replacement as it was available to me locally from Autozone. I also already had a ballast resistor so I should be around the 3 ohm resistance that Don recommends. Will report on how this coil performs.

Thanks Al for the insight!
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1971 Tartan 34C Sloop "NOVA LUNA", Rebuilt (2019) Fresh Water Cooled A4 (Bought boat in 2014)
1968 Tartan 27 Yawl "Destinada", rebuilt Old Lyme freshwater A4 (Sold boat in 2014)

Last edited by southcoasting; 07-12-2022 at 07:41 AM.
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