Active Active   Unanswered Unanswered

boat will start- won't stay running

Your old Chris-Craft electrical system can be a challenge. If it runs on "juice" pose your questions and offer your advice here.

Moderators: Al Benton, Don Ayers, Don Vogt

Post Reply
User avatar
bongocruiser
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Lake Winola, Pa

boat will start- won't stay running

Post by bongocruiser » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:57 pm

Over the last 30+ years of owning two model K engines I've had about every symptom but this one is new. I push the starter button and it starts immediately at either 500 rpm or 3000 rpm but is stops 3-4 seconds later. I can hit the button again and same thing. probably tried 50 times and it never ran over 4 seconds. Starts easy. It seems like it shorts out so I changed the condenser, then the rotor, then the coil. Same thing. Removed the Carburetor and cleaned it but it was clean from last years rebuild. Checked the fuel pump and changed the water separator. Went to the points and made sure a piece of cork gasket was between the brass strap and the distributor body so it isn''t shorting out. Still has the exact same symptoms. Checked the + wire to the coil and 8.4V (8v battery in 6v boat). When it stops it goes dead fast with our sputtering so I don't think it's gas.

So I'm out of ideas and wold welcome yours.
Thanks
Joe

cc-woodboats
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:24 pm
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa.

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by cc-woodboats » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:31 am

I would disconnect the batt wire at the coil and install a jumper wire from the coil directly to the battery. start the engine.
if the engine continues to run check the wiring and ign switch for a bad connection or broken wire.

User avatar
bongocruiser
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Lake Winola, Pa

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by bongocruiser » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:18 pm

Thanks for the reply. I ran a jumper from the pos battery to the + coil but still same symptom. Starts easy and then cuts off after about 4 seconds. I can even rev it up to 3000 rpm during the 4 seconds but still it shuts off. I'll try swaping out the points but they were new last year and seem good.

This model K Hercules engine is in my 1947 deluxe and it has the smaller distributor with the condenser on the outside of the distributor. As far as I know there is not an option for this to be converted to a Pertronix. My other engine from my 1942 Special has the larger distributor with the condenser on the inside-I converted this to electronic ignition with good results.

Any ideas?

homeiste
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:56 am
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by homeiste » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:43 am

If the fuel, spark and air are all good, consider an obstruction of the exhaust, a long shot.
1960 18' Continental
1970 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ Bearcat 55 outboard

Greg Wallace
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by Greg Wallace » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:10 am

when it starts to die, spray a little starting fluid into carb. If she keeps going then likely problem is fuel, if not then spark, assuming pipe not plugged.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

User avatar
bongocruiser
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Lake Winola, Pa

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by bongocruiser » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:58 am

I tried spraying starting fluid into the carb while it is dying and no change so I'm concluding it is not related to gas. And the way it stops by just going totally dead with no sputtering makes me think is somehow shorts out the secondary current once it is running. But once it stops it restarts easily. Very strange.

Tom Gruenauer
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:47 pm

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:28 am

Coil to points wire insulation where it passes through the side of the distributor?

User avatar
bongocruiser
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Lake Winola, Pa

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by bongocruiser » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:39 am

Thanks Tom, I've had issues before where the bolt that goes through the distributor shorts out to the case and the boat won't start, but here it starts then stops. I thought maybe the points that are connected to that bolt via a copper band was shorting out but I put some cork gasket material behind it just to be sure. The continuity of the bolt to the inside of the distributor opens and closes along with the points. I took the whole distributor out to confirm. This weekend I'll take it out again and redo that whole setup as it seems to me it must be shorting out somewhere after it starts.

Denis D
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by Denis D » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:37 pm

+1 on the exhaust being plugged, had the exact same thing happen on a car once. Although I am not sure what could plug that exhaust, it is easy enough to check. Just have someone put their hand behind the exhaust pipe when you start and feel for the exhaust pulse.

Denis D
Denis

1948 17' deluxe runabout

User avatar
bongocruiser
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Lake Winola, Pa

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by bongocruiser » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:03 am

Well the exhaust is fine and even the hot wire from battery to coil didn't help. I still think the distributor is grounding out somewhere after it starts. I'll take the whole thing apart this weekend.

User avatar
bongocruiser
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: Lake Winola, Pa

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by bongocruiser » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:46 pm

Well after being convinced it was electrical I went back to step one and took the carb off again and adjusted the height of the floats back to spec and it works fine now. I always say- it's either spark or gas but sometimes you can't tell the difference.

User avatar
DennyDowning
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:23 pm

Re: boat will start- won't stay running

Post by DennyDowning » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:42 am

Great Job!
It is too nice to be sitting at the dock.
I have heard of this problem being caused by water in the fuel also.

Lets go Boating....

Denny

Post Reply