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Hercules ML starting issues

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rannamy
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Location: Mt. Dora, FL

Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:12 am

After sitting for ~20 years, I’m trying to get my port engine running (with the intent of rebuilding the starboard after she’s in the water). After that re-rebuilding the port engine. (Very difficult to pull engines while in my shop because of height restrictions).

Hercules ML (1955?). (engine was rebuilt ~60 hrs ago) now measuring 90-110psi compression in each cylinder. Good spark @ each plug.

- No fuel getting to cylinders. Will only fire after giving each cylinder ~5cc’s of fuel. Appears that exhaust from initial combustion is blowing back thru (updraft) carb, thus evacuating all fuel from intake stream.
See video... https://youtu.be/9EX1mgbde9U

-
Completed checklist
- [ ] Carb (zenith updraft) - rebuilt prior to this starting attempt.
- [ ] Fuel Tank(s) - flushed, cleaned and new fuel w/o methanol.
- [ ] Fuel pump - removed & rebuilt w/new diaphragm, etc.
- [ ] Intake manifold - replaced with used manifold from spare engine. Inspected before installation, but not pressure tested.
- [ ] Exhaust manifold - untouched since prior rebuild.
- [ ] Intake/exhaust valves - replaced w/new at last rebuild.
- [ ] Pistons - determined to be good, honed cyl. & installed oversized rings at last rebuild. Current visual inspection shows no scratches, rust or galling.
- [ ] Block - had been exposed to salt water use before I used it for last rebuild.
- [ ] Starter - rebuilt from spare MCL, works as designed.
- [ ] Distributor & coil - cleaned and set gap to 0.022” TDC.
- [ ] Plugs - cleaned, gapped.
- [ ] New battery
- [ ] Rechecked all wiring & connections.

So this is where I’m at... scratching my (bald)head. I’ve seen the results that 20 years of moisture laden air can do and therefore I also know the “best” thing would be to pull and rebuild before splashing, but it would help so much if I could do that after she sitting in her slip...

I sure appreciate any help offered, so Thanks ahead of time,
Randy
Last edited by rannamy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Hercules MCL starting issues

Post by Bilge Rat » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:50 am

Simple thing to check, since you seem to have spark is that both chokes are closing completely. If one is open even a little, the cylinder vacuum may not be enough to provide the richer mixture for starting a cold engine. The backfire through the carb might be from a lean mixture but after that much time in storage, you could have a stuck valve or two.
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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:14 pm

Thanks, BR! I will try to post a video(again), but this doesn’t look like a backfire because there is no flame. The carb only has one choke that I’m aware of, so I’m not sure of the other choke you spoke of. I still can’t upload the video that shows this. I wonder if it is a limition because I’m on an iPad? The “add file” button lets me choose a file, but then gives an error warning in response to any selecting I make. :oops:
Last edited by rannamy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Hercules MCL starting issues

Post by Bilge Rat » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:26 pm

An MCL is supposed to have 2 carbs unless someone either modified it to 1 (I guess making it an MBL) or someone swapped out the exhaust manifold from an MCL and left the MCL tag on it.
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1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:32 pm

A previous owner swapped out the K’s for M’s,, they must have done as you stated, because they each have one carb. These engines are physically way too large for the boat, but it’s what I have to work with. If only $’s grew on trees...
Last edited by rannamy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Riviera Wish
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Re: Hercules MCL starting issues

Post by Riviera Wish » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:26 pm

Based on what you have said the engine valves appear to be closing (compression 90-110 in each cylinder). Valve / engine timing may be an issue (when firing the engine exhausts through the carb, might be firing on the exhaust stroke or when the exhaust valve is partially open); I would check to make certain that on #1 cylinder both the exhaust and intake valves are fully closed when the distributor indicates spark is going to #1 and TDC is indicated by flywheel marks (i.e. check timing with visual aids). Check to make sure fuel pump is pumping by breaking connection between fuel pump and carb, place a can under the open fuel line while cranking engine to verify fuel to carb. If fuel is being delivered to carb it could be that the inlet needle valve is stuck closed in the 20 year old rebuilt carb ( sometime a light tap with a hammer will loosen the needle valve). Basically the idea is to get fuel, compression and spark at the right time, then the engine should fire. I would start with the fuel delivery problem first. Good luck, please let us know what the final solution is.
.

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Hercules MCL starting issues

Post by Bilge Rat » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:43 pm

Just saw the video, impressive smoke bomb ya got there! Looks like timing is off and maybe the flame arrestor is doing it's job and you're only seeing the products of combustion (smoke) without accompanying flames. Still warrants the aforementioned fuel systems checks to see why no fuel is being delivered. Don't look directly into the carb when cranking!
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1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:48 pm

Hahaha, like I said, the only way to get her to fire was to inject fuel into each cylinder, replace plug, and hit it! There is pressure exiting the carb as it cranks. If I close the choke, fuel is spitting out the vent tube for the reservoir of the carb. There is only that one burp and then she just cranks due to lack of vacuum.
Last edited by rannamy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:54 pm

Riviera Wish wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:26 pm
Based on what you have said the engine valves appear to be closing (compression 90-110 in each cylinder). Valve / engine timing may be an issue (when firing the engine exhausts through the carb, might be firing on the exhaust stroke or when the exhaust valve is partially open); I would check to make certain that on #1 cylinder both the exhaust and intake valves are fully closed when the distributor indicates spark is going to #1 and TDC is indicated by flywheel marks (i.e. check timing with visual aids). Check to make sure fuel pump is pumping by breaking connection between fuel pump and carb, place a can under the open fuel line while cranking engine to verify fuel to carb. If fuel is being delivered to carb it could be that the inlet needle valve is stuck closed in the 20 year old rebuilt carb ( sometime a light tap with a hammer will loosen the needle valve). Basically the idea is to get fuel, compression and spark at the right time, then the engine should fire. I would start with the fuel delivery problem first. Good luck, please let us know what the final solution is.
.

We did try changing the timing(while cranking) to see if we were advanced a bit, but it didn’t help. I will check fuel delivery tonight as well as the valve positions at TDC.. BTW - I just had the carb rebuilt last week, sorry about the 20 yr confusion.
Thanks again!
Last edited by rannamy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Captain Nemo
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by Captain Nemo » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:08 pm

Check the firing order? Remember, the port engine is opposite rotation.
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:52 pm

Captain Nemo wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:08 pm
Check the firing order? Remember, the port engine is opposite rotation.
1-4-2-6-3-5

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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:03 pm

rannamy wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:54 pm
Riviera Wish wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:26 pm
Based on what you have said the engine valves appear to be closing (compression 90-110 in each cylinder). Valve / engine timing may be an issue (when firing the engine exhausts through the carb, might be firing on the exhaust stroke or when the exhaust valve is partially open); I would check to make certain that on #1 cylinder both the exhaust and intake valves are fully closed when the distributor indicates spark is going to #1 and TDC is indicated by flywheel marks (i.e. check timing with visual aids). Check to make sure fuel pump is pumping by breaking connection between fuel pump and carb, place a can under the open fuel line while cranking engine to verify fuel to carb. If fuel is being delivered to carb it could be that the inlet needle valve is stuck closed in the 20 year old rebuilt carb ( sometime a light tap with a hammer will loosen the needle valve). Basically the idea is to get fuel, compression and spark at the right time, then the engine should fire. I would start with the fuel delivery problem first. Good luck, please let us know what the final solution is.
.

We did try changing the timing(while cranking) to see if we were advanced a bit, but it didn’t help. I will check fuel delivery tonight as well as the valve positions at TDC.. BTW - I just had the carb rebuilt last week, sorry about the 20 yr confusion.
Thanks again!

Ok, fuel pump is pumping, valves closed at TDC & points were/are set at 22

Captain Nemo
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by Captain Nemo » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:11 pm

What I meant, are the plug wires in the right sequence for the direction the distributer is turning. I saw where someone installed the plug wires on the port side same as the stb engine. Port engine obviously didn't run.
Watched the video, almost sounds like your starter might be turning the wrong way. IDK.
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

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rannamy
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by rannamy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:35 pm

Captain Nemo wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:11 pm
What I meant, are the plug wires in the right sequence for the direction the distributer is turning. I saw where someone installed the plug wires on the port side same as the stb engine. Port engine obviously didn't run.
Watched the video, almost sounds like your starter might be turning the wrong way. IDK.
Bing, bing, bing!!! You may have something here! I stole a starter off one of my spare ML’s and I never checked the direction of its rotation. I just checked it at the boat and it’s spinning the crank ccw as you look at it from the flywheel end. Isn’t it suppose to turn it cw on the port engine and ccw on the stbd?

Captain Nemo
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by Captain Nemo » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:03 pm

Yup, your port engine should turn clockwise as viewed from the front. I’m happy to have helped. :)
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

mikeyates91
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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by mikeyates91 » Tue May 15, 2018 8:28 am

I have an unused port starter

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Re: Hercules ML starting issues

Post by tkhersom » Wed May 23, 2018 5:54 am

Captain Nemo wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:11 pm

Watched the video, almost sounds like your starter might be turning the wrong way. IDK.
Good catch Nemo! :D

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