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'79 SN 351 wont start troubleshooting help

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    Posted: October-27-2019 at 3:37pm
Have a 79 SN RR 351 windsor, under 400 hrs, last run in 2013, recently installed DUI dist, rebuilt carb, new fuel pump, wires, starter switch, plugs, starter etc. Good oil pressure/temp ok, ran great 1/2 day, now acts like not getting enough fuel or spark or something, What's what are first things I should do and check? Wondering if old wiring and DUI install has anything to do with it....stumped.
Clean fuel no help. Is there a fuel line schematic? my line runs from tank to inline filter to pump then to carb, Going to check pump to carb steel line filter now and see if it's pumping fuel....Just seems like it stalls to easily from the get go when I throttle it up, Thing's been a six year back burner project that I piddled with when I got free time, Seems like I put the fuel pump on new @ 3 years ago, Wondering if diaphram went bad from sitting dry or something. Probably something simple I'm overlooking....I hope.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-27-2019 at 3:55pm
So it ran for 1/2 day but was stalling when advancing the throttle, now won't start at all, at least that's what I think I'm reading?

Good first step you are taking to see if the pump is bringing fuel to the carb, sounds like you'll find out if you have good flow. There is an anti-siphon valve at the tank that can impede fuel flow, if you don't find good flow you can check that, should do so at some point anyway.

Assuming you find out you have good fuel flow to the carb, then you want to figure out if you have a fuel or ignition issue. After cranking, did you pull a spark plug to see if it was wet? And once you pull a plug, you can check for spark by re-connecting the plug wire, holding the hex nut of the plug against a good ground with insulated pliers or thick rag, and cranking to see if you have spark. These are very basic checks to just try to figure out where to trouble shoot first, fuel delivery or ignition, then take it from there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-27-2019 at 7:59pm
Yes 1/2 day, Chugging through Tampa Bay, towing a 36 ft Sea Ray (14' beam) with two big block chevy engines in it. Moderate chop on bay, started way up Hillsborough river so had to pilot the whole thing thru downtown tampa under 6 bridges,...right past a huge boat show...hooked top of the yacht on a draw bridge right out of the chute, got a $90 ticket for scratching the paint. Going thru the shipping channel was a little hairy when the big ships went by, but we did it. Since putting my SN in the water I've yet to be able to open it up to "see what she'll do" due to no wake zones and having a 17,000lb plus whale tied to it. SN did great up until I almost got to destination, Slower prop would have been nice...I thought I'd ran out of gas at first, unbolted tank and tilted it then stuck a tube in corner with fuel line clamped on it, still wouldn't start and run, All 3 of us had to spend night in the bay, then a sea tow...not fun, Good to know about the valve, wondered if SN should have a pump up ball on the gas line or not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-27-2019 at 9:39pm
Well that's quite a story! I'm not sure I want to know what your tow line was connected to.

You say you thought you ran out of gas, and had to tilt the tank, so you maybe you did run out of gas? No need for a primer ball but if you run out of gas, and instead of filling the tank you are trying to suck some small amount in the corner of the tank, the pump may not be able to prime again. I'm assuming that you put some serious amount of gas in when you are trying now? Now that we know you've "messed" with the fuel pickup I'd pull the pickup tube and anti-siphon valve, make sure all is ok, then do your fuel pump test.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-27-2019 at 10:38pm
Not the ski pole, I took that out. Davit ring on back was plenty strong enough for the tow. Used floating rope so lots of stretch. I got a good mouthful of gas on the second "suck" on brass 45 that fuel line hooks to. Couldn't blow it back through, made nice clicking sound, Unscrewed fuel sending unit to look in with flashlight, Few flakes and stuff floating around. I'll clean out tank and check fuel pump, I blew out the fuel filter after it wouldnt start on the water, wasn't blocked. For sure will get a new in line filter or two . Need to have running right by tomorrow if possible.
Gotta go find some mouthwash
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-28-2019 at 2:43am
Boat was out of use for 6 years? Did you drain that old fuel and dump it???   Old fuel turns to varnish and will not burn. Could be your problem.
Stuck overnight on a Ski Natique out on the bay does not sound like a fun boat bonding experience. Hope the fix is easy.
Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-30-2019 at 10:44am
Cleaned out tank, lines, etc. Fixed. Thanks.
Took it out on the bay to hunt for the ghost ship I left anchored out there when I broke down. Forgot to "PUT THE PLUG IN" of course...caught that problem just in time thank God.
Finally got to put my foot in it, SHEEEESH! Now I know what all the fuss is about. It's a keeper. Only thing I didn't like is factory seat is so low, In rain, at night can't see out the windshield....gotta fix that, Thinking a nice cushy spring mount like's on my Ford tractor...on a swivel. Gonna be a great work boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zwoobah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-30-2019 at 1:28pm
Glad you got her going again, finally got to go for a rip, and didn't sink.

The driver's seats are generally low. This is nice for staying out of the wind when cruising at speed. When I want to see over the windshield I sit on my Type IV PFD cushion. It's in the boat anyway.

That said you're likely the only one on here with experience running at night, in the rain, as a tug boat, so your needs might be a bit different from mine :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-30-2019 at 2:55pm
John, I'm mildly surprised you didn't rip the lift ring out the transom! I know there's some structural strength there, but it isn't designed for heavy side loads and I can't think of anything I've heard of that even comes close to that tow you did. Good call on the very stretchy rope but even so, once that rope is loaded up, the big boat lurching into a swell had to put a ton of force on the lift ring, with the prop pushing the '79 Ski forward.

Glad to hear the problem seems to be solved!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-30-2019 at 3:16pm
Glad it is running again, you got off easy, most old gas stories I know of involve the old gas varnishing the valves and making them stick, then a piston hits a stuck valve and you have lots to repair. Old gas will make the engine stink. There is no doubt what happened when you find one of the old gas failures. The piston heads come out very pretty, they get a shellac surface that is sticky.   
You must have mixed with some new fuel if you got away clean.
Those are tough boats and really durable, I agree with 63 Skier, the rear eye is not very strong but the center ski pylon is very strong if a strong pull is needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-30-2019 at 3:39pm
Mark, when I read the post about the tow it immediately got me thinking "how would I do that?". I don't know that I'd trust the pylon alone but would have to see what it looked like as the load came on. In a perfect world I'd have my fly high pole in place and transfer a lot of the load to the yoke around the bow, put the tow rope on the low pylon but the fly high would add a ton of support.

John, did anyone by chance take pictures of the tow, from the Nautique or the big boat? I'd love to see it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-30-2019 at 5:46pm
It has been a while since I was in the back of my 1978 Nautique but I remember a 1/2" all thread rod that connected the rear eye to the bottom of the boat or to a piece of angle iron fiberglassed to the rear transom? The eye on top was screwed into the all thread and then attached with a couple screws through the fiiberglass.
It is designed to lift the boat up on a boat lift not to pull from the rear although I remember towing tubes off my rear several times without damage.
Towing a boat I never use more than 2,000 RPM and always use gentle starts so the load is not nearly as high as pulling out a skier but I never towed a 15,000 pound barge of a boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-31-2019 at 10:36am
Originally posted by MrMcD MrMcD wrote:

Towing a boat I never use more than 2,000 RPM and always use gentle starts so the load is not nearly as high as pulling out a skier but I never towed a 15,000 pound barge of a boat.[/IMG]

I'll eat my hat if John kept it at 2000 rpm max pulling a 36 ft. Sea Ray! I'm guessing more like 3,500 at times and secondaries feeding fuel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-31-2019 at 11:31am
63 Skiier....Pics, do I ever! Yes in fact I documented the whole 3 day ordeal, from crashing into the bridges, to water cops at night making me "park it!" to my midnight search for the 36' monster to finally getting the the thing anchored in the Alafia river...even video of the night I opened up the 4160 and got my 1st SN holeshot experience....I think I said bad words!
I don't go anywhere without my Nikon.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 11:54am
Day 2 leaving the bay through the shipping channel...whew!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 11:56am
Long tow rope better, the sea ray looks close but that's 80 plus feet of rope out there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 12:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 12:54pm
As far as the lift eye strength with horizontal pull test goes, I did manage to snap the rope twice during the trip, once out in the channel when it was looking like Disney Princess was gonna play jump rope with us, and second time when going hard against outgoing tide in the river. All looks good back there, didn't hear any cracks or crunches, but I am going to add a truss and 1/4" alum plate from stringer to stringer @ ski pole and beef up lift ring area and add some cleats. Highway prop's gotta go I think, For what I'll be using boat for I don't need all that speed. Wonder what prop they used at Cypress Gardens back in the day when pulling alot of skiers at once and those hang gliders and stuff?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 1:09pm
Originally posted by pondman pondman wrote:



"Objects in mirror are closer (and larger!) than they appear"

That's a cool adventure!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 1:15pm
I will warn you about towing boats, my little brother is blind because of a towing accident.
He was sitting in the rear seat, the boat being towed hit a sand bar and stopped, he looked back just as the rope snapped. The snapping rope took out both of his eyes and the bridge of his nose. He has been 100% blind since that accident nearly 40 years ago. He lives a good life and is productive but it did not need to happen. Be careful there is a tremendous amount of stress on the rope when towing. We only tow with cotton ropes now and only at slow speed. I was not there that day, those that were still carry heavy guilt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 2:37pm
Mark,
Sorry to hear about your brother but happy to hear he has maintained a good life.

I feel John's job should have been left up to the pros especially the big ones like his. The membership cost is cheap and the risks are small.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote outerbanked Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-01-2019 at 3:30pm
I’d recommend setting your cleats up to side-tow.
1. Your load will be spread across a couple lines.
2. You will have better control of the tow vessel.
3. Keep your ties on your side, so you can disconnect quickly.

Most stern to bow towing is done with two cables and in open waters. Very hard to maneuver in traffic, change speed/ direction

Since it sounds like to have a crewmen/lookout, Put them on the towed vessel with a vhf + pdf and they will have your blind side. Would recommend some led lanterns and checking your Navi lights / shapes for towing to keep the harbor patrol and other vessels happy.

While this kind of work may seem unconventional, there is a great need for derelict vessel removal in the NW. Moorage is expensive and new boaters want new boats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BuffaloBFN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-02-2019 at 2:38pm
Originally posted by pondman pondman wrote:



That moment when a CCFan is saving your bacon.   
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"It's a Livin' Thing...What a Terrible Thing to Lose" ELO
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Whoa...…..That's a Hellava Calendar Shot right there!

74Wind says...."Morfoot...He can ski. He can wakeboard. He can cook chicken. He can create his own self-named beverage. And..can also apparently fly. A man of many talents."
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Originally posted by Morfoot Morfoot wrote:

Whoa...…..That's a Hellava Calendar Shot right there!

Absolutely!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-03-2019 at 11:00am
Yes, Towing a boat is dangerous no matter how you cut it, I couldn't tow "on the hip" on this one since it'd be impossible to see over the Sea Ray...and my helper bailed after the bridge scraping incident on day one. I think Coast guard recommends a "Y" configuration with a transom tow, Terrible thing what happened to your brother, wow. You can never really know what to expect out there do you?...Lord knows "smooth sailing" is hard to come by on these older boats. And yeah 99% of the boats I saw out there weren't more than a few years old, nice and shiny new....I swear I could smell fresh gelcoat on the Cuban kid's boat that brought "the old coot" in the ski boat two bottles of water. They even had a little gas grille that fit in a rod holder so they could cook their catch right on deck! I think I was a little jealous for a second or two...till I remembered my towed boat has four burners, an oven, 2 wine coolers, two bedrooms, A/C and a full bath...after just "a little" wrench turning of course.

.....it really is a sickness ain't it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pondman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-03-2019 at 11:27am
All my photos are free to use btw...unless you're my ex's atty.
On my way to get a waaaaay cool 1958 Aquasport.
I picked up FL registration (Citrus Co.) #'s "0050" and "0051" last week.
I thought the BIG Tow was gonna cure my old boat fetish but it's not looking too good...UGH!
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