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Acceleration issues.

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AZ86SKI View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZ86SKI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-16-2023 at 6:28pm
The Charging Path is exactly as you described and the wiring around the solenoid being "homegrown" is an understatement. 

I attached a few photos. I had a feeling that after we replaced the automotive distributor and ignition module a while back that additional electrical issues would possibly follow. The electrical taped wires to and from the breaker never looked right to me so it's time undue or at least verify whatever electrical mess was previously created, which was possibly done to make the automotive distributor work. I have the original owners manual so I will go through it and see what if any electrical diagrams it may have. It amazes me how many issues a boat with only 400 plus hours can have, especially with most of my hours testing on the trailer. Ha.

I was able to re-test the red wire at the back of the alternator in the AC mode and it held a steady 32.2. Just FYI.
 
I also tested the light blue big wire and what do you know...a steady 14.06 volts Big smile. I should also mention that in addition to the red wire not having the factory crimp, the black and green wires also have additional electrical tape at the crimps that appear homegrown as well. 

One quick question, does the alternator appear to be the stock or correct alternator?

I will begin the process of following the wires and see where they all lead...especially the red wire. I will let you know what I find. 

Here are some photos of the wiring around the solenoid and breaker for reference. Thanks again for everyone's help and I will definitely need it when it comes to electrical.

From the back, it posted sideways


From the top, posted sideways as well.



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KENO View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-17-2023 at 7:35am
That little blue box right next to your solenoid is an external voltage regulator for the alternator

If you follow the wires from the regulator you'll end up at the alternator

Right about the mid 80's the swap to internally regulated alternators was happening with Ford marine engines so you may have the older externally regulated setup from the looks of it

It seems like in spite of some funny wiring, the system is working and sending about 14 volts to the battery, but the Red wire is a mystery till you see where that goes

When you rev it up, does voltage at the battery drop like you dash gauge did or does it stay pretty steady?

All of the terminals on the back of the alternator should be marked from the factory, so that picture of the alternator laying on the floor, workbench or whatever would be real helpful to see just what you have.

Since you're wondering about the affect on the ignition system, a temporary jumper from the battery connection at the solenoid to the power input to your distributor would give it that 14 ish volts instead of the 12.8 or so that you have now with the wires running up to the dash and back again to give power to the distributor
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AZ86SKI View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZ86SKI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-17-2023 at 11:35am
KENO, 

When I revved the engine the voltage gauge on the dash dropped to about 12.5 from 13 but the battery jumped from 14 to 14.08. So it rose a bit at the battery but not by much. Opposite of the dash gauge.

I did find an electrical schematic for the Commander in the owners manual. So I am going to post it here for reference. There was also some original flyers for some ski schools in Florida along with an original Correct Craft Tribune magazine from 1986 in the owner's manual binder. Some interesting articles to include Twiggy the water skiing squirrel and Magic the water skiing poodle who used Ski Nautique tow boats. Who knew? I will try to post those in the reference section at some point for fun. 

I will start following wires and see what I find. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-17-2023 at 1:32pm
There's an old thread with a schematic that resembles the one you posted.

It's in the link below


The "broken" part of the diagram is somewhat fixed in your later diagram, but the later diagram you have seems to have left out the ballast resistor for the points distributor in the diagram and done nothing to show the Neutral Safety Switch or Main Breaker

They both show an ammeter setup which has a different approach to getting power to the dash and back to charge the battery.

If you get confused, ask questions, don't just start cutting wires Wink

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AZ86SKI View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZ86SKI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-07-2023 at 3:10pm
I found some time and motivation to chase some wires. Motivation being JQ now has two fancy running boats and I can't seem to get one to run right Big smile. So I did a little Columbo work and followed the wires from the alternator to see where they all led.

I was able to get a photo of the back of the distributor without removing the alternator showing a diagram of the wiring. See below.



I know it is a bit tough to see. There are four wiring indicators.

Field Terminal - Where the green wire is connected. The red you see is just the connector, not the wire. 
Regulator Terminal - Where the red wire is connected.
Ground Terminal - Where the black wire is connected.
Output Terminal - Where the blue/grey wire is connected. This wire must have been replaced at some point as KENO indicated as the wiring schematics show it should be orange but we are going with the blue/gray that is there now. 

The red, black and green all work there way back to the external voltage regulator and all of this wiring looks fairly clean and original. See below. Posted sideways.



The blue/grey wire (that should be orange) goes from the output terminal on the distributor to the back of the breaker. This where the wiring has a much more homegrown appearance. It is connected at the same location on the breaker as a red wire that then runs to a large connector that then runs in wiring harness back up towards the front of the boat. Here is a photo of the back of the
breaker. Posted sideways as well. 

.

I don't see in the schematics a breaker at all. However, where the blue/gray (should be orange) wire connects at the breaker with the red wire, the red wire then leads into the wiring harness as displayed in the schematics. It seems like the battery is charging as it should with tests we ran on the trailer. Anyone see anything that could be causing any strange voltage readings on the gauge or more importantly solving our last remaining issue of lack of power under load and only achieving 2300-2500 RPM under load?   

Here is a photo of the solenoid/relay as well while we are dealing with the electrical just in case that is helpful. The smaller red wire you see coming in from the top left (as the photo sits) comes in from the breaker but the opposite side of the breaker where the blue/grey is connected. Posted sideways as well.


      
Any thoughts, guidance or possible solutions would be greatly appreciated. If it all checks out then we are left the last remaining issue of only achieving 2300-2500 RPM under load. Thanks for the help everyone, I really appreciate it. 

                
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samudj01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-07-2023 at 3:30pm
We have been working on this too as we are wiring the skier. The way you are set up is the same way we set up the tique (Jesse took a look at it yesterday). Ultimately bypassing the ammeter (ours is broken). I don’t think the way you are set up would cause acceleration issues.

78 Ski Tique, 72 Skier w/302's, 93 SN w/351 & 17 GS22 w/zr409
Previous - 99 Sport Nautique w/GT40 and 87 Martinique w/351
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZ86SKI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-08-2023 at 11:34am
Thank you samudj01. Good to know yours is set up the same way, since electrical is not my strongest skill. I have also been following along on your 72 Skier project. Very impressive work Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-08-2023 at 12:45pm
 I'll agree that your charging system is good even with the wrong color wires.

It's doing what it should.

While you're posting sideways pictures of things, how about a couple or a few of your prop, especially any markings that show the pitch and diameter Wink

You may have to take the prop nut off to see any markings on the back part of the hub, or if you have a puller, take it completely off..

There's been a little mention of the prop in this thread but not much and since it's the thing that loads or in this case can overload your engine, it would be one more thing to look at.

It would have been a 13X13 3 blade originally. (non CNC since they weren't around back then)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZ86SKI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-10-2023 at 4:22pm
Hey KENO,

The prop markings are 7 85 FEDERAL NI-BRAL CUP 13RH13, which I think you had me check way back when I started down this road. Although double and triple checking things on this boat have not only become necessary, but a requirement Big smile

However, something did catch my eye after staring at the boat for awhile. I noticed what appeared to be an original hose fastener on the fuel line from the tank to the fuel/water separator. I was under the impression that line had been replaced by previous owner when dealing with the tank during some deck repairs. Along with the previous fuel pressure and fuel flow tests I did at idle appearing normal, I assumed we were good there. That's what I get. 

I went ahead and removed the fuel line and it does appear to be the original.  The markings on the fuel hose are "Nautical 317 USCG Type A Hose 1985 2015". I can blow air thru the fuel line but it does feel a bit restricted, but at this point it could just be wishful thinking. In any event, a 37 year old fuel line needs to be replaced anyway. 

It doesn't say what diameter hose it is. I know to get USCG approved fuel line, but I don't know what size or the maybe a recommendation for a source. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-10-2023 at 6:55pm
It's 3/8 ID and something like this in the link is good hose


Use PND for the discount code and you'll save a little bit.

And as far as the prop.....yup, found your post on July 14th of 2022  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tomrupp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-11-2023 at 8:54am
Have you completed a compression test? I have followed this thread from the beginning. Forgive me if this was already covered. We had a missing 1/2” of head gasket material starboard side between the 2 cylinders closest to drivers seat (1&2?). It’s a 351 Ford. The boats symptoms were rough idle, sluggish power and inconsistent running. We were lucky to have a knowledgeable and generous friend to help us to tear it down, order parts and put it back together. Thank you Jim G. Running much better now as a full v8.
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95 Double Decker Aqua Patio with 50hp Honda (3 carbs).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZ86SKI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-11-2023 at 12:37pm
Thank you KENO. The new fuel line has been ordered.

Regarding the compression, we did do a compression test awhile back. Everything was in the 150-160 range except one cylinder (#7) which was 90 or so. A wet test on that cylinder only brought it up to about 100 which seemed to indicate perhaps more of a valve issue. It was interesting that the one cylinder was a bit low since a previous check in the mechanics notes had them all about the same. Thanks Tommrupp for the suggestion, anything is possible with this boat. 

I am hoping that a new fuel line will do the trick. Seemed to work for 63 skier at one point, so it can't hurt to give it a try. 

Thanks again for all the help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-11-2023 at 9:35pm
When my 78 Nautique started fouling one spark plug in a pretty short time we found low compression, like you right at 90 in that one cylinder.   When I pulled the heads one exhaust valve was burned with a small pie shape missing.   New heads had it running better than ever.   I was around 1,000 hours on the engine with the burned valve.
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