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chmiller1977 View Drop Down
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Joined: 19 April 2014
Location: Texas
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ignition Issues ????
    Posted: 20 April 2014 at 7:22am
Last year I purchased a 1986 Malibu Skier powered with a Ford based PCM 351ci motor. It had already had an electronic ignition conversion completed (Pertronix). I ran the boat all last summer with no issues except for a spring coming loose in the carb. The only other Mods I made was to get a new stereo head unit put in. I put the boat away for winter, had it winterized by a local mechanic and all is good. 
I get a wild hair this Feb and have the carpet and interior seat skins replaced looks great !, I then have a stereo shop install 2 amps , one to run a sub , the other to run 4 6.5 in speakers in side panels. I install a 2 battery switch and a second battery to run amps to as well.  The boat had a perfect pass system in it that I chose to take out as well. I take the boat to my mechanic as the fuel sending unit never worked properly last year, I get him to install a new sending unit seems to work now. I also have the mechanic add  a depth finder I purchased through discount inboard. Have the mechanic change the oil , fuel seaparator, oil filter, re-install plugs to get ready for use. 

Here is the issue, I back the boat in the water , it won't start, I think ok , it sat up for a bit, I use some starting fluid lightly sprayed, no start. I am sitting on the boat , on trailer back half in the water on ramp. I pull out the boat , try to start, it fires right up so I kill it immed as is not in water now. For some reason, when I put the boat into the water there is no spark, the engine turns over just fine, but there is no spark whatsoever. I call my mechanic, he runs down to the boat ramp, does numerous electrical tests as best we can with limited tools, we can't figure it out at all ???? The boat starts and has fire on the first bump of the key , out of the water, in the water, no spark whatsoever ??? I have heard of people having issues with Pertronix elec ignition which it appears to have, but why all of the sudden after using the boat all last season and up until October before winterizing , and now there is no spark when the boat hits the water ? 
I know very little about electrical systems on boats or vehicles for that matter so chasing the issue has been a big challenge so far. My mechanic has suggested looking for an old points type distributor but I hear so much about how much better boats perform using the electronic ignition systems ? Plus finding the right points distributor could be a nightmare where to look ebay ??? 

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this ? My boat is allergic to the water !!!!@@@!!! This scenario sounds crazy , I realize that, part of the problem is the boat fires right up at the shop with out issue. I don't get it  GRRRRR!!!!!!! Help !
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