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Dominick
Dominick, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1009
Experience:  25 Years Experience as Mechanic, 20 Yrs Boat Yard Owner/Mechanic, Factory Certified
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I have a 1996 Chris Craft Crowne with twin 350 Crusaders (carbs

Customer Question

I have a 1996 Chris Craft Crowne with twin 350 Crusaders (carbs with electronic ignition). The starboard engine turns but won't start. This issue happened last year and was fixed by changing the ignition switch which I did when this problem began but to no avail. I changed the distributor cap and rotor. I also changed the water/fuel separator filter. The coil sends spark to the distributor. Any other ideas that might be the issue here?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with? Will it run, or at least hit, if you spray some starting fluid down the carb?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jason, my name is***** it will not run or hit. I sprayed starting fluid down the carburetor and it did not even hit when I did that. It just turns over and will not catch. I will say that after trying it about 20 times during the day I then tried it for the heck of it at 10 o'clock at night and it started up. I shut it off turn the key and it would not start or hit at all after that.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kurt. Do you have a timing light?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can get one. I am not at my boat right now.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
What I want you to do is check for spark by hooking up the timing light to a plug wire and cranking the engine over, and seeing if the light flashes or not.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did that yesterday and it did not appear to be sparking. I took a plug wire off and inserted a screwdriver inside then placed it near a metal ground. Didn't see any juice but again the process might have not been totally accurate.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Lets say that there is no spark?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But there was spark from the coil to the distributor cap because that zapped me pretty good!
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
the next step is to see if the rotor is turning when cranking the engine over.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is this done by taking the distributor cap off and turning the key?
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Yes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have an appointment to go to in the next hour but will be at my boat afterwards. How do I continue this conversation then??
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Just reply right back here when you are ready.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We can keep this window open for 90 mins +/- ??
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
There are no time limits here, quesitons never close out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Awesome! Thnx
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
On my boat. Switched coils, no difference. Sometimes spark, sometimes not.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Which ignition system is on the engine? If you don't know, can you take pictures of the distributor and coil for me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
MSTS mean anything?
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Nope.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Here are some pics of the engine. We switched the micro processor box, coil and I think it's called the render unit (the GM part under the front of the distributor. All were switched out with the port engine and nothing helped. The engine would get spark and start once then nothing but turn over after that. We put both engines back together and were packing in up for the night when my buddy (pretty knowledgeable with regards ***** ***** etc but not a mechanic) sat at the helm and turned the ignition key just a touch into the start mode and it fired up no problem. We did this about 10 times with no issues. I did the same thing and the engines fired no problem. Is there something weird with the ignition switch???
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its a three prong switch. If I was to replace the switch what brand and model would be best?? I see Cole Hersee, Sea Choice, Sea Dog,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Jason, are you still there??
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
I opted out and left this open to the community. I've never seen that ignition system before. I know everybody else here, and I know everybodys strengths and weaknesses. I don' think anybody else is going to know that ignition system either. It's an odd duck that only crusader used for 1 or 2 year. Good luck to you.