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Old 31-05-2014, 12:00   #1
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Atomic 4 Smells like Burning Plastic with Smoke

Hi All:

Embarrassed to admit that being a new boater I both ran out of gas and got a line caught on the prop today.

I got more fuel in her and got the line off.

She then however ran rough and I noticed light smoke in the engine compartment that smelled like burning plastic. Now the engine barely runs at all.

I had her hauled out and everyone agreed the shaft to the prop did not look bent.

Any ideas or advice?


Best,

Ryan
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Old 31-05-2014, 12:10   #2
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Any chance it's overheating?


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Old 31-05-2014, 12:12   #3
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

The gauge says it's not and it happens even after sitting for a while. :-(
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Old 31-05-2014, 12:26   #4
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

If it's not hot then I would next check ignition system and timing. Another possibility and maybe more likely is it's running lean from junk in the carb. If you pull the choke or put your hand over the carb to partially restrict airflow doe it smooth out any?


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Old 31-05-2014, 14:28   #5
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Make sure you've got good cooling water flow.

Check the coil, particularly if you have upgraded to electronic ignition. Then the ignition parts. check the lectric fuel pump of you have one. Wiring too.

A plastic smell says electrical to me. Excessive blow by would smell like oil.
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Old 31-05-2014, 15:53   #6
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Does shaft turn freely ?
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Old 31-05-2014, 16:00   #7
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Have you asked over at Moyer Marine?
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Old 31-05-2014, 21:26   #8
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

The mechanic believes it to be the coil after looking at it.

Thank you everyone, I will let you know if that is not the case.


Warmest,

Ryan
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:02   #9
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Anyone know what would cause a brand new coil to go bad?
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:05   #10
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

The replacement coil started her right up but the plastic burning smell still exists with light smoke in the engine compartment. Def not gas fumes
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:57   #11
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Smoke would worry me a lot.

Do you have electronic ignition? you may need a ballast resistor from the ignition to the coil. You may have a burning ballast resistor, or it has goo on it that is burning off.

There's a big thread over on the Moyer forums about the need/value/etc of ballast resistors.


It's a stretch, but maybe a serious short on the alternator output that's causing a wire to burn up - you can try running without the alternator connected. The a4 is simple - only ignition and alternator as it's electrical stuff.

Can you follow the smoke source?
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:08   #12
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckettnole View Post
Anyone know what would cause a brand new coil to go bad?
Betting you need a ballast resistor like was stated. An easy cheap one can be had that went into a mid 70's Chrysler automobile ought to be available at any car parts store, mounts with one bolt, is made of ceramic and gets hot as hell in operation so don't put it on wood or anything flammable. As I understand it coils can't handle 14V, so you need something to reduce that current, a ceramic resistor simply wastes that excess current as heat.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:30   #13
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

There may be a couple of issues here and I wish to address the coil idea. In my humble opinion there is no reason to run a six volt coil and ballast resistor on an A-4. Use a 12 volt coil and it will start and run just fine.
There are two primary reasons for coil failure and bad ballast is one of them. ELIMINATE IT! The other reason a coil gets hot is long dwell time. The coil primary is not meant to be sauturated for very long. As the point gap closes the dwell increases and the coil runs hotter and hotter until it fails. A good coil with clean points can run with a tiny gap and run strong but the coil won’t last very long.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:35   #14
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

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Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
Smoke would worry me a lot.
...
It's a stretch, but maybe a serious short on the alternator output that's causing a wire to burn up - you can try running without the alternator connected. The a4 is simple - only ignition and alternator as it's electrical stuff.
I think we all agree smoke isn't good.

Don't run with the alternator output disconnected and the regulator connected ( usually via the cockpit key switch). You'll burn out your alternator.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:16   #15
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Re: Atomic 4 smells like burning plastic with smoke

Stu is correct - to try no alt, disconnect it correctly.

And the ballast is for a 12v coil, but with 14.4v (or thereabouts) from the alt - i.e. the coils get hot at the higher voltage. (The moyer site has more info)

And improperly set points can burn up a coil.

But the OP says after coil replacement (that I inferred made the engine run smoothly) there is still smell/smoke. That's odd as it takes awhile to toast a coil.
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