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Old 17-12-2013, 21:27   #1
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chev 350 mechanic

Can anyone recommend a Chev 350 marine mechanic in Sydney Harbour please?
The Starboard engine in my boat needs work. I've exhausted all my ideas. I checked electrics, changed the oil and filter, changed HT ignition wires and checked the coil and points but still it has the following symptoms:

1 difficult to start
2 won't idle
3 blows hot air out just above the alternator that burns your hand (difficult to see)
4 compared to the Port engine it sounds very rough when its finally running.
5 once running it won't rev up much over 2000 rpm - I cleaned the carburetor.

I feel sure a gasket is blown or problems with heads.
Any ideas are welcome as I would dearly love to have it fixed. I need serious help.

Many thanks.
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Old 18-12-2013, 11:13   #2
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

Start by pulling the plugs and do a comparison to see if any are markedly different than any of the others followed by a compression/leak down test.
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Old 18-12-2013, 11:18   #3
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

When was the last time the risers were cleaned/replaced?? Sounds like restricted flow to me.
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Old 18-12-2013, 15:52   #4
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I bought the boat recently and am not sure of the maintenance history.
Thanks for the suggestions but my abilities and equipment limits me to small jobs so will have to find a mechanic willing to work on petrol engines. I've since replaced also the fuel pump to no avail.

Boat Assist 24 recommended a mechanic near Cabarita at River Quays marina.
Any recommendations are welcome
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Old 18-12-2013, 16:25   #5
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

#3 is the most telling. Air that hot has to be exhaust. This is going to sound strange but bare with me.

With both engines cold & engine off remove the flame arrestor. That’s the thing that looks like an air cleaner. Compare the choke plates on both engines. Push lightly on both choke plates and see if the resistance is about the same. Replace the arrestor

Start both engines and allow to come to operating temp then shut both down. Again remove the arrestor on both and compare the choke butterfly on both. They should now be both open. My guess is that the starboard engine choke is still partially on.

If so check to see if your vintage engine has a choke heating tube from the intake manifold leading to a round pod on the side of the carb – even with the shaft that goes thru the choke plate. If that tube is blown or broken that would give all your symptoms.

Hot air & a crappy idling engine.
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Old 18-12-2013, 16:43   #6
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

I can't help with your diagnosis but the mechanic at Balmain Marina (Alan Clark) has been in business for a long time and may be able to assist.
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Old 18-12-2013, 16:59   #7
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

If it's just a Chev then any motor mechanic should be able to help you versus a specific boat mechanic.
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Old 18-12-2013, 17:01   #8
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

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Old 18-12-2013, 17:10   #9
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Thanks again for the support, advice and hints, I will follow up.
Bad time of the year I know but will contact Alan Clark at Balmain.
I'm at my whits end with this engine but love the boat very much!
Also want to go and see the fireworks on new years eve and it dents the ego to limp there and back on one engine.
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Old 18-12-2013, 17:12   #10
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

PS You must have a massive fuel bill to run that thing!
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Old 18-12-2013, 17:28   #11
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It's not all that bad if you take it easy and sit on around 2000 rpm tempting as it is to see if it can do the 20 knots they say it could.
Both me and the boat are old now and I just do short trips around the Parramatta river
it's a 30ft fiberglass motor cruiser and I just love it
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Old 18-12-2013, 17:44   #12
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

Remove the distributor cap on both engines and turn the engine backward while watching the rotor. It will give an indication of the relative slop of the timing chains. I built many 350s back when I drove. I gave up on chains altogether and started running gears. some of the chevys came with plastic timing gears and all would need replacement after 60-80k miles. Another indication of timing would be popping and or backfiring when slowing down after revving. Next step would be to hook up a vacuum guage and compare the vacuum on the two engines. Its a bit easier since you have two engines to compare.
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Old 18-12-2013, 18:03   #13
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It still has s points and a condenser system on both motors.
The engine does back fire as you suggested and I forgot to mention that.
I find it almost impossible to turn the engine over as there are seawater cooling pumps in the way.
The engines are marinised and mounted on two stern drives. Trouble I know but very maneuverable.
Thanks again for your suggestions
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Old 18-12-2013, 18:32   #14
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Max drove a Ford I thought. Lol.
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Old 18-12-2013, 19:23   #15
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Re: chev 350 mechanic

With the backfiring I would think your timing chain is shot. I would replace them on both engines, unless one has been changed already they probably both are loose. Getting a socket on the crank bolt and turning back and forth gives a visual with the rotors. Good news is parts for these engines are dirt cheap, at least here in the states. I was getting rebuild kits with pistons for around $150. Gear drives outlast the chains about 3:1 and give very exact valve timing throughout the life. I had one block that outlasted 3 bodies, ran a half million miles and was still running strong when sold. It had a kit put in it at each install. If it has an 010 030 cast on the block it is the cream of the crop. Indicates a high nickel and tin content in the alloy. Timing chain r&r is a single afternoon job but on a boat access may require engine removal if you cant get at it. There will be a HUGE difference in performance with correct valve timing and fuel consumption will drop accordingly.
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