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Old 17-09-2013, 14:09   #1
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crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

OK I have twin 1987 "350/454ci" crusaders. Serial #60292. While at the fuel dock the other day the stbd one died, I restarted it and it seemed to feel like it didn't have any power almost like no gas and then died again after a few sec. Got back to the slip on the other Eng and now it won't start.
First thought was fuel so I opened the main aluminum tank (the port eng continues to run fine on this tank) it has 1/4 tank of fresh and clear gas. I just finished a 260 mile trip about a month ago. I have checked and the vent line clean/clear and open. Took a hand bulb pump and get good fuel from the tank to the canister filter on the eng going through the selector switch and a bulkhead mounted filter. The filter was clean and clear but i replaced it anyway and it was replaced new before the 260 mi cruise here. Pulled the line off the carb and turned over the eng and have good flow whit good streams in the carb. So I don't think its fuel, not i turned to "spark" it does not seem to me that I'm getting spark from the plug wire or the coil to dist. with when i ground them out on the eng. I have the Mallory YL 670AV distributor with what were pretty old points. I changed the cap and rotor as well as the points and here's the odd thing. Still will not start and when I compare the voltage between the good eng and this one, with the keys turned on i get about 11.5 volts from the lead on the dist. going to the coil, and from the coil to the resistor in the pic (both sides of it) and then on down to the starter solenoid vers diff voltages on the good eng. Can anyone help or tell me what the issue could be before i have to call in a mechanic.
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Old 17-09-2013, 14:29   #2
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

should be a condenser in there with the points,that will keep it from sparking
just switch from other engine to see if it works
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Old 17-09-2013, 14:31   #3
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

little silver cylinder looking thang
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Old 17-09-2013, 14:45   #4
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

One thing I would do ASAP is put in a Pertronix electronic ignition. That is the single easiest and cheapest thing you can do to make old Crusaders run better. I did it to the two on my St. Tropez.

Ignitor

I put new coils on mine, too. They ran much better.
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:01   #5
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

PUT A NEW CONDENSER IN WITH THE POINTS, GAPED AT 0.018 PER A TRUSTED ENG SHOP, AND I WISH I COULD PUT IN AN ELECTRONIC ING. BUT THIS IS THE ONE MALLORY THAT NOE ONE MAKES ONE FOR, HAVE LOOKED. i HATE TO START TAKING THINGS OFF THE RUNNING ENG, MAYBE I WILL PUT THE OLD ONE BACK IN AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS
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Old 18-09-2013, 12:23   #6
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

Hey, does anyone happen to have the service /repair manual for these engs in a format that you could email it to me or at lease the section on ignition ?
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Old 18-09-2013, 15:57   #7
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

You can probably find a copy of your electrical info for 454's at the library .....
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Old 18-09-2013, 16:40   #8
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

Am I missing something here? Its a big block chevy. Slap in a stock chevy HEI electronic distributor and your problems will vanish. One wire to hook up. These distributors have very few problems. The points should be relegated to a museum or something lol. A junkyard unit would be fine and way more reliable than points and condensor.
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Old 18-09-2013, 17:43   #9
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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
Am I missing something here? Its a big block chevy. Slap in a stock chevy HEI electronic distributor and your problems will vanish. One wire to hook up. These distributors have very few problems. The points should be relegated to a museum or something lol. A junkyard unit would be fine and way more reliable than points and condensor.
I wouldn't use one on a marine engine because of the danger of a spark & gas fumes. The Pertronix conversion is a excellent choice, I put one on a sbc 270 hp omc cobra IO drive boat & never had another problem. One thing you might check is the filter in the carburetor at the inlet, also make sure that the accelerator pump is shooting fuel into the venturi when the linkage is stroked. Good luck
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Old 18-09-2013, 18:30   #10
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

Ok found the problem, I put in a "new" set of points and it turns out they had a little bit of corrosion on them i guess. After i found no spark at the plugs i took a little 200grit sandpaper to the point and just lightly hit them and "Wham" it started right up. timing was off about 6 degrees but now it starts and runs fine ! thanks everyone for all ur help and ideas ! ! ! got to love boating forums !
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Old 18-09-2013, 18:35   #11
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

Hi, You have two engines, one perfect, one not...a great opportunity to divide and conquer! Swap things around....even the HT leads...

Start with the battery...

Good luck!
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Old 19-09-2013, 06:37   #12
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Re: crusader 454 eng prob. HELP

Get some shop manuals. The only thing easier to work on than a small block Chevy is a big block Chevy. You have a great pair of engine most likely, that just need a small amount of upgrading and maintenance.
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