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Old 05-10-2011, 11:27   #1
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Soooo, Engine Wouldn't Start

Sooo our boat has the original '77 Zephyr Saildrive gas engine and This morning she wouldn't start. We take her out two to three times a week and all has been well...

Today motor cranks but won't start..,
Upon investigation many of the wires that lead to the plugs (girl here not totally motor savvy) have fallen onto the block and melted through so Joe is down in the motor cussing and fretting...

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:40   #2
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Re: Sooo engine wouldn't start

Spark plug wires shorting out on the engine block not good, but not a big problem to fix. Should probably get new ones if they have melted.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:48   #3
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Re: Sooo engine wouldn't start

find a way to lift em and keep em off where they do not belong on the engine .....
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:05   #4
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Ya somebody in the past obviously put them where they do not belong
Looks like they don't make the wiring harness anymore so we will have to hard wire the whole system everywhere it needs replaced. The back up motor is in the shop (groan) and thankfully this happened at the dock...no excursions for a while...lame
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Old 05-10-2011, 15:21   #5
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Joe is currently inside the engine compartment with rolls of multi colored 16 gauge wire clips tools and beer. This should be interesting
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Old 05-10-2011, 16:34   #6
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Re: Soooo, Engine Wouldn't Start

I hope the 16 gauge wire is high tension wire. Otherwise, when he starts the engine, turn down the lights and watch the pretty arcing. Oh, make sure there are no gas fumes around.
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Old 05-10-2011, 16:37   #7
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It is the wire the engine owners manual calls for looks like what we replaced. Still will not start however...all apparently affected wires replaced engine cranks but won't start
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:03   #8
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Re: Soooo, Engine Wouldn't Start

Engine Type?
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:07   #9
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Zephyr omc saildrive 1977 we use it 2 to 3 times weekly it started this morning but died before we got out of the dock (thankfully) rarely if ever dies. Upon investigation several wires had fallen or been placed over the exhaust and engine block and appeared to have melted so we replaced those from main 5 prong plug to most of the wiring harness we did nit have a plug so hard wired the whole thing. Motor cranks but won't start same as after it died
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:19   #10
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Re: Soooo, Engine Wouldn't Start

A gasoline engine requires fuel/air mixture and a spark at the correct timing in order to run. Are you getting fuel to the carb.? Is there a choke that is stuck open or closed? Are you getting a spark to the spark plugs?

Is there a strong smell of gas? Maybe you have flooded the engine.

Timing needs to be checked with a timing light and so you would need a mechanic (unless you have the skills).

That engine probably (?) has a distributor. If so pull the cap off and check the points to see if they are clean and the inside of the cap is clean and dry. It may be electronic ignition though and so no points, but still a distributor. If electronic ignition it may have been fried when the wires melted. Good luck.

I forgot to mention compression, but if it just died its not likely a problem with the compression.
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:23   #11
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Re: Soooo, Engine Wouldn't Start

But did the wires melt because they were laying on the engine? from heat.

Or did they melt because of excess electrical current flowing through them? such as a malfunction that causes a short circiut.
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:28   #12
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The wires melted from heat it looked pretty obvious.
We visually checked distributor, carb and plugs but did not go further because the wiring problem seemed so obvious. Tomorrow Joe plans on doing a more in depth investigation of the fuel end of the spectrum and make sure both plugs are firing. Redoing the wiring took all day so the adventure wil obviously continue tommorow. We had just added fuel to the tank immediately prior but used the same fuel and oil and same mixture.
I will keep you updated
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:29   #13
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Oh forgot to mention choke is not stuck and no strong fuel smell. It does have a distributor
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:34   #14
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Re: Soooo, Engine Wouldn't Start

Were these spark-plug wires (hi-tension) or just electrical wires?
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:41   #15
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Just electrical wires part of the wiring harness
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