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    Starting issue with 86 Bayliner Ciera 2755-gctid385676

    Hi folks...I'm new here, and glad to find this forum. So, I recently picked up a 1986 Bayliner Ciera 2755 in pretty good condition at a good price. It has the carbeurated 350 V8 Volvo Pentadrive. The interior, hull, and deck are all in excellent shape. It runs really well (I had it up to about 38 mph several times on the lake)...once I get it started. Getting it started seems to be the issue.

    It started fine the first time out, but the next two times starting got difficult until it finally wouldn't start at all. Put it in the shop at a local marina, the mechanic replaced the ignition coil (the main problem according to him), plugs, points, etc. He tested the compression, and if I recall 4 cylinders showed 170 or so, 2 cylinders showed 150, and 2 cylinders showed about 100. He did some other stuff (fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel filler hose, shifter cable, pulled the outdrive off, lubricated it, changed the gear oil, and installed a new boot, etc.), plus trailer bearing and hub repairs. The total bill was about $1600. This fella seems to know what he's doing, and he has a good reputation.

    He just finished this work, I went to take it out for the day, and guess what? It wouldn't start. I finally got it started (the mechanic's apprentice was hanging out at the marina). This kid says that the automatic choke is causing it to flood because compression on 2 cylinders is low and it's not sucking enough fuel into the engine.

    We did get it started by him holding the choke plate open while I started it. However, opening the engine bay and having one person start it while I hold the choke plate open everytime I'm starting it cold isn't an acceptable solution. What are you thoughts?

    1) Is the low compression on 2 of the cylinders the likely cause of this starting problem? If so, will having the valve work done (assuming that's the issue causing the low compression) likely resolve the starting issue?

    2) Would it be possible and feasible to disconnect the automatic choke, and just install a manual choke with a cable to the helm? Would that likely be a decent resolution to the starting problem? Or am I just covering up a symptom instead of actually fixing a problem.

    3) Any other ideas? Seriously, any thoughts at all would be much appreciated.

    I had one mechanic check this boat over supposedly good before I bought it, and paid him about $500 for that plus a couple of repairs (installing a new battery charger, oil change, etc.). I also burned up one of the trailer bearings on the 2nd tow, and had a guy come fix that and check all of the other wheels, service the surge brakes, and paid him about $600...apparently he didn't do such a good job at that because 3 of the trailer wheels were wobbly. I'm beginning to wonder if most of these mechanics are just true bone-heads.

    Anyway, I really want to get this starting issue resolved so I can tow the boat to the coast for a few weekends over the remainder of the summer, so I'm looking for some good wisdom from you guys.

    Thanks,

    Dave

    #2
    The issue of 2 cylinders being that low is going to be a problem sooner or later.

    Frankly it sounds like your mechanic learned how to charge before anything else. He threw parts at it and there was no reason for that.

    It was the first thing I thought of as I had the same issue with my Volvo but brand doesn't matter.

    Adjust the choke way back or disconnect it all together. You can do that by the adjustment so it doesn't close or just closes.

    What you will have to do to start is pump it a couple or 3 times and start it. Leave the throttle open to about 1000 rpms, even 1200 rpms until it warms up a bit.

    Then you are good to go.

    The mechanic should have seen the choke issue and his helper should have known enough to adjust it back. 2 cylinders causing that is bull as far as I am concerned.

    I had twin Volvos and one would even close when it was warm causing flooding. I set them both so they didn't close.

    I started just like I suggested to you.

    Btw, if an engine floods, open the throttle wide open and leave it there. Crank the engine until it starts and be ready to pull the throttle back when it starts. That is how you clear a flooded carb engine.

    I don't know what kind of throttle and shift controls you have but if it is all in one there is a way to disable the shift so you can idle it fast out of gear. Two levers and it is simple. Just in case you need that info.

    About the valves being the problem. The mechanic should have squirted oil in the low cylinders and took another reading. If it came up rings would be suspect. If it didn't most likely valves.

    Doug
    Started boating 1955
    Number of boats owned 32
    Bayliners
    2655
    2755
    2850
    3870 presently owned
    Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply, Doug.

      OK, I went and checked it out. It started OK cold today. I adjusted the idle up a little bit, stopped and started it several times, then took it on the water for about 30 minutes, then took it back to the marina. I discovered I had adjusted the idle a little too high (around 1000 rpms)...the outdrive seems to be missing some sort of bracket because it pops up out of the water in reverse under any throttle (or with the idle too high, as I discovered). So, I lowered the idle speed some and tried re-starting several more times. The starting was erratic...sometimes it started fine with little or no throttle, sometimes I had to open the throttle all the way until it started and immediately shut the throttle almost off.

      There are two swivel plates on the carb...a small one that is on the aft side of the engine, and a larger one that is on the stern side of the engine. The larger plate (I assume this is the choke plate?) is spring-loaded and has a lever attached to it that doesn't seem to go anywhere else (from what I could tell...I'm not a mechanic). I didn't see any way to adjust it partially or fully open...no screw or anything. Is the larger plate indeed the choke plate?

      I *could* see a way that I could attach a remote cable to the lever of the larger plate so that I could open it most of the way from the helm (routing the cable would be a little work, but I could follow the same path as the shift and throttle cables).

      I heard some clanking noises coming from it too after running it for awhile...not sure what the source of that noise is, but I don't recall hearing it before...ai ai ai. :livid: I hoping I didn't damage anything by unintentionally rev'ing it too much while trying to start it with the throttle fully open.

      Man, this is really ticking me off...it's awefully hard to enjoy the boat if I constantly have to wonder "will I be able to get it restarted if I cut it off?".

      Thanks for any responses,

      Dave

      Comment


        #4
        You need to get a qualified guy look at your carb. First, you have a problem with the choke. It may be a bi-metalic strip not heating, or the heater wire could be off, or the shaft could be spinning on the strip, or the strip could be broke in the choke drive pot, or, or, or.

        Next, you have fuel being dumped into the carb throats when the engine is off. This could be a sunk float, or a stuck metering pin, or a loose main jet, or a clogged inlet, or, or, or.

        Carbs are not really complex, but they do need a qualified guy to have a look at it and diagnose it right. Ask more questions here, and of the guy you want to work on the boat/trailer. Stop throwing money at problems, and get them diagnosed.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the post, doc. Is there any sort of troubleshooting guide online or in printed form that would help me diagnose this myself?

          Thanks,

          Dave

          Comment


            #6
            I spoke with the mechanic yesterday...I told him the symptoms and he pretty much said the same thing...choke malfunctioning and float gone bad. He is getting me a quote on a carb rebuild.

            Dave

            Comment


              #7
              Find out WHO is doing the rebuilding. all carb guys are not equal. Or, if it's a factory rebuild and has a warrantee.

              Comment


                #8
                Ah, good idea. Will do.

                Btw...when I set the idle too high, I noticed the outdrive lifts up out of the water in reverse if given too much throttle. I gather there is some sort of bracket that is missing from the outdrive. It's a Volvo Pentadrive. Does anyone know exactly what this bracket looks like, a part#, a picture, etc? I'm sure it's simple enough that I can install that myself. (I'm pretty handy with metalworking, so if it isn't too complex, I can probably fabricate one. If not, I'm sure I can attach it after ordering one.)

                Thx,

                Dave

                Comment


                  #9
                  Update...the mechanic did a carb rebuild, and that seems to have *mostly* resolved the issue. This past weekend, it still got a little stubborn to crank a few times, but I managed to get it cranked with only a couple tries versus 10-20 tries. Occasionally I still have to shove the throttle wide open and pull it back quickly once it fires up, but I can live with a "special procedure" as long as I can reliably get it started.

                  I'd really like to learn more about this engine so I can tweak and troubleshoot myself when needed though. Any suggestions on a good resource, troubleshooting guide, etc., to help me get started?

                  Sunday, I repaired one of the seats (the wood inside had rotted and crumbled, so I replaced it with two large L-brackets and two composite polymer boards...it'll never rot again ), and power-washed the top side...it cleaned up really nice, so I'm pleased.

                  Cheers,

                  Dave

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I thought I had this issue resolved. I had the boat out on the water last Sat, and although it was still a little on the mildly stubborn side, it started reliably (usually on the 1st or 2nd try, a couple of times it took 3-4 tries and WOT...but it started every time).

                    Took it out today (Sat) again, it started up fine at the ramp, got it out to the middle of the lake, stopped and was idling...the engine went dead at idle, and wouldn't restart. It seemed to be getting fuel...seemed like it wasn't getting a spark (although I haven't confirmed that).

                    Man...this is really making me dislike this boat. I'm obviously not too crazy about taking it back to the shop for more work on the same problem at $90/hour. Where should I start troubleshooting this myself?

                    TIA,

                    Dave

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Another question: the swim platform has an outboard bracket on the port side. How big of an outboard can I put on there? What hp would it take to limp back to the ramp, even in a fairnly brisk wind? This might save me from having to get towed (how today ended).

                      Thx,

                      Dave

                      Comment


                        #12
                        davesisk wrote:
                        Update... the mechanic did a carb rebuild, and that seems to have *mostly* resolved the issue.

                        Occasionally I still have to shove the throttle wide open and pull it back quickly once it fires up, but I can live with a "special procedure" as long as I can reliably get it started.
                        Dave, when all is working correctly, and once the engine has been running and has been up to temperature, you should be able to start this engine by the turn of the key and while at a mild throttle plate position.

                        Something is not quite right here.

                        davesisk wrote:
                        ............

                        1.... it started reliably (usually on the 1st or 2nd try, a couple of times it took 3-4 tries and WOT...but it started every time).

                        2.... Took it out today (Sat) again, it started up fine at the ramp, got it out to the middle of the lake, stopped and was idling...the engine went dead at idle, and wouldn't restart. It seemed to be getting fuel...

                        3.... seemed like it wasn't getting a spark (although I haven't confirmed that).
                        Dave,

                        1..... earlier in your thread it was mentioned that you may have a helix or helix heating eliment that is not pulling the choke plate open.

                        From what you just described (opening the throttle up in order to start), it does sound like a rich fuel scenario. When the throttle plates are fully open, the additional air flow leans out the otherwise rich fuel mixture, and the engine fires up.

                        It's likely the choke plate via the helix/heating eliment, or a bad float or needle/seat.

                        The Quadrajets also have several factory machining ports that are sometimes closed with epoxy. When the epoxy goes bad, it causes trouble in that they can leak fuel into the intake manifold.

                        Question: if you were to smell your engine oil, can you smell any heavy traces of gasoline in it?

                        2.... An engine that is starting up from cold can use a rich fuel mixture. That may explain why it starts right up at the dock.

                        3.... While it does sound like a fuel/air issue, look into your ignition system.

                        Check the spark quality. (yellow-ish = poor spark....... white/blue-ish and with a crisp "snap" = good spark)

                        On your older system, you'll have the "start-by-pass" system. Make sure that a PO has not circumvented this.

                        davesisk wrote:
                        I'm obviously not too crazy about taking it back to the shop for more work on the same problem at $90/hour. Where should I start troubleshooting this myself?
                        When you have work done, try to ask and pay for diagnostics that pin-point the problem.

                        The work that follows should correct the problem.

                        If not, then it should be on the repair shop's nickel to further correct the problem..... not on your nickel.

                        I'll add yet one piece to this; if you don't correct this, you're going to be replacing the starter motor soon.

                        .
                        Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                        Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hey Rick...thanks for the post.

                          QQ...I obviously can't turn the ignition key from the helm station while sitting in the engine bay, and I don't have a helper available. Is there a way to fire the ignition from the engine bay?

                          2850Bounty wrote:
                          On your older system, you'll have the "start-by-pass" system. Make sure that a PO has not circumvented this.
                          How is this start by-pass designed to work, what does it do, and how do I confirm it's not been jerry-rigged?

                          2850Bounty wrote:


                          I'll add yet one piece to this; if you don't correct this, you're going to be replacing the starter motor soon.
                          Yeah, no kidding.

                          Thanks,

                          Dave

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The sticker on the engine says Volvo Penta 260B. Does this engine have a low-oil cut-off switch perhaps? (If it does and it works correctly, that's definitely a good thing.) I just checked the oil, and it's just below the low mark on the dipstick. The oil was changed when I bought it a few months ago. Perhaps this older engine is burning some oil, and the low oil cutoff switch (if there is one) is what caused it to cut it off. I'll assume it uses 10W40? How many quarts?

                            I'm charging the batteries right now, will try to grab a neighbor to turn the ignition while I check the spark.

                            Dave

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I doubt your engine has a low engine oil cutoff, that would be unsafe if someone were out and the engine died.

                              You do have a way of starting the engine from the bay, but you aren't going to like it. blower on for 10 min, have a extinguisher handy, get a screwdriver and find the large lug on the starter. There is a smaller terminal inside the large lug, and that is the solenoid activation. Short circuit the large lug to the smaller terminal with the screwdriver, and the starter will run. Remain clear of rotating bits when you do this.

                              You still have a mixture problem. Take the plugs out of number 3, and 6 and look at the color of the plugs. They should be very light brown, or tan/whitish color. I'm betting they will be dark brown almost black in color. Let me know what you find.

                              Here is another old school device which will help you DIAGNOSE the problem. Diagnosis is the key. If you have good plug color, we will move on to the ign circuit.

                              http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gunson-Colortune-14mm-kit-/280687615569?hash=item415a491e51&item=280687615569 &pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&vxp=mtr#ht_737wt_1139` 1

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