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UWSkier

Distributor points

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UWSkier

Found out why our boat was feeling down on power this year. The points under the distributor practically down to powder. I won't know how much stronger it is until I take it out next spring, but I'm thinking it'll feel much better now that it's making a good spark. The boat has about 300 hours on it. How often should we plan on changing these? Every season?

Unrelated note, while the boat was in the shop, 3 people came in and offered to pay top dollar for it. If Malibu still made a boat my family would like, we'd be in an '06. The only boat that may be considered would be a V-ride on the Diamond hull, which I guess you can order this year.

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MoonDawg

I used to own an Jet Boat that had a dual point ignition. It was always giving me problems. I changed the points about every other year but had to continually adjust them.

I changed them to an electronic module and never had to worry again. This was one of the best upgrades I ever did.

http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PNX-ML-181

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JasonK

I did the same conversion on mine. Do it, you won't be sorry. Easy to install too.

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skistud1

I'm not the most mech. inclined. Are "points" spark plugs? My owners manual says to change the plugs every year.

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88Skier

A 2001 Sunsetter with points? That doesn't sound right. My 88 has them and I change them every few years. It's no big deal. I always keep a set on hand and change them before they wear out.

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M3Fan
I'm not the most mech. inclined.  Are "points" spark plugs?  My owners manual says to change the plugs every year.

Points are basically electrical contacts that sit below the rotor in the distributor. They open and close a 12v circuit to the coil. They are actuated by lobes on the distributor shaft as it rotates. When they break the circut by opening, the magnetic field in the inner coil of the distributor collapses, releasing an electromagnetic pulse. The energy is absorbed by the larger, outer coil, producing the several thousand volt burst of energy that is sent to the spark plug. As the contact points get corroded and wear out, problems occur so they are usually replaced by a 100.00 or so electronic conversion kit. These kits are small enough to fit in the distributor housing. They sense the lobes on the distributor shaft and electronically open and close the circuit instead of physically.

I also find it odd that they would be on an 01 Malibu?!?

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kbtheboz

Points on an '01? I agree with the group, something isn't right. I didn't have points on my '91 PCM.

Sounds like somebody is blowing smoke......

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edwin

UW - sure you're not talking about the rotor?

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88Skier

That's what I was thinking. Probably talking about the rotor or contacts in the dist. cap. That's an easy fix. Just replace.

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TJP

Speaking of cap and rotor, what do most people replace with? Standard GM 350 cap and rotor kit? Marine kit? Something else? I've had a lot of success with Bosch kits on my truck and won't mind applying this to the boat. However, I don't know if Bosch makes a marine kit?

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RTS
Speaking of cap and rotor, what do most people replace with?  Standard GM 350 cap and rotor kit?  Marine kit?  Something else?  I've had a lot of success with Bosch kits on my truck and won't mind applying this to the boat.  However, I don't know if Bosch makes a marine kit?

I just replaced mine with one from the dealer, and to my untrained eye, there was nothing "marine" about it. No special seals or anything. I wouldn't think you'd have a problem with the Bosch.

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tvano

icbr but i thought the oem gm distributor cap has a sliding metal cover that is a throw back to the old days when you could adjust the points with the engine running(or am i just showing my age). the marine version does not have this (to suppress sparks).

Edited by tvano

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MoonDawg

You will need to replace your cap with a cap for a marine approved distributor. These caps screw on. The standard GM cap uses spring clips.

If you have a fire/explosion the insurance company will not pay if you are using a non-marine approved distributor/cap. The distributor has a tag that says it is marine approved.

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88Skier
icbr but i thought the oem gm distributor cap has a sliding metal cover that is a throw back to the old days when you could adjust the points with the engine running(or am i just showing my age).  the marine version does not have this (to suppress sparks).

You must be old. As I remember, there was a slot in the distributor to stick an allen wrench type tool that had a handle like a screw driver and a spring shaft. You'd hook a tach and dwell up to it and adjust it until the gap was perfect. Just GM though IIRC.

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TJP

You will need to replace your cap with a cap for a marine approved distributor. These caps screw on. The standard GM cap uses spring clips.

Appreciate the feedback. However, every GM truck I have owned had the screw on cap as well.

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88Skier

I find it interesting that Indmar does not appear to have their own brand of parts. PCM does. My dealer sells GM and Mercruiser parts that will fit an Indmar. I haven't replaced mine yet as I was reluctant to buy Merc or GM parts, but after searching there does not appear to be offical Indmar parts.

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MoonDawg

TJP,

You are right about the screw on cap being standard. I have always run Mallory distributors on my GM motors. They have the spring clips.

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MoonDawg

I found a thread on another site that talks about the differences of marine distributors vs automotive distributors.

http://my.boatus.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=54666&PN=1

If you read Top Dogs entry, it says that the cap and rotor are the same for both distributors. The differences are a seal between the cap and distributor body and a screen covering the vent holes in the body and of course the US Coast Guard Approved for Marine Use lable on the body.

Edited by MoonDawg

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