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1988 Malibu Skier wont start

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Hello all I am looking for help. I posted a while agao about this boat it had been sitting for about 8 years in Colorado. It has an aftermarket big block 454 the original motor apparently had not been winterized properly and the block had cracked. The engine has about 300 hours on it and everything looks good. I changed all fluids, rebuilt the carb, put in new spark plugs, and changed the fuel. THe starter was bad so replaced it with a new high tourque starter and bought a new battery. We have done a compression test and everything was good, we checked spark on each plug and there is spark not sure how to tell how strong it is supposed to be but there is spark at each plug. It turns over fine but after cranking for a while it begins to spit fuel out the top of the carburetor. I am at a loss I do not no what my next step should be or what to test or check. Looking for some knowledge or some help. THe boat ran to my knowledge when it was put away. It was apparantely hard to start. The jetting seemed off to me when we rebuilt the carb because the primary carb had larger jets than the secondary. Please Help or comment any help would be appreciated.

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Spin it

Spark it

Fuel it


Sounds like you have the basics, but the timing may be off.

Dead Time it by pulling all the spark plugs and turn the crank with a wrench on the lower pulley. Put the #1 piston at TDC by using the timing mark on the lower pulley. Check that the distributor is firing on the #1 wire. If necessary you may need to pull the distributor and rotate it one tooth to get it aligned.

Put the plugs back in and crank it over. You will need to manually turn the distributor as you crank it. Too much advance and it will back fire out the carburetor...(pucker up, just don't look down the carb) ...Just turn the distributor a little as you crank the starter. It will run rough once you get close and then you can use a timing light to get it set to specs.

If you suspect carburetor / fuel problems you may need to 'help' with a spray bottle of 'fuel' as you start it. Short burst of starting fluid, WD40, Carb Cleaner all work well. Does not need very much at all. Spray right down the carb as you crank....you will be acting as the carburetor until things start working on their own. You may have issues with the carb that you can address once it is trying to run on it's own.

Just make sure the engine has all the simple things and then get it dialed.

Suck, Squeeze, Burn, Blow.......go for it.


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