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1989 5.7 MIE SKI COMP, no spark


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SummerSunsetter

Engine not starting. Carb is getting fuel. Coil tested bad, I replaced it. Still no spark. 

Spark from coil is good. No spark to plugs. I don't know How to troubleshoot a Distributor. 

How do I tell what distributor I have? Thunderbolt, Mallory or Prestolite. 

 

P.S. It did start and run well for about two minutes, died and won't start.

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Did you replace the plug wires?  They do wear out.  I'm assuming that you also changed the cap and rotor, but maybe that is what you are asking.

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I would look at the distributor cap for corrosion on the inside and the rotor.  Take care with firing order when swapping spark plug wires when you replace a distributor cap.

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SummerSunsetter

New cap, wires and electronic conversion two years ago.  Haven't used it very much since then. Cap looks pretty good, I did clean the contacts a bit with sand paper, no change. 

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SummerSunsetter

How do I tell if I have Thunderbolt, Mallory or Prestolite

I think its Prestolite

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SummerSunsetter

with key on I have 6 volts to coil. with ignition wire off of coil it reads 12 volts. 

 

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1 hour ago, SummerSunsetter said:

How do I tell if I have Thunderbolt, Mallory or Prestolite

I think its Prestolite

The easiest way is to search for pictures of each one on Google and match it to what you have.

Prestolite distributer caps have female sockets on the cap for the male spark plug wires and so do Mallory distributers.  They also have a identification plate on the metal distributer housing.

Mercury Thunderbolt and Delphi distributers have male plugs in the the cap and female sockets on the spark plug wire.  Thunderbolt 4 has an external ignition module box on the exhaust riser and the Thunderbolt 5 has an external box on the distributor housing and each one in embossed with "Thunderbolt".

Edited by csleaver
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SummerSunsetter
3 minutes ago, csleaver said:

The easiest way is to search for pictures of each one on Google and match it to what you have.

Prestolite distributer caps have female sockets on the cap for the male spark plug wires and so do Mallory distributers.  They also have a identification plate on the metal distributer housing.

Mercury Thunderbolt and Delphi distributers have male plugs in the the cap and female sockets on the spark plug wire.  Thunderbolt 4 has an external ignition module box on the exhaust riser and the Thunderbolt 5 has an external box on the distributor housing and each one in embossed with "Thunderbolt".

If I were to replace the whole distributor, what would you recommend I replace it with?

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15 minutes ago, SummerSunsetter said:

If I were to replace the whole distributor, what would you recommend I replace it with?

If I were replacing the distributor I would either go with the Delphi or a Pertronix flame thrower.  You will likely have to replace the coil either way and there will be some wiring involved.  You better sit down before pricing one.

Also, be certain to get a marine distributor.

Edited by csleaver
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SummerSunsetter

My distributor is a mallory. Getting spark to distributor, but no spark coming out of distributor.  What could it be?

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I replaced a Mallory distributor on our Sunsetter with a D.U.I. Performance Distributor. Very pleased with the results. Simple installation and no external coil.

20190316_175001.jpg

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1 hour ago, SummerSunsetter said:

My distributor is a mallory. Getting spark to distributor, but no spark coming out of distributor.  What could it be?

You checked all eight wires?

Is it possible to remove your electronic conversion and put the points and condenser back in for a quick test?  What brand conversion did you use?

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If you are getting spark from the coil to the distributor, but no spark is coming from the cap to the spark plugs then I would suspect that the cap or rotor are the cause.

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SummerSunsetter
On 4/12/2021 at 2:09 PM, Murphys said:

I replaced a Mallory distributor on our Sunsetter with a D.U.I. Performance Distributor. Very pleased with the results. Simple installation and no external coil.

20190316_175001.jpg

Any chance you can help me with the wiring?  White wire from (-)Neg side of coil to Tach.

Two Purple from (+) POS side of coil....Solid Purple is 12v from ignition-To Batt.  Stripped purple ???????????

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20210416_202628.thumb.jpg.67be9d99c3e14e8804b46536bfda8b29.jpgOriginal wiring diagram for our '87 Sunsetter's Mercruiser.

Edited by Murphys
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7 minutes ago, Murphys said:

20210416_202628.thumb.jpg.67be9d99c3e14e8804b46536bfda8b29.jpgOriginal wiring diagram for our '87 Sunsetter's Mercruiser.

Wow, a wiring diagram can't get any better than that!  Great job!

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SummerSunsetter
1 hour ago, Murphys said:

20210416_202628.thumb.jpg.67be9d99c3e14e8804b46536bfda8b29.jpgOriginal wiring diagram for our '87 Sunsetter's Mercruiser.

I got the DUI distributor. Where did you put the Striped Purple wire?

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I apologize. I did not comprehend that you had obtained a new distributor. You will need to run a new dedicated power supply from your ignition switch to the D.U.I. distributor. I believe that I attached the new distributor power supply wire to the ignition switch terminal where the existing purple wire is attached. Use 12 gauge stranded conductor. This new wire connects to the "Batt" wiring on the distributor.  The existing gray wire connects to the "Tach" wiring on the distributor. The purple wires are not needed with the new distributor. I hope to check on my boats sometime this weekend. If so, I can double check the wiring. It has been over two years since I installed the distributor. My memory is not what it used to be :)

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I verified the wiring set up for my D.U.I. distributor today. Dedicated hot wire from the ignition switch terminal to the "BATT" wire at the distributor. This wire is landed on the same ignition switch terminal as the existing purple wire. The distributor has two wires on the "TACH" side. One wire connects to the existing gray wire for the tachometer. The other wire is for connecting test equipment if and when needed.  I taped the ends of the purple and purple/ yellow stripe wires and secured them to the wiring bundle with electrical tape. 

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SummerSunsetter

With a New DUI Distributor I was able to get her started last night. I used the existing purple wire for ignition to BATT. I just needed to adjust my timing a bit.  Thank you all for all the help and info. Hopefully lake tomorrow.

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Good deal.  Just make certain that the purple wire has 12 volts or higher to ground when running. Some of the older boats have a resistor in the wiring to reduce voltage to the coil when running. The D.U.I. distributor needs full voltage. D.U.I. recommends 12 gauge wiring to the distributor. Your purple wire is likely smaller than that, so could possibly overheat.

Edited by Murphys
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