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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!
I’m brand new to BBF (actually to American motors in general, I come from the land of BMW) so apologies if this is a relatively basic probl

I picked up an old jet boat that I’ve been trying to get running. It has a Hardin marine 460 (D3VE-A2A heads with SCJ/marine manifold).

I can’t for the life of me get this thing to start. The guy I bought it from said it wasn’t running well and he had made some attempts at fixing it, so I have no idea what might have been done.

The original 4160 carb was well past it’s prime, and I just installed a new AED HM-series 850cfm 4150.

When I try it start it, it just cranks indefinitely, with an occasional light sputter. There is fuel in the bowls, and I get a nice squirt of gas from the accelerator pump. I tried using some starting fluid, which just causes a big backfire out of the top.

I pulled a few plugs and held them against the block, and I can clearly see a spark. I confirmed that the plug wires are in the correct order, based on a diagram I found. I thought the disty might be 180 out so I turned the motor to the TDC mark on the balancer and the pointer was nowhere near #1 so I tried to swap it, but same issue. The pointer definitely looks to be pointed at #1 at TDC now, but if anything the backfiring became more consistent.

Disty is super corroded, both inside and around the base. I have the vacuum advance disconnected but the whole advance mechanism appears to be seized.

I was about to order a new disty, coil, and plug wires (plus a timing light) but I figured I might be missing something that would be obvious to someone more knowledgeable.

Is there anything else I should try first, or should I start throwing ignition parts at it?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Do you have a piston stop to set top dead center? If you don’t have a piston stop to set TDC roll the engine over by hand with your finger tightly over the front left #1 (passenger side) spark plug hole. When you get to TDC on the compression stroke it should push you’re finger away. At this point the timing pointer should be relatively close to the 0 on the balancer. If it’s not then the balancer outer ring may have spun from the hub. If it is now remove the distributor cap and see if the rotor is pointing to the spark plug wire that goes to cyl #1.
 

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HI,,
When you turned it to TDC how far off was it? There are two positions in the distributor when the crank is at TDC. one would be pointing to #1 and the other would be pointing 180* off (1/2 a circle.) The crank turns twice to ONE turn of the distributor. so one time with the crank at TDC it well be pointing to #1 and the next time its at TDC it well be 180* off (in the distributor). Did you have the right one when you moved the distributor??

good luck take care be safe
tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses!

I definitely wasn’t considering that the distributor rotates once for every two crank turns. It definitely makes sense that it would turn at the same rate as the cam.

When I originally changed it, it was pointing exactly 180 from #1, so it’s definitely possible I changed it to 180 out.

The motor is way too tight to turn by hand, but I’ll try to find a way to confirm #1 is on the compression stroke.

Now I suppose the issue is that it wouldn’t start with the pointer at either position so I’m basically back to the drawing board. I Amazon’d a timing light that’s arriving later today. Hopefully it will turn out timing is the issue, but it may too corroded to adjust.

Thanks again for the help.
 

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HI, If you have the plugs out you should be able to turn it with a socket on the crank bolt or even by hand? if you can not maybe its simi locked up..Boat motor get a lot of RPM's and it may be in need of new barrens or oil pump.. Use a drill and I think a 5/16 socket on the oil pump drive shaft down in the distributor hole pull the valve cover and see if you get any oil to the rockers. Turn it CCW you should get oil pressure too.
Oh the motor has to be running to be able to use a timing light.. You can check the chain by moving the crank back and forth and watch the rotor in the distributor and see if there is any lag shouldn't be any per say a little may be ok..

good luck take care be safe
tim
 

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Oh if you get it running and the timing light shows the mark moving around or it looks like the light is moving around the chain is bad it should be rock steady.
tim
 

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Gutten Tag,
Many of the marine applications utilized reverse rotation starters that were mounted from the top rear to keep the starter out of the lower bilge area. If your engine has the rear mounted starter someone may have installed a standard starter which would result in the engine cranking backwards.

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow I definitely wouldn’t have ever thought of that!

The dist on this motor is on the front. I just pulled off the cap and cranked it and the rotor spun counter-clockwise, so I think that’s normal? I was really hoping It would turn out that all the plug wires were just in reverse order.

This is getting super frustrating. I redid all the wiring on the duraspark module. There were a couple sketchy looking butt’s, but still no luck. Every time I crank it, it seems like it’s about to start and then pop-pop-pop out the top and it dies. I’m worried I’m gonna mess up my new carb at this point :/
 

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HI Sorry to say but I think its time to pull the front off and look at the timing chain and gears..
good luck take care be safe
tim
 

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The dist on this motor is on the front. I just pulled off the cap and cranked it and the rotor spun counter-clockwise, so I think that’s normal?
HI, Yes all fords have the distributor in the front its only GM that has them in the backand some Mopars.. and the CCW rotation of the rotor is correct..
Have you had any luck getting it running yet??
good luck take care be safe
tim
 

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Hi yeah I know the 292-312 Y blocks have the back dizzy.. but they aren't really around ..
I was think 460, 351 302 400
What GM's other than the Caddy had front dizzy??
tim
 

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Lincoln Y block was in the back too.
Hi I said Y blocks and Lincoln is a Ford..
just like Caddy, Buick, Pontiac and GMC oh and Oldsmobile ,are Chevies well G.M. 's
tim
 

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HlI well back in the day's of the Y blocks Ford , Lincoln, Mercury were all produced by Ford so I beleive they were ford motors. My factory stock 61 Mercury had a Ford 232 I 6 in it..
 
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