Mercruiser 188 hp/888 starts but will not stay running

Discussion in 'Sterndrives' started by holorinhal, May 14, 2009.

  1. holorinhal
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: las vegas

    holorinhal Junior Member

    I have just inherited a 1974 25 ft Wellcraft Nova with twin Mercruiser 188 hp/ 888 outdrives. The engines are 302 ford's.
    The boat was last out on the water last summer.
    I am trying to get the engines running good. The engines will fire right up with starting fluid, but they will not stay running. I am guessing a fuel problem.
    Does any one have any sugestions as to things to check out?
    Can I replace the Mechanical fuel pumps with any fuel pump for a 302 from the Auto parts? Any help is appreciated!..



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  2. holorinhal
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 25
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    Location: las vegas

    holorinhal Junior Member

    I got the port side engine running fairly smoothly, bog down when throtle is advanced fast, but runs up fine when throtled slowly.
    The starbord side engine I took loose the fuel line from the carb and turned over the engine and no fuel is getting to the carb?
  3. mudman
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 88
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    Location: Madisonville, LA

    mudman Junior Member

    Got some gremlins in your engines?
    Certainly sounds like fuel. If the engines have not been run in a year, then the carbs may need a good cleaning. Check fuel pump and fuel filters. All hoses are in good shape? Just a small hole in a hose can cause the pump to suck air instead of fuel and you may not see a fuel leak.

    Check fuel tank connections and the down tube in the fuel tank. If that has corrosion or a hole, then the pumps will certainly suck air.

    With a fuel problem, I usually start at the fuel tank and work my way to the engine, using the process of elimination.

    Good luck, You'll find it.
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Varnished up low speed jets. Toss a rebuild kit into each carb after a complete cleaning, and she'll likely run fine.
  5. holorinhal
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: las vegas

    holorinhal Junior Member

    Got em Purring

    I finnally got the engines to run on their own and idle nicely.
    It was a fuel issue. Was not getting fuel up to the carbs. conected a hand primmer bulb pump to the tank and got the fuel flowing. after the fuel was to the carbs they fired right up.
    I ran a bottle of seafoam thru the fuel system to clean things up.
    Thanks for the replys....Hal

  6. fasteddy106
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 72
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    Location: connecticut

    fasteddy106 Junior Member

    There is a fairly new product out called Octi-plus by Wellworth Industries. It handles all of the fuel contamination/storage issues that are common to marine gas engines. I started using it after the change to 10% enthanol gas occured in the northeast with all it resulting problems. I'm happy with the results, you can check out the company here.............

    Btw, we also install it at our shop on all of the cars that come in for a 30,000 mile service. Handles dirty injector issues without expensive cleaning or replacement and is safe for carbs also.
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