Engine won't stay running in run position.

Discussion in 'Classic Sea Rays' started by Yukon, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. Yukon

    Yukon New Member

    3
    Oct 23, 2021
    1976 Sea Ray, SRV220
    351W with mercruiser outdrive
    I have a 1976 Sea Ray which I have owned since 1978. She has Ford 351w with a Mercruiser outdrive. The problem I'm having is that while in crank position she starts right up as soon as I put ignition switch in run position she dies. Prior to this issue I was winterizing her. I ran the engine to warm it up. Then proceeded to winterization. I replaced plugs, cap and rotor, oil and filter and did a compression check. Distributor is a Flamethrower with Petronics ignition. Went to start it and she fired right up as usual but upon going from crank to run she dies. So hmmm she is 41 yes old so I replaced ignition switch still no run. Then I replaced the starter solenoid, still same issue. Then I disconnected the shift interrupter circuit, still same issue. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member

    652
    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    An engine that age could have had a points-style distributor with a ballast resistor in line with the "Run" position from the ignition switch, plus a straight wire from either the starter solenoid or the ignition switch running directly to the coil. That way, the coil gets full 12 volts during cranking, but drops to ~9 volts through the ballast resistor during normal "Run" mode. Assuming the Flamethrower was designed as a drop-in for replacing an old-school points system, you have a bad ballast resistor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
    Espos4 likes this.
  3. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member

    652
    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    Put a volt meter on the "+" terminal of the coil, and you should have ~9 volts with the key in the "Run" position. I'm assuming you won't. If not, find the ballast resistor and check for 12 volts on one side, then ~9 volts on the other. The ballast resistors are one of the more fragile pieces in the system. Leaving your ignition switch in the "Run" position with a non-running engine can burn them out within a few minutes (or less).
     
  4. Yukon

    Yukon New Member

    3
    Oct 23, 2021
    1976 Sea Ray, SRV220
    351W with mercruiser outdrive
     
  5. Yukon

    Yukon New Member

    3
    Oct 23, 2021
    1976 Sea Ray, SRV220
    351W with mercruiser outdrive
    Thanks for your quick response, I'm getting 11.8v at coil with switch in run position. This engine doesn't have a ballast resistor. The Flamethrower distributor was an replacement about 5 years ago for the older point ignition system.
     
  6. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member

    652
    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    Looking at the schematic, there's not much to go wrong. Assuming this is how your engine's wired, it shouldn't be any more involved than getting power from the ignition switch. I can't explain why yours is acting the way it does. Please keep us updated as this progresses. Hopefully, this will give you some points to probe with your volt meter.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Active Member

    804
    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    2021 Solar 420
    '97 5.7 Bravo 2
    '20 Merc 25 EFI Jet
    Is it possible the shift interrupt switch is bypassed in the crank position but not run? Sounds like the ignition system has been altered to some degree.
     
  8. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member

    652
    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    @Yukon mentioned back in post #5 that he's getting 11.8 volts at the coil when the switch is in the run position, so that "should" eliminate the interrupt switch. 'Something to look at, though.
     
  9. Ike

    Ike Active Member

    457
    Dec 17, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    1972 Sea Ray SRV 190 I/O
    12 Ft Rowboat
    8 Foot Sailing Dinghy
    Mercruiser 165 6cyl inline GM 250
    Sounds more like a faulty start-in-gear switch. There is a switch that prevents the boat from being started when the gears are engaged. Only allows the boat to be started when not engaged. If that switch is faulty or not adjusted properly it can cause the engine to die when the throttle lever is engaged. I am not familiar with your particular model but on most Sea Rays in the 70's it was built into the shift mechanism. I had this problem with my 72 190 SRV. I had to replace the switch.
     
  10. DaveKamp

    DaveKamp Member

    86
    Jun 9, 2021
    USA, Upper Mississippi River Mile 499
    1970 SRV180, '77SRV220CC, 76 SRV-240FB, another SRV180
    Mostly MerCruisers with R-MR-Alpha drives
    Ballast resistance comes to these engines in the form of a wire in the wiring harness... it's a 'resistance wire', looks like ordinary white wire, but the core is nichrome (nickel-chromium steel) rather than copper. There's about five feet of nichrome in the harness, and is indicated in MCM diagrams. The starter solenoid bypasses resistance wire during cranking.

    If you have key on, but aren't cranking, the coil of a non-ballast system should be right at battery voltage, none less.

    Shift interrupt is never bypassed... if the switch or cam is lazy, it WILL break the ignition circuit. Neutral Safety Start switch prevents cranking in any other than neutral... does NOT interface the ignition.
     

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