Petronix Ignitor on Crusader 454...need help

Discussion in 'Classic Sea Rays' started by CaptBud, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. CaptBud

    CaptBud Member

    30
    Sep 8, 2017
    1982 searay 360 vanguard
    350 crusaders
    Long story short... I hired a mechanic to fix a problem on my starboard engine and he Installed the petronix ignitors (converted my old points setup to electronic ignition using the old distributors) on my 1987 crusader 454's, and now my port engine will not run right. Starboard engine runs like a champ. same sensors, same exact setup. Only difference I can see is the starboard engine has a new ballast resistor whereas the port engine has an old one.

    NEVER had a problem with my port engine until the petronix, it was always my reliable engine.

    I've narrowed it down to this. I know it's not the sensor, because I tried two of them, and I highly doubt they would Both be faulty out of the box. I know the timing is right because we checked it with a timing light. We hooked the timing light up to each spark plug wire and on two of them there was an intermittent pause in the light sequence, which indicates a problem.

    It's just weird how everything ran perfect until this. So far here are the things im going to do:

    1) Replace spark plugs, cap and wires
    2) check grounding wires and ensure distributor ground clip/bolt is clean and no corrosion

    Does anyone have any advice on this? OR has anyone ran into the same problem?
     
  2. dmnolan

    dmnolan Member

    59
    Apr 11, 2017
    Massachusetts/ Rhode Island
    1976 Sea Ray SRV240 Weekender
    Currently 351Windsor 233 HP
    Following!
     
  3. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders
    Start out by describing what you mean by "will not run right". Much easier to help when we know the symptoms.
     
  4. cfd95

    cfd95 Member

    287
    Nov 5, 2013
    Northport Long Island
    2002 310 Sundancer
    350 Horizons
    V Drives
    Not sure about petronix conversions but i converted a lot of old chevy v8's to HEI ignition and you had to eliminate the ballasts and run a new wire to the distributor to provide clean 12 volts to the HEI.
    I would check the voltage coming out of ballast to distributor with ignition on.
     
  5. atrick

    atrick Member

    119
    Mar 4, 2017
    Penna
    1995 searay 290 Sundancer
    1990 21 maxum
    Twin 4.3 mercrusers with alpha one drives
    305 chevy with a alpha one drive
    The ballast resistor chokes down the voltage to 9 or 10 volts to the coils, the old chrylsers were famous for frying ballast resistors, always carried a jumper wire in the car just for that, so your probably not getting enough voltage to your unit.
     
  6. CaptBud

    CaptBud Member

    30
    Sep 8, 2017
    1982 searay 360 vanguard
    350 crusaders
    Ok when I say not running right, I mean it is loping somewhat and does not sound healthy when revving, as opposed to the other engine that sounds hollow and crisp. It also wants to backfire and just not idle right.

    I have the distributor wire going directly to the coil, and have circumvented the ballast resistor. I tryed it both ways, with it hooked to the resistor, and not, and it ran the same both ways.

    I am going to check to make sure there are no distributor wires crossed first. I can't imagine why the mechanic would take off the wires in the first place, but who knows, I will check. Then I will change spark plugs. If that doesn't fix it ill start checking grounds and stuff.

    I was hoping someone had had the same problem.

    Also just to be clear, the other engine has the Exact same setup and runs perfect.
     
  7. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders
    I assume that one of engines is counter rotating (RH). The distributor on both engines rotates clockwise when looking down from the top. Sounds like a possible mix up on the firing order. I've seen mechanics that should know what they are doing get confused and mix up the firing order.
     
  8. CaptBud

    CaptBud Member

    30
    Sep 8, 2017
    1982 searay 360 vanguard
    350 crusaders
    Yes and I noticed he had put a bunch of small yellow zip ties on them like he was trying to label them. Hmmmmmmm..... I still don't understand why he would have taken them off the distributor cap in the first place. Hmmmmm. I'll be going to work on it friday, hopefully that's all it is. Sure would be nice.

    Maybe before he came to the conclusion that it was a bad sensor, he was trying to troubleshoot and was messing with the wires. Crossing fingers....
     

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