Hello all, recently I rebuilt the original Carters to include new check valve in bottom of fuel bowls. Upon re-install I did prime the bowls, and boom fired right up. Went back the next week and right back to the hard start. I refilled the bowls and fired right up. I have read the SuperDisc comments on this subject many times now. When thinking about evaporation, I can not get in my mind, when thinking about an old car sitting out in the yard, the heat under the hood should be more than in an engine room under a covered slip. Which leads me to a simple question. Why will the old car start and the boat won't?

I do not find a leak in the fuel system, but I am going to replace the filter and O ring and attempt to find a lose fitting or any other source for sucking air. I have read the "fixes" for this problem and may entertain installing a primer pump. But I would really like to solve the problem, however that will require actually finding the problem first. So my point of all this rambling is< has anyone ever found the culprit and developed a safe and reliable solution?

Thanks to you all, and happy boating!

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Mark,

You need a fuel pump that will flow in excess of 50gpm, not that it actually needs to pump that for priming but it must have a free flow of 50+gpm. This style of pump is basically a magnetically actuated plunger pump. The internal restrictions will not pass enough fuel for WOT on your 427s. Your selected pump is only good for 30gpm free flow.

I would also caution you when selecting engine room components that you need to be aware of USCG regulations and what qualifies and what does not. It may result in a safety hazard and or require later rework to remedy.

Your concept is good in that it is simple but I suspect that it will be difficult to implement properly. There are reasons why things are done the way they are.

Mark Steinmann said:

After some research I have found what I think is the solution to the problem. Airtex E8016S is an electric fuel pump that will allow fuel to flow thru when not activated. SO, I want to install the pump close to both tanks, and install momentary switch for priming operation. Once the bowls are full shut it off and fire up the horses! Any guidance and opinion as always is greatly appreciated.

Yes sir, I agree with those safety concerns. That is why I want to put them aft, out of the engine room and close to the discharge of the tanks. I can see however that I need to rethink the flow rates of the pumps. That's why I came to the experts! Thanks much

Mark - if you pursue this path, be VERY careful nothing you do restricts fuel flow. If these motors don’t get close to about 6psi at the carb at pretty much all times, it can lead to performance issues, including problems with detonation. This destroys cylinders.

Thanks Matt, I have done some research on this idea in classic cars. There seems to be a lot of it done. Makes me wonder why no one does it on the boats. Have you ever seen it done?

Mark,

One the the main reasons why electric fuel pumps were added back at the fuel tank on the old muscle cars was to overcome fuel starvation issues from acceleration G forces. The other issue is that pumps push better than they can suck. The old classic cars often had marginally sized fuel lines for applications in which the horsepower has been increased after production.

Boats don't normally see these type of forces unless you are into dragster boats.

The marine applications are much closer to industrial applications and out side the box solutions need to keep this as a reference frame to prevent problems. What works in an automotive application is not necessarily a good marine solution.

One huge difference in the marine applications is that in this case we are talking about two engines and two fuel tanks with the usual desire to maintain full redundancy of all systems. This means that a well designed fuel system should allow both or a single engine to operate from either or both fuel sources. Another major source of potential problems is an inadequately sized fuel filter and water separator. Marine applications are notorious for having to cope with water and contaminated fuel with significant foreign material.

Matt went through this and ended up with a relatively simple  but yet  well designed system. The fewer extra devices you add in the mix the better, helps maintain system reliability.

Mark Steinmann said:

Thanks Matt, I have done some research on this idea in classic cars. There seems to be a lot of it done. Makes me wonder why no one does it on the boats. Have you ever seen it done?

We need “up vote” buttons. Here’s one for you, Ron!

As usual, there are very good questions and answers raised here. I think I am being advised not to do this. And with that I am certain that there are good reasons. I just want to eliminate the hard starts. It is not good for the engines, and I certainly do not want to rebuild starters often. I suppose I need to go back to the drawing board. Matt, can you point me toward the system you designed?  Thanks gentlemen, I do appreciate it!

Mark - you’re in TN, so I presume you have an open cooling system? If so, I would suggest following the routine outlined above. It’s tried and true and the “right” way to do this. The only reason I stuck with what I have is because servicing the fuel pumps on the closed system is next to impossible and a previous owner had already converted. Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise because the mechanical fuel pumps will do the best job of ensuring correct fuel flow.

If you really do want to pursue this, shoot me a PM and I can walk you through what I have.

Get a cold adult beverage & fasten your seat belts --- This is gonna be a long one :-)

Gotta "weigh in" on this subject as I have been aware of the issue since 1967. This is when we purchased a new 27 Chris Cavalier with a single 327F engine. After sitting for over a week without running, you had to crank it for about 20 - 30 seconds before it would start. At the  same time, a friend bought a new 30 Cavalier with twin 283's. Guess what ?? Same starting issues after a week that I had. This clearly indicates a system anomaly rather than wear or an adjustment issue. It just has to be evaporation of the fuel in the carburetor bowl, as this fuel can sure as hell cannot jump up and drain back through an open float valve. If you can visualize the float valve sitting a good 1/2" above the normal level of the fuel in the float bowl it will help dispel the "Back-flow" theory we hear so often. I have owned 4 gas powered mid-size Commanders since then and every one of them had this malady. It wasn't until our last gas powered 38 that I decided to do something about the issue. Here's where I differ from Mark. I accept that there is an inherent flaw in this system involving fuel evaporation, especially when compared to an automotive application. Rather than reinventing Chris's fuel system, I'm going to design or find a work around.

A good example of this theory is an earlier fix of the cabin roof in our 38 Sedan. Most 38 owners have heard of loose cabin roofs, and I am going to assume many will attribute this to age and abuse. Not so --- Chris had a problem on the 38 when they were brand new. I had a friend that bought a new 38, a 1965 model. Within 2 months the cabin roof was loose and he had to return it to the dealer in Kenosha, WI for repairs. He was not a real happy camper as this was his first fiberglass boat, When I was faced with a loose cabin roof 10 years after owning PW, I was faced with pulling the v-berth headliner and some of the forward windshield trim to see exactly how the roof was attached to the deck. BALONEY !! I'm not going to re-engineer a poor system to make it less poor. Any mechanical engineer can just look at the angles and spaces involved and know it's going to be dicey at best. SO--- I designed & fabricated a mechanical fastening system that would lock the roof onto the bulkhead between head and v-berth. I used 1/4" stainless bolts & nuts plus steel L-brackets to firmly attach roof to bulkhead. This repair will last forever. As an interesting side-note, this was also Chris's repair method, only they tabbed the 2 elements together with a single layer of fiberglass. So, my boat had an earlier repair that held for about 10 years before the fiberglass tab peeled off of the bulkhead. YARRGH !! OK, enough pontificating about this repair. I include it to illustrate why I won't chase a Chris fuel evaporation scenario, instead coming up with a workaround. As Brother Clyde mentioned in an earlier post, I replaced the secondary diffuser gaskets in the carbs to stop fuel leakage into the throttle area of the carbs, I used thicker, more malleable gasket material than what was currently coming from China in rebuild kits. This helped a little, but was not the answer since the old gaskets would only leak until the float bowl fuel level reached the part line between diffuser and carb body. At this point there is still quite a bit of fuel left in the float bowl, certainly more than enough for a quick start. As far as I was concerned, the only answer was electric fuel pumps, which I installed back of the fuel tanks. (Electric pumps are much happier pushing fuel rather than sucking it). To make an already long story a little shorter, my final configuration was the electrics in series with the mechanical pumps. Here's the kicker --- I only used the pumps to fill the carb bowls for starting and full throttle when I had to blow off pesty 427 powered 35's  When not powered, the electric pumps posed little or no restriction to the mechanical pumps pulling fuel through the idle electric pumps. I was sure of what I was doing as I had fuel pressure gauges at the helm and could see exactly what fuel pressure was at any given moment. I could go up to 3500 rpm or so before I saw the slightest dip in fuel pressure. If I saw the likes of Tim Toth cruising up alongside, it was flip the pumps on and full throttle here we come !

Cold starting was a piece of cake, I had no operating chokes, as I had removed all the heat choke mechanisms and wired the chokes open. For a cold start, I would flip the pumps on and watch the fuel pressure gauges. If the boat had been idle for more than a week or so, the float bowls were empty and it would take the electric pumps 10 - 15 seconds to fill the bowls which would be indicated by 4 - 5 psi fuel pressure. Flip the pumps off, pump the throttles about 8 times, crack the throttles just a tad and hit the key. BLOOEY !! Instant start :-)

Mark is certainly aware of this work around, but seems hesitant to go this route, SO --- Here's another suggestion -- Convert to electric chokes. The stock heat activated chokes suck, and if you set them tight enough for a decent cold start after a week or so you run the risk of flooding or a horrible over consumption of fuel during the extremely long period of time required for the chokes to fully open, Here's a blurb I did on electric chokes --

http://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/2057930017?profi... 

If this dissertation leaves you craving more,there is 4 pretty good posts on this subject in SuperDisc --

Post # 34015  (2009}

Post # 34554  (2009)

Post #  44439  (2012)

Post #  45500  (2012)

Stepping down from my soapbox now, I remain your humble scribe :-) 

Dick Morland

Don't walk a mile in my shoes --- that would be boring !

Spend 30 seconds inside my head --- that will freak you out !

Groco%20Filter.jpg

Commander Morland, I have been awaiting your perusal of this thread. And as usual you came through. I have read your articles on this subject front to back and sideways. That is what lead me to the electrics. I guess I just needed an old pirate to shore me up. I will be installing very soon. Thank you so very much!! On a side note I will also be using your Groco gf 375 remedy also. Thanks for the knowledge!

Dick Morland said:

Get a cold adult beverage & fasten your seat belts --- This is gonna be a long one :-)

Gotta "weigh in" on this subject as I have been aware of the issue since 1967. This is when we purchased a new 27 Chris Cavalier with a single 327F engine. After sitting for over a week without running, you had to crank it for about 20 - 30 seconds before it would start. At the  same time, a friend bought a new 30 Cavalier with twin 283's. Guess what ?? Same starting issues after a week that I had. This clearly indicates a system anomaly rather than wear or an adjustment issue. It just has to be evaporation of the fuel in the carburetor bowl, as this fuel can sure as hell cannot jump up and drain back through an open float valve. If you can visualize the float valve sitting a good 1/2" above the normal level of the fuel in the float bowl it will help dispel the "Back-flow" theory we hear so often. I have owned 4 gas powered mid-size Commanders since then and every one of them had this malady. It wasn't until our last gas powered 38 that I decided to do something about the issue. Here's where I differ from Mark. I accept that there is an inherent flaw in this system involving fuel evaporation, especially when compared to an automotive application. Rather than reinventing Chris's fuel system, I'm going to design or find a work around.

A good example of this theory is an earlier fix of the cabin roof in our 38 Sedan. Most 38 owners have heard of loose cabin roofs, and I am going to assume many will attribute this to age and abuse. Not so --- Chris had a problem on the 38 when they were brand new. I had a friend that bought a new 38, a 1965 model. Within 2 months the cabin roof was loose and he had to return it to the dealer in Kenosha, WI for repairs. He was not a real happy camper as this was his first fiberglass boat, When I was faced with a loose cabin roof 10 years after owning PW, I was faced with pulling the v-berth headliner and some of the forward windshield trim to see exactly how the roof was attached to the deck. BALONEY !! I'm not going to re-engineer a poor system to make it less poor. Any mechanical engineer can just look at the angles and spaces involved and know it's going to be dicey at best. SO--- I designed & fabricated a mechanical fastening system that would lock the roof onto the bulkhead between head and v-berth. I used 1/4" stainless bolts & nuts plus steel L-brackets to firmly attach roof to bulkhead. This repair will last forever. As an interesting side-note, this was also Chris's repair method, only they tabbed the 2 elements together with a single layer of fiberglass. So, my boat had an earlier repair that held for about 10 years before the fiberglass tab peeled off of the bulkhead. YARRGH !! OK, enough pontificating about this repair. I include it to illustrate why I won't chase a Chris fuel evaporation scenario, instead coming up with a workaround. As Brother Clyde mentioned in an earlier post, I replaced the secondary diffuser gaskets in the carbs to stop fuel leakage into the throttle area of the carbs, I used thicker, more malleable gasket material than what was currently coming from China in rebuild kits. This helped a little, but was not the answer since the old gaskets would only leak until the float bowl fuel level reached the part line between diffuser and carb body. At this point there is still quite a bit of fuel left in the float bowl, certainly more than enough for a quick start. As far as I was concerned, the only answer was electric fuel pumps, which I installed back of the fuel tanks. (Electric pumps are much happier pushing fuel rather than sucking it). To make an already long story a little shorter, my final configuration was the electrics in series with the mechanical pumps. Here's the kicker --- I only used the pumps to fill the carb bowls for starting and full throttle when I had to blow off pesty 427 powered 35's  When not powered, the electric pumps posed little or no restriction to the mechanical pumps pulling fuel through the idle electric pumps. I was sure of what I was doing as I had fuel pressure gauges at the helm and could see exactly what fuel pressure was at any given moment. I could go up to 3500 rpm or so before I saw the slightest dip in fuel pressure. If I saw the likes of Tim Toth cruising up alongside, it was flip the pumps on and full throttle here we come !

Cold starting was a piece of cake, I had no operating chokes, as I had removed all the heat choke mechanisms and wired the chokes open. For a cold start, I would flip the pumps on and watch the fuel pressure gauges. If the boat had been idle for more than a week or so, the float bowls were empty and it would take the electric pumps 10 - 15 seconds to fill the bowls which would be indicated by 4 - 5 psi fuel pressure. Flip the pumps off, pump the throttles about 8 times, crack the throttles just a tad and hit the key. BLOOEY !! Instant start :-)

Mark is certainly aware of this work around, but seems hesitant to go this route, SO --- Here's another suggestion -- Convert to electric chokes. The stock heat activated chokes suck, and if you set them tight enough for a decent cold start after a week or so you run the risk of flooding or a horrible over consumption of fuel during the extremely long period of time required for the chokes to fully open, Here's a blurb I did on electric chokes --

http://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/2057930017?profi... 

If this dissertation leaves you craving more,there is 4 pretty good posts on this subject in SuperDisc --

Post # 34015  (2009}

Post # 34554  (2009)

Post #  44439  (2012)

Post #  45500  (2012)

Stepping down from my soapbox now, I remain your humble scribe :-) 

Dick Morland

Don't walk a mile in my shoes --- that would be boring !

Spend 30 seconds inside my head --- that will freak you out !

Groco%20Filter.jpg

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