View Full Version : Marine Power 454 hard to start

08-07-2009, 10:02 PM
"I recently purchased a boat with a Marine Power 454 carborated engine that has about 800 hours on it and it takes 7+ attempts to start it. The kicker is that once it starts, it runs GREAT and will start first try for the rest of the day, even after sitting for several hours (swimming etc). I am in Maryland so it is not a very "cold" start, and I do not have a choke, but giving gas does not help anyway. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance for your time and help."

08-08-2009, 03:42 PM
I have a 305k that displayed the same problem. My problem was finally diagnosed as a failing fuel pump. I removed the mechanical pump and installed an electric one and my problem was solved. Good luck.

08-08-2009, 09:49 PM
"Thanks Dave, I was not even thinking about the fuel pump based on these symptoms"

08-08-2009, 10:37 PM
"Again, Good Luck. Let us all know how it turns out. Best, Dave."

08-10-2009, 11:23 AM
"if it sits for more than a week at a time, your problem has become very common.

What's happening is the fuel evaporates when it sits. You then crank the engine until the pump replentishes the fuel in the bowl. then things are normal."

08-10-2009, 08:49 PM
"Thanks Mako. This happens even when I come back the next day. It has now gotten worse. I checked the fuelk pump, and it is electronic. Electronics functioning properly, and I feel (and hear) the pump doing its job when it cranks. Went by today and could not even get the engine to start after 12+ tries. back to the drawing board and I will post whatever solves this annoying mystery :-)"

08-10-2009, 11:28 PM
"That's a bit different...Have you changed the filter in front of the pump since you've owned it (and recently)? Another item would be to check the entire plumbing run, from the tank to the pump inlet. any loose clamp or fitting or a crack in the hose can let air in. The pumps don't like air and may take a while to re-establish its prime. A less than fully opened shutoff valve has caused many a hair to be pulled out, too."

08-13-2009, 10:47 PM
"Now it won't start at all. I have checked (not replaced) fuel filter, no signs of H20, I have two tanks and have switched between both. Do I need to fill Fuel Filter to the top when I put it back on? Checked distributor cap and rotor, cleaned contacts and still nothing. I have not checked spark as it is VERY tough to get to plugs. Time to throw in the towel I think. Too much lost time on the water for my liking so I am going to seek mechanic. It really stinks having a boat in a slip that can't go anywhere... Thanks a lot for your help."

08-14-2009, 10:40 AM
"You don't have to fill the filters when changing - a few key cycles with an E-pump will usually do it. A common cause of no starts after filter changes is failure to open the shutoff valve all the way.

You can check for spark (initially) at the coil wire feeding the cap. A timing light works, too, if its the inductive type. If no spark & it has a ballast resistor, they are known to have a 'short' lifetime.

You don't have a 'kill switch' with a lanyard, do you?"

08-14-2009, 09:27 PM
"No lanyard, but the on site marina mechanic took my man card today. He troubleshot for two hours to find that I had reversed the wires when I plugged the fuel pump back in. I had no idea that a fuel pump would even work with the polarity reversed. He also cleaned the contacts which I knew were questionably loose, tightened them and now it starts first try. So the fuel pump was working, it was just trying to pump gas in the wrong direction. Boy do I feel like an idiot. Thanks for hanging in there with me mako. What is your drink of choice and where can I send the 6 pack and better yet are you ready to hear my next problem which is truly a stumper? Seriously, thanks for all of the input I truly appreciate it!!!!!"

08-14-2009, 09:41 PM
"Judging from your profile, it'd be cheaper to drive than to ship it.

That pump's a DC motor and they will all run backwards with reversed power, usually without the desired results. I'm surprised the connector used wasn't keyed just to prevent that type of booboo.

Glad you're spending money on gas instead of service bills."

08-14-2009, 10:34 PM
"LOL, then meet me at the marina and I will treat you to a meal or some drinks (restaurant on site). Connectors are just stand alone positive and negative with the same ends that could be snapped on either connection. Thanks again and sorry for the wasted keystrokes..."