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View Full Version : 1977 251 Catalina Hard start and other stuff



Joe Smith
11-18-2002, 08:36 PM
" Croozertoo, thanks for the hard-start info. You saved me from changing a bunch of stuff that won't solve the problem. New question, The risers and manifolds have been changed to the "log" style but the original C.C.thermostat housing remains. Where is the proper place for the stat? up top under the little four bolt cover? or down in the intake manifold where it would be if in my old Impala? Next, Any hints for working on the front of the motor? Changing the circulating pump, etc.
I changed the impeller in the sea water pump last year and found I needed to be double-jointed to get at it. Can't imagine how to get to the circulator! Also impossible to see the timing marks on this motor. I time it by ear and tachometer with a second person at the helm while I adjust the distributor. Other than that I think the Catalina is a great old boat. Plenty of head room in the cabin and under the hardtop. I plan on keeping her till I croak.
Thanks "

croozertoo
11-18-2002, 11:12 PM
"Yep, engine access in this boat is royal b*tch! I haven't had to pop the thermostat yet, but as I recall (without aid of my CC manual, which is on the boat 10 miles away) it's part of the water hose housing on the top forward mount on the engine. I'll double check this when I get to the marina this weekend.

I've actually considered removing the molded cabin stairs, adding reinforcement and making an access hatch to the front of the engine through the main plywood bulkhead, but decided that wasn't a good thing to do for a lot of sensible reasons! Access to the front for the alternator, belts, circulating pump, etc. is almost impossible. Maybe a trained monkey???

For timing the engine, look at the upper flywheel housing aft of the engine block and you'll see (I hope!) a small 2" oval shaped plate secured with two screws. This is the timing mark window to be used with a strobe light. Just line up the marks at normal idle and you're good to go.

I'll check in later on that thermostat unless another 305K owner jumps in!

"

Joe Smith
11-19-2002, 09:58 PM
" Croozertoo, Yep I saw a 251 Catalina that apparently the skipper just could'nt take it any more. He cut the molded stairs, hinged them with a piano hinge, and cut a BIG hole in the plywood bulkhead. I refuse to do it. Afraid of destroying the structural integrity of the old girl. Just a thought about the original hard start problem, My buddy has an old CC Lancer inboard. The gas tank's suction tube has a small hole in it with a threaded brass orifice at the top just before the outside pipe fitting. It is identified as an anti siphon valve. It allows the suction of the fuel pump to draw fuel, but prevents a lot of gas in the bilge should a line bust below tank level. In theory I think thats how its supposed to work. Could it be possible that the hard start is caused by that tiny orifice being blocked an some kind of suction back to the tank occuring? I guess I am really reaching here!! "

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