View Full Version : 1988 OMC 23 Liter backfiring

Mike Graham
08-19-2003, 10:13 PM
" I have a 1988 16' Bayliner with a 1988 OMC 2.3 Liter inboard engine (Ford)and was just tuned up by a reputable OMC dealership 2 months ago and now I am starting to have a problem with it. While taking a slow cruise around the lake last weekend, after about 45 minutes, the motor started making like a backfiring noise, about every 30 seconds. It steadily got more frequent and now it does it all the time, whether I am in neutral, foward or reverse. I thought maybe it was the spark plugs, so I replaced them, but it is still doing it. It is now to the point where I am having trouble starting it, and if it does start, it is always backfiring and it eventually dies out. Any help with this would be appreciated ! The boat is a great boat and it has been running fine all season. I have tried checking my fuel for water or debree in the fuel filter but they were fine. Please help! What should the spark plug gap and points gap be ? I set the spark plug gap to .040, but am not sure how to check or adjust points gap. Under the distributer cap was dry and there does not seem to be any cracks in it, Thanks, Mike "

08-20-2003, 09:29 AM
" Mike ,
Is your ignition system module or points?
Eddie "

Mike Graham
08-20-2003, 08:47 PM
They are points.

08-21-2003, 09:29 AM
" Mike,
Being that you just had a tune up I immediatly suspect the condenser.Condensers are sometimes bad
new, right out of the box. Lift the distributor cap. Check to se if the points are opening and closing by turning over the engine a few times. If there are no visible flaws in the points go to a auto parts store and get an other condenser. If you still have problems after changing the condenser I'll walk you through some other checks. Don't be intimidated by a points system. It is cheap to fix and easy to do once you doit a few times.
Eddie "

Mike Graham
08-24-2003, 10:01 PM
I found the problem !! The points were misaligned ! I aligned the points and reset the gap and everything is working great now! Thanks for everyones help!


Jerry Dunn
10-31-2003, 11:33 PM
"I am having electrical problems with a 1089 Bayliner I/O Ford 2.3 liter 4 cylinder. I had sparks at the starter solenoid which I replaced along with new plugs, points, condenser and rotor button. Then I had now spark and installed a new coil and still have no spark from the coil or the plugs. I am sure I replaced the switch and ignition wires and starter and battery cables correctly on the solenoid, still no fire. Points set at .018 and plugs gapped at .035.
Everything seems right and I had weak spark before changing the above parts.
Please help ASAP if you have any ideas what to try next.

E-mail Jerry at [email protected] ("")"

john collins
03-22-2004, 11:10 AM
" 1988 omc 2.3 getting water in oil. had head pressure checked and overhauled motor. but still getting water in oil. checked exhaust manifold all o.k. any help would be appreicated.

03-22-2004, 11:07 PM
" Does this engine have an oil cooler? If so, I would suspect it may be compromised. "

03-23-2004, 12:09 PM
" John,
How was the head pressure checked?
Eddie "

03-29-2004, 08:49 PM
Anyone have any tips on hopping "UP"
the OMC 140hp 2.3L Ford in my boat?

03-30-2004, 06:59 PM
" Brad,
Is it carburated or fuel injected? "

04-17-2004, 01:41 AM
I am also wondering about the water oil problem I rebuilt the engine last year and I would get a change of color to the dreaded milky white oil. Not real bad as in a bad leak and it would not come up on the dip stick at all. I would change the oil frequently and only used in fresh water. By the way it does not have the oil cooler as mentioned before. I pulled the riser again and it really does not look like any water from there is making it to the exhaust but thinking of pulling the manifold and looking at the ports for the rust. Any other ideas?

David England
05-19-2004, 05:34 PM
" I recently purchased a 1986 Barron boat. I got a great deal on it. It seems to run good. I am wondering if anyone can tell me what the Horse power rating of the 2.3 liter ford engine is? And can anyone tell me who builds Barron boats. I looked it up on the net and it tells me Hallett, but Hallett is a custom built boat. I'm kind of stumped. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
David "

05-19-2004, 07:30 PM
" David,
Don't have the exact specs on the engine but it should cross with the later Pinto and Mustang II cars. It was introduced in 1974 as the 2000cc was in it's last year. When cross referencing to the autos remember marine versions tend to lag behind the automotive couterpart.

Eddie "

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