Erratic Engines

Posted: October 1, 2013  |  Tag: Engines

By: Grid Michal

I have a 32-foot 1986 Wellcraft with two 454-cubic-inch 350 hp engines. The port engine is newer, 2007, and the starboard one had a valve job. The starboard engine starts up great, and the battery is strong, but the port engine takes longer to start sometimes. I think the battery is weak or the starter is going, but after testing the battery, it tested as good as the starboard battery. One mechanic told me that is because the new engine has less friction and compression than the starboard rebuilt one. Is this true?
If the “new” engine and “old” engine crank over at essentially the same rpm, then the problem isn’t the battery or starter, and most especially not friction. If they crank over at essentially the same rpm, but the port engine takes longer to start, look first to the easy stuff, like a choke plate not closing completely (assuming these are carbureted engines), or a tune-up. If the port engine “drags” as it’s cranking over, you’ll have to check for a voltage drop at the starter: If it’s high, you’ll probably have to replace the starter.

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