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'94 GT-40, loss of power in gear

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    Posted: June-19-2017 at 4:54am
After reinstalling the engine/transmission on my ski nautique (95-96?) from a tow pylon repair, I took it out for a test run. Test run was great except for a throttle cable was routed wrong, and some occasional weird tach. readings (old problem). When I came off step at the end of the test run, the throttle stuck and I accidentally shifted into neutral from approx. 2,000 RPM. It was a bit of a clunk going into neutral. Immediately after rerouting the cable, I attempted to start, and an old recurring ignition problem reared its head. Maybe coincidence of timing, maybe not? After new plugs, spark plug wires, distributor, coil, and a careful timing job, it runs great in neutral all the way up to full RPM. But when I try to shift into forward or reverse, the engine attempts to stall. It has no power, and does not accelerate properly. Full throttle gives me roughly 1,500 RPM in gear. Engine seems to "bog down" badly when in gear.
The engine was completely rebuilt 45 hours/ 3 oil changes/ 2 years ago.
Did I just kill my transmission?
Help!?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 5:04am
Keenan,
Pull the plugs and turn the engine over with a breaker bar on the crank/balancer bolt. Listen and feel for scraping in the bell housing. There's a chance the damper was blown. Also, does the engine still have the Pro Tech ignition? You did mention it has a "distributor".


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 5:16am
That's the spring loaded triangular plate that's bolted to the flywheel/starter ring gear inside the bellhousing? He's fine, I was looking at him earlier this evening (actually, I guess that's last night?). I'm not sure about the pro tech ignition you referenced? Please explain?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 6:42am
Keenan,
I'll try to find some pictures of the Pro Tech but basically it was used between 91 and 94. It's prone to failure and many have had to retrofit back to a standard ignition system. In later years with fuel injection, the retrofit also includes going back to a carb. The ignition system uses 4 coil packs which are rectangular boxes mounted on the aft end of the engine. Then instead of a distributor, there's a trigger pickup. Where do you plug wires come from? If the coil packs, then it's a Pro Tech.

I mention the Pro Tech since you mentioned the recurring ignition problem.

Yes, the damper is the spring loaded plate on the flywheel. BTW, if it's original, you may want to consider replacing it. They do wear out and they also are under $100.00.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JPASS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 6:43am
Originally posted by AKhunter AKhunter wrote:

I'm not sure about the pro tech ignition you referenced? Please explain?


The ProTec ignition is the factory supplied ignition system that has been known to fail. You can tell if you have it by looking at the "distributor" If it has spark plug wires coming off of it, then it's not the ProTec. If it has a flat black cap and a set of coil packs behind the carburetor, then you have the ProTec set-up.

Protec system here:




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 6:51am
Keenan,
JP beat me to finding the picture while I was searching! Thanks JP.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 7:59am
Originally posted by AKhunter AKhunter wrote:

After new plugs, spark plug wires, distributor, coil, and a careful timing job,


This don't sound like a Pro Tec to me

it seems to me that an engine running at 2000 rpm under load and then being shifted to neutral with the throttle stuck would rev to the moon and you'd be more likely to have engine problems than transmission problems.

The transmission should have handled going into neutral just fine since you're just removing hydraulic pressure from the forward clutch piston
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 8:06am
Originally posted by KENO KENO wrote:

Originally posted by AKhunter AKhunter wrote:

After new plugs, spark plug wires, distributor, coil, and a careful timing job,


This don't sound like a Pro Tec to me

Nor to me ether and the reason I mentioned this but, we have had confusion before! :
Originally posted by 8122pbrainard 8122pbrainard wrote:


Keenan,
Also, does the engine still have the Pro Tech ignition? You did mention it has a "distributor".

Keenan,
How about posting a picture of the engine?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:59am
It does not have the Pro-Tech ignition system on it, it's a standard distributor and coil. I'll see if I can get pics of it later today. The fuel is a EFI system. I don't think that's a factor, but I'll throw it out for consideration.
I am the maintenance guy for a kids camp for 2 1/2 years, so I don't have a lot of maintenance history on the boat. My aircraft mechanic mind is telling me that it stinks like a timing advance issue, but I can't figure out how to verify that hunch.
I guess I was pretty tired last night, because I totally forgot to mention the rattly grinding noise that the Xmsn makes when I put it in gear. I cant tell If I'm hearing gear lash that's strongly amplified by the engine running so poorly, or if there's something wrong inside. It rotates quite smoothly and easily by hand, so I'm wondering if it's all ok in there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote backfoot100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 12:30pm
Look at the title boys. GT40 (if truly a GT40) won't have pro tec.
When people run down to the lake to see what's making that noise, you've succeeded.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 12:35pm
Keenan,
Rotating the trans by hand really won't tell you much since the clutch packs aren't engaged so you really aren't turning anything except a shaft and bearing.

For the timing issue, get a timing light on it and see if it is advancing. The mechanical advances do rust up and need some maintenance at times.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 12:59pm
Originally posted by backfoot100 backfoot100 wrote:

Look at the title boys. GT40 (if truly a GT40) won't have pro tec.


That's been mentioned already, and depending on where you read it's either a 94,95 or a 96


And for Pete, his distributor doesn't have mechanical advance, the timing is controlled by that newfangled "magic box" called a computer

I'm a little confused what the state of assembly or maybe disassembly is of this right now, since AK was looking at the damper plate and it was good, unless that was right before he put the transmission on the engine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 2:16pm
Originally posted by KENO KENO wrote:


depending on where you read it's either a 94,95 or a 96


And for Pete, his distributor doesn't have mechanical advance, the timing is controlled by that newfangled "magic box" called a computer

Yes Ken, I too am confused as to the year BUT, if it was a 94 with a Pro Tech and was converted to a distributor, then the mechanical advance would be a concern and the direction I was heading.
Keenan,
We sure need more input from you.

Maybe I should change that "work Pete over" to 2% instead of the 1% of the time?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 2:36pm
I bet we'll agree right about now that we're both 100% or so confused without having anymore info
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 2:59pm
Originally posted by KENO KENO wrote:

I bet we'll agree right about now that we're both 100% or so confused without having anymore info

An absolute yes!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 3:05pm
I'm not confused, it's Johnny Cash's Nautique. After he built his Caddy he went to Correct Craft to build boats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 3:25pm
Here are some pics of the engine. It is removed from the boat, however if the consensus is that the problem is in the engine rather than the drivetrain, I can swing the engine back into the boat within a couple of hours. Is there any other information that you guys need that I'm missing?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by Gary S Gary S wrote:

I'm not confused, it's Johnny Cash's Nautique. After he built his Caddy he went to Correct Craft to build boats.

All jesting aside, it's actually a boat that was donated by Correct Craft to the camp. I'm not sure if it was donated new, or if it was a demo/show model.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 6:47pm
Keenan,
Before you go to the trouble of dropping the engine back in, why don't you remove the spark plugs and belts. Then with a breaker bar on the harmonic balance bolt turn the engine over. Ken's idea of the high rev damaging something is sound. See if there are any tight spots when turning the rotating assembly. Just a "shot in the dark"?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:05pm
Originally posted by 8122pbrainard 8122pbrainard wrote:

Keenan,
Before you go to the trouble of dropping the engine back in, why don't you remove the spark plugs and belts. Then with a breaker bar on the harmonic balance bolt turn the engine over. Ken's idea of the high rev damaging something is sound. See if there are any tight spots when turning the rotating assembly. Just a "shot in the dark"?

I've already done that and found nothing of note. It has no tight spots or noticeably loose spots either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:12pm
I talked to the dealer today, and he was able to tell me that the hull is from July of '97 based off of the serial number. I still don't know the engine MFG date, but the dealer thinks it's probably a '94 or '95, again based off of the serial number.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:38pm
The engine is not a '94,94's did not have multi-port injection,Not a 95,95's did not have Fuel Control Cells,FCC's- unless retrofitted and also had the intake system from the Ford SVT Lightning like below. Post the last 4 of the serial number of the boat it will be something like this E697 that will tell us which month and model year it was made,if you say the boat is july 97 it's most likely to be a 96 or 97 engine

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AKhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:54pm
Last 4 of the hull SN: B797
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 12:03am
Built in February of 97 as a 1997 model.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tryathlete Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 5:07am
Gary, I think the GT40 engine has a rev limiter, right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 6:42am
It does have an electronic rev limiter that should have worked even with the sudden unloading of the engine.

He says the engine turns smoothly, the transmission turns smoothly and the damper plate is good and it idles beautifully, but that an old ignition problem popped up again.

Sounds like he thinks the ignition problem is fixed but you put it in gear and it rattles like hell and won't accelerate.

That's what I get from reading things, is there some other big piece of info missing other than confusion about the engine specifics.

I'd probably be looking at the GT 40 manual in the reference section along with the GT 40 troubleshooting thread and checking that all the sensors are hooked up and working.(starting with the throttle position sensor} and that it's firing on all 8 cylinders.

What was the recurring ignition problem that you were having?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 7:39am
Originally posted by KENO KENO wrote:

I'd probably be looking at the GT 40 manual in the reference section along with the GT 40 troubleshooting thread and checking that all the sensors are hooked up and working.(starting with the throttle position sensor} and that it's firing on all 8 cylinders.

GT40 troubleshooting thread


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Originally posted by KENO KENO wrote:

It does have an electronic rev limiter that should have worked even with the sudden unloading of the engine.

He says the engine turns smoothly, the transmission turns smoothly and the damper plate is good and it idles beautifully, but that an old ignition problem popped up again.

Sounds like he thinks the ignition problem is fixed but you put it in gear and it rattles like hell and won't accelerate.

That's what I get from reading things, is there some other big piece of info missing other than confusion about the engine specifics.

I'd probably be looking at the GT 40 manual in the reference section along with the GT 40 troubleshooting thread and checking that all the sensors are hooked up and working.(starting with the throttle position sensor} and that it's firing on all 8 cylinders.

What was the recurring ignition problem that you were having?


You pretty much nailed it there. When I try to accelerate in gear, it bogs down, and seems to shudder a bit, like its trying to go but just can't.
The ignition problem I was having is that it suddenly starts to miss and run awful. No specific repeatable event leading up to it, one day it just starts to miss really bad to the point that it barely runs. If I replace the coil, plugs, wires, and distributor cap/rotor together it goes away. None of the individual items replaced seem bad when I test them, and I can't seem to pinpoint which it is by replacing one at a time. It pops up every year or two, so I guess maybe I need to just add it to my annual maintenance. I'll reread the troubleshooting thread, and go find that manual and read it too.
Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 12:27pm
Pete aka "the missing link" gave you a link to the thread on troubleshooting the GT-40 a post or 2 back

I really don't think you hurt the transmission or the damper plate and just have an ignition problem making it run lousy under load and that's whats causing the gear lash rattle in the transmission.

That's my guess from a long, long ways away from Alaska
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bri892001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 12:39pm
Wondering if it's something in or around the distributor. I'd check to see if you have any kind of excessive wobble or anything like that. You would do that with the cap off and holding onto the rotor portion and trying to move it around.

It seems funny that it's going through caps and rotors that fast, wondering if the act of replacing those items is brushing up against something that is loose/faulty and temporarily fixing it.
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