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Changing points in a boat?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by onion, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. onion

    onion Burning Hunk

    Nov 3, 2009
    I have a mercruiser 165 hp inline 6 cyl sterndrive (basically a chevy 250). I am looking to sell the boat but the points are bad so that makes it a PITA to sell. Not much of a mechanic so I really don't know what the hell i am doing with something like changing points. Changing oil is no problem! Anyway, I really didn't want to pay for an hour or two of marine mechanic labor (since the boat isn't worth much anyway) but I have never changed out points on an engine before and thought some of you guys have probably done it and may have some tips.

    I could also switch it over to an electronic ignition I suppose, that is pricier but if it is easier I would be all for it.

    Or if anyone wants to buy a good looking 1975 Slickcraft tri-hull that needs points I'll be happy to sell it to you :)

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  2. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Sep 18, 2010
    Pay someone. You can do it yourself, but if you don't have a dwell meter and a timing light, you probably won't get it right. It's not hard, but you really need someone to walk you through it the first time or two. Inboard gasoline engines and boats are a volatile combination. It's not a good area in which to make mistakes.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Dec 28, 2006
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Really? You know they're bad but not how to change them? So you take off the cap, remove the points, replace the points with about a matchbook gap, and then start the engine. Set dwell, set timing, sell boat. I suppose it depends on your confidence level but the dwell meter is cheap compared to shop rates. I have a dwell meter sitting in my toolbox that hasn't been used in a long long time.

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