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  1. #1

    Default How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    I have read other posts and get it all except getting the power to start the motor. I have an 1989 454 and would love an idiot proof sequence of starting it out of the boat. I know how to get water and gas to it. I have what I guess is a 10 point harness at the motor. The distributor may have been upgraded because stock it is a Thuderbolt ignition, but the distributor cap is large with what looks like a coil build into the plastic top housing (no canister type coil), with a purple wire going to battery symbol and grey going to tack.

    Please give any advice possible. I do have a remote starter if that will help. I heard it is not advisable to put a hot wire in the harness. I will use a battery or jump pack. Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    I can't idiot proof it, but here is what you do.

    hook the battery positive cable to the starter like it would be in the boat. Same with the ground cable.
    For your "out of the boat" ignition switch, hook a jumper wire from the battery positive terminal to the small coil terminal with the + on it.
    To operate the starter, hook another jumper wire to the battery pos terminal, and touch it to the starters small terminal closest to the block. (has a Yellow/red stripe wire on it).
    To shut it off, remove your jumper from the coil.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  3. #3
    Fleet Admiral
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    Default Re: How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    hook up a battery , run a jumper from the + battery to the + side of coil, garden hose into the hose going to the therm housing, remote to + battery and "s" terminal on solenoid,(the lug with the yellow/red wire.)
    NO PERSONAL QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHAT THE FORUM IS FOR.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    Great info. guys! So I need not do anything with the wiring harness section. One confusion, though, is I do not have a conventional cylinder-type coil. I am assuming the "coil" is integrated into the top of my distributer cap? There is no thick wire that runs into the top of the dist. cap. Only 2 wires come out, one tab says battery (purple wire), other says tach (grey wire). How do I jump to the + side of the coil? Gracias!

  5. #5
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    I am assuming the "coil" is integrated into the top of my distributer cap?
    If that is where your coil is, then you have problems. it's not a marine distributor, and is an explosion hazard.
    Might want to post a picture of what you have.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    You are exactly right Don, thanks for the tip. A mechanic at one point swapped in an auto distributor, which I'll have to change back.

    Can I still start the engine for now, say by hooking a jumping wire to the wire going into the side of the distributor that is marked battery? Or is there a way to bypass this and use the harness just to start a few times before I switch out the distributor?

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to hook up electric to start a 454 out of boat on a stand?

    Thanks for the guidance and invaluable experience. It started right up with your help!!!!!

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