Bandit's Distributor: Did It Work??

Thursday 22nd September 2016
Today we had a phone call from the company refurbishing Bandit's starboard engine distributor. Good news! The weights were rusted and the electronic module turned out to be very faulty. They couldn't tell us what had happened to it but it had failed somewhere and was not performing correctly. We've got news that it's been refitted with all new parts (including weights and electronic module) and will be delivered back at home tomorrow. We hope it is, in fact, delivered tomorrow as we can refit it on Saturday. It's scary at this point knowing that this is the last thing that could affect the engine's performance. If this distributor refurb doesn't solve anything, we're back to square one again and a couple of grand worse off with no benefit what so ever.
Refurbished distributor and coil which was a part of  the refurbishment

Friday 23rd September 2016
We got to the boat late evening and while we still had some daylight, we thought we'd whack in the distributor and find out if it had worked or not. It took about half an hour to put back in and time the engine. So...did it work? In short, no. It's so upsetting to discover that this distributor refurbishment did nothing to the engine. We had really thought we'd cracked this one but clearly not. We checked the timing at least 6 times and checked that the plugs were firing in the correct order. All seemed well but we're still experiencing bad vibrations from the engine and it will not rev beyond 1500rmp even with the throttles flat to the dash. The engine just chokes and can't put the power down. Literally not a single difference was made.

Saturday 24th September 2016
Today I left Dad to tinker while I was at work. He checked and checked again to ensure everything was correctly reassembled. He said he took each lead off one at a time from the distributor cap and we're still experiencing the same issues. The left-hand side bank (#2, #4, #6 cylinders) have enormous effect when removing the leads. The engine revs drop and the engine sounds as if it's about to cut out. On the right-hand side (#1, #3, #5 cylinders), however, removing each lead in turn has very little effect. The engine changes tone but remains the same rpm and lumpiness.

So, Dad now reckons that the hydraulic lifters/tappets are knackered meaning the valves aren't opening/closing as they should be. This would, yet again, also explain the overwhelming smell of petrol coming from the wet exhaust. In addition, this would explain the lack of power. The exhaust gases can't escape through the valves where they're not opening properly and therefore, the engine can't rev beyond 1500rmp. We're really just clutching at straws at this point. There literally isn't anything more than can be causing these problems. We've replaced or refurbished every part of this starboard engine. Not to mention the eye-watering amount of money we've chucked at it over the last couple of months. We hate to think this way, though. We think of it more as replacing parts that aren't going to fail on us while out on the river. It does become difficult at times to remain so optimistic, that said. How much longer can this go on for???

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