Coughs and Sputters

Coughs and Sputters May 12, 2015
By Stephen Horsfall
Shifter Adjustment?

I find the information to questions that you provide is very helpful. I hope you can help me. I own a 1989 Doral Monticello with twin 4.3 l King Cobras with the 262 package.
I recently had the boat pulled out of the water and trailered a short distance to have the port and starboard shifter cables replaced. (They were stiff and hard to put in to forward and reverse). When I got the boat back the shifting was a little easier but not as much as I had hoped for, still fairly stiff into reverse.
Anyway my question is this, since I have got the boat back, anytime I put the port engine under load in forward gear the engine coughs and sputters and drops the RPM. This only does it when the port engine has warmed up after about 10 minutes. Prior to warming up the engine runs fine. When the port shifter is in neutral and I increase the power the engine roars to life and is smooth. Could it be that the shifter cable on the port engine was installed incorrectly or is it possible that there is fuel that has entered the carb and or filter from being trailered. I have fuel water separators that I changed in the spring. Please help as this is very frustrating.
P.S. The guy that installed the cables says that my engine has picked up water and that I should change my filters. I have my doubts, any idea???
S. Tedford, via e-mail
Water in the fuel usually shows up as a problem at mid-range to higher rpm’s so I doubt this is your problem. I suspect the problem may be related to the shift cable adjustment in relation to the ignition interrupter switch.
This is a sensitive adjustment and is best handled by an experienced mechanic. An added bonus is that this should make your shifting a bit easier.

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