1973 Johnson outboard 85hp


Old 08-11-08, 06:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
1973 Johnson outboard 85hp

I'm having an ignition problem with this motor, I know its getting fuel, but no fire anywhere. I removed the timing cover (flywheel) and saw that a charge coil on the stator was cracked and oozing so i replaced it. Also, the wires on the rectifier were corroded and I replaced it as I thought it could be grounding out. But I'm still not getting any fire to the ignition coils. I'm at my whits end and running out of patience as well as money! I'm convinced that the problem is either with the timing base, or the power pack, or both, how can I diagnose this without having an osciliscope?

As a side note, I got this boat from a friend of the family, it hasnt seen water in ten years, but it was worked on last summer, it started fine and ran, and after I got it, it ran (took forever to start though) but it seemed like it was "missing". After I got a new impeller in it, and a new floor, I took it to the lake, and 2 minutes in the water it died, and I haven't been able to get it started since. Please Help!
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Old 08-11-08, 10:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
My dad had a 1973 Evinrude of the same ilk ... The "power pack" probably went down when the coil failed. It's a proprietary capactive discharge block. Both were weak in the design and were known issues. Check for spark by removing one of the plug wires, inserting a nail or other conductive piece, and holding it near a ground. If you have no spark, replace the block.

At best, though, you'll get only a few hours out of that engine before it fails again. Those designs were dogs. My dad replaced the coil and block at least three times in the couple of years he had the boat. The engine ultimately threw a piston, embedding pieces of itself in the head. He wasn't alone. He found out that several others who had bought the same Evinrude or Johnson engines (they were identical at the time) were also having problems.

Legal disclaimer: Take the necessary precautions to prevent gas fumes from igniting.

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