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HELP? ENGINE NOT FIRING

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D&A PONTOONS View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07/28/2015 at 2:44pm
After rebuilding carbs on a 1975 65HP 3 cylinder Mercury outboard, I'm not getting fire. Possibly electrical? I dropped the distributer cap and cleaned the points. I've changed the coil and switch box. This is getting very costly. Any help or suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/28/2015 at 7:57pm
Getting an engine to "fire" simply involves three rudimentary things:

Spark
Fuel/Air
Compression

Step one:  have you verified that you have "spark"? This can be done by using an inexpensive "spark tester" or just by (carefully) holding a plug body against the block while cranking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote D&A PONTOONS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/29/2015 at 12:54pm
No spark from the plugs. Using a test light, I'm not getting juice from the wire connecting the coil and distributor cap. It's very frustrating because the engine started last year before removing the carbs. I thought I was careful by stuffing the intakes and wrapping the engine over the winter months.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/29/2015 at 1:39pm
Which wire from the coil to the distributor?  The high-tension (high voltage) wire that comes out of the top of the coil and goes to the center of the distributor cap, or the low-voltage line that goes from the terminal on the coil to the distributor/points?

A standard 12V test light is useless when it comes to the high-tension wire.  Wrong diagnostic device.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote D&A PONTOONS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/30/2015 at 2:12pm
As in my previous comment, it's the wire from center of distributor cap to the coil. Guess that explains why my test light doesn't shine while testing that wire? Stator? dennissmith359@gmail.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/30/2015 at 4:03pm
I'm looking at what I believe is the schematic for your old iron.


I would check that you have 12V on the red wire to the switchbox.. and also check to verify that you have 12V on the white wire when the key is turned on.  I would also double-check that the mercury (engine tilted) switch is not grounding out the switchbox.  When in doubt, disconnect that switch (white w/ black stripe).

Going to the next step will probably require more test equipment than just a 12V test light.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/30/2015 at 4:07pm
And you mentioned "points"....?

I didn't think that engine/model/year had points.....  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/30/2015 at 4:17pm
You may find these diagnostics to be quite helpful:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote D&A PONTOONS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/30/2015 at 4:25pm
I was referring to the contacts inside the distributor cap. Electronics is definitely not my forte. I'm assuming I need a voltage tester? There are definitely no pinched wires. I'll check the voltage on the red and white wires on the switch. You sound very knowledgeable on this subject. Thanks for the help, and any further any further assistance on this matter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote D&A PONTOONS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/01/2015 at 5:07pm
Everything tests great. We dropped the distributor cap and wrapped the rotor with paper. The paper was still intact after cranking. Should the contacts make actual contact?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2015 at 2:41am
No, they don't make physical contact. There is an air gap.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djroger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2015 at 3:51am
Maybe you've checked this already................But, if your boat has a dead-man switch, make sure the clip is in place!  My runabout wouldn't fire once and I spent a lot of time trouble shooting only to find the clip had come out of the switch!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatdaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2015 at 4:08pm
If the stator is bad generally you will see them leaking some sort of fluid from a green to a brown liquid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2015 at 4:54pm
Originally posted by fatdaddy fatdaddy wrote:

If the stator is bad generally you will see them leaking some sort of fluid from a green to a brown liquid.

Huh????  The stator is nothing more than an electrical coil.  It is not filled with any kind of fluid and there is nothing to leak.
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2015 at 4:55pm
Originally posted by djroger djroger wrote:

Maybe you've checked this already................But, if your boat has a dead-man switch, make sure the clip is in place!  My runabout wouldn't fire once and I spent a lot of time trouble shooting only to find the clip had come out of the switch!

Voltage tests at the switchblock (or using jumpers) should have ruled this possibility out... but it's always good to double-check.
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote D&A PONTOONS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/11/2015 at 6:18pm
I had a friend come over and do all the voltage and resistance testing. He came to the conclusion that the distributor is the problem. I was out bid last night after going to bed on a used complete distributor. A good used one is hard to find! I did happen to find another one up for bid, (6 days left for auction). In the meantime, would it do any good to take off and completely clean the distributor?
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