1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by turtle1173, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    I've had this motor for 2 1/2 years and it has given me no trouble. Last week I changed the spark plug wires because they were cut and broken. I figured the electrical tape probably wasn't as good of an insulator as the actual wires. Autozone matched up the wires and they fit on the motor just fine.

    I took it out today. I was leaving my 2nd spot of the morning and had just got the motor up on plane, when it felt like I hit a piece of wood (but I hadn't). I throttled down and it died before I got to neutral. Couldn't start it back up. Came back in on the trolling motor, which was a little scary on the Mississippi. I'm just glad I was upstream!

    My first thought was that something must of came loose when I changed the plug wires. I've triple checked everything and it is all fine. Did a compression check as soon as I got home. It is fine (120 - 125 - 122). I then put my spark tester on and found that I'm not getting any fire on any of the cylinders. I even replaced one of the cylinders with an original plug wire and it didn't fire either.

    I'm thinking it's the switchbox but would like some other opinions. Also I'm concerned with "why" it went out and if it was related to my changing the plug wires. I can't see that having anything to do with it but ... seems like a strange coincidence.

    Thanks! Oh, the model number is OB240314
     
  2. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    I would check your power pack that what happen to me last year no spark and had to replace the power pack.
     

  3. Cattracker16

    Cattracker16 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Wilton Iowa
    I got one question did you check the safety lanyard device? seems kinda strange it would just quit on you like that... maybe burned out the coils? Just a guess on my part..
     
  4. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Well you have done the basics. Now let me ask you this question and then after the answer we will check some more.
    You said autozone matched the plug wires up. Are you talking about length or the hard wire center. If you put automotive plug wires on it, that is a no,no.
     
  5. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Yeah, I'm talking about the length and shape of the plug. I didn't know there was a difference. Did I burn the switchbox up or something else??

    Thanks!
     
  6. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Shane I will post some test to do to it to find out.
    Right now it bed time and I am tired. will do in early am.
     
  7. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Okay Shane here we go.

    Disconnect the Black and yellow wire from the box and then see if it will fire.



    To test the switch box you need to have a DVA meter and those things are expensive.
    This test you can do with a dc volt meter.

    1-Take a DC volt meter and check the voltage on the white terminal of the switch box (12 volts from key switch) You should have at least 9-12 volts at cranking. Low ,check the wireing,battery and key switch.

    2- Take a DC volt meter and check the voltage on the Red terminal of the switch box (12 volts from the battery) You should have 9-12 volts at cranking. low voltage check the wireing and the battery.

    3- Take a DC volt meter and check the voltage on the white and black terminal of the switch box (12 volts thru the switch box to the trigger) you should have at least 9 volts at cranking. If the voltage is ok above and low here replace the switch box.

    4-- Disconnect the white/Black, Blue and Black trigger leads.
    5-- Connect a jumper wire from the White/Black to the Blue wire.

    6- connect another wire to the Black wire.

    7-- Bring # 1 Cylinder to approximately TDC (top dead center)

    8 -Connect a spark gap tester to the # 1 spark plug wire

    9-- Turn the key switch to the on position.
    10--Tap the jumper wire you connected to the black wire against engine ground. You should get a spark each time you do this. If you get fire, the trigger is likely bad.



    Now about those automotive plug wires. Take them off and get you some solid core wires. Those graphit wires will kill engine componnets on a outboard. I go to a lawn mower shop and get my sloid core wires and cut the length I want.

    I hope I haven't confused you with these tests. I had to search way back thru my notes to find them. This is why I don't own but one merc engine.
     
  8. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Thanks a bunch Willard!!

    Could you clarify a couple things?

    Do I leave the black/yellow wire disconnected for the other tests?

    I'm kind of "Electrically challenged" so, am I putting the positive lead on the appropriate spot and the negative lead to a suitable ground?

    Thanks again!!
     
  9. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    You can leave it disconnected if you want to. That is the kill switch. If it starts when you disconnect the black and yellow wire then it will be in the ing switch . Look on that motor and see if it has a mercury switch to kill it when you tilt it out of the water. I have seen them go bad to.


    Yea always use the black lead for ground unless other wise noted to do so.
     
  10. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Bubbakat, thank you again for your help. Things do not seem to be looking good but please bear with me.

    I think some of the directions that you gave me are not quite right and probably go to a different motor. I realized this when I got down to the part about the trigger leads and their colors. My trigger leads are a different color, so that makes me wonder if some of the other colors were off also.

    I'm not sure how to clarify my colors but I'll try. I've got a mercury manual specifically for my motor, so here is the configuration.

    There are 4 terminals across the top. From left to right, they are:
    wht/Blk, Blk/Yel, Blu, & Red

    Then there are 6 that go down the middle of the switchbox. From top to bottom they are:
    Vio
    Grn/Red
    Wht
    Grn/Wht
    Brn
    Grn

    There are 4 trigger wires: Wht/Blk, Vio, Wht, Brn

    As to the tests you supplied, the results were odd. I'm thinking this is not good. For all the results, I had to reverse the leads to get a reading (Red on ground, Black on the specfic terminal on switchbox). If I didn't do this, the meter would go the opposite way. All the numbers come with my wife turning the key, while I was reading the meter.

    1) White terminal on switchbox. 3 volts at cranking.

    2). Red Terminal on switchbox. 10 volts at cranking.

    3). Wht/Blk terminal on switchbox. 3 volts at cranking

    Again, these were all with red on ground & black on corresponding color.

    Since there might be a mix up on colors with the tests, I went ahead and took a reading for each of the colors. They are below:

    Blue: 3 volts
    Vio: 3 volts
    Grn/Red, Grn/Wht, & Grn: 0 volts (these all go to coils)
    Brn: 3 volts

    With kill switch disconnected, which is a mercury switch, I still couldn't get a spark with my spark tester.

    I didn't do the trigger test you supplied because the colors didn't match up with the trigger.

    Oh, one more thing, I did just a normal voltage check across the battery and it registered 12 volts.

    The reversed numbers has me concerned, as does the low voltages. What can I do next?

    Thanks again for all the help. If you want a schematic of the ignition system, I can scan you a copy from the manual I have. Send me a PM with your e-mail address and I can get that too you.
     
  11. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    If any of you guys are following this. Shane and I are doing this via e-mail because it is way to much to put in this section so when the results and the final repair is arrived at I will post the test and the fix that did it so any one else might be able to use the procedure.
     
  12. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    Bubba, I've done plenty with members over the phone and e-mails in the past yrs I've been hanging around.

    We'll be looking forward to to diagnosis and cure.
     
  13. coach

    coach New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Greenville , Ms
    for some reason , i don't guess the "open public records apply to this bunch".................................lmao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    That's exactly right Coach:p
     
  15. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    I just wanted to let everyone know that I got my problem resolved. I purchased a used working switchbox for my motor off of Ebay for $50. Switched them out this morning and tested for spark. All three were sparking on the tester!! I haven't tried to start it up yet but I imagine it will do just fine.

    Thanks again Bubbakat for all the help!!
     
  16. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Well Shane has his motor running and he said it ran better then before.
    Good deal. Now when you diagnose a switch box on a merc the common man like me has no way of doing this. It requires a special piece of equipment that is costly. You test the trigger assembly and then test the stator and if both check out good then it becomes the switch by default.

    Shane has the original Manuel for his specific motor and that helped a bunch.

    Way to go Shane now get out and enjoy.:) :)
     
  17. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    i knew you all would get it.:thumbsup:
     
  18. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Yep, I ran it in the driveway on ear muffs on friday, then took it out on the river Saturday. I was a bit nervous on the Mississippi river but it did great. Ran it 14-15 miles and it ran better than it has in months.

    I was telling bubbakat that it had started a "popping" sound whenever I would start the motor and also when running at idle speed. It sounded like a lean pop but adjusting the carbs out made it run worse, plus it didn't stop the "pop." Yesterday it started right up without popping and didn't do any while idling either.

    On top of all this outboard success, I ended the day with a 54 lb Blue!

    Thanks again for all the hellp Bubbakat!!
     
  19. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    :thumbsup: Shane, congrats on getting the big fish. You and Bubbakat both put out a lot of effort to get the motor running again; you both deserve a pat on the back.