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Thread: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

  1. #1
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    Default Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I have just pulled out from storage an engine that was laid up some years ago. I have never seen it run, but i know the guy i got it from, and that it was a runner before being laid up correctly.

    I cant seem to find a wiring diagram that shows the wiring i have got. Model No is : 40 BA76R
    so im assuming its a 1976 model and that the BA denotes AC lighting and rope start?

    There is rope start,but im unsure of the AC. There is a pressure switch designed to stop the engine running away, and this has to be disconected to get a spark if the leg is not in the water.
    Im not sure if the 3 wires that run down to a rubber 3 pin socket in the tray is for the AC lighting or a remote switch? The 3 wires run back to a terminal block and connect to both coil packs and the third wire running up with a few more into the underside of the fly wheel.

    I dont know if there are any other kill switches or saftey cut outs im not aware of. Without finding the correct wiring diagram for the engine,im at a bit of a stand still.

    I can post some pictures of the wiring if needed, but if anyone is familiar with these engines, i would appreciate some guidance. I get conflicting reports that these were good/bad engines, but i think a single carb ,low rev, big displacement motor should be simple to keep going!
    Cheers in advance. Ian

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I highly recommend Max's book on choosing and restoring older outboard. He highly recommends the JohnnyRudes. I'm about to do a resto on the (1953, iirc) Evinrude Lightwin 3.0 that I got with my first boat (in 1960). I plan on using Max and the owner's manual (available online) as my texts.

    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/media/books/cheap/index.htm
    David G
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    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    The forums at www.iboats.com are a great resource for outboard info.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks for the info. I had read some threads on iboats, i may have to sign up for the forum over there.
    Thanks Dave, i recall Jim Michalak saying good stuff about that book.
    Im just looking to see what parts are still availiable, and i understand a CDI unit from a 77-84 motor will fit too, as i have heard the points and condensor set up was not the best, though i have no idea how about swapping.
    Cheers

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    1976 was last year in 70's they made a 40hp ..... (according to www.boats.net )
    Total cost for ignition and carb tuneup kits is only about $60 +ship.
    *******
    Follow the link below and with the serial and model number on the engine you can determine year and look at exploded view parts catalog
    For a 1976 40hp the relevant section is labeled 'Magneto' and so it seems that year does NOT use CDI electronics but is just old fashioned point/cond/coil.
    Looking at 1976 and a few years after (77,78,79): (a) there is not a 40hp, only 35hp and 55hp , (b) the 55hp and above are using CDI electronic ignition and the engines less than 55hp are still magneto ignition => (point/condenser/coil) , (c) Almost all parts are still available and total cost for ignition and carb tuneup kits is only about $60 +ship.

    LINK TO Engine ID & PARTS BREAKDOWN, Exploded View
    http://www.boats.net/parts/search/BR...Fcue4AodgDwAYA
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Have you checked the simple stuff first.. Like is there voltage to the low tension side of the coil? Is this a battery ignition or magneto? Is the battery up, is the magneto putting out volts when spun? Checked the coils low to high resistance? if this is points ign then are the points opening and closing? etc....
    Good luck..

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks all. I have just ordered a parts catalouge and a flywheel puller. I dont know what resistance im supposed to get on the coils, so i cant check them.This is a non battery pull start., The rest of the stuff,points etc, is under the flywheel and i have to wait 10 days for the tool to arrive.
    Thanks for those links George, very helpfull. Cheers

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    When you find the problem, it will be of interest to me as I have one of the same vintage that is still in storage and I dread having to work on it. This reminds me that Ed Rickets and John Steinbeck referred to the outboard they used for the dinghy in the book "The Log of The Sea of Cortez" as "The Hanson Sea Cow". It would only run when it was aimed towards the home vessel.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Jay, its quite possible mine is going to be called a lot worse before it (hopefully) fires up! I have been reluctant to use it myself being its a "smoker", but if i dont keep it for my own use (depends on how smoky it really is),it would at least be better to sell it as a running engine.

    Whats considered to be the best 2-stroke oil? I have always like Castrol R on smell alone......i may get away with that in Sweden even if it smokes! Cheers, Ian

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Actually, that'a a great engine. Prior to CD, OMC 2 cyl engines like yours used seperate coils, points and condensers for each plug. Therefore loss of spark on both is rare. Check the kill circuit, maybe the switch or wiring is shorted.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks Bob, thats a good point, i will check that out first thing when i get back to the workshop. The kill switch definately has a contact that can be felt and heard, but worth disconnecting it for a try anyway. Im just surprised it appears dead, perhaps it didnt enjoy being stored in minus 25?

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Castrol R is not an oil I would choose to use in an outboard motor. I used it back when I was racing Porsche. It smelled great. But it also had a nasty habit of gumming up valves and roller crank shaft bearings.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Jay, thanks for that bit of priceless info.....may have to pass up on the smell for some better protection. Are they using synthetics in 2 strokes these days? I have 20 litres of Quicksilver oil which i need to use up at some point. I have a reasonably clean burning yamaha 100-1 mix, but the older Evinrude fisherman and this Johnson are 50-1.

    Edit: Just tried it with kill swith disconnected and no go. I have a reading of between 10.93 and 11.75 resitance on both coils, but that means nothing to me without a reference manual to go by.



    Both coils were around the same readings. Anyone tell me if these are shot? Cheers
    Last edited by skaraborgcraft; 05-20-2013 at 04:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Hmmm...that looks to be a CD system, I've been wrong before! You are not going to have 2 bad coils. BTW, Quicksilver oil is good stuff, I used to repair motors for some boat liveries, the one using Quicksilver oil had the cleanest motors internally. Long time ago though.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Hi Bob, if its a CD system it should have a power pack right? I just get some more shots up for you.



    The wires to what looks like a buzz bar under/beside the fuel pump. The cables running off to the left of frame go to a 3 pin socket for AC lighting, so im figureing there is a charging coil aswell under the flywheel.



    Theres also the low pressure cut out switch here that needed to be disconnected to run if out of the water



    The white cable that appears to go up to a sensor under the flywheel i have tried disconnected and mounted with no change, i dont know if that needs to be earthed or not.
    Last edited by skaraborgcraft; 05-20-2013 at 05:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    That's an overspeed switch, intended to prevent run away. I'm going to need to do a little research, it is not the traditional magneto system OMC used for years, looks like a hybrid. If there is no switch box, I suspect there is a pair of points and condensers under the flywheel and one charging coil. They must not have used this system for long, I hadn't seen one before. I do recognize that old faithfull powerhead though.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks Bob....i have news...



    The white wire going up from the overspeed switch, to what looks like a micro switch which appears to act as the earthing and cut out switch. I managed to get a small screwdriver between the contact and the fixed metal ring,and pushed the switch in and out a few times and managed to get a spark on the top cylinder. I went back reconnected the kill switch and still have a spark, so no fault there. I do not have a spark on No2 cylinder, so i swapped the coil leads over and got a spark on number 2 coil.
    So, looks a s though the both coils are working and at least one set of points. Would it be a reasonable explanation that one set of points is stuck? Seeing as though im going to have to remove the flywheel, i may get an overhaul kit if i can find one in Europe somewhere, my usual supplier can get me a condensor and a water pump impellor only!

    I have not found a wiring diagram in the seloc manual to cover an engine with charging/ac lighting supply, but i reckon you are right about a charging coil and 2 sets of points. Cheers

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Pictures are bringing back memories....they used that system for maybe 3 years. There is indeed one charging coil plus 2 sets of points and condensers under the flywheel. Points are a possibility although condensers are known to fail with age. I'd just replace both sets while I'm in there, the stuff is cheap.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Sure one set of points can go bad. The adjusting screw could be loose and the gap is gone, the rubbing pad could be broken, the wire could be broken, the bent spring coil part can snap, etc..PS I've seen all the prior listed failures It's been many years since I worked with points ignition, but since I just bought a 1957 Evinrude 10hp Sporttwin I guess I'll get familiar again I've never worked on this motor but IIRC you can generally pull the wire on the coil that goes to the points and check the resistance to ground, then rotate the engine slowly and you'll see open/close sequence if the points are working. In fact a long time ago we used to set the initial timing this way when reinstalling a distributor. What year is this motor anyway?
    Good luck.
    PS Condensers can short out but not very often in my experience, usually the points are at fault or wires. The ignition will work without the condenser but the points will pit fast!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I got me a tune up kit on the way from the U.S. Hopefully the puller will turn up next week. I have read on some forums that the flywheels can be a real pain to get off, in some cases just load up the puller and wait a few days! I also read of a few "experts" that say gently tap the end of the puller shaft with a hammer, when it says in the manual this can result in doing major damage. Hopefully it will ease right off.

    Didnt realise this thing was around 720cc, but a handfull to pull over. Last 40hp 2 stroke i had anything to do with was a kick started Yamaha RD350B. 7500rpm Vs the Johnsons 4-5000rpm. In theory quite an unstressed motor then?

    From what i can see of the piston crowns/bores and ports, it all looks fine and dandy.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Hi Solo, its a 1976 build. Thanks for the tip about testing the points wire, will try that tomorrow,but again, no reference to any readings that i should expect.....but trail from the working coil/points should give a guide/benchmark. Cheers

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Too cool, I cut my teeth on a 1976 RD400F! Quickest bike around under a 900cc until the 4cyl 4cycle KZ650 came out!
    With the points, pull the wire off the coil then just measure for short/open. The points just supply ground to the coil to collapse the magnetic field that builds up to provide the pulse to the secondary windings to then provide the spark. The coil is nothing but a step-up transformer. The condenser is just a capacitor to provide an alternate path for current flow when the points open, else the points will arch and become pitted.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Putting a meter across the point leads proved a bit inconclusive. I got a steady reading between 10-11 before a momentary drop to 5 (points open?) on both sets. Not sure what to make of that.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Spent a long time fooling around on two wheels. Last 2 stroke i rode was a Suzuki gamma 500 V4, which was IMO a better ride than the RD500LC......both "stupid grin" machines. I was doing too much milage to run a 2 stroke.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Hummm....did you remove the wire to the points from the coil? Basics: IIRC a capacitor(condenser) appears initially short(low resistance) to an ohm meter then open(very high). An inductor(coil of wire) initially appears open(very high) to an ohm meter then short(low resistance). It sounds like your measuring through the coil. A switch(the points) are just open/closed. Being a 1976 I can't imagine any IC circuits associated with the ignition on an small outboard, but it's possible. An old 1972 MB 280SE I owned had an ECM controlling ignition. Finding a schematic would REALLY help

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I took readings from the wire removed from the coil. I got another manual coming too...i think...may have been a parts manual...

    I may be able to rustle up a schematic on another forum.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I just got hold of the manual for my magneto ignition 1957 10hp. I stand corrected on the points test! In my 10hp the points circuit floats, i.e. one end is wired to one side of the coil primary and the other end is to the other side of the coil primary. In fact the kill button supplies a ground. I'll be curious how your 76' ends up being wired!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    His will look like the top half of this:
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I reckon your right Bob, even down to the yellow and blue cables., and room for a couple of AC charge coils too.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Check out www.aomci.org ask a member for quick and accurate answers to your questions on this motor.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks for link SeaB. I will replace the points and condensers when they arrive, and if i still have trouble, will ask there. Thanks for posting.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    The puller arrived today, but none of the bolts fit. From my reading the 3 bolts holding down the ratchet were 5/16, but having removed them they seem like 1/4, but even the 1/4 bolts dont fit. I have found a machine screw that has the right thread, and will have to go hunt down some bolts.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Look for #12 bolts when you hit the supply.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Ridiculous! Curse of the Euro metric system!! I have only managed to find some 60mm 8/8 bolts, which i dont think will even allow enough thread to use the puller. I may have to order 3 bolts from the UK, i dont fancy creating more work stripping these out. The waitings a pain, but i dont have the tune up kit yet anyway.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Update. I took a risk and used the 8/8 bolts, that were just long enough to use with a harmonic puller. I pulled it up hand tight with a standard socket wrench last night and left it with some WD40 soaking around the top. I came back this morning, put a pipe on the wratchet handle and gave it another 1/4 turn. With a 4oz hammer, i gently tapped the fywheel from underneath while turning it, took about 3 minutes and it released. I saw several videos on you tube, and read some threads of people getting stuck in with a small sledge hammer on the puller bolt, when the manual clearly states the damage that can be done. Having seen a 100kg flywheel removed with the use of resonance and a small hammer, i used that method and no damage to anything. Heres what i found. Everything looks spotless,no sign of corrosion anywhere.





    As expected, two charging coils for the AC lighting and the spark coil. Points were slightly over gapped, but faces looked fine, one set had the faces very,very slightly out of alignment vertically. The only thing that concerns me is inside the flywheel





    Both faces of the magnets look as though they may have had something arcing, yet the faces on the coils remain bright. I would not have thought this was normal marking, so i would be pleased to hear some feedback if i have a problem here. Cheers.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    That setup is certainly easier to deal with than the glue in magnets that became more prevalent later.

    On tapping to remove--you are probably ok, but it is a cast part the must endure high G-forces when revolving. "Microcracking" can be the death of it. I'm just saying to avoid tapping it again.

    Good Luck

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks Kevin.....that thought of micro cracking didnt enter my thought process....but will bare it in mind, i thought the lesser of two evils over cracking the driveshaft with a sledge. Glue in magents? That sounds like a recipe for problems. Im about to go and clean up the magnet faces, will get back with any damage reports. Cheers

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    The black on the magnets pretty much wiped off, nothing worse than what i have seen on the inside of a dynamo or starter motor. I gapped the point back to 0.20 and refitted the flywheel for a spark test and got nothing at all. I finally went back through gapping the points to 0.60 and have an almighty spark, but still only on No 1. I again swapped feed wire to coil 2 and got a great spark there also. Im still waiting for the tune up kit to arrive,and a bit reluctant to start ripping anything out. Any reason i should be getting a great spark at 0.60 but no spark at the reccomended 0.20?? Cheers

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Condenser.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Hi Bob, i do hope its that simple. Whats with the US postal system these days.....prices seem to have gone right up and delivery times doubled! Cheers

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    you could swap condensers and see if the spark moves to the other cylinder . . . ?
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    George, i was tempted, but i dont want to remove one without having the other in place , so im waiting for the new ones to arrive, but i will be replacing them one at a time so i know which one is duff. Guess you cant go too wrong with the wiring if i take some pictures first, i had concerns of removing both and then having nothing to follow the wiring connections. I may give it a shot in the morning, that will at least supply an answer regarding the condensor......or more mystery. Cheers

    EDIT: Had a lot on my mind today. Keep forgetting how simple these things are, i can swap out the condensors without removing the points.....forgot about that!

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Opening the points to .060 increases the "dwell time" allowing more time for the condensor to charge... I'll wager that you will be fine once you get the new points and condensors installed....
    ​Aloha, Ken

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    One other thing to check... make sure that all of your grounds are good and clean and snug.... a weak ground can give you all kinds of difficult to diagnose problems.
    ​Aloha, Ken

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Thanks Ken, ground seems to be fine in regards to the overspeed and kill switches earthing the system. I have gone round checking connections and all seems well. RE: condensor a dwell time would make sense, still hoping its going to be that easy! Looking forward to gagging on a cloud of unburnt oil real sooooon. 50:1 mix was outlawed years ago..... Cheers

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Deep breath.........ok.......swapped the condensors, still no spark at 2, still fat blue spark at 1, so both condensors must be ok...right?. However, on changing the power leads to the coils i now do not have a spark at 2 when i did before!! I have gone over every connection that i have access to,inspected,cleaned and re-connected. Now, i have had in the past on motorcyles the experience of coils breaking down,sometimes working but breaking down under load and giving intermittent spark, im wondering if coil 2 is suffering the same fate. Perplexed......

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    Swap parts to pinpoint problem , you have swapped condensers - now swap coils, anything else to swap?

    Clean ALL electrical connections ( while cleaning you could document any-all resistance/continuity readings ), it is surprising how often problems are NOT a big thing broken but a compounding of little bitty neglectful stuff.


    New coil is only $38+ship:
    http://www.boats.net/parts/search/BR...ETO/parts.html
    http://www.boats.net/parts/detail/brp/B-0581370.html
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
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  48. #48
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I noticed you said "the recommended 0.20 point gap". That makes me wonder if you are confusing the units; the gap should be 0.020 inches, not 0.20mm. Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    I just tried checking the resistance on the driver coil, although i did get the reccomended 1.45, the reading was all over the place at the slightest movement of the lead tips, always ending at 0.00

    Trying to digest the manual, it says if there is a spark at one set and not another, then the "weak" side is at fault..... but does not say what the weak side is.....the plug coil? Or does the driver coil have a low and high voltage side?

    My feeler gauge set is imperial, not metric, so i may have missed out a ".0", but will double check that also Gorden,thanks.

    Agree sometimes it can be the smallest thing or a contribution of little things that may lead to the assumption of a big problem. I suspected something small as i know this was a runner prior to be laid up. No tune up kit in the post today....
    the parts may be cheap, but im paying more than the part price in shipping.
    Last edited by skaraborgcraft; 05-30-2013 at 06:34 AM.

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Johnson Seahorse 40 ......no spark

    UPDATE! SPARKS!!

    Ok, confession time. Firstly someone who shall remain nameless has swapped their metric feeler gauge set for my imperial; so thanks Gorden for paying attention as i would never thought about checking. I dont use feeler gauges when making wooden joints and im no engineer.

    I re-gapped everything including the plugs,but still had no spark on 2. I decided to go back to the over-run switch
    with the white cable going up to the flywheel sensor, and removed the earthing wires. Bingo! I dont quite understand why, as before i had no spark at all before i joined those wires to that sensor cable, and now its dangling in thin air, as it had once before,both are making what looks like really healthy sparks, so im still somewhat puzzeled.

    Too early for a full celebration just yet, next stop fuel supply and check carb. I have a barrell of water standing by....

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