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Old Evinrude won't start - any ideas?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Today was every boaters worst nightmare for me. I dropped the boat in the water - fired up the motor (just fine) - and had a small struggle with the winch hook. I decided to shut the motor off for a minute. Once the winch hook was clear - i go to fire the motor back up.... and it' just keeps cranking with no result. 

I ended up spending just about the entire day trying to get it to fire again. I originally thought i had flooded the motor - so i pulled the plugs - flushed out all the fuel - and put in some new plugs. Tried it again and still nothing. I clearly have fuel, because i can see them on the plugs after cranking for a while. (and i blows fuel out the back when i pull the plugs and clear it out) I tested spark with a screwdriver - and it's there... but it looks kind of weak. 

This has me puzzled. I have air / fuel / and i guess what i'd call weak spark. Why won't this thing fire... hrmmm

Any tips are appreciated. This is a 70hp Evinrude outboard from the mid 70's. It has perfect compression btw.

post #2 of 16
Bad Fuel?, Clogged carbs? Clogged fuel filter?

All of the usual suspects.

Best regards,

Iv
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irv Mac Dowell View Post

Bad Fuel?, Clogged carbs? Clogged fuel filter?

All of the usual suspects.

Best regards,

Iv

Bad Fuel?  It was fresh fuel - but i tried another batch to rule that out. 

Clogged carbs? Possibly... but it was running fine right up until the problem this AM. 

Clogged fuel filter?  It's getting plenty of fuel - the plugs get soaked fast.  (i swapped in new plugs too) 

 

I've noticed the spark is really weak when i test it out of the motor.  

post #4 of 16
Any chance you are losing siphon? Tank vent open?

Try pumping the ball with it held perpendicular to the water instead of horizontal. The one way valve may not be functioning properly.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squidlips View Post

Any chance you are losing siphon? Tank vent open?

Try pumping the ball with it held perpendicular to the water instead of horizontal. The one way valve may not be functioning properly.

I'll try that tomorrow morning - but i'm pretty sure it's a spark related problem.  There is plenty of fuel in the cylinders.  (starting fluid wouldn't get it going either) 

post #6 of 16
The spark my look weak in daylight. Can't tell you how many times I've had the same thing happen and it ends up being a fuel supply problem. Even weak spark should cause combustion. Check squidips recommendation. If not bad plug wires, bad coil pack? Not sure of that years motor ignition system.

American Made Knives For American Anglers - Fishbone Knives

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post #7 of 16
Going to come from another angle. Did you check your battery connections? I ran into problems with a mid 80's Evinrude 70. The engine just cranked and the flywheel didn't "pop" to turn it over. After replacing my starter it turned out my negative cable from Outboard to battery was shot underneath the hull. Over-rode it. (Cables direct from Battery to OB) and it fired right up.

After removing the cable we noticed a cut in the line with some rust. The engine was getitng power but not enough to turn it over. How old is your battery and is it showing fully charged too?

Might be worth your time to connect battery cables from a battery straight to OB to eliminate an electrical problem?

Not an expert but had similar issues. Good luck.
post #8 of 16
it may pay to get some plug testers. Should be cheap, and you hook them in line, and can see even while it is running. Blue spark is strong, yellow is weak. Have you checked different plugs for spark strength? It could be 1 or more bad coils.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

It turns out i'm just an idiot.  I hadn't realized the choke was completely flooding the motor.  Sucks that i lost a fishing day because of this - but lesson learned.  My choke was dumping so much fuel that it would fill up the pistons and the motor would have trouble turning.  Once that happened - i realized what was going on - pulled the plugs and cleared it out - tried it with no choke at all and it fired right up... oh well.  At least it was a cheap fix :)  Thanks for the help guys.  

post #10 of 16

Fuel over supply problem. In my many years of boating, 80% of my motor issues have been a fuel problem. We all go through similar Idiot moves like you did. Welcome to the idiot club!

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post #11 of 16
You said you didn't have a good spark? I would keep a spare set of spark plug on board. I always do ,never know?
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccb View Post

You said you didn't have a good spark? I would keep a spare set of spark plug on board. I always do ,never know?

Yea - i had a fresh set on board and swapped them in.  I would like to see a stronger spark still... but it seems to be working just fine right now.  

post #13 of 16

At least you remembered to put the drain plug in.go to the ramp on a weekend and bring your camcorder the stuff ive seen you could make a sitcom outa it...

post #14 of 16

my advice get a toss the evinrude. parts are a pain to find and the ones i have had to deal with have wiring issues. check connections and weather the wires are getting power. 

post #15 of 16
LOL, we've all had those days. As they say, "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID."
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