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 no spark
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Author Previous Topic: Xantrex MS vs. Prosine? Topic Next Topic: instrument panel?  


RO# 10531

Posted - Aug 05 2008 :  08:37:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1983 mercruiser 140

New points, condenser, wires, plugs and coil put in at the end of last season. First time starting boat this year and it just turns over and doesn't start. Getting fuel but I do not see spark out of the coil. I unplugged the coil wire from the distributor and placed it near a bolt and cranked the engine, no spark.

wires on coil all look good.

Need help, going on vacation this weekend and wife and kids are not going to be happy.



RO# 14491

Posted - Aug 05 2008 :  09:34:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
do you have voltage to the coil?
connections to the coil good?
are the points gapped properly?

38' aft cabin Hatteras

Homeport: bayport ny Go to Top of Page


RO# 1159

Posted - Aug 05 2008 :  15:16:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What Salty said !

If you have good 12V+ going to the positve side of the coil, I'd take another look at those points since they and the condenser complete the primary coil circuit . Since you don't mention I'd have to ask: How did you gap them? Did you recheck the gap after tightening the retaining screw( point gap invariably changes a little to a lot as this is tightened so always recheck .) Did you then start the engine last fall to fine-tune the points dwell( w/ dwellmeter) to spec? Then check timing as should be done anytime anything is done to the points? Did you change the wires 1 at a time to insure they are replaced in proper firing order? Is the old cap still good, no cracks, on tight & still have the inner center contact? With distrbutor cap off, can you see sprak juming at the points when the engine is cranked? How about if the ign key is just ON and points are manually opened or closed when the points rubbing block is not on a raised dist. cam lobe ?

Condenser wire still hooked up tightly inside the dist. & it's wire not compromised getting stuck between dist.cap & base? Brand new condensers can be bad right out of the box too.
If it fires at all on start but stops on run, try jumping across the ballast resistor if you have one.

If no 12v+ going to the coil, very temporarily try starting with a jumper from battery + (or at batt + terminal on the solenoid) to coil + terminal, then look upstream of that coil 12+ supply for fault .

Any deadman kill switch on this boat?


Homeport: The Vineyard Go to Top of Page


RO# 21568

Posted - Aug 05 2008 :  19:26:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Double check that the shut off lanyard. The one that you connect to your self is still installed properly. The motor will turn over but no spark. Hope this helps.

Keith & Gale

Homeport: Navarre, FL Go to Top of Page


RO# 8891

Posted - Aug 05 2008 :  21:13:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had the same issue - see my posting under No Spark somewhere here. Anyway, I changed the coil changed the module inside the distributor, swapped the 50- amp breakers, swapped wires. Still nothing. The went up to the bridge, figured it might be the switch, bought a new switch - spark. Then I notices that the voltage was below 12v when I turned the key to the ACC poition, I took the 5 wires off one of the posts and touched each one back to the switch. One sparked and the voltage dropped when I touched it.

After a week of tracing wires through harnesses I found that it was the purple ignition wire that went to the plug for the coil (I have crusaders with a plug instead of wires to the coil. I cut the wire near the coil and jumped a wire to the switch. Voltage did not drop but no spark. Finally a mechanic said to cut the tach wire. Engine started right up. 2 weeks worth of frustration, unplugged all the harnesses replaced some wires and in the end everything went back just the way it was before the problem. Must have been a bad ground somewhere.

The End.

Homeport: Go to Top of Page


RO# 10531

Posted - Aug 05 2008 :  23:50:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks all for your input, we get in there and check everything tomorrow.

Homeport: Go to Top of Page


RO# 30370

Posted - Aug 08 2008 :  09:39:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had the same problem with a 1977 - 140 mercruiser I/O. Did you replace the rotor? For some reason, the rotor would go bad about every 2 years - cleaning the contacts wouldn't make any difference.
One other thing to check, un-hook the shift interupt switch wire from the coil and see if it starts. If it's an I/O the shift interupt switch grounds out the coil while you're shifting gears to take the load off of the clutch dogs.

Homeport: Kent Island, MD Go to Top of Page
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