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Old 04-11-2007, 16:49   #1
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Johnson 15 repair

Hey everyone, I just recently purchased my first outboard, and had some questions about it. It is an older model, 75 I believe, and I'm getting good compression and good kick over, but no spark at all neither of the plugs are firing. It was running not too long ago as my friend had told me, but i can't seem to get spark. any suggestions?
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Old 04-11-2007, 17:01   #2
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Hey everyone, I just recently purchased my first outboard, and had some questions about it. It is an older model, 75 I believe, and I'm getting good compression and good kick over, but no spark at all neither of the plugs are firing. It was running not too long ago as my friend had told me, but i can't seem to get spark. any suggestions?
First thing to mind is coil - maybe just loose wire.
Second is magneto adjustment. A dollar bill is the right thickness-old solution for old motor.
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Old 04-11-2007, 17:28   #3
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First thing to mind is coil - maybe just loose wire.
Second is magneto adjustment. A dollar bill is the right thickness-old solution for old motor.
I'm totally ignorant when it comes to outboards, how do I adjust the magneto? What should I look for on the coil? I had checked the wires going to the plugs, and the wires coming out of the powerpacks, all seemed nice and tight, nothing hanging out or cut/frayed...
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Old 04-11-2007, 17:43   #4
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I'm totally ignorant when it comes to outboards, how do I adjust the magneto? What should I look for on the coil? I had checked the wires going to the plugs, and the wires coming out of the powerpacks, all seemed nice and tight, nothing hanging out or cut/frayed...
The "power packs" are the coils. They have wires that go from them to the Magneto. The magneto charges the "power packs" (coils).

To adjust the magneto you have to remove the pull start mechanism on the top. There is a "wheel" that spins around and somewhere there is a magnet/coil looking thing. There are screws that hold that in place and the clearance from that to the spinning "wheel" is the clearance (gap) you adjust with the dollar bill being the spacer (gage).

I had an old evinrude. I think they are all about the same. the "wheel" rides on a bushing and that was cracked so the "wheel" wobbled and touched the coils, shorting out the engine.

There are diagrams online but I usually have trouble finding them. Try the venerable Google.

Johnson / Evinrude Outboard Motor Parts

http://epc.brp.com/Scripts/ImgServ.e...bcat%5Cimages%
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Old 04-11-2007, 18:05   #5
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The "power packs" are the coils. They have wires that go from them to the Magneto. The magneto charges the "power packs" (coils).

To adjust the magneto you have to remove the pull start mechanism on the top. There is a "wheel" that spins around and somewhere there is a magnet/coil looking thing. There are screws that hold that in place and the clearance from that to the spinning "wheel" is the clearance (gap) you adjust with the dollar bill being the spacer (gage).

I had an old evinrude. I think they are all about the same. the "wheel" rides on a bushing and that was cracked so the "wheel" wobbled and touched the coils, shorting out the engine.

There are diagrams online but I usually have trouble finding them. Try the venerable Google.
gotcha, I know what you're talking about now, all my tools are at work, so I haven't had a chance to take an in-depth look into the engine. I will tomorrow and take your advice and sdee if I can't figure it out, thanks.
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Old 05-11-2007, 17:54   #6
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OK, so I checked the coils and the magneto, and after took about half the engine apart, I realized I hadn't grounded the plugs when I tested them (Mentioned it at work and someoen askedx if I had grounded the plugs.... duh!) So now I am getting spark, just need the new fuel lines and fittings and should be on the water. Thanks for the help
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:06   #7
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Stop guessing and go buy a shop manual. Run through the problem shooting part of the manual. You will need this manual for other repairs and maintenance on your outboard anyways.

Amazon.com: Evinrude Johnson Outboard Shop Manual: 2-40 Hp 1973-1990 (Includes Electric Motors) (Clymer Marine Repair Series) (Clymer Marine Repair Series): Books: Randy Stephens

Be sure to check out the other related books on the Amazon page.

Good luck with that.
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:24   #8
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Aloha Skinney,
Wow! Been there, done that! Check with your local public library for manuals. Check them out and copy the right pages and you'll have everything you'll need to know.
I found a pristine Super Saber 5 at a swap meet a few years ago. It didn't look like it had ben run for 15 minutes but was full of old fuel, the hoses had rotted, the impellor was trashed, etc. It was fun to get it running and all things working again. It turned out to be a Gale 1955 model 5hp. Coils were the same as Johnson and I was able to buy them at NAPA. The coils were old, cracked and leaking. That was the key to getting it running again.
Good luck on your old engine. Never give up on Johnson or Evinrude.
Kind Regards,
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:38   #9
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Yeah my next purchase is a manual, have one on the way actually, along with the fittings and the new fuel line. Quick question though, again I have not worked on outboards very much, how hard is it to change the water pumps on a small outboard like my 15? Should I go ahead and start tearing her down, or get someone else who knows more about it work on it. I've heard both from different people.
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:46   #10
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Yeah my next purchase is a manual, have one on the way actually, along with the fittings and the new fuel line. Quick question though, again I have not worked on outboards very much, how hard is it to change the water pumps on a small outboard like my 15? Should I go ahead and start tearing her down, or get someone else who knows more about it work on it. I've heard both from different people.
Tear it apart.
It is not a very complicated piece of machinery.
Unless you lose your ground.
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Old 05-11-2007, 20:37   #11
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That made my day ... all joking aside though, that's good news considering I don't feel like taking it back off the boat and hauling it over to someones house in my trunk
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Old 05-11-2007, 21:21   #12
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Do you want to rebuild it??...or just change out the raw water impeller? There is a big difference. I would only rebuild it as a last resort. What is your time worth? How mechanically inclined are you? New 15 horse 4-stroke outboards are not all that much in the big picture of owning a boat. Personally I would just get it working and not worry about tearing it apart..it's not worth the time. An engine that old is going to have all kinds of seized up bolts and you will probably run across parts that are not even stocked anymore...like odd sized bolts, springs, gaskets and piston rings. Some lakes and reservoirs have gone so far as banning 2-stroke engines.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:52   #13
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Aloha Again Skinny,
It is easier now to do the impellor than it was on very early engines. Just follow the directions in the manual (wait for the manual). It is absolutely necessary to have a good stream of cooling water running through your engine whenever it is started. Never try to run it without it being in water.
Don't lose any parts when you take the engine apart. Don't ask me how I know!! LOL
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:02   #14
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Depending upon age and service (salt water), very often the lower leg is seized onto the upper leg. When the water pump goes, so does the engine.

Prior to purchase see if the lower leg will separate a bit from the upper leg, and make sure you have a solid stream of water out the telltale hole.

Keep the lower leg out of the water (except in use) to prevent growth from fouling the pump.
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Old 06-11-2007, 18:49   #15
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Do you want to rebuild it??...or just change out the raw water impeller? There is a big difference. I would only rebuild it as a last resort. What is your time worth? How mechanically inclined are you? New 15 horse 4-stroke outboards are not all that much in the big picture of owning a boat. Personally I would just get it working and not worry about tearing it apart..it's not worth the time. An engine that old is going to have all kinds of seized up bolts and you will probably run across parts that are not even stocked anymore...like odd sized bolts, springs, gaskets and piston rings. Some lakes and reservoirs have gone so far as banning 2-stroke engines.
The bolts and brackets and plates and block-offs and what-nots aren't an issue, I work at a machine shop and can get(or make) just about anything small like that. I am fairly mechanically inclined, as I work at a machine shop. I have ordered the new water pump and the new fuel pump along with the manual and they should be here by the weekend. I am still pondering whether or not to order the carb kit and rebuild the carb, I think I'll just wait until everything gets here and run it in a tank and see how it sounds...
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