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Aussie_Sequoia 23-07-2013 13:53

Getting a SHOCK from the Outboard
Hi all. Sitting in Bora Bora waiting out a very large low just to the west that has everyone twiddling their thumbs.

For the last few days it felt like I was getting the smallest of shocks from the kill switch when I was shutting down my Tohatsu 9.8HP 2-stroke outboard engine. Last night I got a BIG shock when I went to shut it down. I had to use a flip-flop to touch the plastic button.

Any help? The wires connecting the different parts of the body are in tact (though I figured those were more for corrosion than grounding) and the spark plug wires are clean and in tact (with new plugs too).


Sailmonkey 23-07-2013 14:01

Either the insulation has broken down and is now conductive, or the switch has been saturated with salt water. Try removing it and soaking it in fresh water. Dry thoroughly and reinstall.

atoll 23-07-2013 14:01

Re: Getting a SHOCK from the outboard
the wires ground out the coil for the ht side of the ignition,try some wd 40 on the wires,and clean the earth connection from the kill switch,as if it is not making a good connextion,you are acting as the ground wire!

skipmac 23-07-2013 14:07

Re: Getting a SHOCK from the outboard
Not a Tohatsu expert so my advise and information is generic small engine based.

Most small engines get their spark from a magneto which generates a pretty good jolt. The kill switch grounds the magneto to the engine so no spark and the engine stops.

Sounds like you have either a bad connection between the kill switch and the engine block or a short between the hot wire to the switch and the switch body. Most likely I think is the first.

Check the wire from the switch to the block carefully for broken or frayed wires, loose or corroded connections either in the switch or at the block. Then check the wire from the magneto to the switch to make sure it's well connected, no broken insulation.

The good news is it probably won't kill you although if I had a bad heart I would be careful. :D However, as you noticed, it can give you a pretty good jolt. Maybe a way to give up that morning coffee habit.

SkiprJohn 23-07-2013 14:46

Re: Getting a SHOCK from the outboard
Let us know how the repair goes please.
kind regards,

Aussie_Sequoia 23-07-2013 15:05

Re: Getting a SHOCK from the outboard
Thanks heaps for all of the advice. Will check it out and let you know the outcome. It doesn't bother me so much, but I doubt the Admiral would enjoy the jolt.

RaymondR 03-08-2013 20:19

Re: Getting a SHOCK from the Outboard
The last time this happened to me it was a crack in the rubber boot on the kill switch had allowed water in which acted as a conductor.

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