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1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

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  • 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

    Hello all.

    I have a 1978 Evinrude 115 hp outboard. It hasn't been started in a few years, so of course I expected problems.

    I took apart the carbs, and cleaned them thoroughly. They actually looked pretty good! I was pleased to say the least.

    I cleaned the gas tank, and filled it full of 2 stroke mix gas. Put on a fresh marine battery, and got to cranking... Nothing...

    Turns out only one cylinder is firing. The other 3 have no spark. So I've got gas, and plenty of air, only missing spark. Any ideas?

    I'm about to pull out the manual and start troubleshooting...


  • #2
    Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem

    So i re-connected the battery and tried cranking again, and it just clicked. It sounded like it wasn't grounding all the way. I started looking at all the wires running from the outboard, to the battery, to the ignition. Some were pretty coroded. I then found a box under the inside of the hull that a lot of the wires were running to. I'll attach a pic. I'm thinking this is why I wasn't getting any fire to the cylinders. Any thoughts?

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem

      Probably best to do a compression test first to see if the powerhead merits your time and effort to get it going. The remote box you are referring to is for the power trim unit. It has it's own wires to the battery, and is fused inside the box. It has nothing to do with the ignition system on the powerhead. There are some tests which you can perform on your ignition. You know at least one of the coils is good. You can swap that one with the others to validate the other coils. The power packs are identical. They can also be swapped. Compare the changes once they are swapped. If the electrical connections on the powerhead are as bad as those inside the remote trim box, you may want to clean all the electrical connections and grounds before your condemn/replace any electrical component.

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      • #4
        Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem

        Thank you for the reply. It's comforting to know that mess of corrosion is just for the tilt and trim. I'll start troubleshooting compression then.

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

          Ok, I have more questions.

          Compression is good on all 4 cylinders, so the powerhead seems ok.

          I have one spark plug firing really well on the top right side. The spark plug below it, nor the other two on the other side have no spark at all.

          If I have spark on one plug, does that mean the power pack on that side is good? The cables from the engine to the battery are all coroded, and replacing that is my next step. After that, if I still have no spark I can start further troubleshooting.

          I have a couple of pictures to post. Can you please tell me if I have identified the parts correctly?





          So, if I have everything properly identified, where do I start?

          Should I begin by moving the ignition coil that works to the other side and testing to see if that powerpack works?

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

            Woo hoo! Finally got it running.

            I put new ends on the battery positive and ground cables, attached it to a fresh battery, and with the muffs in place got to cranking. After about 5 minutes of playing with the settings and such, she's running.

            The right side cylinders have spark. When I pull off the spark plug boot on either top or bottom I get a good jolt and the engine dies. However, when I pull the spark plug boots off on the left side, I get no jolt and the engine keeps running. Now I'm going to pull the powerpack off the right side and put it on the left side, and see if I can duplicate my findings. If I can I know I'll need a new powerpack.

            So things are finally headed in a positive direction. If I can get the other cylinders going I'll start working on the re-wiring the tilt and trim, and get started on re-doing the interior.

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

              I kinda feel like I'm talking to myself here.

              So I've interchanged the power pack AND both ignition coils, and everything works on the right side of the engine. So, I guess I need to start looking at what powers the power pack on the left side and go from there.

              Any ideas people?

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                I in no way claim to be an electronics expert so I thought I would do the next best thing, refer you to a site put together by experts.

                http://www.cdielectronics.com/downlo...ick-Start).pdf

                This site has been helping me tremendously in troubleshooting my outboard. Hope this is of assistance to you.

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                  That certainly gives me a good starting point for in the morning. Thank you sir.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                    I am having the exact same issue on my 85 HP Johnson. If you swapped power packs/coils and the dead bank stayed then it sounds like a bad stator according to the troubleshooting charts. I am getting ready to try the same thing this morning.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                      I've also got the additional problem of the ignition key not killing the engine, so the link from above is where I'm starting. Only got 2 hours before I go to work, but I'll keep everyone updated.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                        My problem followed the power pack so thats what I am getting ready to change (try finding one today......). Hope yours works out. Definitely a good troubleshooting chart on that link! Thanks classicenvunrude!

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                          Mac, I'm glad you got it figured out! I simply hate electrical issues!

                          Well, I was basing my suspicions on the fact that if the engine is running, and you pull a spark plug from the right side, it jolts you and the engine dies.

                          If you do the same thing on the left side, it keeps running. Today, however, I noticed that by placing the spark boot near the spark plug, I am getting a fat, hot spark jumping over a .5 inch gap. So it would seem that I have good spark to the left cylinders.

                          Also, the engine is starting and running really well. I have to choke it for one turn, then it fire off on the second turn with no choke or high idle.

                          Am I correct in assuming that the engine may be running correctly? I'm going to get it on the water this weekend and see how it does. I know they behave differently when under load.

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                            Sounds like it is doing what it should. I would put it in the water for a trial run. Go to walmart and get some of the "green" sta-bil fuel treatment for outboards. It will clean and condition the carbs for water and ethonol. They definitely run different in the water, and it will allow you to work some bugs out.

                            No one had a power pack in stock so I am land-bound for another 5 days till my internet order comes in. I ordered 2, and will keep the other good one in the boat for a spare.

                            Now my spare time will be shopping for a new depth/fish finder.......

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: 1978 Evinrude 115 hp Ignition Problem *Pictures and Added Questions*

                              Yea, trial run is needed. I'm gonna get it on the water and run the snot out of it, and it'll either run great or I'll row it back to shore. Lol.

                              I'm spending the rest of the week prepping the floor for new carpet.

                              Comment

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