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Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

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  • Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

    My 1970 115 Johnson was running real sluggish and rough at higher speeds, but fine at low speeds and started good. I put new plugs in, cleaned the high speed jets. Now it won't even start. I have new plugs, good compression, hot spark, and fuel going into carbs. When I try to start it gives me a little puff of white smoke from the exhaust now and then but doesnt even try to start. Any suggestions? Could there be a timing problem with the spark? Please help.


  • #2
    Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

    Hey Iwahay,After you try starting, pull plugs and see what they look. If they're dry, get a squirt can, put some fresh premix in it and give the carbs a shot while cranking. I don' think it's timing because it would either "sneeze" back through carb or bind when cranking. I'm betting no fuel.Let us know.c/6Hooty

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    • #3
      Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

      Hooty,Thanks for responding. The plugs are wet with fuel after cranking. When I crank it with no plugs I can see the fuel/air blowing out the plug holes. Most of the time it cranks fast but sometimes does bind. I never noticed it sneezing out the carbs. While cleaning up the engine a few weeks ago, I pulled the flywheel, removed the contact ring (dont know what it's called) and cleaned it. I noticed that the key that holds it in place was not very tight and I had to use some grease to hold it in the keyway long enought to slide the unit back on. Could this possibly have a little slack in it that could cause the timing to be off? It was running ok but just stopped while out on the river, and never would restart. Any additional help will be greatly appreciated.

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      • #4
        Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

        Your timing is preset by the flywheel. If that key is just a little off so will your timing. That flywheel must be torqued down good. You need to use an air gun for a good job. Get a new key and make sure that the keyway has not been damaged in any way. That goes for the keyway in the flywheel also.

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        • #5
          Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

          Its also possible that you didn't torque the flywheel down hard enough and it has sheered the keyway and could result in your timing being well and truely out.. it would be work it to pull it again and check..regardsfrank

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          • #6
            Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

            If the plugs are wet and it does bind when trying to start,that sounds like flooding. Are ya using factory spec spark plugs?c/6Hooty

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            • #7
              Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

              Thanks for all the help guys. I'll update you on what I have done. I used a torque wrench when putting the flywheel back and tightened to specs of 75lbs. There is no apparent play in the flywheel. I did put new plugs in which are factory spec and set to .030. I also put the old plugs back in to see if any difference, but no luck. As I mentioned, the engine was running, but then acted like it was running out of fuel, died and never restarted. Before this happened it was starting on first spin. Has fresh fuel, clean filter.

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              • #8
                Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                out of curiosity, squirt alittle premix down the carbs and turn it over..IF you have a spark, you have compression and you have fuel, then the timing has to be the issue...thats all there is too it.. double check all of those.. regardsFrank

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                • #9
                  Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                  Frank,I pulled off the carb cover and sprayed some premix into the carbs then tried to start with no change. Then I kept the choke open and sprayed fuel in while cranking. It tried to start and actually did for about 2 seconds then died again. Further attempts had no luck. I guess if it started at all that would eliminate the timing theory. What do you think

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                  • #10
                    Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                    I don't know about your Johnson, but my merc. has a black box with three wires going to it. It advances the timing at idle. It went bad and caused the same problems as you described. I disconnected it completely and motor is running great. MRM

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                    • #11
                      Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                      You sure you got the wires back on in the correct order?Good luck!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                        I just went through the same thing with a 76 35hp. Turns out it was the drive coil under the flywheel. I don't mess with anything over 50 hp usually. If you have a charging coil and a drive coil under the flywheel change the drive coil. Mine was only around 20.00. Good luck.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                          Sorry, forgot to add something. Use the "ring" and make sure that those coils are set properly. They cannot touch the flywheel and must have the proper gap to fire your cylinders.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                            If you don't have a manual for your motor , get one. Clymer puts out a good one. MRM

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                            • #15
                              Re: Could it be timing? 115 Johnson

                              Well, thanks to all for advise but nothing seems to work. I think I'm going to plant that engine in my driveway and use it for a mail box holder.

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