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1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

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  • 1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

    I've had this motor for 2 1/2 years and it has given me very little trouble. Last week I changed the spark plug wires because the insulation was cut in spots. I figured the electrical tape probably wasn't as good of an insulator as the actual wires. Autozone matched up the wires and they fit on the motor just fine. I took it out today. I was leaving my 2nd spot of the morning and had just got the motor up on plane, when it felt like I hit a piece of wood (but I hadn't). I throttled down and it died before I got to neutral. Couldn't start it back up. Came back in on the trolling motor, which was a little scary on the Mississippi. I'm just glad I was upstream! My first thought was that something must of came loose when I changed the plug wires. I've triple checked everything and it is all fine. Did a compression check as soon as I got home. It is fine (120 - 125 - 122). I then put my spark tester on and found that I'm not getting any fire on any of the cylinders. I even replaced one of the cylinders with an original plug wire and it didn't fire either. Incidently, someone told me this afternoon that the spark plug wires need to be of a certain kind and that I likely fried the switchbox. I would like some other opinions. How can I test to make sure? I've got a standard volt meter but no DVA. Thanks! Oh, the model number is OB240314 Shane

  • #2
    Re: 1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

    Sure, switchboxes are most likely culprit or at least they are the single most failed ignition component on mercs. However, since you all of a sudden lost spark on ALL three I would first check the mercury (kill) switch. disconnect the blk/yel wire at the switch box and if spark returns then your kill switch need replacement. If so, you will have to flood the engine with the choke to stop the engine because you can't "kill" it anymore.Make sure all the ignition coil grounds are good (Classic culprit)Check for continunity between red and blue stator wires


    • #3
      Re: 1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

      Hi Andy,Thanks for the response! I did disconnect the kill switch and it still doesn't spark.I've double checked all the connections also. I've got to check the stator readings. I hope it's not the stator or the trigger but I would like to be sure before purchasing the switchbox.Shane


      • #4
        Re: 1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

        This troubleshooting guide from Rapair/CDI will give you all the test necessary for the trigger and stator. http://rapair.com/support/Portals/0/...otingGuide.pdf


        • #5
          Re: 1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

          If automotive wire with a carbon core was used that's a "no-no". Stranded wire core should be used if that's what was on the engine origninally. Carbon core wires are for ignition noise suppression. Same reason you don't use suppressor spark plugs in that engine.


          • #6
            Sign up today
            Re: 1988 60HP Mercury - No Spark!

            But since you put the old wires on and nothing we have to look elsewhere.Do you have a common ignition sourse; like a single ignition coil? Did you blow a fuse?I seriously doubt that if you have a pulse power pack for each cylinder that all 3 would go out simultaneously.You have to look for a common thread. On the sparkplug wire type, I agree on replacing with the kind that came with it originally. Sometimes solid wire is required, and sometimes resistance "wire" is required. Both for their own reasons. You don't want to mix and match.You said that if felt like you hit a piece of wood but hadn't.If you actually did hit something and as a result of the impact sheared (partially or fully)your woodruff key (between the flywheel and crank) you will affect your ignition timing and it doesn't take much to screw you up, big time......and this is a common thread. BTDT with a lady on board out for a Sunday afternoon's fun and I assure this turned out to be a fiasco.Mark
            If you are new to boating or have a new boat, a knowledgeable friend could show you how to operate your boat and save you a lot of grief, maybe some money, and maybe your life.