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Outboard caught fire - did this ever happen to you?

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  • Outboard caught fire - did this ever happen to you?

    I just want to share my experience to help others. My Johnson 90 hp v4 caught fire today while I was preparing for a boat trip. I had the boat motor cover pulled to check the motor running. It started smoking and burning on the port side under the flywheel where my rectifier is. I quickly turn off my key and the fire was off by itself. Yes the red positive wire from the rectifier was burned and broken from the heat and fire. This is a very old 1982 v4 2 cycle engine. All my wires got some oil on them so I cleaned them and replace the broken wire and all is good. That was a very close call.

  • #2
    Well that stinks, you burnt your Johnson..... Glad it was not to serious!
    If ya can't fix it with a hammer,ya got yourself an electrical problem.

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    • #3
      No, luckily I caught it early and shut off the key so the wire broke. The attached photo is from today's outing an hour ago. No wake in DC ON Potomac river for good 2 miles. Motor performed beautifully

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      • #4
        I've seen a couple of boats burn...

        That had me go over my outboard thoroughly... Replaced all fuel lines and checked all wires. Put heat shrink over any wires that looked the least bit questionable.

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        • #5
          You know, once my kids came back with the boat, said it's running funny. I popped the hood and the fuel line was leaking badly. Surprised it did not catch fire as they drove it mile home......WHEW!
          If ya can't fix it with a hammer,ya got yourself an electrical problem.

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          • #6
            We had a great time boating on the Potomac river here in DC yesterday. My old faithful Johnson 90 hp v4 survived the fire from the overheating oily electrical wire. My Johnson 90 hp once again delivered a perfect outing for me and my friends in a 8 miles round trip (3 of which are in no wake zone - slow idling). Very very lucky to be able to catch the smoke and fire early on my driveway instead of on the water boating. Always check your motor electrical wires and wipe clean any spilled oil and check any chaffed skin and make sure the wire is insulated from the engine block so no short can happen.
             
            Last edited by ib18; May 21st, 2016, 09:15 AM.

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            • #7
              Thank you for the heads up. If I tilt my 115 Mariner up too far oil will leak from the injection reservoir into the engine compartment. Time to look at that. Thanks again from the north shore of Lake Erie where a 30 mile return trip is normal farther out than 10 miles from shore.
              Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Old Ironmaker View Post
                Thank you for the heads up. If I tilt my 115 Mariner up too far oil will leak from the injection reservoir into the engine compartment. Time to look at that. Thanks again from the north shore of Lake Erie where a 30 mile return trip is normal farther out than 10 miles from shore.
                Wow, lol most of my fishing trips run on motor not more than 20 miles. Most of the time is drifting with tide or anchored.

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                • #9
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                  Originally posted by ib18 View Post

                  Wow, lol most of my fishing trips run on motor not more than 20 miles. Most of the time is drifting with tide or anchored.
                  When we chase the migrating Walleye in August to the international border we are 20 miles offshore. We won't go out there solo when there isn't a pack of boats. A second boat is a great backup for anything that might happen. It's not a fuzzy feeling when you don't see another boat or the shoreline of Erie or Lake O. I know more than a few guys that got lost without a compass pre GPS days in a tinny another in a 15 footer and ended up in NY. I guess they don't call the Great Lakes a freshwater sea for nothing.
                  Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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