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Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 16107
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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Hello I have a 1984 mercury 115hp 4cyl ELPT Serial 06279591.

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Hello I have a 1984 mercury 115hp 4cyl ELPT Serial 06279591. It has a strange ticking sound that varys with the rpm of the motor. Slow rpm, slow tick as you increase rpm ticking speeds up. The sound is coming from the control handle area. I belive it is coming from the alarm warning beeper.
When you first start motor it gives the solid test beep then a few secounds later the tick. Sounds just like the spark tick you used to get in your AM radio from a bad plug or wire. I have tested Oil level switch and it reads infinate Ohm. left it unplugged no change.
Temp sensor seems ok not sure how to test. Any help would be great.

Hello, and welcome to Justanswer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be helping you today. If you need clarification on something please post back here.


Hi there,

This is an odd one, never heard of a "ticking from the control area" before.


So a couple of questions for you.


Does this ticking go up and down with engine RPMS?


Are there any problems with wide open throttle rpms? Does the engine hit between 5 and 6 thousand rpms at wide open when motoring along? Any performance issues?


And lastly, is it a tick like an electrical arc sound, or is the tick the alarm sounding?


I have a couple of ideas, thinjgs to check out, but no concrete answers yet. Let me know and we can continue,




Customer: replied 6 years ago.


Yes the ticking sound goes up and down with the rpms of the motor. does not matter if your in neutral or in gear. It is defineitly following engine RPM.

I have not had it to full RPM range yet 4000 the most. If the weather holds out i will take the boat out again tommorow and go full RPM. There does not seem to be any performance problem it runs good.

I would have to say it is an electrical tick in the alarm beeper with-out taking handle apart. Like a spark tick in a AM radio.

I would say no to the electrical arc sound. just tick sound but i will listen closer tommorow. I mite be able to record it i will try tommorow and let you know thank you.

Is the keyswitch in the remote control along with the alarm, or is the keyswitch seperate from the remote in your boat? I have an idea here, but need to know that first.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello The key switch and beeper alarm is in the control handle together. I was out for several hours today the boat runs great 5400 rpm WOT little high but no stuff put in boat yet and only myself and no live well water either. The ticking seems to stop at about 4000 rpm or it becomes to fast to hear over wind and motor it does seem to be loader at lower rpm and become softer at higher rpm. It is a tick more than anything. Any more info needed let me know. Thank you.

Well this is a tricky one, but I have an idea here, with a way to test it.


Now inside of that control box is tricky, and if you are not extremely handy, I would not open it up. If you do, and you can not get it back together, it is not something I can tell you how to do over the internet.


The tick could be nothing more than a piece of broken plastic rattleing around in there.


Or, if it sounds like the AM radio like you stated, can be this, and this is what i'm thinking.


Inside of the control box, attached to the keyswitch, is a kill circuit wire. The way the ignition system works is that it supplys 100+ volts to the CDI box. That 100+ volts also runs up a wire and into the keyswitch. Now when the engine is running, there is that 100 volts on that wire, but it does not go anywhere. When you turn the keyswitch off, that 100 volts goes straight to ground, and does not supply the ignition system with power anymore, and the engine turns off.


Now on that wire that 100+ volts comes down in pulses. If the wire for it was chaffed against the alarm, the ignition system should cut out, and you would not get wide open throttle. But what i'm thinking is that the alarm is on its way out, and the voltage is ghosting its way into the alarm circuits via induction, and the little speaker in the alarm is reacting to the magnetic fields on the kill wire when it should not be.

The easiest way to test it would be to disconnect the black wire with a yellow strip at the powerpack on the engine and try it out. If the tick goes away, that is the problem.


Couple of items to read;


Let me know if that solves it or not.


Post back here with any additional questions or concerns my friend.




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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you!

While i had handle assembly apart i just replaced the ignition switch, Horn alarm and both saftey kill switch and neutral switch. They are all orginal and fiqured i did not want to take it apart again for awhile. It is all ok now. not sure which was the cause but heck its fixed now thanks. I could not belive they had parts in stock.