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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 11052
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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I have a 93 Four Winns and the safety lanyard is clipped on

Customer Question

I have a 93 Four Winns and the safety lanyard is clipped on and in the proper position but the engine will still not fire. It cranks but will not start. In fact it just shut off as if the clip was removed but it is still there. I have tried multiple times to put it back on. Is there a way to bypass the lanyard/safety switch?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Hello. My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you today.
Lets determine that is the problem first. Do you have a volt meter? Test the voltage on the purple wire on the ignition coil key on. Do you have voltage? Then check for voltage on the key switch purple wire key on . Do you have voltage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No - and I am not in the boat. It ran perfectly fine for 30 minutes and then cut out suddenly as I was about to park. This is the second time it has happened. My local mechanic simply said it was the lanyard and it started fine last time. I tried at least a dozen times to put the clip back on and hold it manually to no avial.
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
Did he test the lanyard or do the voltage tests I just posted or is he just guessing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not sure - he said the lanyard was not on correct and then it worked for about a week and then abruptly cutout this afternoon. Of course I tried to hold it on and hold the button in and it did not work. I really just want to try a bypass as I have never used the lanyard anyway.
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
For liability reason I can't tell you how to bypass a safety switch. The kill switch is a safety feature required by the Coast Guard. So I can't tell you how to bypass it.
I can help you find the problem and tell you what needs to be replaced.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it possible to buy a new lanyard clip and in your experience has that helped?
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
If the clip isn't broken that won't help. Is the clip cracked? Typically it is the switch when it does quit if that is the problem. Like I said it can be a number of different thinks this is the reason for the tests.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK thanks - I cannot do anything else as I am not near the boat, it is in the lake 30 minutes away. Just searching for an answer.
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.
This is a case where you have to do the testing to find the problem. If I just tell you the mechanic is right and it turns out he wasn't right and you replace d a switch that wasn't bad then I haven't done my job. I can throw guesses out all day long and I might get some right but that isn't ethical for me to do that to customers that are paying for a service.
Now you can always come back with your findings and we can find the problem.
I can give you an answer but I can't guarantee the answer is correct without testing.
Does this make sense?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thanks. I will have to figure it out myself
Expert:  Tan replied 2 years ago.

The way the current flows is when you turn on the key the voltage flows through the purple wire to the kill switch then to the ignition coil. So if you have a volt meter test for voltage from the key switch to the kill switch. You will have purple going in to kill switch and purple going out of the kill switch. You should have voltage on both purple wires. If you have voltage in and nothing out then the kill switch is bad. If you have voltage on both purples on the kill switch the next place to check for voltage is at the ignition coil. If you have voltage and the engine will not start then disconnect the gray wire from the negative side of the coil. Now check for spark. If still no spark then you have a bad coil or a distributor issue.

Post back with questions and findings.

Thank you...........Tan