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I have an issue with my boat engine(s). My 1997 Quick Strike…

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I have an issue with...
I have an issue with my boat engine(s). My 1997 Johnson Quick Strike engine has been giving me issues. It first started with it cutting out at full throttle suddenly. It first did it after starting it, and then did it more often. I replaced the fuel line from the boat to the engine thinking it was a fuel line leak and it persisted. I now can not get the boat to start. It will crank, and will even pop a bit but will not start before my battery runs down. I talked to someone who has worked on these before and he thought it may be the optical sensor as it would not start on the lake one day and after a few hours, I tried it and it started right up. It also runs to fast when I first start it and then will move slowly once it is warm. He thought this was due to a faulty optical sensor. I replaced this part and still no luck starting it. That being said, I have a Yamaha 8hp four stroke kicker on the boat. I just cleaned the carb on it last week as would crank, but not start. After doing so, it started right up, but was running no more than 2 1/2 mph when I would throttle the engine up, or would cut out entirely. I was convinced I had an electrical issue with the Johnson 150 hp due to my electrical issue earlier this year that you helped me with, but now as both engines seem to point to a fuel line issue I am unsure where to start. Help?
Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Boat
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/14/2017
Marine Mechanic: Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician replied 11 months ago
Tan
Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 11,419
Experience: 40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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Hello, I'm Tan. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question and will reply momentarily.

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Marine Mechanic: Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician replied 11 months ago

Ok we need to start with a spark test using a spark gap tester. Do you have spark? Then we need to do a compression test to verify we have good compression. If we good spark and good compression then we know we have a fuel related issue. Now the spark must jump a 7/16" gap on the tester. The compression must be 90+ psi with no more than 10% difference between cylinders. Another test is to run the engine and check spark with the use of a timing light. Connect the timing light to each cylinder and run boat till it acts up. Watch the flash of the timing light it should steady with no dead spots in the flash. If you find a misfire swap that coil to another cylinder. Does the misfire move?

Now for fuel tests if the engine will run and it starts to act up choke the engine. Does it run better? If no change squeeze the primer bulb when engine is acting up. Does it ruin better?

If it runs better by choking we need to determine if we have a fuel delivery issue. This can be a restriction or a failing fuel pump. Run the engine on an auxiliary fuel tank. Does it run better?

Do these checks and post back with findings.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
A few questions. Can you direct your diagnostics to the engine you are referring to? I mentioned the issues with my kicker and the main engine. Also, if this is directed at the 150hp Johnson, I am confused as to when it gets to the timing light. If the engine will not engage, but only pops once or twice, how can I run the boat till it acts up?
Marine Mechanic: Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician replied 11 months ago

Main engine only right now. We need to test spark and compression first. Then if spark are good and compression are good we can move on to the fuel system.

Spark must jump a 7/16" gap on spark gap tester. The compression must be 90+ psi with no more than 10% difference between cylinders.

Post back with findings and questions.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Hi Tan. I wrote you last fall before I put my boat in storage, but the item closed after I went to work on this issue. I am hoping you can give me some ideas. I am stuck. I ended up replacing the power pack, the stator, the optical sensor, the coils, the sparkplugs, and the thermostat. It does run better, but my problem has changed. The motor now runs, but will miss when put under load. I can accelerate slowly, but when I get to about 30mph, or 4,000 rpm it begins to somewhat violently missfire. It will missfire up to that point only if I hammer down the throttle, but temporarily until the load reduces. It may miss only 1 or 2 times on average acceleration up to the above threshold, but steadily after the 30mph barrier. This is different than before I changed the electrical items I noted above, as the motor was sputtering at any speed. What could this be? Ideas?
Marine Mechanic: Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician replied 2 months ago

We need to verify that we have an ignition issue. Connect a timing light to one of the cylinders and run the boat watch the flash of the timing light. It must be steady with no dead spots. If no misfire move to another cylinder. Do this test for all cylinders till you have located a cylinder with a misfire. If no misfire then we could have an issue with the lower unit jumping out of gear. This is like hitting a stump in the water.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
The timing checks out ok. It does not misfire at idle. It occurs as it nears 3000 rpm. From what I understand this may be due to the RPM limiting feature associated with the thermostat. I think it is called the S.L.O.W. warning system. I read one post which showed a video of an engine running a lot like mine and he had a faulty diode in the wiring harness. The warning alarm was not sounding, which I don't quite understand, as it should if the thermostat activated the (SLOW warning system). I do not get an alarm either. I assume if the diode is bad it will send a current to the SLOW system but is not strong enough to trigger the alarm? I looked at my harness and I don't see a visible diode to check. Would it be wrapped in the electrical tape surrounding these bundles of wires? Not sure what I would look for. I have a wiring diagram showing where it should be, but there is no bump in the wiring harness which I would expect to find where the inline diode is placed if it is under the electrical tape wrap?
Does my analysis make sense to you? If so, where would I find the diode?
Marine Mechanic: Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician replied 2 months ago

The slow takes effect at 2500 rpms. Have you disconnected the temp switch? That would eliminate the switch if it is bad. Since you have no alarm check by grounding the tan wire from the temp switch.

I couldn't tell you where the diode is as we just replaced the entire harness when it failed. The diagram is just for reference and not an indicator of the location of diode exactly.

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