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Author Topic:   Hot wire your own boat
peterg posted 08-15-2001 03:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for peterg   Send Email to peterg  
If you have problem with the ignition switch to start the engine, how do you hot wire the boat ?
Bigshot posted 08-15-2001 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
If a smaller engine, easiest way is take off cover and disconnect main wiring harness(big 2pc harness) This allows the engine to be pull started. To kill engine you will have to connect it back or choke it. Bigger engines you can't pull so it is more like a car and you need to hotwire the starter. This might not be a good idea with todays computerized engines. You can do this by removing keyswitch and jump it there but requires some knowledge and every manufacturer has different color codes. Ask your mechanic to be on the safe side. I/O's are cake, just pull the keyswitch, connect the pos & neg and touch to starter wire.

Good tip for dead battery or starter on the fritz. Wrap a pullcord around flywheel. As you pull the cord have someone hit the key. The dead bat/bad starter will usually be enough to spin the flywheel a few more revs and start it. This will usually not work on Mercs due to they need a full charge or will not start.

Before you decide it is keyswitch, check emergency kill switch and neutral safety switch. Sometimes a jiggle on the control is all it takes. Disclaimer-I am or have never stolen anything motorized! I have left my keys or when younger could not get them at night, so I learned a few tricks. If I was on land and thought I had a bad key, try a testlight before you go shorting something out, etc. Keyswitches are cheap!

simonmeridew posted 08-15-2001 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
just a note about using a rope to start a "big" engine. (+ 1 or 2 sentences background.)

I was installing something or other electric on my montauk this Spring, and as usual needed to take the instrument panel off and on about a dozen times because...well just because it's just the way I do things. It's finally back together again and stuff works and it's up to the Lake Willoughby with wife and daughter. Water 39 degrees, air 40 degrees.
Backed the boat down we all got in, turned the key, the motor check thing beeped I turned the key to start it and ....... oh, oh. Nothing from the motor(1999 Johnson 70 hp ,newish).
I had a rope in the console, tied a knot in the end and put it over the flywheel, thinking, this is never going to work, I can't put that hard etc. Two pulls and this thing was running, and that was that. I did have my daughter push in the key to choke it while I pulled on the rope. Point is, if I can pull start a ice cold 70 hp motor with a rope, with 2 pulls, I think you can pull start anything. The only other thing I pull start is my 6 hp seahorse.
When I got back home, I discovered that the back of the key switch has about 8 different wires which plug in the back of it, and one of these goes to the starter solenoid. With all the times I took the instrument panel off, one wire was pulled out of it's socket a little bit too far, that's why the starter wouldn't work. JMHO

Tom W Clark posted 08-15-2001 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Although this statement goes beyond my personal experience, and therefore may ultimately be inaccurate, I will assert that there is not an outboard motor made, big or small, that cannot be rope started. I base this on my own experience routinely starting my 1990 Johnson 150 hp V-6 and prior discussions in the FORUM about starting motors as large as 225 hp. It's really not a big deal.
Bigshot posted 08-16-2001 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Clark if you say so:) I can not imagine pullstarting my 225. It is the same displacement as a Ford Taurus. That tiny rope? Now I'm gonna have to try it and report back. I have pull started 115's and although it is not a walk in the park, it did fire(warm though). When I said bigger, I meant v-6's.
Tom W Clark posted 08-16-2001 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Try it, you'll like it. In fact try it cold. I know you know the routine but I'll repeat it here for others:

Pop the motor cover off and dig out the little 1/4" nylon emergency starter rope with the little wooden handle on it. Throw the valve on the fuel primer around about 180 to the open position and squeeze the fuel primer two or three times after there is pressure on the squeeze bulb. You'll be able to hear the fuel squirting. Rotate the valve back to its original position.

Advance the throttle to the normal starting position and rotate the flywheel until resistance from compression is felt.

Put the knot on the end of the starter rope in a notch on the flywheel so that there is between a half to three quarters of a turn around the flywheel and pull.

Be ready to reduce throttle (or has someone else standing by) if the motor starts to race.

Be careful when dropping the cover back on; lower it straight down and latch it. You're on your way.

andygere posted 08-16-2001 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
One of the best "options" on medium/small outboards is a recoil starter. My '84 Merc 40 hp had one, as did my '68 Evnirude 40. This is in addition to the electric starter. If you ever have battery, cable or starter problems, the recoil starter is very handy. In fact, on my 13, I never charged the battery (didn't have a trickle charger), but just relied on the rope starter to get it going if the battery got weak. The downside: I got pretty good at rebuilding the recoil starter when the springs eventually gave out.
Mullet posted 08-16-2001 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mullet  Send Email to Mullet     
Be careful that the engine isn't in gear. If you put the throttle to your usual starting position and accidently leave it in gear, some motors will start, even in gear. The safety works by not allowing the motor to turn over if in gear but when you are bypassing it some will start. Believe me.

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