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Author Topic:   Pull Start Backup to Electric Start
David Ratusnik posted 10-29-2001 01:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for David Ratusnik   Send Email to David Ratusnik  
Recently I was told that a pull start item was available as a back up to electric start for big 2 strokes, eg. my older 225 Johnson. If you lost both batteries this might get you going. Is this anything more than a rope to wrap around the fly wheel? Has anyone had experience pull starting a larger outboard? Any thoughts would be appreciated. David
JBCornwell posted 10-29-2001 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I don't know if you would consider it a big outboard, but years ago I had to rope start my Johnnyrude 100 V4 a few times. At the time it was a priceless option.

Res sky at night. . .
JB :)

bigz posted 10-29-2001 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
If you old enough to remember the old lawn mowers before recoil rope starts then that is basicly what you have on the carb electric start 2 strokes-- for lack of a better term a rope cage on top of the the fly wheel -- our 1987 Yamaha 200's have it and they will kick over relatively easily --- haven't needed it in an emergency but did test them out after we first got them --- our old '82 175hp Johnson was also equipted this way --- I believe they are still made that way -- could be wrong --- that is carb 2 strokes -- don't know if the EFI motors are or not able to manual start.

Peter posted 10-29-2001 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I've cold started my old 150 Johnson with the rope.

I'm pretty sure my 2000 225 Yami EFI came with a rope for starting so I would assume you can pull start an EFI much like a carb'd model.

Bigshot posted 10-29-2001 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Dead bat on a EFI means no electric fuel pump or choke. Might be a MAJOR pain in the cojones to get that pulled off(bad pun intended). I have pulled start a few larger and it is NOT easy but can be done and can be a life saver. My 225 manual says to remove a spark plug or 2 to get it to spin over easier. My recommendation is if your starter is too slow to turn it over. Wrap the rope and pull. Once she is spinning, have someone hit the key. The momentum can be enough to get her to fire(mucho easier than just yanking).
tbirdsey posted 10-29-2001 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Until I finally realized there was a loose terminal in my battery switch, I discovered that starting my 150 Merc with the rope was actually quite easy - had to do it several times.
Tom W Clark posted 10-29-2001 11:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
My Johnson 150 rope started very easily. Yes, you just wrap a rope (1/4") around the fly wheel and pull. Assuming it is primed, it will start right up. Remember, you only need to pull over compression stroke for it to go.

Bigshot, I thought you were going to try your 225 for us and report back?

Whalerdan posted 10-30-2001 01:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Tom - how long a rope do you use? How many wraps around the fly wheel?
David Ratusnik posted 10-30-2001 07:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Thanks for various insightful comments. Probably a good "tool box" item.
Tom W Clark posted 10-30-2001 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Whalerdan, the rope should be about 4 or 5 feet long. The ones that come with the motors usually have a small wooden handle for comfort.

You need only put somewhere between half and one full wrap around the flywheel. You can't put more than one wrap on, there isn't room.

It's not like starting a lawn mower; you're not trying to spin the flywheel, but rather get just one cylinder to compress. When I hand crank, I put as much of one full wrap as possible (there are only so many notches in the flywheel) around the flywheel then pull gently until I feel the resistance of one of the cylinders beginning to compress. At this point everything is ready to go and one strong tug is all that is needed. Just get it up and over that one "hump" and she'll fire.

tbirdsey posted 10-30-2001 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
That's right; it doesn't take much. My rope looks like it came with the engine and does have a wood handle. I was surprised that it only made about one wrap around the flywheel and was absolutely stunned the first time it started.
simonmeridew posted 10-30-2001 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
The book that came with my '99 Johnson 70 tells you to turn the primer start valve to manual start. Otherwise you'll need to have someone hold the key in to choke the motor while you pull the cord. One of my first times out this year I needed to pull start it: I was amazed that it started at all, but once I got everything organized it fired right up. One thing I noticed is that if you don't have the trim and tilt all the way down, i.e.: the motor vertical, the rope won't stay on the flywheel as you pull--it slips off prematurely. I found this out as I was in shallow water(afraid to go to deeper water till the motor started) and I needed the motor somewhat tilted up. Once I figured that out, I was golden. By the way, it was also 35 degrees out and a cold engine.
browning20ga posted 10-30-2001 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
I push start mine.
David Ratusnik posted 10-31-2001 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
I am advised that the rope does not work with newer DFI engines. Apparently, if the battery(s) are shot you are stuck unless jumped. In fact, a marine mechanic told me that DFI's are quite sensitive to battery (s) that are not substantially charged. Make sense??
Bigshot posted 10-31-2001 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
makes sense, all run by computer. My old Tower of power inline Merc was a bear unless battery had a good charge. It would turn over but not fire.
TightPenny posted 10-31-2001 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
The entire flywheel area of my 2001 Johnson 90hp is enclosed in a housing. You cannot attach a rope to the flywheel, unfortunately. My old (1997) 60hp Johnson can be pull started with a rope without any problems.
Peter posted 10-31-2001 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I have also heard that at least Ficht DFI's are sensitive to voltage levels and that Fichts in particular will not operate if the voltage is below something like 9 volts. Thus, I believe that they require a minimum of two batteries, which I guess is for redundency to prevent a no or low voltage condition. Has anyone ever had both batteries go bad simultaneously in a dual battery setup?

Kelly posted 10-31-2001 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
At one point, I was looking at the Tohatsu 90 hp TLDI. I asked if the motor could be pull started if the battery was dead cause in looking at the motor there seemed to be an electric fuel pump. They said no. I really think that is the down side of some of the new motors.

I also remember one day with my sister's '68 MGB a long time ago. It had an electric fuel pump. The battery went dead. We could jump start the car, but once the fuel from the jump was gone, it stopped again. With all that can happen on the water, I would prefer a motor that did not have to be plugged in. Are the carburated 4 strokes able to run without batteries? Kelly

bigz posted 10-31-2001 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

Low down on Ficht's.

Ficht's are sensitive up to a point meaning they do need at least 9+ volts to start but more importantly is the battery capacity -- OMC recommended a min. of 675 CCA it is now thought the better min. should be at least a 750 CCA rated starting battery.

The Fichts are equipped with an isolated accessory charging terminal for the house battery which is what you probably heard as the second battery need. In other words the starting battery's only job is to start and maintain the onboard engine electronics and the house battery any accessory boat items -- nav. lights, bilge pump/s etc. With a 3 way battery switch you can bring the house in parallel with the starter if the need should ever arise.

PS: we have 4 batteries on the one boat, 2 house and 2 starters -- I hope to hell we never loose all 4 at once --- ;)

Mullet posted 10-31-2001 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mullet  Send Email to Mullet     
I looked to see if this was addressed above but didn't see it. Excuse me if I am repeating another post. When pull starting your engine be SURE that it isn't in gear. My understanding is that the safety on some models blocks the starter from turning in gear. If in gear and pull starting, blocking the starter doesn't do anything. And, correct on the EFI's, they don't just need power to turn the starter but also to run the fule pump, injection system, and computer.
Taylor posted 10-31-2001 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
There is dead and then there is DEAD. Sometimes a battery can be too low to turn over the motor, but have enough juice to run the misc. stuff like fuel pumps. At least that's the way my MGA was. That's when push, crank or pull starting can help. Is this true of outboards also?
Bigshot posted 10-31-2001 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Yes that is true. I bet there was a lot of this talk when motorcycles phazed out kickstarters on street bikes. Let's go one step further. Who wants to pull start my 420hp 454? Make sure you have good bats and don't worry. Rope is a nice option, used it a few times to hotwire my boat when I left the keys home, but not a priority for me, especially with a v6. No matter how many bats you have if your starter goes, you fudged anyway.

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