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Author Topic:   Hard cranking on 1982 90hp Evinrude
greyg8r posted 01-07-2004 05:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for greyg8r  
I have overhauled my 1982 90 horsepower Evinrude on my 1974 Katama. It has a problem cranking, which it had before the overhaul, but seems worse now.

Here is what I know:

The battery is new. While cranking, the battery voltage drops to 10 volts.

I performed a Voltage Drop Test as outlined in the Clymer E/J Outboard Shop Manual and got the following results:

1. When I connected the negative voltmeter lead to the battery side of the solenoid switch and the positive voltmeter lead to the positive pole of the battery, the voltage was supposed to be less than 0.3 volts, but was 2.0 volts.

2. When I connected the voltmeter to the two terminals of the solenoid switch, the voltage was .04 volts, which was good.

3. When connected the positive voltmeter lead to the starter side of the soldenoid swith and the negative voltmeter lead to the starter motor connection, the voltage was .04 volts, which was good.

4. When I connected the negative voltmeter lead to the negative battery terminal and the positive voltmeter lead to the motor ground, the voltabge was supposed to be less than .3 volts, but was 1.54 volts.

Do I have a problem with the battery? The timing? The starter? The ground? More than one problem?


Thanks in advance.


DanT posted 01-07-2004 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for DanT  Send Email to DanT     
My guess is that you may have faulty battery cables or poor connections at the battery. The fact that you measured 2 volts between the solenoid and the battery indicate that you probably only have about 10 volts to crank with which is why it is slow. You have a voltage drop somewhere between the positive battery terminal and the solenoid.I would check the cable and the connections at both ends. There also seems to be a problem with the ground. There there shouldn't be any voltage drop between the negative battery terminal and the engine block. Again, I would check the ground cable and connections on both ends.
triblet posted 01-07-2004 06:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The 10V was measured at the battery, right? That's probably
OK. Battery voltage drops a good bit during cranking. Can
be as low as about 6V cranking a big cold V8,

It sounds like you have a cable problem. How long are the
cables from the battery to the motor? How heavy are they.

You MIGHT have a bad connection between the battery and the
cable clamp, or between the cable clamp and the cable. Take
them off and clean them up.

A really easy way to check this out is to use a pair of
jumper cables to parallel the battery cables. Red jumper
cable from Battery + to Solenoid battery terminal, Black
jumper cable from Battery - to Starter ground. Crank engine.
Better, I bet.


acassidy posted 01-07-2004 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for acassidy  Send Email to acassidy     
I own a 1991 v4 Johnson 100gt. I had cranking problems just like you, and tested the battery cable just like you, and had bad battery cables, 2 volts drop on both. So I replaced the cables and guess what, still cranking problems. The starter on the motor was the problem. I took the 2 long screws out of the starter and found a broken brush plate on the bottom and a very corroded inside. I cleaned up the motor and ordered a new bottom with brushed for the starter, which cost a whopping 35 bucks. Put the starter back together and back on the motor. I could not believe how fast it spun my motor over, at least twice as fast as ever before. I would check that starter. Archie
Sal DiMercurio posted 01-07-2004 07:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Tribet is on the right track, so is Cassidy.
The length of the cable is very important, if you moved the battery & used longer cables, you had better have used number 2 cable or larger.
As far as your voltage dropping at the starter, ,,,when I extended my battery cables the top tech for Bombardier told me the voltage better not drop below 12 volts at the starter when you engage the starter.
I feel your cables or cable has a crack in it, replace them both & do "NOT' use wing nuts, use 2 s/s nuts on each terminal & tighten them with 2 wrenchs.
If the new cables don't do it, your starter needs attention.
Be sure & squirt some lube oil on the shaft of your starter because it can drag & cause your problem.
home Aside posted 01-07-2004 11:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
This may sound crazy but did they replace/rebuild water pump ? I took my 82 Montauk w/82 Evinrude 90 in last summer to have it given the once over because I hadn't used it in over a year. It turned out one of the cylinder rings had broken up and tore up the cylinder and piston....I'm not an expert I thought the engine was running fine at high rpm's with rough sputtering and a obvious tapping at low rpm's. Before I took it in I tried to start it and it wouldn't turn over...the battery seemed to have plenty of power for the accessories, tilt, lights, etc, etc I thought the battery was bad because it wouldn't turn the engine was the impeller in the water pump had bound things up....the battery was low but one of the rubber blades (if thats what they're called) broke off and bound up ther impeller the water pump. Like I said I'm not an expert but as I recall there was mention when I talked to the mechanic that the impeller being broken and bound up prevented the motor from turning over....anyway I had a complete rebuild and water pump installed...they gave me back the old water pump and it was definitely bound up....anyway just a thought if it helps...

Pat Henahan

Sal DiMercurio posted 01-07-2004 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Pat, yes it's possible but normally when you chew the rings, it binds between the cylider wall & piston & they normally are very tight to turn over, like a dead battery or my old 58 Impalla with suped up engine & the timing to far advanced.
Very normal for an engine that sucked the rings to bind while trying to stat, run rough at low speed but smooth out on the top end but loose about 500 rpms off the top.
Smallfrye posted 01-08-2004 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Smallfrye  Send Email to Smallfrye     
Let me add my woe's to the list; my 90hp mariner will barely turn over on occasion but fires immediatly and starts. After running and several start and stops the starter will spin up as normal.
I have recently opened, cleaned and sealed the connectors on the battery cable extension and regularly clean and lube the battery and starter terminals.
Although this improves the situation, the starter does not spin as it should.
Any suggestions ?
Thanks, Jim
TampaTom posted 01-09-2004 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for TampaTom  Send Email to TampaTom     
I just went throught this last week on my 82 Johnson 90. Dificulty starting, then it just stopped turning. I first thought it was the cables. Removed the starter (3 bolts) and conected it to the car battery via jumper cables. My thought process was to eliminate battery and cable problem (kids don't try this at home). It was the starter. I bought friend's 86 90 Evenrude with scorned piston for $250. Had a good prop and better trim unit (this will be my third.) The cowling looks better (the John/Rude look goes with the Mako 17 console.) The "new" starter works much better than the old one ever did.
greyg8r posted 01-09-2004 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for greyg8r    
I'm Done!!!!!

It was the negative cable. I took the starter off and had it tested at a local auto parts store. It tested fine. When I inspected the negative cable, as so many had suggested, the terminal fell off in my hand!. I replaced it with 2 gauge wire from a boater's supply store and the boat starts and runs great!

Thanks to all, but especially Dan, trib, cassidy, and Sal.


Bigshot posted 01-09-2004 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
What about me?
greyg8r posted 02-03-2004 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for greyg8r    

you're always the man!


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