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Author Topic:   OMC Loop Charge 225 Ignition
kingfish posted 07-11-2003 10:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for kingfish   Send Email to kingfish  

Here is the current state of affairs with the ignition problems I was having with my Evinrude 225, as reported in an earlier thread that got off into other issues, like cooling - I wanted to wait until I had some good news to report, and now think I have some.

I concluded with the kind help of some of the guys here that my rectifier was hurting. In the course of trying to track down some intermittent medium and high speed missing, my tach started to behave erratically, and after tweaking the pole adjustment on the back of the tach, it still wasn't right. Attached a volt meter to the disconnected gray wire on the back of the tach, and only read 5 volts when I understand it should read 12. So I ordered a new rectifier.

I pulled the flywheel so as to have access to the power pack and rectifier, and when I pulled the flywheel off, some stray pieces of sheet metal fell out. I pulled the stator and upon close inspection, they turned out to be from a piece of sheet metal that had been a part of one of the charge coils on the stator. It appeared that some pinkish looking stuff had boiled out from all three coils on the stator, and some of it had apparently gotten in behind this one piece of sheet metal and when it cooled and expanded (or got hot and expanded) it pushed this piece of sheet metal out far enough that it got caught up in the magnets on the inside of the flywheel and broke off. The conclusion was that the presence of the pinkish stuff indicated an overheated and damaged stator. Additionally, some literature I have stated that when you see the kind of condition my stator was in, it's a good bet the rectifier is shot, too. Well, I had already ordered the rectifier, so I ordered a stator too. I'm not able to say with any kind of scientific certainty that either one of those pieces was shot, but they were 12 years old, and I figured if either one or both weren't shot, the day would probably come before too long when they would be, and here I was with the flywheel off, so let's do it!

(Let me throw in a plug here for Mike Seiler and Seiler Marine - *extremely* knowledgeable and helpful with OMC parts, at very good prices and very timely and courteous service. Also helpful in procuring some CDI testing equipment. With my new Fluke 88 multimeter and the accessories I picked up for outboards, I don't need to take this machine back to a mechanid ever - and I couldn't afford to anyway, with all thisa testing equipment I just bought...)

Anyway, everything arrived and I put it together. First thing found that the new rectifier only had 4 wires when the old one had 5. My local OMC shop (I think they're getting tired of seeing me) told me the purple wire the new rectifier was missing would have provided 12 volts from the ignition to excite the rectifier, but this was the correct one, so OMC must have figured out how to excite the new rectifiers internally (Viagra?). So in it went. Next thing was that the old stator had a yellow wire and a yellow/gray wire coming from the two charge coils respectively, but the new one had two yellows and no yellow/gray. My new friends at the local OMC shop told me that's okay, that means they can go either way (I'm not going to insert a sexual innuendo here...)

So I wrapped everything up, found a place for every wire and every nut and bolt, and had none left over! Hooked up the earmuffs, pumped the bulb, turned the key, and no fire. I mean none. This is getting a bit long so I'll give the short story and not talk about how many times I pulled the flywheel, switched wires, checked amphenol connectors and all the other stuff that didn't work. Finally I loosened up the power pack and looked closely at the rectifier installation, and I couldn't believe my eyes *or* my stupidity, but I had managed to torque the new rectifier down to the block with a short piece of wire in between the two. So everything came off again, I removed the rectifier so I could make sure the gasket was going to be OK, and man, had I flattened that wire out. Plenty of good copper had squose out, and we had a real fine ground where we really didn't need or want one.

Short story: Put everything back together and she started like a tiger, and *seems* to be running real well, and the tach is working like it should. I am still mystified about the gray wire on the back of the tach though, because now it is reading *4* volts. I would love comments from anyone about that one, as I would think it now should be reading 12 volts. Tomorrow I'm going to drop Outre' into a local lake and do some higher speed shakedown testing. More to come after that.


kingfish posted 07-12-2003 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I am one happy camper - just came back from the open water test, and it runs at *all* speeds like a champ! No hint of a miss at any speed, idles down to about 600 RPM in gear, and runs up to 5500 without a hitch (Sal's got me thinking about that now - I may see if I can get my prop repitched to pick up a few more hundred RPM). And the tach works all the time.

I still don't know if it was the stator, the rectifier or both, but since it has a new one of both, it certainly was at least one of them, and it's fixed!

I am still a little concerned about the motor seeming to run a little hot, even with the new thermostats, and since it didn't used to run this hot, I have ordered a new water pump kit. I replaced it about two years ago, but everyone seems to say every year is the right interval, so maybe that's the ticket. We'll see.

Ignition case closed, and thanks to LHG, Dave, Sal et al for all the help. I have learned a ton about what goes on under the flywheel and how to get there, and won't even hesitate next time.


SWarren posted 07-14-2003 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for SWarren  Send Email to SWarren     
I think I may have the same problem on my 115's. After running 336 miles from Chas to HiltonHead and back, we went fishing Sat and my tach started to act up. I was running on plane and my motor throttle felts real funny on my port motor. I put in neutral and it would rev up and down. Got back to the landing and checked control box everything was fine with it. I took the boat home and ran it in the drive and it workied fine, idle and in gear. I noticed my volt guage was not working, but on my depth finder it was reading 14.6 volts. How much did the stator and regulator cost? Is it hard to install? I have johnsons.
kingfish posted 07-14-2003 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

First of all, let me say I really envied your run from Charleston to Hilton Head - absolutely stupendous boating area, and I hope you really had a great trip. We've visited Charleston by land a couple of times (always have to stop at Justines Kitchen for a meal!), and we've travelled from Tybee to Beaufort and around while in my Outrage 22. There's a whole lot of great boating to be done around there.

Strangely enough, while on our Spring trip this year to Appalachicola FL, *my* voltmeter burned out, too. That is also when I first noticed the intermittent tach problems and the intermittent medium and high speed missing. I hadn't made a connection with the voltmeter before now, but I can't help but wonder with both of ours going like that, if there isn't something more than a coincidence.

Larry Goltz suggested right away that the high speed missing on an OMC looper might be the stator; Sal Mercurio (I think) had me test the voltage to the grey wire at the back of the tach to test the rectifier/regulator; it apparently should read 12 volts. Mine read 5. (It still reads 4 or 5, and I am still puzzled by that!)

Anyway, if you don't have a service manual for your motor(s), get one right now, before you do anything. I think the OEM OMC manuals are best, if you can get one. Among other things, they have an ignition troubleshooting "tree" that will lead you step by step in a logical progression of testing for various failures.

Pulling the flywheel is not a big deal if you get your hands on a wheel puller of the type that will screw down to the top of your flywheel, and you will also need to find or fabricate (I fabricated) a device to hold the flywheel while you turn the crankshaft nut loose. Once the flywheel is out of the way, it's pretty straight forward to pull the stator and/or the rectifier. With both you pretty much have to undo the power pack so you can get the wires out that are permanently connected to the stator and rectifier. The rectifier is directly underneath the power pack and it's frame, so you have to get them right out of the way to remove it. The scariest thing for me was all the wires, but the terminal strip where they all connect (on the aft side of the rectifier) is color coded, so all you have to do is match the wire colors with the guide on the ouside of the power pack. All this mumbo jumbo will become obvious to you when you start taking things apart and with the help of a good service manual.

The stator was around $300.00 and the rectifier was around $250.00. Go to or; Seiler Marine, especially in the person of Mike Seiler, is extremely helpful, and I don't think you'll find better prices anywhere. Youy'll need to know the year and model of your motor to track down the parts and their costs, but it's pretty straight forward.

If you are moderately mechanically inclined and can follow directions, and can get your hands on the right manual and tools, you can do it. Let me know if I can be of more help-


kingfish posted 07-16-2003 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I see I mis-spelled Sal DiMercurio's last name above - my apologies, Sal-


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