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Author Topic:   1998 Evinrude Has Electrical Problem
jerryb posted 07-01-2012 09:12 AM ET (US)   Profile for jerryb   Send Email to jerryb  
[On Friday] afternoon while out [a friend] noticed gauges fluctuating, headed back to dock, turned off [a 1998 Evinrude Ocean Pro 115 which was later determined to be an Evinrude FICHT outboard engine], and nothing: no beeps, no crank, no power, no tilt. [I] went to help and with limited tools onhand couldn't figure out [the cause of the electrical problem]. [The 1998 Evinrude FICHT 115-HP outboard engine was] brought home and looked over [on Saturday in the morning] and again [Sunday] morning. [Here is] what we know and have done:

--battery voltage is 12.8-Volts

--all connections good

--found there is no power going to [ignition] switch

--hotwire switch from under [accesory] panel

--get beeps, crank, start and tilt

--found fuse between relays in fuse box on engine blown

--replaced [fuse] and still nothing

--pulled relays to check

--while pulling lower left relay the fuel pump energized

--[engine] still didn't do anything else unless hotwired

--pulled all relays

--checked connections, and

--they are all good.

[If] [I] hotwire [the 12-Volts from the battery to some point in the circuit which is not clearly identified but probably the IGNITION switch, then] everything works--other than blowing tilt fuse--but [I] expect that, considering [the fuse is rated for] 10-Amperes and we are pulling more than that, I would assume, with [the power] tilt pump. [The] harness also appears good from engine thru transom and hull up to [ignition] switch. [I] have been a mechanic for [more than] 20 [years] and have worked on numerous boats, but not a boat mechanic per se. [Do any readers] have any ideas [about the cause of the electrical outage] or have had same [electrical problem]? [The] boat has been out at least six times this season with out any [malfunctions or problems or electrical outages]. [I] have to believe [the cause of this electrical problem] is something to do with the distribution panel on side of engine where fuses and [relays] are [located]. [Any] help would be greatly appreciated. [The] boat is in my yard and only a few steps away, so [I] can go out and check anything if you have an idea. [Thanks]

seahorse posted 07-01-2012 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
From your description, this is a 115 FICHT engine which is completely different than a carbureted 115hp engine. Because the fuel pump fired up when you moved the relay for it, there is an internal problem in the Power Distribution Panel or PDP. That can also explain why there is no power at times.

The blown #7 fuse could be from the PDP or somewhere in the boat harness, gauges, accessories, or keyswitch.

Your best bet is to have the PDP rebuilt by DFI Technologies - - or spend big bucks for a brand new one.

Make sure that there are hex nuts and lockwashwers on the battery terminals and not wing nuts.

jerryb posted 07-02-2012 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jerryb  Send Email to jerryb     
[Yes], [the engine being discussed] is [a FICHT] engine. [Sorry, I] forgot to mention that. [Thank you] for the input. [We] are leaning towards [the cause of the problem being] with the [Power Distribution Panel], but, to be clear, there isn't an intermittent power loss. [This] is the first time it [has] lost power to [ignition.] [The] times [the 1998 Evinrude FICHT 115-HP outboard engine] has worked has been with me "hotwiring" the [ignition] circuit.

And, after further discussion with owner, we are pretty sure the fuse blew while limping back to dock. [The] swells were gettin rough and he is sure he was using trim while heading in. [We] think that [is] when fuse blew. [Again], not sure why. [Again], any help would be great. [Thanks]

jimh posted 07-02-2012 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is a good procedure for isolating an electrical circuit outage:

To check an electrical circuit, test for the presence of a voltage at a point in the circuit when you expect the voltage to be present. If the voltage is not present, work your way back in the circuit toward the source of the voltage by testing for the presence of voltage at preceding points in the circuit. When you locate the point in the circuit where the voltage appears, you will have found the branch in the circuit where there is a discontinuity.

jimh posted 07-03-2012 07:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the 12-Volts that should power the IGNITION key switch originates at the Power Distribution Panel, and if the Power Distribution Panel is being supplied 12-Volts, and if there is no sign of voltage at the point in the circuit where the IGNITION key switch is to be fed, then the source of the discontinuity must be in the Power Distribution Panel.
jerryb posted 07-03-2012 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jerryb  Send Email to jerryb     
update.... further digging after removing pdp. found bottom terminal of 4 prong connector loose on pdp. after thinkin more on how it may have happened what we think is a year or two ago the starter solenoid stuck and melted some wires a short ways from ign switch. maybe it was related to that issue. the terminal is actually loose and when you wiggle it the connection is lost. thanx for the help, hope everyone has a great 4th. stay cool and be safe!

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