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Author Topic:   Intermittent electrical failure on 1994 Mercury 225-HP outboard system
Frank O posted 10-19-2008 08:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for Frank O   Send Email to Frank O  
Yesterday we took a family cruise in my 1995 Outrage 21, starting and stopping the engine a number of times with nothing out of the ordinary.

Then, when I tried to restart the 1994 Mercury 225-HP two-stroke engine after anchoring at one spot, it was just dead as if no battery was connected. Not only did it not crank, but the gauges didn't move at all when the key was turned, and the warning system didn't beep. Then, after a couple of minutes I tried it again and it fired right up -- we got it back to the slip with no issues and called it a day.

Interestingly, though the engine system behaved as if it had no battery connected to it, the radio and fishfinder worked normally throughout the incident. They draw their power off a fuse block that the boat's previous owner hardwired to the house battery. At the time of the problem, I had the battery switch set to connect the engine system to both batteries in parallel.

The problem will probably be difficult to diagnose, since it is intermittent (and I can't even be certain it will manifest again). When I get back down to the boat next weekend, as a starting point -- and based on reading numerous posts here -- I thought I'd thoroughly clean all of the battery terminals and connections, as well as any other ground connections or sundry points in the power system that jump out at me. If the problem ever crops up again, I might further investigate the key switch and/or the battery switch.

If any other suggestions come to mind, let me know!

jimh posted 10-19-2008 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Frank--I have a positive expectation that you will solve this problem by finding a bad connection in the primary battery wiring to the engine. Check all the connections. Even connections that look perfectly good can be bad. Just a very small layer of insulation can stop a 12-volt circuit from conducting.
Chuck Tribolet posted 10-20-2008 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I'm thinking it's the key switch.

I'd also unplug and replug every connection between the battery
and the key switch.


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