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Old 12-28-2006, 05:22 PM
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Default how to check spark??? outboard

on a 1980 200 evinrude, how can i check to see if each plug wire is shooting spark? i have a volt meter.

what about pulling each plug wire off and cranking the motor and looking for a spark, will that work?
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Well, maybe there is a "better" way to do it, but I'd get an extra spark plug, pull each wire off one by one and hook it up to your spare plug. Now hold the plug tip against the block so it is grounded and have a buddy crank the engine. You should see the spark right where it should be.

I don't think there's a good use of a voltmeter in this case, untiil you've determined that there's no spark. It's tough to measure the 30,000 volts on the output but easy to measure the 12v input.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: how to check spark??? outboard

Ask your good buddy to "Come her and hold this" then crank her over, if he hollers, its working
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Pull a plug stick it in the wire have the wife hold it tight to a unpainted bolt on the block and turn the key to start if she jumps swears screams or throws something at you replace and move to the next plug repeat
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Yep, you guys got it! hehe

Sparks a flyin'!




And on a more serious note, make sure that you disable to engine so it won't actually start up on you during your "test". And stay clear of the prop! Otherwise, your wife will be REALLY pissed...
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Go to your local auto parts store and get a spark gap tester. It connects between the end of the spark plug lead (where the plug is installed) and ground. You then crank the motor and observe the color of the spark. No spark obviously means that particular lead is not getting voltage to it. A red or yellow spark indicates a weak ignition system. A normal system will provide a blue spark.

If you have an inductive timing light you can also use it to check for the presence of voltage to a particular lead however it won't indicate the condition of the ignition system.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Spark gap tester or timming light will do the job. Or like stated above grab the wire, no pain=no spark, alittle pain to the elbow then you have weak spark, body flys up and back = good spark.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

The best way is with a spark tester or what's called a calibrated spark plug. A lot of tech's know the tool as an ST125 tester. Using an actual spark plug removed then held against or jumpered to the engine block is worthless as it takes much higher voltages to create a spark under compression. So even if you see a spark of any color, it doesn't mean that there'll be a spark when it's installed in the engine. For example, you may have a weak coil only capable of building up to 5000 volts. That would most likely show a spark outside the cylinder but would never be enough to run an engine. On the other hand, the ST125 is calibrated to approximately 35kv, so when it fires, you know you have enough available voltage to run the system.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Regardless take all the plugs out, if your getting an odd or rough running pattern it could be the Power Pack which will be hard to determine this way as the spark pattern is irradict(sp). It might work and I would test it that way first, if you need a power pack go here, as they have have real Rude parts at aftermarket prices.

www.usavemarine.com they are easy to put on, just replace the wires.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Checking a spark visually is open to interpretation by the viewer. Checking the output of the stator(s) to the plug wires is done precisely with a multi meter. The stator may, or may not be providing the correct output and a bad wire could prevent the voltage from reaching the plug, or there could be defective plugs........... Begin at the source and work downward.......
A manual for your engine will tell you how and where to test and will give you a standard for comparison........
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

1st - get your buddy to pull a plug wire and stick his finger in there and grab the block w/ his other hand
2nd- get your other buddy to hold your beer
3rd - say "watch this"
4th -
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: how to check spark??? outboard

Without doubt the only CORRECT way to troubleshoot any problem is to follow the instructions in the FACTORY'S service manual, don't use a confusing POS aftermarket manual, get the REAL book from the manufacturer, and follow tests step by step, be sure to use the correct test equipment. Jupiterzeke
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: how to check spark??? outboard

Quote:
tiara3100 - 12/28/2006 6:16 PM

Ask your good buddy to "Come her and hold this" then crank her over, if he hollers, its working
Brings back memories of when I was a kid and we were trying to get an old go kart running we told my friends little brother to hold the plug wire while we pulled the sarter rope. Took a beatin for that when dad got home.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:34 AM
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Default RE: how to check spark??? outboard

The gap tester is best. But not many people really do that.

I have seen many mechanics, and myself, stick a screwdriver into the spark boot so it makes contact with the metal clip inside, then while holding the plastic handle , hold the shaft close to the spark plug head so that you can see the spark jump.

Be aware that cranking the motor a lot without a gap that the spark can jump is bad for the electricals, it leads to higher than designed voltages so limit its use. It can cause the spark to go thru the plug wire insulation to the nearest ground as well, leading to a stray ground.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: how to check spark??? outboard

Quote:
baypro21 - 12/29/2006 7:31 AM

1st - get your buddy to pull a plug wire and stick his finger in there and grab the block w/ his other hand
2nd- get your other buddy to hold your beer
3rd - say "watch this"
4th -
Precisely said,You are a certified mechanic I can tell.
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