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Old 07 April 2016, 16:41   #31
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I'm confused why someone added a third stop switch, which is what I am reading. That says to me the factory fit one is dead!?

A continuity meter across the terminals of the switches should confirm if they change when switched. As poly says convention on most petrol engines is that with the kill cord pulled the switch is closed shorting the spark circuit to earth. Simply disconnecting that switch wire should have the effect of stopping the short.
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Old 07 April 2016, 16:43   #32
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I agree with Willk... and Poly.. ha ha.

The main ign unit could be at fault... but in general these units are exceptionally reliable across all small engines. If they do fail it is often due to an external cause that is coincidentally resolved when the replacement unit is fitted so the true cause went undetected.

With diagnostics the very first area I would double check is where there has been recent work... i.e. your stop wiring. Remember it's not just the switch to test but anywhere the black/yellow (90% sure this is your colour) power wire could be accidentally earthed (yes yours is earth to stop) might be the problem.

If you look at the service manual Boatinfo - Mercury Service Manual for 6-8-9,9-10-15 hp page 57 of 260 (or 2A-8) onwards gives the expected readings for the ign system that can be checked with a basic multimeter.

Note I know this manual covered my 2000-on Mariner/Mercury 15s but just chech it applies to yours. If you find the wire colours mentioned above I'm guessing it will be the right info.

Very helpful as per usual Fenlander

Your right, the wire is black/yellow

I will check this tomorrow, the way the engine died was just as though I'd pulled the kill cord, and it ran great for a couple of hours previously

Thanks for the info..... It is appreciated
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Old 07 April 2016, 16:49   #33
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I'm confused why someone added a third stop switch, which is what I am reading. That says to me the factory fit one is dead!?

A continuity meter across the terminals of the switches should confirm if they change when switched. As poly says convention on most petrol engines is that with the kill cord pulled the switch is closed shorting the spark circuit to earth. Simply disconnecting that switch wire should have the effect of stopping the short.

I was also confused by the added kill switch, I was told that a previous owner fitted it as he didn't like the standard kill cord set up

I believe the mercury switch can be set to "run" without using the cord, hence why the guy changed it

I will disconnect the earth of both tiller and cord kill switches and see if I have any success.... Also test switches if I can borrow a continuity tester

Thanks for the advice shinyshoe
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Old 07 April 2016, 16:57   #34
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I would say not impossible but unlikely make sure you have the plugs earthed properly when testing.
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Old 07 April 2016, 17:02   #35
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I would say not impossible but unlikely make sure you have the plugs earthed properly when testing.

That is a good point jeffstevens, there's not many places to Earth the plug as per engine paint/enamel

I made sure bottom of plug was touching top of threaded part of cylinder head (only metal part I could reach as ht leads are short)
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Old 07 April 2016, 17:08   #36
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Also test switches if I can borrow a continuity tester
Buy Philex Pocket Digital Multimeter at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Test meters.

Get one in.
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Old 07 April 2016, 17:13   #37
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Wow .... Bargain

Ordered ..... Cheers Wilk
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Old 08 April 2016, 07:28   #38
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That is a good point jeffstevens, there's not many places to Earth the plug as per engine paint/enamel

I made sure bottom of plug was touching top of threaded part of cylinder head (only metal part I could reach as ht leads are short)
you can always wrap some wire round the plug and back to a good earth point do it in bad light to see spark properly
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Old 08 April 2016, 07:48   #39
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you can always wrap some wire round the plug and back to a good earth point do it in bad light to see spark properly

Thanks mate
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Old 08 April 2016, 14:55   #40
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Tonight I disconnected all kill switches, cleaned contacts on coils etc

I can now get one coil sparking, but, the other coil will spark if I swop the wires from the ECU to coil

So it's either a break in the wire from the ECU to one of the coils, or a dodgy ECU only powering one coil
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