Signs & Symptoms Of A Bad Power Pack On Outboard

Is a boat ride suddenly stopping at the middle of the lake leaving you floating one of your worst experiences?

If your boat uses Johnson’s outboard motor, chances are it was the faulty power pack that stopped your boat.

This article investigates faulty a Johnson Power Pack symptom and troubleshooting of those.

johnson power pack symptoms

Signs Of A Bad Power Pack On Outboard

The most prominent signs of a bad power pack is the engine going out and turning on again, going idle.

If you check the side of the power pack with an engine timing, a bad power pack will have weak spark. Along with this, the boat will not gain its full speed.

There will be a problem with your compression and stator when your power pack has gone bad.

What Are the Symptoms Of A Bad Power Pack On Outboard?

1. The Boat Slows Down Or Shuts Down:

It is not easy to detect the problem as a power pack going bad just from the boat shutting down. However, this is the most prominent sign of a power pack going bad.

The boat usually starts idling, cuts off and cuts in or stops after a few minutes of running.

The engine also runs idle. The speed gets limited to less than 2000 RPMs approximately.

2. All Plugs Work Fine:

When you pop out some of the plugs of the motor, you see greenish color when there is corrosion.

If there is no corrosion but your boat still shuts down, it indicates a bad power pack.

However, if you do see green, rub some alcohol and plugin again. This eliminates bad wiring as a potential cause for further testing.

3. Ignition Problems:

If a power pack goes bad, it starts producing ignition problems. Because when it heats up, it starts to go bad inside.

So, if your motor is cold and the engine will run nicely. But once it heats up it is going to cause ignition problems.

4. Multimeter Test:

This is a voltage test to check if the power packs work fine. Connect the voltage adapter with a multimeter maintaining positive and negative terminals.

Then connect the multimeter with the power coils, typically orange. If the voltage difference is not 150 volts, this indicates a bad power pack.

5. All else works well:

An engine fails if there’s any problem either with the stator, compression, or gear lube. You need to check for compression at first.

Also, if there’s a fuel delivery problem at the carbs, you need to clean it and then test the engine. Check for fuel pumping issues as well.

Also, check the condition of the battery with a voltmeter. If it is at 12V, it’s good to go. Moreover, check the condition of the coils. Replace them if they have gone bad.

6. Timing Light Test:

You can attach a timing light to spark test the condition of the power pack.

A good pack will have enough power to ignite a good spark with the timing wire. But if it produces a weak spark, then it has gone back.

Besides, you may have to search for the side with the power pack to attach the timing light.

Running through the above tests, if you find that all parts work fine but you can’t detect the problem, it is most likely the power pack.

What to Do When You Detect A Bad Power Pack On Outboard?

A power pack converts an AC current into two separate DC currents. Each current flows into two separate coils. The voltage becomes 500VDC from 200VDC in this process.

When you find a bad Johnson power pack, you can either try to fix it or try to build one based on the principle I told you above. But the other one is an extreme measure and suitable for experts.

First, take out the power pack from the connections. It is seducing to try to fix it yourself. But I would suggest you bite the bullet and get it fixed by an expert.

Another thing to do is to replace the pack. You can just as easily order one from Amazon.

Just make sure that you have the wiring and the sides right while fixing it to the connections. You must definitely ensure a good grounding point while doing that.

Besides, you can always take professional help if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Is Replacing A Bad Outboard Power Pack Typically Expensive?

If you do a power pack replacement at home by yourself, you can order one from eBay or Amazon. The cost depends on the model. This is less expensive compared to getting professional help.

A Johnson power pack should range from around $100-$200. You can look for the best deals on Amazon, but do take care to notice the authenticity of the product.

Something else you can do is take it to a repair shop. If you go to big shops, they usually service your engine as a whole. This is going to be way more expensive. An estimate would be a cost of nearly $4000.

Smaller shops can give you complete servicing within the range of $1000-1400.

If you call someone home, then the cost may again vary. But simply changing one power pack will not cost much. A few bucks might do the trick for just the service.

How Often Should You Inspect Or Service The Outboard Power Pack?

A power pack would likely go bad depending on the engine type and size. Putting battery leads backward can also cause it to go bad. Loose connections are also bad.

If all these are out of the question, then you may check it once every six months or so. Check more often for any kind of corrosion or leakage inside the motor.

Final Thoughts

Diagnosing symptoms of a bad power pack will cause less harm to the engine. It will avoid the sudden stopping of your boat in the middle of the water body. Sometimes which can prove fatal.

Moreover, keeping other parts in check is good for engine health. Knowing what to do when your power pack goes bad can save you time and money.

Remember my words!

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