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Old 08-27-2002, 04:15 PM
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Default Johnson won't Start

I have a 1976 Johnson 55hp outboard (model # 55EL76E) that has decided to not start. After a few passes pulling a skier (fishing was slow mid day), I decelerated to pick them back up. The motor killed after I throttled down and while I coasted to the skier. Upon inspection of the motor, it was found that the starter housing had loosened up. After tightening the starter housing the motor turned over as usual, except it wouldn't start. It has spark, fuel, and feels like it has compression. There where no abnormal noises from the motor when it quit. Even with spark, compression, and fuel the Johnson won't fire or even sputer, turns over like normal though. As long as I've had the boat and motor it always ran exceptonally well, even at spring start-up. Even though it is an older motor, it is in almost new condition and has been well maintained. Could the timing been thrown off? Is there some sort of sensor that could have been tripped? Or is it something completely different?
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Old 08-27-2002, 04:48 PM
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perchjerker perchjerker is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dearborn, Manton MI
Posts: 17,260
Default RE: Johnson won't Start

Just off the top of my head I would check to see that the woodruff key that connects the crankshaft to the flywheel didnt get sheared off the crankshaft. That would throw your timing off. You can also check to see that your index mark for your timing syncronization lines up properly. Sounds fishy that your starter came loose. HAs anyone messed with it or the flywheel latley? On that vintage, I really doubt there is any kind of sensor.

Also, when you say you have spark, is it a bright blue spark or a yellow or orange spark. You need a bright blue spark to fire under compression.
Mary had a little pig,
She kept it fat and mellow.
And when the price of pork went up,
Dad shot the little fellow.

Mary had a little pig.
Her father shot it dead.
Now it goes to school with her,
Between two hunks of bread.
Old 08-27-2002, 06:06 PM
bountyhunter bountyhunter is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Troy, ohio.
Posts: 97
Default RE: Johnson won't Start

take the nut of the top of fly wheel key holes should be in perfectline up , if they arn't you busted the key ,pull fly wheel off replace .
Old 08-27-2002, 07:59 PM
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Default RE: Johnson won't Start

Thank you for the quick and helpful reply. The spark is blue, thus leading towards the timing as the culprit. I however did not check the flywheel keyway yet. According to one of the decals on the motor the timing is supposed to be set at 19 degrees. I see the degrees marked on the fly wheel and the point for determining the timing. How do I check and/or adjust the timing? Can I use a regular automotive timing light if I put a mark at 19 degrees on the flywheel?
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: Johnson won't Start

Got the flywheel nut off. The keyway on the flywheel was easy to spot, but the keyway on the shaft is not so aparent. The shaft really didn't seem to have a keyway from what I could see. It does flare out some as it goes down, but the flywheel prevents further sightings. I could see the key, no new shiny metal or lines indicating a shear.
Thanks again for the help,
Old 08-31-2002, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: Johnson won't Start

It was the woodrull key. THANKS for all your help. I'll be back on the water soon. Dylan
Old 08-31-2002, 07:47 AM
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Default RE: Johnson won't Start

oops. The woodruff key. Not woodrull

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