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Old 04-24-2018, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default 1800XR - no power at switch

Hello to everyone. My name is Dave. My wife and I bought a 1994 1800XR last fall. It has the original Force 120 outboard. We are first time boat owners. We bought it with just enough time to store it for the winter.

We stored it with a local dealer and I picked it up a little over a week ago. We got it home, I tried the key and the in the "on" position, all the gages worked but it was still too cold to try and start it.

Yesterday, I hooked up the water and turned the key, only to find nothing happened. Now, the gages don't work, and no power to the engine. Note that the dash buttons for the bilge and horn still work. Battery tests 12.7v with my voltmeter.

I assumed it must be the ignition switch, so I replaced it, and still no luck. Also checked all the fuses under the dash and the one on top of the engine. All look good.

Tonight I will check to see if the ignition switch has power, to try to determine if it is the power wire or the ground.

Anyone have any other ideas?
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:11 PM   #2
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Start with the easy things first. Make sure that you are in neutral.
Be sure all battery connections are clean and clear of any corrosion. Working one day and not the next sounds like a bad connection somewhere.
Test your battery before and after a start attempt. Even better if you can test the battery while someone turns the key.
If neither of these are the problem, it's likely something in the starter area. Maybe a solenoid or a bad connection.
I know you have an outboard, but on inboards there is a starter fuse. A square block fuse between the red cable and the starter. Let me know if you have one of those.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tips. I pulled the battery and put it on the charger. It says it is at 65%, so it doesnt look like the storage place charded it like they said. Once the battery was out, i started looking for bad connections. There are 3 wires on the positive terminal. One has an inline fuse. Its pretty corroded. I scratched off the corrosion and hooked up the battery and the gages worked, but still no crank. So i think i found the problem. Poor battery not overcomming a rusty in line fuse. Will replace the lead and fuse holder tomorrow and see how it goes with a fully charged battery.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:43 AM   #4
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When testing the battery voltage do so when the ignition switch is in the crank position. Without a load they will typically read full voltage unless it has a bad cell.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:07 AM   #5
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That is exactly what happened. I didn't realize thats how they worked.

If it reads mid 60s from sitting all winter, is it salvageable? I have it on the charger now. I dont want to get stuck in the ssme position in a few weeks. How do I tell if it has a bad cell?
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Old 04-25-2018, 02:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03300 View Post
That is exactly what happened. I didn't realize thats how they worked.

If it reads mid 60s from sitting all winter, is it salvageable? I have it on the charger now. I dont want to get stuck in the ssme position in a few weeks. How do I tell if it has a bad cell?
It depends, is it a starting battery or a deep cycle? Also how old is it, should have a sticker.
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Old 04-25-2018, 02:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03300 View Post
That is exactly what happened. I didn't realize thats how they worked.

If it reads mid 60s from sitting all winter, is it salvageable? I have it on the charger now. I dont want to get stuck in the ssme position in a few weeks. How do I tell if it has a bad cell?


I would replace the battery with anew one regardless and have the old battery ďtestedĒ(charge it and see if it holds for a few days with nothing connected to it and if it holds chuck it in the front of the boat in case you kill the new one)...when testing donít look at the voltage, look at the amperage and it should be above 70% of what is stated on the battery, a simple tester that will check amperage should only cost about 30 bucks ( Iím Canadian so you can probably get it for $15)

....or....have it load tested (mechanics shop should be able to do this) but I have had batteries come out reading good only to fail. More peace of mind in going to a brand new battery out on the lake.


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Old 04-25-2018, 02:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I would replace the battery with anew one regardless and have the old battery ďtestedĒ(charge it and see if it holds for a few days with nothing connected to it and if it holds chuck it in the front of the boat in case you kill the new one)...when testing donít look at the voltage, look at the amperage and it should be above 70% of what is stated on the battery, a simple tester that will check amperage should only cost about 30 bucks ( Iím Canadian so you can probably get it for $15)

....or....have it load tested (mechanics shop should be able to do this) but I have had batteries come out reading good only to fail. More peace of mind in going to a brand new battery out on the lake.


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Sorry...hit send before I was done, make sure to check all the grounds, your starter solenoid on an outboard motor will sometimes have a ground wire off of it that if disconnected, even though there is lots of power to the starter the solenoid doesnít have a circuit to tell it to engage....I hope this makes sense🤪.


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Old 04-25-2018, 03:05 AM   #9
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Its a deep cycle. The sticker was never marked, so I don't know the age...
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Old 04-25-2018, 03:07 AM   #10
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It does. Thanks. I will look through as many connections as I can before we put her in the lake.
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