View Full Version : Intermittent spark

03-09-2009, 10:33 PM
"I have a Sea King (Chrysler) 15 hp, mod. VWB 52119E, ser. 48X 31905. It starts fine, runs well at high RPM, but won't idle at all. I rebuilt the carb, and it seems to be working fine. The top cylinder is the culprit, as it will start every time with just the bottom plug wire connected, but only occassionally with just the top one connected. At higher RMPs, I can disconnect the top wire without any change, but disconnecting the bottom wire shuts it down. I checked the coil for that cylinder, and it reads about 8k ohms, which I understand is fine. The points look ok, and I can't see any knicks or gouges in any of the wiring. So, do I have a bad coil? What else can I check? Thanks for any help you can offer."

03-11-2009, 03:45 AM
"Swap the coils, see if the problem follows the suspect coil.
"I can disconnect the top wire without any change, but disconnecting the bottom wire shuts it down."
Have you checked compression yet?"

03-12-2009, 03:24 PM
"Dave, this should be a 1984 model and I'm thinking this is one of the Chrysler/US Marine cross breeds that had the pair of coils as one unit (no longer available of course).

Bob. This was a typical "department store" type motor - "use it and scrap it". It was sold by the bankrupt "Mongomery Wards" who bought if from the bankrupt "Chrysler Marine" division which was bought up by Bayliner that sold out to Mercury's parent company.

The coils were controlled by a CD module (also no longer available) and very expensive when they were.

If the coil(s) are bad (or the CD box for that matter) you can try www.laingsoutboards.com ("") for parts, but don't be surprised if a coil pack goes for at least $150 and the CD box approaches $300 (if they can still find one).....

If it is the coils or CD box, personally I would look at parting out the motor and selling whatever is still functional and look for a a good used model from a builder that still supports their product. You could easily dump 500 bucks worth of parts into this motor which would raise it's value to about 200 bucks on the used market...."

03-12-2009, 03:49 PM
"Actually, mine is the old magneto type ignition with simple flywheel-mounted magnet, coils/points/condenser system. But, your warning is well taken, and so far I just have some elbow grease into the project. The compression checked out, and tonight I'll have time to swap out the coils."

03-13-2009, 09:20 AM
"It was the coil. Replaced it, it now purrs like a kitten. Thanks for your help, folks."