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Posts: 1

I have a 1971 85hp Johnson (85ESL71H).

The problem is that when the motor is at operating temp. It stumbles.

Or you might say it misses.

It starts and runs good until it gets up to temp.

I have checked the spark advance and it works hot or cold.

I have replaced the coil wire to the distrubuter as it had higher resistance
than the spark wires which seemed fine.

I have checked the points which are in good condition and reset the gap.

Last year I replaced the amplifier which had failed completly.

I have replaced the water pump impeller and the thermostat.

I have checked all wiring and conections and made sure ground conections are

The ignition switch was failing so I replaced it.

I do not think the motor is overheating, the hot horn is working and has
never activated.

But the temp switch for the hot horn could be failed, I have not found a
way to test it.

Back to the problem, when the motor is stumbling the flywheel is as hot as
the cylinder heads.

When the flywheel is cooled the motor will again run fine.

One thing that I noticed is the distrubuter has a hot spot indication near
where the coil wire connects to the distrubuter, the hot spot is on top of
the distrubuter.

Since the distrubuter is sealed and has no external terminals, other than
the high tension wires, can it be tested.

Can you tell me how the distrubuter works.

Could the distrubuter hve an internal component that is opening or failing
when it is hot.





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Hello It is possible to have a cracked cap. I would also check the wires going to points. I would also check that rotor is OK and wave washer is installed. Intermittent spark can be verified with a timimg light by watching flashing light on each clyinder. any questions call 631-514-1525 thanks Ralph

Ralph, The Outboard Wizard
Owner, Lindenhurst Outboard Service Inc. since 1979 +
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Thank you for the reply.


I had  replaced the wire to the points as it showed corrosion.


The rotor looks ok. 

This style cap and rotor do not have contact points.


What type of sensor is used?


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