INDEX OF MAGAZINE ARTICLES: Here’s a collection of The Antique Outboarder articles, authored by members of the Western Reserve Chapter!
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Articles_Outboard_Ignition_Systems_Parts1_and_2r.PDF This document is an introduction to basic electrical components, and standard (battery-powered) ignition systems. Part 1 uses mechanical analogies, to explain how basic electrical components work for people that have absolutely no background in electrical systems. Part 2 then shows how a combination of parts works to form a basic Battery / Points / Coil ignition system.
Articles_Ignition_Part3_Magic_Of_Magneto.PDF This document shows how Magnetos differ from the more familiar “battery – points – coil” systems. This gets into SERIOUS DEPTH, on how Magnetos actually work. Most articles you will find on the Internet that claim to explain Magneto operations are completely wrong. This one isn’t!
Spark Plug Voltage Requirements.PDF It only takes about 2,500 volts for electricity to jump across a .035″ spark plug gap in open air. So, why do all discussions of ignition system usually say it takes 15,000 to 20,000 volts (or more) to fire a spark plug? Read this, and you’ll know! (This also contains a discussion of compression ratios, and octane ratings, and other related information!)
Voltmeters and DVAs.PDF Your basic Volt / Ohmmeter is fine for continuity checks, and basic resistance checks. It’s also good for testing to make sure your boat’s battery has a good charge. But, your basic Volt / Ohmmeter is LOUSY at telling if your alternator (or lighting coils) are working correctly. This article explains how AC voltage measurements differ between meter types (Standard, “True RMS”, and “Peak Reading Voltmeters”). It describes how a “Direct Voltage Adapter” (DVA) can convert your cheap basic Volt / Ohmmeter, so it can do “Peak Voltage Measurements” accurately. Also included is how to build a REALLY GOOD “DVA” (better that one you can buy at a store), and built it VERY CHEAPLY!
Recharging Flywheel Magnets_R1C.pdf There’s been a lot of debate in our club as to whether or not remagnetizing the magnets in an outboard’s flywheel is of any benefit or not. (Hint, it IS, but 3 out of 4 don’t really need it. The other 1 out of 4, though, greatly benefit from doing this. The Western Reserve Chapter did an in-depth study, testing the performance of over 20 outboard motors before, and after, the flywheel magnets were remagnetizd. Backed up with laboratory test analysis, this is THE definitive work on this topic (if we say so ourselves!)
Safety Electric Starter.pdf Trying to pull-start an outboard that’s flooded, (or the carburetor isn’t adjusted correctly) is a really big pain in the …. well, you know. Now, MANY club members have taken a large powerful drill, and have used that to spin over motors instead of yanking on the pull-cord 100 or 200 times. However, if the motor starts up quickly, this can cause injuries if you aren’t prepared for it. Here’s a trick (using an inline “axial ratchet”) that makes doing this completely safe!
Corn Head Grease Gun.pdf Many old outboards don’t have ball bearings in the lower units; they far less reliable bronze bushings that tend to wear out quicker. In addition, they often didn’t have rubber seals, they used “packing” to keep the lubricant inside the lower unit. After 50 or more years, these bushings and seals tend to leak the recommended lubricants a bit. One solution is to fill your lower units with “Corn Head Grease”, a grease that is thick when cold, but liquifies when under load. This prevents the lubricant from leaking out of the lower unit in older outboards. But, getting that special grease INTO your lower unit…..now that’s a trick! This article by Gary Orloff explains how to modify a standard “grease gun” to handle this job quite nicely!
Air Boat Motor.pdf The “Airboy” was a family of woefully under-powered motors back in the 1950s, that would turn your boat into an “airboat”, with a propeller pushing AIR instead of WATER. Jerry Kay finds one, and this prompts Gary Orloff into attempting to build his own “airboat motor” from scratch. What follows is a testament to incredible ingenuity – or sheer stubbornness – or perhaps both! [Editor’s note: I don’t mean “stubbornness” in a bad way at all! Gary’s determination will have him finish a job that MOST of us would have given up on long ago…an admirable trait…and in the process he’s developed all kinds of clever repair techniques. These articles describe some of the repair tricks he’s come up with!]
Caille Winter Project2.pdf Gary Orloff gets an old Caille to restore. Once again, Gary’s ingenuity (and sheer determination!) enable him to overcome multiple obstacles and restore a really messed-up outboard to it’s former glory. There are lots of repair tips and techniques here that other people might find really helpful!
10 Horsepower Fishing Motor Comparison.pdf At the Leesville meet on October 2015, a number of guys decided to do a “side-by-side” comparison of some of the most popular 9.9 and 10 horsepower fishing motors. The article (below) describes how these motors stacked against each other!
KF9_The Mercury Mystery Motor.pdf Introduced in 1949 as their first four-cylinder engine, the Mercury KF-9 THUNDERBOLT is an incredible engineering curiosity. One of the strangest things about it is that it’s lower unit could be installed backwards, creating a “tractor drive” setup! In this article, Gary Orloff and Scott Wimbush discuss some of the mechanical features that Mercury’s engineers put into this design, to allow this “tractor drive” conversion. If you enjoy mechanical oddities, this article is for you!
Nissan Jet Drive Conversion.pdf Back in 2011, Gary Orloff decided to take a 1992 Nissan 5 HP outboard (with a wrecked lower unit), and convert it to “jet drive”. Using the “blower side” of a surplus turbocharger, Gary actually managed to connect these two pieces of machinery together, and actually make it all work. This is another “mechanical oddities” article you might enjoy!
Part1_Condenser_Construction_Failure_Modes.pdf This is the first of a 4-part series on condensers. This part deals with how condensers are constructed internally, and WHY it is that they fail so often.
Part2_Condenser_Testers_And_Testing_Correctly.pdf The second in the “condensers series”, this article shows how the popular ways of testing capacitors do not begin to test condensers correctly. The need for high-voltage insulation breakdown testing is described, along with a description of how to test correctly, using commercially available condenser testers. A “homebuilt” unit is described, that readers can build for themselves.
Part3_Sizing_Condensers_Correctly.pdf This portion of the “condenser series” shows how to select the correct condenser size for your motor, when the original parts are no longer available….(or worse, you have no idea what the correct part IS). This article shows oscilloscope waveforms and analysis of several generations of magnetos, and the correct condenser sizes required for them
Part4_Repairing_Broken_Condensers.pdf This last section of the “condenser series” shows how to actually REPAIR an old condenser, if the original parts cannot be obtained. This section shows “rebuilding” metal can condensers, using polyethylene and ceramic core capacitor technologies.
The Phase Maker CDI.pdf In the early 1970s, Mercury introduced their first true Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) system, on some of their smaller outboards. This was a true CDI, with a high voltage charge on a capacitor being dumped through the spark coil. But, this system also still had breaker points….or rather, “maker points”, which caused the spark to be generated when the contacts CLOSED (as compared to magnetos, where the spark is generated when the contacts OPEN.) These early CDI systems used high-voltage “generator coils”, which are really peculiar. How they can generate a high voltage at low RPM, and then NOT generate too high of voltage at higher RPM, is a real trick. I attempt to describe how these “generator coils” work, from an electrical perspective…….along with the rest of this “Phase Maker CDI” system.
Generator Coils Explained.pdf If you read the “Phase Maker CDI” document (above) and had troubles understanding how those “generator coils” actually work, you’re not alone! In this article, I attempt to explain the peculiar voltage output behavior of these “generator coils” , using a purely MECHANICAL ANALOGY, using magnets, pipes, water, and propellers. It’s an odd read, but if you work through it, you SHOULD have a pretty good idea how those “generator coils” actually work.
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