What does a power pack do on an outboard motor?

NetherCraft 0

I know (think) it is part of the ignition system, but what exactly does it do?

5 Answers

  • The powerpack provides the high voltage needed to cause a spark to jump across the contacts of the spark plugs. It is a solid state module that replaces the old system of points and coil. Power packs are generally not repairable, as they are sealed units. When they fail there is no spark, usually intermittantly at first, and then you are dead. Solution is to replace the power pack. They can be expensive and in multi-cylinder engines there may be two or more, one for each bank of cylinders.

  • Outboard Power Pack

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    RE:

    What does a power pack do on an outboard motor?

    I know (think) it is part of the ignition system, but what exactly does it do?

  • The “powerpack” (that’s OMC nomenclature, mercury calls it “ignition module” or something like that), contains a full wave bridge rectifier and a capacitor, and I believe a set of SCR’s, one for each cylinder.

    The stator generates 150 to 300 volts AC (depending on engine RPM) using a copper coil and magnets in the flywheel, which is stored in the capacitor and used to power the primary windings in the ignition coils.

    The current to the primaries is interrupted in turn via a set of coils in the timer base and another set of flywheel magnets, inducing a voltage surge of 15,000 to 30,000 volts in the secondary windings, which is supplied to the spark plugs. Which is why you never want to leave the plug leads floating — that much voltage can easily arc to someplace you don’t want it, smoking some ignition component if not the powerpack itself.

    To shut the engine off, the + side of the capacitor is grounded, short-circuiting the ignition.

    That’s my rudimentary understanding of it, might not be exactly correct — I have no formal training in electronics.

  • I sold my Force outboard a few years ago. Bought a new mariner.

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