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Sfritr

Power Packs = Whats The Deal?

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I have a 1996 Johnson 150 VRO motor. If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I recently had some issues with the motor losing power and then not starting. Thanks for all the input guys. I decided to take her in for a professional look see and the verdict was:

A bad Power Pack

Unfortunately, I just had the power pack replaced on 7-30-09. Warranty was 1 year. The part was purchased from CDI. I guess the good thing is the tech said this was one of the cleanest motors he has seen. Compression was perfect, everything else looked great.

My question is, what exactly is the function of the Power Pack in the VRO motor and can it be eliminated/bypassed? That being said, replacing one every two years is not in my plans. The cost of the part is $265 and with labor around $800.

Any thoughts guys? thanks

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From what the mechanic told me about a year ago it's like a distibutor cap that signals the cylinders to fire in order etc. (in a nutshell).

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Ok, let me try to explain.

First, the Power Pack is not part of the VRO. VRO and power pack have nothing to do with each other. The VRO only mixes oil in the gas as it passes through the fuel pump. VRO quit, motor quits getting oil, usually locks up and causes all kinds of high dollar damage. Power Pack never even knows any of this happens, it is strickly part of the ignition system.

OMC ignition overview.

The flywheel has a couple of different magnets in it. One on the inner ring that the crankshaft goes through and six on the outer ring. There are a three coils under the flywheel and the stator for the charging system. Two of those coils are generating the initial ignition voltage. The third is controlling the cold start, idle up function. The two coils that are generating the initial firing voltage is sending that voltage to the power pack to be amplified. The magnet on the inner part of the flywheel is spinning inside of a six coil/diodes module on one doughnut looking ring. This is called the timer base and tells the power pack when to fire each cylinder. It is hooked by a mechanical linkage that moves when you move the throttle and is what advances and retards the timing as you give it gas and back off the gas.

Now, you have the initial firing voltage going into the power pack, and you have the timer base telling the power when to fire each cylinder. The power pack is taking that intial voltage and amplifying it to approximately 275 peak volts and sending it to the proper coil when the timer base tells it to. The coils are then stepping that voltage up to approx 13,000 to fire the plugs.

The way the OMC/BRP ignition system works for carburated motors, they don't need a battery to run. The only thing that will stop it once it's started it cutting the fuel off to it, choking the air off to it, or ground out the ignition voltage, which is what you do when you turn the key off or pull the kill switch.

So no power pack, no running motor

Oh, by the way, I don't use CDI power packs. Shops use them because they are cheap and they can make a whole lot more profit on them, and still save you a few bucks over what the OEM packs cost. I believe in the old expression, buy cheap ****, get cheap ****.

Holly crap, I just read your cost. CDI pack cost me $165. Takes about an hour to replace. That's some high price labor, glad I fix all my own junk.

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Way2Slow

Your posts are so informative and understandable... Thank You

As for the price, Yes, I too almost sharted when he told me. I called my "guy" Ace Marine out of Michigan, who is, IMO, one of the best marine shops in the mid Michigan area and he fell out of his chair when I told him what they were charging me. He also said that part is about a 165-200.00 part and would take him maybe two hours to install, button everything up, and hook my boat back on my truck. Basically, they are bending me over

When I pick up my boat next week I plan on informing him that now Two respected marine mechanics told me it would not take 5 hours to install this part. If they can't work with me on the price they will NEVER see my face again and I will tell everyone I can not to use their services

So everyone in Ohio, Dry Dock Marine is not your best bet.....

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