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87 Johnson 150 lack of power

I have an 87 Johnson VRO outboard engine. Runs great with the boat on the trailer connected to a garden hose but on two occasions when I have tried to launch the boat it starts but dies when I put the engine under load to reverse off the trailer. After the first time it failed I changed the spark plugs and fuel filter. Sounded great when I started the engine on dry land, I was sure it was going to work in the water the next time I tried it, but I was wrong. I removed all the pugs and did a compression test - 4 cyl had 90 psi the other 2 had 85 so I assume this is OK? The brand new plugs on the one side of the engine were brown which is normal showing that they had done some work, the plugs on the other side were still brand new looking as though they had just come out of the box? I'm thinking there must be a problem with the power pack on that side of the engine, can anyone advise me of the best way to diagnose for sure if it's a replacement power pack that's needed. Can I test coil resistance etc. Any other thoughts as to what could be causing the problem?

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I would make sure that my carrbs are clean and not gummed up, just sitting for a short time not running they can and will fowl. If after gettimg them cleaned and know that they are then id say that you might have a power pack issue but id make sure that the carbs are right first.

Posted on May 05, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: My 1988 ( i think) 6hp Johnson outboard motor is

I would suggest you replace the 2 coils. Also, is choke closing properly? The carb if never rebuilt, could cause this problem. A carb kit and 2 coils should not cost much, maybe 20 each for coils and 17 for carb kit. Make sure carb is adjusted properly with outboard in water and warmed up. Mixture screw should be turned in slowly clockwise until engine just pops(lean). Then slowly open it apprx. 1/8 turn. This will aid engine in starting next time. Also, make sure primer bulb firms up when squeezed.

Posted on Feb 15, 2011

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