I have a 1998 Ficht 150- and yes I’m aware of its history, I got it new in 03/98.
I’ve got the updates and have pampered it for 13 years- still fires up on the 1st cylinder up and ….(don’t want to jinx myself)- I’m happy its lasted this long-
A couple of nuisance topics though-
1) If you’re not supposed to put shims on the spark plugs to index them- without buying a couple of hundred- how can you get them in the index range of the pinned head? I swear I’ve got about 15 plugs that were all threaded identical- and all land 180deg from the pin. Do you keep buying plugs till they fit? Why not shim?
2) The past 2 or 3 years I’ve had a little hesitation in idle and low RPM- perhaps a misfire is a better word. The engine starts great- and runs fine- but there is an intermittent, non-cyclical misfire that increases frequency somewhat from 1k-2k into 3k and 4k. Above 4k I think it just gets drowned out in the high RPM range. I have no loss or RPM, and the power seems to be ok. The motor doesn’t run ‘rough’, but you can feel and see a bit of vibration in the boat. If I were to compare the ‘feel’ of it- think of an old farm tractor in idle- how it has a rhythm- and just once in a while an extra ‘pop’.
-But- a couple of outings ago- after taking a WOT lap or 2, then shutting down to beach- when I took off again there it seemed to be so rough at high rpm, 4k and above, that the motor had no guts (from a whole shot). I shut off the engine- pulled the hood- checked wires (?)- Started it up again- and it seemed to be ok for the rest of the outing (slight misfire was still present though). Since then I can tell that some ‘dynamic’ has changed at WOT- I still can jump on it from 1k to 55k and have power out of the hole and maintain the rpm- but I may be feeling that misfire at the top end now. (funny thing is the last 2 or 3 years the dash tack can get into 6200rpm if I let it-( I thought 5600 was top end)- ( I keep it to 5400)
Anyway- I’ve long suspected a fuel injector since I had it in for repair years ago and the mech touched and possibly rotated the screen- but I’ve also suspected the plug wires because some don’t ‘pop’ on the plug like they should. I replaced a wire tonight because it would grip the plug- and actually pushed itself off the plug (air pressure in the boot). Its spring clip was broken – I don’t like ‘making’ plug wires, but that’s all the local dealer had. Something else – the plug wire I took off had a busted spring clip on it- but the cable resistance was 21k ohms. What’s up with that?? The one I made and put in was 2ohms. I also found 2 plugs (1 with a shim and the one with suspect plug wire) both had a lot of carbon on them.
After the new wire- out for a ride. Started right up- WOT out of the hole, throttle up/down/goose it/punch it/ WOT for 5 miles…the misfire is there- ever so slightly, and there is a slight vibration or pulsing harmonic at WOT. But no loss of power or RPM, but you can tell that something’s different
I have the software for diagnostics- would I be correct is assuming that if I can maintain the ‘misfire’ at 2krpm, and dropping the cylinder it goes away that its either that injector or plug wire? Or should I just replace the plug wires as well (others don’t grip and their resistance is high as well)
I know I’m limping on this motor. Mechanics and parts are huge $$$$ for this engine- and the motto has been- if it starts and runs- “don’t throw lots of $$$$ in it”, because if it goes in for major repair- it’s coming out a Merc.
09-10-2011 12:43 - edited 09-10-2011 12:48
1 - You do NOT shim the sparkplugs on a FICHT outboard as the positioning is critical to intercept and ignite the spray from the fuel injector. If a sparkplug does not fit within the 180° range on one bank of cylinders, then it should be "in spec" on the opposite bank. Here is a link to the indexing process http://www.boatsetup.com/PlgIndexing.html
2 - On the rough running between 1000 and 2000 rpm, that is a normal condition for that motor as the cylinders are switching from the lean-burn mode to the normal combustion mode in that rpm range. You have to be sure that engine temperatures are warm enough at those speeds and that the throttle position sensor is adjusted correctly.
At high speeds, roughness or a miss could be any number of things. Look closely at all the plug wires - they should be covered in a black mesh wrap if the update kits were installed correctly years ago - you may see white areas where a spark may be jumping from them. If our tachometer is not accurate, the rpm may be higher than you think and the engine is hitting the rev limiter. Use your diagnostic software to compare the rpm displayed on your laptop to the reading on the tachometer. Sometimes readjusting the crankshaft position sensor closer to the flywheel helps in high speed operation. Set it to around .025 - .030". It would be a good idea to check the engine timing then, just to be sure. The use of a timing light on each plug wire will show if there is an ignition missfire as those higher speeds. Monitoring the fuel pressure will indicate if there is a delivery problem.
Fuel injectors due wear internally on that motor and if you suspect improper operation of them, a company called DFI Technologies repairs and rebuilds them, saving you the high cost of replacing injectors with new ones. www.dfitechnologies.com
"There is never just one thing wrong with a boat";
-- Travis McGee, main character in a book series by John D. McDonald
The factory recommends that a properly trained technician service your Johnson or Evinrude outboard motor. Should you elect to perform repairs yourself, use caution, common sense, and observe safety procedures in the vicinity of flammable liquids, around moving parts, near high-temperature components, and working with electrical or ignition systems.
The information offered here is only general in nature and should not be construed as complete factory approved procedures, techniques, or specifications. Always use the proper service manual for your motor, up-to-date service literature, the correct tools, and have an understanding of how to proceed with troubleshooting and repair methods. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with a procedure, a situation, or a technique, enlist the services of a factory trained technician.
"..- they should be covered in a black mesh wrap if the update kits were installed correctly years ago..."
Their grey with orange boots- original as far as I know, but now I've replaced one (handmade). Should they be a matched set? I 'm having a bit of a hard time finding a complete set- any ideas?
I'll look into the dash Tach vs. the laptop -
"...Monitoring the fuel pressure will indicate if there is a delivery problem...."- fluctuating during the misfire?
"...a company called DFI Technologies repairs and rebuilds them, saving you the high cost of replacing injectors with new ones...." at $600+ each- that’s good to know
Spark plug wires are only available individually, they've never been offered in "complete sets." I wouldn't be too concerned about your dealer "hand-building" a spark plug wire. The oem ones are probably built in another country anyway, odds are your dealer did it right.
Fuel pressure would typically be below spec.