Wiring a start switch

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Arkman, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Arkman
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Minnesota

    Arkman Junior Member

    I have a 1968 mercury 20hp outboard that is ready for the electric start to be hooked up. Its all in working order I just don't have any switches or anything like that hooked up.

    I'm trying to do something I think a little unconventional simply because I think it would be fun. Now, I know that I could just hook up a key, but what would the fun of that be?

    The ideal sequence for starting the motor would be:

    1. Flip the ignition switch to on or run or whatever. (something like a toggle switch)

    2. Flip the choke to on (or hold if its momentary). (Toggle or momentary switch)

    3. Push start button. Engine starts(hopefully:p ) (A push button switch)

    4. Flip/release choke switch.

    5. Then when I need to turn the engine off I just flip the ignition to the off position.

    Basically I want three different items. Start switch, ignition toggle switch, and choke switch/button. Does this make sense?Here is a link to my wiring diagram.

    I can't quite figure out what needs to happen where. If you look at that diagram the button named "ignition starting button" seems to be the kill switch in my motor. Thats one item that is confusing to me. One other main difference is that the diagram assumes that I have an external wire harness that plugs into an internal harness. I'm unable to find that external harness (boat side i think its sometimes called) for any kind of reasonable price. So I'm just going to hardwire it straight from the switches to the motor.

    Basically I'm hoping that you guys could tell me what color wire to hook up to what switch. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest


    sounds easy..........

    wouldn´t this:


    be a solution? Though from a tramway I guess it has potential.:D
  3. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Got to love that one Apex........are you getting a little stressed, perhaps time for vacation?:D

    Arkman, if you can read the wiring diagram the solution to your problem should be clear. Just run power to your various switches and wire them in accordance to the appropriate diagram. But really......I believe,in the olden days, cars had a design something like you envision. Then, engineers invented the rotary ignition.....what a concept!

  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    In general you are right MIA, but I am sailing since 12th of March now. I cannot afford vacation.:D
  5. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    ....sound like you need a break from cruising apex.......seeing too many dolphins with bells around their necks?
  6. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    yeah, maybe you´re right Lubs. Haven´t seen Dolphins btw. just Cows, many cows...........

    ..but now we are hijacking this thread (if that was possible)
  7. Arkman
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Minnesota

    Arkman Junior Member

    I don't mean to be rude but that was far from helpful. Didn't you guys ever do anything out of the ordinary just cause you thought it would be neat? Don't patronize me just cause I feel like having a little fun with the design of my boat.
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I cant down load your wiring diagram my wifi is terrible.

    I have no idea what your colours are but by checking it out you should be able to make a simple account of what colour does what.

    The different systems can be done by simply taking the main feed usually red and splitting it to both the supply of your toggle switch and your button start, the 2 wires from there to the choke and starter.

    Some ign systems are different in so much as earthing the system is ign off thats why a loom with the control box harness detached has a live ign system and can start with a rope pull.
    For this you would attach the wire that earths the system to your toggle sw and the other wire to Earth ( ground or neg)
  9. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

    First question
    is this for a tiller engine or for forward controls?
    for a tiller...
    You just need a pushbutton to make contact with the starter solenoid -
    use the manual choke
    and yes the other button is the kill switch
    its magneto points etc so no battery involved in the ignition

    For forward controls..
    add the choke button, which will be live all the time as will the start button if you dont want a key switch

    Many small outboards have had a push button starter on the cowl
  10. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Ahhhh the bike, and the cows, can methane gas cause mood changes?:rolleyes:

    Arkman, sorry, didn't mean to disrespect. Come to think of it why not? I wouldn't do it but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't.

    Take a look at your wiring diagram. You'll see that you have:

    1. A feed wire up from your battery(s) to your ignition switch. With the switch powered you can then route the power in various ways.
    2. Ignition switch feeds command wire to the starter solenoid (start position).
    3. Ignition switch feeds coil and choke (start and run position).
    4. No accessory position.

    If I were going to do this I'd proceed as follows..........

    1. Identify your positive feed to your current ignition switch.
    2. Install a masterswitch to this wire. (on-off)
    3. Install two jumpers off the master switch.
    4. First jumper goes to your start switch which would connect to the command wire for the starter solenoid (off-momentary on).
    5. Second jumper goes to ignition on switch (off-on) which connects to your coil and to the choke button or switch (off-momentary on).
    6. You could also wire in a deadmans switch between the switch mentioned in #5 and the ignition coil itself, this would cut the ignition should you be thrown from the boat.
    7. Make sure you protect all wiring with appropriate fuses.

    So, you'd get in the boat.....turn on master switch.....turn on ignition switch (#5).......press choke switch.......press start switch......once boat starts release start switch and release choke switch. To shut down, turn ignition switch off and turn master switch off.

    I believe that covers everything and I'm running out of coffee. It seems awful complicated though and you'd have a lot of switches and connections to go bad. This is why Richard was having some fun with you I think (maybe the methane from the cows had some effect too).


  11. Arkman
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Minnesota

    Arkman Junior Member

    Thanks guys. That gives me a little bit better idea what I'm doing. Right now there is no current ignition switch. Its a pull start, but has all the internal guts to make it electric.

    Also its a tiller motor.

    I'm going to try to make a wiring diagram and I'll post it to see if I'm on the right track.

  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Sorry mate!

    I beg your pardon.

    Sometimes we cannot resist. We are a bunch of weird lunatics with some (few) bright moments, you know.

    A newbie has it hard to tell whats a sloppy joke and what is meant insulting.

    Be sure, there was no intention to insult you, we just took the chance....;)

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