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Marine Engines and Sterndrives

Troubleshooting: Thunderbolt Ignition Systems

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Tests for TB ignition: W/ignition key on AND BILGE WELL VENTILATED OF GAS FUMES!!!

  1. Connect your voltmeter neg. lead to the engine ground and pos. lead to the white/red wire terminal at the dist. It should read 12 volts.
  2. If 12 volts is present, remove the coil spark wire from the distributor and connect it to a spark gap tester to ground. Remove the white/green lead from the dist. terminal. Turn the ign. key to on and strike the white/green lead to ground. If there is spark, replace the ignition sensor in the dist.
  3. If there is no spark, substitute a new coil and repeat test #2. Now if you get spark, install a new coil. NO SPARK, replace ign. amp.
  4. In #2, if there is No voltage present, disconnect the white/red wire and check it again for 12 volts. If 12 volts is present, replace the ignition sensor inside the dist. cap. If no 12 volts present w/it disconnected--ignition amplifier is shot and must be replaced
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