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TOPIC: Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition

Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2900

What is the general opinion on Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition on Johnson Evinrude V4's. I have three 1960's boats each with a different type outboard. 1962 Mercury 50 HP, 1964 Evinrude 75 HP with electric shift(Distributor), and a 1966 Johnson 80 HP w/ Mechanical shift and magneto. The Johnson is my newest project, the first thing I noticed was no AMP meter on dash. At first I thought the mechanical shift was a good thing then I noticed the magneto. I picked up a 1967 60 HP Johnson mechanical shift as parts motor but that has the Distributor type ignition system. Main question is will I have a problem keeping the battery charged? Anything else I should be concerned about. Any thoughts would be great.
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Re: Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2906

The 68 small V-4 was a 65 HP / battery ignition / battery charging system.
Post the model # so we know what to answer you with.
Many outboards are sold as motors about 10 years newer than what they are.
The 67 motors were light green on the lower parts and the 68 models a darker green.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2913

I will get the model numbers tomorrow. I am sure of the year of the 80 HP Johnson in the photo above, 1966. The 80 HP Is the one I have the question about the magneto. It is the only one I have like it and was wondering about keeping the battery charged, running lights or any other electrical component I might add.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2918

  • MarkS
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Although I can't provide "model specific" info, I can tell you that the ignition system (whether mag, distributor, or electronic) is not going to have any effect on keeping your battery charged. The charging system takes care of that. It's all electrical, yes, but a completely separate system.

The older models with distributors and magnetos while being "period specific", require regular maintenance and have items that wear with use. IE: breaker points, cap and rotor, etc.. Main difference between distributor and mags is distributors require external power and coils to operate, the magneto generates it's own spark and can operate even if the battery is dead. The newer electronic units rarely need any maintenance and are generally more accurate and dependable. When a component does fail, it can sometimes get quite pricey to repair.

The charging system takes care of keeping the battery up to snuff, and is usually located under the flywheel. Some models are unregulated, providing a constant charge, often through a rectifier. Regulated models came along later to prevent over-charging the battery, which can be even worse than undercharging! This is pretty general, but hope you have a better idea about the electrical system now. A voltmeter is not difficult to install, and will keep tabs on the condition of the system if you're so inclined.

How'd I do, gang?

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Mark

Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2927

The 66 -80 HP was available with the magneto and manual shift. No battery charging except with the optional generator ( 10 amp )
The other model was the battery ignition / electric shift machine. It had the 20 AMP regulated alternator under the flywheel.All the info and pretty pictures are available on " marineegine.com "

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2931

Hi Hal, I have a '62 that is magneto and a '64 that has a coil. The '62 does not have a charging system. I use a battery tender to keep the battery charged at home. Using a good marine deep cycle battery will will last me for a good long weekend using the lights, bilge pump, and other electronics with plenty amps to spare. My '64 with the coil has an alternator built in under the flywheel. It keeps the battery charged without needing the tender, but i still put one on so i know i have a fresh battery when i leave for the lake. Both systems have done a good job for me. I suggest you make sure you know if your 80hp has a charging system or not, and keep your batteries in good condition.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2958

Thank you all for the advice. The 1966 80HP is model # V4SL-18C and Serial # J2712462. I will check on the charging system. Did not think to ask when I purchased from original owner. It did seem odd that with the boat came three empty battery boxes. The gentleman I purchased the boat from was in his 80's and he included a lot of "extra" stuff.

As I mentioned earlier this is one of three '60's boats. I know the '64 Evinrude has a charging system (and the two spare/parts outboards do '68 Johnson & '63 Evinrude) but am now curious about the '62 50HP Mercury.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2961

The V4SL-18 models are indeed the magneto motors and did not come with battery charging. The battery is only used to crank it over and run stuff on the boat that needs 12 volts.
Look for a belt driven 10 amp generator if you need battery charging.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2963

Thanks again for all the information. I just took the cover off the 80 HP and can see where a generator would go. Sounds like there are several other items needed in addition to the generator to make it work. If anyone knows of a source for these please let me know. In the short run I will be charging the battery at home between use. Watching ebay and craigslist.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #2979

The generator and regulator box for those sell for a priemium.
The belt is NLA and a NOS one will cost you a small fortune. There is another option - & if you can find the parts and perform the work, you will have a sweet setup. It will work better than the old DC generator ever did, and it will cost far less, especially if you get the parts off a blown engine.

Get the following parts from a 1967 V4 that had the alternator:

Flywheel
Stator
Top bearing cap with provision for 1967 stator
Flywheel guard with Rectifier/diode pack
New crankshaft seal
New bearing cap o ring

You must have the parts from 1967, the only year that will work.

If you can wrench, this is a pretty easy swap & everything will fit perfectly. Be sure to replace the top bearing cap seals. This makes a very slick setup, and a regulator will not be needed, as the system doesn't have enough kick to toast the battery. It will make 7-10 amps though, which will keep your battery full.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #3050

I do have a 1967 60 HP V4 model VXL-13A Serial number J2833999. Will this work?

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #3064

I don't have all the model year info on hand, but someone here probably does. I believe most of the 60 HP engines were plain jane with no frills - but if the engine is indeed a 1967 & has the under flywheel charging system - then yes it will work.

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Re:Magneto vs. Distributor-Battery Ignition 8 years 3 months ago #3074

All the model year info can be found on
marineengine.com
55 thru 67 years
pretty parts exploded pictures as well.

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