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TOPIC: 1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue

1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 2 weeks ago #144542

1962 450 mercury 4 cylinder
Does anyone know how to remove the magneto (picture included). i am not getting any spark to the spark plugs. Is it possible to just remove the lower portion ,brown plastic cap ? ( it does not look like that is possible) as it sits or what needs to be removed to get into it , to check points and condenser etc.
With the plugs in it the motor barely cranks once or twice - cranks strong with no plugs in - I got an inline spark tester but did not see it light up when i tested the 4 plugs
any comments would be appreciated, all a learning experience for me
Thanks much
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 2 weeks ago #144543

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Down a bit lower are (4) bolts which hold the magneto assembly to the upper drive unit. If you undo these bolts, the entire mag will drop out. The mag shaft is splined and can only go into the mag drive one way; so when you reinstall the mag, you can't get it out of time.

You'll find it hard to get a wrench on the back bolts unless you remove the timing/throttle stop at the front of the distributor.

Don't disturb the adjustment screws on the timing stop assembly; just pull the (2) hex-headed bolts at the top of the assy, these hold the timing stop to the front crankcase cover.

Note the single wire attached to a threaded stud on the side of the mag; this is the kill wire. Pull this wire before removing the mag assy, then see if you have spark. If so, you probably have an issue with the ign switch or kill switch, whatever you have on your control box.

If it still don't spark, remove the mag; remove (2) screws on the distributor cap, which will reveal the rotor; CAREFULLY pull the rotor, then you can remove the (4) screws holding the magneto cover in place. This can be a fragile piece, so watch the mounting "ears" and don't put a lot of stress on them, else you risk them cracking.

Once the mag cover is off, you have full access to the points & condenser. Most likely the points are "hazed" and you'll need to pull the points, and polish them to bare metal. I like to work the points on a fine whetstone, and follow with a crocus-cloth polish. But you can use sandpaper as well, still polishing the points with 600-grit or finer. Degrease with a suitable solvent, of a type that doesn't leave a film on the points. Set points at .010". Check all four lobes of the points cam for wear; lubricate the cam with some points lube or install a new points lubing "wick" (even better). That being said, the wick is now NLA although if you buy a new set of points, a new wick comes with.

It's always possible a dealer could have New Old Stock (NOS), so you could check with your local Merc dlr. Also check on eBay, NOS parts show up there all the time.

Distributor assembly diagram at Marineengine.com, all the part numbers are listed:

www.marineengine.com/parts/mercury-outboard-parts/650-4-cyl/1542745-thru-1765043/magneto-assembly-internal-parts

BTW while you have everything apart, take a look at the ign coil. Inspect for burns/arcs/cracks. If you find any, the coil is shot. New replacements can be found but they ain't cheap either!

That ground wire stud on the side of the mag does have some insulating bits, be sure they all go back in the correct order. If that stud should contact the case of the mag, it'll kill spark.

That's just a general overview, but it should be enough to get you going. Be sure to post if you have more questions once you dive into it.

HTH.........ed

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 2 weeks ago #144546

Thank you very much for taking the time to write it all out. I can't find that kind of info anywhere on the internet

i will have to read that over a few times and check the kill switch first. When i got the motor the ignition key was frozen /rusted into the switch. I goofed around with it ( sprays, oil etc etc) and it finally freed it up and actually got it to work and the engine cranks using it, lol surprise surprise

i will be checking back

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 2 weeks ago #144548

A few pictures with helpful hints.
doc

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144558

Thank you Dr. Frankenmirc
got it off as you explained here are some pics, I am cleaning off some of the parts that can't be replaced and I have ordered what I can from Joe Ploole , a very good resource.
The points were closed even when at the high point of the shaft and the shaft seems to turn OK except where you have the high points - 4 spots during the 360 degree turn
I for got to take pics of the parts I am cleaning, I will do that.
Big Thank you for following up with all the extra pics
here is how it looked when i got it apart
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144561

get rid of the dark green cap and get a tan or gray or blue one even used is much better than the green one.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144574

i'm not sure which green part you are referring to but most of the stuff i am cleaning and reusing as you can't
find new parts or they are way expensive (points $90. + maybe).
thanks

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144575

I cheated on cleaning the points just put super fine sandpaper between them. did not want to pull them apart etc as carefully as you did. learning to use the ohms meter to test electric flow and the spark plug wires from the cap posts to the boot seem to be good. I had to take the boot ends apart to clean them they were very corroded etc. I found info and gapped the points .008. So now i am waiting on a few parts before putting it back together. the kill switch wire is not looking great but i am going to leave it alone. thanks for your input
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144576

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That center contact in the distributor cap is a piece of spring-loaded carbon. Doesn't look like it's sticking out much in the pic. It has to touch the metal center of the rotor in order to pass spark to the plug wires. Pull the carbon out, clean the hole, clean the spring and contact, and wind the spring back in the hole. It should now go "springy springy" and if it's too short to touch the rotor, you may need a new one. You can stretch the spring a bit in a pinch, if there's enough length left on the carbon contact it should work.
The following user(s) said Thank You: joecffv@aol.com

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144578

the distributer cap needs to be changed that one is no good mercury changed them back in early 60's. get a used tan ,gray, or blue one. believe me.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144581

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Attached is the Mercury Tech Bulletin regarding the early 4-cylinder distributor caps. Note that his cap does at least have the dielectric barriers which are better than the very early caps.

IMHO I'd clean up the cap and see how the motor runs before dropping $200 on a new 394-1561A2 distributor cap and even more on the mandatory matching rotor. I was shocked at how much those parts cost nowadays. Now, maybe someone has a good usable newer-style cap and matching rotor for less than the new price, that'd be good to get once the motor proves to be worth fixing-up.
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144583

you dont need the rotor. it is a newer one. as far as the cap. most of the red insolation is off NO GOOD. yes run it to see fi the motor is solid before getting a used cap. I may have a good cap if needed. it may drop a cyl or two at idle and have a miss at speed with your cap.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144588

thank you both for the comments
From ed-mc " once the motor proves to be worth fixing-up"
this has been my thinking from the start when i purchased this for $150. I can't do much more damage to the motor, it was frozen up; I will be learning in the process of trying to fix it and/or i might be able to sell parts to get my money back.
that's why I am doing this on the cheap for the moment, I dont want to spend more than necessary.
FYI, Some of the fun stuff i have fooled with so far
once i freed it up the shaft using miracle oil etc etc .
I bought a compression tester and the top 3 cylinders test about 130 . but i could not get the compression tester to fit onto the bottom cylinder. I did rigged something up and it only gave 30, but then i use that same method on the other 3 and they also gave 30 so i 'm guessing the 4th one is good also
The key was rusted into the control box but i got all that loose, cleaned rust and it works. took apart the control box cleaned it but it is not back together yet as one cable is broken.
The battery cables had corrasion and were green and motor did not work. SO i cut the cables off up close to the plug and cleaned the little portion left exposed, then with my jumper cables it did crank. So I plan to buy new cable and and splice together.
I replaced the spring for the pull start that spring was in lots of rusted pieces
I hope you don't have heart attacks when you see what i have been up too as i do value your time and experience in comments about this project
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144590

i have that carbon and a few other odds and ends parts on order from Joe Poole he is very good at the possible parts needed as i go thru stuff on the motors

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144594

If the plugs are from left to right 1 2 3 4 the #4 has water in it bottom seal gone I would pull the block apart before running. may save som good parts before ruining them. JMHO

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144595

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Yeah, that's nasty. It's also the reason why it was stuck and you need to follow Dave's suggestion and tear it down for inspection. If it is #4, the bottom seals are bad and letting water get sucked into the crankcase. The first thing that will go bad is the lower crank bearing, since water will pool at the bottom of the block. The crankshaft ball bearing is pressed into the lower seal/bearing carrier, so it's replaceable. As are the crankshaft seals. But lots of rust on a spark plug ain't a good sign.

By pulling the powerhead and splitting the crankcase, you'll get a pretty good view of what's been going on inside.

One thing you can easily do now, is to pull the intake port covers (Aka transfer port covers). They are the skinny rectangular covers on the Starboard side of the engine. Each cover is held in place by 3 screws. There are (2) covers, once you pull them you'll be able to see right into the side of the block where the intake ports are. You'll be able to see the intake side of the pistons and the rings as they pass by the ports. So that's a pretty good preview of what you're gonna find when you split the cases.

Pull those covers and let us know what you find............ed

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144608

ok i took the covers off and WOW that was a surprise lol do you think i can get away with just power washing those out lol

Well i surprised the thing even cranked looking like that

i will get some pics after i move the shaft a bit to see the piston rings etc.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144609

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Nope, not good at all. Powerhead needs to come completely apart to assess the damage. Good news is, these are pretty easy to work on, as garden-variety classic outboards go. The Merc 40 and 44-cube Inline Fours were some of the most popular fishing and recreation outboards ever sold. So there are abundant supplies of parts still.

About the only special tool you'll need is a harmonic balancer puller or flywheel puller to pull the flywheel. Other than that, normal hand tools.

You can rent a puller at Autozone (free with full deposit, which is refunded at return of tool), just be sure the bolts you use are Grade 8 or better. I can't recall the bolt size but with a solid flywheel, probably 1/4-28. But check the (3) holes by carefully threading-in a bolt. If it won't go, don't force it. If there's a lot of rust/gunk in the flywheel puller holes, you'll need to run a bottoming tap down the holes to clean up the threads.

First order of business is to pull the powerhead. (2) nuts in the very front, and (3) more on each side. Disconnect the throttle linkage arm from the throttle control lever. There's a hole in the Port side lower cowl where you can access the nut with a 7/16" socket.

Disconnect the fuel line at the fuel pump. Disconnect any wiring from the internal harness. You can pull the starter motor before removing the powerhead, it'll lighten things up a bit and make it easier to lift the powerhead off the mid-section.

I'd recommend finding a good repair manual, that'll help a lot. Your local library probably has a section for outboards.

This site has online manuals and there's a 1965-1989 Merc manual that should be pretty close to what you need. Just look up an older 50hp Four. boatinfo.no/lib/library.html#

Congrats, you're about to get an excellent indoctrination into outboard repair! The Merc Inline Four is the first Merc I ever bought, it's a great learning experience (BTW, it was a Mark 58a off the shop bulletin board for $25, tuned it up, bought an old cheap ski boat and skied the whole summer with that $25 outboard!)

HTH..........ed

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144610

the other special tool you will need is the ring compressors when assembaling the motor.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144611

a few more close up pics i not sure i want to get way into it but i guess i'm in this far and it was to be a learning experience. i will do a little studying first. do you know of any videos out there to look at? I do not have a good place to work, so i need to figure that out also. or does the motor say in the body. i need to start by learning the names of parts. lol
OK, thank you for all that and making it sound somewhat easy we shall see. OR after seeing the additional pics it does not look like it is worth the effort ????? thanks much !

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 1 week ago #144612

Just me thinking out loud before i rip into pulling this power head off as I did find a few videos about removing the power head
1. As bad as it looks inside, i did get the top 3 cylinders to test 130 I'm always hearing about compression being a very important item to tell about motor health
but i could not get the compression tester to fit onto the bottom cylinder. and as i said before I did rig something up and it only gave 30, but then i use that same method on the other 3 and they also gave 30 so i was guessing the 4th one is good also
2.Also, i don't know if the spark plugs as pictured were in the order that they were in the motor.
3. Is there a elbow joint that is made to fit down into the 4th cylinder that then connects onto the compression tester. So i can do a accurate test.
or how do others test the bottom plug because the housing is in the way for screwing in the tester
Then if it has equal compression compared to the other 3 maybe tearing apart the motor could wait a bit as i test check clean and repair other aspects of the motor. carburetors, fuel pump, lower unit ,impeller, gear oil, propeller shaft, etc. etc.
Again to see if it's worth keeping and investing serious money /time into it to make it a reliable motor
I am interested in hearing any thoughts on this approach thank you

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 22 hours ago #144664

I would look for a different powerhead. AOMCI site has free classified ads. John's Old Mercury site is another good site.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 1 year 9 hours ago #144671

thanks I will look at those sites. I will tinker with some small items first before i go big or maybe I should say go in deep

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144794

just an update. i got the odds and ends parts in from Joe Poole and put everything back.
magneto cleaned up and condenser replaced,
fuel pump parts replaced
impeller replaced and
new gear lube in the lower unit ( which did not have any at all in it when i opened the screws)
and i reinstalled the lower unit
******* One thing i noticed now, I can not shift the gear lever between it's 3 positions, revers- neutral-forward
and with my hand the propeller will turn in a clockwise direction but with a clicking sound and it is very very hard to turn it counterclockwise . the shifter on the motor looks to me like it would be in the reverse position ???
Question , did i miss lining something up when i reinstalled the lower unit ???? i have tried to look online for an answer but nothing concrete Thank you for any ideas
also, the flywheel will turn in both directions

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144797

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Your very last pic shows the shift lever in Reverse. All the way to the front. Forward gear is all the way to the back. Very common to see these get "out of time" when reinstalled and then you'll only get Forward gear. Which is what you're describing; in Fwd the prop will "catch" in one direction, and "ratchet" the other. This is normal.

You'll need to pulll the lower unit and make sure the reverse lockout cam is properly aligned. See the 2 pics posted with this reply.

One of them shows the cam assembled and in the correct position. The other shows the various parts of the reverse lock assembly. You'll note I drew a red line across the lower brass lockout cam. Align the cam so that this line points thru the center of the Port (left) side stud sticking out of the gearcase at the front. It's a little hard to see that alignment in the pic of the lower unit, because of the perspective.

Note that the shift shaft goes CCW to shift from Fwd to Neutral to Reverse. There's a lot of "dead" movement if you turn the shift shaft CW from where it's supposed to be.

If you haven't pulled the lower lockout cam off the shift shaft, it should still be where it's supposed to be. So all you should have to do is make sure the cam is aligned with the gearcase stud and you're good to go down there.

You can double-check by wrapping some tape around a pair of pliers and turning the shift shaft CCW.

If the cam is lined-up right, as soon as you turn the shift shaft CCW a bit you'll be in Neutral. Verify by spinning the prop. Turn the shift shaft a bit more, and it'll be in Reverse. Don't turn any farther than it takes to shift to Reverse. The prop should move a bit then stop, when rotated in either direction.

Shift CW to go back to Fwd gear for reinstallation. Make sure the lower cam is aligned with gearcase stud. You're in Fwd!

Now, if that lower cam ain't aligned right, then just remove it and reposition. Note that with the lower unit in Fwd, you'll move the shift shaft CCW until it meets resistance. At that point, it's just getting ready to shift to Neutral. This is where you drop the lower cam onto the shift shaft splines, in alignment with the gearcase stud, and still in Fwd gear.

Then make sure the shift lever at the lower cowling is positioned all the way to the rear.

Install lower unit and you should be good!

HTH..........ed
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144810

OK thank you i read it a number of times it is very detailed and with the lower unit off i found the forward position i found neutral and reverse And lined up the cam as you described for install lever in forward position etc.

Also, with the lower unit off I was able to feel the bottom of the shaft turn as i moved the lever up in the cowl.

But once put together when i move the lever to neutral and reverse positions, it only goes into neutral ( the prop spins free both directions) i can't seem to get it into reverse. I did get it into reverse when the lower unit was off.
I am wondering if there is a problem with the lever mechanisms in the cowl.
Thank you for checking in on things. I think you should be writing a " how too " book or teaching a class on troubleshooting outboards. :) Maybe you already have
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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144813

it will only go into reverse IF the motor is running or cranking the motor so the clutch lines up. 914 310 7086.

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144816

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A number of things might be keeping you from shifting to reverse.

As Dave was saying; if the motor is not running, there's a chance it won't go into reverse. Pull all (4) spark plug wires so there's no possibility it can start. While slowly turning the propeller, place the shift lever at the lower cowling all the way to the front of the motor.

That's Reverse. About in the middle of the slot is Neutral. All the way to the rear is Forward.

You don't say if the shift lever will actually go all the way to the Reverse position. If not, check your throttle linkage. I can't recall for sure, but there may be a shift/throttle interlock where, if the throttle setting is too high, it won't shift into gear.

We're assuming the motor is either on the boat, or mounted upright on a stand, etc.

The reverse lock hook must be hooked into the tilt pin. You can only do this with the engine in Fwd. In Neutral and Reverse, the hooks will be in the "locked" position. So if you try to lower the motor down onto the tilt pin, and you're in Neutral or Reverse, the hooks are gonna sit on top of the pin rather than nestling down on the tilt pin. This will make shifting very difficult.

If the hooks are curled around the tilt pin, then you should have full movement of the shift lever from Fwd-Neutral-Reverse, without any interference or binding from the reverse lockout mechanism (caveat being: if it's out of adjustment).

I'd expect that the shft clutch and Reverse gear weren't meshing properly, since the gears won't be spinning unless the motor's running. So try moving the prop a bit when shifting, and see if that helps..........ed

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144819

ok thanks, lots of little nuanced things to know and find out about

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1964 merc 450 kickhaefer no spark magneto issue 11 months 1 week ago #144820

Thank you, I will tinker with it a little, but now i need to get back to seeing if this will actually start up. Get some spark to the plugs as i did clean up the magneto some, replaced a few little parts condenser, brush, file and set the points, spark plug wires seems to be ok used the ohms meter

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