Making sure that your outboard is running and reliable. Makes all the difference in your experience out on the water. Having a bad stator is going to take away from that experience!
Will An Outboard Run With A Bad Stator? Yes, certain outboards will run with a bad stator, but not very well. No, other smaller outboards will not run with a bad stator. The stator produces the electricity that the engine uses to operate the ignition system to run the engine.
There are many different factors and variables to this question! Here are all of the things that you need to know to figure out which of them applies to you!
What Exactly Is A Stator?
A stator is a component on an engine that is attached under the flywheel of the engine. The engine’s flywheel has magnets attached to the inside of it, that spin around the stator.
The stator is made up of windings that produce alternating current electricity. As the magnets on the flywheel spin around the windings when the engine is running.
This AC electricity is used by the engine to run all of the ignition components of the engine. That makeup is what creates the spark for the engine to run.
For a more in-depth description of how an engine works. Read our article teaching you What Is A Powerhead & How It Works!
A stator is also the component that creates the charging power for your boat’s batteries. If the stator fails, then you won’t be charging your boat’s batteries while you are running!
We’d recommend reading this article here on How Outboards Charge The Boats Batteries By Either A Stator or An Alternator.
Signs & Symptoms Of A Bad Stator
A bad stator can have all kinds of funny, hard to trace symptoms. Making it sometimes difficult to diagnose.
It’s important to note what kind of engine you are working on. Since the stator is what creates the electricity needed for the engine to create a spark and run.
Smaller outboards that only have one, or two cylinders. It will not even start and run if the stator has failed!
Whereas larger engines, that have 4, 6, or 8 cylinders. Will use a stator that has different parts to it.
Some stators will be broken down into two, three, four, or even six halves! Meaning, that one winding will produce the electricity that is used for one, two, or three different cylinders!
So, if one winding will fail. The engine will lose spark on one or all of those cylinders. Making the engine run very poorly.
This is why you can have a bad stator, but the engine will still run, just very poorly.
Why Do Outboard Stators Go Bad?
There are many reasons for a stator to go bad. They get old, they get hot, they break down, and they just flat out go bad!
If the windings get corroded by a dirty engine, they can fry themselves. Or short out. So a dirty engine can cause a stator to go bad. As well as running too hot.
Say you wrap a bag around the lower unit and loose cooling water. Or if the thermostat gets clogged with weeds, dirt, or sand. Then the engine runs warmer than it should.
If that is left like that and you don’t address the issue. The warm temperature can melt parts of the stator. Causing it to fail!
I would say that the main cause for a stator to go bad, is due to age, heat, and corrosion. Those are the three main causes for a stator to fail.
How Do I Know If My Stator Is Bad?
You can tell the stator is bad, based on the symptoms of the engine. Though it won’t be a clear and cut situation. You will need to test the stator and we’ll cover that in a second.
You can know you have a bad stator by looking at it. If the stator is covered in salt and corrosion. Or you see it has melted or burnt windings on it. Then you could almost bet that it is bad.
Before condemning it though, you want to perform some tests to be exactly sure that the stator has failed.
How To Test An Outboard Stator
When it comes to testing the stator. You should be aware that different manufacturers are going to have different tests, different readings, and different styles of stators.
But, in the general sense, there are some tests that you can do on almost any stator and tell a lot of whether it has failed or not.
The number one test is to ground it out. In order to perform this test. You will need to have a digital multi-meter. (You can see our recommendations for a meter on our resources page here.)
What you will do, is find the plug that goes to the stator. Then disconnect it. With that disconnected. You can set the meter to read ohms or resistance.
Then connect the negative meter lead to any engine ground that is on the block. And take the positive meter lead and check for a short to ground at each and every wire that is coming out of the stator.
If you find that there is continuity between the wire going to the windings in the stator. Then you know that the stator is shorted to ground and you will need to replace the stator.
Then, on other stators, you can check the resistance between the wires coming out of the stator. Some of these stators will have a certain amount of resistance between the wires.
And others will have straight continuity between the wires. This is why it is important for you to find the service manual for the specific engine you are trying to test the stator on.
And go by the specs found in the book to test the stator. Because there is also a voltage reading that can be performed to see what kind of power the stator produces.
But you will need to have a digital voltage adapter to test this to keep the fuses in your meter from blowing. So be sure to test your engine’s stator based on the service manual specs and tests!
Will An Outboard Run Without Stator?
It depends on what style and type of engine you have. As we said earlier.
There are some larger engines that will run with a partially bad stator. While there are other smaller outboards that will definitely not run without it.
So it all depends on your engine and what kind of system it uses!
Check Us Out!
Now that you know all about outboard stators and how to test them. Here are some other articles that you will find extremely helpful and informational!
Why Does My Boat Battery Keep Dying? How To Fix It!
Why Won’t My Outboard Boat Engine Turn Over!?
How Long Do Boat Batteries Last? And How to Make Them Last Longer!
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Outboard stators are responsible for generating electricity and passing it through the motor to operate the ignition system.
But when you have a bad stator, either the engine will become too idle or abruptly stop running.
Today’s article will help you to learn how to detect a bad stator on outboard including mercury outboard and fix it.
What Sign You Should Look For To Detect Bad Stator?
Bad Stator symptoms may vary based on the engine or motor type and sometimes become hard to figure out.
But the most easily visible and common sign of a bad stator on the outboard is when the engine fails to start because of weak or no spark and the stator is covered with salt & corrosion.
What Are The Symptoms Of a Bad Stator On Outboard?
The symptoms of the bad stator are usually similar to the below-mentioned and explained indications:
1. No Or Weak Spark:
No spark or sometimes visibly weak spark is the root sign that directly indicates that you need to check on the condition of the stator.
When the outboard engine fails or refuses to run, most likely it happens because of an old or damaged stator that fails to generate enough spark.
In some cases, the engine does not abruptly stop running or refuse to start even with a faulty spark, but one can see the almost dying performance from the outboard motor.
2. Hard Starting:
When your stator is dying, it will fail to generate enough spark and cause the engine or motor to miss or run poorly.
Therefore, if you encounter that your outboard engine is struggling to start, especially after sitting from a run, it indicates that your engine either on low power or has a miss because of a bad stator.
3. Engine Stalls And Does Not Recharge Batteries:
Because of a faulty or damaged stator, your engine may start frequently stalling.
If you experience the vessel’s batteries are in a lower voltage or going dead too quickly than usual, it is most likely happening because of that faulty stator.
Because when the stator is damaged, the engine stops recharging the vessel batteries.
Ensure whether it is happening because of the stator by checking its condition. If your existing stator shows bubbling around the battery charge windings, that means you have a bad stator problem.
How Should You React If You Detect A Bad Stator?
If you detect any of the above-mentioned symptoms, remember to use these 5 easy steps to fix the problem: –
Disconnecting Engine Batteries & Spark Plug Wires:
As soon you encounter any bad stator sign, immediately disconnect the engine’s batteries and spark plug wires. Do not start any further inspection or tests before that.
Otherwise, you can face an accident that can cause severe injury or damage if the engine cranks or starts during testing.
Diagnosis Based On Outboard Manual:
The diagnosis depends on the model of your outboard engine, so you need to perform the same procedure, which mentioned in your service manual.
Stators inspection results will vary depending on different conditions, whether hot, warm, or cold.
In some cases, you can only diagnose the failures if the engine has reached a certain operating temperature.
Therefore, before attempting to diagnose your stator’s condition, check your product’s service manual.
Perform Required Test:
There are mainly two types of tests to inspect your stator to confirm whether it needs repair or replacement-
- Resistance or Ohms Test.
- Voltage Output Test.
Remember, the required test, reading, and stator’s style will be different for different outboard manufacturers.So, follow the spec and test instructed in your service manual.
However, for performing Ohms/resistance test, you will need an OHM meter for the Voltage Output test a DVA Meter.
Otherwise, you can even use the special Mercury DVA/MultiMeter, which works for both types of tests.
Determine The Test result & Act:
If the stator fails in Ohms or the voltage output test whichever you used based on your manual, it means the stator is damaged. Also, a bad stator eventually damages the switch box, so check on your switch box condition.
Mercury recommends, if your stator is bad enough that you need to replace it, you should replace the switch box too.
That is because an old or ruined switch box can damage your new stator shortly after installation.
However, if your test results are positive, that means your stator is not damaged yet, and check other parts’ conditions for possible issues.
Replace The Stator:
If needed, replace the stator and for that first, remove the flywheel. Since you have already disconnected all the stator connecting wires, remember every step and route.
Now remove the screws that are holding the stator in place, then also remove the old stator. To install the new stator, use Loctite and tighten the screws to 50 inches lbs. Now connect all the wires and screws accordingly in places.
Check whether the woodruff key is in place or not, and install the flywheel, battery cables again. Make sure you have followed each route correctly.
Are Replacing Bad Outboard Stator Typically Expensive?
Generally, replacing an old outboard stator with a new one is not expensive and but the replacement cost varies depending on your engine type and how difficult to reach the stator on your engine.
Additionally, if you hire a professional to do the job or take it to the servicing center, it will be a little more expensive than doing the whole thing by yourself.
However, if you are not good at such technical tasks, better letting the professional do the job.
How Often Should You Replace Bad Stator?
The general rule of thumb is to run a test whenever you see an obvious sign or symptom of a bad stator or when you have already checked other parts such as spark plug, trigger, or reed valves for possible engine troubling issues.
However, mostly a stator dies or goes bad when it is old, overcharged, or overheated, so you can keep those in mind and check your service manual instruction for accurate guidelines.
The Outboard Stators are the powerhouse of the ignition system because they furnish voltage to switch box or CDM’s and charge the vessel’s batteries.
However, if you see any of those mentioned symptoms on your engine performance, immediately check your engine’s stator and take proper action to fix the problem.
You Can Also Read:
Stator Failure - Symptoms?
Re: Stator Failure - Symptoms?
TNT The stator is a dual purpose component. Small coils arranged on the sides of the stator are for battery charging purposes. The larger coils supply approximately AC volts to the powerpack(s).<br /><br />A failing stator, when it first starts to fail (melt down) will usually generate the proper voltage to power the powerpack(s) when cold. But as it heats up, a voltage drop will occur that causes erratic ignition.<br /><br />If your engine idles okay when cold but not when it warms up, the cause could be a stator problem. If, on the other hand, it does not idle under any circumstances but will hit full throttle etc, I would suspect a carburetion problem.<br /><br />This is not to say that your stator is not faulty as you may have two problems (it happens). Inspect it to see if a melt down is taking place. If so, a sticky substance will actually be dripping down out of it to the block.<br /><br />The 35 amp stators run extrememly hot. This eventually causes a melt down of the larger coils, which in turn causes a voltage drop to the powerpack(s) resulting in erratic or no ignition (spark).<br /><br />Reverse polarity to the rectifier (converts AC to DC) will cause the rectifier to short out. This leaves the stator being unable to charge the battery, resulting in a back up of power causing and adding excessive heat to an already hot running item.<br /><br />Note a tachometer operates off of the charging system. If the tach operates, the rectifier is okay.<br /><br />The hp OMC outboard engine can be equipped with either a low amp stator or the hot running 35 amp stator. Hint if the flywheel has cooling holes near the outer rim, it's a 35 amp system.<br /><br />The stator price depends on which ampere model you have but it will be two or three hundred dollars, possibly slightly more.
Stator symptoms outboard johnson
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