How to Set an Outboard Point Gap


Setting the point gap on an outboard motor equipped with a magneto-breaker point ignition system is one of those small projects that requires a workmanlike approach. While this type of ignition system is found on motors that were built in the years before the introduction of electronically controlled timing and motor synchronization, several low-horsepower motors still use it. Setting the point gap to that which is specified in the operator's guide for the motor may require several attempts.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard slotted screwdriver
  • Wire gauge
  • Feeler gauge
  • Turn the flywheel until the points are on the high point of the cam. Tighten the hold-down screw, using a standard slotted screwdriver, before the adjustment is made. If the hold-down screw is tightened after the point adjustment has been made, the adjustment will change.

  • Insert the wire gauge between the points while turning the eccentric, located on the armature plate, to obtain the correct adjustment.

  • Rotate the crankshaft a complete revolution by turning the flywheel. Check the gap again. After the crankshaft has been turned and the points are on the high point of the cam, check the hold-down screw to ensure that it remained tight.

Tips & Warnings

  • A wire gauge always gives you a more accurate adjustment than a feeler gauge. Neither gauge works well with used points.

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