How to Check the Power Pack on a Johnson Outboard Motor

Updated April 17, 2017

The power pack on your Johnson outboard boat motor is a central part of the ignition system. The power pack supplies voltage to the ignition system's power coils. A malfunctioning or dead power pack can cause your Johnson outboard to have problems at start up. You can use a multimeter to test the power pack. However, because the power pack has varying voltage levels, a peak voltage adaptor will also have to be hooked up to the multimeter.

Connect the peak voltage adaptor by plugging its test leads into the positive and negative jacks on the multimeter.

Plug the multimeter test leads into the voltage adaptor.

Turn the multimeter on and switch the power to the "DC" or "Voltage" setting. Also set the voltage range to at least 150 volts.

Locate the wires that run from the power pack to the power coil. These wires are typically coloured orange or white. Locate the positive and negative terminals. They will both be marked clearly. Touch the positive and negative test leads to the corresponding wires connected to the power coil. The voltage reading should be at least 150 volts. If not, replace the power pack.

Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter
  • Peak voltage adaptor
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About the Author

Andrea Walk began writing in 2001, authoring user guides for technical software. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Loyola University, where she was a member of the Dean's Grade Review Committee for English. Walk is a member of the Automotive X-Prize team Global-E.