Gone Outdoors

How to Set an Outboard Point Gap

by Will Charpentier

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.

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.

Items you will need
  • Standard slotted screwdriver
  • Wire gauge
  • Feeler gauge

Tip

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

References

  • "Evinrude Repair Manual 2.5 to 250 HP Models, 2002-2007"; Seloc Marine; 2007

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.