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2002 Yamaha 60TRLA CDI problem?

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  • 2002 Yamaha 60TRLA CDI problem?

    Just bought a 2002 Yamaha 60TRLA on a 24 pontoon boat. At first it wouldn't start at all. I traced that problem to a bad switch on the ignition assembly. I wired up a momentary push button on the console to act as the starter switch and motor fires right up. The motor ran fine at idle but as soon soon as I gave it more throttle it would stall. I replaced the Spark plugs and I cleaned the carbs and it would do the same thing but instead of stalling when I gave it more throttle it would sound like it was mis-firing(missing a cylinder) and sputter from 1000RPM through to WOT. I did check each cylinder for spark and they had each had a white spark.

    I figured from reading this forum the motor was starved for fuel so I replaced the fuel line from the tank to the engine, replaced the fuel pump and cleaned and rebuilt all three carbs.

    After bolting on the newly rebuilt carbs the motor still acted the same way. Starts right up but no power - it won't really rev above a certain RPM. I even tried running it off a portable tank but I still had the same problem.

    Then I noticed the writing on the side of the CDI. It said if the engine is running poorly try disconnecting the yellow circuit wire at the bottom of the CDI so you can limp back to port. I disconnected and lo-and-behold the motor would now run smoother and rev up properly
    in Neutral.

    What does disconnecting that Yellow wire actually do?

    We dropped it in the water yesterday(Crazy aren't we) to try out the motor under load and it runs great to about 1/2 throttle with that yellow wire disconnected. Then the motor starts to bog and miss fire every so often. The motor won't rev any higher than about 3000 RPM. With the yellow wires connected on the CDI it runs rough and won't rev above 1500RPM without shaking and bucking. I pulled out the plugs and they're all black and oily. . . That means electrical problem right?

    So what's everyone's guess. . . Do I need a new 600$ CDI or could it be a coil or some other ignition component? Could it be the ignition switch? Where do I start?
    Also is it bad to run the motor with that yellow wire on the CDI unplugged?
    Last edited by pookiegus; 04-21-2013, 02:56 PM. Reason: Clarification

  • #2
    HI,,you need a boat tech !!

    not to be rude,, but these motors are very not car like !!! if you want to throw money at it...nock your self out !!! at the least a winky,blinky light shoud be hooked up and the go from their......


    • #3
      post script..

      and it sounds like you by-passed the neutrail safety starter switch in the control box...not good....take you boat to someone that knows boat motors...much cheaper in the long run !!!!


      • #4
        I didn't bypass the neutral safety switch - it still works. I just ran the red battery(b) & brown solinoid(s) wires to a new switch because the original switch was bad in the ignition assembly. A new one is 154$ from yamaha!

        I've only spent $180 so far. . . And the motor starts - when it didn't a week ago. It also runs really smoothly to about 2500 rpm.

        I did try to bring it to a tech but he is back logged for two weeks - he told me from the symptoms I initially described that it sounded like the engine was starved for fuel- so I replaced the fuel system part by part testing along the way. The original roughness and engine skipping never went away until i disconnected the yellow wire on the cdi like it says to do in the manual if engine is running rough. With the time I've put in I've saved $300-500 in labor. Isn' that the point of this forum? . . .
        I am prepared to bring it to him at this point but i know there's a few simple tests I can do on the ignition system before I throw in the towel. . .


        • #5
          compression, spark, and timing are all easy to test and are the basics to start out with on all motors.

          Spark can be tested with spark tester or a timing light when moved to the different plug wires. And then check timing at idle and higher RPM to make sure all is in spec and advancing properly.

          Best way is to monitor peak voltage into and out of the CDI, that will tell you if CDI is OK or if a problem is with some thing else on the spark

          If all is good on those then deal with fuel issues.

          Did you do the link and sync like stated in service manual?


          • #6
            CDI failures are incredibly rare.
            you cant use a diagniostic test lamp on the 60.
            you CAN test the CDI output,pulser coil outputs and crank position sensor outputs.
            if all are good go back to fuel.
            that system only has a pulser coil for cyl 1&3,cyl 2 is controled by the CPS and the CDI unit.
            the wiper arm adjusts the ign timing as the pulsers and the CPS are fixed.


            • #7

              excuse me if I sounded rude,,it was getting late and Ive been working 7 days a you have a DVA tester or access to one......that might get you started.. the cheapest is a CDI part # 511-9773NL if you have a good DVM like a Fluke......sounds like sir rodbolt knows this motor..I have not worked on that exact motor,,but they are all very much the same...K&T PS. I have been doing carbs for 35 years and last season on a yammy F 40 had to go thru them twice to get running right ...them little carbs are more picky than a Ex-wife..I posted somewhere else around here where you can spray starter fliud down the throat to find wich carb is running careful !!! or some guys use a propane torch cranked high but not lit.... K&T
              Last edited by bajakeith; 04-22-2013, 07:40 PM.


              • #8
                What does the yellow wire do? It sounds like it improves running, so it's an important clue to the cause of the problem.


                • #9
                  dissconecting the yellow wire puts it into bypass mode.
                  typically now it will lock ign timing and drop cyl #2.

                  like I say, CDI failures are rare.

                  however they can.

                  best to carefully test inputs and outputs.
                  I use a Kv tester to check secondary firing voltage at thge problem RPM.
                  if all fireing voltages are about the same(6-8Kv on that system) I quit looking at ign producing components.

                  I am fifty one,did my first briggs&stratton carb about age 8.
                  did my first briggs rod replacement shortly thereafter .
                  mini bike and I figgured out how to bypass the govenor .

                  started out with cars,did 3 years of vocational auto shop,most at Hogan High in Vallejo CA.

                  since, I have been certified for warrenty repairs on Tohatsu,Honda,mercury Force,suzuki ,go devil mercuiser,volvo and Yamaha, made yamaha master tech in march of 06. whats funny is the bulk of my work from 95 to about 2000 was OMC outboards.
                  did about 5 yrs at GOEX in clebune TX setting up and programming CNC lathes and mills.
                  did 6 yrs in the US navy in the advanced electronics field,was medically retired as an FC2.
                  had my own bussiness doing this since 95.

                  so yes I have seen my share of carbs and engine control units.
                  TCI,CDI, optical(old chysler outboards) and amplifier systems.
                  all can and do fail.
                  key is to learn to test and confirm rapidly.
                  thats where test equipment and the knowledge to use it helps.


                  • #10
                    to rodbolt

                    your very correct about CDI,ECM rarely fail.. and by chance do you know where glenn cove marina is ?? had a 1959 28 owens there for 4 or so years....across from the C&H sugar plant... I got the new CDI book today and its loaded with new goodies...iwork around the Monterey bay area ??


                    • #11
                      I now live back in North Carolina.
                      been back home since about 1993.
                      I work on the outer banks area of NC.
                      I currently live in Colington NC.
                      did all ,well most, my high school in the SF bay area,Novato and Vallejo.


                      • #12
                        you and me are a rare breed

                        I could hire 4/5 guys today..but cant find any any around here that even has a clue....btw I did my first B&S around the same age !!! and last week r n r a upper piston on a 99 OX 66 that was melted bad..U.S.C.G. aux vessel..if I could not save that port side motor it is 8.5 K for a new power head or repower with 2 new 250 hp four strokes...ouch !! my fluke 88 is my money maker.....K&T


                        • #13
                          fluke is to spensive for me.
                          mine typically come from radio shack.
                          I think I have about 4 DVM's,two CDI DVA adapters,3 stevens 77 meters and two trusty snap-on Kv meters and the old style analog multi meter with a builtin DVA fiunction from mercury marine.

                          each have a time,place and function for what I am looking for.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the expertise and pointing me in the right direction! I too got my start tinkering with a B&S on a go cart when I was 11. Bypassing the governor was indeed one of the first things I did too - but I think that motor blew up.

                            I did sync and link the carbs as described in the service manual.

                            I definitely think one of the cylinders is not firing or it's firing at the wrong time. . .

                            Here's what it sounds like with the CDI connected when i open the throttle. . .
                            2002 yamaha 60trla with CDI Yellow Circuit CONNECTED - YouTube

                            Here's what the engine sounds like with the CDI yellow circuit disconnected and I rev the engine.
                            2002 yamaha 60trla with CDI yellow circuit DISCONNECTED - YouTube

                            I'll see if I can borrow a dev meter. I have a small radio shack multi-meter but don't think it can handle the coil voltages! I will hopefully have time this weekend so stay tuned!!

                            Thanks again everyone!!


                            • #15
                              do some google searches on Kv testers.
                              they are a lot cheaper now than 20 years ago.
                              and they work on most any magneto,CDI,TCI, or points type ign system.
                              its typically my first go to piece of test equipment on multi cyl engines.
                              electricity is lazy even in a secondary ign coil.
                              as compression rises so does fiering
                              same as lean fuel mix or a bad wire or a worn wide plug gap.
                              loss of compression,shorted plug or rich mix will lower fireing
                              so i walk up to your motor having never seen it before.
                              hit it with my Kv tester.
                              two cylinders are at 7 Kv and one is at 3 KV.
                              I now know which cyl is my issue.
                              and it took 30 seconds.
                              however if all were at 7 Kv, I would NOT chase ign producing components any more.
                              now you would chase either ign controling devices or fuel.