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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 Johnson 150 2-stroke has had a tough time with cold starts this season. Was reading the manual last night and saw something about the red primer solenoid lever and a light bulb went on in my head. It's possible that I've had the lever in the wrong position since I fogged the motor last winter. My question is, which position is the "run" position? Would the motor still run in the other position? Thanks!
 

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Most of the 2 stroke johnsons that I know of always seem to have a harder time starting when they have been sitting for more than 3 weeks or so especially when it is cold. One trick I picked up from somebody that has seemed to help is after pumping the primer bulb firm, turn your key to the on position and press in for 8 seconds or so before turning the key to the start position. Once it starts, I then will push in the key again momentarily if it sounds like it is going to cut off. By pushing in the choke several times it will allow the motor to keep running to warm up. Also the longer they sit the more smoke that will pour out of it when it does get started! Don't be alarmed you the smoke clouds should disperse after a few minutes. After everyone backs away thinking your boat is going to explode!:D

Just a few minor nuisances for a motor that never seems to let me down so far!
 

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A good strong battery helps also. I do miss the big cloud when they fire. I don't remeber ever getting bit by misquitos when I ran my Johnsons. Good motors.
 

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If it was in the wrong position it wouldn't have started in the first place.

Have you cleaned the primer system lately? I had the same issue until I took the primer solenoid apart. I cleaned out the screen and blew out the lines running to the carbs. No issues after that.

FWIW: Unlike a Merc, pushing the key in does nothing for the choke. The primer only works while the motor is cranking. You have to turn the key clockwise to START and push/hold the key in to prime.

Crank for 10 second and then try again if it doesn’t start. On mine if I crank the motor a second time with the prime chances are I’ll flood it.
 

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I have a 2000 200 HP Johnson and through the years I've gotten better at cold starts. Good juice in the batteries helps a bunch, and holding in the choke like your life depended on it is the key for mine. I also never mess with the throttle. Sometimes mine smokes so much I can't see the water!! That thing runs like a champ though.
 

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When I first got my "big Johnson" (1999 200-hp),used in 2003, I had a heckuva time getting it started when it had not been run for a while. After making sure I have good battery, now I pump the bulb, advance the throttle just a bit, and use the choke judiciously and it usually starts on the second crank. Of course I also have the signature smoke screen, but it keeps the riffraff away.
 

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My 200 HP is the same way. Does not like to start when cold but starts instantaneously thereafter. It runs like a scalded cat when she gets going.

The big cloud of smoke is from gas evaporating in the carbs, leaving a high oil content behind.

For about $15,000 - $18,000 you can buy a new motor, in the meantime I will live with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback. My primer system has never been cleaned. I'll look into that. My starting regimen is similar to all of yours. I find that I have to advance the throttle some or it's nearly impossible to start and I press the key repeatedly while starting. Interesting that the manual states that advancing the throttle deactivates the "Quikstart electronic starting system", yet it won't start unless I advance it. When it finally comes to life, it's fun to hear the gasps from onlookers at the Breezy Marina ramp. However, it sips the gas and never misses a beat in a full day of trolling.
 

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I have some misc. parts from a 1990 225 Johnson that are just becoming mouse houses in my shed if anybody wants them. Throtle/control cables, stator assembly that I replaced only to find out it was the battery. Some other odds and ends. I live in No. Va. Price is free and that is firm! Kirk
 

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I have some misc. parts from a 1990 225 Johnson that are just becoming mouse houses in my shed if anybody wants them. Throtle/control cables, stator assembly that I replaced only to find out it was the battery. Some other odds and ends. I live in No. Va. Price is free and that is firm! Kirk
I would be interested. I have 1999 225 Johnson's that occasionally need parts... But I think you are driving a hard bargain. :yes:
 

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I've found over the years that the key to starting my 2 stroke Johnson is actually more related to the the primer bulb and fuel flow than anything else--including temperature. For some reason the bulb doesn't firm up (indicating that it's pushing fuel into the motor) when squeezed prior to turning the motor over, especially when the boat has sat for a while.

It seems to me that the bulb itself can't start the fuel syphon action between the tank and motor without a little help, initially, from the motor itself. Maybe it's lack of suction power in the bulb, or maybe it can't draw fuel because of the pressure of trapped air in the line, but a few cranks of the motor FOLLOWED by a couple bulb squeezes usually starts me right up. Many times I don't even have to use the choke. The key is to feel the fuel in the bulb as you squeeze it and send it on to the motor.


Hope this helps...
 

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Thanks for the feedback. My primer system has never been cleaned. I'll look into that. My starting regimen is similar to all of yours. I find that I have to advance the throttle some or it's nearly impossible to start and I press the key repeatedly while starting. Interesting that the manual states that advancing the throttle deactivates the "Quikstart electronic starting system", yet it won't start unless I advance it. When it finally comes to life, it's fun to hear the gasps from onlookers at the Breezy Marina ramp. However, it sips the gas and never misses a beat in a full day of trolling.
Are your sure your quikstart is working? Quikstart advances the timing 1.5 degrees then keeps it there until the motor reaches 90 some odd degrees. Should keep you idling @1200-1300 rpm until it kicks out.

As a thought check the operation of your shift switch in neutral. Make sure the SW circuit is open with the throttle centered. If not, that could be why you have to advance the throttle a bit before it will start. Had a similar problem with mine a while back
 
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