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Point Adjustment

Updated on August 6, 2016

Point Adjustment

After the flywheel has been removed from the outboard engine, the points and associated components will all be exposed. The points are attached to lever arms which make contact with a cam that either slides on to a shaft or is integrated with the shaft. This is known as a camshaft. Points control the timing of the spark in an outboard engine. If these points get dirt and grime on them, become corroded or need to be adjusted, the outboard will not produce a good spark, which will cause problems with performance.

Point Inspection

Inspect the area around the cam and the points closely. Look for excessive dirt buildup, corrosion or damage to parts. If visual inspection shows evidence of a problem, the magneto will need to be cleaned up and/or parts will need to be replaced while the flywheel is off and prior to adjusting the points.

Flywheel Removed

Flywheel Removed
Flywheel Removed | Source

Point Gap Information Stamp

Stamp Showing .020 Gap
Stamp Showing .020 Gap | Source

Identify Gap

The points need to be adjusted to a certain gap. That gap will be listed in the owner’s manual or maintenance manual of the outboard engine. Sometimes, the gap number will be listed on the side of the magneto as shown in the picture.

Points and Adjustment Screws

Adjusting Points
Adjusting Points | Source

Adjust Gap

Once the gap distance has been identified, turn the shaft by rotating the propeller until the gap is at its widest point. It may be necessary to rotate the shaft back and forth a bit to determine this distance. Use a feeler gauge to determine if the gap is too large or too small. If the gap needs adjustment, loosen the point adjustment screw with the feeler gauge in place. When the gauge slides in and out of the gap with slight resistance, tighten the adjustment screw. Repeat this process for each point.

Once magneto has been cleaned up, any parts have been replaced and points have been adjusted, the flywheel can be replaced in the reverse order that it was disassembled.


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