View Full Version : How to bypass kill switch

06-16-2014, 01:48 PM

getting ready for last ski run yesterday evening and the boat won't stay running. Fires, but when the ignition switch is released it dies almost immediately. Pulled the kill switch lanyard and the plunger portion came off in my hand. Guess I found my problem...

Was going to bypass this on the water, but didn't see how to gain easy access. Does someone know the colors of the wires to wire together, or how to access the backside of this switch so that I can bypass this? I've searched the forums but didn't come up with a good answer.


06-16-2014, 02:16 PM
Most likely the ignition switch or ballast resistor. If it were your kill switch it wouldn't fire.

06-16-2014, 02:27 PM
I had one like that where the ignition switch was at fault. Kept springing back however holding it in the run position allowed us to get back to the trailer.

Of course the kill switch coming apart isn't going to help matters any!

06-16-2014, 02:36 PM
This is an ignition switch issue. The "run" contact is bad. If this were the kill switch, it would crank but not fire.

06-16-2014, 02:46 PM
As said above it sounds like an ignition switch issue. But to answer the question it is very simple to bypass the kill switch. Pull the two wires off the switch and twist them together.

06-16-2014, 05:15 PM
Okay... So I'll get a new switch. NBD. But...

How in the heck do you get to these switches?? It feels like the backside is completely enclosed fiberglass with just a hole for the wires coming out, and the front side - even with those 4 plastic screws, I couldn't figure out how to remove the panel. My dash panel is in perfect shape, and I do not want to damage it with R&R

06-16-2014, 05:23 PM
It may very well be an ignition switch issue, but I will say that I had a similar issue where the little arm that held the plunger down was weakening and the boat would fire sometimes but wouldnt stay running. There just wasnt enough pressure to keep the plunger down. I bypassed the kill switch and havent had a problem. Unfortunately for OP, I dont really remember how I got to the wires.

Table Rocker
06-16-2014, 05:38 PM
This could be a safety lanyard issue only. If the ballast resistor is bypassed for starting, the starting ignition voltage is coming from the post on the starter solenoid. When the key is released the solenoid voltage stops and the run wire should take over, but doesn't due to the safety switch.

06-16-2014, 05:55 PM
If you want it, I think I still have the original kill switch from my boat. The PO had removed it and I found it one day down inside the dash. I had put a new one on so I didn't need it. It seems to work. I think that the PO must have lost the lanyard for it and cut it out. It's yours for the cost of postage - probably about a buck!
To get that panel out, remove the 4 screws and gently lift it away from the dash. The wires will be stiff from sitting there for almost 30 years. Try to pull it forward by using the key in the ignition and maybe putting a finger in the accessory plug if you have one. Try to not pry on the edges. The original material is pretty brittle. Fortunately, there is someone on this forum who is reproducing the panel.

06-16-2014, 09:51 PM
Yea... I think it's a kill switch issue. I had an issue launching the boat where it didn't want to stay running - fired, but wouldn't stay running. I fiddled with the kill switch, and all was well... until the last of the day.

Drschemel - I appreciate the offer. But that damned thing has no business in any boat of mine. Bypassing is definitely the solution for me.

I'll see about gently getting that panel out and bypassing the switch. Thanks guys.

06-21-2014, 11:56 PM
Finally got the kill switch bypassed. Fired right up with it bypassed. Now... to figure out how to secure that panel again. The screws are plastic - nice - but the nuts aren't held captive on the back, and I can't hold them in place to start the screws into them. Going to look at hardware store for a better solution to this problem. Otherwise, I guess I'll just use masking tape to hold the nuts in place while I get the screws started... but this isn't ideal at all.

06-22-2014, 06:41 AM
Just keep in mind that boats have kill switches for a reason. If and when you ever decide to sell your boat, you will want to re-install the switch or you could potentially be held liable for any accidents or issues that may arise.

06-22-2014, 09:06 AM

06-23-2014, 11:02 PM
Thanks Cloaked.