Mercury 850 turns over wont start until I let off key then fires in reverse rotation

by John Ceccarelli
(Gladwin Mi)

I have a 1976 model mercury 850 85 hp outboard its been stored for years has great compression but you could see where someone had patched in some replacement wires and when its turning over it will not fire. But as soon as you release the key it pops into reverse rotation and fires up turning counter clockwise

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