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View Poll Results: how many times a year does your outboard stop working?
Never 79 57.25%
1 time a year 25 18.12%
2 times a year 15 10.87%
3 times a year 2 1.45%
4 or more times a year 17 12.32%
Voters: 138. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-01-2010, 11:31   #16
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David,

You seem to have some experience with this, what lower hp engines (9.9-20 HP) have fuel injection?
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:32   #17
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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
David, what you mention echos what the outboard mechanics here in Annapolis say as well. Of just the people on my dock, not at my marina, one has had to have his injectors replaced due to ethanol clogging up, the other was stuck at least once do this, in fact, everyone with an older outboard has had it stall.

Given that though, would an inline water/fuel filter fix the issue along with another inline particulate filter?

Schoonerdog
The problem does not seem to be the filtering. The problem seems to be substances dissolved in the alcohol that become solids after the alcohol evaporates. Given it is a liquid and individual molecules while in the alcohol solution, it passes right through the filter. It only becomes a problem after it dries.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:32   #18
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The only time mine wouldn't start was when I pushed my luck with "old" gasoline. An outboard mechanic I knew told me that once you mix the oil with the gas, your shelf life is about a month. After that, you run the risk of clogging up the carb. I've done that two or three times.

I've never bought gas for the outboard with ethanol in it, so don't have any firsthand experience with the problems it might bring.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:34   #19
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Thanks solitude, that's great feedback. Do you regularly change your impeller? Some recommend it seasonally. My Nissan 5hp has a notoriously difficult impeller to change. And the seafoam, do you use that simply to clean the tank once a season?
I use Seafoam in the tank on fill up. (4gal tank) 3-4 fill ups a year and go through 1 can of Seafoam. I have no inline filter (maybe I should) I changed the impeller the day I bought it (used). I will change it this season again. I do use Seafoam in my diesel as well (1 can per year). The Mec is older and since I use it in the sea I run Saltaway through it. I have a raw water cooled Yanmar as well and run Saltaway after every trip out through a T in the inlet hose.

From the issues I see here it looks like the gas is the problem. We don't have Ethanol in our gas here (not all anyway).

Another interesting point is my friend has a 4 stroke (newish). He seems to have problems all the time.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:35   #20
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I have a Yamaha 15 4 stroke on my dinghy. I have had no luck since they stopped labeling gas containing ethanol. I used to be able to rely on pumps that were not labeled as containing ethanol, but now you never know what you get. I have been using the Yamaha fuel stabilizer at the recomendation of my mechanic. It has helped a bit, but has not solved the problem. I always disconnect the fuel line and run the system out of fuel if I'm not going to be using it within a day. The carburator float valve still sticks. It's been replaced a couple of times but it still sticks after it sits for a while.

I have considered the possibility of using aviation fuel in it. Avgas is basically a single molecular weight product and doesn't change significantly while sitting and is guaranteed not to have any ethanol. Has anyone tried this in an outboard? The stuff does contain tetraethyl lead which might tend to accumulate on the valves and cause a problem. It is a bit more expensive that automobile gasoline, but if it does away with the problems it might be worth it.
Bill, are you sure its not dirt in the carb, I had same troble on the 2.5 about 2 years ago, i got a little bad fuel with dirt in it and it took 6 rebuilds of the carb to clean it out, i think there are some very small passage ways that all it takes is 1 grain of sand--I finilly figured out how to clean it right- take the carb apart soak in carb cleaner covering the whole carb and then get a cheap $5 fish tank pump with a bubler on it put that in the cleaner for 24+ hours and thats how I got it clean- since then no troble -i installed a inline filter after all that
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:36   #21
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Do a Google search for "pure" gasoline, not mixed with Ethanol in your area.
Found one station here in Fort Lauderdale and bought 6 gallons.

The outboard starts easier and hopefully will be more reliable.

As for avgas, 100 LL stands for Low Lead and should be okay for 4 strokes, but never tried it..Good idea however.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:40   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I have considered the possibility of using aviation fuel in it. Avgas is basically a single molecular weight product and doesn't change significantly while sitting and is guaranteed not to have any ethanol. Has anyone tried this in an outboard? The stuff does contain tetraethyl lead which might tend to accumulate on the valves and cause a problem. It is a bit more expensive that automobile gasoline, but if it does away with the problems it might be worth it.
A bit more expensive? Try about $5.00/gal for 100LL and it is only available in the US for the most part.

I have a 1980s Evenrude 5hp 2 stroke that I have never had a bit of trouble with (rats, reminder to self, never, never say that!!). At the end of the day I disconnect the fuel line and run it dry, but that is about all I do. That and change thlower unit oil and sparkplugs on a regular basis.

Mike
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:53   #23
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I agree

I have a 1980s Evenrude 5hp 2 stroke that I have never had a bit of trouble with (rats, reminder to self, never, never say that!!). At the end of the day I disconnect the fuel line and run it dry, but that is about all I do. That and change thlower unit oil and sparkplugs on a regular basis.

Mike
s/v Fair Wind[/QUOTE]

My 80s Merc 2stroke just runs and runs.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:06   #24
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I'm an HONEST guy, telling the truth, and I feel more than a little insulted!

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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
Ka4wja claims to never have an issue. Never. Sorry, but that's the boldest lie ever told by a sailor since Moby Dick.
schoonerdog,
I'm not interested in being called a liar, and I find the tone of your post personally insulting.....

I have had different experiences than you have, and if you wish, I'll relate them to you, but would you please refrain from calling someone you don't know, and don't know of their experiences, a liar......


Maybe, you'll not find my experiences believable, however I assure you it's all true....so, here's the brief scoop...

In April 2004, I purchased a Yamaha 15-hp 2-stroke outboard (and a Caribe C12 ).......
After a few months in Florida, and a few cruises to the Bahamas, I was unlucky enough to sustain 2 direct hits from Cat 3 Hurricanes in Sept 2004 (Frances and Jeanne).......this delayed some of my cruisng plans.....but got back on track in early 2005.....(back to Bahamas, etc.)
Well, back in Florida, my dingy was stolen....I was out-of-town and had the dinghy on the dock and LOCKED with a cable, but there was nobody keeping an eye on things for a few weeks, and the thieves cut the cable and took off with my dinghy / motor / etc.....
Well, the good news is that the Martin County Matine Patrol actually found my dinghy (without its Yamaha motor,. etc.) a day and a half later!!!! And they towed it back to my dock for me (I was 200 miles away, and spoke to them on the phone, and when the said that they'd already tied up my dinghy at the dock for me....well I truly was astonished!!! And to say that I hold a special place in my heart for the men and women of the Martin County Marine Patrol, is an understatement!!!)
My original Yamaha 15-hp 2-stroke, was working fine, with NO problems at all....so someone got a damn fine outboard!!!!

So, in early summer of 2005, I had to buy a new dinghy motor.....and of course, I bought another Yamaha 15-hp 2-stroke......
A few more cruises to the Bahamas, Florida Keys, etc. and then across the Atlantic to Gibraltar (via the Azores)...and then to the Canaries....and then onto the USVI......and sailing in the VI for a while......and then thru the Bahamas....and then back to Florida, where I've been taking care of family matters for a while, and have made it to the Bahamas only once in the past 6 - 8 months....

So my current dinghy outboard motor, a Yamaha 15-hp 2-stroke, is almost 5 years old now.....in those 5 years I've bought gas for it at fuel docks in FL, Bahamas, USVI, etc....I've used it hard (full throttle operation with 2 persons and SCUBA gear, blasting thru some 3-4' sea in the Bahamas, etc.).....sometimes I "overmix" the oil by accident, instead of the 100:1, I end up with 70-80:1......I've not added any "additives" to my gas tank, etc. (although, I have been planning to do so...)

And, here's the absolute no BS truth:
I've NEVER had it fail to start on me!!!
No BS, No lies....just the truth!!!
When I've left it for a few weeks and come back on board, I do need to pump the bulb, pull the choke, and yank the starter cord 4 - 5 times, to get it start......BUT, if using it every few days, it has NEVER failed to start after 1 or 2 pulls!!!

Oh, and schoonerdog, here's the other thing that you may not believe, but is the truth.....
I noticed just this past month, that I think I've lost a little bit of "power", as it took a bit longer to get up on plane than usual.....well, low-and-behold, I thought "hey, why not change the spark plugs...", which I'd not done since engine break-in (where I was using a 25:1 gas/oil mix)....

So, that's the truth.....never had a problem with my Yamaha at all!!!
And, I got over 4 years out of a set of spark plugs.....

I trust that by detailing my recent experiences with my Yamaha, you'll come to the conclusion that I'm not a lair......and I hope for an apology....



Now, schoonerdog, I can understand your frustration regarding your outboard troubles, but please accept that the world is a BIG place, and others may have actually had different experiences than you've had.....and that does not make them liars!!!


Fair winds.

John
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:10   #25
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My current engine is a '94 twin cylinder Johnson 30, single carb 2-stroke. This one has been extremely reliable. It will occasionally be a bit stubborn to start, after a major change in temperature or altitude (this is a trailer boat), but tweaking the idle jet almost always fixes that. I decarbonize it every few years, and each fall I change the lower gear oil, grease everything that needs it, give it a thorough flush on clean water, and clean the spark plugs.

This engine isn't on a particularly special diet: 87-octane summer gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (we never know for sure). The first tank of the spring has usually been sitting in the tank, mixed with oil, for seven months with a double shot of stabilizer. The engine will have had about 50 grams of fogging oil in it during that time. A few pumps of the primer bulb, 15 seconds of cranking, another squeeze of the primer, and she starts right up.

Another engine I frequently use, a '79 Johnson 9.9, is subject to a similar, but less strict, maintenance and feeding regimen. This one has had a damaged shaft seal once, a failed throttle linkage, and sometimes takes a few more pulls than it should to start, but that's about all.

The only outboard I've ever had serious trouble with was a '94 Suzuki 15 twin, which blew a head gasket (cause unknown), flooding one cylinder with raw water. It managed to limp home on the other cylinder, but the block, head and both pistons were toast.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:15   #26
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Bill, are you sure its not dirt in the carb, I had same troble on the 2.5 about 2 years ago, i got a little bad fuel with dirt in it and it took 6 rebuilds of the carb to clean it out, i think there are some very small passage ways that all it takes is 1 grain of sand--I finilly figured out how to clean it right- take the carb apart soak in carb cleaner covering the whole carb and then get a cheap $5 fish tank pump with a bubler on it put that in the cleaner for 24+ hours and thats how I got it clean- since then no troble -i installed a inline filter after all that
I often have to remove the carburator to solve my problem. It's pretty easy to tell when I'm going to have it as fuel will come out of the top of the carb when the valve is stuck. I had the carb professionally cleaned a couple of years ago and I've not had any dirt in the bowl since. I usually just have to clean the valve and seat with some solvent and put the carb back together and it starts without a problem.

I was exploring this issue and one outboard mechanic suggested that running the bowl dry was the cause of the problem because it caused the float to be at the bottom of the bowl and residual gas to evaporate and leave deposits on the valve which is in the open position. It is clear to me that the valve is sticking in the open position which of course floods the engine. That's an interesting view that I hadn't seen before but does make some sense considering the symptoms I have been experiencing.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:16   #27
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I'm thinking 2 strokes are just more reliable......
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:19   #28
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I'm seeing a bit of a trend, it seems like the two strokes handle the ethanol a lot better than the 4 strokes with their much smaller jets. Those with newer 4 stroke outboards may simply not have seen the gunking up of the carborator yet as it's like cholesterol and your arteries, even eating 6 eggs a day when your a kid and you might be fine, but when you get older it's trouble.

Evinrude I heard had a great 2 stroke engine. My 4 stroke Evinrude literally had it's powerhead shatter after 200 hours of use in the Bahamas, but by then the company had gone out of business because everyone else with an evinrude 4 stroke had the same issues. The mechanic who installed it went out of business too. All within 4 months of my buying their last outboard.
BTW, e10 is a government mandate. I'm not sure how some places get around that.
While Avgas sounds like a lot at $5 a gallon, your outboard mechanic charges $100 per hour. I've taken my outboard to him a few times here in Annapolis at inflatable experts, and I've never had a bill less than $300.

Here's an interesting link btw Gas Additives, Fuel System Treatments and Ethanol E10.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:26   #29
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Sorry John, I retract it wholeheartedly. I meant it as a bit of a joke, but obviously it went south. I've had three yamahas, a 1990 and the a 2002 and a 2003 with our PDQ 36. All were 4 stroke engines. Great engines, but sensitive to anything in the fuel. One needed to have its carborator replaced, the other had something wrong with the electronic control. The last simply couldn't be cleaned after 10 years due to too much corrosion in the powerhead. I'm going to see if I can retract that statement, as there are many people who've had similar experience as you.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:29   #30
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Wish I could retract this one!

My apologies.

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Ka4wja claims to never have an issue. Never. Sorry, but that's the boldest lie ever told by a sailor since Moby Dick. Is he a avid rower? I think the ultimate solution will be to filter the heck out of it. My PDQ had outboard issues till I put the fuel through a fuel strainer, and then a water fuel seperator, and then to the outboard. Then I only had to worry about impeller issue, or fuel pumps, or starter issues, etc, which brough the unreliability down to about once or twice a year with brand new yamaha 4 strokes (arguably one of the best outboards there is).
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