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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, 12:30   #31
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All I've ever seen from outboards is the ones that are used every day are reliable.....when they sit for months at a time they'll never start.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:36   #32
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sailmonkey too has a point, the outboard mechanics here in Annapolis say if you don't intend on using your outboard for more than 3 days, to drain the carborator if you've got a 4 stroke.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:39   #33
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25hp 2 stroke Yamaha, never had a problem in three years (since new). Only used occasionally though (every six months or so) and run dry/ thoroughly cleaned before storage. They've started adding ethanol to some petrol here and I wasn't aware of the issues until I read this, so thanks for the warning and I'll keep away from it.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:40   #34
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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
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.
I'd be curious to hear if anyone has experience with the newer Evinrudes, ie. the ones built by BRP (which bought the brand after the old OMC consortium died out). FICHT was an absolute failure, no doubt about that, but there have been some more favourable reports about the two-stroke E-Tec lineup. And they do have that one 55 hp model that burns just about anything- gasoline, kerosene, most jet fuels.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:46   #35
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I have been getting a lot of outboard fixing experience down here where we live. So far, I have had to work on three outboards, all a lot bigger than what you guys are using, but I suspect some of the same lessons I have learned would be appropriate to any gasoline burning motor. Filter the fuel. Over the past five years I have been running, and responsible for all maintenance, on an Evinrude 70, a Yamaha 150, and a Yammie 300. All two strokes, and the 300 is HPDI.

MOST of the issues I have had to track down and fix started with fuel issues. Either old gas that's lost it's oomph and is getting ugly looking, or new gas with either water or dirt or both in it.

I ended up installing Racor fuel filter/seperators in the bilges between the fuel tanks and the outboards. Ten micron filters on two of them, and a ten micron and then a two micron on the HPDI. I know that's not practical in a little dinghy, but there are still a couple things you can do. First off, use up your gas and replace it. Don't let it get old. Second, you can buy a small Racor filter/funnel and use that when you do fill your fuel tank. It will keep water and the major dirt out for starters. And that's major in itself. Mine is Racor, and I think it's 127 micron. I found this video for another brand, which is kinda funny:

http://www.mrfunnel.com/Mr._Funnel/Home.html

but they DO work. I find water in the funnel EVERY time I buy gasoline here. Sometimes, dirt. I got a photo of what I take out of the filter seperator. this is after running about thirty gallons of fuel through the boat, and draining the filter/seperator into a plastic Texmati rice jar...

This is about two cups of gasoline, dirty gasoline, and then the stuff in the bottom with the dirt in it is water:



Looking up underneath it,



you can buy a little in-line disposable filters that goes between your tank and your motor, but if you only put clean fuel in, and run it til it's empty and drain the bowl to store it, it should take care of a lot of issues. I haven't tried the stabilizers, but before i did that I think I would empty the fuel into someone's truck or something rather than store it. Even putting a few gallons of pre-mix in a full tank of gasoline is okay for a lot of vehicles. I don't know about new cars but I bet a tractor or older pickup truck would run fine on it.

I am thinking those of you who have had no issues with your outboards probably have been lucky and not gotten a bad batch of fuel yet. Or filled up from a marina someplace with an old rusty fuel storage tank that rainwater leaks into. Or that stays half empty and is putting rust and condensation into the gas.....hey, call me jaded. I know what I am finding down here, anyhow.


or possibly your motors have very good internal filters. If that's the case, I would suggest you carry a spare fuel filter for your motor. Someday, somewhere, it will eventually get sludged up. And that is NOT the time to remove it to get home....
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:48   #36
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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
John I think what your telling us,is true and known by most who have owned the 15HP yamha 2 stroke, i think its far better preformer than the 4 stroke and a lot lighter!
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:00   #37
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I'd be curious to hear if anyone has experience with the newer Evinrudes, ie. the ones built by BRP (which bought the brand after the old OMC consortium died out). FICHT was an absolute failure, no doubt about that, but there have been some more favourable reports about the two-stroke E-Tec lineup. And they do have that one 55 hp model that burns just about anything- gasoline, kerosene, most jet fuels.
I grew up in Jupiter and as a kid we camped out in port Salearno (just South of Stuart, Fl) and my family knew the Evenrudes ,they lived right around the corner from the camp--back in the 60s- at that time thay were the best- The old man would walk his dog daily and stop in and shoot the breeze with my dad--now I would not have Evenrude/Johnson on anything I own even if you gave them to me- I know this because I was a die hard Evenrude/Johnson man but after blowing up serveral engines and rebuilding them over and over again I have writtin them off- im sticking with somthing I KNOW works and I can depend on day in and day out-- funny thing when the Jap engines hit the market here we all used to laugh at them and poke fun at the guy useing them,talking about how cheap and junkie they were- now whos laughing now??
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:01   #38
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It seems though for anyone wanting to get a new outboard here in the states they're facing a problem. E10 gasoline is mandatory. 4 strokes are mandatory. And e10 plus a non fuel injected outboard isn't good.
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:05   #39
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I have 2 outboards that I maintain-

One is a 37 year-old, Chrysler 70-hp, 2-stroke that powers my stinkpot boat. I resurrected it from "dead". I had the triple-carb assembly rebuilt 4 years ago, and it hasn't failed me yet.

The second, is a brand-new Honda, 9.9 hp, 4-stroke for the sailboat's aux. propulsion. I've owned the Honda for 2-months and started it 3 times. Neither one have failed me yet.

Here's what I do:

1. Tilting carburated engines up for long periods of time, causes the floats to dry out and stick in position because the ethanol fuel turns to varnish very easily. Keep the engine in the "down" position if possible.

2. The normal, red "Sta-bil" fuel additive doesn't work worth a darn with ethanol blended fuel. In fact, anecdotal evidence says it makes the fuel more gummy. Sta-bil now offers a blue colored stabilizer for ethanol blended fuels. I have yet to try it, nor have I met anyone who has. The very fact that Sta-bil offers a new stabilizer is an admission that their stuff didn't work with the new fuel blends. I'd be interested in hearing how it works for people.

3. Water separators: Good idea since ethanol blended fuel sucks up moisture and causes problems. I'm not sure if that would stop the varnishing problem with old, untreated ethanol blend though.

4. If you can, run the engine every few weeks for 15 minutes after reaching normal operating temperature. Add fresh fuel to help stabilize the old fuel if possible.

5. "Sea-Foam"- I am very, very wary of "cures in a can" but my experience with "Sea-Foam" fuel additive has been very positive, even with ethanol blended fuels. It was originally designed as a diesel fuel additive to keep injectors clean, but they now advertise it as a general additive. It's very big in the motorcycle community where we store our bikes for the winter months and don't start them. The trick is to add it, and run it through the engine while it still starts, to protect the carbs/injectors. It doesn't really help if your fuel system is already gummed shut.

It kind of stabilizes the fuel, but what it does best is clean the varnish out of the fuel system. It also works great in lawnmowers, snowblowers or any other type of "seasonal" engine that sits for several months. You can get Sea-Foam at many auto parts and marine stores.

If you have a 4-stroke engine (newer outboard, or Atomic-4), and you can drain the fuel from the tank, I recommend burning it in your car, and adding fresh fuel to the boat instead of trying to stabilize a large amount of fuel for a long period of time.

Run the Sea-foam through the engine, shut it down for the winter, drain the fuel and use it. When it's sailing season, fill the tank with fresh fuel and some Sea-Foam, and you should be good to go.

You can use Sea-foam in 2-stroke engines, it's just that I don't know what you'd burn 2-stroke fuel in if you drained the tank at the onset of winter. Maybe some of you have a snowmobile or something.

Anyway, that's no lie. Maybe I'm just lucky, I don't know.
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:06   #40
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The only problem I've had so far was with the pull start locking up, but it was an easy fix. I have a Ya-mama 4hp 4-stroke. We run it about 5 times a month in winter, 10 or more in the summer. Usually low to medium RPM's.

I will say that my wife always has trouble starting it! I've watched her, and it seems like she does everything right. I just have the magic touch...(This really ticks her off)
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:13   #41
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It seems though for anyone wanting to get a new outboard here in the states they're facing a problem. E10 gasoline is mandatory. 4 strokes are mandatory. And e10 plus a non fuel injected outboard isn't good.
I bought a new 15 HP yamaha from these guys and they have them in stock

25hp and 15hp 2-stroke Yamaha Outboard Motors - Lightweight, Portable Outboards
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:31   #42
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I have a friend who just bought a Yamaha 2 stroke 8HP and got a deal because the line was being discontinued.
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:36   #43
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There ought also to be a category "Everytime"

New Mariner 4hp - 4-stroke. Everytime it's used, it needs the needle valve taken out, cleaned, then blow through the fuel filler until fuel comes out. Re-assemble and it starts first pull. Without this procedure it has never started. I am told by the dealer, that they should not be laid down, and if it were left on the boat, it would be fine, despite the decals on the side which tell you to lay it this side down. He says it's the fuel. He also says that as far as he was aware, no car or outboard is warranted by a manufacturer yet (in UK) for use with biofuels of more than 5%.
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:42   #44
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There ought also to be a category "Everytime"

New Mariner 4hp - 4-stroke. Everytime it's used, it needs the needle valve taken out, cleaned, then blow through the fuel filler until fuel comes out. Re-assemble and it starts first pull. Without this procedure it has never started. I am told by the dealer, that they should not be laid down, and if it were left on the boat, it would be fine, despite the decals on the side which tell you to lay it this side down. He says it's the fuel. He also says that as far as he was aware, no car or outboard is warranted by a manufacturer yet (in UK) for use with biofuels of more than 5%.
I wonder why laying it down makes this happen? do you run it dry before you lay it down??
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:45   #45
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I wonder why laying it down makes this happen? do you run it dry before you lay it down??

Isn't it that you are not supposed to lay down 4 strokes because they have an oil sump?
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