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Old 13-10-2014, 10:51   #16
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

get a new wife
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Old 13-10-2014, 10:52   #17
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by jupiow View Post
get a new wife
Much cheaper to get a new outboard!
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Old 13-10-2014, 11:04   #18
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

It sounds like it is not only your wife that is not happy...

One thing I learned when I started boating 30 years ago (on a shoestring budget) is RELIABILITY IS #1 ON THE WATER! The budget is no longer shoestring but I never regretted investing in the power plant when needed; the opposite IS true however!

It sounds to me like you have done all the reasonable initial things. I would have said check the float bowl and the jets first (it sounds like you were not certain about the jets. Maybe check again and be certain this time before you reassemble). The head gasket suggestion is good. Blown gaskets don't always mean water in the oil or vice versa. You may need to get a replacement gasket and pull the head to see. This also gives you a chance to look at the valves.

2008 is not an old outboard if it has not been abused. But again, don't pinch pennies when it comes to reliability out on the water so take it to a shop or consider repowering before getting into something you can't get out of safely.
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Old 13-10-2014, 12:07   #19
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Next step is to soak the carb overnight in cleaning solution. Not much more I can think of doing beyond that.

Pulling the head sounds complicated (I have minimal experience with getting greasy).

Wouldn't a compression test confirm/reject the blown gasket? Not that I have the tools for it either, but would be far simpler to do.
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Old 13-10-2014, 12:22   #20
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Get the new carb. Just soaking the carb won't really touch the ethanol fouling in the jets. Some outboard shops use overnight ultrasonic cleaning - but since you now are using no-ethanol fuel why not start with a clean carb?

2nd thing is to empty the tank and then run a few cans of "small engine gas" (which I think is really Aviation gas). I carry some of this gas if I can't find ethanol free. It seems to last pretty much forever. My Honda outboard dealer recommended it after I got some bad gas in the Bahamas that messed everything up.

VP Small Engine Fuel 4-Cycle 94 Octane Ethanol Free (8-Pack)-6208 at The Home Depot
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Old 13-10-2014, 12:30   #21
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

That stuff is what, $25 a Gl?
Avgas is 100 octane, light blue in color and smells nothing like gasoline, evaporates quickly and seems to leave no oily residue, and is about $6 a Gl. often less.
But yes Avgas shelf life, is pretty much forever. I have no idea actually but i have never seen it go bad.
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Old 13-10-2014, 12:34   #22
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

If your wife isn't happy with your boat's outboard, sell it and get a new outboard. Even if you fix this one, with what you've gone through with it she may never trust it again. If your wife enjoys boating with you count your blessings and keep it that way.
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Old 13-10-2014, 12:35   #23
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Compression test is easy, we are talking $10 tool here, just have both plugs out to make it easier to pull and have the throttle wide open, throttle closed will give you an artificially low reading since the engine can't get air.
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Old 13-10-2014, 12:51   #24
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

It certainly isn't dyed blue like Av gas. The company makes racing fuels too.

I'm not recommending this fuel for daily use but as a way to rule out fuel as the problem. And while the price per gallon seems silly, a small outboard that isn't used much (like maybe this PO) might go months on a single $28 gallon. A lot cheaper than a new cab (or new outboard or new wife). You could probably save $20 on that gallon if you are able to buy fuel at a track or an airport.

And Home Depot will even ship gasoline to you for free - this seems a good reason to stay back an extra 50 ft from a UPS truck
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Old 13-10-2014, 13:18   #25
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

"they" have been playing with 94 UL for years, essentially it's 100 LL, without the lead.
maybe this stuff is 94 UL?
So far I have had no issues with my fuel injected Suzuki, I think removing the air to fuel interface removes the problems, or at least I hope so.

I have seen more than once, a rich mix of sea foam and fuel clean up a partially blocked carb, one that would run, just not run well, the sea foam had it running better in a day or two.
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Old 13-10-2014, 14:12   #26
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by Kenpimentel View Post
We have a 4-stroke Mercury 15HP 2008 outboard. When it runs properly, it will idle fine at low revs. It works just like we want it to. Right now, it is the engine from hell. Here are the symptoms:

- starting with cold engine:
- ambient temp: 60F
- start with choke out on 1st or second try
- exhaust is smoky white - assume it is unburned fuel
- I play with the choke, the cloud is less, but, engine won't stay running unless it is fully out
ken
The other guys with more motor experience are probably right.

My two-cycle was doing the same thing. Pulled the carb took it someplace that ultrasonically cleaned it. Now runs like a champ.
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Old 13-10-2014, 14:27   #27
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Fuel pump.

One of my check valves (super small sliver of metal) in the diaphragm pump was ever so slightly bent and caused the same problems.
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:16   #28
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
"they" have been playing with 94 UL for years, essentially it's 100 LL, without the lead.
maybe this stuff is 94 UL?
So far I have had no issues with my fuel injected Suzuki, I think removing the air to fuel interface removes the problems, or at least I hope so.

I have seen more than once, a rich mix of sea foam and fuel clean up a partially blocked carb, one that would run, just not run well, the sea foam had it running better in a day or two.
Me too.
6hp Merc. 4 stroke.

No white smoke though.
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:41   #29
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by Kenpimentel View Post
Thanks for the many replies.

- It must be fuel-smoke because it smells like fuel-smoke - it isn't water-smoke
- I will try new fuel as soon as it stops raining here in Wash DC (for the summer)
- The fuel wasn't allowed to sit in the outboard for nine months, it was sitting in my big portable tank. The outboard was running relatively OK a month ago, after I stripped/cleaned carb due to a 2 month lay-up - and running the same old fuel. My recent problem is more like 2 weeks old.
- I found a new carb for $90, so I'm considering that option after I try the new fuel and once again, try to strip/clean the carb.
Nobody picked up on this?

Fuel, especially ethanol, is only stable for a few months. Even stabilizer isn't effecive with ethanol beyond about 90 days. Look up "phase separation".
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:57   #30
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Get rid of the old fuel and go through the carburetor. It is all guess work unless you do both.

Let the body soak in some carb cleaner for a day & blow out the body with air through all passages after. If you can't get air through them, use a smokers pipe cleaner. The pipe cleaner will not hurt any passages. Someone replied already that the pipe cleaners will damage the porting/passages..........no. Of course they might leave slight scratches, but it isn't going to mean squat. Anything precise is most often a removable/ jetted fitting anyways.
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