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Old 13-10-2014, 16:16   #31
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

to clarify:
- all my gas is non-ethanol ever since I learned the hard way not to put ethanol-based gas into a small outboard.
- you can buy non-ethanol gas in certain states and in the Bahamas
- the old gas I started with came from Bahamas - non-ethanol
- the new gas I just tried was from USA and not more than a month old

I have ordered a compression gauge which will determine if I have a gasket problem.

The carb will be soaked in cleaner tonight. Hopefully with better results.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 13-10-2014, 16:34   #32
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by Kenpimentel View Post
Are there definitive signs of a blown head gasket I could look for - without removing the head?

There is no water in the oil.

When I removed my old spark plugs, they were black at the tips from poor fuel mixture (I assume). I did not see any sign of water at that point.

I would go with the clean fuel and carb clean first. The head gasket is possibility, but fairly remote.......unless the engine has been overheated in the past.
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Old 13-10-2014, 16:58   #33
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Here is a trick that has worked in the past with small engines. If you've sprayed carb cleaner in the carb and you still feel that it's gummed up, remove the air filter and use a stiff piece of cardboard to cover the inlet to the carb while revving the engine in neutral. If you get a pretty good seal, you'll see the engine drop RPM, move the cardboard away just a little to allow the engine to regain RPM, then block it again.

Keep doing this for 5 min. or more. The point of it is to use the engine vacuum to suck the gummed up gas out of the small passages in the carb. It might even work better with a very high concentration of Seafoam in a small container of gas. I've had very good success with this technique if it really is a gummed up carb.

I'm still worried about the white smoke. If it really is steam from a blown head gasket, I think they sell fluorescent dye that you can add to the engine coolant, if it shows up in the exhaust, you know you have a blown head gasket. Another tell tale symptom is bubbles in the coolant over flow tank, higher than normal pressure in the coolant system.

Keep us informed!
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Old 13-10-2014, 18:05   #34
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Here is a trick that has worked in the past with small engines. If you've sprayed carb cleaner in the carb and you still feel that it's gummed up, remove the air filter and use a stiff piece of cardboard to cover the inlet to the carb while revving the engine in neutral. If you get a pretty good seal, you'll see the engine drop RPM, move the cardboard away just a little to allow the engine to regain RPM, then block it again.

Keep doing this for 5 min. or more. The point of it is to use the engine vacuum to suck the gummed up gas out of the small passages in the carb. It might even work better with a very high concentration of Seafoam in a small container of gas. I've had very good success with this technique if it really is a gummed up carb.

I'm still worried about the white smoke. If it really is steam from a blown head gasket, I think they sell fluorescent dye that you can add to the engine coolant, if it shows up in the exhaust, you know you have a blown head gasket. Another tell tale symptom is bubbles in the coolant over flow tank, higher than normal pressure in the coolant system.

Keep us informed!
It is an outboard. There is no coolant tank. The coolant tank is what ever body of water you are running in.

And just soaking a carb overnight in some stuff is insufficient. Air in those small passages do not allow the liquid in....sometimes. No liquid means the same gunk stays. Must dip and blow out with air multiple times. Unless you use an ultrasonic machine.
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Old 13-10-2014, 18:06   #35
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Smile Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Hi,
Before you do too many drastic things, make sure that the vent in the fuel tank is actually clear and allowing atmospheric pressure into the tank. If the vent is blocked your fuel to air ratio is out and your spark plugs will have a black soot on them. Also check that the fuel filter in the line or at the botom of the tank is clear.
Please let me know how this goes.
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Old 13-10-2014, 19:27   #36
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by Annie in WA View Post
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.
Roger that!

Try as I would, and also with several mechanics "overhauling" the motor, my wife could never get our old - very balky - 9.9 Nisan 2-stroke started. T'was the motivating reason for discarding and replacing it with an electric Torqeedo Travel 1003.

Now, my wife merely pushes the "start" button and goes as/where/when she likes. Then, when back at the mother-ship, she simply plugs in the recharge cable. Our solar panels & wind turbine take care of the rest. Easy-Peasy.

{Truth tell: I'd dearly LOVE to purchase a 15 HP 4-stroke for use on the RIB as our private TugBoat or, you know, for when the wind kicks up to 27 knots in harbour but the beer-locker is empty! Then I'd just stick the Torqeedo on our 8-ft Walker Bay and we'd have "His & Her" dinghies! But... in the larger scheme of things I prefer to keep a smile on my wife's face. So the Torqeedo is what we have. Anybody know the winning numbers for next week's lotto??? }
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Old 13-10-2014, 21:12   #37
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

I had similar engine problems. Spent lots of time disassembling and cleaning the carb, changing the fuel, adjusting the jets. No difference. Finally decided, as a last resort, to rebuild the fuel pump.

End of problem.
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Old 13-10-2014, 21:30   #38
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky


When you hear hoof beats don't think "zebras".


Your symptoms are all consistent with bad fuel - now or in the past. Either bad Bahamas gas, remains of the the ethanol gas, 9 month old gas, or ethanol caused varnish buildup on the carb jets. Most likely a combination of all.

If you ask around, you'll find very few stories of ethanol fouled small four cycle outboards that end with a happy "but it's been running great ever since". Most stories end with "I got so disgusted with the thing that I bought a new outboard"
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Old 14-10-2014, 05:44   #39
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Update:
- heavily soaked carb with carb cleaner overnight
- Carefully blew out all jets with air
- On startup, same issue
- It will run with choke out, runs rough, fuel sheen on water, white smoke
- Putting the choke in makes in run better, but it only runs for about 5 seconds before dying, this is with minimum throttle
- When throttle is wide, then no issues with choke in
- Wife is raising an eyebrow, I think she's confirming her hypothesis that I don't know what the hell I'm doing...
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Old 14-10-2014, 05:49   #40
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Try adjusting your idle mixture screw. Try backing it out in 1/4 to 1/2 turn increments and see if anything changes
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Old 14-10-2014, 05:57   #41
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Originally Posted by Kenpimentel View Post
- When throttle is wide, then no issues with choke in
Your idle circuit is clogged, I missed the point before where you said it ran OK at high throttle settings, of course that is when it's off the idle circuit and on the main.

Not to sound ridiculous, but what are you soaking it in? A one Gl can of carb cleaner with a strainer basket, right? You are completely dis-assembling the carb, removing all plastic, O rings and gaskets before soaking?

I'd bet lunch it's the idle circuit, and I don't do that unless I'm real sure
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Old 14-10-2014, 06:11   #42
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

As I think I mentioned earlier, I don't know what I'm doing, so I simply removed the bowl and a plate thingy that is on the top of the carb. I replaced the gasket on the top thingy and the bowl gasket.

I guess you're suggesting I should have done a lot more. In the past, even with ethanol problems, this was sufficient to get it to work. Perhaps something much more is needed now.

TODO:
- I have ordered a new carb ($90) because I'm getting desperate.
- I have ordered a compression tester because I want to make sure I eliminate the gasket issue before buying everything I'd need to replace the head gasket
- I will try the idler screw adjust - but that is kind of avoiding the problem as it still won't run right, but it might avoid a few stalls.
- I will investigate the fuel pump and see how complex that is to delve into

I think that is the list. I already eliminated suspect gas as an issue.
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Old 14-10-2014, 06:16   #43
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

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Your idle circuit is clogged, I missed the point before where you said it ran OK at high throttle settings, of course that is when it's off the idle circuit and on the main.

Not to sound ridiculous, but what are you soaking it in? A one Gl can of carb cleaner with a strainer basket, right? You are completely dis-assembling the carb, removing all plastic, O rings and gaskets before soaking?

I'd bet lunch it's the idle circuit, and I don't do that unless I'm real sure
I think you're right. I've had similar problems with a Yamaha 2 stroke and it was the idle jet, sometimes hard to get at. In the Yammy it's covered by a rubber plug.
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Old 14-10-2014, 07:10   #44
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

All jets and nozzles should be removed when cleaning carb.
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Old 14-10-2014, 07:52   #45
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Re: Wife ain't happy - outboard has turned flaky

Your best bet is the carb you have ordered, once that fixes it, have the old one professionally cleaned, that way you'll never need it.
If your using real carb cleaner, then the plastic and O rings that may have been left in the carb you may have to replace.

Did you use something like this?
NAPA AUTO PARTS
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