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Old 01-09-2014, 13:54   #1
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Servicing an Outboard Motor

At the end of the sailing season, I would like to get the small outboard motor on my sailboat serviced. is it better to do this at the end of the season? or in the spring? I basically want it cleaned, and tuned up...
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Old 01-09-2014, 14:23   #2
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

I cleaned mine out at the end of the season just a few hours ago. Fresh water was run through the system, the fuel line was disconnected with the motor left running in neutral until out of gas. The boat yard is directly across the street from the Mercury dealer, so when I get back, I hope to get him over to adjust the mixture and maybe replace the electric starter motor. But I've been getting by all season just fine using the pull start.

Jeepers... You have an O'Day. Back in 1980, we bought an early 1970's vintage O'Day 20, completely restored it and had a great 9 years with that boat named "Happy Sails." Named after my Disc Jockey sign-off song. Back then, I envied the rich guys on the twenty twos. I even installed a proper marine head, which required the user to open the deck hatch for headroom while seated on the throne.

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Old 01-09-2014, 14:45   #3
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

Scarlet, I don't know how much of a do it yourself kind of person you are, but I think the main thrust of Kenomac's post is that if you want to, you can do the job yourself. If it's unfamiliar, he'd probably give you more of a step by step set of instructions. If you have an old 2 stroke, they're pretty simple. If a new 4 stroke, you'd want to download a service manual for it.

His o/b is more pampered than ours. Ours only gets the fresh water rinse when we go up a river!

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Old 01-09-2014, 17:41   #4
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

This is one of those things that it's just too simple to pay someone else to do, only thing I would add is if it's going to sit up a number of months to fog the cylinder too, either 2 or 4 stroke
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Old 02-09-2014, 13:25   #5
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

First, don't "tune-up" your engine to store it.
What you really want to do is winterize it. Look on YouTube - there are MANY videos showing exactly what to do.

Flush, Fog, Cover, Store

Tune-up is a spring time event. A tune-up in the fall is like putting new tires on car that is going to sit for a year = pointless.
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Old 02-09-2014, 13:37   #6
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

I do mine at the end of the season which includes "tuning" and winterizing. That way I know come spring its just gas and go. The biggest thing that I strongly recommend is before you take it out of the water put fresh gas in the tank treated with Stabil. Run the engine for several minutes to make sure the stabil has made it through the engine and then take it out for servicing.

I treat every engine I have like this and if you use double the dosing the fuel can stay good for up to 2 years. Whether it be my outboard, lawn mower, or chain saw when you use stabil you will not have a fuel related starting issue after taking it out of storage.
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Old 02-09-2014, 15:15   #7
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

If the outboard is mainly used in seawater, it's a good idea to remove the head every few years, for cleaning the water channels: even if you regularly rinse the motor in fresh water, the channels clog with salt over time.

Alain
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Old 02-09-2014, 17:08   #8
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I even installed a proper marine head, which required the user to open the deck hatch for headroom while seated on the throne.

Ken
I put in a portable one.
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Old 02-09-2014, 17:12   #9
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

I'm horrible with mechanics. However, I have a goal to learn these skills before we buy a bigger live aboard. I'm going to give it a try as it sounds simple enough....
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Old 02-09-2014, 17:33   #10
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
If the outboard is mainly used in seawater, it's a good idea to remove the head every few years, for cleaning the water channels: even if you regularly rinse the motor in fresh water, the channels clog with salt over time.

Alain
I just can't see this as being a useful practice.
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Old 02-09-2014, 17:47   #11
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Re: Servicing an Outboard Motor

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
I'm horrible with mechanics. However, I have a goal to learn these skills before we buy a bigger live aboard. I'm going to give it a try as it sounds simple enough....
Outboards are simple enough. Put stabil in the gas, change the oil, change the lower gear oil ,fog the cylinders (which is just spraying fogging oil in the spark plug hole which you can get at auto zone) and change the spark plugs. Every few years you should change the water pump impeller which is a little harder but very doable. Honestly you can you tube just about all of those and if you ask your local outboard dealer when you're getting parts they will usually talk you through most of those procedures.

I commend your wanting to learn those things. The more you learn about mechanics the better off you are trying to fix things on the fly when in open water.
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