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Old 14-02-2013, 19:47   #1
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Do All Outboards Pee?

I have a 1988 Johnson 2 stroke 4hp outboard and it doesn't seem to have a telltale. It isn't peeing. I've checked the impeller and am in the process of tracking down a thermostat (which I think it may not have). As I follow the piping I see that the water seems to go up an intake and then directly into the engine and finally thru an exhaust tube. But the normal peeing that I am used to on other outboards doesn't seem to be happening. I've stopped the engine b/c it doesn't pee. Only a small amount of water runs thru the exhaust. Is this normal?
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Old 14-02-2013, 20:08   #2
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

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I have a 1988 Johnson 2 stroke 4hp outboard and it doesn't seem to have a telltale. It isn't peeing. I've checked the impeller and am in the process of tracking down a thermostat (which I think it may not have). As I follow the piping I see that the water seems to go up an intake and then directly into the engine and finally thru an exhaust tube. But the normal peeing that I am used to on other outboards doesn't seem to be happening. I've stopped the engine b/c it doesn't pee. Only a small amount of water runs thru the exhaust. Is this normal?
I dont know about this engine but I resently sold a bunch of honda outboards and the older ones "peed" and the newer ones didnt....air cooled and water cooled ones, I guess.. I had 100 of these engines and didnt keep a single one,Im smart like that,good luck
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Old 14-02-2013, 20:19   #3
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

Some outboards won't pee if anybodys looking.
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Old 14-02-2013, 20:25   #4
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

If this is a long shaft outboard, check to make sure the tube going up to the motor from the waterpump has a good seal and acually lines up with the pump. Also find the outlet hose in the engine cover and try to back flush it and see where the water comes out.
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Old 14-02-2013, 20:44   #5
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

No,they do not all show a water stream. My Suzuki 2.5 will only do that if cranked wide open. Might be the same for a 4 hp motor. I would call a dealer if you can.
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Old 14-02-2013, 21:25   #6
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

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I have a 1988 Johnson 2 stroke 4hp outboard and it doesn't seem to have a telltale. It isn't peeing. I've checked the impeller and am in the process of tracking down a thermostat (which I think it may not have). As I follow the piping I see that the water seems to go up an intake and then directly into the engine and finally thru an exhaust tube. But the normal peeing that I am used to on other outboards doesn't seem to be happening. I've stopped the engine b/c it doesn't pee. Only a small amount of water runs thru the exhaust. Is this normal?
If it has a teltale fitting then it should pee, if no fitting then probably not.
I second the suggestion to contact a dealer.
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Old 16-02-2013, 11:28   #7
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

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Originally Posted by Ray4Man View Post
If this is a long shaft outboard, check to make sure the tube going up to the motor from the waterpump has a good seal and acually lines up with the pump. Also find the outlet hose in the engine cover and try to back flush it and see where the water comes out.
Most failures to pee if not impellor or waterpump related are caused by bad/disconnected/ or blocked lines. Most are solved by using very small drill bits (1/16) inserted into tell tell and remove blockage. Most likey bug/wasp related.

Dont forget to check the water input on lower unit. These can get blocked as well drill works here to especially for wood.
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Old 16-02-2013, 11:38   #8
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

That 4hp should pee . most often it is the little plastic tube or the alum casting being clogged. The salt clogs it if not used regularly. pull the little tube off and make sure it's clear and use a drill bit by hand or copper wire etc to clean out both end fittings. It's funny, I have bought 3 outboards real cheap.....up to 25 hp Yamaha..... at yard sales with "cooling problems". All 3 just needed that tube cleaned out! Bought the 25 Yamaha for $300 and sold it for $800! 15 mins work.
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Old 16-02-2013, 11:45   #9
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

My 8HP Yamaha 2 stroke had so called peeing problem, AND IT ALMOST OVERHEATED! Yes, I changed all the pump parts which solved nothing.

I found my problem to be salt build up in the cooling system. I was able to get some improvements by injecting vinegar into the hole where water flow should be. That helped some along with using a wire to poke inside the hole.

Since then the Yamaha is resting comfortably in my basement after I got a good deal on an almost new 8HP Mercury 2 stroke. A friend had a similar problem with an old Evenrude. He fixed it by removing the power head from the shaft assembly where he found a lump of salt plugging the free flow of cooling water. Someday when I find nothing to do, I will pull the power head from mine and search for stoppages.

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Old 16-02-2013, 11:48   #10
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

Most outboards have the "pee" indicator which is to let you know that they are being cooled. Sometimes debris gets caught in the tube. Take a 1/64 inch drill bit and hand turn it inside of the hole while the engine is running. That should clear out the debris.
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Old 16-02-2013, 12:51   #11
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

Yours should! I've got one just like it and it does. It stopped for awhile and I hosed out the appropriate hole with freshwater and it started acting the way it should again. They will get salted up. The hole you want to reem out is toward the side of the engine and it's best to get a manual if you can find one. So you don't starting hosing in the wron area.
kind regards,
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Old 16-02-2013, 13:23   #12
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

I have the same twin cylinder Johnson 4 HP two stoke. It pees.... Check for a blockage..
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Old 17-02-2013, 06:10   #13
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

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I have the same twin cylinder Johnson 4 HP two stoke. It pees.... Check for a blockage..

His 1988 motor might not be the same as yours; I also had a 2-cylinder 2-stroke 4-hp Johnson, and it was from 1972. My newer Johnson is a 1-cylinder 2-stroke (newer, though, and actually made by Suzuki).

For the OP: you might be able to download schematics -- and you can certainly get outboard parts -- from boats.net.

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Old 17-02-2013, 07:49   #14
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

Check for blockage first. I had an Evinrude 9.9 HP that quit peeing one day. I cut if off thinking it had a water pump failure and rowed back. Took the peeing line tube apart and found a little rock had got sucked in and just blocked the hole.
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Old 17-02-2013, 08:00   #15
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Re: Do All Outboards Pee?

A couple feet of weed whacker plastic line is great for poking into the hole and clearing any obstructions.
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