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Old 16-03-2014, 00:59   #46
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pirate Re: Mercury 3.5 hp outboard woes

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Glad you got it going. I have a 3.3 2 stroke with an overflowing fuel bowl. I'm not worried...
Cleaned my carb. Solidified ethanol granules in the float bowl had the outline of where the engine had sat on its side for awhile in the past. Didn't even need to make a new gasket! Varooooom. 45 minutes.

How are we going to get rid of ethanol?
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Old 16-03-2014, 06:53   #47
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp outboard woes

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Cleaned my carb. Solidified ethanol granules in the float bowl had the outline of where the engine had sat on its side for awhile in the past. Didn't even need to make a new gasket! Varooooom. 45 minutes.

How are we going to get rid of ethanol?
Just add in the fuel stabilizer and you'll be fine, and maybe start the engine once a month are so. I'm still using the gas from last October that's in the internal tank. I have 2 more gallons from then in the external tank but I did pour in a little sta-bil into both at the time. No problems.........

Fuel Treatment by STA-BIL - Automotive Fluids by Zoro Tools Industrial Supplies
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Old 16-03-2014, 07:14   #48
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

You can douse a 2 stroke with salt water and your chance of recovery if you clean it up is excellent my experience is don't expect the same results with a 4 stroke when its been under salt water.
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Old 16-03-2014, 07:19   #49
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp outboard woes

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How are we going to get rid of ethanol?
TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME - RE-ELECT NOBODY.

As long as lawyers practice science by decree, we are doomed.
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Old 16-03-2014, 07:21   #50
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

I have another way to clean small engine parts. Former neighbor is a jewelry repair guy. We put the carb for my antique Mustang in his ultrasonic cleaner - WOW.
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Old 16-03-2014, 08:11   #51
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pirate Re: Mercury 3.5 hp outboard woes

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Just add in the fuel stabilizer and you'll be fine, and maybe start the engine once a month are so. I'm still using the gas from last October that's in the internal tank. I have 2 more gallons from then in the external tank but I did pour in a little sta-bil into both at the time. No problems.........
In theory, sure. In practice, it doesn't seem to work that way for most folks. My two stroke engine is new-to-me, and I predict it will now run cleanly for a very long time with non-ethanol fuel at a slight cost in hassle and dollars. Plus it annoys me to pay these ever-higher prices AND have to add stuff to it.

In fairness to all the corn farmers on CF, in the pre-ethanol days, we still had to run carb bowls dry or suffer with varnish deposits. Bottom line, it's foolish to leave fuel in carbs for long enough to begin breaking down. I am, I know, preaching to the choir here.

There are quite a few measures of happiness but one of them for me is having power equip start right up first or second pull.
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Old 16-03-2014, 08:21   #52
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

My 2011 4 stroke 5 hp Mercury pushes my boat. I've started motor sailing a lot as of late last year. The boat is a 1974 6600 lb Bristol. The engine is high or very low on a bracket. I've run the crap out of it.

I finally did some maintenance this year: engine oil, lower unit oil, impeller, bought fuel filter but did not replace, didn't replace the plug but have a spare as well.

This engine hasn't missed a beat, but I am old enough to remember chokes on old farm trucks and lawn mowers, etc so I know how to start it.

My last resort is rebuilding the carb if there is a problem. The couple times the engine didn't seem to want to start I hooked up the external tank and blasted in some fuel with the squeeze bulb. Engine started right up.

I normally just use the internal tank for leaving the slip, but if i'm motoring back across the bay during the wind lulls around 10am I'll hook up the external tank for the 3 hour tour (all usually on autopilot)

I'm thinking some of you guys just like taking things apart.

These 4 strokes engines are much better than the 2 strokes and they don't foul the plug(s) either like the old 2 strokes used to do.

Btw, I only started adding the STA-BIL because everyone said I would have a problem with the ethanol fuel. I never did but why take the chance.
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Old 16-03-2014, 08:27   #53
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

I have the same 4 stroke 3.5 Merc. It was running fine when I hung it on my stern rail 6 months ago.

I like to use my oars for the pleasure of the exercise and the convenience and have let the outboard set way to long I am sure.

I fully expect to have the same ordeal as yours soon. Not the engines fault. All mine.
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Old 16-03-2014, 08:36   #54
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp outboard woes

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In theory, sure. In practice, it doesn't seem to work that way for most folks.
I'm thinking you are right there.

I had 8 or 10 crappy 14'-16' power boats as a 16-24 year old. The engines were usually 1960's vintage 25-40 Johnson or Evinrudes. (although I did have a 55hp 4 stroke Homelite that I used out of Morehead City, NC. in 1976)

https://www.google.com/search?q=home...iw=960&bih=481

You tend to learn start up methods after a while when you get tired of sitting out in the bay (or ocean) especially when the fish ain't bitin'

Same with old lawn mowers when you earned your money that way back in the day and it was hotter than hell.

Folks today are used to electronic ignition etc and I'm thinking this has a lot to do with the problem. Their cars just start right up, and they are not used to chokes, external tank hoses and bulbs, switching between internal and external, etc.
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Old 16-03-2014, 08:50   #55
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pirate Re: Mercury 3.5 hp outboard woes

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I'm thinking you are right there.
Think I may forward this to the ex ... she's a new grandma ... probably feeling old... heh heh.
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Old 16-03-2014, 10:39   #56
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

Update. I still don't have a fuel filter installed and I have to take off the cover to open the fuel shut off valve (since I can't seem to get the #&#@*! valve installed back in it's little hole!) but after sitting for a couple days, she started up on the first pull. The motor revs nicely, although I think it's running just a tad rich because the motor will start to bog slightly if I give her too much gas too quickly. Looks like I need to adjust the pilot mixture a bit. But I took her up to her max and it sounded like she's running just fine. She also idles nicely.

I need to find an in-line fuel filter that will fit the small fuel line, install it, then I'll be ready to take her out for a spin on the dinghy.
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Old 16-03-2014, 10:48   #57
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

Pull the fuel line going into the fuel tank and see if there is a filter there. Had this problem with a 2.5 Yamaha. Just wash it off with some dish detergent. I finally got tired of pulling the tank which I couldn't do floating around and eliminated it and put in an in line external filter that I could change just taking the cover off.
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Old 16-03-2014, 10:52   #58
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

I found my filter at a NAPA store they said it was for a lawn mower. It was about the size of 4 quarters stacked together. Sorry I don't have the number.
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Old 16-03-2014, 11:13   #59
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

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Pull the fuel line going into the fuel tank and see if there is a filter there. Had this problem with a 2.5 Yamaha. Just wash it off with some dish detergent. I finally got tired of pulling the tank which I couldn't do floating around and eliminated it and put in an in line external filter that I could change just taking the cover off.
There was a filter in the main fuel line but it was crushed. That was likely part of my problems. I suppose I could install a new one but I think that the motor might run better with a higher flow filter.
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Old 16-03-2014, 11:43   #60
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Re: Mercury 3.5 hp Outboard Woes

I also have one of these. It ran like crap the first two years. I ran it hard the 2nd year and now it works great. They seem to take a while to break in. I store mine standing up and be sure to transport on the side with the lugs on the cover. If you don't you will get the oil problem. Put it back together put it on the dink and go run it for several hours. Make sure its making water...seaweed easily fouls these....it will get better.
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