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Old 17-10-2016, 16:37   #1
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Outboard Motor Questions

So, after months of refit on my 24’ American Mariner (electrical, fuel tank and lines, paint and non-slip all around, rigging etc…), I had the opportunity to take it out this past weekend. Just a little history, I live in a land locked state, but we have some very large lakes. I purchased this boat in May of this year and after a quick rundown and check out at the local sailboat shop, I dropped her in the water for a weekend of sailing in June (make sure she floated before writing the checks). The boat did not have a motor, so in June I picked up a cheap 6 hp Johnson seahorse of an unknown age form a local guy. I know age is important, and all I can say is it’s far from new, but not so old it looks antiquate. The motor ran fine in June and besides being a little short shafted, I was happy. After the June weekend sea trial, I ran the gas out of the motor, due to I knew it would be months before being able to sail again. I did this by placing the motor in a drum of water and once started, just unplugged the fuel line.
This past Friday night, I did my pre-sailing check, including starting the motor in a drum before mounting on the boat. It took two pulls to start after pumping the fuel line. However, it only ran for a few seconds then stopped. As I pumped the fuel line again I could hear air, so I reseated the connection. It started and ran for a minute and I shut her down and called it good.
Saturday morning, I had the shop launch her and I pushed her over to the dock. First pull the cord frayed. I cut a small section of cord off next to the handle and retied. Second pull started, but ran high rpms then stopped. I checked the connection and found that it was not the fitting on the line, but the line on the inside of the motor (backside of the male connection) that was leaking. So, bypassed both male and female connections and ran the hose direct to the motor. That solved the sucking air issue, but as I was testing the motor, it would slowly idle down and then die. I could keep it going by giving it a twist (more gas), but then once I came off the gas, it would slowly start to die again. As I was playing with this issue, attempting to figure this out when the motor made a high pitched nose and blew a large puff of white smoke. I killed the motor immediately, called the shop back to have the boat haul out of the water. So after, three hours tied to the dock I pulled the boat home with some very unhappy family members in tow (wife and kids).
Sorry for the length, but wanted to give as much information as I could.
So, the questions are:
1. Any idea what is happening? Besides the universe was telling me not to sail this weekend.
2. Repair? Replace? I hate not being able to have a reliable motor, but really cannot afford a new one, so even replacement would be used.
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Old 17-10-2016, 17:00   #2
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicalBGP View Post
So, after months of refit on my 24’ American Mariner (electrical, fuel tank and lines, paint and non-slip all around, rigging etc…), I had the opportunity to take it out this past weekend. Just a little history, I live in a land locked state, but we have some very large lakes. I purchased this boat in May of this year and after a quick rundown and check out at the local sailboat shop, I dropped her in the water for a weekend of sailing in June (make sure she floated before writing the checks). The boat did not have a motor, so in June I picked up a cheap 6 hp Johnson seahorse of an unknown age form a local guy. I know age is important, and all I can say is it’s far from new, but not so old it looks antiquate. The motor ran fine in June and besides being a little short shafted, I was happy. After the June weekend sea trial, I ran the gas out of the motor, due to I knew it would be months before being able to sail again. I did this by placing the motor in a drum of water and once started, just unplugged the fuel line.
This past Friday night, I did my pre-sailing check, including starting the motor in a drum before mounting on the boat. It took two pulls to start after pumping the fuel line. However, it only ran for a few seconds then stopped. As I pumped the fuel line again I could hear air, so I reseated the connection. It started and ran for a minute and I shut her down and called it good.
Saturday morning, I had the shop launch her and I pushed her over to the dock. First pull the cord frayed. I cut a small section of cord off next to the handle and retied. Second pull started, but ran high rpms then stopped. I checked the connection and found that it was not the fitting on the line, but the line on the inside of the motor (backside of the male connection) that was leaking. So, bypassed both male and female connections and ran the hose direct to the motor. That solved the sucking air issue, but as I was testing the motor, it would slowly idle down and then die. I could keep it going by giving it a twist (more gas), but then once I came off the gas, it would slowly start to die again. As I was playing with this issue, attempting to figure this out when the motor made a high pitched nose and blew a large puff of white smoke. I killed the motor immediately, called the shop back to have the boat haul out of the water. So after, three hours tied to the dock I pulled the boat home with some very unhappy family members in tow (wife and kids).
Sorry for the length, but wanted to give as much information as I could.
So, the questions are:
1. Any idea what is happening? Besides the universe was telling me not to sail this weekend.
2. Repair? Replace? I hate not being able to have a reliable motor, but really cannot afford a new one, so even replacement would be used.
It sounds like the carb float is sticking and perhaps the jets are a little clogged. This is very common after sitting.

  1. take the carb off. Probably a couple of clips on the linkage (chake and throtle), fuel line, and 2 bolts.
  2. Take off the carb bowl and clean with carb spray cleaner. Focus on the jets.
  3. Clea the bottom of the carb, focusing on the area around the needle seat. Focus on the jets.
  4. Do not take anything else apart this time.
  5. Put it back together.
Use an anti-corrosion additive going forward. Merc Store n Start is one of the best. Also Biobor EB.


About the best thing I ever bought my boat is a can of Biobor EB.



IF that doesn't work (15 minute job), then take more apart and do a better job.
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Old 17-10-2016, 17:11   #3
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

As the owner of many chronologically gifted Johnson outboards over my years on the water, I totally agree with thinwater.


Go carbie.


Depending on the model you may find a nice big brass drain plug on the bottom/front of the carbie, (15mm or thereabouts from memory) which, when removed, will release what was probably previously attached to the inside of your now totally kaput fuel lines (yep, they dried out and shed goodness knows what when you correctly stored the outboard dry of fuel). The bonus is that now with an electrical style screwdriver (narrow head, thick point), you can remove the main running jet pickup through the drain plug hole. The jet will almost certainly be full of whatever previously lined the fuel lines.


So... in addition to the advice from thinwater, I would replace the fuel lines.


After that, all you will have to deal with is the probably buggered cooling impellor at the foot, the tendancy of the gear selector push rod to sieze in the aluminium bores, the dog clutch failing to engage in forward gear and a slight tendency to overheat randomly.


I LOVE my old Johnson outboards.


Matt
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Old 18-10-2016, 11:25   #4
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Thank you for the responses. I am really not skilled in motor repair, I will attempt to clean the carb. this weekend. It sounds like, I should at least attempt repair as opposed to replacement at this point.
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Old 22-03-2017, 04:59   #5
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

I have an old mercury mariner 2.5 hp 2-stroke outboard and the carby is flooding (i think). After all kinds of googling (I am a novice at fixing outboards and not that flash at finding things on the net) I think maybe I need to adjust float hinge (not attached to float on this model) but cant seem to find specs to show proper angle...
Does that make any sense??
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Old 22-03-2017, 05:49   #6
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Instead of wasting all your time trying to fix an old outboard, it may be time for a new one especially if engine repair is not your thing

You then can get a long shaft or extra long shaft outboard.

I have a 5hp 4 stroke Mercury 25" Extra Long Shaft Outboard on my 6600lb 27' Bristol Sailboat and it's been working fine for 6 years.

This engine also has an onboard integral fuel tank so you do not need to hook up an external tank unless you will be using the motor more than 45 minutes to an hour

I just changed the plug and fuel filter this year for the first time. I change the oil 1X per year both crankcase and gear oil

Other than that I add Sta-Bil to the fuel that's left in the tanks over the Winter

2017 Mercury 5 HP 5MXLH Outboard Motor - Mercury 5 HP Outboards - Mercury Outboards - Outboard Motors
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Old 22-03-2017, 09:06   #7
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Instead of wasting all your time trying to fix an old outboard, it may be time for a new one especially if engine repair is not your thing

You then can get a long shaft or extra long shaft outboard.

I have a 5hp 4 stroke Mercury 25" Extra Long Shaft Outboard on my 6600lb 27' Bristol Sailboat and it's been working fine for 6 years.

This engine also has an onboard integral fuel tank so you do not need to hook up an external tank unless you will be using the motor more than 45 minutes to an hour

I just changed the plug and fuel filter this year for the first time. I change the oil 1X per year both crankcase and gear oil

Other than that I add Sta-Bil to the fuel that's left in the tanks over the Winter

2017 Mercury 5 HP 5MXLH Outboard Motor - Mercury 5 HP Outboards - Mercury Outboards - Outboard Motors


Thank you for the advice, this is actually what I did. I picked up a Nissan 9.9 extra long shaft with less than 30 hours on it. Its a 2013, but looks new with electric start and an alternator for charging the batteries. I hope to take it out this weekend.
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Old 22-03-2017, 17:40   #8
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbenji View Post
I have an old mercury mariner 2.5 hp 2-stroke outboard and the carby is flooding (i think). After all kinds of googling (I am a novice at fixing outboards and not that flash at finding things on the net) I think maybe I need to adjust float hinge (not attached to float on this model) but cant seem to find specs to show proper angle...
Does that make any sense??
Bbenji,

The float angle is unlikely to be the problem, and certainly any subtle bend would most likely only cause a slight change in power or perhaps slightly trickier starting.

I would first confirm that the float is actually floating. Particularly a problem with old outboards where either the plastic has hardened and cracked or, if really old, the cork has become saturated.

But before that, what makes you think the carby is flooding? Does it dribble fuel even before you try to start the engine or are you getting a strong smell of fuel when you pull the starter cable?

Matt
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Old 23-03-2017, 03:04   #9
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Even though you got a new motor, if you want to fix up that old Johnson -- just for fun, or for the education -- Max Wawrziniak's book "Cheap Outboards" is a great guide. I've used it to fix up an old Seahorse 7.5HP, and learned a lot along the way.

https://www.amazon.com/Cheap-Outboar.../dp/1891369628
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Old 23-03-2017, 08:58   #10
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

On old outboard motors there are many things effecting fuel. Often the adjustable fuel needles are scared and won't give a proper setting. There are build ups from the fuel in any place is passes thru. You'll end up spending too much time and money fixing something that isn't worth it.
When I was 7, I got to run a boat & outboard on a daily basis. I decided there was no reliable 2 cycle outboard. Now I'm nearly 70 and nothing has changed my mind.
Just because it ran last year doesn't mean it will run this year. If you go to a boat shop it's usually a $300 problem. Or more.
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Old 23-03-2017, 09:09   #11
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Re: Outboard Motor Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
Even though you got a new motor, if you want to fix up that old Johnson -- just for fun, or for the education -- Max Wawrziniak's book "Cheap Outboards" is a great guide. I've used it to fix up an old Seahorse 7.5HP, and learned a lot along the way.

https://www.amazon.com/Cheap-Outboar.../dp/1891369628
The 6hp is in the shop now, I had planned on keeping it around (just in case). That's an interesting book, I might have to order that.
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Old 23-03-2017, 14:52   #12
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Outboard Motor Questions

90% or better of small motors float level can be set close enough if adjusted so that when the carb is held upside down the float is level.

The advice to make sure the float is not full of fuel is good advice. If hollow, shake it and listen for liquid, the black solid floats I guess you have to weigh or maybe put in gasoline and see how well it floats?

Brass ones can be de-soldered, drained and re soldered. I had to do just that on my old little airplane, as a float for it is impossible to find at any cost.
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