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Old 17-10-2016, 17:37   #1
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Location: Prescott, AZ
Boat: American Mariner 24'
Posts: 22
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, 18:00   #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, 18:11   #3
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
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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, 12:25   #4
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Location: Prescott, AZ
Boat: American Mariner 24'
Posts: 22
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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