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-   -   Laid the aux. engine on the wrong side! (

swami maximus 03-02-2008 12:24

Laid the aux. engine on the wrong side!
While traveling over the summer I left my outboard at my parents house, in upright position, attached to a stand. Upon my return, my engine was neatly tucked away elsewhere. My father in his ignorant but goodwilled interests thought that it would be better to get it out of the blazing sun, and tuck it under a tarp (or at least thats what I am telling myself, he could very well gotten tierd of the sight and tried to get it out of the way). The end result is that the oil leaked all over the places, and throughout the inside of the engine. And now it wont start. There is a little red light that blinks everytime I try to pull the cord to start it. I don't have lots of money to spend on a mechanics 90$US an hr income. Any of you out there know what I need to do? I took it all apart and dried it out once before, during one of my own mis calculations (search the forums for the story). Do I need to take all the parts apart and dry them out?
Any advice would be great.


SkiprJohn 03-02-2008 13:09

Aloha Maximus,
Can't remember what kind of outboard you had. I assume it is a four cycle. The oil will have drained into all the areas where it shouldn't be so it will need to have all those areas cleaned up and dried out. Probably not permanent damage but it definitely won't start until cleaned up.
Good luck.
You posted about polynesion double hulls earlier. Have you checked out Wharrams?

swami maximus 03-02-2008 13:24

Mercury 4 stroke, yes. I have not checked Wharrams before your mentioning of it, thanks for the heads up.
As per the cleaning of the engine, how should I clean out the oil in the hard to reach places? Is there a particular solvient that I should use? I dunked the engine once before (ripped off my transom-think the poor beast is cursed, or maybe its myself) anyway, had to take all the parts out and clean them and get the water out of it all. Will it be pretty much the same process?

johneri1 03-02-2008 15:17

If it were mine, I would dry everything I could get to by hand with a rag, removing covers and such. You may now have an oil-fouled spark plug(s), new one(s) can't hurt. Fill the oil (needless to say). Unless something electronic has been oil-soaked, you probably haven't hurt anything.

SkiprJohn 03-02-2008 17:10

Aloha again Swami,
Yes to what Eric has said and count on the carb being fouled with oil too so you should drain the carb, get new fuel and try to start. Solvent such as carb cleaner (laquer thinner) (acetone) can be used but sparingly. They will disolve paint so be careful.

Celestialsailor 06-02-2008 00:13

Just had the same thing happen with my 4 stroke Tohatsu. There are pictures on the engine how to lay it down. I forgot and stuck it in my dock box and you guessed it...oil everywhere.
Take the plug out, pull it through 20 times. clean the carb with a rag and empty the float bowl. There will be oil in it also. Put a new plug in it. Replace the lost oil and it should start up. It will smoke like a 2 stroke for a few minutes but no big deal. I'm sure you're right about your Dad...He was tired of looking at it.

ssullivan 06-02-2008 02:27

And why is it people like these 4 stroke outboards again??

Seems like a rather inelegant design if it can't even take being stored on its side.

sluissa 06-02-2008 04:53

well, if it's the same design as mine, there's one side you can store it one and one side you can't.

But I sort of tend to agree, if the one I had didn't come with the boat and seem pretty reliable for now at least, and new ones weren't so expensive, I'd probably consider replacing it, but my tohatsu 4 stroke(same design as the mercury from what I'm told) really is a nice little thing. about 6 hours of motoring on a gallon and a half of gas.
Just don't let it see this, it might get indignant and start cutting out on me at bad times. I really do like it. It's just a little big and bulky(6 hp).

Pblais 06-02-2008 07:18


And why is it people like these 4 stroke outboards again?
Look at it this way the same thing would happen if you parked the RV upside down too:)

My 4 stroke lawn mower has the same problem. Oil fill on one side and gasoline fill on the other. To dump the oil you need to run down the fuel level. To dump the fuel you need to first dump the oil. Do any of that backwards and it's a mess.

Vasco 06-02-2008 07:38

Many folks who switch from 2 strokes to 4 strokes have this problem. They don't realize you can usually only lay 4 strokes down one way. 4 strokes are becoming more prevalent down here in the Bahamas but most don't like them as they're difficult to tinker with when they act up and heavy.

zephyr4 06-02-2008 08:23

To answer your question: WD-40 is an excellent solvent for cleaning most grease and oil.

Good Luck!


Alan Wheeler 06-02-2008 13:20

Yep WD-40 or an engine degreas'er in spray can form. Don't use water to wash, just let the degreas'er to evaporate and dry on it's own accord.
4 stroke's should be stored with spark plug up if you need to lay them down.
Remove the plug and ensure the oil is not in the upper cylinder. That is why you don't lay them plug down. Ensure the plug is clean and dry of oil.
Do not spray degreas'er inside the cylinder. If it is full of opil, pour petrol in an flush out.
The little light maybe oil pressure warning. It will posibly go out when engine is running and has oil pressure. Although my genset is the opposite, but it is Chinese.

salient 06-02-2008 13:48

I'd suggest the red light is a low oil level indicator rather than oil pressure indicator. The reason it won't run is that the ignition circuit is grounded until there is a safe level of oil in the crankcase.

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