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Old 15-01-2022, 09:04   #1
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Water in fuel, now won’t start

I have a 2009 25 horse Yamaha 4 stroke outboard.
It stopped running the other day. Some investigation found water in the fuel. Wound up filtering out 2 gallons of water from the 5 gallon tank. A cracked flange on the fuel gauge sending unit was the culprit.

Due to crappy weather by the time I figured out it was water it had been sitting in the engine for 4 days.

So now I have drained all the fuel from tank and carb. Pulled the plugs and let the whole thing dry out. Started with fresh fuel. But when I put it all back together it does not fire at all. Even with either sprayed in the air filter.

I do get spark at the plug wire.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
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Old 15-01-2022, 09:19   #2
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

When you pulled the plugs did you see if they were wet? Try drying them with a spray of ether. Check if the plugs are sparking at the electrode.
If you have good plugs and spark, then I think you’ll need to remove, disassemble and clean out the carb .
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Old 15-01-2022, 09:22   #3
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

Did you check the inline filter(s) and pump? These will hold water as well and foil your file system unless they are drained as well.
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Old 15-01-2022, 10:55   #4
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

Start with spark plugs removed so as to completely clean the fuel system. Let dry when completely clean. Put sparkplugs back and retry.
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Old 15-01-2022, 11:09   #5
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

You did not mention changing the fuel filter. Water will make the element fuel-repellent.


Clean the carb. Very likely some corrosion started and broke loose, or the water loosened something.



But in both these cases ether should have made it run for a few moments.



As others have said, if there is still water in the hoses you will keep wetting the plugs until all of this is dry. Drain some gas from the carb bowl into glass and see if it separates. It may not be dry yet.



---


I'm assuming this was e10. It only takes a small amount of water to get all of the ethanol to fall out.


--- with e10 especially, portable tanks need to be covered. As you learned, the tiniest leak is fatal. Even a fabric cover will help.
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Old 15-01-2022, 12:24   #6
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

You're going to need to pull the carb(s) and thoroughly clean them. Get a jet cleaning tool if you don't have one.
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Old 15-01-2022, 12:36   #7
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

somewhere on those little carbs is a tiny fine mesh filter....it's small...about the size of a matchhead....they can get gooped up....they are hard to see as it looks just like a gooped up part of the carb...if you are running E10, good chance it's gooped up...

I've had the same frustration as you....taken carbs off and cleaned them every which way..but still no start....I ended up taken them to a small engine repair shop..where they soak the carb pieces in a 45 gallon drum filled with ???.....whatever it is, it cleans everything.....$25 for an overnight soak....worth every dime in my book.....put the carb back after that bath and engine ran like a swiss watch...
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Old 15-01-2022, 17:38   #8
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

I think I've figured it out.

Short answer is soaked plugs.
Even though I put them in the oven for several hours to dry them out, I think the insulator had absorbed water and was shorting, so no spark.

I found new plugs at the next island over. Installed with some oil in the cylinders and a shot of quick start (ether) in the cylinders and air filter and it fired.

I had earlier pulled the fuel line and put a new bulb and line into a known good gas can. I got it to run for a few second that way, but quickly died. I had also previously pumped all the gas out of the tank and filtered out the 2 gallons of water mentioned earlier. I put fresh gas as well as a cup or so of alcohol (to act as a getter for the water)into the tank. Pumped the old bulb and lines into a bowl until I saw the clean gas coming through. drained the filter and carb again and reconnected everything. I pulled the new plugs out again to let dry again, sprayed everything with some oil then some ether.

This time it fired and I could keep it running with a shot of quick start every few seconds and eventually it did not need that any more. ran smoothly for 15 minutes, until I stepped on the bow to get in and put the cowling back on at which point it died. I think there is somehow a small amount of water still in the carb bowl. In the morning I will tilt the motor up and drain the carb then put it at different angles trying to make sure I get every last drop to drain and try again.

I'm still worried I may have stirred up some crud and may need a carb rebuild. will address that in the morning also.

I expect to have it running well in short order.

Thanks for the help!

Ken
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Old 15-01-2022, 17:42   #9
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

I forgot to mention, on this old motor there is no fuel filter! what it has is a bowl with a screen, fairly course. I think it is supposed to act as more of a water separator than an actual filter.

I'm going to try to add an inline filter, but now sure I will be able to do that here on the out islands very quickly. Next time I'm in a town with a hardware store I will try to get a filter to add.

Ken
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Old 15-01-2022, 18:22   #10
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

Be very wary of starting ether use in small motors. It messes with the oil on the cylinder walls and can cause damage if not used sparingly. Wd40 can be used as it has some lube value and works as a starting aid
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Old 16-01-2022, 10:49   #11
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

While you are working on the engine you may want to fog the cylinders with some light oil. Ether will strip away oil.
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Old 16-01-2022, 17:49   #12
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Re: Water in fuel, now won’t start

When you get it going again open it up full throttle and hope that will get the rest of the water out.
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