Modern Outboard Engine Repair Tips

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Modern outboard engines have come a very long way, whether you are talking about the now-common four-stroke or modern DFI motors. In both circumstances, reliability is much superior than it was in decades past, fuel efficiency has improved, and issues such as smoky exhaust and ear-splitting noise levels are ancient history. But that doesn't mean your new outboard is infallible. In fact, there are a few common problems with contemporary outboard motors which crop up again and again. These can leave some people sitting at the pier, needing instead of fishing. For those folks who understand the quick fix solution, however, these problems are easy to take care of.

PROBLEM: Your engine cranks and cranks, but not attempts to capture.

This might be due to a range of reasons (before you do anything check to make sure the shifter's in neutral, naturally ), however if it doesn't even appear to attempt to grab, there's a fantastic chance your emergency look-up switch has gone bad. It behaves like the lanyard clip has been pulled off, and it prevents the engine from firing. If the change is mounted horizontally in a spot where water can pool and lead to harm, this can be a particularly common and annoying matter.

Quick Fix: Get into the back of the switch board, and take a look at the cables. You're looking for the black one with a yellow stripe. Disconnect this, and attempt the key --there's a good shot the motor will fire right up.

PROBLEM: The tell-tale isn't spitting water.

This can result from a busted water pump impeller, that will require service. But more often than not, the problem arises because the tell-tale is obstructed with grit, mud, or a bit of seaweed the motor picked up. If you do not understand which is the cause, you'll need to pull the ship and head for the mechanic. Bummer.

Quick Fix: This is a whole lot simpler than it sounds, provided that you've got some fishing line . Opt for the largest diameter line which fits into the very small tell-tale hole, and thread it as far as possible. Then twirl the line between two fingers. Since you twirl, attempt to work it farther in. Once you're convinced it won't go any farther pull the line out, and start the motor up. After three or four attempts if there is no flow, blame the impeller and call it a day. But more often than not, following this therapy the tell-tale will be spitting water again.

PROBLEM: The engine is starved for fuel, and won’t start.

This occurs over and over again, because most quick-disconnect fittings that attach the fuel line to the outboard are just plain cheap. Same goes for the barbs that attach the matching and the gas line, and/or the hose clamps which secure them. With time, every one these connections have a tendency to begin leaking or let air to get sucked in.

QUICK FIX: First, squeeze the ball as you watch the fitting between the engine and the line, the barb along with the hose, the barb on each end of this ball, and if it's visible, the fitting between the line and the tank. You need to isolate the leak, and seal it. If there's no observable gas leak, the ball might be sucking air; squeeze it again and again along with your ear next to each connection, as you listen to get a gurgle. Once the leak was isolated, you might be able to repair it by cutting a portion of the gas line and re-attaching the barb or matching with a new piece of hose, or by simply replacing a hose-clamp. When the fitting itself has gone bad, you can occasionally drive it into one side or the other to temporarily get the motor running. As soon as you do so, the draw of this motor is often enough to keep the stream of fuel moving.

PROBLEM: The motor stalls in neutral, at idle, just.

When your outboard begins right up, begins running applied in neutral, but shuts down the minute that you come back into idle speed in neutral, the matter is likely to be a sticky or broken AIS (automatic idle speed) valve. This valve controls idle rate by regulating air consumption, and as soon as it gets stuck in the wrong position, it can close you down cold.

QUICK FIX: You want to wash or replace the valve; replacing is the favored option, since once the valve fails you, it always seems to get stuck again at any stage in the future. This is not a tough task, but most people will need their mechanic to handle it. Meanwhileyou can save your journey by starting with the throttle slightly sophisticated in neutral, and bringing the throttle back as near idle as possible without going into idle. In most cases, you'll be turning around 700 RPM. Then change into idle then straight into forwards, without any hesitation or pause. It may take a few tries, but if you do it quickly enough, you can get the engine into forward while it is still running. Once it is in gear and running, your problems are over (throughout the RPM range). Just remember not to shift back into neutral, or the motor will cut out again. And obviously, shifting this fast can be hard on the engine; it's okay to do it once or twice to save the day, but before taking the boat out again get that valve repaired.

PROBLEM: The engine ran fine for some time, but then it closed down and won't re-start.

When you attempted to squeeze the ball in the gas line, you discovered it had failed? That collapsed ball signifies that an inability to draw, which is most often caused by blockage in the fuel tank vent.

Quick Fix: It's amazing how often people forget about this port, and it ends up to be closed. Open up the screwthread, and the motor should start running just fine. If you are on a boat with a installed tank, then you want to inspect the tank's vent. Mud wasps are usually the offender, in this circumstance. They creep up the vent, construct a nest, and then shut you down. And a couple weeks later be sure to check your gas filters, that may have picked up a number of their nest's leavings.