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Outboard Motor Question, HELP


Ole1855

Question

I'm looking for some feedback from someone out there that is an outboard motor mechanic.

Here's my problem;

Last fall on my last fishing trip my 1984 Johnson 60 HP motor bogged out like I ran out of gas, so I switched tanks, got it started and took off again. About 1/2 mile farther across the lake it bogged out again. I checked the tanks, both had gas and the vent valve was open. The motor would start up again as soon as I would get it stopped and put it back into neutral. I fished the rest of the day but I could only run the motor at 1/2 speed.

I took it to my mechanic last night and explained what was going on to him, he said "That doesn't sound good, it sounds like you are seizing up the motor", I questioned why it would re-start and run at 1/2 throttle, his answer was, " it doesn't get too hot at 1/2 throttle". He also told me if that is what's wrong with it, he will not re-build it for me, he suggests I get a new motor. Does this sound right? I left it with him so he could check the compression to see if the cylinder walls are scored.

Please if there are any mechanics out there I'd really like to hear your opinions, because right now I can't afford a new motor.

Ole

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I'm not a mechanic, but I had a problem similar to that years back. First, try a new hose from the tank to the motor, sometimes those connections can go bad. Hope that fixes it.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I would guess water in the gas, dirty carb. plugged fuel filter or fuel pump needs new diaphrams. Do it yourself or bring it to a bring it to a differnt shop.
Start with the filter and drain the gas along long with a new spark plug and try it. If that doent do it clean and rebuild the carb and pump.
If it was overheating it wouldnt start back up till it cooled down and it wouldnt take long to cook the engine if it was running like that.

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Is this motor a VRO (oil injection system) or pre-mix? Reason I ask is there were issues with the VRO systems back around '84-'86 or something like that. Not enough oil can give you these symtoms, if not seize the motor.

If your motor is pre-mix oil/gas 50:1 make sure the oil is mixed properly. I had very, very similiar issues as you once with a '88 40 Johnson. There is a sensor (at least in my old motor) that detects proper oil mixture. Mine was very sensitive if there was not enough oil w/ gas the engine ran like yours.

I agree with the hose/bulb idea too. Have had that problem too. Simple fix.

Carbs may be gunked up, I guess it could be several issues w/ the carbs. A mechanic will have to fix that if you're not familiar with it.

[This message has been edited by CD (edited 04-10-2003).]

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Rod Holder good point.
Check all the hoses and the squeeze bulb too.

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Thanks for all thge replies. To answer several questions, it is not a VRO, I mix the gas, I also have always added a little bit more oil than is called for in a 50:1 ratio, I also had the lower unit seal change 3 years ago and had a new impeller put in so the water flow has always been real good. I put a new gas line hose on last year, I guess it could have gone bad in one season, and I checked the fuel filter and that was fine. I'm guessing (HOPING) that the fuel pump is shot and it's not a cylinder problem. I'll let everyone know when I find out.

Thanks

Ole

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It sounds like you may just be fouling the spark plugs. try new plugs as well

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Im no mech either but I have a friend that has a sim motor, his was VRO converted back to mix yer own, his acted up just as yours and it turned out to be the sensor that detects overheating. its worth checking anyway.

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I am by no means a mechanic nor do I claim to know anything about outboards, but a friend of mine had this same thing happen to his motor last summer. He has an OMC that is about that same age (I believe OMC built Johnson or vice versa around that time). He needed to have his motor rebuilt and it cost him a couple of grand to have it done. His motor was doing the same thing that yours was and it was attributed to a faulty oil pump. Appearantly they had big time problems with the oil pumps around that time.

Like I said, I am no mechanic, but like the other guys said start simple (hoses, etc.) and work from there. DO NOT use the motor until you figure out the problem as it will mess things up even more!

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I like the fuel system diagnosis as well, fuel pump, hoses. I also had a somewhat similar problem, and found that the coils were very weak, and there was a problem with the cd box. Not that that is the problem here however. I would not trust that the motor is junk, unless it has already been bored out, and is very roughed up. I would certainly try the easy things yourself before bringing it in.

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I have a friend who has a 70's vintage 110hp Chrysler that had the same problem. He replaced the fuel pump diaphrams, still no luck. Then he took the carbs off and took them apart and soaked them in strait high octane gasoline for a week. He them used compressed air to blow out all of the jets and put them back together and put them back on the engine and it was as good as new. I hope this works for you.

Wishin2BFishin

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Do the compression test. It's easy and inexpensive. You should probably have about 120 psi per cylinder, with no more than 10% variation between cylinders. If you have good compression, then you know for sure that the problem is related to either fuel delivery or spark. But if you have a cylinder with poor compression, like 60 psi, then you'll have to judge the value of the motor against the cost of repairs and what you can sell the lower unit and prop for.

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UPDATE on motor problem,

Well last night I talked to my mechanic and he had some good news, the compression was 160# on cyl. #1 and 159# on #2. So now it should be down to some problem with the fuel system, definitely cheaper!!! YEAH!!!

I'd like to thank everyone for their input.

Ole

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I had a similar problem with my 1974 10 horse merc. The problem was bad points. Fairly inexpensive to install new points, now runs like a charm. Best of luck!!!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Ole1855 Your mechanic should have looked into a fuel problem from the very beginning.
This guy is either boning you or is inexperienced. Either way he's on the clock and your paying the bill. Find a different shop.



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I would not say that it is wrong to check compression. If it has bad compress., the motor will not work correctly. This is a good first step, as opposed to paying him to check fuel systems, hoses, and everything else, only to have a blown motor. Or the cost of a new this and that, to find that the motor is no good. ONce they put the parts on, they are YOURS! If you have not seen a compression test performed, it takes just a matter of minutes. It sounds like this may be a friend of his that is doing it on the side or something, or they would already have it running.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

max rpm
"That doesn't sound good, it sounds like you are seizing up the motor" Thats the quote from the mechanic.
A mechanic is like a Dr. You look at the symptoms and make a diagnosis.
Any shop charging 70 bucks an hour better have a mechanic that can make a correct diagnosis 95% of the time. When you've experienced most the problems out there related to engines its a no brainier.
Will this mechanic get this motor working right? Im sure eventualy. Tick-Tock

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surface tension, i would say that the mechanic was right with his initial procedure. I would say that he was very lackiing in what he said. Telling someone that their motor is blown up and not fixable is a heart stopper. I have talked with several places, and guess what their first thing to do is when a motor isnt running right? Check compression. You can not properly adjust a motor that has bad compression. Call around and ask for yourself. I would wonder however, why he would stop? Go ahead and find the problem. It may have been a friend doing a favor for him, if not, probably pay for a whole hour, or amount anyway, should have done more.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Maxx he said mechanic and 70 bucks an hour.
Hey if he has a buddy looking at it then how could anyone complain if it takes him a while to figure it out.
.

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Final update on motor problem.
The problem ended up being located in the throttle controls, when you push the shift/throttle lever all the way to full throttle, there are two wires that were getting pinched and would short out causing the motor to die, and when you brought it back to neutral they wouldn't touch allowing the motor to re-start.

Surface Tension, when you mentioned the $70/hr. rate, you were the first person to bring that up, not me, besides his rate is less than that. He is by no means cheap, but not $70/hr.

Ole

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Ole1855, this is one of the best reasons I have seen to use a professional mechanic. You got almost 20 responses and had you done all of the things suggested you would have many hours of your time and many hundreds of dollars invested only to end up with the same problem. I think it is great that you had so much help with your problem but the fact remains that a professional will find and fix only the problem. This will save you money in the long run. Granted not every mechanic is good, but a good one will save you money in the long run. grin.gif

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Yeah, but kwkfsh, he wanted "feedback". We are not actually there with the motor in our face to find the problem first hand. wink.gif

The key is if you don't have confidence fixing it yourself and trouble shooting, pay a good mechanic.

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I realize he wanted feedback and he got great feedback. the problem is that all of us with myself included are giving feedback from a somewhat limited base of knowledge. Whereas a marine mechanic has been schooled and factory trained( hopefully ) and has an experience based knowledge that far exceeds ours. Many times it is cheaper to pay this person $70 an hour to fix it than it is to do it ourselves

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Surface, I my post I said he got great feedback, I don't see how that is a slam. When I talked about a limited base of knowledge I stated "myself included". So if I slammed anyone I slammed myself as well. I have listened to many people complain about the rates marine mechanics charge and then spend weeks or more of valuable fishing time trying to save a couple of bucks. I firmly believe that if you cannot figure it out quickly it is best to take it to a pro. My input was designed to save people time and money and aggravation. I do not know how you come up with my attitude sucks. I think maybe you should reread the posts again. I have never seen you react so venomously before, so I assume you are just having a bad day. grin.gif

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Look in the tank with a small flashlight. If there is water in the gas you will see globs of it rolling around on the bottom. Helps to be in a dark garage.

Don't smoke while you do this.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

CD Hit the nail on the head. We cant look at the motor. All we have is symptoms and come up with a diagnosis. Ole wanted feed back, should we have said go pay a mechanic?

kwkfsh Your post isn't helpfull in any way. This passive aggressive crap of yours isn't welcome here. You slammed myself and a lot of of other people that are trying to help.
I think you could have some good stuff to offer this forum but your attitude sucks.




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First off I want to thank everyone for their responses, the reason I first asked for help was to see what everyone else thought, because I wasn't sure I agreed with the mechanics initial diagnosis.

I picked the boat up yesterday and took it right to the lake to try it out, and it ran great, so I guess I'm happy with the end result even if I didn't like writing out the check to pay his bill. The reason I say that is he re-built the carborators thinking that was the problem when it ended up being the wires being pinched from the coil that was killing the motor. I questioned his approach to trouble shooting and his response was "Well they needed to be rebuilt anyway", next time I need work done I will be going else where.

Thanks again for everyones help.

Ole

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

kwkfsh It may have been a bad day and I apologize for giving it to you with both barrels. I see now that I could have been nicer about it.

Ole Its always the stupid little things that go wrong, Whoda thunk it was a couple loose wires.
Nothing wrong with getting the carbs cleaned. Its preventive maintenance. One or both could have been a little dirty. Your motor could have been running lean but still running great and you wouldn't know it till you cooked a piston.
Now you have peace of mind.

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