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Old 02-03-2003
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Small engine repair

I do small outboard repair and tune-up work as part of my "Mr. Fix-It" business, and I charge one heck of a lot less then the outboard repair shop next door. The shops are full of older engines that people have brought in to have repaired but were talked into buying a new motor instead. The shops actually make more money selling new stuff. Most won''t work on anything over ten years old anyway. So long as I can get the parts, I plan to keep fix''en ''em.

I''ll tell you what goes wrong with most older outboard motors. Before the Carter administration, there was lead in the fuel. Lead acts as a lubricant in a two-stroke engine and keeps the carbon from building up too rapidly in the combustion chamber. Take the lead away and the carbon builds up. For a two-stroke engine to run properly, the fuel/air mixture needs to flow into the combustion chamber in a certain way. But if there''s a carbon build up, the mixture becomes turbulent and the combustion is not happening correctly or completely. The engine starts to run like crap!

Mr. Owner replaces the plugs, and that helps a little but not much and not for long. He tries the fuel filter, the points and maybe even the coils but still it''s not right. He takes his dear egg-beater to the shop and they tell him it''s going to cost big bucks and he''d be better off if he''d just whip out the ole'' Visa and buy this nice new jobby right there.

Before Mr. Owner signs over this years, and perhaps most of next years cruising kitty, I''d invite him to turn around and face the other wall. Yea, the one with all of those bottles, cards and cans. Look for a can that is called "Engine Tuner" and for $7.00 or so, take one home. Follow the instructions on the can to the letter and you may be surprised at the results!

The stuff works its way under the carbon and lifts it away. As less carbon is present in the combustion chamber, the better the motor runs. I''ve also tried de-carboning using a sprayer of clean water but this stuff works better and faster.

Well, amazingly, thatís about all Iíve got to say about that.

Pi
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