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Old 09-14-2012
ShoalFinder ShoalFinder is offline
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

Forgive me if these things have already been stated, but a few things to narrow your search:


2 stroke is a pain in that you have to mix oil with the gas. That means you need to keep 2 stroke oil on hand.

2 stroke motor is lighter for the same HP than a 4 stroke will be.

2 stroke motor can be laid down on its side without oil running out of the motor and all over the place. 4 stroke usually cannot.

4 stroke motor is more complex (valves, timing, etc.) 2 stroke is pretty bare bones design.

2 strokes can be a serious PITA- they hate stale gas, they tend to be cold natured, carb filter / fuel pump filter (side of carb) gets dirty quicker. Spark plug gets fouled when your mixture gets off, then the *$%^* thing won't start or won't run under load.

2 stroke can't be left sitting with gas in it for long periods of time. The gas turns to Aunt Jemima syrup in your carb. As I said, you'll get good at carb work with a 2 stroke.

DO NOT run ethanol gas in your 2 stroke. You can get away with it at times, but you'll spend a lot of time cussing your motor for running badly / choking out with no good explanation. Ethanol is the debbil! These little motors also run rubber fuel hoses. Ethanol eats those.


If you are mechanically handy, a 2 stroke can be had on the cheap but like any 2 stroke you'll spend time wrenching on it. You'll get good at doing carbs. If you one day end up with a gasoline generator, now you'll have to tote around two separate gas cans if your kicker is a 2 stroke. With a 4 stroke they can share gas.
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