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Old 10-22-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Sounds like it's not in neutral. No need to check the spark if the motor isn't turning when you pull the rope.
I sail.
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Old 10-22-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Take the cover off. On the top of the engine there's the carburetor
Look carefully for a small shiny brass screw.
Carefully remove the screw being extremely careful NOT to drop anything!
On the bottom there's a tiny, I mean tiny hole.
Take a fine wire and clean out that hole.
Replace and I believe it will start.
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Old 10-22-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Originally Posted by themerryonion View Post
Thanks, everyone. It's a pull starter, and we hear a click in the engine when we pull it. I know some of you said that's not possible, but that's what it sounds like. No turning over, as I said. I'll probably check the spark plugs and clean the carburetor and get new fuel (pretty sure it's not an ethanol blend).
Hi Onion,

Not to mean you don't hear a "click". If you hear it... it's there. But those of us that know outboard engines, are visualizing something else/ Thanks for the clarification of "pull start". You will be bombarded with knowledge and swags from the most experienced to the least on a forum such as this. Without going to the shop... it's got to have: air, gas and spark. When you know you have those 3 and she won't run, then it's a carb most likely.

Allmand Sail 31 #15 "Traveler"
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Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Does the pull cord come out, about a foot or so when you pull it? If not, there is an interlock that prevents that if not in neutral. We have a Tohatsu 6HP 4 stroke and the shift lever has to be in EXACTELY the right spot to allow the cord to be pulled through.

If the engine is "pulling through", with the pistons cycling properly, suggest you re-visit some of the prior posts.

Paul T
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Old 10-24-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

If you're at a marina, ask a dock neighbor for help, many if not most boaters have at least some experience with small outboards. Also, read the manual. If you don't have one, find the Serial Number on your Honda and down load it here
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Old 10-24-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Unfortunately, we're anchored. But a guy who's been giving us informal lessons is going to take a look on Monday. I'll let you know what the verdict is, just in case anyone else has a similar issue.

EDIT: Did read through the manual thoroughly. Not much help, in this case.
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Old 10-25-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start


Sorry for your issues.

I have a Honda 9.9 with both electric and pull start. Frankly the pull start puts more energy into starting the engine than the electric does so as long as you don't have arthritis or bursitis or other physical issues the pull start is fine.

The Honda carbs are *extremely* sensitive to ethanol. There are several issues. First there is phase separation in older gas - that means the ethanol separates from the gas; the ethanol is corrosive and erodes the inside of the fuel line and leads to tiny particles clogging up the carb jets. Ethanol is also hydrophylic and sucks water right out of the air, leading to additional corrosion in the fuel system and the accumulation of water in the fuel tank.

Given you description I would haul your fuel tank ashore and dump it in a hazmat tank. Get new fuel. Drain your fuel line and carb bowl. Rebuild (sorry) the carb. Start over with clean fuel and the engine should start.

Moving forward, when you are done with the engine, every single time, remove the fuel line from the engine and let the engine run out of gas. Make sure you close the vent on the tank.
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Old 10-25-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start


Catalina is a great choice for your first sailboat.
I bought a Catalina 25 with a 9.9 outboard and had problems with the carburetor.
I tried fixing the problem myself and ran into issues because the jets in the carburetor are so small.
My suggestion is to take it to a marine mechanic and spend the money to get it diagnosed and fixed up accordingly.
I spent $200 to have the carburetor overhauled and now it runs like new.
Once you do get it running make sure to add STABIL fuel treatment to each tank.
Also, disconnect your fuel line and let the motor idle until it runs out of gas.
These two practices will save you from issues in the future.
All the best.

Mr. Moon
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Old 10-25-2013
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

If all this info doesn't lead to a start possibly a kill switch failure. A bit of salt crystal grounds the spark. Was a common problem with older Hondas
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