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

Hi all,
I'm extremely new to sailing and have never had much experience with mechanical/electrical things of any kind, including automotive. So I'm hoping I'm just doing something wrong and it will be an easy fix! If not, well, it's a good opportunity to learn, right?

The problem is that my partner and I recently bought a Catalina 27 with a Honda 9.9hp motor. It sat for about a month without use. We read through the manual and then went out to see if we could get the thing started. We were able to tilt it down properly and pull out the choke, set the lever correctly, etc.

But then when we pulled the starter, it wouldn't even turn over. I'm pretty sure we were pulling it fast and hard enough, although, as I said, total newbies here!

Help?

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

first did you have the kill switch clip connected. does it have gas in the tank, did you connect the fuel line, did you pump up the squeeze bulb on the fuel line. is it in neutral, it will only start in neutral
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

What he said. Also, make sure it's in the water too. It is not what is preventing the start but it does need to be in the water to get proper cooling if it does start.

Put fresh gas in it too. Those motors don't like old stale gas.
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

All of those things were done properly. I'm not sure how old the gas is, since it came from the previous owner. Could be an issue. If that's it, is it normal not to get anything other than a click when you pull the starter?
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Is it electric start, or are you pulling a rope? If it's electric and you hear a click, that's not normal. If it's a rope, it should spin the motor, not click. If it's not in neutral, I think the rope might just pull out and not engage the flywheel?

Or is the motor seized? It should spin when starting.
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

I could be sending you the wrong way here, but gas with ethanol has been a problem on a number of outboards that I know of when the fuel sits for more than 30 days. The ethanol starts to separate out and will cause havoc. Easy to test, get a fuel sample from the huel hose feeding the engine, and pour it in a clean container. Compare it to how it looks versus clean fresh fuel. Then let it sit for maybe 45 mins and see if it separates.

If this is the problem, you'll probably need to clean out the carburator (or injectors), and replace the old fuel with new one.
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Save yourself a lot of frustration and find a good outboard mechanic and have him give it a once over and tune up. If done right it should start with a pull or two.
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by themerryonion View Post
All of those things were done properly. I'm not sure how old the gas is, since it came from the previous owner. Could be an issue. If that's it, is it normal not to get anything other than a click when you pull the starter?
You can't get a "click" by pulling the starter. Tell us if it ELECTRIC start (PUSH a button) or manual start (PULL the starter rope with a handle).
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Maybe see if you are getting spark? Remove the plug, ground the base, put the cap back on & pull hard. You should see a blue/white spark across the gap. If you have good spark, squirt a little bit of gas in the plug hole, put the plug back in, pull hard and you should get a pop or partial run for a few seconds.

If that happens, it is likely that the carb needs a thorough cleaning. Once you get it running, suggest you drain the float bowl if you aren't going to use it in a week or so.

All this assumes the tank is venting properly and that your primer bulb is getting fuel to the float bowl. You can loosen the drain screw on the carb to see if gas flows out when you squeeze the bulb.

Paul T
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Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

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).
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