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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-25-2006
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out of gas

Hello Sailnet readers/writers...I am in need of some good advice. Last week I bought an old Catalina 22 with a (fairly) new Honda 9.9 4 stroke (like 2003) which on motoring the 10 miles from home port to my dock stopped twice when I tried to advance the throttle. At my dock I drained the 2 1/2 gal tank (no water or dirt) and charged it with fresh regular unleaded gasoline, rechecked the oil level (clean and full) and the next day I started the motor again. This time it ran only for about 30 seconds with the choke on full then quit and would not restart. The next day the same thing happened and I noticed that I could not ease the choke off without the motor quitting even sooner than the 30 seconds. It seems not to be getting enough gas...or maybe enough gas but not for long enough. The fuel filter under the motor cowling next to the fuel pump appears clean though I have not removed it. I wonder about the fuel hose from the tank to the motor but it looks good. The bulb gets tight when I pump it. What do you think? Thanks very much for the needed advice. ewjili
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Old 11-25-2006
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Have you pulled the plugs to see if they're fouled?

Have you checked/changed the oil in the engine if it is new to you?

I would also change the fuel filter and try blowing air through the fuel line to see if there is any kind of obstruction in it.

The four-stroke Hondas are great little outboards, and I've been very happy with the 20HP one I have on my boat.

Last question...is it getting sufficient cooling water?? Does water come out the cooling water ejection port?
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Old 11-25-2006
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Also, if it sat for some time idle but full of gas (even over one winter could do it) there could be some blockage of jets and ports in the carb that can cause the symptoms described. (Just occured to me that newer Hondas may be fuel injected? - if so ignore this last)

In any event it does sound like a fuel supply problem. If the filter is new and the lines are clear, keep looking.
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Old 11-25-2006
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I was also wondering about the jets. If they are the problem, a good cleaning of the carb should do the trick.
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I believe they're still carbureted, but haven't looked at mine to be sure.
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Old 11-25-2006
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Thanks to Sailingdog, Faster and Jotun for your quick replies...to answer your questions:

Yes I did check the oil...clean and full

Yes I checked both fuel filters...clean like new

Yes it is getting enough cooling water if the tell tail is any indication (3/16" steam and cool)

No I haven't pulled the plugs since it ran like a top (though at a low throttle setting) for 2 1/2 hours last week and it runs for approximately 30 seconds as smooth as silk (with the choke full on) when I wait 4-6 hours after it has shutdown. In the first 10 seconds or so of run time it will die if I try to lean it out by decreasing the chock but there is a mild gas odor after it dies.

Could this be a carburation problem? Would putting some ethanol in the gas tank be a quick a dirty solution or the beginning of another problem?

Thanks again sailors for your kind attention and consideration of my problem.

Regards to all...ewjili
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The carburaters on outboards are not complicated, and the problem is likely a solid piece of something that's found its way into a jet. Ethanol may not do anything for you. Most of these jets are removable/accessible once you have the carb on the bench.

Carefully disassemble the carb, keep track of what went where, try to keep the seals and gaskets intact. Check that all the jets are see-through clear and clean (round).

Chances are you will find something there.
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One more thing you might check. The fuel hose often looks good generally, but if you look carefully at the couplings, it might be badly cracked. It doesn't take much air in the line to stop the flow of fuel. Inspect all the hose connectors carefully. You can often make a temporary repair by cutting an inch off the deteriorated end of the hose and putting it together again.
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Old 11-25-2006
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I am not familiar with this particular engine but based on past experience, it could be a sticking carburetor fuel float lever...this is especially likely if the engine has had gas in it for an extended period of layup and laquer forms. Solution is to pull carburator and remove and clean fuel bowl in bottom.
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Change the fuel filters regardless. If the gas had been in the tank for very long you could precipitate out additives, as well as condensation which can produce schmutz (high-tech motor term.) The choke and higher rpm issues sound just like a fuel supply problem. Get a spare fuel filter at the same time as one load of bad gas can plug one just when you need the motor. Ignore outward appearance of fuel filter; the type of stuff that will plug it won't necessarily be visible. When you remove it, blow through it as well as the new one, and I'll bet you see a significant difference. There is no fuel pump on this motor, to the best of my knowledge, unlike your car, so shmutz has a much quicker effect on fuel delivery. Try this first! If you're going to tear apart your carb I'd recommend that you have someone with you that has done it before; there are lots of little essential parts in there with springs etc and you can have an interesting winter figuring out what you lost or didn't put back correctly.
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