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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #31  
Old 11-27-2009
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Always run the gas out of the engine at the end of EVERY boating day and eliminate 90% of your carburetor problems. Virtually all complaints about a carburetor problem are related to fuel evaporation out of the carb rather than anything related to the alcohol in the fuel. Is alcohol in the fuel a good thing. No, it is not. But it has nothing to do with with the jets and ports being clogged shut. The use of a "fuel stabilizer" will not help with evaporation and a stabilizer that does have an anti-evaporation component to it does so by putting a film over the fuel. That film can react with water and form a gel which will then clog your carburetor(s). Just run the gas out or use the drain on the bottom of the carburetor and you will increase the interval between needed cleanings.
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  #32  
Old 12-01-2009
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Success! Success At Last!

After taking almost all of the advice that I could from the Sailnet crew, I finally got everything I needed together in one place.

We rented a car to go see friends over Thanksgiving and emptied the ethanol gasoline which I had for the dinghy into the rental car - I didn't know what else to do with the stuff.

We bought fresh, non-ethanol gasoline.

I disassembled (again) the carbureter. And cleaned it with carb cleaner. I let it soak for about three hours.

Put it all back together. Put it on the dinghy. Filled the tank. Started it up, adjusted the idle. AND IT WORKED! It idles slowly. I can put it into gear. I don't have to roar up to the boat or dock and try to time it so we don't ram or come to a stop too soon and drift away in the current, cursing and frantically trying to restart.

I am so happy I did a little dance and damn near spilled my rum.

Thank you everyone for all of your help, advice and concern. Super bunch of sailors!
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  #33  
Old 12-01-2009
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I have the 2hp version of the Tohatsu motor. the manual states on p4 that

alcohol in the fuel eats the rubber and plastic parts and any damage is not covered under the warranty.it also states it will cause starting, idling and other problems. Finally it states not to use any gas over 10% ethanol or 5% methanol.

Funny, never read that until I saw this post. Sure glad I don't deal with methanol where I live....
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  #34  
Old 12-01-2009
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Seafoam is NOT fuel stabilizer. Sta-Bil would be the #1 brand of fuel stabilizer, and it works very nicely. While Sta-Bil is largely naphtha, basically gasoline stock, the "secret" ingredients in it actually stabilize the gasoline compounds. (Gasoline typically is blended from 60 different components.)

Seafoam is a mixture of "IPA" isopropyl alcohol, light mineral oil, and naphtha. In other words, alcohol to clean things and "explode" to steam clean the cylinders, gasoline stock so it keeps running the engine, and extra oil to lubricate the parts which the alcohol has just steam-cleaned and left bare of lubricant.

You can make up your own mixture to do the same thing, read their MSDS and you'll see the proportions. Personally? I can't see any reason to use it unless you are trying to use that steam clenaing to blow out carbon on engine valves, or something like that. And, even a pot of old coffee will do that.

Ethanol in gasoline is, and for many years has been, not only normal and common but required in much of the US. I'd be really surprised if a Tohatsu engine could not run on standard E10 (10% ethanol) gasoline, and consider it unsuitable for use or sale in the US market. Was this a gray-market engine not sold by an authorized US dealer?

Gasoline without 10% ethanol is impossible to find in many states. You can buy "100 LL" aviation gasoline at many airports--but that's also LEADED fuel, and you can expect to pay $4.50/gallon for it. Some marinas might carry "real" gasoline...but unless you live near one, that's something you can't expect on any regular basis. (And I went looking for it, because the "winter" E10 blend really kills mileage in my car, but in some states "real" gasoline simply won't be found at any conventional gasoline station.)

Personally...I'd break it down again, make Real Damn Sure everything was surgically clean and correct on the reassembly. If rubber parts were left in contact with fuel over the winter, or fuel that was not stabilized was left in the engine more than 90 days (pump gas breaks down after 90 days), it might just need a good cleaning, some rubber replaced, or something may have been assembled just a bit off.

Using E10 shouldn't be the problem though. Not if you follow the "rules" about using it up or stabilizing it, and not if the engine was sold for the US market. You should be able to contact Tohatsu directly to ask them about using E10 in the engine. Tohatsu Outboards: Authorized North American Distributor for Tohatsu Outboard Motors, Parts, & Accessories. should get an answer for you, for sure.

Last edited by hellosailor; 12-01-2009 at 09:29 PM.
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  #35  
Old 12-02-2009
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Don't think is was gray market. Purchased it at Boater's World in Annapolis during their 'going out of business' sale. But it says (as mentioned earlier in this thread) in the manual that you shouldn't use E10 fuel.
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  #36  
Old 12-02-2009
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I missed the quote from the manual. Have you asked Tohatsu where they expect you to find "E-zero" gasoline in the US these days? Or if they have a retrofit kit available to deal with E10?
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Old 12-03-2009
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Ya have to read a newer manual
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  #38  
Old 12-03-2009
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I just sent this request to Tohatsu:
":Bought the Tohatsu 4 stroke 8 HP new last spring. The problem seems to be it does not like E-10 gas. I've had to disassemble and clean the carburetor twice in the last month to clean the slow idle jet. It is difficult to find straight gas without the ethanol. We are cruising on our boat and can't always get ashore to get fresh fuel for our dinghy. Any adjustments, fixes, additives, suggestions to help the problem? "

And got this response:

Hello Mr. Macdonald,

Try adding the correct amount Fuel Stabilizer made by StaBil to your next tank of fresh fuel. This should prevent the problem you are describing.

Keith Vargen
Product Support
Tohatsu Outboards
Nissan Marine
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  #39  
Old 12-03-2009
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Larry,

FWIW, I have used "Berrymans B-12 Fuel Additive" for over 30 years in older and newer cars, 2 and 4 stroke outboards and motorcycles and have never had any of the problems you described or any other for that matter. As mentioned earlier it is vital that you drain the carb if it is not going to be used for more than a month or so. Don't ask me how I know this. No affiliation with Berryman's products, use at your own risk. This is hot stuff, will melt some plastics and paint.

Dabnis
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Old 12-07-2009
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Unhappy 8 hp Tohatsu idling problem

I am docked in Sanford FL and have the same idling problem. The difference is that I only use fuel with no ethanol from my marina. The motor is a 2006 that I bought in September. It has been used very little. The problem could have come from before I owned it but that would not explain why it was idling fine before I traveled for 10 days over the holiday and will not idle now. Before I start taking the carb apart I am investigating possible air leaks from the fuel connections which don't seem to be authentic Tohatsu.
This may not help your problem but the possibility of picking up dirt from the tank makes the filter addition a very good idea too.
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