Can't get my rabbit ears to work - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-08-2010
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Can't get my rabbit ears to work

So I bought my first boat, a 1981 Hunter 25, two weeks ago. It has a Honda 9.9 4-stroke outboard. I've taken it out under motor and sail a few times in salt water and had a great time. No troubles.

I looked into outboard motor maintenance and found that it's a good idea to flush your motor with clean water after every time you take it out.

I went to West Marine and bought some rabbit ears, but I can't get them to work right. It doesn't help that I have to put one foot on the motor mount and hang off the stern pulpit and backstay in order to reach the lower unit.

I follow the instructions, place the ears directly over both sides of the water intake, and turn on the hose to medium pressure. When I crank the motor up, it doesn't pee. As soon as I dunk it down in the water, a strong, steady stream comes out.

If I turn the hose up as high as it will go, I can sometimes get a weak, spotty stream to come out. Against my better judgment, I even hung down while the motor was running and fiddled with the rabbit ears. Can't get a reliable stream.

It may be possible that these rabbit ears are too big for my motor. They are the smallest my local West Marine had in stock, but I still think the ears are a little big and they are a little too far apart to get much of a seal over the intake.

Anyone have any advice for using rabbit ears? Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2010
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hi Gaso

I have the same problem with several outboard that i take care of. rangeing from 9.9 to 60 Hp. You are on the right track, just turn the hose up all the way and hopefully you will get the water level in the lower unit housing hi enough for the pump to pick it up. If you find a clamshells that is made for the smaller motors let me know, id like one as well.

Mitch
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Old 10-08-2010
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I have a Mercury 6 and was able to buy a flush kit for it (Mercury brand). It works fine but I have to remove the prop since the intake is just above the prop shaft. It does not get flushed after each use, although we tend to use the motor most days when we are cruising. If we are going to be leaving the motor for an extended time we do flush. Perhaps you should look for a flush kit for your particular model rather than a generic one?

I wonder how many people actually do flush every time?
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Old 10-08-2010
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i dont even try to use my rabbit ears that i have i use a 5 gallon bucket on my 8 hp honda i tie a rope arround the top of the bucket and let the hose run slowly into it to keep water level above cav plate those ears dont really work to good on small outboards.
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Old 10-08-2010
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Thanks for the suggestions. That is a good idea, newhaul. I might try it. I wonder how big of a bucket I'd have to get to fit around my prop.

I'll look into a flush kit for my model also.

Killarney, I did ride with a coworker the other day who I believe flushes his every time. He has a center console powerboat with a 150, though, and it has a special hose connection for flushes so it's real easy.

Last edited by gasolino; 10-08-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-08-2010
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actually its not the prop thats the issue you need to measure from back of lower unit to front of the cav plate any bucket that will fit there will fit around the prop thats what i suggest to most of my customers.
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Old 10-08-2010
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Same dramas with a 3HP yamaha. Gave up on the 'rabbit ears'.

I use a half filled 20L (ex plastic paint drum) bucket and hook it over the stern rail, with leg of outboard in the fresh water. When cruising, I do this only when happy we have heaps of water - obviously.
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