Maintaining an outboard - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 63 Old 07-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Maintaining an outboard

I just got a Mercury 6 HP an I like to have on hand every piece of repair and maintenance item I'm likely to need so when I need it I don't have to go searching for it.

This is what I have acquired so far:

Two bottles of stabil
bottle of seafoam
two bottles of motor oil
one tube of lower unit oil.
One tube of grease
Impeller
Spark plug (came with boat)
Emergency starting cord (came with boat)
Wax
Zinc

I ordered or will get later:
Fuel filter
Manual (freakishly expensive)

What else could I reasonably keep in stock?

What kind of maintenance can reasonably be performed on an engine like this in the field and what tools would I need to perform it.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
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post #2 of 63 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

I have used a Mercury , 4 stroke very heavily for a number of years. I have gotten very good at stripping and cleaning the carb. You need a couple of screwdrivers - larger Philipps and a smallish flat. Also you need a socket and handle to take the plug out along with a gauge for the gap and some fine emery paper to clean the plug. Those are the main things other than an occasional oil change. I think you are in fresh water so you don't need to flush the engine.
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post #3 of 63 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

I have a 6HP Tohatsu 4 stroke, same engine, I think. Sounds like you have it covered. The fuel filter is clear so you can see if anything large may be plugging it up. I carry a pint container in case I have any problem with the tank, hose or fittings.

If you feed it a spark plug once in a while, change the oil when it starts looking dark, it should run well for a long time. To avoid being sprayed with gas when disconnecting the fuel line at either end, loosen the filler cap to bleed off the pressure that builds up in the tank. The cap vent only vents inward until about 5 or more pounds accumulate.

Suggest you drain the carb if it isn't going to be used in a few days.

Paul T
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post #4 of 63 Old 07-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

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Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
I think you are in fresh water so you don't need to flush the engine.
I'm in Long Island Sound.
Salt water.

Thanks for the advice.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #5 of 63 Old 07-19-2014
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Maintaining an outboard

I'd get muffs even in fresh water. They are inexpensive, ease maintenance, and allow you to drop things on the ground instead of into the water.

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post #6 of 63 Old 07-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

[QUOTE=dabnis;2026706
Suggest you drain the carb if it isn't going to be used in a few days.

Paul T[/QUOTE]

I run it dry.
Is that just as good or better.

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post #7 of 63 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

I have the same engine and it's durable but a real PITA. Mine needs the carb taken off and rebuilt every month.

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post #8 of 63 Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I run it dry.
Is that just as good or better.
Draining gets as much gas out as possible. running it dry will leave a small amount of fuel in the bowl. Run it dry & then open the drain to see how much.
I have had a number of outboards, both 2 & 4 stroke since ethanol gas came to be. I have always drained the carb and used this additive:

Fuel Additives / Treatments | Berryman Products

I have had no fuel related problems except for the time I forgot to drain the carb on my Honda 2HP 4 stroke which was my fault. The float bow was full of debris.

If you drain it on the boat, suggest you place as rag under the drain to catch the drain screw if it comes all the way out.

Paul T
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post #9 of 63 Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

Good list...when cruising for the dingy outboard, I'll bring a spare prop too incase I hit something...shear pin if it's got em, most new ones don't.
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post #10 of 63 Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Maintaining an outboard

Tohatsu makes the mercury power head here a link to the tech manual download Tohatsu Outboard Motor - Owners Manuals. also I would recomnd getting a flushing plug for it
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