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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somewhat ashamed to write this, hope others may benefit from my mistakes.

I am not an expert on anything but over the years I have owned & worked on 10 outboards, large & small, 10 off road motorcycles, many cars & trucks, both gas & diesel powered.

Background:

My son in law commented that his 1984 Evinrude 35 HP 2 stroke was running "poorly", at times. When we gave it to him, about 3 or 4 years ago, I suggested he use a fuel additive & drain the carb if the motor was not going to be used within a week or so. He did neither. He finally took it to a shop, who he said they "checked it out". After that the motor continued to run "poorly"

He said it would troll fine but would stumble & die when given full power. He also said he had changed all the fuel hose fittings & couplers about a year ago.

Thinking the shop had cleaned the carb, which it had not, I said "Carb that can't be cleaned" which I had a prior experience with, & ordered him a new $400 carb.

New carb installed, motor sounds exactly like it is running on one cylinder, suspect bad coil. Wrong, good fat spark from both coils. Long story short, discover O ring on motor side of fuel hose connection is slightly deformed.
Replaced with spare hose, problem fixed. Duh!!

Later, took old carb apart, which was perfectly clean inside, cleaned & blew it out on a clean towel & found nothing. Was it dirty? probably not.

My mistakes:

1. Assuming the shop had checked everything out

2. Jumping to the conclusion that the original carb was dirty

3. Not firing up the engine before installing the new carb to establish a "base" engine sound

4. Not taking my own advice to start with the easy & cheapest things first, work from the outside in.

5. Did I say jumping to the conclusion that the original carb was dirty?

Thought that maybe the shop would have caught that? However, my fault.

Paul T
 

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In Puerto José Banús, I spent a whole day tearing apart an inboard gas engine's electrical system, on one of those beautiful all mahogany Riva yacht tenders. At about 4PM, I was concluding a wasted day, as I had not found the problem and I'm a no cure/no pay worker. Being thoroughly depressed and tired, I thought I'd give it one more shot. I pumped the throttle, wiggled the gear shift... wait a minute, did the gear shift click? Yep. I turned the key and the engine roared to life. All that work only to realize the gear shift had not been in neutral and for sure that engine was never going to start like that! I charged the guy for half an hour, but the cost of drowning my sorrows that evening far exceeded my income that day. Always check that the gear shift is in neutral, FIRST.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In Puerto José Banús, I spent a whole day tearing apart an inboard gas engine's electrical system, on one of those beautiful all mahogany Riva yacht tenders. At about 4PM, I was concluding a wasted day, as I had not found the problem and I'm a no cure/no pay worker. Being thoroughly depressed and tired, I thought I'd give it one more shot. I pumped the throttle, wiggled the gear shift... wait a minute, did the gear shift click? Yep. I turned the key and the engine roared to life. All that work only to realize the gear shift had not been in neutral and for sure that engine was never going to start like that! I charged the guy for half an hour, but the cost of drowning my sorrows that evening far exceeded my income that day. Always check that the gear shift is in neutral, FIRST.
Ah, I feel a little better now. :D

In the past, I have offered suggestions about "do the easy things first".
On this one, for some reason, I jumped to an inaccurate conclusion & stayed with it.

My wife has commented that at times I become "overly focused" on something, & suggested that I make sure there is fuel in the tank before ripping the engine out.

Paul T
 

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I've spent some time over the past 10 (yikes!) years tracing a refrigeration problem on our boat. Worked great on shorepower and with the engine running, but not so good when on just the batteries. After doing everything, except playing with the refrigerant, I found a loose wire right at the module, one I'd installed myself a while ago! DOH!

Richard Kollmann just wrote a great piece over on Crusiersforum.com about how 99% of fridge problems are electrical and not refrigerant related.

He's right.

Don't mess with your refrigerant until you sort out the electrical first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have found the trouble shooting sections of a good shop manual are pretty good. My mistake, thinking I knew it all, was to not read them first. I have made some other mistakes over many years, but none that cost me $400.

In this case We were just about ready to take the new carb off & put the old one back on. I said to my son in law "we have been looking at this too long, lets go have lunch & get away from it for a while"

After lunch I said "Lets fire it up one more time." In doing so, I noticed the primer bulb wouldn't firm up & could hear a hissing sound. "Ahah" the fuel hose coupler was damaged.

Sometimes it is good to stop & think, then go slowly.

Paul T
 
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