Outboard School Tuition: $55

The kicker we got with our boat would not start.  It would fire, run for about 3 seconds, and die.  Then I would pull and pull and pull and it wouldn’t start.  If I tried an hour later, it would fire for the 3 seconds, die, and the same story as before.  I thought it was the fuel pump because it seemed like it was starved for fuel.  I bought a new one for $55 and replaced it.   It seemed to help a little because it would fire more often, but it would not stay going. So I started looking at the carb.  I drained the bowl, and found that it would not refill by squeezing the bulb.  I had fuel to the fuel pump, so it was the carb it seemed and not the fuel pump as I thought. I cleaned the carb as best I could without pulling the float and needle valve, and put it back on and still no fuel to the bowl.  Now, it was getting serious, so I pulled off the float and needle valve.  I used to be in a constant battle with the oil stove on the Dutch Master, so I’d seen a float and needle valve.  After I got that off, I started unscrewing things that had a slot for a screwdriver (I later found out these were jets) and snooping around.  Then I went back to the house and found a youtube for the same carb.  Bingo.  It showed me a few other recessed jets to pull and other areas to pull and just blow out with compressed air and replace.  I never saw any gunk or debris, but hoped for the best.  I poured gas in the bowl when I put it back together to prime the carb, then put the carb back on and gave it a whirl.  This time, the outboard started and when I put the choke in, it stayed going.  And going.  I had the earmuffs over the water intake so I thought I’d let it run for 15 minutes to be sure it wasn’t just running on the fuel I primed the bowl with.  A cup of espresso later and the outboard was still running so hopefully  it’s fixed.  Now I have an extra fuel pump just in case it really does go out. Yesterday, I changed out the throttle cable on the 115 main Yamaha.  The engine starts right up and runs smooth but the throttle had been giving me fits.  I would flex instead of pushing the throttle wide open.  It seemed like I had to adjust the new cable further out on the threaded fitting than I felt comfortable with to make it go out to wide open but we’ll see next time we go out if it’s a fix or I should have adjusted somewhere else and end up with a good spare throttle cable. 

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