Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
thomas15

Worse season ever

Recommended Posts

I spent a considerable amount of time and money preparing for this season. So to that end I collected a lot of new baits, in particular topwaters and swim baits, tackle storage and two new rod/reel set ups. Made a list of things to do to the boat before the fishing got started.

Some of the tasks that I really wanted to accomplish were to replace the housing on my TM, install a new FF, mount a new pitot for the spedo and replace the impeller in my outboard. I tried to do the impeller last season (the third season I had the boat) but couldn't get the shift linkage to separate. I decided to not take no for an answer this spring and soaked the linkage and used heat and it began to turn but finally it broke the horizontal shift shaft in the motor cowl. So, from there I ordered both a new vertical and horizontal shaft, two weeks passed before I could resume.

To get the to the horizontal shaft I had to remove the carbs. Even with that it took a bit of coaxing but finally I'm ready to start the motor. Hit the key and it wouldn't start. I figured out that I damaged one of the carb gaskets so I ordered another. Two more weeks pass before I'm ready. 

Once on the water the motor is running horrible at idle. So I try to adjust the carbs but cannot get it, then I get a mechanic to adjust them, running better two more weeks later. I use the boat twice, for an hour each time. I'm not happy with the motor so now I'm going to find out just exactly why it is running so bad.

I replaced all of the fuel lines, quick connectors and clamps from the fuel tank to the carbs. This took 3 or 4 weeks because I had to order some of the connectors and I'm short of free time. I get all this together and installed and still it's running poorly at idle. So I attached a pressure gage and clear tube to the fuel line after the fuel pump (I had rebuilt the pump two years ago) and found that I didn't have enough pressure and still had some air leaks. So I rebuilt the fuel pump again. And installed new spark plugs and dumped 16 oz of seafoam into the fuel tank.

Put all this together and still not as good as I want so I finally bit the bullet and soaked and rebuilt the carbs. I hate carbs by the way. But I did it and reinstalled then, made a few slight adjustments and finally the motor is running up to my expectations.

I know this is a long rambling rant. I've been fooling around with the boat from mid-April to the end of July, it really killed the season for me. Now I have to get out and fish, which I'm going to do starting this weekend. Hopefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!  After reading this, I'm glad I had someone ELSE replace my impeller.  My motor has other similar woes to yours which still have to be addressed.  I, too, am not very happy with how things have gone with my motor.  If I were just made of money, I'd just go out and buy a new (larger) 4-stroke and be done with it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One positive did come out of the experience. I've always worked on my cars and pick up trucks and have accomplished major engine repairs and have a lot of tools. My experience and understanding of 2 cycle marine motors was limited though. All this has now changed. My outboard is not some old and beat up machine, it's in good shape and ran fine last year so I had a hard time dealing with this years issues.

I had a real aversion to taking the carbs apart. Actually,I found out that there really isn't that much to them. I purchased one of those gallon cans from Auto Zone that you dunk the carbs into and let soak. They are $30.00 more than I wanted to spend but worked nice. I'm going to keep gasket sets on hand and in the future at the first sign of trouble I'm going to tear them down.

My motor (a Mercury 50 HP) uses zip ties as clamps to hold the fuel lines under the motor cover. These are special zip ties made for this specific job and do a better job of completely sealing the hose to the barbs.

I also found out that the tachometer on my console is not reading correctly. I'm trying to get the idle down to 900 RPM and the motor is stalling. I purchased a hand held lazer tach from amazon for $15.00 works great. I'm happy with 900 RPM but once I get it on the water and verify that all is well I'm going to go a bit lower in steps.

One other good thing is I know that my fuel lines are all new and in good shape. What I'm striving for is a few good trips on the water to build up my confidence in the machine so that I can take a few trips to one or two large lakes some distance away and not worry about the motor giving me fits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is why I take my boat work to a professional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually if you can work on your own stuff it is easier to gain confidence in it. Also there can be a good bit of satisfaction in it as well. The thing you did right is to address the repairs in complete system repairs. What I mean too often people try one thing and then later do something else. If you are chasing a suspected fuel system issue then start at the tank and end at the carbs.  I recently suspected I had similar issues with my 75 Merc 2 stroke. I started at the tank,, removed the  aluminum protective pieces and found Lowe had left the clamp loose (sliding up the fuel line) I replaced all of the fuel lines (this is on a 2010 boat that must run e10 most of the time) from the tank to the deck fitting and from there to a new Johnson brand primer bulb ( I found they make a better primer bulb than others) to the engine. I have already installed a new fuel filter and complete fuel line/fuel pump kit and so the entire system was upgraded. Next I replaced the spark plugs and the ignition wires ( the engine is a 2000 and they were original). Lastly I replaced the original poppet valve, thermostats and water pump.I installed fresh lube in the lower end.  I found the engine idled much better and I could actually see when the poppet valve was opening on the water pressure gauge.  I fish a lot and not only here at home.  Annually we run 14 to Kentucky or Tennessee and I had complete confidence in the engine during vacation.  Some of my work could have been do later but by doing it all at once it completely eliminated it.  I also had to learn how some of the engine systems had changed over the years, none of my outboards ahd a poppet valve or used high volume water  pumps like this one. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something else to think about...  Most times when someone says their having their worst year they just blew an engine up!! Not had to do some maintenance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fishnkamp, you are correct in that it's not that I cannot afford to have repairs by a service marina, it's generally not rocket science and I want to know my motor, not have my mechanic on speed dial especially when I'm 2 hours from the launch ramp. The next time I replace the water pump it will take 30 minutes because I know how to do it now and when I put it back together I did it correctly.

Part of the problem for me is I want the motor to run as near to perfect as possible. I could have forced many trips this summer with a rough idling motor that stalls at weird times or some other performance issue but I'm fussy and as you say I want to have confidence in my motor. I don't want people staring at me at the ramp because my motor sputters and farts. I want to be the one doing the staring at others that have this problem and around here that's about half the boats on my local lake. The reason I posted this thread is because if this problem is happening to me there must be others having the same or similar and you know misery loves company.

It's running good now finally. I can idle it at about 750-800 RPM and run the boat at 2.4 MPH for an hour and still have plenty of fuel pressure. On the other hand I can still get my full 5500 RPM and this pushes the SS Minnow at an amazing 34 MPH. I think there is still a bit of room for improvement with respect to getting the mixture screws perfect but I'm happy at this point.

One thing I have discovered is one of my three (6 gallon) fuel tanks doesn't work right. I think the problem is the vent on the cap but the motor doesn't run properly with the cap very loose. So I'm just gonna pitch it and move on.

As an unrelated comment, a vehicle towing a Tracker that looks to be fairly new, actually brand new, pulled out in front of me this evening and got on the turnpike. The launch ramp is 3+ miles from this interchange and yet this boat was still spilling out a tremendous amount of bilge water. I cannot conclude otherwise but that the operator had one heck of a lot of water in his boat. I don't know much about boats but I do know that they are made to be on the water, not filled with water. I never have water in my bilge ever, I'm thinking about filling the well with water to make sure the bilge pump still works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea and maybe he had a brain fart and forgot the plug or has a cracked hose possibly feeding the livewell.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is he forgot the plug. We all do this at least once but the time I did it I figured it out before I got the boat off of the trailer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing

    fishing poles

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×