Got a call at my Mom's house from a gentleman wondering if I still worked on boats. Seems he saw my name/town on here and figured he just give it shot by calling numbers in the phone book. FYI, I have no problem with that.
Anyway, sort of a sad story, he's got this 16' Alumaweld with a 85 90hp Jet on it and nobody in the area will work on it. I hate that but I do understand it. Well, the short version is that I called him back and decided I'd see if I could help.
I went to his house today to have a look and found the most pristine 85 I6 I have ever seen. This motor litterally looks like new. Everything he told me about how it acted when he started having problems told me it was a fuel issue and then I noticed there was no fuel filter. The Autoblend had been removed before he bought it a few years back but I guess they didn't notice the fuel filter so they didn't put one back on it.
I pulled off the lower fuel line to the fuel pump and it drained seveal large grains of sand/dirt into my palm. I pulled the upper and the same thing. I then pulled the plugs just incase it had leaned out. Thankfully it hadn't the plugs were all in normal condition. I did notice a couple of plug wires swaped so I straightened that out. When it failed he was up on the Klamath River and took it to several shops and had a lot of parking lot help too.
I figured what the heck lets put some fuel to it and see if it will fire. I put the bayonet on it, gave it a few pumps and fuel spewed from the lower carb. The upper two were wheezing and probably would have puked too but the bottom one never let the fuel pressure get high enough.
So let this be a lesson to all. Sooner or later your luck will run out if you run your motor without a fuel filter. Fortunately, this is just a carb rebuild (3). It could have been a full on lean out and the motor would have been trashed.
Actually I want to get to know this gentleman better, he's not just a great guy but he's also danged lucky. I found full rebuild kits (needles included) and floats over at crowley for 26.00 each. I just about sh/.. my pants. You can rarely find the full kits for any Merc anymore. For 100.00 his motor will be up and running and disaster will have been averted. I'm not charging him anything because anybody that takes that kind of care of their equipment deserves a reward. The fuel filter wasn't his fault.