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Honda 90HP Problem with Cold Start

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  • Honda 90HP Problem with Cold Start

    I own a 90hp 1999 4 stroke outboard. I have a problem starting it from cold. Eventually it fires and then it runs great once it starts. It looks and sounds like new. There are new plugs, it is well maintained. Choke appears to be working but not sure. Once the engine is warm there are not further problems starting. bbrad****@hotmail.com What suggestions do you have?

  • #2
    Re: Honda 90HP Problem with Cold Start

    The first thing I would check is the choke. Pop the hood and make sure the choke moves to closed when you apply it. I am assuming this is a remote model and you are chokeing it from the fast idle lever, if so you should here it snap in when the fast idle lever is up. You could also try pulling the manual choke at the motor on cold start up. If it starts up normal you are not getting activation of the solenoid from the remote. Pull the manual choke lever in and out a few times at the motor and then at the fast idle lever, this will usualy free up the solenoid and you should be good to go. If not you may have a bad solenoid or wiring/switch (not to common in my experince). Also, make sure the fuel bulb is pumped up and firm before cold start. Hope this helps out........

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    • #3
      Re: Honda 90HP Problem with Cold Start

      Tight valve clearances will effect cold starts.

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      • #4
        Re: Honda 90HP Problem with Cold Start

        I too have this motor and have observed the same problem from day one. Having many other Honda products I assumed there was something wrong with the outboard, as I do not find this to be typical Honda performance. Many mechanics have told me there is nothing wrong with the motor however. I believe that my problem is due in no small part to the fact that I have an OMC control box; the boat was originally fitted with a Johnson and I wanted to keep the flush mount over the standard Honda control box. This OMC system leaves a lot to be desired. I find it next to impossible to push the ignition key in - to activate the choke - while turning over the engine and keeping it pushed in once the motor has started. I also have to much pride to walk back to the motor to pull the choke lever, go back to the console and start it and then back to the motor again to shut the choke off.BTW, if anyone knows of a method of installing a push to choke toggle switch on my console, please let me know. This should be very simple but I don't know what wires activate the choke.Anyway, I have sort of developed a method that usually results in easy starting - and requires no ether either!Before I turn the key, I pump the throttle 3-4 times to put gas in the throat of the carbs. I leave the throttle at about 25-50 % too. I then turn the key and activate the choke and it usually kicks in quickly. If I let off on the choke and she wants to die, I put it back in quickly and leave it there until I can release it and the motor wants to accelerate. At this point i come back on the throttle immediately and let it warm up just above idle.If you have a Honda control box, I would say follw the directions in the manual (I cannot with my OMC arrangement - no free accel), which you probably already do. But try pumping the throttle before you turn the key.I used to think i needed to prime the bulb too, as it was always just a little soft. But friends with their own carb'ed motors do not have to do this and I have found that it is not req'd on my boat either. there is always gas in the bowls and once the motor is started, the line pressurizes just fine.

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        • #5
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          Re: Honda 90HP Problem with Cold Start

          g'day from OZ (Australia).
          I bought a pontoon boat recently with a 2002 90hp Honda 4 stroke engine.
          Everything was great except the cold starting which was incredibly difficult.
          After reading these forums I assumed it was normal.
          Further investigation of the choke system revealed that although the choke solenoid was "clicking" and appeared to be working normally, the choke butterfly for the lower (#4) carby was seized.
          This prevented the others from opening as well.
          After dismantling the carby's and cleaning and freeing up the siezed butterfly, the engine now starts cold like a dream.
          Hope this may help someone.
          Cheers

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