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Not idling after sitting for 2 yrs

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  • Not idling after sitting for 2 yrs

    Engine 1986 Evinrude XP150

    Sad to say I hadn't had my boat out in the last two years, but I finally managed to get her back in the water this past weekend. I expected some issues as in this time I had to replaced the exhaust gasket as it was leaking and I also installed a new water pump this past week. Since the last time I ran her I replaced all the 3/8" fuel line under the hood and I installed a new primer bulb as the last one didn't seem to get hard when primed and age was unknown. I honestly can't recall if, or how much seafoam was added prior to her setting, but the fuel filter didn't look bad. I usually add seafoam throughout the running season to keep things clean inside and aid in storage over winter. I've never had an issue to date.

    That said, prior to running at the lake, I did do a quick decarb, basically 10min of running 3/4 gallon of gas with oil and 8 ounces of seafoam. I didn't do more because my top end is normally pretty clean, though I'll admit the plugs had been a bit dark from running rich due to the exhaust gasket leak last time out. I dumped rest of mixture into tank and topped off with fresh gas. Dual 12 gallon tanks and I added 8 ounces of seafoam to the 2nd tank.

    When I got to the lake, she was tough to start in the water, but I finally got her going and let her fast idle for a good 15-30min. Just when I was getting ready to go, I heard a buzzer.....not 100% sure if from my boat or another at the ramp, but I shut her down quickly. I rechecked oil prime, engine felt cool and she had been getting oil judging from the smoke. After re-check I fired her back up and never heard that again....it came from under console. Is that where the buzzers are? I've never had one before?

    In any case, low range and mid range where the trouble areas, she seemed to run smooth at 3k RPMS and up. She wouldn't start on normal idle, I had to push lever to fast idle, then quickly move to gear to get going. She did get easier and easier to start as the day progressed and I would shut her off once in a while to see about progress, but never at normal idle.

    My thought is I'm sure there is some gunk in the carbs from sitting, but with this is a carb rebuild going to be in future or should I be able to get her cleaned out? I do recall at beginning of seasons she's been a bit finicky with the 8ounce seafoam in the tank, but never like this. I've wondered about any other additive to run in tank to aid in cleaning out any gummed up gas that might be floating around? Is carb cleaner a bad idea to add to tank?

    With all of that said, I'm also planning on replacing the fuel line from powerhead to tank(s) to eliminate any possible issues there. I'll clean and possibly replace the plugs and look into cylinders to see if any carbon. I don't think this is a prop issue as I've never had issues with it and that shouldn't affect starting, but thought crossed mind. I also have a new fuel/water separator that I plan to install as that's been a few years as well. *FWIW, last year I pulled the gas from the tanks and ran it in my truck before it got old and I pulled 12 gallons out of each, so minus any possible residue the tanks should have been dry to start with and I added just over 12 gallons at the pump to the 2nd tank and from what I had poured in at home, which was also fresh, I came to about that again on 1st tank, so very confident they were siphoned dry while it sat the last year +, when I realized it'd be this year before I got her going again.

    Any suggestions? I think I ran most of the 1st tank which had the remainder of decarb mix in it out and I think I ran most of the 2nd tank out as well, but haven't opened to look. The tanks are hard to see level in. I don't think I've damaged anything, but don't want to either. Do I change the hose and the water separator and try again or am I looking at carb work? If so, I've heard those sonic cleaners do wonders and if I don't have to tear down 6 carbs that'd be awesome. I've done that before and since I don't want to attempt to sync 6 carbs it'd have to go to a shop to have that done.

  • #2
    Also, considering I have no clue as to age of oil lines, should I replace those as well? If so, does type of hose matter or is that just fuel line? It appears a little different, but might just be the line they used.

    I also am looking into updating the sending units as my right tank doesn't seem to register correctly at the gauge and I'm tired of not knowing the exact amount left. Not sure if there are different ones out there. They are going in a 1986 Ranger 373V.


    • #3
      Would clean the carbs just to be sure they look good. No way around it if the pilot Jets are gummed up it won't idle good. Even if it sat for 2 years how long before that were the carbs cleaned? Better to check the carbs and make sure they are clean and passages and jets are clean.


      • #4
        If your plugs were black replace them.


        • #5
          I completely went through the carbs 11-12 years ago when I completely rebuilt the power head. The boat was used yearly after that, but not tons of hours. I'd say one or two weekends a month during the summer during the past 12 years, excluding the past two years.

          During that period I ran Seafoam in it several times a year depending on usage.


          • #6
            Question regarding plugs.

            I have cleaned plugs with a plug sand blaster and always get them clean and then spray with carb cleaner then compressed air then carb cleaner again to make certain there's no abrasive left in there.

            Any reason NOT to go this route? I've read online and see no negatives ever, UNLESS you don't get rid of abrasive or using for racing.


            • #7
              I’m told there is a one-way check valve on my inboard tank — looks like a brass coupling located close to the tank outlet. I haven't looked for mine yet, but thinking you may have something similar. Apparently, they have to periodically be cleaned or replaced, which makes sense.


              • #8
                Plugs probably are alright then. The ball gets hard and fuel flow is good? Could be aa fuel delivery problem . Is there a fuel pump that could be weak?


                • #9
                  I replaced the fuel/oil pump when motor was replaced. Not saying it couldn't be getting weak, BUT wouldn't that show on top end as well? I'll order fuel line and see if it runs any better and clean the plugs, it hasn't been done yet.


                  • #10
                    Sounds like you may have some blockage in the idle circuits in the carb. Could be just gummed up from sitting for two years. Seafoam usually does a great job cleaning out the carbs but it's not a miracle worker. You may need to remove the carbs and run a fine wire through all the passages and blow high pressure air through each one to make sure they aren't blocked. In worse case scenario I have seen carbs that just couldn't be cleared and had to replaced.


                    • #11
                      I know not miracle worker, hoped for best though.

                      If I do as you suggest, will I have to resync them? Ie....Will that be a carb rebuild?


                      • #12
                        Disassemble and soak them -- Seafoam if you're partial to that. I use lacquer thinner. Soaking, poking, finishing with carb spray in every opening. Remove the expansion plugs at the top before soaking


                        • #13
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                          Originally posted by MASTER Brian View Post
                          I know not miracle worker, hoped for best though.

                          If I do as you suggest, will I have to resync them? Ie....Will that be a carb rebuild?
                          Since it's going to involve removing all the mixture screws to clean the passages you will have to re-sinc the carbs. As has been suggested you can soak them in lacquer thinner but I would suggest getting soaking them in carb cleaner. Now I'm not talking about the carb cleaner in a spray can. I'm talking about the liquid carb cleaner that you get in the gallon or 5 gallon can for soaking carbs. You can get it at places like Advance Auto or Auto Zone and you will need to soak them overnight after you completely disassembly them. You will need to make sure you have removed all the jets and mixture screws and any plastic parts because the carb cleaner will completely dissolve them. Once you have soaked them you need to run a wire through each passage and them blow out each passage with high pressure air. You can follow that up with a spray carb cleaner if ya like just to make sure. Then you can reassemble the carbs and put them back on. You will be doing a complete carb rebuild so everything will need to be reset and readjusted from scratch. If you're not comfortable doing all that or just don't have the tools you can have a shop do it for you but it's going to cost. Letting them set like that for long periods of time allows the fuel and oil in the fuel to turn into sludge and gum things up and there is only one way to clean that mess out.