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Cold weather evinrude operation

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  • Cold weather evinrude operation

    Hey all, long time lurker first time poster.

    Im purchasing a boat with a 1994 evinrude spitfire on it. Runs great starts easy at the moment (~45*f) and was a freshwater engine until two seasons ago(and you can tell). Im going to do the routine maintenance stuff plugs, fluids, decarb and just a general once over before launching it. I will be using this boat the rest of the winter in rhode island for commercial bullraking. My family has always been i/o people so this is my first endeavor into outboards.

    I was wondering what could be done to ensure easy starting in extreme cold if anyone has experience with it. Ill probably fish down into the teens or single digits and the last thing i want is to be stranded in the bay in the middle of february. Maybe plug gapping? Jetting? Different heat rated plug? Any worry with the 2-stroke oil thickening up too much in severe cold?

    Also any input on just general stuff with these engines to keep an eye on or definitely do before it becomes a workhorse, that a noob to outboards should look out for?

    Thanks in advance gentlemen any and all help is much appreciated. Cheers

  • #2
    We’ve left the dock a number of times with temps in the low to mid teens. If its any colder skim ice becomes a problem in the creeks.

    Keep good batteries in the boat and you shouldn’t have a problem. I use “both” batteries in the morning since the rpm of the starting motor is the key to cold starts.

    Never had any problems once started.

    Good oil. Good fuel and good batteries and your set
    ....

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    • #3
      Engine has to be in good mechanical condition, Ignition system free of corrosion, clean and maintained, Same goes for the fuel system and the enrichment system to aid cold starts. Proper starting technique goes a long way too, One thing you never do with a 2 stroke, is the use of Starting Fluid, the Ether contained in it will do an excellent job of washing the oil off the bearings and cylinder walls. Also since Starting Fluids ignite from compression heat, there is a Danger of it igniting in the crankcase.

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      • #4
        Compression is not that high to cause ignition in the crankcase.

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        • #5
          Living in Florida, I'm ignorant on this topic. But don't they use two-stroke oil in some snowmobiles "up North"?

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          • #6
            when i put the motor down for its first start i keep it trimmed up high enough that the impeller is definitely submerged but no more. Before i cut it off i lift it up to this level too, and leave it running for a bit to recharge the battery from that lift.
            That way when i restart, the motor has the least amount of back pressure on the exhaust to overcome and thus i get higher spin start rpm and its easier for it to keep running until she warms up

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            • #7
              Choose your two stroke oil carefully in the lower temps. Being an old two-stroke dirtbike guy I love 2 stroke oil with castor in it for no other reason than I love the smell. kind of old school you know? In the colder months below freezing, castor can separate and lose some of its lubrication properties. If you stick with recommended manufacturer brands you should be fine

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              • #8
                Originally posted by glust View Post
                Choose your two stroke oil carefully in the lower temps. Being an old two-stroke dirtbike guy I love 2 stroke oil with castor in it for no other reason than I love the smell. kind of old school you know? In the colder months below freezing, castor can separate and lose some of its lubrication properties. If you stick with recommended manufacturer brands you should be fine
                Ahhhh nothin better than the smell of golden spectro

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bosunsmate View Post
                  when i put the motor down for its first start i keep it trimmed up high enough that the impeller is definitely submerged but no more. Before i cut it off i lift it up to this level too, and leave it running for a bit to recharge the battery from that lift.
                  That way when i restart, the motor has the least amount of back pressure on the exhaust to overcome and thus i get higher spin start rpm and its easier for it to keep running until she warms up
                  Cool little tip. U forget how much pressure water can exert

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                  • #10
                    If OB is in excellent working order and starts fast no need to trim it up, will turn ON if sat trimmed at 90 deg (fully vertical) on transom. Used OB's can turn faddish if it's the correct term with time compared to as when were brand new out of the box.

                    Run carb dry for the OB to die of fuel starvation when at a final stop to reduce 2 strokes oil gunk building up as you won't know when will be your next outing unless being a constat year round boater.

                    BTW which HP is that OB ?

                    Happy Boating


                    Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers

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                    • #11
                      Its a 1994 150 spitfire i believe but it has the white cover like an ocean pro but not the decals. Yet to grab the model number off it. Yea its gona be a year round diggin rig so most likely the longest it will sit will be 2-3 4 days tops year round. When we freeze hard which is usually only for a month tops is when itll come out for a service

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                      • #12
                        I operate in cool temps with the OMC 15's in the fall. First thing I do is take off the gizmos that prevent you from starting the motor at a higher RPM that are on the shift rod and recoil starter...few problems after that. I also find the old OMC 20's with magneto ignition start easier than later OMC 15's with CDI. (in the cold) Many times first pull starts below 32 degrees. That is an interesting tit for tat you 2 guys have going above. I start outboards (that I work on) on a regular basis with starting fluid. Sure saves a lot of grief. IT probably is not the greatest for them.

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                        • #13
                          I dont think starting fluid is good for any engine especially if used on a regular basis. I can imaginr introduced directly into a cylinder through a plug hole or whatnot would wash the oil but i think a spritz in the airbox cant hurt all that bad. Ill take my chances when its 5* out and im bobbin in 3’ chop in my lil 20’ quahoggin rig lol

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                          • #14
                            Would gasoline wash the oil off the cylinders / bearings ??-------On direct injected motors would gasoline wash oil off the cylinders ?

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                            • #15
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                              Originally posted by Milesb26 View Post
                              I can imaginr introduced directly into a cylinder through a plug hole or whatnot would wash the oil but i think a spritz in the airbox cant hurt all that bad.
                              in the hole is not problem at all. Anyone running equipment in the winter has a couple of cans in the back of the truck.

                              Spraying it in the air box is a good way to blow your air box to bits. Guessing you’ve never used the starting fluid to put tractor and truck tires back on the rim bfore

                              ....

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