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Engine stalls when put in gear

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  • Engine stalls when put in gear

    Hi all,I have an Evinrude 55HP 1979 model which I purchased about 1 month ago. The engine has no troubles starting, idles fine and when put into gear there is no problem...that is, until engine warms up and turned back on. It idles fine, but when put into gear, stalls. This will happen about 6 or 7 times until I finally retrieve the boat onto the trailer. I've checked fuel lines and have adjusted the idle to set it a bit faster, but still no go. I have also changed the sorts of fuel I've been using. A mechanic told me that because the engine is so old, it may be on it's last legs and that this problem can't be fixed. Whould this be true? He may have been trying to sell me a new engine which I can't afford to do right now. Any ideas to my problem?Regards,John.

  • #2
    Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

    Good evening JohnM and welcome to iboats.I think you are on the right track idleing the engine up a bit. You might tryin idleing it up a little more. It should idle at about 7-800rpms in the water, in gear. If the engine starts easily, I wouldn't think it was "on it's last leg. You might check the compression, that will give a good idea what condition it's in.If you get it idled up where it should be and are still having problems keeping it running, get back to us and we'll see what we can do next.c/6Hooty

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    • #3
      Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

      Hi John,Your engine is not all that old. First check the compression. Should be at least 100PSI and each cylinder should be within 10% of each other. If OK, pull the Carbs and get the rebuild kits. Clean them real well with marine carb cleaner, compressed air and rebuild using the kit(s). A manual will be very helpful in doing this and future projects. You will also need to lync & sync the carbs, which is explained in the manual. It's not hard or expensive to do and there are alot of places online to order parts for your motor. So if you would like to tackle this, check the compression first. You can get a gauge at any auto parts store for around 25.00. Let us know the results of the test.
      Rick

      "Boating is Life...All the rest is just Details"

      2007 Bentley 200 Cruise
      2007 Merc. 90 4 stroke

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      • #4
        Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

        Hi John If you could give us the model# that would help. Your motor my very well be on it's last legs, but I kind of dought it. Basicly what that fellow was telling you is, it would cost you more than the motor was worth to have him repair it. He won't put shop time and parts in a motor he can't sell and make a profit. This dosn't mean your motor is no good and can not be repaired. It just means you will have to look for some less expencive labor with a lower overhead (yourself?). I just ordered a part for one of my motors, cost $106. now figure three-four hrs shop time @$60.per hr. plus. As you can see this could add up quick. I would suggest you get a manual that covers this motor. Between the book and help from this board I think you will have sucess with the repair.

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        • #5
          Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

          JohnM, the synchronization of the carbs is a very important issue touched on above.If the carb flaps are not opening in synch with linkage advancement or timer base it will cause the very symptom you describe.You can make a preliminary visual check of the linkage roller to throttle cam and insure the center of roller is aligned on center with scribe mark on fiber cam and just touching when throttle is in nuetral position.You can also experiment with fuel mixture settings adjusted out or in equally while engine is running in water.A too lean mix will also have similar symptoms.Adjust each idle mix screw evenly counting turn increments in quarters and throttle checking in gear after adjustment.If all fails you may very well have fouled carburetors that are in need of cleaning. Also insure you have good spark to all cylinders that will arc 1/2" to ground with bright blue spark.Perform spark test with key on at cranking speed. Good luck.

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          • #6
            Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

            Thanks guys, I purchased the manual about 2 weeks ago and it has helped me already to tackle a few other problems. I took the boat in for a service just after I bought it and $600 later, the engine still stalls. I have taken it back since and same problem still. I have promised myself from now on, all work is to be done by me. As they say "If you want something done properly, do it yourself".I just realised something, it can't be my fuel lines can it, because when the engine is cold, I have no problems at all, only when the engine warms up and is switched off. If it was a fuel line problem, I'd have this problem all the time? True?Thanks for the advice, I will try them soon over the Xmas break. I'm a novice learning fast.Regards,John.

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            • #7
              Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

              John, can you clear this up a bit. As I read this, it starts cold and idles good. Does it run good at any other speeds on the water? Then when you shut it off and restart it, it will idle, but will die when you put it in gear? How long do you run it before it starts this problem all over again? I guess what I'm asking is, how hot is hot and will the engine run at any other speed(in gear),other than idle speed?
              Rick

              "Boating is Life...All the rest is just Details"

              2007 Bentley 200 Cruise
              2007 Merc. 90 4 stroke

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              • #8
                Sign up today
                Re: Engine stalls when put in gear

                only 1 thing to say it is still going to be cheaper to fix it regardless then spending the money on a new boat if the compression is fine the lower unit is fine id fix it a personal note ob and Rick wish you 2 lived near me I believe a few cases a week are in order for all the good help you guys provide cheers

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