What do i do about this?

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Tom Jones

Well-Known Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Well, took the boat (1994 170TF w/ 90 hp Merc) out for the first time in about four months yesterday. It was garaged all winter. Couldn't get the motor to stay running for more than about 15 seconds before it would die. If I tried to rev it in neutral, it would die. I could keep it running by bumping the key choke, but would not run by itself for long. Would even have to choke it every time to re-start it. Did this for probably 10 minutes or more with no change in results. Put new spark plugs in at the ramp and tried again with same results. A mechanic told me on the phone that the carbs were probably gummed up. I put Stabil in the tank before stoage.Here's my questions:
Do you need to run some of the gas/Stabil mix into the motor before storage?
Do you need to disconnect the gas line at the motor and run all the gas out of the carbs before long term storage like we used to do with the older motors, or will that cause a problem with the oil injection?
I was told about Seafoam, but how does that work, is it just like Stabil, or better?
How can I prevent this next time around?
Any help would be appreciated, cause I HATE to lose a day of fishing to motor problems!!
I have a 2000 90hp Merc that was outside stored from Oct till last week. I fogged and Stabil'd the gas and also made sure the Stabil gas run tru the engine last fall before storage. I started it up on muffs and it took 3-4 trys but it did fire. Lots of smoke for about 15 minutes. After the smoke cleared I took the spark plugs out and put in new ones and it's started good ever since. I bet you have a gummed carb. Try running some SeaFoam thru it. According to the mixture percent SeaFoam can be used as a stabilizer, decarb'r or as a carbon preventer if used in every tank fill. Good stuff for lawn mowers too.
Tom -

Gasoline is, itself, a very strong and efficient solvent. If after all that time your carbs weren't "ungummed" - then that wasn't your problem.

Sounds like it is likely something much simpler.....

First - replace your fuel bulb. See if that doesn't do the trick.

Check to see if your vent cap is open.

Make sure that the gas lines and vent lines aren't kniked somewhere out of sight. These should not need replacing for many years.

YES! It will cause a problem if you disconnect your lines and run out the fuell. It will load the cylinder and crank chambers with oil and make it VERY difficult to get the motor started. 2-Strokes are VERY different creatures from 4-strokes.

You probably won't have this problem next time around. It sounds like all the preparations you did were just fine..... Just that some other little gremlin snuck into the works over the winter!


One final thought...... You may have also simply flooded the engine. Unlike a 4-stroke, in 2-strokes the fuel mixture first goes into a chamber that surrounds the crank on the bottom side of the piston. From there it is forced into the combustion chamber by the downward motion of the piston. When this chamber becomes filled with fuel it is VERY difficult to unflood.

Best way to do it is to remove ALL your spark plugs and crank the engine a few moments to try and force the fuel out. BE SURE TO DISCONNECT THE COIL WIRE FIRST SO THAT YOU DON'T HAVE A SPARK BLOW YOU UP. This won't be hard on the starter because there is no compression to overcome.

When you try to start it again, use the choke VERY sparingly. Only hold it in until the motor begins to catch. If it quits again, try starting without the choke. If you need to use it more - just VERY LITTLE.

I see people over choking motors constantly. All year round. Always, after the first catch, back WAY off the use of the choke!

And quit playin' with the motor and get out on the lake!

Thanks for the help, guys! I don't think I flooded the engine since it would crank and fire almost immediately, but then would be starved for gas. A new bulb could do the trick, too. I'll try that and see. Then maybe I can get back to the real reason to be in the boat-FISHING!!

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