This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Like New 4 HP Outboard

After an hour or so over at Rick's place (no, not the one in Casablanca) he had my little 4 horse power outboard motor running. Replacing the old fuel with fresh, cleaning the spark plug, and a few minor adjustment was all it took to fire it up for the first time. It has corrosion issues on the exterior and the prop is bent but otherwise it will do the job. Today, with a surprise day off, I ran around looking for a few parts. A new prop for one thing. The old one will work in an emergency but a new one is needed. I also sprayed a lot of penetrating oil here and there around joints and moving parts.

I stood the engine up and loosened the lower unit oil plug intending to replace the oil since I have no idea when it was last done. I held a small bucket under the drain and waited. Nothing! I
loosened the filler plug and waited. Nothing! As far as I could see there was not a single drop of oil in the lower unit. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that is not a good thing. I replaced the drain plug after carefully cleaning the corrosion around the hole and the plug. Then I slowly poured fresh oil into the filler hole and poured and poured. It doesn't take a lot to fill this space, but I sure hope filling it will save the engine.

I replaced the spark plug with a new identical on and tossed the old one since it was pretty fouled and quite rusty. I bought two so I have a back up if and when I need it.
I finally was able to pull the old zinc off the lower unit. I took penetrating oil and a bit of a wait for it to do its job. I ordered two new zincs from Clearwater Marine, again I got an extra. When I can I am buying two of every replacement part. Sometimes you need one and aren't in a place where you can get one easily and sometimes they need to be ordered and that can takes valuable time. Nice, very helpful folks over at Clearwater. I even bought a can of good zinc chromate primer paint and a can of Mariner gray. There are several places on the engine housing that have suffer from corrosion, in some places down to the metal. So I am scrubbing and steel wooling these areas. Then a couple of primer coats and follwed by a coat or two of the gray. Where I have done it, it is looking pretty good. Considering I am doing it outdoors and not in a pro paint shop, it looks very good.

I asked Clearwater about a new prop and they want $106 for a new one. So I thought I'd look around for a used one first. Pacific Marine down on Holly Street will be my first stop. If they don't have one I'll go ahead and order a new one.

One last thing. A discovery actually. I noticed a small but familiar symbol stamped on the engine in a couple of places. Then it occurred to me that they are the symbol for Yamaha products. I asked the fellow at Clearwater about this and he told me that for a time Yamaha had made a good part of the Mariner's engine. I hope Yamaha's reputation for quality was also imprinted on my engine. Time will tell.

My wife came downstairs looking for me about 9 o'clock last night figuring she'd find my in the family room watching TV. She was surprised to track me down in the garage still carefully cleaning the grease and oil off off another section of the engine housing. Can't wait to get home tonight and get back at it.

Feels good to accomplish something on my own probably saving myself quite a lot of money. And Rick, I know you read this quite often and get a few laughs. But a big thanks to you and your lifetime of knowledge about boats. I owe you, buddy!