Small Engine Problem

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by Canoeman, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Canoeman

    Canoeman Well-Known Member

    I have a 2.5hp Tohatsu on my canoe. It has always started on the first pull until now. I put the engine away, and when I took it out a week later it takes at least 5 to 10 pulls to start it. I changed the plug and while it runs smoother now, especially at low rpm, it is still hard to start. To make the situation worse, it kicks back while pulling the rope and will almost jerk your arm off--amazing for a little engine like that.

    I would think that the problem with kicking back would be too much compression, ie. carbon buildup on the piston and head, but how would this happen overnight. Or, could it be something else.

    Any ideas on this problem. Thanks to anyone who might help.
  2. Flyline

    Flyline Won "Do More With Less" Award!

    Try a power tuner spray and take the spark plug off and spray in there then let it sit overnight.

    Then just pull until the piston tucked inside the ram then spray again then spray the carburator too then let it sit overnight while it clean the crap out of it.

    Then put the plug back in and try to start it and run wide open for 5 mins.

    Your little motor will blow all the black crap out of the carburator and piston from carbon build up.

    Then it runs like new again.

    I did that with 97' 3.3 merc 2-stroke and it work.

  3. Tom_W

    Tom_W Well-Known Member

    E10? Did you buy gas last time out?

    Do you use a fuel conditioner?

    Tom W
  4. Canoeman

    Canoeman Well-Known Member

    I don't buy the gas if it's labeled E-10 on the pump. Racetrac here in Jax apparently is not E-10.

    I have not been using a conditioner, but I've been reading about them and I will use them one from now on. Any recommendations?
  5. iMacattack

    iMacattack busy, too busy

    So far I have used "Marine" Stabil

    So far so good...
  6. Tom_W

    Tom_W Well-Known Member

    I don't own an outboard BUT do use the Marine Sta-Bil (Ethonal Formula) in my truck, lawn mower, pressure washer, weed wacker and chain-saw and have not had any problems at all.

    The people I work with have been having a lot problems with their lawn equipment (most of it older stuff) but some of it newer.

    Maybe I've just been lucky.

    It's cheap insurance (to me anyway) and I remember having nightmares back in the 80's with Gas-a-hol so I'm 'gun-shy'.

    Tom W
  7. acesover

    acesover Guest

    With it kicking back when you pull the rope, it almost sounds like a timing problem. Like the plug is firing too early or late.
    But then, I'n no mechanic either.....
  8. Canoeman

    Canoeman Well-Known Member

    After I looked at the piston and it looked pretty clean, I started to think the same thing. I went ahead anyway and sprayed Sea Foam into the carb and into the cylinder. After 30 minutes I ran the engine until the smoke almost quit. Then I put the boat in the water and ran it WOT for about 30 minutes. When I got home and put the motor in a bucket to flush it, it didn't kick back. Maybe the problem is solved. Thanks everyone. If it acts up tomorrow I'll start looking for another problem.

    BTW, I don't have a GPS, but today I decided to do a speed trial between bridges using Google Earth. If Google is correct, I did 10.5 mph in my canoe (85 lbs, me (180 lbs), a trolling motor battery to hold the bow down (50 lbs) and assorted other Coast Guard junk.

    Sure feels a lot slower that that, but I'm not complaining about a $500 boat. I sold a used kayak, bought this boat and put $100 in my pocket. :)
  9. islander1225

    islander1225 Well-Known Member

    Hey woody the racetrac might claim but i can prob assure that there is e-10 in there gas, racetrac gets there gas from gate corp which on there pumps are clearly labeled with e-10 so most likely it has e-10 in it. i have been using the star tron with no probs at all.

  10. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member

    Pull the plug on the bottom of the bowl and shoot some carb cleaner in there also pull fuel line and spray carb cleaner into carb inlet and let drain out of bottom of bowl ...

    you may have had a liquid lock ... could be a bad float valve ...

  11. merc650

    merc650 Well-Known Member

    i have the same motor, I'd clean the tank and hose and then get a carb re-build kit, sounds like ya have some gunk in the fuel system.
  12. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

    The condition you discribed is often caused by degraded fuel. To avoid it try using 89 octane fuel and add the prescribed amount of marine ethonal fuel conditioner. I fish 3 to 5 times per week (I have crab traps to pull in daylight and fish at night) If I haven't used a boat for a while, when I first try to start it I sometimes get the kickback or backfire you spoke of. After adding fuel it will go away.