Submerged Engine Refurb???

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by wellmanj, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. wellmanj

    wellmanj Well-Known Member

    After reading a recent post about a submerged Gheenoe I got to thinking that I'd like to hear/read what some of you have done to bring those engines back to life.
    I've had a couple engines submerge on me. One for 3 days after a storm came through Tampa Bay (9hp merc) and the other for just one night on the beach side of Boca (15hp merc).

    The 9 was tied to the seawall in Miguel Bay during the storm and I just couldn't make it down for 3 days after the storm to check on the damage. When I did, the Gheenoe was submerged upside down and all that was out of the water was the prop. When I got the engine out and took off the cowling there was a perfect sand/mud mold (cowling shaped) surrounding the engine block.
    The way I brought it back to life was by first hosing all of the mud off, taking off the carb and spark plugs and running water through the carb side of the block while pulling the start rope to cycle the pistons. All sorts of mud came out of the block. I read somewhere to run a 50 oil to 50 gas mixture through the block while pulling the start rope until it appeared that the bad stuff was out. I sprayed the block like crazy with a can of wd40, rebuilt the carb with a new carb kit, took the lower unit off and sprayed all of that area off, put it all back together, hooked up a new fuel line and she fired right up. That was about 5 years ago and the engine is still running great.

    The reason the 15 submerged is because I was having too good a time to take the boat around to the dock so I instead left it anchored just off the glass calm beach. The glass calm beach turned on me that night. The dog woke me up around 4am and I could hear the wind howling. I went to check on the boat and it was submerged in the break getting pounded by the waves.
    After bailing all of the water and sand out of the boat to where it would float I gave the engine a crank and it fired right up. I ran it back to the ramp on the water soaked fuel because that's all I had. It definitely lacked power, but got me there nonetheless.

    I cleaned the 15 the same way, but it wasn't in nearly as bad of shape as the 9. The 15 runs great to this day as well.

    I'm just curious to know if yall have any other tips of tricks to use when bringing an engine back from a salty submersion.
  2. tomahawk

    tomahawk Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have it down pat. They weren't running when they went under that is the main thing.

  3. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    I would take the plugs out, turn it upside down to drain and immediately put it on craigslist.
  4. jimsmicro

    jimsmicro I Love!

    I've submerged two motors but both were in freshwater.  Both had problems with water intrusion into some of the electronics but a new powerpack on one and a new coil on the other solved the issue.  The epoxy that normally seals them was old/cracked and allowed water into them causing erratic running.  I didn't even pull the carbs on either of them, I just drained the water from the float bowl, pulled the plugs, and cranked it over until all the water was out.  Then I just put some fresh fuel in them and fired them off and idled them for a while to build up some oil residue and relubricate everything.  Both motors are still running to this day.  I don't think submerging one is a death sentence really as long as you attend to them as quickly as you can.
  5. Capt Dan Medina

    Capt Dan Medina Well-Known Member

    On a 2 stroke carbureted engine, you've got it down pat. The key is getting the motor running and lubricated before there is a chance of rust.

    Truth be told, a motor that goes down is better off staying down until it can be immediately worked on. That goes for both fresh and salt water. In fact, if you read a lot of the manuals for the varying motors, it actually tells you to take a salt water motor and completely submerse in freshwater until you have the chance to work on it.

    4 strokes and fuel injected engines are a whole different ball game and require a lot more legwork...