Bright & Shiny Page 2

Maintenance Q & A — February 2004
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Bright and Shiny
Part 2: Weak bilge pump, two-stroke fuel injection, and more
 More of this Feature
• Corrosion-Free Terminals, clean drill bits, and more
• Weak bilge pump, and more
• PMY Tries... Craftsman Cordless Scrubber

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

How does oil injection work on a two-stroke outboard, and what are the key maintenance points? V.S., via e-mail
The oil-injection system eliminates the need to mix the gasoline and oil. Instead, a gear-driven, variable-rate pump delivers the correct amount of oil to the engine at all speeds. The oil is injected directly into the engine at the intake manifold, and the air and fuel flowing into the engine disperses the lubricant throughout the powerhead. As oil is never introduced into the carburetor, oil injection reduces the formation of deposits there during storage.

Most outboard engines are fitted with a warning system that continuously monitors the oil level in the supply tank and will provide adequate warning when it’s necessary to refill. In addition, should oil levels drop below the normal operating parameters, the warning system will reduce power to help prevent powerhead damage.

Maintenance includes checking the oil level every time the engine is operated as well as making sure the reservoir and hoses are residue-free, indicating no leaks. Inspect the pump itself for leaks and the water drain tube for the presence of water. Place the tube in a suitable container, and drain a few ounces from the reservoir; if any water is there, call a mechanic.

Why is it inadvisable to let a diesel engine idle for an extended time? S.C., via e-mail
Excessive idling leads to cylinder glazing and a buildup of deposits and causes the coolant temperature to drop below normal operating levels. This, in turn, results in dilution of the oil in the crankcase due to incomplete fuel combustion and permits the formation of gummy deposits on valves, pistons, and rings as well as rapid accumulation of engine sludge and unburned fuel in the exhaust system.

The flow of one of my bilge pumps seems weaker than usual. What should I check? G.T., via e-mail
First make sure the strainer is not clogged with debris. Next check to see if the impeller is fouled. If both these areas are clear, examine the suction hose for a kink, a debris block, or an air lock. You might also want to check the electrical connections, as corrosion may be limiting the amount of electricity getting to the unit.

How do you keep paint from creeping under masking tape during painting? P.C., via e-mail
After applying the tape, try running the edge of a two-inch, flexible plastic putty knife over the tape. By doing this, you will get a proper seal on the tape. Do a few test runs on an open stretch of test material so that you get the right pressure and avoid tearing the tape.

Need help with a maintenance problem? Write to Maintenance Q & A, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: No phone calls, please.

Next page > PMY Tries... Craftsman Cordless Scrubber > Page 1, 2, 3

This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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