A Clean Machine Page 2

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

A Clean Machine
Part 2: Recommissioning a gasoline inboard, and more
 More of this Feature
• Cleaning Sea Strainers
• Gasoline Inboard, and more
• PMY Tries... FastFunnel

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

I lay up my gasoline inboard boat every year. In the past, when recommissioning and running the engine, it backfires and runs rough at 3000 rpm. I have noticed sand-like material accumulating in the fuel filters. What is this, and how can I prevent it from happening again? R.O., via e-mail
It sounds like when you decommission your boat you’re leaving gasoline in the carburetor float bowls, where it eventually evaporates. The residue you’re describing is the deposits from additives and solvents in the fuel. Depending on how much gasoline is left in the bowls, the amount of residue can be quite significant. When you fire the engines up in the spring and your engine tries to combust the residue with the gasoline and air mixture, the result is the poor performance you’re witnessing.

To avoid this, when you’re ready to put your boat up on the hard, turn off the fuel lines to the engines and run the engines until they’re out of fuel. (Do not do this with diesel, as severe injection-system damage can occur.) Now you can winterize as before.

I’ve been having trouble with my tender’s outboard, and I would like to determine whether the problem is in the boat’s fuel system or it’s in the engine. Any suggestions? L.N., via e-mail

Try connecting another fuel tank and line to your engine. Make sure both are free of any residue, old fuel, or corrosion and that the tank is filled with fresh fuel. Run the engine, and if the symptom is eliminated, the problem is with the original fuel tank and line. If the symptom is still present, however, then the problem is in the engine.

While trying to loosen several nuts on some bolts, I managed to strip some edges on the nuts. How should I proceed? S.G., via e-mail
Wearing safety glasses, make a starter cut in the edge of the bolt you stripped with a hacksaw. Make sure the cut is parallel to another face on the nut. Once you’ve got the cut down about one quarter of the way into the nut, take a cold chisel and hammer and split the edge off. Next let some WD-40 or similar solvent soak not only where the nut is threaded but also down into the rest of the bolt. After a few minutes, tap lightly on the nut, and you should be able to break it free with an adjustable wrench or locking pliers.

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: ken.kreisler@primedia.com. No phone calls, please.

Next page > PMY Tries... FastFunnel > Page 1, 2, 3

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

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