Flow Test

Maintenance Q & A — May 2001
Maintenance Q & A — May 2001
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Flow Test
Checking a fuel pump for correct flow, taking proper care of canvas, and more.

 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Maintenance Q & A
• Part 2: Q & A continued
 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index
• Maintenance Editorial

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Sunbrella

I have an older MerCruiser carbureted stern drive and suspect there is a problem with the mechanical fuel pump. A pressure test revealed nothing. I also checked the antisiphon device and found it to be working properly. What else should I be looking at? P.B., via e-mail

Mechanical fuel pumps on these engines require no maintenance and cannot be serviced and therefore must be replaced if defective. The two most common problems with this kind of fuel pump are incorrect pressure and low volume. As you’ve checked the pressure, you should perform a flow test. But before you do, check the fuel lines for kinks and your primary and secondary fuel filters for clogs. Once you've ascertained that these parts of the system are okay, disconnect the fuel inlet line from the carburetor as indicated in the top left illustration. Place the end into a half-gallon container (see illustration at top right). Start your engine and let it run for 30 seconds—it should be able to run this long with the amount of gasoline left in the carburetor fuel bowl. Shut down the engine and check the amount of gasoline that has accumulated in the container. If the fuel pump is working properly, the container should be half full. If it’s not, or just to be sure, disconnect the inlet line at the pump and gasoline tank and blow compressed air through the line. Reconnect the inlet line and repeat the flow test. If the volume of gasoline collected in the container is still low, replace the pump.

What is the proper way to care for a Sunbrella bimini and camper-top enclosure? M.L. via e-mail

If the fabric is very soiled, first brush off any loose dirt. Then hose it down with fresh water and gently scrub the soiled areas with mild soap, such as liquid Ivory, mixed with water. (Do not use harsh powder detergents.) Allow the soap to soak in for a few minutes, then rinse the fabric and allow it to air dry. For stubborn stains mix four ounces of chlorine bleach with two ounces of Ivory liquid in one gallon of cool to lukewarm water. Clean the area with a soft bristle brush and allow the mixture to soak in for at least 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and air dry. Repeat this process if necessary. If your fabric can fit in a washing machine, set the wash and rinse cycles for cold water and use Ivory liquid. Do not put the fabric in the dryer; air dry only. With time and constant cleaning, the fabric will need to be renewed. The manufacturer recommends using 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. Available in an aerosol container, 303 should be applied after the fabric has been cleaned and is dry. Two light sprayed-on coats (allow the first to dry before applying the second) should suffice. Should you need further information, contact the manufacturer at customerservice@sunbrella.com.

Next page > May Q & A continued > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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