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Old 05-09-2021, 01:54 PM   #1
thinkxingu
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Default First Post-Winter Ride: Stuttering Outboard

Just picked up Boatie Two and, when we first headed out, the Mercury 150 outboard would stutter at 3k RPM. Over the next ten/fifteen minutes, I could get up to 4500 and, by that time, I'd filled the tank up with fresh fuel and was home.

Question: does this sound like bad/water in the gas (it was put in storage with 1/4 tank) or could it be tied to last season's battery issue (stalling when trimming down)?

The marina checked the battery system last week and didn't find any issues.

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Old 05-09-2021, 04:15 PM   #2
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Default Stuttering outboard

If it had 1/4 tank of gas at time of storage, it very well could be water in the gas. A 1/4 full tank leaves a lot of room for condensation, and only 1/4 tank of gas wouldn't take much water to create a problem. If things ran pretty well when you got new gas, see what happens next time you are out and about. Maybe the water issue is solved.
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Old 05-09-2021, 04:24 PM   #3
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I was always taught to fill the tank and put in fuel stabilizer when winterizing...
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Old 05-09-2021, 04:43 PM   #4
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I was always taught to fill the tank and put in fuel stabilizer when winterizing...
Me, too. If I remember correctly, we'd had a nice last day and went over to Wolfeboro and when we got back to the marina the fuel dock was closed. That's the only explanation for leaving it so low. All our fuel is treated, though, as it's purchased from marinas.

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Old 05-09-2021, 05:10 PM   #5
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Go splurge on a $3.45 bottle of HEET Water Remover & Injector Cleaner and your engine will thank you for it.
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Old 05-09-2021, 06:26 PM   #6
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Couple of thoughts/recommendations.

First, as I recall you were likely having battery issues last year. Batteries/battery issues don't get better with age and if you are running with a single battery set up (which I recall you are) you are tempting fate. Marina's are so busy this time of year "checking the battery system" might be a relative term.

Second, do you have a water fuel separator? If not, I would recommend getting one. If so, did they change it as part of the winterization process?

Third, I agree with the other posts that it's best to store the boat with as much fuel as possible to avoid condensation to the extent possible.
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Old 05-09-2021, 06:55 PM   #7
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Couple of thoughts/recommendations.

First, as I recall you were likely having battery issues last year. Batteries/battery issues don't get better with age and if you are running with a single battery set up (which I recall you are) you are tempting fate. Marina's are so busy this time of year "checking the battery system" might be a relative term.

Second, do you have a water fuel separator? If not, I would recommend getting one. If so, did they change it as part of the winterization process?

Third, I agree with the other posts that it's best to store the boat with as much fuel as possible to avoid condensation to the extent possible.
My battery has always started the motor without a problem—even when it was stalling when putting the trim down—but we're going into the 6th season with it, so I'm just gonna change it out proactively. Thoughts on brand?

Sam's this week ($20 off special): Duracell dual purpose = $55 or starting = $60

Interstate (what was in there): $135

Everstart (WalMart): $70



Also, we don't have a fuel separator—fuel guy at Ambrose Cove looked and suggested it as well. Any idea on cost for that?

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Old 05-09-2021, 08:09 PM   #8
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I added a fuel/water separator to my center console boat.

The link to the unit I installed is below.

You may need to source the appropriate size fittings for your size fuel hose.

As always, use stainless steel through bolts to mount it.

I suggest that you follow the current path of the fuel hose and mount the filter receptacle in that path.

Remember to allow enough vertical clearance below the filter to allow you to remove it easily.

A little extra room will allow you to slide a cut off 1 gallon jug bottom under it to prevent spills while removing.

Walmart and Parafunalia often carry the replacement filters.

You can change it yearly or dump it out and reuse it until it gets rusty.

https://www.easternmarine.com/quicks...r-kit-802893q4


Oh, and Walmart for the battery but do add a solar charger!


EDIT:
My application was a 50 hp two stroke. You may want to call Mercury to verify that this filter has adequate flow for your 150 hp motor.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:33 PM   #9
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Think,
On the battery, I will suggest the EverStart marine battery from Walmart. I’ve tried them all over the years, and the EverStart has outperformed them all.
Grab a can of SeaFoam Fuel treatment while you’re there and dump it in the fuel tank. Good luck straightening it out.

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Old 05-10-2021, 06:11 AM   #10
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Thanks, all.
I'll grab a new battery and can of Sea Foam this week and see how it goes.

I'll also look into a fuel separator.

One last question: I do oil and fuel filter swaps every season, but when should I replace the plugs? It's a '16 Mercury 150 OB with ~250 hours. And anything else I should be doing?

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Old 05-10-2021, 06:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Think,
On the battery, I will suggest the EverStart marine battery from Walmart. I’ve tried them all over the years, and the EverStart has outperformed them all.
Grab a can of SeaFoam Fuel treatment while you’re there and dump it in the fuel tank. Good luck straightening it out.

BT
I agree...
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:21 AM   #12
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So 1st don't get overly concerned yet. The boat just came out of storage. 2nd the Marina should have treated the case in the tank appropriately, but as mentioned condensation can happen....

You mentioned you have filled the tank, I would run that tank through, as long as your not having any trouble getting to WOT. it is likely what you are experiencing will go away. It has been a cold damp spring thus far, something Outboards notoriously don't like.

Now if you are on your sixth season with the boat, it is likely a good time to run something like Gum-out through the system... Also regardless of manufacture recommendations new plugs should be in the plan... (although before doing the plugs I would run through this first tank of gas).....

Now water separating filters are mentioned, here while I agree they can help, they generally aren't needed if you are running you boat enough. Having said that, since the newer models of pontoons, like to put the gas tank down in the center tube, I believe adding one, could be a good idea.... however they themselves can cause additional problems.....

Anyways that is it for now... hopefully your issue will not put a damper on your summer.
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
So 1st don't get overly concerned yet. The boat just came out of storage. 2nd the Marina should have treated the case in the tank appropriately, but as mentioned condensation can happen....

You mentioned you have filled the tank, I would run that tank through, as long as your not having any trouble getting to WOT. it is likely what you are experiencing will go away. It has been a cold damp spring thus far, something Outboards notoriously don't like.

Now if you are on your sixth season with the boat, it is likely a good time to run something like Gum-out through the system... Also regardless of manufacture recommendations new plugs should be in the plan... (although before doing the plugs I would run through this first tank of gas).....

Now water separating filters are mentioned, here while I agree they can help, they generally aren't needed if you are running you boat enough. Having said that, since the newer models of pontoons, like to put the gas tank down in the center tube, I believe adding one, could be a good idea.... however they themselves can cause additional problems.....

Anyways that is it for now... hopefully your issue will not put a damper on your summer.
Thanks for the reassurance—it was so weird because every other year has been perfect.

Gumout = Sea Foam? A quick search found that the former may be better when taking things apart whereas the latter might be better in fuel treatment? I've also used Techron in my cars in the past. Thoughts?

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Old 05-10-2021, 12:53 PM   #14
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I use StarTron both on See Doo and Cobalt, not sure if one brand is any better then other. I heard you can not mix Startron and SeaFoam and you have to wait until the tank is empty to go from one to another.

Any comments ?
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Thanks for the reassurance—it was so weird because every other year has been perfect.

Gumout = Sea Foam? A quick search found that the former may be better when taking things apart whereas the latter might be better in fuel treatment? I've also used Techron in my cars in the past. Thoughts?

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I have no experience with SeaFoam............ I have used Gumout, for years, both in my boats and my cars, with excellent success....

When you look at fuel additives, Seafoam, Star Tron, Sta-bil are all marketed to help stop phase separation of ethanol fuels...... As an adder the do tend to help keep gum deposits at bay.....

Gumout however doesn't do anything for phase separation, it is a detergent to clean carbs and injectors........Techron is in this same category.....

Anyways just rambling, I have a felling once you get to your second tank of gas, most of what you are dealing with will go away....

Personally for the last 11-12 years, I have run Stabil Marine.... I add it in every tank of gas..... I have had no problems (knocking on wood)..... at winterization time, I do believe my Mechanic drops in some Seafoam.... and thus in the spring we have very little problem, except the need for a tune up every 2-3 years....
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:07 AM   #16
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Go splurge on a $3.45 bottle of HEET Water Remover & Injector Cleaner and your engine will thank you for it.
Adding a little bottle of alcohol to a tank of gasoline that is already 10% alcohol is not going to do much, IMO. Fresh gas would probably be a better plan.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:56 PM   #17
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I’ve had great success with adding Startron to gas w/water in it. I think I read something about it breaking down the water into smaller droplets allowing your engine to draw in a higher gas to water ratio.

When issue happened on both and outboard and an I/OI ran the Startron treated gas down as low as I dared and filled the tank(s) with fresh gas. Didn’t have an issue w/performance after that.


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Old 05-16-2021, 05:58 PM   #18
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If I was wondering or concerned with bad gas the first thing I’d do is rig up a 6 gal to confirm if the old gas is doing any harm. If nothing changes then other steps can be made to dig deeper into engine repairs.
My yearly routine is to fill the tank in the fall stabilizer treated, then pump most out into my truck and wife’s car using a 12vdc fuel pump in the spring before the season starts, then start the boating season with a fresh boat fuel tank.
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:42 AM   #19
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Thanks for the tips, all. I was on Chocorua for the weekend with my Scout group, so I couldn't get on board this weekend, but I've got a new Everstart (freshly charged) and a bottle of Seafoam to throw in the fresh fuel.

I also talked to NW Marine, and he was kind enough to provide three options on battery management:

1. Throw this or a group 31 in and use it as I have, expecting ~4 years or so depending on how often it's totally charged.

2. Add a solar panel to keep the battery topped off/fight against connection drain.

3. Add a dual-battery system with an auto or manual switch that will control use of both batteries. For this to be effective, a solar panel would be necessary to keep both cells topped off as the increased capacity definitely wouldn't be covered by the boat's charging system.

I can't currently swing #3 as it would be $800-1k with batteries, charger, regulator, switch, etc.

#2 has got potential, but it would have to be towards the end of summer when we have a better sense of finances (my last check until September is in a few weeks!).

That being said, I'm gonna throw the new battery and Seafoam in and see if I have any issues with the trimming down stalling and stuttering. If I still do, it'll need to go back to the marina for diagnosis and we'll go from there.

If both are cleared up, I'll have discovered the problem(s) and will just decide on how best to avoid them again in the future.

This is a long way of saying thanks for all your help!

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Old 05-19-2021, 04:28 PM   #20
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"I can't currently swing #3 as it would be $800-1k with batteries, charger, regulator, switch, etc."

Huh? 2x $79 for batteries, a manual switch is around $39 and auto is around $79...

You are in for about $250 if you buy 2 new batteries and do it yourself.

My last boat had an auto switch, I loved it. My current boat is manual and it's ok, but I do have an auto one to replace it when I get some 'me' time.
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Old 05-19-2021, 05:11 PM   #21
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"I can't currently swing #3 as it would be $800-1k with batteries, charger, regulator, switch, etc."

Huh? 2x $79 for batteries, a manual switch is around $39 and auto is around $79...

You are in for about $250 if you buy 2 new batteries and do it yourself.

My last boat had an auto switch, I loved it. My current boat is manual and it's ok, but I do have an auto one to replace it when I get some 'me' time.
The discussion revolved around better batteries ($140 or so), a solar charger and requisite components, and labor, since this isn't my forte.

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Old 05-23-2021, 06:48 PM   #22
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Update: took Boatie Two out for a bit yesterday and got a tiny bit of stuttering in the first few minutes and then it seemed clear (never got above 5200 RPM or so) for the whole day. Hoping we're good there.

On the battery: what should it be testing out at after sitting for a day or two? No problems with stalling when trimming down right now, so now it's just a question of whether the battery needs replacement at all.

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Old 05-27-2021, 08:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Update: took Boatie Two out for a bit yesterday and got a tiny bit of stuttering in the first few minutes and then it seemed clear (never got above 5200 RPM or so) for the whole day. Hoping we're good there.

On the battery: what should it be testing out at after sitting for a day or two? No problems with stalling when trimming down right now, so now it's just a question of whether the battery needs replacement at all.

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If the 12V floaded lead acid battery is fully charged, and has not been connected to a charger for 48 hours, it should produce 12.6 Volts.
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:31 AM   #24
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If the 12V floaded lead acid battery is fully charged, and has not been connected to a charger for 48 hours, it should produce 12.6 Volts.
Thanks, Dave. If I recall from another search, however, that should be a disconnected battery? I noticed there are wingnuts on the terminals, so I'm wondering if in the meantime before I have a switch installed, I should be disconnecting the battery.

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Old 05-28-2021, 06:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Thanks, Dave. If I recall from another search, however, that should be a disconnected battery? I noticed there are wingnuts on the terminals, so I'm wondering if in the meantime before I have a switch installed, I should be disconnecting the battery.

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It's only necessary to disconnect the battery if there's a load on the battery. Wires that go to switches that are not closed will not create a load.
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Old 05-28-2021, 06:46 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Thanks, Dave. If I recall from another search, however, that should be a disconnected battery? I noticed there are wingnuts on the terminals, so I'm wondering if in the meantime before I have a switch installed, I should be disconnecting the battery.

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I installed one of these and never have to worry if there's a micro drawn on the battery.It's cheap money and takes a couple of minutes to install.

https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Disco...76043600&psc=1
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:19 AM   #27
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I installed one of these and never have to worry if there's a micro drawn on the battery.It's cheap money and takes a couple of minutes to install.

https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Disco...76043600&psc=1
That's right up my alley!
Since the boat goes without power all winter without an issue, I'm thinking this wouldn't be an issue?

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Old 06-13-2021, 09:12 AM   #28
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If the 12V floaded lead acid battery is fully charged, and has not been connected to a charger for 48 hours, it should produce 12.6 Volts.
Dave, after about two weeks, I tested my battery out at 12.48 volts. That's about right?

Also, my stuttering issue came back after a couple flawless days. Just heading out now and can't get above 2800 RPM without stuttering. I've burned through a 1/4 tank of new fuel, so I gotta think it's something else at this point...
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Last edited by thinkxingu; 06-13-2021 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 06-18-2021, 04:28 PM   #29
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Problem was a kinked fuel line, and we're back up and running!

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