Troubleshooting a Two-Stroke Outboard Engine, Part 1

In order to trouble-shoot your outboard engine, you need to have a good understanding of how it works. Typically fuel and air mixture cause problems, as does electrical issues. Here are some tips for trouble-shooting a two-stroke outboard motor:

First, check that the boat battery is connected. To confirm, turn the ignition key to “on” before revving the engine and see that the electrical system is online. Put the boat in neutral and then shift to a different gear position. Shift back to neutral to make sure the engine is fully engaged. Next, open the ignition switch and check the status of the wiring; none should be loose. If there are loose wires, strip them, add a new connector, and reconnect the wiring to the switch. Come back tomorrow, with some Evinrude Johnson 2 stroke outboard oil in hand, as we continue detailing how to troubleshoot your outboard motor.

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Troubleshooting an Evinrude E-TEC Motor

Bombadier’s Evinrude E-TEC outboard motor engines are well-regarded for being low maintenance while achieving a 300 hour run time. Like all engines, low maintenance or not, E-TECs do run across problems, including the starter not operating, engine not starting, and idling. With a few troubleshooting steps, these problems can be corrected.

If the engine won’t start, shift the handle to neutral. Check the battery to see if it’s charged and also check for blown fuses (located under the engine and electronics cover). If the starter cranks, but the engine fails to start, check that the water intake screens are below the water line. You’ll also want to check for tangled fuel hoses or an empty fuel tank. For idling, clear debris from the propeller and fix bent blades or shaft.

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Checking an Evinrude Outboard Motor

Checking your Evinrude outboard motor’s oil level should be part of your maintenance routine. It takes only a moment and can help prevent expensive problems down the line. Start by pressing down on the handle at the rear of the engine cover. This will loosen the cover so you can remove it and set it aside.

Look on the starboard side of the engine block for a large ring, aka the dipstick. Pull the ring to remove the dipstick, and then wipe the dipstick clean with a rag. Insert the dipstick back into the tube, withdraw it, and examine the level of the oil. If the oil is below acceptable limits, add Evinrude 2 cycle oil XD100.

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Preventing Oil Leaks

Outboard motors power watercrafts ranging from small pontoons to large fishing boats. Regardless of size, using the best outboard motor oil is a priority. What do you do then if your motor begins to leak? This can be detrimental to the motor’s performance and to the environment.

To prevent an oil leak, examine the fuel lines for cracks or breaks prior to heading out on the water. Also look over the oil tank for any cracks or holes. In both cases, replacing damaged parts is a must. Finally, check the engine block for corrosion and have trouble spots fixed by a professional.

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NMMA Certification

The National Marine Manufacturers Association tests and certifies the products of manufacturers. The goal of the rigorous certification process is to set a high standard for quality and safety. Currently, the NMMA certifies a variety of TC-W3 oils, FC-W oils, and FC-W (CAT) oils.

In the mission statement on their website, NMMA states, “To help boaters recognize lubricants that will give the engine life designed-in by marine engine manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association has developed a program for the certification of these premium quality lubricants.” NMMA certification is two-fold. First the oil additive packages are certified and then there is a registration of oil brands that use certified oils. Amalie Oil is one such brand that is certified under their XCEL Outboard and 2-Cycle Oil.

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Yamaha Outboard Maintenance Tips

When it comes to keeping your watercraft in working order, there is a long maintenance check list. Today we’ll focus on two parts of that list: power trim and tilt fluid, and lubricants. Be sure to regularly inspect the lower unit to highlight issues. To prevent such issues from arising, keep the prop shaft well lubricated and top up levels of trim fluids. Yamaha products, like Performance Power, are preferable.

As far as lubricants, Yamalube 2-m oil or 4-m oil is recommended for two-stroke and fours-stroke engines, respectively. It is imperative that all replaced or repaired components be bedded correctly, and then sealed and protected with lubricant. Lubricating parts also aids in motion and can extend the life of an engine.

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Outboard Engines vs. Air-Cooled Engines, Part 2

In our continuation of yesterday’s post, we will examine the differences between the oil specifications for two-stroke outboard engines versus two-stroke air-cooled engines. Outboard engines, because they are water-cooled, require oil with a high percentage of heavy oil to prevent piston scuffing. Oils with detergents should not be used as they may form ash deposits that can clog plugs. To compensate for lack of detergents, more dispersants and rust oxidation inhibitors to control deposits and rust are needed. Responsible owners of two-stroke outboard engines should give Mercury outboard oil a try.

Air-cooled two-stroke engines require much lower levels of heavy oils; in fact, too much heavy oil can cause piston rings to stick together. High detergent oil is preferable because air-cooled two-stroke engines operate at higher temperatures. The detergent keeps temperatures in check while the vibration of the engines keeps deposits from building up.

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Outboard Engines vs. Air-Cooled Engines, Part 1

Two-cycle oil needs to be added to gasoline for both two-stroke outboard engines and air-cooled two-stroke engines. There are notable differences between the oil specifications for the two applications. Let’s start by examining the differences between outboard and air-cooled two-stroke engines:

Outboard engines operate at constant speeds. Two-stroke outboard engines also operate in water, meaning they have a constant supply of coolant which is not re-circulated. Air-cooled engines, on the other hand, are used in spurts; turned on and off or left idling. These engines typically have smaller displacements than outboard engines, and are frequently overloaded. For , Mercury 2 stroke oil is recommended.

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Checking for Compression

Air, fuel, compression, and spark are the four main elements that keep a two-stroke engine running. If any one of the four elements is missing or damaged, then the engine will not go. A loss of compression can be caused by several reasons, but the most likely culprit is a faulty seal between cylinder, piston or piston rings. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to spot and fix.

Start by removing all of the spark plugs from the motor and ground those spark plugs against the engine case. Take a compression tester and screw it into the spark plug hole of the first cylinder to be tested. Twist the throttle and kick the motor over a few times. Check the tester’s gauge; if the gauge reads at least 100-125 then you’re good to go, at least on that particular cylinder. While you’re poking around the insides of your motor, consider replacing your Mercury 2 cycle oil.

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Yamalube 2W Specs

Yamaha’s Yamalube 2W oil reduces deterioration of two-stroke engine parts. It does so by lubricating the moving components within the engine. This keeps the motor clean and cool.

Yamalube 2W oil further inhibits corrosion and rust from developing inside the engine. The oil further prevents pistons from burning, rings from sticking, and spark plugs from fouling. It should be noted that the Yamalube 2W oil is meant to be used for personal watercraft engines and not for outboard motors or land vehicles.

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Specs for Yamaha Outboard 50 TLR

The is a mid-range motor for small to medium boats. It features a three-cylinder, two-stroke motor. Both the bore and the stroke are 2.6 inches, respectively. Overall, the motor weights 189 pounds.

The outboard motor runs on gasoline, minimum octane of 87. As far as lubrication, the 50 TLR has a gear ratio of 1.85; therefore, Yamalube 2M oil is recommended. The motor can hold approximately 1.6 quarts of oil. Performance-wise, the 50 TLR produces 50 horsepower at 5,000 rpm.

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How 2 Cycle Oil Works

Two-cycle engines have different requirements than four-cycle engines found in cars and lawn tractors. Oil and regular unleaded gasoline is blended together to create an enriched mixture that does more than just fuel an engine. For instance, two-cycle oil lubricates the engine while providing fuel.

When the mixture moves into the crankcase it pushes the piston up, creating a spark. Then, the spark ignites the fuel which sends the piston downwards. Thus, the power behind the two-cycle engine is created. A typical ration of oil to gas is 40 parts gasoline to one part oil or 50 parts gasoline to one part oil. Yamalube 2 cycle oil comes highly recommended.

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