Tag Archives: outboard

primer pump and o-rings

My trusty dingy motor, a 1987 Evinrude E4RCUD, started to give me trouble in the spring. I traced the issue to worn o-rings in what I thought was the choke, but is actually a fuel primer pump and fuel petcock all in one! Apparently this was a short lived idea of squirting more fuel into the carb rather then starving it of air to enrich the mixture. These pumps, as one web author noted, work great until they don’t! At least now I understand why the “choke” lever was so strange – its not a lever, it functions like a syringe and pulling it squirts fuel into the carb.

I replaced the o-rings with ones I got from the nice service technician at Crappy Tire – assuming they were automotive. The shut off o-ring swelled and fell apart. I thought I got all the bits but apparently didn’t. As the primer pump is between the fuel pump and the carb, the fuel doesn’t get filtered. I thought the o-ring bits were just in the pump/shut-off valve and I replaced the o-rings again with OEM rings. The engine still wasn’t happy and I left it home for the bulk of the summer. It wasn’t that bad rowing once I got the oarlocks sorted out.

Determined to get this motor running, I pulled the carb for a 3rd time and found what was clogging up the main jet and float needle. As pictured there were large chunks under the float needle and under the main jet.

I also serviced the fuel pump as it had never been touched and I thought it might be a fuel starvation issue (it was but not from there…!).

Better late than never, I finally got the engine sorted on Labour Day weekend!

20 Years in a Locker.

My parent’s condo came with a mangy collection of dive gear in the attic and a small outboard motor in a storage locker. I used the dive gear few times in the late 90s and it slowly disintegrated with minimal use. (think Steve Zissou era equipment…)Rubber parts, gaskets & seals don’t last forever. The motor however, was always in the back of my mind.

It wasn’t until this year that our membership in the Aquatic Park Sailing Club was confirmed that I had need of a 4hp motor to power a (as yet unspecified) dinghy.

So into the locker we went.

I threw out the flares (orange box) – I didn’t think they would pass Coast Guard inspection, let alone do much more than fizzle if I ever needed them.

My lovely young assistant helped me break the motor down….


…and pack it in a big box to ship it home.

I sent it by air-cargo on Delta (via NYC) , it arrived in Toronto in  four days. Funny thing is everyone I called told me to use Delta. UPS even told me to call Delta as it would be cheaper. When I asked how much cheaper… pause “’bout $100”. I called a shipping company and he told me he would just use Delta and charge me more, so, taking the hint,  I finally emailed Delta.

Total cost including shipping, GST and Customs $251. I am crazy lucky as this motor is in immaculate condition. The old neighbours (they are old, but still neighbours ) say it wasn’t used more than a few times by the previous owners and looking at the condition and plugs,  it is pristine.  Now I’ll have to fire it up to see if the crank seals and the fuel pump is still limber enough to run the motor. It did have one piece broken so I ordered a Lever, cam lever from Boats.net – a whopping $5.37
The engine is a Belgium made 1987 4hp 2cylinder 2-stroke.

Now all I need is a dinghy.

ps – I was going to call this post 20 Years in the Closet, but realized that that means something quite different.