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Old 30 September 2013, 19:22   #1
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School a newbie on outboard maintenance

I recently bought a 1980 Suzuki DT-40 40hp 2-stroke outboard. It started up first try when I inspected it but when I attempted to start it yesterday it started briefly twice but died. It had been sitting out in the rain for several days and some moisture may have made in under the hood. It's also possible that the newbie outboard owner flooded it. Any suggestions for what to do, how to get it started? I am also looking for maintenance advice. It appears in great shape but no record of any kind of maintenance exists. Advice appreciated.
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Old 30 September 2013, 19:44   #2
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To start...
How old is the gas in the tank? How about the gas in the carbs, is that older than a year?
Squirting starter fluid in the air intake manifold can you get it running?

Sitting, upright on a stand or transom in the rain is no big deal.
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:03   #3
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Brand new tank and fuel hoses. Will try starter fluid.
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:18   #4
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Older 2 strokes are great. Very simple to operate and maintain. Once you get the basics down, they are all pretty much the same. They will last forever if you maintain it. When troubleshooting, basically look for compression, fuel, and spark. That's all they need to run.

A good list of stuff to change out is:

Waterpump every year, spark plugs every season or every 100 hrs, lower unit oil every 50 hours or so, and seafoam or decarb every 50 hours.

If it sits for a while, you might have to take the carb off and clean it out.

That's basically it.

Don't overdo it with the starter fluid. If it runs with a couple second burst from the starter fluid, it's probably fine and just needs the carb cleaned out.
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:22   #5
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Great advice. Thanks! How do I clean the carb? What is sea foam/decarb?
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:27   #6
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DONT EVER USE STARTER FLUID ON A 2-STROKE ENGINE it has no oil in it and the cold start up with no oil could scratch the cylinder..
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:28   #7
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Wow. ok. No harm done yet as i haven't tried started fluid yet. I'm looking to try some decarbonizer fluid though.
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:32   #8
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Look at YouTube videos on cleaning the carb. They are all mostly the same. Take it off, open it up - be nice to the gaskets if you're gonna reuse them. Then spray it all liberally with carb cleaner to get the gunk and varnish out. The important part is to get the jets COMPLETELY clean so fuel flows through them freely. And to adjust the float correctly. It'll take you an hour or so the first time.

Seafoam is very important for 2 strokes since they build up carbon quickly. You put it into the fuel and it breaks up carbon deposits. Take a can of seafoam and mix it with 3/4 of a gallon of gas or 50:1 if you mix. Run that through the motor. It will smoke like hell and might sputter or die. Turn it off let it sit for 15 mins then run regular gas through the motor. Take it for a spin until it stops smoking more than usual. All done.

If you do it in a test tank you'll see all the crud that came out of the motor.
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:34   #9
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Yea, starter fluid doesn't have lubricity so really don't use much. Just a second or two of spray to see if it turns over won't hurt. The other option is to put gas and oil at 50:1 in a spray bottle and use that instead of starter fluid
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Old 30 September 2013, 20:35   #10
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Sea Foam has many products. Which one mixes in the fuel?

How do I adjust the float?
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