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Old 24 April 2011, 14:12   #1
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Dead Seagull

I've been given a Seagull outboard motor that has not been used since the 1980's.
It's in good condition and the engine turns freely with good compression, but it won't start. I took out the spark plug and put it against the casing and there does not appear to be a spark when you try to start it.
What's likely to be the fault, does this engine have a CDI ignition module somewhere? I cannot work out how to remove the flywheel as it turns when you try to loosen the bolt, I'm guessing it may be under there.

Are these engines noisy? I was thinking of using it on the canal, as it's half the weight of my regular engine and we only need to do between 2 and 4mph.
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Old 24 April 2011, 14:39   #2
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Could well be the points on a motor that old? Probably need replacing if its been stood that long. I remember them being quite loud too, but I could be wrong.
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Old 24 April 2011, 15:25   #3
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The Saving Old Seagulls website was very useful when I was trying to get one going, there's a good page on how to get a dead engine running.

Noisy? I don't know if it's normal but mine was deafening when it finally started up, scared the crap out of the neighbours! Very oily exhaust too.
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Old 24 April 2011, 15:53   #4
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It absolutely is normal, plus IIRC they run on 10:1.
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Old 24 April 2011, 17:28   #5
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Seagull engine

Points and a condenser....I guess I need to take off the flywheel then to check these.
How is the flywheel removed?
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Old 24 April 2011, 20:24   #6
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Slacken the nut off and give it a sharp tap with a hammer to shock the flywheel off(yes, that's the official way to do it!).

If you try to use pullers you'll break the flywheel.
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Old 25 April 2011, 02:24   #7
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Worth noting he said slacken, not remove.

IIRC, on some models there is an "inspection" hatch on the flywheel - if you remove the nut, does a cover come off the flywheel? That'll give you access to see if the points are stuck/adjusted correctly/corroded before removing the flywheel. Not sure if this cover was on all models though - this was on an approx 1938 one.
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Old 25 April 2011, 04:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Worth noting he said slacken, not remove.

IIRC, on some models there is an "inspection" hatch on the flywheel - if you remove the nut, does a cover come off the flywheel? That'll give you access to see if the points are stuck/adjusted correctly/corroded before removing the flywheel. Not sure if this cover was on all models though - this was on an approx 1938 one.
From memory they all have the inspection 'hatch'. There's very little to the ignition system-these engines were designed to be maintained by colonial subjects with hammers and a King Dick adjustable. The gearbox doesn't even have o-ring seals in (make sure you use the right gearbox oil or it'll all fall out!)
Spares are fairly readily available. Make sure you're carrying spare shear springs and split pins.

Yes, they are noisy.Hard to stop too-turning the fuel off about 30 seconds before you're due to stop is the only way of making sure it'll restart. DON'T stop it using the choke or it'll take ages to get going again.

It may be worth investigating a stop switch that shorts the points out. Never tried to fit one myself though.
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Old 25 April 2011, 05:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
Slacken the nut off and give it a sharp tap with a hammer to shock the flywheel off(yes, that's the official way to do it!).

If you try to use pullers you'll break the flywheel.
I'll copy the page out of the Service manual and PM it you when I get back. You need to have the piston in a certain position (closest to crankcase I think if I remember correctly) then heat up the flywheel and to we used a full on sledgehammer to get it off
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Old 25 April 2011, 06:01   #10
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Just a couple of things extra to all the above. Before hitting the flywheel nut to remove the flywheel make sure the engine is at bottom dead centre. The piston is at the bottom of its stroke. If not it is possible to bend the conrod! Second, if a points ignition system, the condenser is situated in the housing below the points.
Good luck.
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Old 26 April 2011, 11:59   #11
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This engine has a Wipac ignition system- it does not have a separate condenser - it a sealed coil/condenser unit.

As the motor has not been used for a long time the problem could be due dirty contact breaker points - you don't need to remove the flywheel to adjust the points - you can clean and adjust the points through the "hatch" in the flywheel - set the points at min. .015 inch - max. .020 inch - spark plug should be .020 inch.

Also remove the h.t. lead and check the contacts are clean.

If you ever have to remove the flywheel - undo the dome nut and remove the starter pulley plate and fill the "well" and keyway slot in top of the flywheel with WD40 or similar and leave to soak before you try and remove flywheel.
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Old 27 April 2011, 11:11   #12
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It;s been a while since I had the pleasure of treying to persuade one of thse to start, but two thoughts for you:

They are very sensitive to exhaust back pressure. I remember onre that would run happily on the back of a chair with the prop only just under the water, then when carried (running! ) and dropped onto the back of a mirror dingy it coughed & died.

Also have you absolutely flooded the carb 'till fuel is dripping out? I've known two that needed that for a cold start.......
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Old 27 April 2011, 13:58   #13
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Well this thread has sparked me to get back on with my resoration. Tackled the clamp assembly today, totally stripped of the bronze bits which are soaking in dil. NaOH overnight and all other bits. The only thing I can't get off is the nylon leg rest...hmmm....most of assembly is in primer though so it's all looking good. Cracked out the old blowtorch today to try and free a bolt from the mazak - absolute PITA!
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