Latest News: Forums Technical 4 stroke outboard question Re: Re: 4 stroke outboard question


This is one of those questions that you can answer in two ways ie. what should you do and what do I actually do…

I would say that running the carb dry every time I turn the engine on is not practical and in fact I never do it. What if you’re driving up to a beach? Do you loiter for a couple of minutes with enough water to run the engine to dry out the carb and then when it cuts out paddle for the beach – Probably not – You probably run in cut the engine and drift up onto the beach with the carb still full.

In theory I suppose you should flush the engine in fresh water every time you use it and I suppose you could run the carb dry when doing that. But I wonder how many of us don’t bother. I certainly don’t do it every time. Actually on mine when I tried to close the fuel valve and run it dry it seems to suck fuel from somewhere and I get a little fuel leak, never quite worked out where it come from – it never leaks in any other condition – on it’s side in the boot of my car it is fine.

My little 2-stroke Suzuki sits all winter with the same fuel in the tank/carb and it starts pretty much first time. when I first got the engine from my dad it had very old fuel (10yrs??) and would not start. Fresh fuel – 1 pull and off it went. Engine is about 20yrs old. The main issue (with this particular engine) is not carb gunking but overheating due to the cooling channels blocking with salt/sand. I spoke to a Suzuki mechanic about that and his opinion was that flushing on small engines was good to do but does not really stop cooling channel blocking. He said the only way to stop it for sure was to use the engine regularly – most of us don’t so they crust up. Only cure is to remove the head once in a while (every couple of years) and scrape it out – easy enough on a 2 stroke. On mine you need 2 gaskets – cylinder head and exhaust gasket. If they come off is reasonable condition I re-use then with a bit of gasket compound. The only thing to be careful of is not stripping the threads when you re-assemble.