Friday, August 19, 2011

Things that . . . Work? Cleaning outboard Carburetor.

Last night when returning from a wonderful outdoor Shakespeare Play ( we actually ran the outboard motor out of gas.  This is a 3.3hp 2-stroke made by Tohatsu (or is it Nissan?) and sold under several brands (ours says Mercury on it) and we had noticed that while running at slow speeds it tended to stumble/miss a bit.  Googling this indicated the carb is a bit clogged and a good cleaning would help.   I had this on my To Do List for this winter.   Well, as the gas was getting low last night I applied choke and then more throttle to get additional life out of what was left in the gas tank.  (we ended up doing a very pleasant row most of the way back).

This morning I refilled the outboard with fuel for an early morning run to get fresh doughnuts and coffee.  And guess what - the motor ran MUCH smoother!  As if the carburetor had been magically cleaned over night!

This caused me to remember a boat rafted to us who was having issues with their brand new outboard at idle.  The service desk suggested for them to warm up the motor, turn off the fuel and then as the motor starts to starve apply full choke and rev open the throttle.  Repeating this a few times would often clear out small dirt / clogs in the Carb's idle circuit.   Seems to me that running last night kind of did the same thing.

Has anyone else heard of this?


  1. I have. I have worked on small engines and automotive engines for quite a while. When I worked in a shop we called this an Oklahoma Overhaul. Rev the motor and place your hand over the throat of the carb and hold it there till the motor is nearly dead. Release the strangle hold and often they would run better.

    1. Oh, I like that! Can see how doing that would suck under force a good amount of fuel through the jets - cleaning them up a bit. And esp like the name.

      Thanks for sharing!