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Outboard Carburetor Cleaning

Updated on August 6, 2016

Outboard Carburetor Cleaning

Old 2 cycle outboard motors used a mixture of gasoline and oil. These outboards are like any other small two cycle engine in that if they are allowed to sit in a corner for years, as most of them have prior to purchase, the fuel mixture takes on a consistency similar to varnish. When this happens, the fuel system needs to be cleaned in order for it to run again. Luckily, most of these old outboard motors have an attached tank, are gravity fed and fairly easy to clean.

Draining the Outboard Tank

Start by draining the old fuel out of the old tank. This can be accomplished by disconnecting the fuel line either at the tank or at the carburetor and draining the fuel into a container of some kind. The gas tank will most likely be attached using 4 bolts from below. Removing the cowling or metal wrap around the engine may be necessary. Once the tank is removed, set it aside.

Tank Sits Above Carburetor
Tank Sits Above Carburetor | Source

Draining the Outboard Tank

Start by draining the old fuel out of the old tank. This can be accomplished by disconnecting the fuel line either at the tank or at the carburetor and draining the fuel into a container of some kind. The gas tank will most likely be attached using 4 bolts from below. Removing the cowling or metal wrap around the engine may be necessary. Once the tank is removed, set it aside.

Remove the Carburetor on the Outboard

The carburetor should be removed next. This can be accomplished by removing the bolts which connect it to the head. In the case of the Wizard outboard pictured, there were two bolts to remove. Generally, there is a gasket between the carburetor and the head. This gasket will need to be saved unless you can get new parts for the motor you are working on.

Cleaning the Tank on the Outboard

To clean the tank, fill it about a quarter to half full with gasoline. Put the cap back on and slosh the gasoline around in the tank for a minute or two. Drain the gasoline into a bucket and repeat the process three or four times. When clean gasoline comes out after you slosh around a few times, your tank should be ready.

Cleaning the Outboard Carburetor

To clean the carburetor, you will need a container large enough to cover the whole carburetor with liquid. Good pictures along with documentation or a diagram are critical during the next few steps. The carburetor should be disassembled completely. The components minus any seals should be allowed to soak for at least 24 hours in some sort of carburetor cleaner such as the product listed in the add above. Agitating the liquid from time to time may help loosen up any grime within the carburetor.

Assembled Carburetor
Assembled Carburetor | Source

Assemble Outboard Carburetor

Once clean, the carburetor should be re-assembled and placed to the side with the cleaned gas tank. The next step will be to remove the flywheel so that the points can be cleaned and adjusted.

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