Cold Weather Outboard Starting

Discussion in 'Boats, Blinds, & Gadgets Forum' started by cjr, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:58 AM.

  1. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Elite Refuge Member

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    Funny no one mentioned starting fluid.
     
    take'm likes this.
  2. frankman

    frankman Senior Refuge Member

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    Oh I keep two cans in the boat for when it’s super cold
     
  3. cjr

    cjr New Member

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    Thanks for all of the replies, guys!

    I should have mentioned that the engine has done this from the day it was new (well at least the first cold day). I have had it checked a few times by different mechanics and nobody has found anything amiss. Compression was checked last year and was good (i don't recall the numbers). I have never had the choke or priming system looked at but will.

    I will also be sure to have it all the way down when starting. I usually do but not always.

    I have stayed away from ether as I am under the impression that it can do long term damage to the engine which can lead to a dependence on ether.

    Out of curiosity, mechanically, what is the problem with cold? Is it that the engine block itself is cold or is it because the air is cold? If it is caused by the engine itself being cold, has anybody tried a block heater or some other sort of device to keep the engine warm prior to heading out?

    Again, thanks for all of the suggestions.
     
  4. mallardhunter

    mallardhunter Senior Refuge Member

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    And I thought I was the only poor soul to suffer with a Wizard Powermatic 12! We used to joke that it was bloodthirsty. You had to pull it until a blister formed, keep pulling until the blister bled onto the starter rope, then it would start. And it was only the first start of the day. Once it started it would start easily for the rest of the day. A mechanic taught me how to start it and he basically said, "You can't flood a Mercury". Prime (was a pump on the tank of that Wizard) it 'til you're tired and smell gas. Darned thing would start on the second pull. Finally retired it when I could no longer find parts for the carb. Like you, I went for a 20hp Merc (about the same vintage). Remembered what that old mechanic said and primed it until gas was running out the back of it - started right up, in cold or hot weather. I have no idea about any "secondary" choke. Where was it?
    I moved to a 15 hp Merc 2-stroke (last year they made 'em). As long as the plugs are good, that thing starts on the 2nd pull.
     
  5. perfmarine

    perfmarine Elite Refuge Member

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    Tuleman, I have been using fogging fluid for 25 years for testing motors that won't run because of a fuel issue. It does 2 things, motor will run on it and the oil in it will help boost compression in the cylinder. Never ever use ether, it will wash off the oil in the crankcase and cylinders,and that is not good and will seize the motor in no time. I have had people bring me motors they tried to start with ether and they were seized and were junk.
     
  6. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    While actually running a two-stroke engine on pure ether would damage it exactly how you described, just starting the engine on ether won't hurt it. A two-stroke at idle requires almost no lubrication, so residual oils will suffice. Keep in mind that ether is a gas not a liquid, and will not wash oil off bearings, pistons, cylinders, etc. It would take several minutes of running under load for residual oil on those components to be diminished to the point of damage.
    Bottom line: fogging oil is designed to prevent corrosion during long-term storage. Starting fluid is designed to help start cantankerous engines in cold conditions. Used properly, starting fluid will not damage a two-stroke.
    You can certainly keep using fogging oil to start a balky engine if it works for you, but there are better products for that.
     
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  7. GUNNERX2

    GUNNERX2 Elite Refuge Member

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    The secondary choke was the same knob on the front for the regular choke but it was spring loaded and had to be manually held out. Once the engine started, you release the knob to the regular choke position. This was on a blue band Merc, don't know about the red bands.
     
  8. mallardhunter

    mallardhunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks, Gunner.
     
  9. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    Perf, I just checked a can of Car Quest ether starting fluid. It says it "contains top end lubricant". I looked at two other brands of starting fluid (Valvoline and Pyroil), and they also contain upper cylinder lubricant. All safe for prolonged running in 2-strokes.
     
  10. frankman

    frankman Senior Refuge Member

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    I was in the parts store and noticed the same thing, but I’m not gonna say how many times my old Johnson had the old type ether shot in the carb to make it start in 20 degree or less temps, after the first start up it’s good for the day
     

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