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Thread: Disposable carburetors

  1. #1
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    Default Disposable carburetors

    Yeah, from a financial point of view, we can now class carbs for small engines as 'disposable'.

    A year and a half ago, I bought a Tohatsu 5HP four stroke for my dinghy.... it replaced an 8HP 2 stroke Merc (actually, made by Tohatsu), which had been rather finicky, and which was simply larger than I needed and very heavy, to carry.

    The Tohatsu worked great, the season before last, as well as last season. This year, however, when I first used it, it wouldn't idle properly... it would either stall, race, or run with variable speed in idle. In additional testing, it was working fine at any throttle setting while in gear.... but it just wouldn't idle correctly.

    I immediately suspected that the low speed (idle) jet was clogged or gummed up. My usual 'decommissioning' was to run the engine dry, and then store it in my office during the winter; I wasn't in the habit of using any fuel conditioner; in my previous 30 years of experience with several small outboards, it was never a problem... even after the gas started to include 10% ethanol.

    Upon suggestion from fellow boaters at my marina, I bought some Seafoam, and added a fair amount to a fresh gallon of gas, and ran the engine for several hours, over the course of two days. While it ran fine at any speed in gear, the Seafoam additive did not result in restoring proper idle.

    So, what to do? Online, I found several videos illustrating the procedure for removing the carburetor... unfortunately, none illustrating how to fully disassemble it. I pulled the carb off, and opened the bowl... and it was clean as a whistle, as if it was brand new. Evidently, if the low speed idle jet is clogged, nothing else indicates any evidence of 'varnish' or 'gelling' from the fuel. Not having a shop manual, OR a local source for small parts, I didn't attempt to disassemble it further... I put it back on, and it's running the same: fine, at speed and in gear, but not idling consistently.

    A boating friend recommended that I take it to a place in Warren, RI, which, he assured me, had an excellent reputation for repair work (there are VERY few Tohatsu service dealers in my area, and this one was not the closest, but I was told on the phone they could turn it around fairly quickly).

    The fellow who owns the place was a grizzled old guy, sitting in some well-worn chairs in the front showroom, and I was able to sit down and have a long conversation with him, learning a great deal about carburetor problems. The first piece of information I got was disappointing: he said that they could NOT turn it around quickly, at all, owing to the backlog of service orders.

    He confirmed my diagnosis of a clogged low speed idle jet... but what he had to say about clearing it was NOT encouraging. Basically, the low speed idle circuit is sealed, and to fix it, a fitting would have to be first drilled out, followed by replacement with small parts that are not included in the usual carb repair kit (they probably would have to be ordered from a Tohatsu distributor). Before replacing those parts, the carb would have to be subjected to an ultrasonic cleaner, as well.

    From an economic point of view, it actually makes no sense. Their labor rate is $150/hr, and even though it takes very little time to remove and reinstall the carb, the cleanout takes well over an hour... add to that, the cost of parts.

    However, a complete replacement carburetor, via Defender, is $154 plus shipping.... probably less than the cost of a carburetor cleanout at a service dealer.

    This fellow is also a Honda dealer, and services a lot of Honda lawnmowers and portable generators. He tells me that the Honda replacement carbs are so cheap.... as little as $10, for some small power tools... that they don't even bother to try to clean them, it's simply not economical... they just replace them.

    So, I bought a replacement carb from Defender, with overnight delivery... for about the same price as having it serviced, just three weeks sooner. I expect it tomorrow. The fellow told me that it should run fine, upon installation... the only thing I might need to do is adjust the idle speed (the air-fuel mixture screw is factory set and needs no tuning).

    Of course, this does cause me to consider how I treat the fuel during the season, and how I decommission the engine in the fall. I'm thinking now that the last tank of fuel, in late September, should probably be a can of 'True-Fuel' (expensive, but there's no ethanol in it), mixed with some Sta-bil or Seafoam, before running it dry for the winter.

    All in all, it does seem rather amazing that the carburetor has become a disposable item.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  2. #2
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    i've bought a few carbs for small engine stuff. weedeaters, lawnmowers, etc. it's cheap and easy. but you would think a 1k and up motor would have a carb that could be cleaned.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Since you have a replacement, you are in a great position to do potentially destructive "repairs" on the original patient.
    Possibly, since solvents did not solve (Ha Ha) the problem, it is piece of insoluble gunk.
    Good luck

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    , before running it dry for the winter.
    Run it dry, but also take the extra step of draining the carburetor bowl.

    Kevin
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Run it dry, but also take the extra step of draining the carburetor bowl.
    Undoubtedly a good idea... although when I removed the carburetor bowl from the presumably gunked-up carburetor, it was incredibly clean... not a spec of anything in it, just perfectly clear fuel.

    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Pratt
    Since you have a replacement, you are in a great position to do potentially destructive "repairs" on the original patient.
    I'm contemplating buying the service manual... $40, online... simply to see HOW it would be done, if it were to be done. The fellow at the Tohatsu dealer said that a fitting had to be drilled out... seems rather extreme, to me, but maybe knowing how to do it will prevent having to buy yet a third carb.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    There is no need to add stabilizer to True-Fuel. It already has stabilizer in it.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    There is no need to add stabilizer to True-Fuel. It already has stabilizer in it.
    Yeah, I just looked at their website, and discovered that.

    I see that you can get TruFuel in a 12 oz can.... it would make sense to buy just one can, and simply disconnect the engine's fuel line, and run it into the can... then run the engine for 20 minutes or so, before shutting down for the season. No need to buy a gallon.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Undoubtedly a good idea... although when I removed the carburetor bowl from the presumably gunked-up carburetor, it was incredibly clean... not a spec of anything in it, just perfectly clear fuel.



    I'm contemplating buying the service manual... $40, online... simply to see HOW it would be done, if it were to be done. The fellow at the Tohatsu dealer said that a fitting had to be drilled out... seems rather extreme, to me, but maybe knowing how to do it will prevent having to buy yet a third carb.
    ROFLMAO!

    I would guess it's a LOT easier said than done!

    You will likely need a GOOD drill press, with an x/y axis/angle vise, some fairly serious measuring equipment and the knowledge and experience to bring all those elements together to focus on a tiny piece of brass embedded in a fragile, thin-walled pot metal casting.

    Of course, it may be a breeze, but I sure wouldn't count on it!
    Rattling the teacups.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    ROFLMAO!

    I would guess it's a LOT easier said than done!

    You will likely need a GOOD drill press, with an x/y axis/angle vise, some fairly serious measuring equipment and the knowledge and experience to bring all those elements together to focus on a tiny piece of brass embedded in a fragile, thin-walled pot metal casting.

    Of course, it may be a breeze, but I sure wouldn't count on it!
    I have the drill press and vise. The question is whether I can get the 'little' parts... I got the impression that they don't come with the carb rebuild kit... I suppose there's a Tohatsu distributor who sells to the dealers, who could supply them.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  10. #10
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    and then you'll spend all that time and effort, get it all back together, and it still won't run right. (i'm about to order a new chainsaw carb after doing just that)

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Yeah, from a financial point of view, we can now class carbs for small engines as 'disposable'.

    A year and a half ago, I bought a Tohatsu 5HP four stroke for my dinghy.... it replaced an 8HP 2 stroke Merc (actually, made by Tohatsu), which had been rather finicky, and which was simply larger than I needed and very heavy, to carry.

    The Tohatsu worked great, the season before last, as well as last season. This year, however, when I first used it, it wouldn't idle properly... it would either stall, race, or run with variable speed in idle. In additional testing, it was working fine at any throttle setting while in gear.... but it just wouldn't idle correctly.

    I immediately suspected that the low speed (idle) jet was clogged or gummed up. My usual 'decommissioning' was to run the engine dry, and then store it in my office during the winter; I wasn't in the habit of using any fuel conditioner; in my previous 30 years of experience with several small outboards, it was never a problem... even after the gas started to include 10% ethanol.

    Upon suggestion from fellow boaters at my marina, I bought some Seafoam, and added a fair amount to a fresh gallon of gas, and ran the engine for several hours, over the course of two days. While it ran fine at any speed in gear, the Seafoam additive did not result in restoring proper idle.

    So, what to do? Online, I found several videos illustrating the procedure for removing the carburetor... unfortunately, none illustrating how to fully disassemble it. I pulled the carb off, and opened the bowl... and it was clean as a whistle, as if it was brand new. Evidently, if the low speed idle jet is clogged, nothing else indicates any evidence of 'varnish' or 'gelling' from the fuel. Not having a shop manual, OR a local source for small parts, I didn't attempt to disassemble it further... I put it back on, and it's running the same: fine, at speed and in gear, but not idling consistently.

    A boating friend recommended that I take it to a place in Warren, RI, which, he assured me, had an excellent reputation for repair work (there are VERY few Tohatsu service dealers in my area, and this one was not the closest, but I was told on the phone they could turn it around fairly quickly).

    The fellow who owns the place was a grizzled old guy, sitting in some well-worn chairs in the front showroom, and I was able to sit down and have a long conversation with him, learning a great deal about carburetor problems. The first piece of information I got was disappointing: he said that they could NOT turn it around quickly, at all, owing to the backlog of service orders.

    He confirmed my diagnosis of a clogged low speed idle jet... but what he had to say about clearing it was NOT encouraging. Basically, the low speed idle circuit is sealed, and to fix it, a fitting would have to be first drilled out, followed by replacement with small parts that are not included in the usual carb repair kit (they probably would have to be ordered from a Tohatsu distributor). Before replacing those parts, the carb would have to be subjected to an ultrasonic cleaner, as well.

    From an economic point of view, it actually makes no sense. Their labor rate is $150/hr, and even though it takes very little time to remove and reinstall the carb, the cleanout takes well over an hour... add to that, the cost of parts.

    However, a complete replacement carburetor, via Defender, is $154 plus shipping.... probably less than the cost of a carburetor cleanout at a service dealer.

    This fellow is also a Honda dealer, and services a lot of Honda lawnmowers and portable generators. He tells me that the Honda replacement carbs are so cheap.... as little as $10, for some small power tools... that they don't even bother to try to clean them, it's simply not economical... they just replace them.

    So, I bought a replacement carb from Defender, with overnight delivery... for about the same price as having it serviced, just three weeks sooner. I expect it tomorrow. The fellow told me that it should run fine, upon installation... the only thing I might need to do is adjust the idle speed (the air-fuel mixture screw is factory set and needs no tuning).

    Of course, this does cause me to consider how I treat the fuel during the season, and how I decommission the engine in the fall. I'm thinking now that the last tank of fuel, in late September, should probably be a can of 'True-Fuel' (expensive, but there's no ethanol in it), mixed with some Sta-bil or Seafoam, before running it dry for the winter.

    All in all, it does seem rather amazing that the carburetor has become a disposable item.
    you just nearly wrote my post. I have a 6hp Tohatsu saildrive which was gummed up and aweful. A new carb was $102 and $14 3 day shipping from defender. To have the local guy rebuild it would have been over 300 and a 6 week wait. It took 10 mins to take off old one and put new one on. I ended up buying a new 3 gallon fuel tank and hose. Plugged the fresh fuel in and started in 2 pulls. I adjusted the throttle and runs like a top. I am a believer again. I did learn to dump fuel older than a month into the car rather than cheap out and try to stretch my boat dollar.

    i was seriously was just about to drop 2000 for a Torqueedo. Now why bother with that when it is so cheap and easy to just exchange like we did.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Kat’s new lawn tractor, which she shopped around for specifically for its reliability and ultimate repair-ability. Its older than she is!

    She's had it two weeks or so and has it running and cutting like a top.

    I’m not allowed to drive it.

    46466412-9FA0-4C7E-B86B-C2DBE42DCAEB.jpg
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    you just nearly wrote my post. I have a 6hp Tohatsu saildrive which was gummed up and aweful. A new carb was $102 and $14 3 day shipping from defender.
    Hmmm.. I wonder why the carb for the 6HP Tohatsu was a third less expensive than the one for the 5HP.... strange.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  14. #14
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    supply and demand
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Too bad this isn't in MISC Forum

    I for better or for worse, do the same and have replaced a few carbs on various items instead of monkeying around with trying to fix them. I had serious issues with my John Deere mower last year, with a carb that was only 1 year old (that I replaced) and I couldn't fathom that it was the carb so I brought it in. It was the carb. He corroborates your story, basically carbs are now disposable especially with the ethanol additive and he treats them as such. (I have gotten better mileage with my outboard carbs, however than my mower carbs... though I sea-foam or evinrude-stable the living crap out of the fuel)

    I am interested in the 4cycle Tohatsu that you have, how do you like it overall? I have a 1991 Toh 2stroke 3.5hp and she's been great to me. I would like something quieter for my workboat and a little more powerful.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Hmmm.. I wonder why the carb for the 6HP Tohatsu was a third less expensive than the one for the 5HP.... strange.
    mine was built in 2011. As I understand it, the horsepower differences between the 4,5 and 6hp are all about which carb you use as everything else is same.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by callsign222 View Post
    Too bad this isn't in MISC Forum

    I for better or for worse, do the same and have replaced a few carbs on various items instead of monkeying around with trying to fix them. I had serious issues with my John Deere mower last year, with a carb that was only 1 year old (that I replaced) and I couldn't fathom that it was the carb so I brought it in. It was the carb. He corroborates your story, basically carbs are now disposable especially with the ethanol additive and he treats them as such. (I have gotten better mileage with my outboard carbs, however than my mower carbs... though I sea-foam or evinrude-stable the living crap out of the fuel)

    I am interested in the 4cycle Tohatsu that you have, how do you like it overall? I have a 1991 Toh 2stroke 3.5hp and she's been great to me. I would like something quieter for my workboat and a little more powerful.
    The 4-stroke is quieter and just a little heavier. It is quiet enough to have civilized cockpit conversation. I don't miss mixing fuel. I used a borrowed Tohatsu 3.5 4 stroke on my 8000 lbs fin keel boat - at 3/4 throttle we made nearly 5kts on flat water, 6 nautical miles on 1 gallon of gas.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    mine was built in 2011. As I understand it, the horsepower differences between the 4,5 and 6hp are all about which carb you use as everything else is same.
    no way
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    no way
    Way!

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...the-difference
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    no way
    Same deal with the little two stroke clutchless/reverseless Johnson 2.3/3.? outboards from 15 years ago. The dealer told me the only difference was the carb.

    Pete
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Hmmm.. I wonder why the carb for the 6HP Tohatsu was a third less expensive than the one for the 5HP.... strange.


    Possibly because Mercury built the 6-hp ( high volume and demand) and Evinrude built the 5hp ( much lower volume)? ( TOHATSU markets outboards they dont make them)


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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    some relevance..

    https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic...8-06-08#Story2

    And as I've said above decks several times, I've had nothing but trouble with my 3.5 Tohatsu, it was new and trouble, and that company does not honour its warranty. I carried it for 4000 miles as non functioning metal baggage on the back of my boat last year.
    Junk.
    Last edited by John B; 06-13-2018 at 03:53 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    some relevance..

    https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic...8-06-08#Story2

    And as I've said above decks several times, I've had nothing but trouble with my 3.5 Tohatsu, it was new and trouble, and that company does not honour its warranty. I carried it for 4000 miles as non functioning metal baggage on the back of my boat last year.
    Junk.
    i wonder if you put a new carburetor on it....
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    it bothers me to no end how disposable everything is.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    i wonder if you put a new carburetor on it....
    !
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    i wonder if you put a new carburetor on it....

    I put a yamaha fuel tap on it, solved problem #1, ...but yes , that might just be the answer.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    We have half a dozen or so Chinese Honda motors around our place. You can pick up a full fettling kit on eBay, recoil starter, ignition system and carb for about $30 delivered. You bolt them on and they work, straight out of the box.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Norman, I had the same conversation with the guy from Warren about my Tohatsu 9.8 on my Redwing 18. I paid him once to clean the carb, $130 I think I paid. Did a little research, found that for less than $50 I could buy a Harbor Freight "jewelry ultrasonic cleaner. Worked like a charm, I us it for all of my small engine carbs. Just remove, dunk in ultrasonic cleaner and watch the crud rise from the carb. Dry it off reinstall and good to go everytime.

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    What do the Cubans do?

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Fitting Lada diesel truck engines into 50s chevys and the like I expect they still do repairs.

    One of the factors above is 130-150 bucks labour charge per hour. here its 25, Cuba probably less
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    All in all, it does seem rather amazing that the carburetor has become a disposable item.
    As one's economic condition improves the number of disposable items tends to increase.

    I'm thinking now that the last tank of fuel, in late September, should probably be a can of 'True-Fuel' (expensive, but there's no ethanol in it), mixed with some Sta-bil or Seafoam, before running it dry for the winter.
    The carburetor is really not disposable. It just needs different maintenance than you gave it.

    Your search for a solution to your problem has cost you much more than the cost of the carburetor. Perhaps as much as a new motor.
    Life is complex.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by callsign222 View Post
    I am interested in the 4cycle Tohatsu that you have, how do you like it overall?
    I bought the Tohatsu 5HP 4 stroke to replace an 8HP 2 stroke Merc that I had for 15 years. The Mercury had given me a bit of trouble over the years, but I learned to fix it, and more or less could keep it running. It's virtue was that it was smooth and powerful... but it was very heavy, bigger than I needed, and I was worried that it would be too much for my 10 yr old grand-nephew, or my granddaughters, to handle on their own.

    My general impression of the Tohatsu, when I first bought it, was favorable.... it started easily, was somewhat lighter than the 8HP Merc, and had the virtue of not needing an oil/gas mix. On the negative side, being a single cylinder engine (the Merc was a 2 cyl model), it has more vibration. It also doesn't have the integrated throttle/shift that the Merc had, which was convenient... fortunately, the Tohatsu's shift is in the front, so you don't have to fumble on the side of the engine to operate it.

    So, aside from this carburetor problem, I am happy with it... it's just powerful enough to get up on plane (the dink is an Achilles 10 ft with inflatable floor), so my grand-nephew can have some fun with it. It is also VERY efficient... I barely went through 1.5 gallons of gas last year.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Most of us are accustomed to 2 strokes from our youth. The added oil contains stabilizers.We could let em set all winter,no problem, or minimum problem.
    Our new 4 strokes do not.
    So there is that in addition to the ethanol (which is part water).
    Norman , You thought an 8 hp was too much for a ten y.o.?

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    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Norman , You thought an 8 hp was too much for a ten y.o.?
    Well, perhaps not... although the very first time he might flip it, his mother would never speak to me again. With an 8HP, and a single occupant under 100 lbs, it wouldn't be hard to get into trouble.

    Then again, I've got granddaughters, 8 and 5, and I'm trying to get them to learn to handle the dinghy... the last engine was definitely too much, for them.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  35. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    20,319

    Default Re: Disposable carburetors

    Epilogue:

    $154 later, a new carburetor completely solved the idle problem. Took all of five minutes to remove the old one and install the new one.

    This fall, when I decommission the dinghy, I'm going to run pure TruFuel in it for a good half hour before I disconnect the fuel line and let it die.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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