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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 General Sailing Forum
 Tohatsu 6 hp sailmaster finally fixed
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FrankV
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USA
132 Posts

Initially Posted - 05/18/2023 :  15:55:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Every since I got this stupid engine it has been hard to start. If I follow the manual it might start or might not. When its warm it will not start at all until you pull the rope 20 times. I have worn out and replaced the rope starter because I have pulled on it so much. It has been in shops 5 times, and no one can fix it. Changed spark plugs, 1 carb overhaul. No change. So I decided to rebuild the carb myself. The kit on amazon was $41, but they also had a replacement chinese carb for $31. So I take the chance and buy it. Took 30 minutes to switch it out along with new filter and fuel lines. And- It started on the first pull. It restarted after it warmed up. 2 weeks later and its like a new engine. Guess I just had a bad carb this whole time.

Frank Vaughan
250 WK/SR

Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5197 Posts

Response Posted - 05/18/2023 :  20:41:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow Frank, what an ordeal!! So you bought the engine new and right off the bat, was it hard starting and not running right? Or did it start and run okay for awhile, then it crapped out after a season?
Sounds like that carburetor body, the float or an orifice was defective and made the carburetor intermittent. So when you could get it to finally start, would it run continuously, or was it balky? For example, if you turned the throttle down to an idle, would it quit running!
Glad you finally figured out the root cause of the problem. You mentioned that you purchased a Chinese-made replacement carburetor. Could you have bought a Japanese (Tohatsu brand) replacement carb? I imagine that there was a substantial difference in price, say 2:1? Itís quite possible that even a Tohatsu-branded unit was manufactured either wholly or in part by a Chinese OEM.
Now that youíve gotten your reliable ride back, where are you planning to go?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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FrankV
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USA
132 Posts

Response Posted - 05/19/2023 :  10:29:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From the start it was hard to start. Once running it was good. Just very hard to start. A Tohatsu branded carb was $400. We live on a lake so now that the engine is reliable will just sail more.

Frank Vaughan
250 WK/SR
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5827 Posts

Response Posted - 05/19/2023 :  13:32:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that it's fixed I think you'll love it. I've had two and they're good engines. Tohatsu makes them, but they're also re-branded and sold under the names of Mercury and Nissan. What would really irritate me is that the various mechanics couldn't find the problem when it was only a carburetor. Typically, they charge you for not fixing it. An engine needs fuel, spark, air and compression to run. If you check spark, air and compression, and it has them, then it has to be a fuel problem.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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3353 Posts

Response Posted - 05/19/2023 :  21:54:43  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My 2006 9.9 Honda Outboard was fine up to a few years ago when it developed similar issues as you reported with your outboard. I was going to take it off the boat and have it serviced at the marina where I bought it (Washington Marina - Oldest Marina in DC area). However, as I was getting ready to disconnect the wires and pull the outboard off my boat, a guy that regularly works on boats (fiberglass & woodwork) down at my marina indicated he knew a visiting mechanic that could work on my outboard without having me have to remove it. So....I opted to go that route - Plan B. The mechanic wound up changing out the carburetor. After the repair, I used the outboard a few times and at first seemed better but then had same issue with hard starting.

I went back to Plan A - Removed the outboard and brought it down to the Washington Marina. The turn-around time was 1-2 weeks. I forget what it cost but it was not outrageous. Turns out what they did was to ultrasonically clean the carburetor. So, I am not exactly sure what the visiting mechanic did - It was about 4 or so years ago. I do not quite remember if he had put in a rebuilt carburetor or whatever. In any case, since the Washington Marina ultrasonically cleaned the carburetor, my 2006 outboard has worked flawlessly.

So, now that it is .... ~ 17+ years old. I'm wondering just how long it will continue to run reliably before I should replace it. I guess if it ain't broke...just keep running it.

Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Quantico, Va
http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5827 Posts

Response Posted - 05/20/2023 :  05:14:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If all you use it for is to get it in and out of the marina on weekends in the summer, you'll never put many hours on it, and it will last many years. The biggest single cause for repairs is a clogged carburetor caused by old ethanol gas left in it over the winter. You can prevent it either by draining the carb at end of season, or by using ethanol free gas. I use the latter in all my small engines and antique cars and never have a problem with clogged carburetors.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5197 Posts

Response Posted - 05/20/2023 :  16:53:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a Craftsman snow blower. If you donít run the carburetor dry after each use, itíll be hard starting (or really just impossible to start). Iíve watched a dozen YouTube videos on the topic and come to the conclusion that your best recourse is to replace the carburetor body and start fresh. You can put your old carburetor in a jar of solvent and possibly you can swap it out next time.
Itís a pity, but ethanol gasoline has been the death of many a good small engine. All things must passÖ

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3353 Posts

Response Posted - 05/20/2023 :  20:42:45  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I rarely run my engine dry of fuel and I always add Startron when I refill the portable tank. Since my boat is in the slip year-round, I sail in the winter season if we get some decent days. If the temps remain too cold to go out, I still try to get on the boat every two weeks and among other things, I let the engine run for about 10-15 minutes.

I first purchased my boat in 2005. Within the first year, I started to take part in the forum discussions. I asked the question that based on my sailboat usage, year-round, and the running of the outboard frequently but perhaps for a period in the wintertime when it was run occasionally every two weeks, should I run the fuel out of the outboard or leave it in. Those on the Forum at that time, perhaps some the same now, recommended not running the outboard dry since I was frequently running the outboard thru the year. However, if I knew, in advance, I would not be down to run the outboard frequently, then I should run it dry. Back when this was discussed, there was concern that running the gas out of the outboard is not necessary unless the outboard will not be used for awhile, otherwise, constantly running the gas out of the outboard may permit moisture to form in the lines. There were those on each side of the fence - run it dry or not.

It comes down to what is considered running the outboard frequently and for what duration the outboard is kept running. My thought is that if the outboard is run sufficiently long (ie. 15 min, 20 minutes probably better), new gas will displace the old gas in the carb and fuel line. If most times, the outboard is used weekly and occasionally every 2 weeks, running gas out of the outboard is probably not necessary. If longer away from the boat, then run the gas out.


Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Quantico, Va
http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html

Edited by - OLarryR on 05/21/2023 18:21:56
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5197 Posts

Response Posted - 05/21/2023 :  18:22:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Larry, thatís good advice in your case since you keep up with the engine every few weeks at the longest. In the case of my snowblower, I use it most years a lot in Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, but afterwards, while it stands ready to do itís duty, the snowstorms let up and then I have to run the carburetor dry and put it away for the season. Same with the outboard, I use it all season from May Day til Halloween, then it goes to sleep for its long winter nap. If I didnít drain it out at the end of the season, then Iíd have hell to pay in April. Been there, done that, and I donít want to do it again.
I also purchased a new Honda 8 outboard with the identical parts (more or less) as my early 2000s model version. I originally planned to sell it, however now, I plan to keep it as a spare. It was drained and run dry before putting it away, and I also sprayed it with fogging oil to prevent rust buildup. I hope that Iíll never need it it but itís nice insurance. It could save a 4th of July or Labor Day weekend, or a vacation sail if I need it.
Moral of the story, if you plan to not use a small gasoline engine for awhile, drain the gas. If not, no worries!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3353 Posts

Response Posted - 05/22/2023 :  09:41:40  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bruce - I agree. I run out the gas in my snowblower after the winter season. Then the next year or maybe 2 years till I need it again - Fill it up with gas and it works fine.

However, I do exactly opposite with my riding mower! Has to do with seasonal circumstances and recommendations. I oftentimes will mow, sometimes just to remove fallen leavesÖ.into December. Then start using the mower againÖ.toward mid Apr or thereabouts. So, mower is not used for ~ 3 months or so which is a shorter off season than some regions. I use Startron or Stabile during the last mower gas fill-ups, then fill the mower gas tank to the top and store it in my shed. It restarts fine every April.

I do recall when I lived in New York and my father could not get his mower started after the winter. I forget what happened back then but he may have gotten rid of the mower. In New York, I know that the mower had a longer off season and I know my father did not run the gas out which he probably should have and did not use Stabile r similar product during the last mower uses for the season.

Funny story about some maintenance practices. Wonít gIve you all the details but once when we had all activities at headquarters reviewing maintenance for submarine equipment we moved on to discussing maintenance about a centrifugal pump and a requirement that pumps
in storage should have their shafts rotated semi-annually. We were discussing this relative to a vertical pump or a horizontal one (stored with shaft horizontal).Now we had experts at this meeting from Govt, Shipyards, private industry and Fleet. After much discussion, someone just said that he never recalled going out to his mower in the winter and rotating its shaft. Everyone had a good laugh over itÖÖ.anyway, regardless of technical reasons or lack thereof, we cancelled the maintenance.

Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Quantico, Va
http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html
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