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Everything posted by SterndriveEd

  1. SterndriveEd

    Dashboard Gremlins

    Look for a loose ground connection that is affecting all those individual items. I would start with the fuel gauge. With the key on, watch the fuel gauge as you or a helper wiggle one wire or connection at a time behind the dash. When the fuel gauge changes, you have found the trouble. Tighten that connection or wire and you'll probably also fix all the other items.
  2. SterndriveEd

    Intermittent sputtering, then conking out

    How old was the fuel in the tank before the marina "topped it off in December"? I bought a used boat that had fuel that was five years old. I pumped it all out with a 12 volt automotive fuel pump and started off with fresh non-ethanol fuel. No issues.
  3. SterndriveEd

    Instrument panel gauge lights

    Try testing the ground side of the bulb sockets for a solid ground path. You can touch the DVOM to both connections in the bulb socket, or touch the positive lead to power and touch the negative lead to the ground side of the bulb socket. You should see battery voltage on the meter. Either way, this test will confirm a solid ground path at the bulb socket, which will allow the bulbs to glow as bright as possible.
  4. SterndriveEd

    Sailboat Tow

    I've used my 100 foot anchor line twice to give a tow to stranded boaters in our bay in Lake Huron. First, I remove the anchor and the short chain of course. The attachment is to my two tie downs in the stern. I use an automotive tow strap that has snap hooks on each end. I also have put an oval - shaped repair link in the center of the 20 foot long tow strap. The anchor line is tied to the link. This equalizes the pull on both tie downs.
  5. SterndriveEd

    Boat Maintenance Kit

    I use a brass transom drain plug. Important to use teflon tape on the threads. Just three wraps around it in a clockwise direction as you look at the end of the plug. Don't over tighten it! The teflon tape allows you to easily remove it after the boating season ends. If you skip the teflon tape, the brass will likely seize inside the female garboard threads.
  6. SterndriveEd

    Help! Battery Cables Swapped. Need Troubleshooting Advice.

    Safety Note: Be sure to DISCONNECT all the Negative Battery Cables from all Batteries whenever you are working on the electrical system. Especially when changing the 90 amp fuse at the positive connection of the starter solenoid. We don't need another blown fuse or worse!
  7. SterndriveEd

    Lights doing crazy things

    I've got a suggestion to test for a poor ground between the truck and trailer. Use a jumper wire or even a jumper cable connected from a clean metal surface on the truck to a clean metal surface on the trailer. If the lights behave normally with the jumper in place, there is a ground issue between the truck and trailer. The test wire is completing the ground path back to the truck.
  8. SterndriveEd

    18 month old fuel advice

    I faced a similar situation when I purchased my Chap from the original owner. He stored it with a half full tank of fuel, but it was a couple of years old. I chose to pump all the fuel out and then I used it in my TrailBlazer as a blend with pump gas 50 / 50 till it was all used up. Never had a problem. To pump it out I used an electric fuel pump that I connected to the tank line leading to the fuel filter. I then ran the hose thru the transom drain hole into my gas cans. Have a fire extinguisher near of course. I had lots of gas cans that got filled up!
  9. SterndriveEd

    Milky oil after water pump impeller change

    This is exactly why most repair folks would agree that changing the oil as part of winter lay-up is the way to go. The contamination, whether it is water in your case or just normal combustion by products, will attack and corrode the precision metal components inside the engine all winter during off season storage.
  10. SterndriveEd

    Villain iii starting problems.

    Can you describe the carb.? Is it a Weber or a Quadrajet? When it was rebuilt were the floats checked for having a hole in them? A problem with the floats inside the carb could have been causing your issues. If they are not buoyant and leak free, floats can't regulate the fuel level inside the carb. They work pretty much the same way a toilet float works inside most toilet tanks.
  11. SterndriveEd


    We troll in Lake Huron for Walleye. Our 205 SL has a decent gunwale flat surface to attach the flat base for a Tite-Lok system. We use a Triple Rod Holder on each side and fish 6 rods with planer boards. The P.O. made up a pretty cool raised flat board above the rear swim platform. It is as wide as the boat and sits about 18 inches above the platform. There are 4 single rod holders on that flat board. When reeling in or netting, we often use those rod holders to place a non-needed rod. If we're not fishing, the flat base mounted on the gunwale doesn't interfere with any activities.
  12. SterndriveEd

    weber 4 barrel carb

    The Thermostatic Spring does all the work. When cold, the spring has enough power to close the choke plate fully. You can easily test this by looking at the choke plate, then while in neutral, push the throttle control forward about 1/2 way while not starting the engine. A good thermostatic spring will pull the choke plate closed on a cold engine. Now the engine can be started up and after a few minutes, the heat from the running engine will cause the thermostatic spring to lose it's tension. The choke plate should now be fully open-vertical. The drill bit measurement is done during carb rebuilds and will measure a gap caused by the choke pull off. The pull off is a device that will open the choke plate slightly during initial start-up on a cold engine. Hope this helps.
  13. SterndriveEd

    A bit different

    Nice pic. Couldn't help noticing the dock line tied off to the piling. Somebody needs to practice their knot tying!
  14. SterndriveEd

    A new way to drain your oil

    Okay Guys. I have questions about all this oil pan drain hose discussion. Once you succeed in attaching this device to the drain pan drain hole I see 2 issues. One, every oil change, you must contort your arm to reach the shut off valve that controls the flow from oil pan to drain hose. Two, how do you catch all the oil that is now flowing into your bilge? Remember we are talking about a gallon or so of hot oil. I'm a fan of using a vacuum pump connected to the dipstick tube.
  15. SterndriveEd

    Canadian Bouy near Toronto

    It looks like a NOAA Weather buoy. We have a similar looking bouy here in Thunder Bay - Lake Huron, about 9 miles East of Alpena, Michigan.
  16. SterndriveEd

    Bent Propeller Shaft - Alpha 1

    Been there before. My skeg was totally gone after striking a submerged object. The bullet section of the lower unit was not even scratched. The prop also was perfect, not even a ding. Paid the insurance deductible and now have a new Mercruiser lower unit. And peace of mind.
  17. SterndriveEd

    8.1 GXI-e Fuel Pump Failure

    I would stay away from any tech that says a "short with a ground". There is no such animal. He may be charging you by the hour to chase down a non-existent wiring issue. There can be "open" wires- a broken connection. There can be "grounded" wires-a bare wire touches metal. There can be "shorted" wires-two systems or wires touch each other that are supposed to be separate. Finally a poor connection, due to corrosion, or a loose connection can cause trouble too.
  18. SterndriveEd

    Oil Change-The Extractor

    I change oil and filter just before winter lay up. After shutting off the warmed up engine, I use a vacuum pump and a 1/4 inch dia. plastic tube that is longer than the dipstick. I place it down the dipstick tube until it just bottoms out inside of the oil pan. The tubing connections are fitted to a glass jar that holds about a quart. As it nearly fills, I switch to another jar. Repeat until no more oil is being drawn out. Once I pulled the drain plug -after doing this- just to see what was left, and found about a cup of oil. Not too bad when compared to 4 qts. that my 4.3 holds.
  19. SterndriveEd

    8.1 GXI-e Fuel Pump Failure

    Try disconnecting the IAC before you start up. If doing this keeps the engine from revving up to 3000 rpms, then you are getting close to the issue. Since the computer controls the IAC based on sensor inputs, a scan device will help pinpoint the root cause.
  20. SterndriveEd

    Urgent fuel sending unit

    Remember to measure the float travel up and down before you install it. It should match the tank depth. Also, hook it up electrically -both wires- before dropping it into the tank. You can easily move the float up and down as you watch the dash gauge respond.
  21. SterndriveEd

    Fuel sending unit length 196ssi?

    Great. 9 inches is the top of tank to bottom of tank distance. So the new sending unit should be 9 inches or so from the bottom of it's mounting plate to the low point of the float travel. Then when you hook it up to the wiring and move the float by hand, top to bottom with the key on, the gauge on the dash should move in sync with the float position. I would hope for an accurate reading at the mid position of the float - making the gauge read 1/2 tank.
  22. SterndriveEd

    Fuel sending unit length 196ssi?

    Cazzy, why don't you measure the tank depth? The distance from top to bottom. If you measure the old sender without considering the tank measurement, you may not get the most accurate replacement sender.
  23. SterndriveEd

    Has anyone see these start Buttons?

    Could it be that the waterproof rubber caps were removed from the switches, exposing the actual brass push buttons?
  24. SterndriveEd


    What about a fuel filter partially clogged? Is there one for each engine?
  25. SterndriveEd

    Fuel sending unit length 196ssi?

    Why not just take your suspect sender out? You can easily measure the empty to full distance with a ruler from bottom to top of the inside of the tank. You need to remove the sender anyway. Remember to try your new sender out while it is electrically hooked up, but before you install it into the fuel tank. It should make the dash gauge read close to empty, mid way, and full when you move the float to those approximate positions.