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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm talking about small auxillery four stroke outboards with carbs here- left on boats on the water, tilted up.
Lets say you run your engine, even if you don't actually use your boat, every couple of weeks. How many of you run it out of fuel when you stop it so the carb bowl is dry? How many don't?
 

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i don't but i know people who do,i run mine every day when its in the water,if you run it dry and left it could you get condensation,whats worse stale fuel or the possibility of water droplets?
 
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I don't run carbs dry. I know there is this perception of fuel residue gumming up carbs but to be honest I havent experienced it. Not on my outboard, not on my motorcycle on a winter layup, not on the lawn mower.

Also to add, I think you do more damage leaving carbs dry because O-ring and seals dry out, crack and perish. In particular the needle and seat. This is all IMO and based on empirical knowlege of my own stuff rather than conventional wisdom.
 

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Normally I don't bother, but this year i've drained the outboard of fuel, not too sure why seemed a good idea I suppose!
 
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If you put some fuel stabilizer in your petrol and use premium grade fuel then you shouldn`t any problems. I was a bike mechanic for 30 odd years and the last 10 also working with both inboard and outboard engines.

Running your carbs out of fuel really doesn`t do the engine any favours and your more likely to damage it than a bit of water would. If you are going to drain the carbs then do it properly and use the drain screw at the bottom of the float bowl as running them dry doesn`t actually do the job completely.

My boat sits in the water all year around up here in dry and sunny Scotland and I`ve never had any problem.

Cheers, Matt.
 

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Never done it with my small outboards and never had a problem starting them even after a long lay up. A very respected outboard mechanic also told me not to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your replies people. I've been having some intermittent sticky float problems on my ' wing' outboard which is why I posed the question. I suspect that the cause was degrading fuel and not running it up regularly enough.
Whilst I accept that many would disagree,I've had cause to use an auxillery in the past so believe carrying one is a good idea and feel much happier especially when fishing more remote areas close to a hazardous shorelin.
However, its useless unless it starts on the button when you need it most.
From now on ,im gonna run it up and get it fully warmed up EVERY time im on the boat.
Ill also plump for higher grade unleaded , use a stabiliser, and NOT allow the carb to run dry .
It seems to me that modern petrol fuels and fine tolerance carbs don't always live together that happily. I never had these issues with my old 'Seagull' lol.
Ill keep you posted.
 

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iv never done it to my engines i dont see the point. iv never run my car carbs dry so why should i do it to my outboard.
and my lawnmower sits dormant for 5 moths a year and still starts when i need it
 

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As Matt has said, you're better off using the drain screws than trying to run it out as this will cause the engine to run lean and hot and can cause damage or seizure.
As for carbs gumming up, I would say it depends very much on the carbs. My old GSX-R would need the carbs cleaning if stood for more than 4-5 weeks as the airways in the emulsion tubes would block as would at least 2 of the pilot jets. The pilots would always be 1 and 2 which would be the ones that dried out last while bike was on sidestand. However, if you could get it started, 20-30 miles riding would clear them out....
The mariner I'm presently sorting had both float needles well stuck in their seats. Never seen that before, but guessing it was left tilted when the carbs dried and the 2 stroke oil gummed them up as both mains and pilots were lovely and clear.....

As your engine seems prone to sticking float needles, try storing it in the down position, any residue then should gather in the bottom of the float bowl and hopefully the jets will remain clear, but importantly, your float needles should be dry already.
Steve
 

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a good thing that a lot will do that generally works is when you run the engine out of fuel to spray in a little wd40 or the likes as the engine starts to die, it seems to put a coating on the walls of the carb and doesn't cause any problems, when starting the engine again when back in use it causes no problems, never done it myself but I know people who swear by it, and never heard of any problems or complications because of it,
 
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