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James, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 4111
Experience:  12 years Certified marine mechanic, performance boat builder
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I have a 1983 50 hp mercury outboard that idles but wont get

Resolved Question:

I have a 1983 50 hp mercury outboard that idles but wont get over 5mph on the water. I pulled the spark plugs and found the top 2 were alittle dirty but the bottom 2 were spotless. I checked compression and spark and all were good. I got the motor running and spray carb cleaner into carbs and the motor didn't even react when i sprayed it into the bottom carb but would react when i sprayed it into the top one. also I just rebuilt the carbs last year and it ran great all year. is there anything else i should check before rebuilding the carbs again.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.

Hello, welcome to JustAnswer. because of the range of possible issues, this may take more than one post. Please, don't hesitate to reply.


Fire up the motor and bring the rpms up to about 1000 then cover the bottom carb with your hand completely.

Tell me if it gets wet with fuel when you do that. (the motor may start running better when restarted after doing this)

James and other Boat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I covered the bottom carb and hand was dry and had no effect on motor when I covered only the top carb the motor died
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.

You are only using one carb.

Pull the bottom carb and find out why no fuel is getting thru it, Chances are the needle valve is just stuck so no gas can even get in. This should fix your run problem

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok thanks for the help I will pull it apart later this afternoon
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
You are welcome, and I am here if you need me.

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