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Charles, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 3315
Experience:  US Navy (Ret) Certified Mercury Marine Tech with over a decade of repair experience.
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We just had the timing belt changed and now the boat won't

Customer Question

We just had the timing belt changed and now the boat won't run long and has a ticking noise coming from it.
JA: Sometimes boat issues seem like they'll be really complicated, but end up being easy to fix. The Marine Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so the Marine Mechanic can help you best.
Customer: It's a 2003 90 hp yamaha. I want to know if the timing is out or if it's something else.
JA: Is there anything else the Marine Mechanic should be aware of?
Customer: It's making a ticking noise and running rough
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Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Charles replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** will assist you.

How did you have the arrows on the cams pointed when you removed the old belt?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Took it to the shop to have it done. Will it make a ticking noise when the timing is out and is this something that we can fix?
Expert:  Charles replied 3 months ago.

We can check to see if the set up is correct. This is an interference engine, meaning that the valves can contact the pistons if it is out.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
how do I check this?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It don't sound like a valve hitting a piston it sounds like a rocker arm tick or a lifter tick.
Expert:  Charles replied 3 months ago.

Would pumping the primer bulb make the sound go away?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Not sure, haven't tried it yet, a little background, the motor ran fine before I had Yamaha dealer replace the timing belt, I knew it was a interference engine and thought it was time to change it before it broke.and it had no tick before I took it in.the only problem I had was a week before I put it in the shop, it had a running problem when the motor was under a would die when put into gear.but idle ok. I checked the water separator/fuel filter and it had 1/4" of water in it, I drained it and the fuel out all 4 carbs, checked my tank for water and it was ok, after I did that it ran fine.then I had the belt replaced and hasn't ran since.
Expert:  Charles replied 3 months ago.

We can defiantly check this out.

About how long does the engine run now?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Well I have let in run for 5 min at idle but the whole motor was bucking back and forth, it would have ran longer but I shut it off because I seen it wasn't clearing up, thinking it still might be a fuel problem and nothing to do with the timing, I just don't understand why it all the sudden has the ticking sound if it was a fuel problem.
Expert:  Charles replied 3 months ago.

the fuel pump is driven off the cam. If the fuel pump is running low on fuel, it will begin to tick. If you can start the engine, after primer the bulb, allow it to run for a minute. If it begins the ticking, pump the bulb to see if it will go away. If so, we need to look at the fuel system. If not, we need to look else where.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Okay, that makes sense to me, I did not know it was run off the cam, and the noise is coming from that side, I will try that in the morning and let you know, thanks for all your help today.
Expert:  Charles replied 3 months ago.

Your welcome. Please let me know how it goes.

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