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Jeff G.
Jeff G., Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 4725
Experience:  42 years experience, Certified Master Technician, All Major Outboards, Sterndrives, Hi-Performance
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i have 2001 johnson ocean pro. It starts and runs for a few

Customer Question

i have 2001 johnson ocean pro. It starts and runs for a few minutes then stalls out. then it will start for a few seconds then stall. i can grab the primer bulb and it is alittle soft and pumping it did not change the stalling.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
I will be happy to assist you. If you have a question or need clarification please post back at any time.
The first thing we need to do is to narrow the problem down to fuel or ignition.
When the engine stalls, what do you have to do to get it running again?
If you can squeeze the primer bulb before the engine stalls and keep it running then you have a fuel delivery problem.
To see if you have an ignition problem either put a inductive timing light on the engine and watch the strobes from the light. When it stalls recrank the engine and see if the timing light flashes.
If you don't have a timing light, you can use a spark tester. You can pick one up at an auto parts store inexpensively.
Any additional symptoms you can give me and the results of these tests and we can go from there once we narrow it down.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have squeezed the ball and it did not stop the stalling. I started the engine and then let it stall and then checked the spark with a inductive timing light. the light flashed. I had also previuosuly done a comprestion test and the lowest cyl was 125 and the highest was 127psi.
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
When it stalls how long does it take before you can start it again and keep it running?
On the VRO pump you have a hose that goes to the engine block, there should be a funny looking blue fitting there. That is the pulse fitting, where the VRO pump gets the pulses to run the fuel pump.
With the engine off, remove that hose from the VRO pump. Squeeze the primer bulb. See if you get any fuel coming out of the pump. If so the fuel pump is not functioning properly and you are flooding the engine.

Remove the spark plugs right after is stalls, are they wet with fuel? What do they look like.

Did you check the flashes on all the cylinders?
Post back what you find.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
after is stalls it will restart for a few seconds and then stall again. if i give some ignition advance it will revv up to 1500 rpm and stay running. but is usally let it cool down before trying again. there is a blue fitting on the below the vro pump on the crankcase, it kinda looks like a sending unit or oil pressure switch, that has a hose on it running to the bottom of the vro pump, i disconnected the hose at the vro pump and squeezed the primer bulb and no fuel leaked out.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
also i removed the spark plugs and they were slightly damp but i would not say they were wet
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
OK, the good part is the VRO is not leaking. That blue fitting is the pulse limiter that drives the pump.
It actually sounds like you may have a problem in the carbs. When you advance the throttle you are letting more air into the engine which draws more fuel. If the idle circuits are partially blocked or blocked on a couple carbs the engine may start but not run well.
If you can start the engine and push in on the key to activate the primer, and the engine picks up speed or doesn't stall, then what you are doing is bypassing the carbs to a point.
Has the engine been sitting for a while?
If it has been sitting this winter, pull the carbs and do a rebuild. Use a spray carb cleaner and compressed air and use new gaskets.
Jeff G. and other Boat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i just purchashed the boat. I think it has been sitting from what the previuos owner has told me. I was gonna take a fuel sample into work tomorrow and test it. I was also thinking the carb's could be the problem. I had a gut feeeling that it was running lean. because i can activate the choke/primer and the engine will continue to run. I pulled on carb off and took it apart, i did not see any deposit's, but it was just one carb. I think i will pull the rest of the carb's one at a time and check and clean them. thanks. i will let you know what happens.
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
Make sure you don't over torque the carb bodies and use all new gaskets.
Just put some gas in a clear jar, see what color it is and if any water settles out.
Let me know.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

i took a fuel sample and found water in the fuel. it has twin out boards the starboard motor was running fine. some i over looked fuel as a possible cause. but when i took the fuel samples the port motor showed much more water in the fuel than the starboard motor. so this may explain the star motor running better. i have already order the carb rebuild kits so i think i will rebuild the carbs on both motors and drain, clean, and refill the fuel tank with new fuel. thanks for your help, Can I ask you more questions if this does not resolve my problem? And also I have heard of people disabling the vro pump and mixing the gas and oil? Is this a good idea? If not how often should the vro pumps be replaced? And how do you know when they are failing?


Thanks Kevin

Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
Doing the carbs and replacing your fuel is a good idea. I would also install external water separating filters.
You are welcome to come back to this at any time you need. If it is an entirely different question then you would need to ask a new one.
You can disconnect the VRO easy enough. Let me know if you want to do this. However the VRO systems are good dependable systems. You have a warning system on the VRO if it should stop pumping oil. Quick beeps from the warning horn. There is not a specific time to do a rebuild, only the fuel side can be rebuilt not the oil side.
The fuel side is what usually goes bad in the pump. The engine will start run for a minute or less the die is the most common symptom.
I would leave it in place.

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