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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10894
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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I have a 1997 Bayliner 1950 Capri with 3.0 mercruiser. Ran

Customer Question

I have a 1997 Bayliner 1950 Capri with 3.0 mercruiser. Ran perfect when I bought it a few months ago. Memorial Day weekend took it out and it would not start, flooding. Dealer said they rebuilt carb day before I bought it. Being the skeptic that I am, I immediately tore into the carb. The only thing changed was accelerator pump and the jets and all was grossly filthy. Can't see how they got it to run. I rebuilt the carb. Took it out to run it and it was a POS. Wouldn't idle, run, just worthless. Finally got the carb adjusted so it wasn't falling on its face. Comes out the hole great, runs WOT for less than a minute and starts cutting out and won't pick back up. I back off sit and idle for a minute or 2 and gouge on it. Same thing, out the hole lick it should and cuts out after a minute. I also changed the fuel filter. I got the filter from autozone. A filter is s filter right. I'm not s boat guy.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is Tan.

Did you change both filters the one in the carburetor and the one in the fuel pump? I would run the engine on a different fuel source. The symptoms you are having are of fuel starvation due to debris in the fuel tank. What happens is you run the boat and the debris collects on the screen on the end of the pick up tube in the tank. The faster you run the more debris collects till it eventually starves the engine of fuel and engine starts loosing power and runs poorly. You back of the throttle and the debris falls off the screen. Then you throttle back up and the debris start clogging the screen again. The engine requires very little fuel at idle so the vacuum on the screen on the tank is less as you throttle up the vacuum increases as the engine needs more fuel. So the process starts all over.

So get a can of gas some fuel line. Disconnect the fuel line from the fuel pump plug the line. Now connect the piece of fuel line to the fuel pump and stick the other end in the gas can. Now go run the boat.

They may have cleaned the carburetor but if the fuel tank is full of debris it did no good as it just got sucked back into the carb.

Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but it ran perfect when I bought it. This is the part that don't make sense. Wish I could just run down to the lake and give it a try. But the lake is an hr awayand I work nights. Can't do anything till the weekend. Hope I can get it going by the 4th. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks Tan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could I do this in the yard with the hose or does it need to be in the water under load?
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Yes but you said that was a few months ago. "Ran perfect when I bought it a few months ago."

Fuel degrades in less than 3 months. If the fuel has ethanol it will go through phase separation which is where the ethanol and water separate from the fuel and form a ball of sludge in the fuel tank. This sludge is what causes the symptoms you are having.

Old contaminated fuel is the major cause for poor engine performance hard starting and eventually no start.

Boats that sit are the most prone to these issues.

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