How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jason Your Own Question
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 18750
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
Type Your Boat Question Here...
Jason is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 1989 Evinrude Outboard 40 [ E40TLCEC ]. I have

This answer was rated:

I have a 1989 Evinrude Outboard 40 [ E40TLCEC ] . I have noticed that while it is running well the voltage guage is reading 13-14 volts. Every once in a while I will notice that top speed will drop off and the voltage gauge is reading below 12 volts. Top speed continues to drop off the longer I run it. it has never stopped running and usualy will go back to the 13-14 volt reading and run fine again.

Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with? I read what you wrote. The voltage may or may not be related to the running issue. Is there any kind of story or history to this engine, have you ever personally seen it run correctly? Have you done anything on your own yet to troubleshoot the issue? Is the fuel tank built into the boat or is it a plastic portable type?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
My name is***** boat runs fine for 7 or 8 uses with no problem. It does seem to happen when we are on a weeklong fishing trip after a day or 2 of all day use. It has a built in gas tank and VRO. I have changed the fuel filter and spark plugs while it is happening with no change to the condition.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have checked the readings on the rectifier and it seems to check out fine.

Got it. Did you have any questions that you specifically wanted me to answer, or would you prefer if I explained what we would do in the shop to troubleshoot the issue?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Your troubleshooting techniques might help.

How much is the top speed dropping off by? Is it dropping off by a few MPH, or is it dropping off by half?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
It goes from top speed of around 28 to 22 or less not below 19

Got it. The problem may or may not be related to your voltage reading. Here is how we would do this in the shop.

1. As simple as this sounds you always start by running it off of a different fuel tank, like a small plastic portable tank. Half the time there isn't anything wrong the motor itself, but rather something wrong with the boats fuel system. This can be a pinched or collapsing fuel line, bad or old gas, or a bad anti siphon valve. Marine engines are very sensitive as to the quality of the fuel, and if any part of it is over 90 days, the fuel itself is always going to be suspect. This is a pass or fail test, and the engine is either going to run better or it is not. If it does run better, on this portable tank, first change the anti siphon valve and retest with the engine hooked back up to the boats fuel tank. If it goes back to running poor on the boats fuel tank, that tank will need to be pumped out. Bad anti siphon valves are a common problem, when they go back they create a blockage and restrict the amount of fuel that flows to the engine. If the engine does not get enough fuel it obviously will not make full power. Click this link, this explains more on the anti siphon valve and why they go bad. On this anti siphon valve there is an inlet side and an outlet side. The inlet side faces the fuel tank, the outlet side faces the fuel line. When the engine runs, the fuel pump creates suction. This suction pulls the check ball off of it's seat and fuel is allowed to flow around it. The problem with this is over time the spring in the valve will get weak or simply break. When that happens the check ball will be free to jump to the outlet side of the valve and create a blockage/restriction on the outlet side of the valve. If the spring is simply weak and not broken, this will more or less happen at random. Click this link for a picture, it will make more sense once you see it The anti siphon valve itself is located at the fuel tank, where the fuel line connects. If you pull the fuel line off the tank you will see a hose barb, that hose barb is the anti siphon valve.

2. If no change, then compression testing the engine is next. Your results need be about 90 psi or better on that engine, all cylinders should be within 10-15% of eachother. If you get below 90 , then the engine is worn out or has mechanical problems, and you might as well stop your troubleshooting here, as there is nothing you can do to an engine with low compression to make it run better. From there you would perform a valve adjustment and see if the compression comes back up or not.

3. Spark test Get a timing light and run the engine and hook the timing light up to each plug wire one at a time and see if the timing light flashes or not. Flash means the engine is sparking when running, no flash means no spark. Again this is a pass or fail test. If there is no spark on an cylinder, swap the non firing coil for a firing coil and see if the problem follows the coil or not. If it does, you have a bad coil, if it does not, the engine has a bad powerpack. Next is to test the stator, the stator is located under the flywheel. It is responsible for providing the voltage to drive both the ignition system and battery charging system. If the problem is related to the voltage reading, then it's going to be the stator. To test it, what you would need to do is get a volt/ohm meter and take 2 sets of readings. What you would do is disconnect the stator from the powerpack and also from the rectifier. The wires for the powerpack will be a brown and a brown with a yellow stripe. The wires for the rectifier are both yellow. First measure between the brown and brown yellow wires. You should get in the 450 to 650 ohm ballpark. Then measure between the 2 yellow wires. You should get roughly .25 to .5 of 1 ohm. You want to do these measurments twice. You want to do it once when cold. Then check it again when everythign is hot, and see if the readings change much. They will always change a little bit but they should never go out of spec between a cold and a hot engine.

4. Hook up a fuel pressure gauge between the pump and carb, measure fuel pressure with the boat going as fast as it can. Pressure needs to be at least 3 psi. If it's low, the fuel pump is weak. Make sure you do this after you do #1. If that anti siphon valve is bad that will cause low fuel pressure because the fuel pump would be struggling to pull through that restriction/blockage that a bad anti siphon valve creates.

5. Lastly, if you do all of the above steps and still do not get any kind of result, the problem is going to be in the carb. They are either dirty on the inside, or one of them has a sticking float not allowing fuel into the engine. in any event if you get to this point the carb would need to come off and be rebuilt.

If you are looking to do some of this yourself but do not have the tools, places like autozone will give you free rentals on the tools. You basically pop a deposit down on a credit card, borrow the tools, and if you return them in 1 piece they give you the deposit back. The last thing is when you troubleshoot you specifically want to do it in this order. If you jump around you will miss things or make mistakes. This is the most time effective way to figure out what exactly is wrong with the engine without wasting time or spending money on parts you do not necessarily need. I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further or more specific question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thanks Jason for the troubleshooting tips. I will do them in order. I have leaned toward electrical because of the charging voltage drop that seems to coincide with the problem. Thanks again.

You are very welcome and I was glad I could help. Please keep in mind that thanking does not pay me, only putting through a rating for my help is what pays me. (The website did charge you the full amount that you offered to speak with me but they will not pay me unless a rating is selected) The ratings box is located at the top of your screen, if you do not see it you might have to scroll up. If you still can not see it, or have a hard time when trying to select a rating for my help, please let me know and I will alert the moderators.
Thanks again and good luck!

Jason and other Boat Specialists are ready to help you