CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

OOF Da 5 inches of rain, stepped into the little boat to bail it out and it sunk along with motor

So I pulled the motor off as soon as I could, turned it upside down on the dock, thinking of pulling the plug, fogging oil, I know this is not a car question, but we love our engines. So advisze me please. 1072 Johnson 7 hp outboard motor.

Pulling the plug is a must, if either valve was open when it sank. If the cylinder injested water, you have to drain it, or it will hydro-lock as soon as you try to crank it. WD-40 is a good water displacer. Spray and pray.

I’ll let you know after a few hours of daylight, plan on draining the carb also, I take it you like MG, one of my sorrows is missing ot on buying a 68 mgb gt, green hardtop 6 cyl engine. In 72 could not get the loan papers processed before my boss traded it in. I got to drive it a bit and it was one of the finer pieces of machinery I have had the pleasure to drive.

A two stroke motor should survive this incident. As for the power head, pull the plug(s) and crank the motor with the pull starter to pump out any water the might have enter the cylinder(s). Hopefully you can drain the carb easily. Many old outboards had a drain at the bottom of the float bowl. I’m not sure I’d remove the carb, if you do you might need some new gaskets when you put it back on. You’ll need to see if any water got into the gas tank. Usually the gas can will float and keep water from getting in the vent or filler cap.

You should also be sure the lower unit is not contaminated with water. Pull the drain plug and the filler plug and let all the gear grease drain out. Then refill with fresh gear lube.

It might not fire up immediately as water in the intake gets pulled through the cylinders. So, you might have to pull the plugs once or twice to dry them out. Eventually you should get it to fire a couple of times, then it will start and run rough. In a few minutes it should smooth out and run normally again.

I had an outboard motor come loose from the boat out in the middle of the lake when my dad, brother and I were fishing. I was a high school freshman at the time and was operating the motor. I had my hand on the tiller, but the motor got dunked enough to kill the engine. I pulled the outboard into the boat. My dad’s suggestion was to drop anchor so he and my brother could fish and for me to figure out what to do. I pulled the spark plug and cranked the engine over. The outboard was an old Montgomery Ward made sometime before WW II. There was no choke–to start the engine one pushed up a little pin on the carburetor until gasoline would drip out on one’s finger. We bought the outboard at an estate auction for $12. At any rate, I pushed up the pin on the carburetor until I was sure I had drained the float bowl. We fished for another hour and when I pulled the rope, the engine started right up. Our next purchase was a safety chain to secure the motor to the boat.
The old Johnson and Evinrude small outboard engines were practically bullet proof. Do what the others suggest and I’ll bet you’ll have your outboard running again.

Your dad’s a true fishing man: dunking an outboard will not stop his fishing.

Those MW outboards are invincible:
I had a MontgomeryWard of mid 50’s vintage that was totally seized up. I wanted it for a wooden boat I was restoring. After taking the head off, I spent a good couple of hours whacking on top of a 2x4 with a mallet to get the cylinders unstuck. Once it gave way, I knew it would run again.
A new cardboard gasket and the thing ran like new.

The motor is up and running. One plug and was very wet, and of all the things missing on vacation a 7/16 wrench to drain the carb, as there was not enough room to get a socket wrench on it. I had left it upside down on the dock, but evidently water was in the carb. I fogging oiled the cylanders and carb, ether on the plugs and mutiple pulls with no plugs to blow stuff through. Then a shot of starting fluid, and it was like no fuel. Went all in after 5 trys of starting fluid zoom and die, did a diet of starting fluid, maybe 4 or 5 shots to keep it going until it finally ran by itself. A little roughness in mid low idle, otherwise all is good. I ran it a while to get it nice and warm, hope all is perfect manana, thanks for the support.