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Author Topic:   Evinrude 88 SPL Stalls at Speed
jschmidt63 posted 10-25-2011 06:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for jschmidt63   Send Email to jschmidt63  
My [1970 KATAMA] is currently at a local shop for [its 1992 Evinrude 88-SPL two-cycle engine with power trim] engine service due to an engine stall. I spoke to my shop on the phone about the engine and they will diagnose the engine later this week. I thought I would check to see if someone has encountered a similar [stall] [and has] a solution I could pass along.

The engine will start and run fine at lower speeds. When I try to advance to half or full power (sorry I do not have a tachometer so I cannot offer RPM) the engine begins to stall and will shut down completely unless I back off the throttle to below half power. [The fuel is] a two-stroke mix [of] new [gasoline] with stabilizer. The fuel line is new two years agp. The fuel-water separator was serviced this spring. The carburetors were rebuilt in 2006.

I had the engine in the shop several weeks ago and they did not fix the problem. My initial discussion with my shop the technician thought it may be [caused by] the electrical system. He also said that the previous service did not pick up the problem probably because the motor was not under load and just running in a tank. He said that he had equipment to place the motor under load to diagnose--removing the propeller. Sorry I am not that mechanically inclined so I cannot translate better my techician's response.

Any suggestions on a solution? Thanks--John

grosseile88 posted 10-25-2011 07:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for grosseile88  Send Email to grosseile88     

Had same problem with my 1985 Evinrude 70 last year when I purchased boat. Would start and run fine up to about 2500 rpms then die. (Ran like a rabid dog during test drive at purchase one week prior)Turned out high speed jets on carbs were clogged. My mechanic originally was leaning toward an electrical issue as well then tested and ruled that out. Rebuilt carbs and no more problem. It does not take much to clog these guys and rebuilding carbs in 2006 would not make you immune even with stabilizer, newer fuel lines, filters etc.

That is my not so educated guess, good luck!!!!!


P.S - When you change the fuel/water separator also change the fuel filter on the engine. Very inexpensive and takes about 5 seconds. This filter has a screen to remove debris from fuel not water. I am not sure how good fuel/water separtors are on removing anything but water?????????

jimh posted 10-25-2011 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Check the mechanical link from the throttle to the spark timing advance plate. On a two-cycle engine the ignition spark timing must be advanced as the throttle advances. This is accomplished by a mechanical link from the throttle lever to a moving plate on which the ignition timer base coil assembly is rotated around the crankshaft.
Mr T posted 10-26-2011 01:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mr T  Send Email to Mr T     
I have had the same [poor running symptoms] a number of times with my 1990 88 SPL, and in each case the [cause] has been clogged main jets in the carbs. I got a guitar string and used it to clear the jets and it takes care of the [problem] easily and best of all cheap. It is very easy to do and you might want to try it.
pcrussell50 posted 10-26-2011 02:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for pcrussell50  Send Email to pcrussell50     
Not sure I'd use a steel guitar string in a brass jet, but I suppose I'd use a nylon string if I were to employ that technique.


leadsled posted 10-26-2011 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for leadsled  Send Email to leadsled     
Did you try running it on a different tank and hose? I had a two-year-old fuel hose that the inner liner of the fuel hose would collapse under heavy load and the engine would miss and buck. When I backed off the throttle it was fine. I spent a lot of time and money before I replaced the hose because it was only 2 years old and I wasn't smart enough to rule out the fuel line.
Tohsgib posted 10-26-2011 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Steel guitar string is a great medium to use. I use torch files--be carefull with those as you can "rejet" if you get too agressive.
adlert posted 10-26-2011 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for adlert  Send Email to adlert     
I'm solidly with Peter on this one regarding cleaning the orifices. Preferably, you remove them from the carb and blast carb cleaner through them until clean. Soak if necessary, and repeat if necessary. You can then hold them up to a light source and visually verify cleanliness. This is by far the best way to go since a partially clogged jet will allow an engine to run at high speeds, but in a potentially devasating lean condition.

If necessary to do an emergency-type fix, you can push something through them. You would not however ever want or need to use a material that is harder than the brass material used to make the orifices. Of course, you will likely never find a shop manual to ever state that using a metalic cleaner of any type is acceptable.

That being said, I'm sure you've gotten away with it fine many times Nick. It just isn't a technique that I'd ever recommend to anyone since there are much less risky ways to get the job done.

Hopefully your mechanice will be able to figure this one out. If he (or she) is any good, it should be easy to diagnose quickly.

jschmidt63 posted 10-26-2011 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
Thank you all very much for your advice! I [passed along] this information to the mechanic. He also asked me many more questions to confirm [symptoms]. He said he will check electrical to rule out and then go to fuel system. Based upon his line of questioning I believe he is suspecting fuel and carburetor, too. I like the idea of trying different tank and [fuel] line. I did try another tank with fresh fuel but not another [fuel] line. Thanks again- John
Tohsgib posted 10-27-2011 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
How is it risky? You stick something in the hole to make sure it is clean. If clogged and you shoot carb cleaner in it, it will just blow back in your eyes. I did not say FILE the obstruction out and even warned against it when using the FILES that I use. A guitar string is not going to harm crap. If the holes were bigger we could use a toothpick or a garden hose but when they are that small ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Brass is NOT that soft.
Tohsgib posted 10-27-2011 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Run a guitar string over your brass norman pin and let me know the results.
jschmidt63 posted 10-27-2011 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
Well I spoke to the mechanic after he did a full service check. He said no spark again to one of the cylinders and after more troubleshooting he determined the Power Pack is bad. I requested he check the engine under load once the Power Pack is installed just to be sure, but it appears not to be a fuel issue, no guitar strings required.... Although I do like listing to a good blues tune while fishing with motor off....
pcrussell50 posted 10-27-2011 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for pcrussell50  Send Email to pcrussell50     

You can spoon yourself peanut butter with a straight razor, and if you are careful you won't get cut. Tim/Adlert is/was a professional marine mechanic. Even if a careful hand will do no harm using a steel guitar string on a brass jet, it is still bad form. Professionals care about things like that.

BTW, there are also nylon guitar or ukulele strings. They are handy to have around... as is a set of steel guitar strings.


Binkster posted 10-27-2011 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
No spark to one cylinder won't kill the engine at full speed, it will only make the engine run badly. I think Nick's guitar string method would be a free and easy check to see if the high speed jet is clogged. Oh well if the new power pack doesn't cure it your mechanic can move on to changing other parts.
adlert posted 10-27-2011 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for adlert  Send Email to adlert     
Thanks for the supportive words Peter. You stated it well. It's just "Bad form". Professionals don't work that way for good reason. I do consider myself a meticulous and professional marine technician.

Nick, you're a hoot.

Binkster, If you have done the work to access the orifices with a metal guitar string (or other implement of potential distruction) you've already done the work needed to simply remove the high speed orifice completely and do the job properly.

Just unscrew it! You've already removed any obstructions in the way of the orifice cover screw/float bowl drain screw. Just remove the orifice now and clean it properly! Note: while not absolutely necessary in all instances, a proper orifice removal screw driver is absolutely the tool of choice at this point. They're cheap and not made like a regular screw driver. They preserve the integrety of the orifice slot for future removals. The orifices are soft - much softer than the norman pin alloy I'd bet - it is easy to bugger up the orifice slot with a regular tapered screw driver if the orifice is really gummed in there. Then you have little choice but to clean it in place with your pressurized carb cleaner and straw. If that's where you wind up, use just the cleaner first and see how it goes. Then something like a nylon guitar string would be the logical next step followed by more carb cleaner pushed through the straw.

Tohsgib posted 10-27-2011 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Of course I remove the jets but it is nice to make sure it is clean along with any other "holes" on the carb. I use carb cleaner as well and I have never rejetted anything in my life by accident. The files come in many different sizes like feeler gauges(remember them). When you get the right size you just run it through the hole once or twice to make sure, ya aint making love to it...or are you?

Yes Peter I frequently eat peanut butter with a sharp Henckel knife. Once you cut the bread, no need to change silverware for the PB & Jelly. Once the PB is spread you have to lick the knife clean before you stick it in the jelly. When you do this you kick AWAY from the edge, not along side or against it. Same way you wipe them clean with a towel. If you cut yourself doing dishes I can understand your concern for using a file.

Guitar strings won't even slice off your head when you strangle somebody(right Binks) so how will it screw up brass. Why not use weedeater line or 100lb test...which I do? While you are in there put the new ethanol "proof" carb kit in as well for $10.

Live on the edge you woosies ;)

adlert posted 10-27-2011 04:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for adlert  Send Email to adlert     
Who you calling a woosie Nick? Truthfully I usually go straight for the small metal punch and a hammer. Saves even more time. Files are for guys that like to keep their nails just so.

I just said all that other high and mighty feel-good stuff for posterity sake and to throw you off.

Binkster posted 10-27-2011 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
I hope we find out how this repair actually pans out.
Tohsgib posted 10-28-2011 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Going for a Medi-Pedi...keep me posted Binks.
Mr T posted 11-01-2011 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mr T  Send Email to Mr T     
For the record, I use a nylon string, not steel.

Hey guys, it was a suggestion that I have used and it worked, on the same motor the poster referenced, so I offered it for discussion. After being on the board a few years I should have realized that it was going to be edited for grammar errors and torn apart. It happens a lot here.

I really like this board, but I have to say I do not post much if at all on this board for this reason. It seems (to me), to degenerate into a name calling pissing match more times than not. The information here is valuable, but man, you guys get so worked over stuff it becomes tiresome.

adlert posted 11-01-2011 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for adlert  Send Email to adlert     
For what it's worth Mr. T, I firmly believe Nick is just doing some friendly ribbing the vast majority of the time and certainly I was simply kidding along with him in this particular post.
Tohsgib posted 11-01-2011 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I had your back Mr T. I like the guitar string idea but prefer to use a rivet gun instead ;)

Good to see you back after MANY years.

jimh posted 11-02-2011 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
ASIDE on the comment about alteration of articles to improve their clarity and meaning: many postings are edited in order to replace pronouns with actual nouns in order that the article's information content is increased. We also prefer simple words like "problem" to mean problems, and "cause" to mean cause.

In the particular case of Mr T's article, I believe a particular word was used three times, and each time it was used it had a different meaning. And in all three cases the word was being misused, that it, the word does not actually have the intended meaning.

One of the best features of the discussion is the exposure of ideas and suggestions to peer review. Often the collaborative process results in an improvement in the idea or suggestion, and, at the least, a clarification of the idea or suggestion. I can't see the harm in that.

One thing we do like here is clear thinking and clear writing.

Tohsgib posted 11-02-2011 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Jim I agree but...
jschmidt63 posted 11-02-2011 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
Well back to my original thread.

The shop called and my boat is ready to pick up. The mechanic tested the motor under load and the new powerpack allowed from proper engine performance. I will run the engine and boat this weekend on a local lake and report back real world performance. I also had the shop install a tach so I can now finally see engine rpm relative to throttle position and speed.

I wanted to thank all of you guys again for your feedback. I know there is cross banter on comments but there are some members like myself that do not have the mechanical skills and appreciate your assistance.

Jim- try as a I must, I am neither a clear thinker or writer so you will probably have to continue to edit some of my posts. You have helped me to be more careful when I post but my pour writing skills are hard to break...Thanks- John

jimh posted 11-02-2011 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the follow-up on the resolution of the problem with the Evinrude 88 SPL stalling at higher engine speeds and the cure being a new Powerpack.

I will speculate that perhaps there was some electrical breakdown in the Powerpack which occurred when the engine speed was increased. The demands of the spark ignition become greater with increasing engine speed. The Powerpack has to generate sufficient high voltage and current to fire a spark plug more frequently as the engine speed increases. It sounds like the original was not up to the task.

I had a 1992 Evinrude engine (but not an 88 SPL), and I had to replace the Powerpack on that engine, too. My symptoms were one cylinder was dropping out after the engine reached operating temperature. The Powerpack seemed sensitive to heat.

It's good you got the 88 SPL repaired, and good to know what was the remedy.

jschmidt63 posted 11-06-2011 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
well I did a lake test and you were correct and I believe my mechanic was wrong. Engine ran ok from idle to 2000rpm. At 2500 - 3000rpm the motor would run really rough and would die unless I reduced to 1000rpm, just as before..... I am hope there was also a spark issue and a true need to replace the powerpac aside from the remaining issue.. John
Binkster posted 11-06-2011 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
Well I hope he makes it right by you. He needs to replace the unneeded powerpack, reinstall your old one and rebuild the carbs with NEW JETS. Highly unlikely you could both problems, fuel and ignition at the same time. The motor wouldn't run well at low and idle speed.

Or, maybe he installed a bad from the factory powerpack. Ask him to remove it and send it back and install another one. Bet he won't do it. He knows the supplier won't refund him for returning a perfectly good one.

Binkster posted 11-06-2011 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
I know we have a few certified OMC and Merc techs that frequent this site. If you have a mechanical problem with your OMC or Merc outboard, they, or at least one, will be quick to jump in and help you diagnose your problem. They have solved many problem here for other members for which all of us are grateful. [Made some irrantional and insulting remarks, which have been deleted. You can thank me for deleting them later--jimh]
jschmidt63 posted 11-07-2011 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
Binkster--thanks for the feedback on my post. The shop is very apologetic and I believe they are trying to make this right. I do still have faith in them so I will let this run out with this shop. The mechanic who performed the original service is away for a few weeks deer hunting so another tech is looking at the boat. Maybe fresh eyes will help. They said there is a small private lake near the shop. They will run-test the boat this time. I think I will just keep the Powerpack. Maybe it wasn't the [cause of the problem] but the part for this model was not that expensive. And at least I won't have to worry about this as normal life-cycle. They still say there was no-spark with cylinder #2, that the pack fixed [that problem]. Maybe there was an intermittent spark aside from the carburetor problem. John
jschmidt63 posted 11-10-2011 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
I just heard from my shop. I am going to pick up my boat this weekend and test the engine again. The technician was very helpful when I spoke with him. I am hoping for the best. As many of you suggested, there was a carburetor [problem].

Below is the response from the shop:

Good news. We think we have the problem solved. Carburetors did need to be rebuilt. After installing carb kits, screen, and new fuel filter, engine ran better but still some sputtering above 3,000-RPM. Spoke with the technicians at Evinrude and they suggested changing the float bowls from plastic to aluminum due to the plastic having a tendency to warp. We had an old pair in stock so we installed, tested on the dyno, and the lake; boat ran beautifully!

Come get the boat and try it. You won't pay a thing if you are not happy with it. Thanks again for your patience!

Tohsgib posted 11-10-2011 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
That is what we like to see. I would personally stick with that shop, seem straight up.
djacksonrn posted 11-10-2011 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for djacksonrn  Send Email to djacksonrn     
This is good news! Look forward to hearing how the shakedown cruise goes!
Binkster posted 11-10-2011 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
Well that is good news, they stand behind their work.
jschmidt63 posted 11-13-2011 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
As a follow up, I ran my Katama today on a local lake to test after carburetor rebuild. Looks like [the carburetor rebuild] was the [cure]. Motor ran very well. Now with a tachometer installed I could see my [engine speed]. I was doing 33-MPH at 4,500-RPM. I could push it to 5,000-RPM but that was about it on my current propeller. Preferred cruised was 3,800 to 4,200-RPM. Looking forward to using my boat at the Chesapeake Bay this winter-John
djacksonrn posted 11-13-2011 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for djacksonrn  Send Email to djacksonrn     
What propeller are you using?
jschmidt63 posted 11-13-2011 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
It appears to be the stock thre-blade propeller.
Tom W Clark posted 11-14-2011 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
"Stock" does not tell us anything.

What material is it made of?

What diameter?

What pitch?

What part number?

Tohsgib posted 11-14-2011 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
5k is probably a 19" pitch.
Tom W Clark posted 11-14-2011 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Actually, 4500 RPM at 33 MPH suggests a 17" pitch prop which we would expect and which should easily be able to hit 5500 RPM at WOT so either the motor is still not running right and/or there is a funky prop on the boat, which is why I am asking what it is.
jschmidt63 posted 11-14-2011 05:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     

sorry but I really didnt know what to look for in regards to the prop. All I know is its the same color as the lower unit. I can check for a part number. The tach was intermittent above 4500rpm so I didnt push it much but there was some more wot to use, a little at least. I will have to have the shop check the tach.- John

Tom W Clark posted 11-14-2011 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Size and part number are embossed right on it. You may have to remove the prop nut to see it but it's there.

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