Evinrude Problems


Thank you in advance for providing this forum and resource. 

I have a 1988 Evinrude 88hp v4 (oil goes in the gas) that is used on a Starcraft 1600.  The boat sees very limited use each summer on a fresh water lake.  Each year, before setting it up on terra firma for the winter, we put Sta-Bil in the gas and run it around the lake for a few miles.  Each spring, we change the lower unit lube and set her out again.  This spring, we did the usual routine but the motor is having problems:

On initial startup, using the cold start (choke), the motor turns over but the cold start rpm's are lower than it should be.  After a few seconds, the rpms drop to what would be a normal idle without the choke in.  If I take the cold start off, the motor dies.  I can restart it as many times as I want with the same effect.  The motor is also producing lots of noxious white smoke when it is running.

I pulled all 4 plugs (which as brand new Champions, gapped to .040) and they are all fouled.  The top two cylinders are worse and look like they never fired.  The bottoms are also washed over with gas but not as bad.  The wires (primary and secondary) off the coil packs look excellent and there is no corrosion on any terminals.  The coil packs' RTV has some fissures in the RTV but otherwise look OK.

The carb has never been off the motor and is possibly varnished up inside.  The fuel filter screen is clean.  Didn't see anything in the manual for the motor that speaks of an air filter.  Not sure what is holding the motor back - fuel, air or spark.

What is your likely suspect and what can I check?




Either the top carb is flowing over or the trigger for the top 2 cylinders is weak. This may or may not be the case, but I would start there.




Please submit whatever questions you have to IHRTechTalk@yahoo.com.  All questions and answers selected will be displayed on this page as they come in.  Note: though all boaters are welcome, priority may be given to I.H.R. members.  Randy can not be held responsible for any advice given.  Though his information and expertise is second to none, he has no control over what you do with your boat.  It is up to you to boat safely and act responsibly, and his advice is only to be used as a guidance for your high performance boat/motor of which you are the one responsible for the risks involved.

Mark C.


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