I have recently acquired two small outboard boat motors that I plan to fix up and resell. These are Chrysler outboard two cycle boat motors which I am very familiar with as I have been repairing this type engine for over twenty five years, starting with a 105 horsepower Chrysler outboard motor on the boat my father-in-law owned. The two motors I am fixing now are both from Chrysler back when they were called “Sea King” and were sold through Montgomery Ward stores.
They are two cycle engines which are also referred to as two stroke engines. These use a mixture of gasoline and special oil which lubricates the moving metal parts and is also burnt in the cylinder before being exhausted out the bottom of the drive with the cooling water flow.
I set these motors up on a test stand which consists of a plastic drum that holds enough water to cover the suction ports on the lower shaft of the engine. These motors can be quite smoky if they are not mixed correctly and will also foul out and stall if you use too much oil. These are two cylinder engines and they my idle rough if they are not tuned perfectly. There are a series of reed valves which control the inlet flow of vaporized/atomized gas and oil mixture through the carburetor into the engine.
The first thing to do with any older equipment is to make sure that all of the old fuel is purged through and out of the system. The next thing to do is perform a leak check on the fuel lines and look for cracking. Replace them as needed since you do not want a fuel leak once you are out on the water. Check the pull cord to make sure it is in good shape again this failing can leave you stranded once you are away from the dock.
It is always a good idea to check your spark plugs in case they are getting fouled out. Keep a spare set in the boat in case something happens and you have to replace them.
Next you want to check the linkages and adjustments and referring to the data in your manual determine if everything is set correctly. Now it is time to connect the fuel tank and start the engine. The fuel tank for these motors has a quick connect fitting plus a priming bulb that you will use to pump pressure into the carburetor float bowl.
Starting with a fresh tank of fuel mixed with the proper amount of oil you should squeeze the priming bulb until it gets hard. Next let out the choke and then set the tiller throttle to the “start” position. This opens the throttle just a fraction above an idle.
Now pull the starter cord briskly until the engine starts up. This can be aided with a very tiny amount of starting fluid. Once she starts up work the throttle to rev the engine up and see if it runs smoothly at an idle and also when you rev it up. If there are things which are out of adjustment then the engine may stumble on acceleration and possibly pop and bang if running too rich.
Read the manual and go through the settings procedure for the idle and full throttle positions. Next you need to test the forward and reverse gears to see that it shifts into each and also that there are no leaks of gear lube from the lower unit. The water in your drum can be cloudy and there will be some gas fumes but it should not be too smoky.
If you cannot get the motor into gear first check the linkage that goes to the forward and reverse linkages. Adjust or repair the shift linkages as required.
Once you are done wet testing the motor it is wise to allow the motor to run out of gas by keeping it on if you do not intend to wait and use it in longer than a few days. Store the motors upright on a stand that lets you clamp them in place so they do not fall over.
If the motor will not start then first check for spark and then check for fuel flow. You will need to pull the two spark plugs and clean them. Once you get the spark checked out you may have to pull off the bottom bowl on the carburetor to make sure the ports are not plugged up. If these things don’t fix it you may need to pull the flywheel which is also the magneto. Finally there are reed valves inside the engine that can crack off and or just bend and not work again so you may have to take them out of the motor to inspect them.
Even though these motors are old there are still parts available since they were moderately popular for a long time plus many of their models share similar parts. Once the motor is pulled out of the drum check the out-drive oil level and make sure it has not leaked out. Refill as required.
Check the propeller to make sure it is not cracked and see that you have a spare with a cotter pin as well. If you have done all of these things and it still will not start then it is likely that something serious has come apart in the engine. Check with a local boat service place that may still work on Chrysler motors. Also manuals can be found on line.
So based on an afternoon of running these two motors in my drum I will need to check the magneto on the one because the spark is weak. The other has a faulty pull cord which I can fix this week.
Good luck and safe boating!