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propster

Motor trouble

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Had a little motor problem over the weekend on its maiden voyage for the year. Started fine first time, then tough to start and had to start with throttle set high (in neutral), then wouldn't run and wouldn't start at all. Seemed simple, like it wasn't getting gas, and I couldn't get the bulb on the hose to stiffen at all when I primed it. So we switched the big motor over to the remote tank for the kicker and it ran fine rest of the weekend. So with a symptom of not being able to prime, what do I look for? Hole in the hose? Wouldn't that be leaking gas if that were the problem? It's a '95 Ranger with fuel tank up front, '95 Merc 150 EFI. There's only about 5 feet of hose exposed before it goes into the gunwhale and down the side of the boat to the tank, and it appears to be in good shape. Thanks for the help guys.

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Fuel line or bulb, most likely. It won't leak fuel with a small air leak. I would just try a new bulb and line from the bulb to motor, and get NEW hose clamps as well. If that is not it, then the line from tank to bulb.

Good luck.

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I'll give it a whirl, thanks guys. Do they sell bulk hose? I've seen the prepackaged ones that come with a bulb, but the hose seem too short, like they were meant for a remote tank, not designed to run all the way to the front where the tank is.

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Chris or Marine Man - tried the new bulb and hose (from bulb to motor) and thought I had it. Bulb got stiff and it worked for a couple hours Sat, then wouldn't and I had to switch back over. Now I'm starting to think it's maybe a venting problem or something. The gas tank cap on the Ranger has a screw-out piece in the hinged lid that has a screen. Says screw out to clean screen, and I think it's for venting also. Do you know if this is supposed to be screwed in all the way, or only partially? And if it's not that, how do I get at the hose that runs up the gunnel and inside the tank I'm guessing? Thanks for any suggestions - I might need to bring this one in.

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If it were a venting problem, it typicaly sucks the bulb flat or at least try to. I'm curious, did you you re-fill the tank between trip 1 and 2? Did you happen to notice if it happens at about the same fuel level, you may have a tank pick up line issue.

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No refill, started with 3/4 tank now down to just over 1/2. I was hoping you wouldn't say a pick up problem - that would be down in the tank, right?

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can you fill to 3/4 and try it to see. pick up tube could have a leak in it or be broken off. Might not be as big of deal as they should screw into the top of the tank usually with a brass fitting or stainless. Good luck, i must say that I have learned so much from you group of guys on marine stuff it just leaves me baffled. Being a retired fire truck mechanic, we say some crazy stuff (fireman will break anything) but some of the things discussed on this topic and the battery areas brings me back to life. I apprecate knowing that help is only a few keystrokes away.

Thanks again to all of you, you are not only stewards of the land but stewerds to humanity.

Kind regards, Jeff

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As you, I really appreciate these guys willing to share their knowledge. If you are familiar with this boat, how do I get at the tank to check the pickup tube?

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With the latest info you provided I'm with Bruce here and think you have leak in the pick up line inside the tank.

As far as location and access in a Ranger I can't say other then just follow the fuel line.

Once found you'll see a brass fitting. Remove the hose clamp at that fitting then back out the fitting. You'll see a length of hose and a check valve. What you will try and do is replace the hose and clamps. You most likely will find that when you replace the hose with new worm drive clamps that the clamp will not fit back into the tank. You will need a seamless stainless steel clamp to do the repair.

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I'm not familiar with the tank location in your boat; sorry!

The other thing this could be (since it seems somewhat intermittent) is a sticky anti-siphon valve, which you should find attached to the 90 degree fitting coming out of the fuel tank (that you're going to remove to check the pickup tube in the tank).

marine_man

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Is the check valve that you mentioned Frank the same as the anti-siphon valve MM is talking about? Would it pay to just buy that anyway and replace while I'm changing the hose, assuming I can get at it? If it is the same valve, it's on the inside of the tank? Thanks for the tip on the clamp Frank.

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Yes the same.

Since your symptoms start when the tank is below a level I think the valve is OK but its one of those deals that since you have it out you could replace it. I'd at least clean it by soaking in a carb cleaner.

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Okay, thanks guys. But just to correct - it started first time with 3/4 tank, then wouldn't so we used remote tank next two days. Then next time we ran it it worked and we ran it down to about 1/2 tank, then wouldn't go again, so I'm not sure it's the level in the tank that's affecting it, though it still could be that pickup hose.

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OK, I'll go over things we know.

So your still not able to prime the bulb up on the onboard tank.

Outboard works with the remote tank.

Replaced the line from the point of the bulb to outboard.

That worked for a while and now it doesn't. Could have been fuel level in the tank was high enough that a bad spot in the pickup line was in fuel and not sucking air. Not sure if you put gas in or not. If not could have been the boat was loaded in way way the fuel level was effected.

Still works with the remote tank.

If it isn't the pickup line then its the line from the bulb to tank or one of those clamps. Since it'll work sometimes it suggests the pickup line.

What you can do is remove a fitting between the bulb and outboard. Prime the bulb and try and move gas into a container.

While your squeezing the bulb have someone listen through the fill for sucking air. Or remove the bulb and try and blow air into the tank. If the pickup line is badly cracked or broken you be able to blow air through. That'll confirm a problem but even if you can't hear air or blow air through, the check valve takes a good bit of suction to operate it. A very small air leak is enough to goof that.

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Thanks Frank, you've got the diagnosis correct. I spoke with Ranger today and he told me where I can get a look at the check valve you mention, and if it's an aluminum one it's junk (first year Coast Gaurd made manuf. put them in), if it's brass it's more than likely good but can be easily and cheaply replaced. He also recommended blowing air back thru the hose and listen, that might indicate a bad hose. He mentioned one situation where the lining of the hose had gone bad - a piece had hung down like a flap and restricted flow. He also said I probably can't get at the pickup tube without taking up the carpet and a few screws and getting at it from the top. I'll try that this week, otherwise I might have to bring it in. Thanks guys.

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MM, Frank, Box and Boatfixer - I wanted to give you a heads up on what it wound up being for future reference. You were correct with the first guess being the primer bulb. Only problem is the brand new bulb I bought and replaced with was defective out of the package. Semi-expensive lesson 'cause I took it to a dealer and after I told them the whole story they didn't check for that right away - I had them convinced it was the fuel line farther back or the pickup tube. Oh well, live and learn. Turns out the best way to check it in the first place would have been to switch the bulb over from the remote tank, which worked, then buy a new bulb to replace, then if it doesn't work you might figure you got a bum one. But who who have thought? Thanks for all your help guys.

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