So today I finally made time to take a look at the sick Evinrude outboard which let me down so badly last weekend. When it failed to start on the lake I rowed ashore and whipped out the spark plugs, thinking the mixture may have been too rich and she had oiled the plugs. Both plugs were in perfect condition so I put them back into the head and called it day. By the time I had reached home there was a strong smell of petrol emanating from the boot meaning I had a fuel leak somewhere.
Today I wanted to be 100% sure the spark was strong so I tested both plugs again and they were sparking away good-oh. I turned my attention to the fuel system and checked the fuel line from the tank to the carburetor. Although it looks a bit dirty it was intact and the clips at both ends were tight. All linkages on the carb were in perfect working order and I was about to remove the whole unit when I noticed one of the two mounting bolts was slightly loose. Checking the 4 screws which hold the float bowl to the body of the carb I found one of these was also loose. These faults could lead to air leaks and thus make the engine hard to start or run unevenly. I tightened up the offending bolt and screw and gave the engine a test. She burst into life on the third pull and idled reasonably well. Here is a clip of her running (sorry about the wrong title)-
To be perfectly honest the slack bolt and screw may (or may not) be the cause of the problems with starting. Certainly they both should have been tight, so I have not done anything wrong by applying the spanner and driver to them. The fuel leak was not obvious to me so I can only presume the bolt and screw had slackened off in use and the petrol was trickling out at those places. Only another trial on the water will confirm if I have solved the problem. I had better head out fishing tomorrow I guess (sigh).
Now to other matters: I was in Ballina today and the river Moy was very busy with anglers on all beats. There were salmon and grilse showing in good numbers in the Ridge Pool.