Posted by Carl Dirkes on January 31, 2004 at 21:29:28:
I just got a boat with a late-model A-4 that hasn't been started in 8 years. It seems to have been well-maintained at some point. It's freshwater cooled, been retrofitted with Indigo electronic ignition, external oil filtering, electronic fuel pump, etc. The boatyard guys tell me this thing ran great in 1997 when they last tuned it up for the original owner. After sitting for 8 years, it's got issues. It's very rusty and I had to rebuild the starter to even get it to turn over.
Now that it's cranking, it's got fairly low compression (around 80 psi on the average). I think that'll come up as it turns over more. First time I checked it the readings were even lower. I think the valves were pretty sticky. An ounce or two of MMO down each plug hole and a week of soaking seems to have helped.
The carb throttle and choke linkages are frozen solid, as are the control cables back to the cockpit. I haven't even tried to put fuel through the thing yet -- I've just been dry cranking with the throttle closed (where it's stuck). I'll be replacing the carb with a new one, and I think I can save the cables.
It's got Paragon reduction gear with a seemingly nonexistent neutral -- If I hit the starter, it turns the prop either forward or backward depending on the shift lever position. The motor does seem to have spark, and doesn't seem to be missing anything.
Can these things be brought back from this far dead? Are those compression readings too low to mess around with? Should I put a couple hundred more bucks into this thing trying to get it going, or should I be shopping for a nice 4-stroke outboard?
Any comments on how I should proceed would be most welcome.