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Old 06-30-2009, 08:28 PM
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Cool My Four Winns Keeps Stalling :(

Hello, this is my first post and really would appreciate any ideas all of you experienced boaters have for me.

I have a 1988 Four Winns Freedom 160. Has a OMC i/o inline 4 cylinder w/ 130 horsepower. Spent about a month removing oxidation and cleaning up the interior. Boat looks mint but now having trouble with stalling.

Here is the problem. When we took it out for the first time, it would stall at about half throttle, around 2000 RPM (The points were checked prior to this). We could not open it up b/c we were on a canal with a speed limit. The boat was not run for about two years prior to us purchasing it, so we thought there might be water in the gas. Added some dry gas and fuel injector cleaner and refilled the tank full w/ new gas.

Second run post dry gas/fuel additive, we opened it up full throttle at the lake. It would run full speed but then would stutter and hesitate and then eventually completely stall at full speed. Did this several times. The problem seemed to be worse when turning.

Had to jog in to dock just to get it back. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this, and/or what needs to be replaced? Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:11 PM
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Relative had stuttering issues with a 2001 four winns v-8 thou, He wound up replacing the distributor and that fixed the issue. Change out all the fuel filters and get rid of any old gas.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:29 PM
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Yeah, I agree. Dump the old fuel and start fresh. Donate it to the neighbors for thier lawnmowers but don't run it in a car, the engines are too expensive.

It could be a stuck float in the carb and when turning the little fuel that is in the bowl sloshes to the side and uncovers the metering jets.

It could also be the fuel pump or the anti syphen valve in the fuel tank pickup.

With a boat that age you should plan on replaceing all the fuel lines since they most likely are not compatible with ethanol. That goes for the gaskets and rubber parts in the carb as well. It can eat them up pretty fast.

And don't bother with the dry-gas as it is mostly ethanol and your pump gas has plenty of that already.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:49 AM
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Over 20 yo, check the distributor cap, rotor, plugs, and wires. It may be difficult to get all the gas out of a built in tank, you could get a 6 gallon portable tank and run the motor on that for test purposes. Check all the fuel line connections, if all that checks out them probably a carb issue.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:07 AM
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First thing I would do, is to try and run the motor off a portable tank. If it runs good, you know you have a fuel issue. If so, I would drain the fuel, get rid of it, clean the tank, and replace all the fuel lines to the motor, also installing a 10 micron fuel filter water separator. You may also want to test your fuel pump for proper operating pressure.
If the motor doesn't run any better off the remote tank, then you need to look at your ignition system.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for all the advice, I'll look into/try all those things. Keep everyone posted on what the problem was.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for all the advice, I'll look into/try all those things. Keep everyone posted on what the problem was.
the good thing is you at least know it 90% a fuel problem. can you remove the pick-up from the tank and inspect/clean the tube.

i would also replace items along the fuel system some of them are cheap its worth doing.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:03 PM
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We drained out the gas today and ran it some more to burn the rest of the gas out.

Interesting thing happened....The main battery was also drained when we initially tried to start it. Hooked up a new battery, started and then we turned the steering wheel and it stalled. So we went under the dash and there were some loose wires, both positive and negative attached to the voltage meter. When I twisted the positive wire it would stall once again. The nuts were loose holding the wires on. Would these loose wires cause the battery to drain?

Good thing we started playing with the steering wheel to find a source of one of the problems. Any thoughts on the electrical?
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:09 PM
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yeah, have a mechanic go over the entire boat, and remove EVERY single wire-nut in the boat. I assume that you are talking about this as the "nut". That shouldn't cause the stalling(I don't think) OR drain the batteries. If the batt's are 2 yrs old, replace them. Usual culprets with killing a battery are bilge pumps, lights, radio left with power on, but on standby.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:38 PM
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yeah, have a mechanic go over the entire boat, and remove EVERY single wire-nut in the boat. I assume that you are talking about this as the "nut". That shouldn't cause the stalling(I don't think) OR drain the batteries. If the batt's are 2 yrs old, replace them. Usual culprets with killing a battery are bilge pumps, lights, radio left with power on, but on standby.
I am pretty good with electrical issues and I did tighten down all the wire nuts under the dash. All the other electrical wires/fuses are good. The boat never has been left out in the elements and always has had a mooring cover on it, so removing every wire nut seems a little extensive.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:03 PM
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I am pretty good with electrical issues and I did tighten down all the wire nuts under the dash. All the other electrical wires/fuses are good. The boat never has been left out in the elements and always has had a mooring cover on it, so removing every wire nut seems a little extensive.
Wire nuts should not be used on boats, it's that simple. Use in-line connectors with built-in shrink sleeve, those wires under wire nuts will always corrode and cause you grief.....as you are finding out. Those in line connectors can be bought at any big box store...
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:23 PM
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Those engines have a history with vapor lock. They have a mod, cooling jacket, as a fix. Four Winns seemed more suspectable for some reason. Normally happens after you have operated it for awhile though.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:46 PM
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Are you referring to wire nuts as those plastic cones that electricians use to splice wires together or the nuts that hold the wires onto the guages? If they are the plastic wire nuts they need to be replaced with inline crimp connectors and heat shrinked to make them watertight. All the other ground and power wires should be cleaned and tightened.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:44 PM
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I had to get the anti-siphon valve on the gas tank changed on my 88 FW...it was corroded causing fuel starvation...I'd also pull out the fuel gauge sending unit and look in the tank and see if it has junk floating around in it...you might need to get the tank cleaned out..new anti siphon and fuel lines...filters...rebuild carb...typical old boat problems...
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
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Are you referring to wire nuts as those plastic cones that electricians use to splice wires together or the nuts that hold the wires onto the guages? If they are the plastic wire nuts they need to be replaced with inline crimp connectors and heat shrinked to make them watertight. All the other ground and power wires should be cleaned and tightened.
They are nuts that hold the wire connections to a screw, they are not wing nuts or plastic they are probably 6mm nuts. Those were the nuts that I tightened and they are under the dash along the instrument panel.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:05 PM
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I had to get the anti-siphon valve on the gas tank changed on my 88 FW...it was corroded causing fuel starvation...I'd also pull out the fuel gauge sending unit and look in the tank and see if it has junk floating around in it...you might need to get the tank cleaned out..new anti siphon and fuel lines...filters...rebuild carb...typical old boat problems...
Where is the anti siphon valve located, I read that it has a history of problems with our boats. Can I do it myself or does the gas tank have to pulled? I carb was rebuilt already, but varnish near the jets may be a problem.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:09 PM
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Where is the anti siphon valve located, I read that it has a history of problems with our boats. Can I do it myself or does the gas tank have to pulled? I carb was rebuilt already, but varnish near the jets may be a problem.
My 88 Horizon has a cover over the gas tank and if you remove this cover you can see the whole top of the tank, the anti siphon valve is a 90 degree fitting screwed into the top of the tank that the fuel line going to the fuel pump is attached to it...they unscrew but be careful if this has never been changed....My mechanic put in a better quality one and it's had no fuel starvation problems since....
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:12 PM
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dont replace your batteries unless they dont hold up to a load test

stop all this fuel system cleaning until you know it runs properly on a little portable tank
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:01 AM
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I would replace the anti syphen valve as Lou mentioned as it is a common problem on those boats. If it is not causeing you problems now, it will. I would also replace the fuel lines from the tank to the motor. At 20 yrs old they need it even if they are ethanol rated and they probably are not.

I think you will probably need a carb rebuild but you should do the tank and lines as well so it does not get full of gunk right away again. May not be much more to buy a new carb rather than rebuild.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:59 AM
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I too am dealing with fuel tank gremlins. The anti siphon valve appears to be bright and shinny. Is the problem with these valves on the down stream side? I had fuel starvation at the tank pick up. After draining 50 gallons from the (170 gallon) tank all the fuel was clear from any debris or crud. If the siphon valve thing is an issue it will become land locked and banned from the sea..
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