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TOPIC: 1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle

1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133317

Hi again, I finally got that old Humber wet yesterday and after the motor had been run for a while I noticed that it won't idle in gear. Probably just an adjustment but I'm out of my comfort zone. Is there a way to check if the ignition is firing at 100% and how do I, or should I, turn up the idle speed ? It has these weird Morse Brydon Boy controls and it's the first single stick I've seen for a Rude or a Johnny. I thought that was a Merc thing. The fast idle works well but I can't use it and engage the gears. Help ? It ran great again today but docking is a pain. LOL. Thanks in advance.
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133318

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Have you adjusted the idle mixture needle? It could be out of its range if anyone has messed with the carb. You can loosen the setscrew for the adjusting lever and move it a bit so you can open or close the needle to make the idle mixture richer or leaner. If it's idling OK when it's cold, you're probably a touch rich. Turning the mixture needle clockwise leans out the mixture and vice-versa. You'll know if you get too lean, it'll cough and die. Then you're probably about 1/2 turn too lean. Try to get an adjustment in Neutral first, so you get a steady idle. Then "tweak" it in gear; you'll typically need to be a bit rich to make it happy.

If the plugs look clean, it's probably firing OK. But if adjusting the needle doesn't help much, and you haven't serviced the ign, it may be time to pull the flywheel & check out points & coils.

HTH & let us know what you find............ed
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133322

You are right on all counts :) The whole setup is a decade out of whack and I just fed a couple of my friends about 6 pounds of BBQ to get an opinion and everything you say, they say we need to do. Tomorrow we are going to go over the whole motor and set it all up right. I was in such a rush to get it in the water in time for the Wife's 10 day vacation that when it started, we went. God watches over children and fools and I'm a bit of both but without risk you might as well be sleeping :) Ya gotta be a little off to take an untested 57 year old boat to Lake Erie for a shakedown cruise. LOL. Thanks Ed !

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133327

Here's the plugs after about 13 gallons of 50:1 mix. Top left, bottom right. They don't look too bad but they had only been test fired before Tuesday. Should I go to 40:1 or stay put ? There's a couple shots of the lower Grand River by Port Maitland Ontario. There's a pretty neat boat graveyard there too. Tons of blue herons, terns, and cormorants flying around too. My camera sucks tho so those pictures were dark for some reason on a brilliant day. Have a great day !
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133333

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Top plug is quite different in appearance from the bottom. Maybe not firing well. Also could be water-washed although it's not really really clean. Next time out swap plugs then pull right after running for a while. Check for water on the plugs, if you have any it's a sign of a blown head gasket. A compression check might tell you something.

Also could be a sign of poor combustion from ign problems so best to go thru the ign to rule out that issue.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133334

I'll try that on Sunday. I think I need to work over the points too. It farted a couple times yesterday when I was trying to start it cold so maybe the sparks not all it should be. It seems to use a lot of fuel for a light boat (barely 450lbs) with a fairly flat bottom. We cruised in the mid range yesterday for a little over 2 1/2 hours on 5 gallons. It seemed to do better at WOT the day before. I'm going to check it all over as this ones a keeper. Speaking of keepers, I'm giving away my G-3 if you are interested. It's on the G-3 forum. Thanks for the tips and have a great day !

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133342

New ignition parts ordered this afternoon. I'll start there and work my way through the list. Going to a smaller lake on Sunday (Erie changes faster than I can run. LOL) so I'll run it hard for a while and see what happens. Compression check in the morning. Thanks again.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133374

A follow up question if you don't mind, I'm going to replace the ignition but if my head gasket is suspect how much of an ordeal would it be to change it just in case ? And would you happen to know the gap for the points on my motor ? Since this is the one I'm keeping I'm kinda wanting to do it all correctly and then have no worries. I found a couple small holes in my transom that were responsible for a bit of water getting in, about a half gallon in 6 hours so no biggie, but once upon a time something very small had been put in and no-one thought to fill the screw holes ! I only found them when I removed the rear seat to change tanks and saw daylight where there shouldn't have been any. That was an easy fix at least :) I've switched the plugs and we are going to play tomorrow or Sunday on a nice little inland lake about an hour and a half north. I feel like fishing ! Have a great day, night, and weekend.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133379

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I wouldn't necessarily say change the head gasket just for G.P., but only if you have positive proof that it's blown.

Take a compression check and see if you see anything snaky then.

And see what the plugs look like after running for a while, after you clean/gap or replace the points. Gap is a "loose" .020". The feeler gauge should just barely drag thru the points when you've got it set right.

It's not a horrible job to do the head R&R, unless the motor was a "salty dog" and the head bolts are frozen in the head/block. If the bolts are free to move, it's a cinch. Note that you'd also want to have the cyl head surface machined flat or do it yourself with sandpaper on a piece of glass. Anytime you find a leaking head gasket, it's very likely the head is warped as well. As I recall the head bolt torque is around 240 in-lb (20 ft-lb) and I like put a thin layer of Permatex #3 gasket dressing on the head bolts to keep them from ever seizing in the head/block.

But, first things first, get the ign 100% then we'll see how she runs.........ed

HTH.......ed
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133381

Compression check this morning so I'll post that later. I'm going to put the whale tail on it today. It was a fresh water motor but when I took apart the thermostat housing the bolts were rotten in the middle of the thread. We only broke on so we got lucky I guess. Everything else came apart smoothly. I'll get back to you later and Thanks again.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133400

Okay, I found a few issues that may have been at least part of the problem, a badly frayed ground wire, a cracked fuel line that was sucking air or spitting fuel, can't tell which, and I believe why it wouldn't stay primed so I fixed all of that and my Merc buddy Steve richened up the mix a little. The compression test showed 60 lbs and holding for the top cylinder and 65 and holding for the bottom. What's normal ? I couldn't spot anything else but I found a grease nipple at the bottom of the motor on the port side and I'm going to give it a lube. Have I missed anything ? Thanks in advance ! (smiling but afraid of the giant emoji's ) LAUGHING OUT LOUD !

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133401

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Well, the cracked fuel line wouldn't bode well for smooth running! It would suck air and you'd lose the prime from the fuel tank. I'd imagine that the fixed line and a tweak on idle mixture wiill help a lot.

Best way to adjust mixture is with the motor fully warmed, in the water, in Fwd gear. Find the rich/lean range of idle mix adjustment and tweak it so it runs smoothly but doesn't cough and die (too lean). If it coughs, richen up a bit and try again. If it idles well for several minutes and responds right away to throttle, you've got it. If it hesitates it's probably a touch lean.

They do run really really smooth when they're good 'n hot and you lean 'em way out, but then they become hard-to-start and likely will die upon acceleration. So you have to run 'em a bit "lumpy" (i.e. rich) to make 'em happy. Typical old 2-stroke!!!

Cheers.......ed

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133402

Be careful what you say about my mistress Sir. Haha doesn't translate to emoji ! Yeah, I thought along the same lines when I saw the split hose. Well dang ! I found it pretty much by accident as it was right at the neck. We cleaned the points and gapped em to 20 ( getting new ones but not before tomorrow ) and we'll run a couple tanks out and check out the mix when she's hot and hopefully happy. Have a great night and hopefully you'll be boating tomorrow instead of helping guys like me who need an " old boats for dummies " book. There's an idea for you !

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133408

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Firstglassproject wrote: Have a great night and hopefully you'll be boating tomorrow instead of helping guys like me who need an " old boats for dummies " book. There's an idea for you !


Naw, gotta work on an old 90hp Merc Tower of Power that just showed up in the driveway today. Not run for years, needs checking out and new lifeblood transfused into her.

Such is the life of the outboard mechanic, "It's just a hobby, ya know!" ;)

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133409

I remember lots of people saying that about cocaine in the 80's. :) We know how well that worked ! I only do it on weekends ! I can stop anytime I want. Sure ya can. LOL. Good luck with it, I like playing with these things too but I've got a lot to learn before I do it for anyone but me. I've managed to do a lot for little or no money and I've got a running boat I can do more than look at. Life is good no ?

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133435

She's still not giving me any love. Here's the plugs after about a 5 hour play day, half idle, half WOT, I've gone a full turn by the end of the day and at this point I'm about ready to cave and take her to the shop for a proper tune up. I got her running late but I'm not giving up on this season just yet. If I have to spend a couple hundred (please just be a couple hundred) to get her best well I'm gonna do it. I made it run but I'm nowhere near smart enough to make her sing. Sometimes you just gotta let someone else tweak it. Thanks for all the help AGAIN. :) How's the 90 coming by the way ??
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133459

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Looks pretty rich, did you screw the idle mixture jet in (clockwise) until the motor coughed and died? If not, then you don't know what the "too lean" setting is for your idle mixture.

I've found on plenty of motors in the past that someone has messed-up the idle setting and moved the knob/lever. It is held on by the tapered screw in the middle, once you loosen the screw enough, it will rotate on the idle mixture needle's shaft, or you can pull it completely off and "re-clock" it. Ideally, at the best, smoothest idle mixture setting where the engine is "happy" and doesn't "sneeze" or bog when you take off, you set the knob/lever so it's at the mid-range of its adjustment. Then you have a range of rich/lean adjustment to play with.

Try that and see what happens. On the flip side, both the plugs are burning the same!!

Busy weekend with the family, haven't had a chance to look at the 90 Merc yet but it's on the schedule for this week!

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133462

I did not. I started going 1/4 turn left (counter), running for a while, try to idle, go a 1/4 turn on and on, It seemed to start bogging on acceleration so maybe I went to far. The hard part is doing any of that on a motor that won't idle long enough for me to adjust anything until it dies. It's already dead by then. :( I guess I'll go backwards next time and start over. Thanks !

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133463

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Pull the knob/lever off the idle mix needle; screw the needle all the way in (clockwise), seat it lightly then turn it out (CCW) about 1-3/4 turns. Set the knob/lever in the middle of that adjustment then go out and try it. You'll know if you're close enough if you can make the motor die when you lean it out (clockwise).

BTW if you've read the other recent Big Twin thread, they talked about having a working thermostat in the motor. If the thermostat has been removed by a previous owner, or is stuck open, the powerhead won't warm up and the idle quality will be poor. Lay your hand upon the block after the engine has been run for a while, the block should be "toasty" but not so hot you can' t keep your hand on there for at least a few seconds. Around 125-130 deg F if you have an infrared thermometer to use.

If the thermostat is out or stuck open, the motor will spit a lot of water as soon as you start it, and the block will be fairly cool to the touch (depending upon the temperature of the body of water you're running in).

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 week ago #133467

I just installed a new thermostat 2 weeks ago and it's working fine. I figure we are fighting a fuel or spark issue so I just ordered a kit for the carb, I cleaned it out when I got it but may have missed something and since it's getting points and condencers I'll do that and I'm putting new plug wires in since they are original's on it now. I can do all of that for under a hundred bucks so yippee ! I'm going to go set that mix up now. THANKS.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 3 days ago #133555

The best laid plans of mice and men... I picked up the new parts today and got a rude (pun intended) awakening, cleaning the points up through the access port was easy but replacing them requires removing my flywheel and it doesn't want to move. We tried gentle prying with a couple pieces of wood, then a couple gentle taps with my rubber hammer, nothing moved. This led my Merc buddy and guide Steve to think that maybe it's press fit on there and I need a special puller to remove it. Is mine just being stubborn and needs a little more thud or is there a method for removing it ? We found a screwed up throttle linkage and fixed that and got the idle adjuster screw functioning again so that should help. Still going out tomorrow tho. Just have to ! Have a great day !.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 3 days ago #133557

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You can't pry it off, you must use the correct flywheel puller. An automotive harmonic balance puller will do the job just fine. You must use Grade 8 or better puller bolts, because there will be a lot of stress on the bolts and a lesser grade bolt has a large chance of breaking or pulling out and ruining the puller threads in the flywheel. You'll need (3) bolts and as I recall they're 1/4-20 threads. Check to be sure.

You can rent a puller for free from Autozone, you just lay down the full-price deposit for the tool and it's refunded when you return the tool to the store.

Here's an example of a "wheel puller" set at Harbor Freight:

www.harborfreight.com/bolt-type-wheel-puller-set-62620.html
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 2 days ago #133562

Good thing I didn't let my temper get the better of me or I'd have done some damage ! That information is just what I needed and I can get the puller at Canadian Tire the same way as Autozone so that's good. Going out today so I'll play with that mixture a bit. Thanks again.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 2 days ago #133573

There's no leaps or bounds BUT we are definitely getting somewhere ! I started the day at 1 and 3/4's out from lean and only tweaked it a quarter turn to rich because it seemed to be starving a bit at WOT but that could be the carb, the throttle cable, or the ignition at this point and I'm not going to sweat it as she runs great and I've managed to get a working idle happening ! What you said do I did and it's all working so far. Steve's tracking me down a puller and if we can do that in the next week I'll get that done too. Thank you very much Sir. P.S. Have you even touched that 90 yet ? LOL.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 2 days ago #133574

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Sounds like you're making progress! And yeah, I worked on the 90 this week, the lower unit is off and flywheel/distributor/cap/plug wires out and waiting for all the parts I ordered to come in.

Cheers....ed

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 1 day ago #133576

Good stuff ! I've got all the parts for the ignition and the carb kit is backordered but should get here before spring I hope. She's reliable in that I can keep her running and since the season is getting late I'm just gonna putt until the ice forms up. It's enough to keep this guy and his Missus happy so that's all we need. Have a great night, I'm gonna look at the plugs in the morning and I'm going to show you the linkage we jury rigged. I'd like to replace it asap as it was worn through, we kinda sleeved it but it's not a good or long term fix. Later, Mark.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 2 hours ago #133622

50 to 1 mite be a little light on the oil. I think it was 63 or 64 that thay went to 50 to 1 61 was 24 to 1. even with the new oils. be very carful on the oil mix. Bob
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 2 months 2 hours ago #133623

Thanks, I'll check it out. She smokes a bit but not a lot but then again the oils are way better nowadays than when I was a kid and clouds were normal.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133699

I went up to 32:1 today for running around the lake but didn't stay out long, when I was changing tanks I noticed ANOTHER fuel issue, the male fitting at the motor from the fuel line leaks like a sieve. Looks like the pins aren't right or just plain worn out. Good news is it's ten dollar part that's readily available so by next weekend I'll have that fixed and hopefully the new ignition installed. I can't wait to feel ALL 40 HP. My boat weighs about 460 pounds and the bottom's pretty flat so it should do better. At least I've learned how to do all of it here so forget that pro I was going to pay, after this week or maybe next (or the next......smiling) I've got all winter to fix the rest and clean her up good. Have a great night.
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133708

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I'd say more-than-likely it's the female fitting on the portable tank's fuel hose that's leaking. It contains an O-ring that gets worn/damaged and then will leak like a sieve. Recommend renewing that plastic fitting, it's cheap and will probably save a lot of grief. If the male end is showing wear, too, by all means get a new one if they're that cheap. That way both ends will be brandy-new and no leaky-leaky!

BTW with a leaking fuel fitting, the engine's fuel pump will be unable to maintain the prime on the system and it won't pump fuel efficiently from the tank (if at all). Won't idle good either!

Many times I've seen a motor that would idle poorly or die after a few minute's running, have a bad fuel fitting, leaking/fouled fuel pump check valves, or some kind of "fluff" in the carb that was preventing a good seal from being made.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133710

Fortunately my Merc buddy Steve has a great stash of boat stuff so we changed the females first, then we found the fitting on the motor wouldn't keep a seal no matter what we tried, it just went back to a position where it leaked as soon as I squeezed the bulb to prime. Gonna change them all. Maybe my carb isn't the issue at all ? Thanks.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133725

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If you're just messin' with the fuel connections you can just bypass the connector and splice the hose from the fuel tank directly to the fuel pump. Saves a lot of grief.
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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133727

Believe or not the boys came to that conclusion about an hour ago by the firepit. LOL. I'm going shopping for a piece of gas line tomorrow. My next question is will that create too much fuel pressure or will the carb itself regulate that ? If it's just going to piss out an overflow that's not a fix I can live with. Should I half prime the bulb and see what happens or am I worrying about nothing ? It's going to take a couple weeks to get the fitting and I'm still planning on getting in a few more times. The carb kit is 6 or 8 weeks away on back order so that'll be my winter project. Once it's running right I can concentrate on making it pretty again. The Wife wants teal for the deck and I'm almost convinced. Have a great night and THANKS again !

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133728

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All the fitting does is make the connection portable. If you don't have any issues with that, eliminating a potential place for leakage will have little downside! If anything, it'll pump better and the carb will be properly fed with fuel. Just run it like you normally would and see how she does.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133734

Well Gentlemen I think that's a plan. I can always disconnect it from the tank and leave the line attached to the motor if I need to move it or I can just undo a hose clamp and pop it off there. I know I run a smoker but I'm not liking dumping gas into the water at all. Supposed to have a couple decent days this weekend so I'll let you know how it goes and THANKS again for all your help.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133735

I know there's always one more question so here it is :) There's a ground wire, or static strap if you like, that's attached to the screw that holds that fitting in place. Should I tie that into one of the hose clamps or is it redundant ? It runs into the housing to a nut that serves no other purpose. Better safe than sinking on fire ?

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133741

Just my humble opinion, but do not buy after market fuel supplies. This includes fuel fittings, carb kits, hoses (blue or silver). They are junk & will only cause you more trouble. I don't know how much it gets discussed here & I won't mention names, but stick to OEM parts when it comes to fuel parts. Same on your tuneup kit if it's not too late! Some of their other parts are OK & you have to use them, but the ones mentioned will give you a lot of heart ache. Hope that helps!

Dan in TN

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 1 month 3 weeks ago #133745

Everything I've gotten to date has been OEM, that's why it's taking so long to get them. lol. I'm getting it through the dealer who sold the boat in 1961 to it's original owner. It's never left this area. They don't have any mechanics who can work on it but I'm learning as I go. That's for the tip tho. I'm trying to stay true to what it was before I got it. :)

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 4 weeks 1 hour ago #134215

You probably will believe this but the problem with the mixture came from the nut not keeping it in positon because it was stripped. I just happened to leave the cover open yesterday to see if some air helped and try a couple other other tricks to figure some stuff out and I SAW the mixture screw rotating itself to lean !! I did a quick fix and when I punched it it sang a pretty tune for the first time in a long time. We had enough at top end to get under the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie and that's no small feat in a 14 foot hull from 1960. It was perfect timing as we were meeting up with the rest of my family on their boats at Black Creek to spread my Father's ashes on the upper Niagara River. It was a beautiful day and we gave an old boater a proper send off. I couldn't have done it without you guys and your knowledge. Thanks so much. Mark.

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1961 Evinrude 40HP Super Quiet Big Twin won't idle 3 weeks 6 days ago #134226

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Yeah, that'll do it! Was it actually stripped, or just loose? The way that works is that there is packing around the needle. The packing gland nut (the outside nut) is tightened down against the rings of packing until the packing compresses around the needle. You snug down the packing nut until the needle is quite stiff to turn, such that you can still make the adjustment but it's not going to vibrate out. It's an old way of doing things but simple and quite effective.

On the old motors you'll quite often find that the packing has been squished down as far as it'll go and then the needle stays loose & will vibrate out, as you experienced. In that case, you can buy new carb packing to replace the old stuff. You just pull the mixture needle all the way out, then pick out all the old packing & install the new stuff, lubricated with a bit of motor oil.

Note that the carb packing does require periodic adjustment as it ages. Another good reason to keep the packing snug is that the idle mixture needle will suck air if its packing is loose; and the hi-speed needle, if the motor has one, can leak fuel.

And you know how much vibration you get from a Big Twin, enough to vibrate-out the needles!!

Cheers........ed

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