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Starting outboard in extreme cold

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Starting outboard in extreme cold
Went out for late goose yesterday, temp was 8F. My 04 Suzuki df40 doesn't like to start when it's that cold. Fuel lines were frozen, so I swapped them out, but man did it take a while to get the thing to turn over. After I heard one of the cylinder fire off, I knew i could get it started. Just wondering if there's anything I can do to help get it started easier when it's that cold. Obviously keeping it in a heated garage the night before would help, but that's not an option for me.

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Nick Zito: Jan 23, 2022, 9:22 AM
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Didja get any geese? :)

That is the temp where things go to hell, I don't really know what you can do. I've had occasional problems at those temps too. Usually if you get running, then just keep it warm all day and it is fine. I had my fuel line freeze up this season one morning when I was motoring out of the harbor - not a complete freeze up, but I think there was a bit of ice in the bulb valve that jammed it up. Fixed itself after it warmed up later in the day, so that confirmed ice for me. Keeping the system free of water is a good first step. Do you have a water separating filter in the fuel line?
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We got 1. Didn't get out until late due to slow to start motor and couldn't get set up where we wanted to with the tide going out. Actually I didn't get anything, we drifted into some and andrea took the lead bird down like a pro and missed the other two shots.

No water separator. I just have a 6.6 gal portable can I use for a tank. I tried adding some sea foam in today, we'll see how Monday goes.

Once we got started we were fine. Tried beaching ourselves on the beach and walking up on a flock - figured maybe they're used to that- and they left without giving us a chance. Needless to stay the motor was off and on all day, no issues. Not even a half a crank to restart it. Just that first 5:30am cranking fiasco

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Nick Zito: Jan 23, 2022, 10:25 AM
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
This might not be practical for you with your 40, but with my 20, I'm using store bought ethanol free gas. The Husqvarna almost 5 gallon can lasted me all season. I bought the VP real 5 gallon can to top of my 3 gallon tank to get me out for geese. Since ethanol free gas isn't available at the pump in CT, this is what I'm doing. I also keep my boat in the garage during the season.





Oxford, CT
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Think about somehow adding a separator. Before I had one I had more troubles, even had a problem once on the sound in summer where there was clearly water in the fuel. I use a portable tank, but have the line permanent, so I can use one.

If you buy one think about getting one compatible with a clear collection bowl at the bottom so you can monitor for water. Mine, I bought because it it was stainless, does not have an option for a filter that takes a clear bowl at bottom. Mine is the large one, no need for that, it just wastes fuel filling it, the smallest is fine for a 40 hp.
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My contribution on the ethanol free arena is that I have a 1 gallon tank with pure gas in it that I finish the day with to make sure the motor is clear of ethanol when it sits. I try to bring gas in from out of state when I travel, but I made up this little tank so that it wouldn't be too painful to buy a gallon of pure gas at the big box store for the season.

When I lost my big tank this year with freezing issues, I popped the little one on and was off and running.


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tod osier: Jan 23, 2022, 10:20 AM
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Sounds good, I'll try the separator. I actually run all season on ethanol free. Wife's family have cabins up in lake George, they sell ethanol free 93 at the pump at the Stewart's right in town. I bring every red can we have and fill up while we are there. I look like a maniac filling up 10 five gallons but it's nice to have.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
There are multiple stations and marinas in the Great Lakes region that sell non-ethanol premium gas. I have had better luck with Starbrite gas treatment with fogging solution in it. The only other approach from adding fuel separator would be to use starting fluid spray in the intake. We had to do this on some snowmobiles when running in below zero conditions on the ice.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Get a water separator/fuel filter, one that filters to 10 microns, Racor is very good, but there are others. Make sure all battery connections are bright and tight, and battery fully charged, it's easier to take the battery inside then the motor, :)
treat all fuel with an ethanol treatment, even if using ethanol free gas, it will still help with any moisture in the gas. Goes without saying that motor should be in fine tune. The motor should start at those temps no problem...
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As an FYI for those interested, Connecticut (the state that several of us in this discussion are from) falls under 42 U.S.C. 7545(k)(10)(D) which mandates RFG (reformulated gasoline) due to air quality concerns (there are several zones like this in the US, usually around large cities like NYC). I have never found ethanol free at the pump in the state even with the puregas app.

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tod osier: Jan 23, 2022, 12:36 PM
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Do y'all have the fuel water separator in line or mounted somewhere? We have a racor on the 23 walk around but it's mounted in the motor well and out of the way. Not sure how that would look inside the duckwrangler 15
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Nick Zito wrote:
Do y'all have the fuel water separator in line or mounted somewhere? We have a racor on the 23 walk around but it's mounted in the motor well and out of the way. Not sure how that would look inside the duckwrangler 15


Hard mounted under the deck out of the way. I have a portable tank because I like to be able to dump it out to put fresh gas in, but my lines are permanent.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Is that 1 gallon tank home made? Looks handy, I like it





Oxford, CT
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
MIKE-SID wrote:
Is that 1 gallon tank home made? Looks handy, I like it


Yes, easy to put together - only real bother was that I tapped the yellow cap and the tap cost a few bucks, other than that very straightforward.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
I'll have to gather some parts.





Oxford, CT
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
 Nick
I have had the same problem as you,as Todd has stated a water separator is the ticket. Racor makes a fuel/ water separator for outboards model # 3240 . I mounted mine right on the transome, it comes in two styles one is a straight filter,the other has the clear plastic bowl with a drain pedcock. I recommend the later. I also treat my fuel with stabilizer . Another thing I have learnt is that plastic gas tanks attract condesation. Hope this helps.
Good luck on the geese!!!

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Chris H: Jan 23, 2022, 2:15 PM
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Chris H wrote:
Nick
I have had the same problem as you,as Todd has stated a water separator is the ticket. Racor makes a fuel/ water separator for outboards model # 3240 . I mounted mine right on the transome, it comes in two styles one is a straight filter,the other has the clear plastic bowl with a drain pedcock. I recommend the later. I also treat my fuel with stabilizer . Another thing I have learnt is that plastic gas tanks attract condesation. Hope this helps.
Good luck on the geese!!!


Sweet with the part number and all!
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
Nick,
I have 2 Suzuki outboards. A 250 and a 20. I have not had an issue with starting in the extreme cold yet. I think everyone has made a good recommendation on the Racor. I would never have a boat without one. Put it anywhere you can and put your primer bulb between it and the outboard. I like to mount mine out of the weather and water. I feel they last longer when protected and the clear bowl doesn?t get brittle from the sun. I do not run ethanol free, I would if I could but instead treat my fuel with Startron at every fill up and have not had a water related issue yet. I always store with full tanks to prevent as much condensation as possible and close all vents.


Gunning from the FOWL HOOKED
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
You can bump the timing up a few degrees

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I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
I use e-free fuel as well, that helps in all seasons. I add a little Seafoam every tank or two, I think it helps. Maybe just my piece of mind, but thats good too. Smile

If you think your getting water in the fuel line, fill a five gallon pail with steaming hot water before you leave the yard. Put as much of the fuel hose in it as you can and let it warm up for a few. Also works for a frozen impeller on motors with lower units small enough to fit in the bucket. It's worked for me a couple of times. Then check your stern drain, if you have a little ice that might be a problem when inserting the plug, pour the hot water in and no more ice.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
 I would add a water seperater and I also use ethenol free fuel for winter hunting. I keep a sterno can and a lighter in my tool box. When it gets really could it takes off the edge. Great in the goose pit too.
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Re: Starting outboard in extreme cold In reply to
One additional point: Plastics made prior about 2005 often can absorb water from ethanol containing fuel and swell. Consequently, bad things generally result. Might be a good time to replace old fuel supply lines, also why old motors do better on non-ethanol content fuel. I bought a 2007 Boston Whaler Conquest 235 with a Verado 250 hanging off the transom. The motor had an outstanding recall on the float pump, which I immediately acted to take care of post-purchase. The Mercury certified mechanic drover over to Marquette to service three Verados, all of which he botched-up for various reasons that day. He never replaced the float pump switch per the recall just tinkered with it and charged Mercury for replacement. The three of us filed a lawsuit, eventually winning a significant settlement from the dealer. The float pump switch on my Verado had a plastic bulb that would absorb water from the fuel it was certified to run on, jamming it and shutting fuel flow to the engine down. When my boat went dead in the water, I was running in a channel that was lined on both sides by some huge chunks of limestone. Luckily, I was able to drop the anchor and call Peterson's commercial fish dock on the radio for a tow in. As I sat there bobbing on "the hook" I could readily see the limestone cobble on the channel's edge a few yards behind the boat in the crystal-clear water.
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Good to know. Fuel lines are new last year. We played games with the fishing boat for a while and I took some extra new line and made new ones for this. Today it was 22F and it started right up. I parked it in the lawn (not wife approved) instead of the usual spot which is surrounded by trees. Thinking maybe the extra sun helped, and the sea foam in the tank, and the additional 15F from yesterday