Judging by the huge quantity of duck boats we have in our repair shop for tune-ups right now, it is clear that duck season in our area is underway. To be sure your first duck hunting trip this year goes smoothly, make sure your outboard motor is running in top shape.
The first order of business is to tune up your motor. There are many steps involved in tuning up your motor, the first of which is to decide if you are going to do it yourself or leave it to the professionals. If you are leaving it to the professionals, get your boat into the shop asap to ensure your motor is running smoothly. Trusted Kansas City boat repair shops will have a lot of winterizations to do at this time of year so don’t put this off until the last minute.
If you are doing an outboard motor tune up yourself, pull out your boat owners manual for motor tune up directions. If you can’t locate your owners manual, call our come down to our store in Kansas City to get one. Once you have your owners manual, check guidelines for recommended procedures, lubes, oils and replacement parts. Failure to use manufacturer required brands can void your warranty and may cause you further headaches down the road.
Start with a visual inspection of your motor starting at the bottom. Look for signs of leaking lubricant that may run down the propeller. This could be a signal that seals have gone bad. If this may be the case, bring your boat in for service. Next check the propeller for signs of damage. Cracks in the blades by the hub, large chips or bent blades call for repair or replacement of your prop.
As you move up the motor, check and fix missing or loose screws, nuts or bolts on the lower unit. Lubricate the grease fittings at the transom bracket, swivel bracket, and transom clamp screw as directed in your owner’s manual. The throttle control should be inspected and lubricated per your manual.
Next up is to replace the spark plugs and fuel filter. Then it’s on to the lower unit. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended frequency of lubricant changes for your outboard motor’s lower unit. Begin by removing the unit’s top and bottom fill plugs and allow the lube to drain into a container of your choice. Replace the lubricant with the manufacturer recommended product by filling lubricant into the bottom fill hole until lubricant reaches the top fill hole. Once filled, replace the top plug, remove the applicator nozzle and replace the bottom plug then wipe clean.
Last but not least, get all your hunting gear out. Clean, inspect and replace as necessary then get out there and have fun.