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  #1   IP: 74.12.17.248
Old 05-15-2019, 12:56 AM
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System_Error_117 System_Error_117 is offline
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Hard Start / Excessive Cranking

Hey gang,

It seems my A4 has become a little lazy and takes a good 15 or 20 seconds of cranking to finally come to life. I stop after 5 seconds for a period just to help save the starter, but after 2 or 3 attempts it will get going and run great all day long. Also if I try to restart after a few hours it will start ok, but if I leave it over night this excessive cranking problem happens again.

The fuel system has a priming ball which I notice goes completely soft when left for a period of time, but even regularly priming the ball does not prevent or lesson this issue.

The problem has slowly been getting worse over the last sailing season and I suspect a leak in the fuel system somewhere.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2   IP: 70.185.132.167
Old 05-15-2019, 01:27 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Check to be sure the choke is closing all the way.

TRUE GRIT
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  #3   IP: 184.151.179.40
Old 05-15-2019, 04:27 PM
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Hey True Grit,

Thanks for the quick reply! I do always have the choke out when cold starting, but it is quite stiff from age and the elements getting at it in the cockpit. Looking closer I can see when I push it back down it does not go quite all the way down.

Does a slightly open choke allow fuel to return to the tank somehow?

Thanks again!

Ryan
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:06 PM
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Slightly open choke does not affect fuel going back to the tank..but it does prevent the engine from getting a proper dose of gas to get cold started in the first place.

Even in New Orleans, where its always warm, having a fully closed choke is necessary for a cold engine to start properly and easily.

This isn't just from hearsay...its my experience with over a year on this engine.
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  #5   IP: 184.151.179.40
Old 05-15-2019, 05:16 PM
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Ah ok, I think I am confusing "open" and "closed". The choke seems to close completely when starting, but doesn't fully open when I push the choke knob back in.... Then again I'll need to look at the carb when doing it to know for sure.

I was curious if a pin hole leak in my fuel line or a failed fuel pump gasket would yield the same long cranking time problem as well?

Ryan
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  #6   IP: 70.185.132.167
Old 05-15-2019, 08:02 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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The choke reduces the amount of air that enters the carburetor thus making the fuel-air mixture "richer".
A more rich mixture is not only "necessary for a cold engine to start properly and easy" but to even start at all. Even a warm A4 requires brief full choke to start.
This is not hearsay.....it's my eperience with over 36 years on this engine. (Sorry Bill-couldn't resist....)

117
Please verify that the choke is closing all the way when you think it is. If there's a lot of friction in the cable it may well not be closing all the way.

TRUE GRIT
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  #7   IP: 174.193.161.112
Old 05-15-2019, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by System_Error_117 View Post
Hey gang,

It seems my A4 has become a little lazy and takes a good 15 or 20 seconds of cranking to finally come to life. I stop after 5 seconds for a period just to help save the starter, but after 2 or 3 attempts it will get going and run great all day long. Also if I try to restart after a few hours it will start ok, but if I leave it over night this excessive cranking problem happens again. ...
This actually sounds pretty normal to me. Because of its updraft carb, a properly tuned A4 should be a little hard to start when cold. I have both an adjustable main jet and an Air:Fuel ratio gauge, so I know my mixture is spot-on at 14.7:1. It always takes two to three 5-second cranks with the choke on to start when cold.

An A4 that starts right up cold with a flick of the key is probably tuned too rich.

My guess is that you were tuned too rich, but one of the jets has become partially clogged, resulting in a leaner mixture. Time to clean the carb and then get it tuned for the right mix.
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  #8   IP: 192.186.122.174
Old 05-16-2019, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc View Post
T

An A4 that starts right up cold with a flick of the key is probably tuned too rich.
And that comment is my starting point for this season ...
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  #9   IP: 97.93.70.7
Old 05-16-2019, 09:36 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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Lightbulb Sorta normal

Error, as Edward stated the A-4 should not be a quick start!!! An updraft system like the A-4 has to suck the fuel UP to the manifold to be delivered to the cylinders so a properly operating choke is a must.

If your A-4 is indeed getting harder to start and the choke is sticky GET THE CHOKE operating smoothly. If freeing up the choke does not bring it back to normal slow starting then it will be time to look elsewhere.

If you have the old points set up checking the spark for a good blue snappy one will be in order.
If the spark is good then it will be time to look at the carb or fuel.

How long since the points have been looked at? How old is the fuel?

Dave Neptune
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  #10   IP: 74.12.17.248
Old 05-16-2019, 11:37 PM
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Hey guys, lots of good information here! I know what you mean about it not being an instant start, never was like that 5 years ago when I got the boat. But this increased cranking time only showed up mid way last summer and has been slowly getting more pronounced so it's definitely not the normal cranking time I've gotten used to.

I'll poke around and see if I can get a new choke cable for it as a first step, even if it isn't the problem the fact it's so stiff and rusted tells me it's time for replacement!

I put an electronic ignition setup on the boat a couple years back so checking the points won't be possible!
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