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Old 12-18-2021, 11:53 AM
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Choke Geometry Help

My engine has always been a little slow to start for the first start of the day. After that, it starts right up. I always attributed that to me running the gas out at shutdown.
Lately it had gotten much worse, with the December weather the engine could be chilly in the morning. Also the choke cable was getting very hard to pull. I decided some investigation was in order and discovered the choke cable had broken internally and I had no choke at all. I guess it is a miracle the engine could start even with difficulty on a cold morning. Choking the engine by hand it starts more or less instantly now, cold or hot, fuel run out or not run out
I ordered a new Moyer cable and installed it. It turns out I have a geometry issue. The choke cable feeds through a clamp and then it goes through the little arm at activates the choke. The illustration shows the angle of the cable, the red line is choke OFF and the purple line is choke ON. The choke cannot make it all the way to full on, it tries to make the cable take a sudden bend it just won't do. I get a range of motion from off to maybe 2/3s choke. For an updraft carb in winter, it needs to be 100% choke.
So before make some big mess, is there an easy way to change this geometry? What I am looking for is making the full on lever position farther forward, giving more distance from the cable clamp.
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Old 12-18-2021, 12:09 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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You need adjust the fixed arm. There is a screw that holds a sort of circular plate in place - that is where the adjustment is.
I scribed a line on the plate and carb body with diamond tip pencil before disassembly so I could line up the fixed arm correctly after doing a carb overhaul so I didn't have to guess the correct position when I reassembled the carb.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 12-18-2021, 12:16 PM
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This one?
That seems easy enough.
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Last edited by joe_db; 12-18-2021 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 12-18-2021, 12:26 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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I think it's the or these. It's been a few years since I've done this. The little circular plate that has the fixed arm attached needs to be rotated.
If necessary the angle that the choke cable approaches the carb will need to be adjusted so there are no tight bends in it.
Also the movable arm should not touch the fixed arm when the choke is fully closed.

ex TRUE GRIT

PS: A crumpled rag under the work area will catch the small parts you are going to drop.

Last edited by JOHN COOKSON; 12-18-2021 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-18-2021, 12:42 PM
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Thanks!
And thanks to Moyer for getting me the cable fast! Do NOT cheap out on these, pretty much every single other kind of cable will corrode and die on you.

A general note - this was a frog boiling issue. Between the cable getting worse and the temperatures dropping, the first start of the day just kept getting a little worse. The A4 is NOT a hard to start engine, so if it is something is wrong somewhere.
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Old 12-18-2021, 06:38 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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If you need choke adjusting instructions let me know.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 12-18-2021, 07:05 PM
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The "pivot" on the end of the choke arm should minimize the wire cable flexing. And what John said for adjustments.

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Old 12-18-2021, 07:29 PM
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I sort of got it. The nut that holds the lever arm (purple) can be loosened to make the adjustment I wanted. It is farther out now so the choke can be pulled all the way on.
The problem is the "pivot" does NOT pivot (see black arrow). That causes bad geometry, but now I have it at the full-open setting, not the full-closed. I actually did not realize that thing could pivot! Once I get that pivoting my troubles should be over.
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Old 12-18-2021, 08:11 PM
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The end of the choke arm should have a pivoting pin with a set screw to hold the choke cable in place. That piece may not be what you have from the looks.

How does the cable attach?

Dave Neptune
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Old 12-19-2021, 09:48 AM
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Not sure about late model carbs but I know that on the early carb you can adjust the choke attachment to work with the cable coming from any direction. Looks to me like rotating the fixed arm counterclockwise a bit along with the adjustment you made would give you a straighter approach and a little more travel distance. My fixed arm and the moveable arm are almost in a straight line on the MC.

Dan S/V Marian Claire

Last edited by Marian Claire; 12-19-2021 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 12-19-2021, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marian Claire View Post
. Looks to me like rotating the fixed arm counterclockwise a bit along with the adjustment you made would give you a straighter approach and a little more travel distance. My fixed arm and the moveable arm are almost in a straight line on the MC.
Dan S/V Marian Claire
This is the ideal set up. On some boats (such as my ex Cat 27) it was necessary to modify to achieve this. The cable was suspended in space between the cockpit and carb until I fixed it. In any case the swivel on the movable arm on a late model carb will compensate for any angle that the cable approaches the carb and allow for full movement of the movable arm.

ex TRUE GRIT

Last edited by JOHN COOKSON; 12-19-2021 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 12-20-2021, 12:47 PM
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I found an old carb in my shed and the choke cable attachment DOES swivel on that one. I think I am going to swap the choke arms or at least break the new one free so it can swivel too.

FYI - the difference between full choke and almost full choke is huge on a cold winter morning, the engine loves that full choke.
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Old 12-22-2021, 11:56 PM
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Years ago, I had this exact same "geometry" issue with my choke. The pin didn't pivot, and I could either adjust to get full open or full close, but not both.

I came up with a "bush fix" that has actually worked quite well over the years.

First, I unclamped the choke cable body, removed the core wire from the pin, and locked the set screw all the way down. This still left some "shoulder" exposed under the setscrew head.

Next, I took a needlenose pliers and bent a 180 degree hook in the tip of the cable wire.

Lastly, I placed the hook over the shoulder of the setscrew, and clamped the cable body in place at proper location.

Now when I pull the choke on, the hook freely pivots on the setscrew as it pulls, allowing full travel. And, since the choke assembly is spring-loaded, as I release the choke the spring returns it, keeping the hook fully engaged at all times.

And this "fix" has had an added benefit. On my boat, with it's v-drive installation, reinstalling the carb is done largely by touch. And inserting that core wire in the pin and adjusting and tightening it was always the hardest part! Now it's easy. I just place the hook on the screw and clamp the body in place.
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Old 12-24-2021, 03:35 PM
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Swapping the choke arm out for one where the cable fitting rotates did the trick!
Christmas a day early
I had never realized that fitting was supposed to be loose all this time
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Old 12-25-2021, 11:01 PM
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The weather was so nice yesterday (actually better today), but yesterday I thought about this thread, and went to the boat and did some fiddling with my choke to make sure it closes all the way. It is still hard to start when it's been sitting for several weeks like yesterday, but my lighted mirror shows me the choke is closed. When we use the boat regularly, she normally starts up in seconds. Good exercise anyway.
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Last edited by sastanley; 12-25-2021 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 12-26-2021, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
The weather was so nice yesterday (actually better today), but yesterday I thought about this thread, and went to the boat and did some fiddling with my choke to make sure it closes all the way. It is still hard to start when it's been sitting for several weeks like yesterday, but my lighted mirror shows me the choke is closed. When we use the boat regularly, she normally starts up in seconds. Good exercise anyway.
I think we'll get a sail in today, yesterday was too busy. I have a prime button for my fuel pump, if the boat has been sitting I can hit the button and run the pressure up before I hit the start button. The mechanical pumps have a primer as well IIRC.
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-26-2021, 06:46 PM
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Joe, hope you made it sailing. I tinkered on the boat today, which was good enough for me on our 60°F day. The mech fuel pump for sure has a primer bale..I always massage it to 4+ PSI before I start it. Maybe it is just air showing on the gauge. I have learned to close the Raw Water until it starts, and no ill effects.
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Old 12-27-2021, 10:41 AM
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Bad luck yesterday
After getting the hose out to clean up after a mass bird attack, the wind died. Then I went home and wind came back

Here is a photo of the offending part:
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Last edited by joe_db; 12-27-2021 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 12-27-2021, 06:41 PM
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SIDE NOTE TO SHAWN

Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
It is still hard to start when it's been sitting for several weeks like yesterday, but my lighted mirror shows me the choke is closed. When we use the boat regularly, she normally starts up in seconds.
If you have points....
Sometimes points don't conduct well after being unused for awhile. "Just for fun" try passing a points file between the points contacts to see if it helps the reluctant starts.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 12-28-2021, 10:35 AM
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Also note - if the wire from the coil to the distributor starts going bad, the engine will get progressively harder to start when cold. That wire effects all 4 plugs, not just one. It also gets 4 times the use of the other ones. Just for fun swap it out before a cold start.
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Old 12-29-2021, 12:39 AM
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John & Joe..thanks..excellent advice.

I have the 1149-A electronic ignition.

I had a custom plug wire ordered at the local NAPA several years ago when I moved the coil off the motor onto an adjacent bulkhead and needed a few more inches...

Maybe the wire is faulty or my ignition circuity needs a checkup? It does eventually run. If either of these are an issue, I will report back for the benefit of other forum members!
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
John & Joe..thanks..excellent advice.

I have the 1149-A electronic ignition.

I had a custom plug wire ordered at the local NAPA several years ago when I moved the coil off the motor onto an adjacent bulkhead and needed a few more inches...

Maybe the wire is faulty or my ignition circuity needs a checkup? It does eventually run. If either of these are an issue, I will report back for the benefit of other forum members!
When I had electronic ignition it seemed to really chew up the coil wire. It was insidious too, it wouldn't just die, just keep getting harder to start. My theory is since no cars have used spark plug wires in ages, no first-tier manufacturer makes them anymore. Maybe Moyer and Indigo have a line on the best of the bunch? Anyway, for troubleshooting you don't even need a spark plug wire, any old piece of wire will do with some creative stripping on the ends to cram into the coil and cap. Do NOT touch while running though, that thin rubber is not good to 40,000 volts
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Old 12-30-2021, 12:12 PM
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Were you using graphite core or solid core high voltage wires that failed over time? Copper core should last indefinitely where as graphite core spark plug wires will fail over time.
IMO graphite core wires don't belong on a boat.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 12-30-2021, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
Were you using graphite core or solid core high voltage wires that failed over time? Copper core should last indefinitely where as graphite core spark plug wires will fail over time.
IMO graphite core wires don't belong on a boat.

ex TRUE GRIT
I am pretty sure all the wires I have or had are graphite core. Were do you even get copper-core wires now?
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Old 01-04-2022, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
Were you using graphite core or solid core high voltage wires that failed over time? Copper core should last indefinitely where as graphite core spark plug wires will fail over time.
IMO graphite core wires don't belong on a boat.
Three responses:
  • I've never had anything BUT graphite core wires and never a problem. Never.
  • MMI's plug wires are graphite core.
  • If going to solid core plug wires expect to deal with massive Radio Frequency Interference.
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