Welcome to our comprehensive guide to inboard & outboard engine surveys. This guide is for anyone planning to survey an engine, or hire someone else to do it. We’ll answer the who, when, where, why, and what of engine surveys. If we did miss your question, please let us know by e-mailing us, so we can get you an answer, and add it to the guide!
Gasoline-fueled piston engines require an ignition source to set off the explosion that converts the chemical potential energy of the air-fuel mixture into thermal energy which the engine can convert into mechanical energy. Each type of ignition source has advantages and disadvantages (which we’ll get to soon), but all have the same basic objective, which is to efficiently set off a quick explosion that burns all the fuel in the cylinder. There are four ignition systems commonly used in 4-stroke, 2-stroke, and rotary engines, along with an oddball only used in small 2-strokes.
Corrosion is an unfortunate and inevitable effect that attacks most metals. There are a few common causes of corrosion, and you’ve probably encountered all of them, even though you might not have recognized or identified them at the time. Understanding what’s going it can help you detect and prevent it in the future. This post goes through the most common causes of corrosion, the factors which speed it up, how you can slow it down, and what you should do about preventing it.
Most call them ‘outboards’, some call them ‘outboard motors’, and a rare few call them ‘outboard engines’, but what are these enigmatic beasts sitting on our transoms?
You can make a case for any or all these names, but which one’s right? We’ll go through some arguments for and against each one, to see if we can come up with a definitive answer!
Diesel engines are notoriously smoky, producing much more blue, white, and black smoke than their gasoline-powered counterparts. The fundamental reasons for this are that diesels operate at higher pressures, with lower-purity fuel, and variable fuel-air ratios. This post covers the different types of smoke, and their (complicated) causes.
One of the questions we hear most often is ‘what is a wasted spark?’. Wasted sparks are also known by many other names, including ‘waste sparks’, ‘exhaust sparks’, which adds to the confusion.