This what the Viking looked like before I took it apart. Ignore the rust and dents and dirty appearance for a moment and look carefully. Just about every modern outboard motor is completely covered up with protective cowling (aka: the engine cover). Next time you’re around an outboard motor, take a look: you don’t see much other than the cowling these days.
Now look at this outboard. See how exposed all the parts are? That’s an old engine for you!
Here’s another view from underneath. There isn’t much protective cowling, is there? On the top of this outboard the flywheel, spinning at 4000 rpm, is quite exposed. What’s good about this set up is that it’s easy to get at, like those old Volkswagon car engines. You can take it apart pretty easily if you get stuck out on the water (which I hope doesn’t ever happen to you, but be prepared).
Taking An Engine Apart
1. Before you take any engine apart, it’s always a good idea to find some plastic containers (with lids) in which to sort the bolts and screws from your engine. Labeling them also helps. Keep these in a safe place. Why do you want to be so meticulous? Let’s just say that if you don’t keep track of these bits and pieces when you take them OFF the engine, imagine what might happen when it comes to put them back ON the engine, and they’ve mysteriously disappeared into the junk of your garage. And yes, I might have learned this from experience…
2. The next thing you want to do is take some ‘before’ pictures of your engine, to help you remember how all the pieces fitted together. When I first started doing this I took a lot of pictures of how the parts looked assembled, taken apart, and reassembled. It’s pretty useful if there is a long interval between taking the engine apart and rebuilding it.
3. You also want to have a saw horse of some kind, so the outboard is in the position it would be on the boat. I used this sawhorse when I went to fairs for showing, so if you intend to do this, make sure it can disassemble easily. When building the saw horse make sure that when the outboard is attached the propeller will rest easily in a bucket of water so you can test it periodically without having to adjust your saw horse.
4. Have your project sitting over a tarp or newspaper, especially if you’re working in a carport like I was. It’s no fun cleaning oil stains off a concrete floor!
The first thing I did with this project was to take the gas tank off; that’s the large metal cover on the top of the engine (see top photo). Once the gas tank is off it is a lot easier to get at the other parts. There was a lot of dirt (and spider webs) covering this motor because it had been sitting for a long time outside. I used WD40 to loosen a lot of the stuck bolts and screws. A few times I had to leave parts soaking they were so jammed in.
Next, I removed the head (look under that large silver cylinder in the photo to the right and then down to the right – that’s the head). Usually when you remove the head, you need a torque wrench. Not here! The head bolts are screwed on, so all I needed was a ratchet with a flat head bit.
After the head, the next thing to remove will be the flywheel. On the Viking, the flywheel is tapered to the end of the crankshaft. All you need to do is put the flywheel bolt on the crank shaft and give it a knock with a hammer. Be sure to hit the flywheel bolt squarely so as not to damage the threads.
Underneath the flywheel is the magneto. Remove this piece as well.
With the magneto removed, I can now access the head. But that’s another post!
In the next post I will be talking about the other steps I took, as well as discussing some of the problems I encountered.