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Gold Shavings on Flywheel


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I don't know if this is anything to worry about but I'm guessing it's not normal. I am seeing very tiny gold particles on my flywheel and engine. I believe it's something to do with charging system or the ignition system. Evinrude 175, 1993 model. See pictures. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. IMG_20210625_164252662.jpegIMG_20210625_164300250.jpeg

 

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I had similar looking gold dust on my old merc outboard. It was from a worn brass starter gear. Possibly called the pinion? Anyway, it’s a brass on steel interface so the brass is what will eventually wear down. Mine wore to the point the teeth were so worn it would bind on the flywheel and cause starting issues. I’d start there. Was an easy fix.


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Hey you know what, I think you may be right. I never thought of that, and the pinion is right there engaging the flywheel on the other side. I will take the cover and inspect it. Thanks!

I had similar looking gold dust on my old merc outboard. It was from a worn brass starter gear. Possibly called the pinion? Anyway, it’s a brass on steel interface so the brass is what will eventually wear down. Mine wore to the point the teeth were so worn it would bind on the flywheel and cause starting issues. I’d start there. Was an easy fix.


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Why would a steel gear cause a problem? I tried but I couldn't get the starter off. It wouldn't drop down far enough, it's hitting a vacuum port.

Definitely the brass starter gear.  If it was steel, many motors would go up in smoke!


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There could at some point be gas fumes under that cowling. (leaky carb, cracked hose, flooded, ets)  I worked a long time with flammable liquids & learned a long time ago that you don't want steel on steel contact if any fumes can be present.  The starter spins pretty fast and is thrown up into that flywheel pretty hard. That split second before the teeth actually mate is where the shaving (actually grinding) on top and along the flanks of the pinion teeth is occurring.  Fumes plus spark equals boom!     That's why inboards have to have doghouse blowers that are supposed run a few minutes before starting.  Outboards don't have blowers so they use non-sparking materials.

 

Tom B.

(LongLine)

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Oh that makes sense. Plus I looked it up and I guess it's better to wear out Pinion gear than a Flywheel!

There could at some point be gas fumes under that cowling. (leaky carb, cracked hose, flooded, ets)  I worked a long time with flammable liquids & learned a long time ago that you don't want steel on steel contact if any fumes can be present.  The starter spins pretty fast and is thrown up into that flywheel pretty hard. That split second before the teeth actually mate is where the shaving (actually grinding) on top and along the flanks of the pinion teeth is occurring.  Fumes plus spark equals boom!     That's why inboards have to have doghouse blowers that are supposed run a few minutes before starting.  Outboards don't have blowers so they use non-sparking materials.
 
Tom B.
(LongLine)


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