I recently acquired a 1951 WG4 in cherry condition and have been pouring over the threads here trying to learn as much as possible. Thanks for the site and all the activity. It has been a lot of fun to read and I'm really excited now that I can start to get to work on mine using your expertise.
I haven't started my motor yet, but have little doubt that it will run. I just started cleaning it up. I've taken the carb off and am cleaning it up. Do I have to replace all the gaskets once they are opened up? I know it would be best, but there are a lot of them. Does someone sell all the gaskets in one package so I don't have to keep buying them individually? Also, does the original cork float need to be replaced? I thought I read somewhere that if there is ethanol in the fuel it will lose it's bouyancy.
One last question. How do I post photos? I want to show off my little kicker! Thanks again.
There are several approaches to gaskets:
a)purchase new set or pieces of from East Coast Marine or other on line vendors...WG4 is much like
earlier model Mecurys so gaskets much same...ASK!
to be sure
b)buy gasket stock and make replacements using old
gaskets as patterns when possible.
c)reuse old gaskets
I follow plan b except for difficult to make gaskets which can be purchased individually.
Gaskets are important in a built up design powerhead which has lots of joints that can leak water,exhaust and fuel.If you enjoy solving mechanical puzzles,
getting your hands dirty and have a fair stock of
patience you will have a lot of fun with your old
outboard. Depending upon how they were used and cared for you run into problems of various types...to best
of my knowledge no outboard ever received too much TLC
Carburetor float can be epoxy coated or a closed cell
foam (modified) can be installed.
Where is the best place to buy gasket stock? Do any of the national chainstores carry it so I can just drive down the street to pick it up?
Auto Parts Chain stores will have gasket material by the roll. get the paper type about the thickness of poster board. I grease the gasket slightly if it's a part I may need to dismantle in the future. a pair of curved nail shears from Wal-mart help out for trimming the inside curves of gaskets
Coat your cleaned carb float with super glue to seal it before hanging it up to dry. The glue is impervious to gasoline.
Google a tutorial of BB Code to post pictures here or web links.
Use the search box above and type wg4 and wg-4 to find threads with info on your motor.
This thread is good for a parts break down and the wd-4s directions are the same for running your motor, but use 2-cycle oil in the gas instead of motor oil.
Baby the gears in the foot and use Lubriplate 105 grease in it (found at Napa) not outboard gear oil.
Aye lad, there's the rub...when I first started with
old outboards I went to local NAPA(an old established outlet) and bought several feet in two thicknesses off the roll...needing more was told they do not
have it by the foot off the roll now...and the packaged stuff was not the same nor as workable.
None of the other outlets in area seem to have
it either. I still have enough to last me for a few more motors.
The NAPA also had a stock of the frequently missing
spring clips used to secure cork float in position
on float rod and welch plugs...I guess such things
are relics of times when mechanics actually worked
on things...now technicians look at computers and
replace modules. Carburetors belong to era of tailfins.
I did find import gasket punches for about $5 at traveling tool show so I bought several...
Much gasket stock seems to be a thick paper which when coated with Permatex sealant is adequate for all but exhaust heat...the black packaged gasket material although harder to work is used there.
Use old gaskets for patterns of shape AND thickness as that seems to be way motors require them
I use heavy grocery bag to make water pump to gearcase gasket.
Gasket sets are available but if you have the time
and find suitable material you can save money for
other things you may need.
I ran to NAPA today with child in tow and picked up a roll of the paper stock. Hadn't read your suggestion of using Permatex on the homemade gaskets yet so I guess I'll have to pick that up later. I'm sure I'll be going back.
Cereal box cardboard even works for gaskets in a pinch. I got my last roll of gasket material from Advance Auto parts. I have a flea market set of round leather punches that save time cutting bolt holes.
Generally gaskets can be reused if not boogered up too badly.
I also use cereal, shirt or coat boxes (think C-mas) for gaskets. For permancy coat with varnish or poly urethane.
For cutting holes spent cartridge shells, ie .22, .38, .45 can be lightly hammered thru the material, making neat holed. Works best if material is placed on the end of a 2x4 chunk.
Good luck with your motor. JW in Dixie
Great idea about the shell casings. Thanks. Plenty of those lying around.
Good news. I got my motor started on about the 5th pull. Who knows how long it's been since it last ran.
Bad news. The water jackets are leaking pretty good where they meet at the base.
Can I just use Permatex in place of regular gaskets? I'll be honest. I bought a couple of other replacement gaskets for the lower unit and carb bowl lid and neither have worked. Not impressed. When I used Permatex on the lower unit instead of the traditional gasket I had no leaks. What are your thoughts/suggestions?
Try it and see...worst case is that it leaks.
Water jackets seal at the base and around the spark plug hole.
Mr. Kiekhaefer's built up design motor (think modular)
has some advantages and some disadvantages... removable water jackets make cleaning easy,
removable cylinders make dealing with a worn out
cylinder simple,seals and needle bearing easy to remove and replace with new...
On the other hand (Pres. Harry Truman wished for a one handed economic advisor) every joint means a potential leak and involves factory labor expense to assemble...not a problem at Depression level wages...
higher postwar wages may have driven redesigned
post war motors as much as anything else.
Anyway hobby labor is free and probably overpriced
at that...I would not go so far as leaving out gaskets
in favor of a sealant if for no other reason than
the spacing between components may require a gasket
Just an opinion and we all know their value.
CAUTION!! Be darn sure the shell's PRIMER is not live!
I suggested this method to a friend and the first one he tried poped the cap. Scared the c**p out of him, naturally. Be careful out there. JW in Dixie