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Repairing after suffering dismasting

David Hyman wrote:
> I bought a brand new Honda 5 hp last Fall, and it's been on the boat
> ever since. Last time I used it -- in December -- it worked fine, and
> it hasn't been touched since as far as I can tell. Today, I went out
> to the lake for a Spring check up and tried to start it. Pulling on
> the starter rope was strangely easy -- practically no resistence. When
> I took off the cover, I saw the white plastic gear wheel on top of the
> starter rope mechanism was shattered -- the entire center was broken
> out of the gear wheel. Pulling the starter rope just spun the center
> of the gear, and the outside (the part with the teeth that engage the
> crankshaft) just sat there refusing to join in the effort. What could
> have caused this disaster? Any ideas? Thanks.
> David Hyman
> Tulsa
> SJ 7.7 #161
Hi David;

I like Chuck's idea.  It sounds plausible.  However, on the prairies in
Canada we go to great lengths to prevent damage due cold and I have not
seen the starter gear go bad because of it. Assuming you had the cover
on the outboard all the time. 

A starter gear can develop cracks and/or shatter but this is due to age
and mechanical shock.  This usually takes many years.  

I think you have a defective component in that it was cast from a batch
of inferior grade plastic.  It happens up here every once in a while. 
My fatther-in-law's bone dry RV water tank shattered due to thermal
stress.  The replacement tank shattered as well the following year.  The
third tank has held for 15 years now.  This last tank was supposedly
made from superior plastic ad GUARANTEED not to crack.  

I would talk to Mr. Honda for a replacement.  I doubt they will refuse
you.  In fact they just might be interested in the old component for

Good luck.  Let us know how you made out

Bob Schimmel
Spruce Grove, Alberta
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