Canoe Motor: Advice needed

I recently acquired a canoe motor to help with camping trips. My wife is five months preggers. Between her quick exhaustion, our yellow lab and supplies adding weight and the need down here in South Florida to cross the intracoastal to reach new mangroves, I needed some help. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a motor that I would only be using as needed so I bought an older one off ebay.

It’s an old 2.5 hp Cruise N Carry. I took it out on our camping trip this last weekend. I don’t know much about engines but I know used the right mixture of oil / gas. The good news is I was also able to start the motor which means the engine works.

However, it would only run at full throttle. As soon as I would let up on the throttle at all it would cut out. I let it run for several minutes thinking it needed to warm up but no luck.

*** All this occured halfway across the intracoastal after the wife informed me she couldn’t paddle anymore and I couldn’t add enough muscle to overcome the current and boat wakes ***

I never put it into gear as the directions said not to pull the clutch unless the motor was in idle.

Any ideas?

Images to motor specs:

Is the gas old?

Gas isn’t old
No, I got it from the station and mixed it the day before.

Last time I saw a “cruise and carry”, it was being used on a dinghy at an anchorage in Rhode Island, and it wouldn’t idle either. Motor is 1.5 horse. I would try adjusting idle screw on carburetor, if there is one. Other option is start motor in gear as long as there’s no cut-off to prevent this, or slam motor into gear as soon as it catches.Never heard one of those motors run at any speed but wide open.

some suggestions
a new spark plug, properly gapped. don’t try to clean and reuse the old one.

make sure the is no dirt in the gas tank, and gas lines.

make sure you use the proper oil, and the correct gas/oil mix, double check.

make sure you follow the directions for starting, it may go something like this:full throtle, full choke, pull rope until enigne pops. half choke, pull rope x times, or until engine starts. let run for 30 seconds choke off throtle to idle.

try adjusting the idle screw.

take it to a local marine shop for a tune up.

And, here it comes, do this before you get out on the water! Get a barrel, fill it with water, and clamp the engine into the barrel.

I feel compelled at this point to add a bit of jovialty…One winter my brother and I tore apart an old Sears outboard, which was forever giving us trouble, and rebuilt it completely. When spring came, we proudly took it to a lake and rented a fishing boat. We had difficulty getting it started but chalked it up to operator error in perhaps flooding it. After making it all the way across a big resevoir, and fishing for awhile, we decided to take a cruise. We pulled and primed, and primed and pulled until finally the pull rope broke, and were unable to get the thing running. Manning the oars we took turns on the looooonnnnng, slow row back to the dock. As we approached the dock, we noticed the dock-boy watching us. As we got within voice range, he shouted…“You would do a lot better if you pulled in your anchor!” The damn motor was sold shortly thereafter for parts.

Gum in low speed jet
this is a small displacement motor with a very small carburetor. The jets have microscopic passageways. Any small bit of residue from gas left in the carb when it was used before you bought it will have a big effect on the low speed jet.

Take out the low speed needle. If you have not fooled with the idle setting, turn the needle in till it lightly bottoms out, counting how many turns till it stops. Write down the number of turns. Remove the needle and blast the hole with jet spray Gumout from the local auto parts store. Wipe and polish the needle. Reinstall the needle, run it in till it seats and then back it out the recorded number of turns. This will give you a starting point.

When you start the motor cold, only open the choke as much as necessary to keep the motor running till the cylinder feels warm. Then open the choke wide and start adjusting your low speed needle. Better slightly on the rich side of the best idling point in neutral, because when you put it into gear and load the notor it will need a bit more gas in the mix. Running a bit rich will load the spark plug a bit quicker, but running lean can ruin the whole motor, which costs alot more than the spark plug. It is also a good idea to always travel with a new spare spark plug with these small 2 stroke motors. The Cruise & Carry is basically a weedeater motor on a prop shaft. Set up right with a good 2 stroke oil and spark plug they will run smoothly at any speed above fast idle. But they will never idle like a 4 stroke lawn mower, no blade to act as a flywheel. No big flywheel like the regular outboard motors either, this unit was made to be very portable and the low speed performance was compromised by the light weight.


I’ll try all those ideas out… thanks a bunch.

If I succeed, I’ll post a picture of us tooling across the intracoastal.

Wideopen or off
I am not an outboard mechanic but it sounds to me like the choke(if there is one) is stuck. W/O throttle increases air flow, if choke is stuck cutting throttle back will cut air, CHOKE motor with too much fuel. I don’t think gas or spark plug is the problem. I don’t know how the motor is timed with only one cylinder but timing and/or bad breaker points could cause this problem. As I say I am not outboard savvy but my experience comes from one cylinder motorcycles. Lots of luck, lease report to us what the fix was. John

Motor Problems
Have you got the motor running? What was the problem? The world wants to know.