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  1. #1

    Default 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold


    I have a Honda 2004 40hp 4 stroke outboard this is hard to start cold. It acts like it's not getting enough fuel. When it finally starts it feels like it's not hitting on all cylinders.
    I've had this problem twice in the past and the mechanics cleaned the carb and it would work OK for a few months (still hard to crank when it's cold). Once it warms up it cranks and runs like a champ.
    I'm careful to use new gas with no alcohol.
    A friend of mine mentioned that it might be the bystarter and he said he thought there was a 'recall' on the bystarter on that year and model Honda.
    Would the cure be as easy as replacing the bystarter and the bowl??

    Thanks a heap in advance!!

    Mike in Louisiana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    post the serial and somebody will run it



  3. #3

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    Thanks! I had the carburetor cleaned and it's still giving me fits. It just wont hardly start when it's cold. After I get it started it will crank all day long as long as it's still warm. I can fish all day and part of the night with no problems. Then, the next day when it's cold it takes 12-15 tries to start. Sometimes it won't start at all.

    The serial number is: SH598EB

    Thanks in advance!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Cincinnati, OH USA

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    I do not know what that serial number is does not look like a serial number that I have seen.

    You are right about a Service Bulletin for 2004 - 2007 models. You need to check the numbers on top of the bystarter. If it begins with a "CL" followed by three numbers or letters and the bowl has a jet size of 80 (stamped just above the fuel drain on the bowl), then changing the bystarter to an "HG" xxx and a bowl with jet size 75 should improve your starting issue.

    If it is still under warranty, it would be changed at no charge (in the USA...don't know where in the world you are). Warranties are treated differently in each country.

    If your dealer is a Honda dealer, have them check Service Bulletin #59.


  5. #5

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    Thanks Mike! That's a HUGE help!!!!

    I was curious about the serial number too. It didn't look like the same format as any other Honda motor serial number; but it was stamped on the cylinder block under the starter motor in the front of the engine (in the place where the manual said it would be)...but it doesn't look like any of the other serial numbers mentioned.

    Just my luck, the dealer that sold me the motor is out of business (Tri-Lake Marine of Ruston, La).

    Mike on Lake Darbonne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Cincinnati, OH USA

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    Here is a long shot for you...

    First check out the parts that we have discussed and see if they are the old version.

    Then, contact a local Honda dealer and tell them your story. Normally, Honda would not cover this since it is so far out of warranty. However, if you still have the receipts and the receipts were for the carb cleaning done within the warranty period, ask the dealer to call Honda to ask for an exception. If the bulletin was issued before you have the carbs done, the dealer should have performed the Bulletin's work at no charge unless the rest of the carbs were really gooed up. Even then, they should have given some credit to you since part of the work would have paid for by Honda.

    Anyway, if the dealer really screwed up and overlooked the bulletin (it sounds like they have overlooked a lot of things if they are out of business.), that is not your fault, and Honda may take that into consideration.

    Like I said, it was a long shot, but it is worth a try.

    If the parts have already been updated, then it looks like you need another carb job.

    Be sure to use some sort of fuel treatment all the time (PRI-G, Sea Foam, Stabil Marine, etc), to keep the carbs clean. Also be sure to drain your carbs when the motor is not going to be used for a few weeks.

    Good luck.

    By the way, the serial number should be somewhere on the vertical frame of the motor. There were a couple of years when then put them on the top of the engine mount on the front of the engine under the steering arm.

    Last edited by hondadude; 02-12-2011 at 10:55 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    Thanks Mike!

    I found the serial number: BAYS3702014

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Cincinnati, OH USA

    Default Re: 2004 40hp 4 stroke hard to start cold

    The serial number range for the affected units is BAYS-3400001 -3701268. Yours is just out of the range.
    In any case, check the letters and numbers on the top of the bystarter unit as I described in a previous post. It still may be the older type, since it is so close in serial numbers.


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