Mice got in the motor

Rusty Wrench

New member
Hello All- First post :)

The motor is 78 Evinrude 85hp w tilt trim.

It's been 20 years or so since I built the Glen L Hunky Dory. 12 years ago I became consumed with elder care issues. I put the boat under cover and never so much as looked at it until now.

Under the motor cover was the most god-awful mess you could imagine. I vacuumed out nesting material and acorns. There are pockets of mouse urine/feces in every corner, recess and surface. I have the factory service manual and have started to remove some components to start cleaning. I am an ok mechanic but hope to dissemble as little as possible.

A few questions
1) I'm unable to post photos (Oops!- we ran into problems message). Is this a first post thing? They're jpeg 3.5 to 6 KB. The mess is almost indescribable.

2) Would it be safe to spray cleaner and hose pressure wash the motor and components under the hood- blocking the intakes of course.

3) No question there is a mass of waste, probably even wet waste, in the deepest recesses. Could that migrate down into the lower unit? Is it advisable to remove the power head.

I'm just getting started. Thanks for any advice.

btw- I had fogged the motor prior to storage. Flywheel does turn- or least it's not locked. And the mice did not chew any wiring that I've seen yet.


Contributing Member
Power wash it. I do that to all the motors I buy. Don't take the power head off unless absolutely necessary. If the motor was used in salt water you probably won't be able to get the power head off without breaking bolts and destroying stuff. I would remove the carb and check it out. Lower unit should be good but watch out for wasp nests and mud dabbers. Good luck.


Regular Contributor
Did you actually mean your photos were 3.5-6 mb? I don’t know any cameras that take photos at 6kb.
if so, resize them to under 1mb.
There might be a gate where you need 6 posts before adding photos. Just add a few posts to get your count up a bit.

Rusty Wrench

New member
Thanks EdChris. I double checked. The smaller photo isn't 3.5 kb. It's 3,500 kb! Taken with my Galaxy 7.
I think I know how to resize them in Paint.

I was going to do the work in situ. But now I think it will be easier if the motor is off the boat. The throttle and advance are very stiff, starter bendix won't move, who knows what's behind the carbs and what all else.

I was able to load a 251kb screenshot so I guess size does matter. Thx again.

edit- the screenshot was on the preview but not on submittal. Hmm... I'll get it right next time :)

Rusty Wrench

New member
Got the motor all cleaned up. Now for tune-up. Not having any success removing the choke linkage from the lever. Tried squeezing and pressing on the little nylon type bushing with pliers. Worried about over-forcing. Is there a trick?choke lever.jpg



I feel your pain. I've found the same after winter storage--but only a single winter. I can't imagine how much worse it would be after 12 years.

Actually I can, sort of.
Several years ago I sold a 69 firebird. The original (rare) engine was on a covered pallet at the back of my property for maybe 5 years. When I pulled the tarp to show the buyer I found mice had turned it into a condo.

Rusty Wrench

New member
This is what I started with. Mostly nesting material is visible. But mice waste sludge accumulated almost everywhere. Half expected to get the hantavirus.

Motor compartment cleaned up now. Carbureators were filthy sticky. Throttle plate on lower wouldn't budge. In cleaning the motor I used a couple cleaning agents (ammonia then pine sol) sprayed on then pressure blasted with clean water. Carbs, once off, were soaked briefly in pine sol solution, rinsed, then in Berrymans for 4 hrs then rinsed with clean water and air pressure.

Now I have white some white crusties on various surfaces. I've cleaned it off a couple times but then comes back. Any advice on this?


Also product advice on lubing the carb linkages. And should I give a light coat of something to passages the throttle lever goes through. It cleaned up pretty good but still bears light signs of corrosion.

Debating with myself whether to pull the flywheel. It's been water and air blasted pretty thorough.

I repair/rebuild a half dozen or so small engine carbs every year. This is my first boat motor carb.




I've seen that damage plenty when looking for parts for antique cars. Your mice just accelerated the corrosion.
I don't think there's anything you can do other than take everything completely apart and blast it (walnut? soda?) to bare aluminum. Then you're faced with restoring the original coating or giving it all a snazzy paint job.