Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
Don SSDD
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby Don SSDD » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:50 am

[A shop to which a friend has taken his Evinrude E-TEC engines for service has told the friend that] E-TEC engines should not be not be stored with the engines tilted up when the boat is in the water; and that the engines should be stored down. The reason for this is water inside the E-TEC engine can travel up into an area inside the outboard where the water should not be.

Q1: [Has any reader of this post] heard of this?

[The shop also said] the E-TEC engine should not reverse quickly. Water can enter an E-TEC engine while travelling quickly in reverse.

Q2: [Has any reader of this post] heard of this?

I am a skeptic on both of these statements.

Q3: Were the [E-TEC engines purchased by the friend] some level of a lemon or of poor quality?

I am also a skeptic on this as well and would be interested in any thoughts on these questions based on your experience.

Thanks,
Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

jimh
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Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby jimh » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:29 am

Don SSDD wrote:[The shop also said] the E-TEC engine should not reverse quickly. Water can enter an E-TEC engine while travelling quickly in reverse.

Q2: [Has any reader of this post] heard of this?


Yes. Generally if an engine is running and creating exhaust pressure into the exhaust passage, when the engine is running with the shift in reverse, the outgoing exhaust pressure will resist the tendency for water to be pushed into the propeller hub and to rise in the exhaust passage. If this were not true, then all outboard engines which have through-hub exhaust would have a problem operating in reverse, and the problem would not be unique to the E-TEC engine. The situation for a problem to occur is if the boat is making sternway and the engine is stalled. With the engine stalled there is no exhaust pressure to work against the water pressure.

jimh
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Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby jimh » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:32 am

Don SSDD wrote:[A shop to which a friend has taken his Evinrude E-TEC engines for service has told the friend that] E-TEC engines should not be not be stored with the engines tilted up when the boat is in the water; and that the engines should be stored down. The reason for this is water inside the E-TEC engine can travel up into an area inside the outboard where the water should not be.

Q1: [Has any reader of this post] heard of this?


I have not heard of this. Typically an outboard engine would be stored in a tilted up position when the boat is in the water and not in use in order to reduce corrosion of the gear case, propeller, and other hardware.

I do not understand the claim that the engine would be prone to water migrating to other areas in the engine when tilted up. If this were true, then the engine operating guide would contain a warning to avoid ever tilting up the engine while the boat was in the water. Since I have used an E-TEC engine for ten years, and at every launch-load cycle I tilt up the E-TEC engine while the engine is in the water so I can load it on the trailer, and since the operating guide explicitly mentions this sort of use, and since I have never experienced any problem related to this sort of use, and because I have never seen any warning about this sort of use in the operating guide, I don't find the your account of your friend's account of a recommendation from the unidentified service shop used by your friend to be particularly credible.

jimh
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Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby jimh » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:41 am

In general, I have very little faith in second-hand or third-had recitation of what other people have said. In this discussion, the person making a statement that is to be examined and reviewed is not participating. That person is the first-person speaker of the statement.

A second person ("the friend") has relayed an account of what he was told.. There is no way to know if the account given by the second person is an accurate representation of what was said.

A third person (the OP) now gives an account of what the second person asserts is what the first person said. We now have a third-hand account of the statement.

I don't find it particularly useful to evaluate what a person said based on a third-hand account of what was said.

jimh
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Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby jimh » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:45 am

Don SSDD wrote:Q3: Were the [E-TEC engines purchased by the friend] some level of a lemon or of poor quality?


I don't see any possible basis to evaluate the quality of the engines at the time of original manufacture. No information is provided in this discussion that could allow such an evaluation to occur. Generally with engines that have been used in Saltwater for a few years, the condition of the engines will be determined by the use and the care provided.

Don SSDD
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Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby Don SSDD » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:54 am

My posting was to inquire if outboard owners who had purchased 2008 E-TEC 130-HP outboards had experienced a higher level of maintenance and repair than was usual or expected.

For instance, owners of the Envinrude Ficht models had significant problems and these outboards have had a very bad reputation. Early 1999 to c.2002 Honda 130-HP outboards like I own had a cooling system design problem which caused a cracked block, and Honda did a recall. My question about the 2008 E-TEC was to inquire if these outboards have a bad reputation.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

jimh
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby jimh » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:38 am

I don't have or know of any actual statistics about any outboard engine brands in a particular horsepower and particular model year having a particular rate of failure of a particular component. I don't think data like that is generally available to the public, except in the case of a few brands, horsepowers, and years, as you cite for an engine you owned, which have become somewhat notorious.

I can't offer any advice on a 2008 E-TEC 130-HP engine as having a specific history of certain problems.

For Evinrude E-TEC engines made in the span of years from 2008 to 2011, I tracked changes in their production and summarized those changes in an article in the REFERENCE section. You or your friend might find that article to be of interest:

E-TEC Model Year Changes
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/ETEC_ModelYearChanges.html

Note that in 2009 Evinrude introduced seven new models in the horsepower range 115 to 130-HP. This raises a question in my mind: what sort of engines are you talking about as 2008 130-HP E-TEC engines? Are these engine V6 engines?

dtmackey
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Re: Tilt Position for Outboard Engine in Saltwater

Postby dtmackey » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:35 pm

Don - I'd take the advise the dealer provided with a grain of salt. The pressure of the exhaust will prevent water from entering into the exhaust tube. Besides, how fast does one need to operate in reverse? Haven't heard of there being a problem on the Merrimac River where boats must back out of the slip with sufficient power to overcome a 2 knot current, so effectively they are backing at 3 - 4 knots in reverse.

As for storing, I could see the dealer making this recommendation for winter only where freezing poses and concern. It's possible to have small amounts of water if the motor is tilted and that could create a problem with a freeze/thaw cycle. It is common practice for the winter fisherman around here to leave their outboards in the down position from Dec - Mar, but they tilt them up when not in use during spring/summer/fall.

When my boats are on the hard for winter layup, the motors are stored in the down position and during the boating season, the motor is tilted up out of the water to protect against corrosion, barnacle growth and seaweed.

D-