Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Optimizing the performance of Boston Whaler boats
Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:53 pm

Hello again everyone. I am in the process of buying a new 90-HP four-stroke-power-cycle engine to install on my 2003 Montauk 170. I am thinking about a Yamaha. Some dealers are pushing a Suzuki or a Honda.

What are your thoughts?

I am located near Charlotte NC so dealer selection may be a factor. Thanks for your support.--Danny

jimh
Posts: 7993
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby jimh » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:39 am

I suspect the original engine on a c.2003 170 MONTAUK would be a Mercury. Have you considered a new Mercury 90 FOURSTROKE as a replacement?

User avatar
Phil T
Posts: 1338
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:08 pm
Location: NYC then MA, NY, ME,DC,ME, now Kentucky
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Phil T » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:09 am

Each of the major outboard manufacturers has a decent, reliable 90-HP engine.

For most buyers it comes down to:

--price
--weight
--features (i.e. self winterization)
--instrument options (networking, digital gauges etc)
--local dealer service

Dealers will give you a single number (like $12,132) with no detail so comparison is impossible. Remember, this is a lot of money to you so make them give you ALL the details.

When you get a detailed quote that specifies each line item, part number, and price, you will see the differences.

--engine
--harnesses
--controls
--gauges (which ones)
--propeller
--labor price to remove existing engine, rigging and gauges
--labor price to install new engine, rigging and gauges
--water test
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:27 am

jimh wrote:I suspect the original engine on a c.2003 170 MONTAUK would be a Mercury. Have you considered a new Mercury 90 FOURSTROKE as a replacement?

Hi Jim: I did consider a Mercury a while back but I could not find a dealer near Charlotte NC that does engine upgrades. The reason to upgrade was to get a fuel injected 90 HP four stroke. Thanks, Danny

jimh
Posts: 7993
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby jimh » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:30 am

Danny--there certainly are regional preferences for engines and the dealer representation either causes or reflects that. I was in North Carolina a few years ago and every black engine I saw on the water was a Suzuki. I can understand how a Mercury dealer could be scarce in your area.

User avatar
Phil T
Posts: 1338
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:08 pm
Location: NYC then MA, NY, ME,DC,ME, now Kentucky
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Phil T » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:45 am

One point I forgot to mention: outboard re-powers are hard because the sales tactics. While some say car dealers are the worst, boat dealers are standing just behind them. There are no websites listing dealer pricing or even invoice pricing. Be educated, be smart and don't trust anything unless it is in writing.

I have read re-power threads for over 10 years and the spread between two re-powers of the same engine can be as much as $4,000.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:05 am

Phil T wrote:Each of the major outboard manufacturers has a decent, reliable 90-HP engine.

For most buyers it comes down to:

--price
--weight
--features (i.e. self winterization)
--instrument options (networking, digital gauges etc)
--local dealer service

Dealers will give you a single number (like $12,132) with no detail so comparison is impossible. Remember, this is a lot of money to you so make them give you ALL the details.

When you get a detailed quote that specifies each line item, part number, and price, you will see the differences.

--engine
--harnesses
--controls
--gauges (which ones)
--propeller
--labor price to remove existing engine, rigging and gauges
--labor price to install new engine, rigging and gauges
--water test

Hi Phil: I will get a detailed list like you suggested. Your $12k number is in the ballpark for a new motor. My mechanic stressed the importance of a tachometer since that controls many things for a Yamaha. Most dealers near Charlotte NC just sell boat packages since the profit margins are higher than doing motor upgrades. However, motor upgrades to a Yamaha are common here and I have several dealers to choose from. Thanks for your input! Danny

Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:33 am

jimh wrote:Danny--there certainly are regional preferences for engines and the dealer representation either causes or reflects that. I was in North Carolina a few years ago and every black engine I saw on the water was a Suzuki. I can understand how a Mercury dealer could be scarce in your area.


Hey Jim: What's your thoughts on a Suzuki? I just talked to a mechanic certified in several different brands and he said Suzuki is the best and stressed that he gets paid by the hour so there is no benefit for him to recommend one brand over another. I plan to upgrade in March 2018 so I have some time to analyze all the options. Thanks again!

jimh
Posts: 7993
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby jimh » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:53 pm

Re SUZUKI outboard engines: Suzuki completely altered the marketing of outboard engines many years ago when they introduced their four-stroke-power-cycle engines with a SIX YEAR WARRANTY. At that time, many competitors were selling outboard engines with a one-year warranty. Suzuki's confidence in their engines was much greater than the confidence of their competitors in their own engines. Due to Suzuki's move, it has now become common for manufacturers to offer much longer warranty. I think Evinrude recently offered a ten-year-warranty on a promotion. That would have not occurred but for Suzuki's earlier re-setting of the marketplace.

Suzuki was the first outboard engine manufacturer to abandon their two-stroke-power-cycle engines and change their entire outboard engine product line to four-stroke-power-cycle models. This again showed the confidence that Suzuki has in their products.

Suzuki makes their own engines; it does not buy engines and re-paint them. Suzuki has, at times, supplied four-stroke-power-cycle engines to other brands for re-branding, re-painting, and re-selling.

I have never owned a Suzuki engine. In my local area there is little support for them by dealers who offer the level or service I must have to be comfortable in owning a particular brand of outboard.

In general, the only drawback to a Suzuki engine is their somewhat spotty coverage of dealers. However, if there are many strong dealers in your region selling and servicing Suzuki, then there is no drawback in this regard.

I think many former OMC dealer went with Suzuki, when OMC stumbled into bankruptcy during its time of being owned by left-wing billionaire market-disruptor George Soros. It was very typical for dealers to be split into two general camps in the old days: Mercury or OMC. Thus most Suzuki dealers seem to come from the OMC camp, and compete against Mercury for the sale of black engines.

People with whom I have personal experience boating and that have Suzuki engines speak very highly of them, although they do acknowledge that support by a strong local dealer can hard to find in some areas. The Suzuki engines do seem to be very reliable, thus dealer support may not be as important as with some other brands which seem to require more frequent service and repair.

Suzuki has continued to innovate and push outboard engine development. And they have moved up in the power range to the 300-HP level, where they compete with the big boys and do well.

Suzuki was the first outboard engine manufacturer to abandon carburetor fuel induction and go to all electronic fuel injection on their engines.

Suzuki was among the very first outboard engine manufacturers to a provide NMEA-2000 network interface on their engines and permit modern digital instrumentation.

Suzuki is the first and ONLY manufacturer to offer an engine gear case that can be electronically selected to be either standard rotation or counter rotation. After several years there remains nothing like it on the market.

My personal theory of what engine to own: buy the engine based on the dealer and his service department. All engines need follow-on service, and today's engines are complex and not easy to work on without specialized tools, parts, and extensive training.

Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:39 pm

Thanks for the detailed response which is very much appreciated! I was hoping to see some Suzukis on Lake Wylie today but all I saw were mainly Yamahas and Mercurys.
Have a good one,
Danny

Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:04 pm

I noticed the 90HP Suzuki has a timing chain as opposed to a timing belt. Although I would prefer a chain drive over a belt drive, I never had a belt break before or go out of adjustment. May not be a significant difference. Thanks--Danny

jimh
Posts: 7993
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby jimh » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:03 pm

I had a small c.1973 car whose four-cylinder engine had a rubber timing belt. The belt broke at about 80,000-miles. Fortunately the design of the engine was a non-interference design between open valves and piston top-dead-center travel, so there was no mechanical damage to the valve train. Use of timing chains in the Suzuki engine is likely another indication of their better design and high-quality construction.

Montauk2003
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Location: Lake Wylie, SC

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby Montauk2003 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:35 pm

Usually when a timing belt in a car engine breaks, the valves may get bent and destroy the motor. Not sure what damage would occur if a timing belt in an outboard breaks.

jimh
Posts: 7993
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Montauk 170 Re-power Choice

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:04 am

Montauk2003 wrote:Usually when a timing belt in a car engine breaks, the valves may get bent and destroy the motor.


A bent valve occurs only if the engine design has an interference between an open valve and the top of the piston travel. Not every engine ever made for a car has that design, as demonstrated by my c.1973 vehicle which survived a broken timing belt with no damage to the valve train, as I described in my earlier comment.

I am not sure how this sidebar discussion of use of rubber belts for timing chains is going to affect the choice of an engine to re-power a 170 MONTAUK.