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Author Topic:   Force motors
philipat posted 10-30-2000 05:24 PM ET (US)   Profile for philipat   Send Email to philipat  
Does anyone have any experiences with Force motors that they would like to share? I am about to purchase one and I would like to know what you all think about them. I was looking at a 1987 125hp
blackdog posted 10-30-2000 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
I have heard bad things about them. I almost bought one but was told by several people to pick another engine.
TC posted 10-30-2000 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for TC  Send Email to TC     
A force motor is an evolution of the Chrysler outboard. Their technology was never updated. They are a price leader for Brunswick. I wouldn't reccomend one. This reminds me of when Car and Driver reviewed the Yugo back in '86. They said you would be better off buying a used Chevette and they hated Chevettes! Just my .02 but I try to stay current on stuff.
compounder posted 10-30-2000 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
I had a Force 50 for a while on a 13 BW. While it was cheap to buy and proved to be durable, it just did not seem to be well-engineered. Or maybe it just was not well-manufactured. Either way, it was hard to start, hard to shift, smoked a lot, seemed to use way too much fuel and generally was unpleasant. I had a reliable mechanic check it out and he gave it a clean bill of health---said that what I was getting was all I could expect from a Force!
Also, at the time I owned the Force, there seemed to be a high incidence in the area of crankshaft failures in the Force 120/125 engines. From what I heard these usually occured early and were covered by warranty, but it makes you wonder. I, too, would suggest you look else where unless the engine is practically free and you like to own an aggravating piece of machinery.
CDN posted 10-30-2000 06:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for CDN  Send Email to CDN     
They eere originally West Bend Outboards, purchased by Chrysler Marine in 1966, sold to US Marine in 1984, which rebranded them Force. Became part of Mercury Marine (Brunswick) in 1988 or so. Early 90's engines adopted Mercury lower case units, and some (75 and 90 three cylinder) were same as Mercury. In general, they were not terribly reliable, were used standard motors on Bayliners and Maxums, and even some SeaRays (branded SeaRay). Were finally disontinued after 1999 since they were too old and too expensive to redesign for the 2006 EPA regulations. I have friends who have had powerhead problems, particularly with the 125's and 50's after 10-12 years. The 125 was never a very strong motor. Force ourboards also depreciate like crazy. Unless you are getting it really cheap, go with another brand. Over time, parts will likely get harder and more expensive to get, since they are now out of production.
HOFFMAN posted 10-30-2000 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for HOFFMAN  Send Email to HOFFMAN     
i have never had a chrystler motor but have seen several people down threw the years left at the boat dock when thier chrystler crapped out on them - if you buy one make sure that you get some heavy duty rope so that you can use it as an anchor when it fails to perform
stagalv posted 10-30-2000 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Nobody gives anything away. Bottom line....You get what you pay for.
KYLE DALHOVER posted 12-21-2002 05:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for KYLE DALHOVER  Send Email to KYLE DALHOVER     
Kingsteven18 posted 12-21-2002 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
I worked for a boat dealer this past summer. He's been a Bayliner dealer for many years. We must have gotten 20-30 trade-ins this summer of boats from the 80's with Forces on them (80 -90hp range). Much to my surprise, most had no problems.
alkar posted 12-21-2002 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
That 87 125 isn't really a 125hp... different rating system at the time. It will suck fuel while delivering mediocre performance. It also has near zero resale value. I'm with the others recommending almost any other motor.
ducktwin posted 12-21-2002 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for ducktwin  Send Email to ducktwin     

A lot has been said already about Force.

The 125 (later became 120) was not a great engine. It wouldn't run with most 115's. Also, the vintage you are looking at still had the old Chrysler gearcase. It was undersized and really limited prop. choices.

The engines were defintely a price leader. Many have had good service out of them. however, that service came at a price of meticulous maintenance and never ending small repairs. In their defense, many of the poeople that bought them were first time owners who were clueless about maintenance.

They tend to run dirty and require decarb, often. Ricg sticking and head and exhaust cover gasket failures were frequent.

If it were me, I'd pass. If you like to tinker, you may make one serviceable.

lhg posted 12-23-2002 05:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Just maybe?
lhg posted 12-23-2002 06:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
No, I'm wrong. The sign up date is too long ago. My apologies to Philipat for not seeing that. Finding alias's is not always easy, and this was a mistake.
skred posted 12-26-2002 07:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
I had a 15 Bayliner with a Force 50 for a couple years - had absolutely no problem. Even got the water intakes clogged with weeds and got the thing so hot you could cook on it. 45 minutes later it was up and running normally and never gave any sign of the overheat. Problem with it was that it was rated as 50 but not at the prop (flywheel instead?). End result was about 35 hp effective.
Bought a 1991 Montauk new with a '92 90 Force which was labeled "Force by Mercury Marine". No oil injection. Ran perfectly and gave an easy 90 hp at the prop. Actually outran a Montauk with a Johnson 90 once...
I understood this was the old Chrysler/US Marine/Force block with Mercury Electronics and lower unit. No complaints from me!

jbtaz posted 12-26-2002 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jbtaz  Send Email to jbtaz     
The saying around the marina I use is "Force" Fixed Old Rebuilt Chrysler Engines. That should tell ya all you need to know!
Steve Leone posted 12-27-2002 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
Garbage. As the late great John Candy would say: "They blow up real good......" Steve
megawhaler posted 01-06-2003 01:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for megawhaler  Send Email to megawhaler     
Um, philipat,
I dont mean to be rude, but the next time you say that 5 letter word beginning with F, I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap....
Answer is NO.
Sal DiMercurio posted 01-07-2003 12:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Don't even think about buying a 1988 Force.
Absolutly the worst engine "EVER" built.
The Federal Gov should have arrested the manufacturer for building & selling an absolute piece of worthless junk.
You could buy it brand new & it was worthless as far as resale value a week later.
Do "NOT" buy it, don't even take it even if it's free, cause it will definitly leave you stranded, not doubt about it.
Not even good for an anchor.
jimithing posted 01-07-2003 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     
bought my 13 with an 1986 force 35 on the back.....a real POS ....but I knew that when I bought it. Thanks to bigshot, couldnt sell it here and had to give it away:)

some waterman in va beach now has it as a hanger queen for parts

DaveS posted 01-07-2003 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveS  Send Email to DaveS     

This would just be a guess but I'd say you don't like them too much! :)

Sal DiMercurio posted 01-07-2003 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Now Dave, where would you get that idea.
lucky 13 posted 01-08-2003 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for lucky 13  Send Email to lucky 13     
I must admit that I was not terribly enthusiastic about puting a Force 50 on my classic 13. I had seen a mariner 40 at the local boat dealer on the used rack and inquired about purchasing it, however it was sold the next day. I needed a short shaft or a jack. The Boat dealer practically gave me a 96 Force short shaft 50 hp with almost no hours on it. The cover says Force by Merc and the lower unit and electrical system are Merc. The bottom line is that this engine has been no trouble (yet). I am also a pilot and I would never fly my plane without a thorough ground inspection and meticulous maintenance. The same goes for the Force. Don't leave the dock if the motor is showing signs of poor performance and keep up with regular maintenance. It does smoke a little more than I would like while warming up. The motor has tilt and trim and really makes the old 13 move. I have never experienced starting problems either. I would not have bought one new for sure, but this one is pretty damn reliable for the lake fishing I do with it. Just "lucky" I guess.
ducktwin posted 01-08-2003 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for ducktwin  Send Email to ducktwin     
Lucky 13,

I'm glad it has worked out for you. It probably will continue to do so because you know what to do.

Sounds like the price was right. Why not?

brisboats posted 01-16-2003 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
I will take a later well maintained Force "by mercury marine" over a neglected tired OMC or Merc anyday. Yes the motors are price motors but like the Bayliners and Maxums they are usually attached to they introduce a lot of people to the sport. These same people hopefully become enthusiast and realize the prudence of purchasing a BW and a quality outboard. The old adage does ring true "you get what you pay for" and I would never advise rebuilding a Force. In the meantime there are thousand's of boaters happily motoring around with a Force on the transom and that beats on a day on the couch dreaming about a new Yamaha.
captbone posted 01-19-2003 05:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
Well said, force has opened up boating to alot of people who can not afford that new 4 stroke, they are the worst outboards but they are better than rowing. I would rather not own one but if the moneys right than why not, I would just not put myself in a situation (offshore) where I NEEDED it but back bay on calm days it is fine. Plus, with a few tools, spark plugs and starting fluid you can almost always jury rig it to get home. You can not say that about a new EFI 4-stroke.
Denny posted 01-20-2003 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Denny  Send Email to Denny     
As far as a Force being better than rowing, I think it would depend upon the oar you had.
A buddy of mine had one and the problems, suppport and time that went into that motor, in hind sight, were not worth the effort. My buddy took it to a land fill because he did not want to sell it to anyone and feel guilty after the sale.
Roscoe posted 01-20-2003 03:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Roscoe  Send Email to Roscoe     
Alot of engine problems are due to the carbs, multiple carbs require multiple settings,also cleaning and rebuilding the carbs is as important for older engines as a spec of anything, in the jet of 1 carb will lean out that cylinder until it fails without Warning.
qwertyuiop posted 05-01-2004 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for qwertyuiop  Send Email to qwertyuiop     
[Unusual screen name revived four year old thread--jimh]
skred posted 05-01-2004 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Well, the preponderance of opinions here are negative. I apparently was fortunate with my '91 Force 90 by Mercury on my Montauk. Started, ran, idled, (even trolled!) without a hitch for the 7 or so years I owned it. Had to mix the oil/gas, but the price savings were quite significant. Apparently I must've had an aberration: I tested it against another montauk with a '91 Merc 90, and ran away from it. I know the earlier Forces were pretta trash but the Merc-made models appear to have been very reliable (at least mine was). Additionally, in a minor brain-fade moment, I bought a little Bayliner Capri 15 with the 50 Force (it behaved more like a 35 horse). I accidentally clogged the water intakes with weeds and the motor blew smoke and steam before I shut it down. It took 2.5 hours to cool it enough to touch. It started right up, and I ran it another season before I sold it and never had a hitch in its behavior. With this kind of luck I guess I should bet on the Derby, eh?
jimh posted 05-02-2004 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Closed thread]

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