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Author Topic:   beginning question on engines
bocadrew posted 07-02-2002 05:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for bocadrew   Send Email to bocadrew  
I'm thinking of getting into a late 80's montauk with a late 80s engine, that supposedly has been rebuilt, what does rebuilt mean? as someone who knows nothing about engines how much premuim should i put on looking for a boat with a newer engine?
ratherwhalering posted 07-02-2002 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
What kind of engine? Year, make, HP. Your answer will greatly depend on this information.
"Rebuilt" can mean anything, so see if you can get more info. To me it means the powerhead, but can also refer to the lower unit, carbs, or other specific parts. First and foremost...CHECK THE COMPRESSION!
bocadrew posted 07-02-2002 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for bocadrew  Send Email to bocadrew     
im talking about an 87 88hp envinrude....also curious about worse case scenerio of cost of a motor being rebuilt. I know this is a broad question but any replys would be all engines eventully need to re rebult?
ratherwhalering posted 07-02-2002 06:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Nice engine..The 88 special is very similar to the 90. (by the way does anyone know the difference?) I don't know about the cost to rebuild it, but I would have a trusted marine mechanic check it out before you buy. Steve Leone may have the answer to the cost of rebuild for you...Steve?
whalernut posted 07-02-2002 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I believe the 88 Special was offered with or without P/T/T and they were Pre-Mix, unlike the 90 which had VRO. I would love to see them offered again, preferably in a 70h.p. model. Jack.
gvisko posted 07-02-2002 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
my 88spl johnson had p-t-t you had to mix the oil in the gas which is a good thing
i traded it in on new suzuki four stroke
it was still in great condition and was a 1987 just wanted a four stroke the dealer resold it and its still running great just
keep mixing the oil thats the key gvisko
Hank posted 07-02-2002 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     

About 4 years ago I had the powerhead of my '84, 90HP Evinrude rebuilt. It started with a $1200 estimate but after disassembly additional parts were found to be worn and were replaced. It cost about $1600 when done.
I had new pistons, rods, rod bearings, a new front main bearing, rebored cylinders, various other parts replaced and all new seals and gaskets. This may not be the cost today, but it might give you some idea.

As previously suggested, find out what rebuilding was done and check the compression. Incidentally how does the engine run in the water under load and at idle ?


jimh posted 07-03-2002 11:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The lifespan of an outboard engine is quite variable and depends on the way it was maintained and used.

Of course, it depends on the original engine, too. Manufacturing tolerances were not quite the same in the 1970's as in the current decade. (In some cases they might have been far better!)

It is possible for an engine from the 1970's that has been well maintained and not run excessively hard or long to continue to provide good service.

It is also possible for an engine from the 1990's to be beat to death and on its last legs.

Things that keep engines running:
--fresh water operation
--short seasons
--out-of-water storage
--good maintenance
--careful off-season storage
--light load and lower RPM operation
--proper fuel and oil in proper ratio

Things that kill engines quickly:
--salt water
--year round operation
--in-water mooring or storage
--poor maintenance
--heavy loads and high RPM operation
--cheap gas and oil in improper ratio

To "rebuild" is generally understood to mean the powerhead section of the engine has been damaged and rebuilt. Often one of the cylinders will have a catastrophic failure, requiring the entire powerhead be disassembled, reconditioned, and reassembled.

It seems more common to rebuild higher horsepower engines because the replacement cost is many multiples of the rebuild cost. For example, a new 200-HP engine may be $12,000. To rebuild the engine may only be $3,000.

In contrast, rebuilding the powerhead of a 25-HP engine may not make sense. A new engine of that horsepower would be about $3,000 or so, and a rebuild might cost almost $2,000.

Total running time of an engine is a good indicator of remaining lifespan but it is hard to document. Most small boats do not have hour meters, and even if they do it is a simple matter to change out a meter (unlike a car's ODDOMETER which is proportionally much harder to modify or replace).

One number thrown out for average use is 50-100 hours per season for seasonal boaters. So a ten year old engine could have 500-1000 hours on it. Once past 1,000 hours you are probably living on the edge with many outboards.

That said, I know of some well maintained and lightly loaded outboard engines approaching 3,000 hours. That kind of longevity is exceptional, and it is not often achieved.

I bought a 1976 Mercury 50-HP and it has been running fine. It has needed some work. So far I have had to:
--reseal lower unit ($250)
--replace rectifier ($35)
--replace water pump impeller ($75)
--replace needle valves and floats; clean carburetors ($250)
--repair remote controls and lubricate ($50)
--replace primer bulb and fuel line connectors ($25)

So I have about $700 into the engine in five years of use, which is really nothing at all. Contrast that with a new engine of that horsepower and I am about $5,000 to the good.

I do confess that I really baby that engine, and since it is 26 years old I don't bet my life on it (if I can help it).

Can you tell by looking at an engine how it will run? Perhaps. I'd look more closely at the seller and gauge his honesty and integrity.

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