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Author Topic:   Evinrude 200HP Powerhead
JLL posted 09-28-2001 03:11 PM ET (US)   Profile for JLL   Send Email to JLL  
My 1998 Evinrude suddenly developed what sounded like a rod knock. I had no overheat, low oil or any other warning. Local marina pulled heads and sure enough, the middle (port side) cylinder is scored and piston is loose. They feel it is best to simply replace the powerhead, rather than doing a rebuild. The cost is high. Roughly 3,500 for a rebuilt powerhead and around 1,200 labor. They say to tear it down, to replace the piston, rings, connecting rod and possibly crankshaft and bore the cylinder could be more costly due to higher labor hours. They will of course check and rebuild the carbs, as they say possibly a lean mixture condition caused the failure. Has anyone had this type of work done successfully , and does the price sound right ? If the motor were older, I would look at replacing. But it seems the motor should have many more years of life.
Thanks, Jim
Peter posted 09-28-2001 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I don't know about the labor charge, but the cost of the new powerhead sounds about right. See regarding powerhead cores. The scoring was probably caused by a lean mixture.
Mark Gallagher posted 09-28-2001 08:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark Gallagher  Send Email to Mark Gallagher     
What size is your engine and how many hours on it? I'd be upset with a 1998 going south already unless it had a lot and I mean alot of hours on it. How about fuel,oil type, maintance routine?
Peter posted 09-28-2001 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

If you have a lean mixture condition then it doesn't matter how old the motor is. A lean mixture can be caused by a simple loose fuel hose or connection. It's very important to make sure that all fuel hoses and connections are tight to prevent air leaking in to the fuel system.

Tom W Clark posted 09-28-2001 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The price of the powerhead sounds about right and the labor, well, maybe.

I had the powerhead on my 1990 Johnson 150 replaced in, I believe, 1994. The cylinders were all scored because the motor was run with no oil for about an hour. The powerhead (new) cost $3000. Installation labor was $500. This was 1994, so adjusting for inflation, the 2000 prices would be: $3448 and $575 respectively. (for real dollar calculations I use: "The Inflation Calculator" )

Here's the rest of my story:

Myself and two friends had run from Seattle to Bush Point here on Puget Sound for some fabulous Coho fishing right about this time of year. We fished all morning, drift mooching and motor mooching, limiting and catch and release fishing. It was so good I ended up beaching the boat and hunting sown a pay phone so I could call some clients and cancel a meeting.

When it came time to head home we fired on the big motor, stowed our gear and then I advanced the throttle and the engine died. Very strange. I tried again, same thing. I would run up until it started to climb on plane and then just crap out. I checked the fuel level in the tank, the fuel hose and primer. Everything seemed OK. I eventually was able to get it on plane and at minimum planing speed we motored back to Seattle without incident.

For the last half mile I gave it some full throttle operation and it ran just fine so I attributed the whole episode to a fuel restriction problem I had always had with that boat. (thanks to this form, I now believe the fuel restriction problem had top do with the check valve in the fuel tank)

After getting the boat hauled and cleaned up I checked the oil reservoir and was horrified to note that there was no oil in there at all. I suddenly dawned on me that the motor wasn't running right because of the S.L.O.W. program that the OMC motors have (or had) in them.

I took it to my dealer the next day and told them what had happened. They called me back that afternoon to tell me the cylinders were scored, not terribly but enough to warrant a new powerhead. They also told me the warning horn did not work, it was simply defective. That is why i was not given the familiar beep every twenty seconds that indicated the oil level is down to one third tank.

The dealer, Jacobsen's Boats & Motors here in Ballard (formerly the biggest Whaler dealer in the world) took it upon themselves to contact OMC about my situation and the defective warning horn. Mind you, my motor was way beyond the warranty period, but the deal was that OMC would give me a new $3000 power head for free because of this. They were not going to pay for the labor, nor was Jacobsen's, so if I paid the $500 labor installation charge I could get the new powerhead. I happily agreed.

I have touted the superior service of Jacobsen's in the past here on this forum and this is just one of the reasons why. I am also a big fan of the OMC motors as many of you know by now. Seriously, how many 2 cycle outboard motors will run on raw gas for an hour? Will Brunswick provide free replacement parts after a motor's warranty has expired? Ask Jurisproodenz....

JLL posted 09-29-2001 08:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for JLL  Send Email to JLL     
Thanks for the responses. To answer a couple questions: The motor has only 340 hours of freshwater use. It has been maintained meticulously and ran perfectly until this episode. I have been told that if one of the carbs supplies a lean mixture for as little as 10-15 seconds, it can cook the piston and cylinder !

Tom, Yes, my Evinrude is equipped with the S.L.O.W system. It appears to be functioning normally according to the owners manual and the sevice manual. The lights come on in succesion, and the warning horn sounds briefly at each start up. I will make sure the folks doing the repairs check it out.

They have stressed the importance of finding what caused the problem, as a new powerhead will also fail if the cause is not corrected. We have also discussed the possibility of re-jetting the carbs to run a little richer. The mechanic doing the job has worked on OMC's for 30 years so I feel comfortable with his knowledge.

Tom, interesting story. I too have had good luck with OMC's (until now) I have a 1980 100HP Johnson with many hours on my Montauk. Other than routine maintenance, I have replaced the rectifier, but that's it. I suspect it will run strong for more hours.

I will post the results when the powerhead is replaced and the cause of the failure. Should be back on the water in a couple weeks.

Thanks, Jim

Clark Roberts posted 09-29-2001 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Jim, in addition to the above mentioned possibilities (assuming lean-out caused problem) look for 1; fuel line kinks, too small diameter etc 2; fuel filters (never use two in series), check the filter under cowling for stoppage 2; fuel tank pick-up , etc.... more just can't think of more right now... yes, a brief lean-out can score cyl walls and hole pistons.... seems that small bore engines are less prone to lean-out damage most likely due to distance accross piston...??? What happens is that as the fuel leans the spark advance stays at full and extreme heat is created usually at the "spot" on piston nearest spark plug... at least that has been my observation... Will stop rambling.... Happy Whalin'.. Clark.. The Old Man and the Sea
mjd65 posted 09-29-2001 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for mjd65  Send Email to mjd65     
Sounds familiar I have a Omc 115 that lost a cylinder engine was fixed have 300 hrs since.


I wish I had bought my whaler where you bought yours. When mine ran lean during 2nd season port clinton said I ran mine lean and the extended warranty would not cover mine. So they were happy to charge $3000 to fix. Luckily they had a moron working at the counter and when I picked up the boat and I was to give them the other $1500 (I put $1500 down to start work) they just gave me the keys and I left with no questions asked. I think they double dipped from me and the extended warranty but the idea of running lean on a new boat with only their mechanics working on it should never run lean because their are no adjustments that can cause this. They did not tell me that they fixed the cause they just fixed the result. I wish I would have looked into a new power head because I believe I could get a new power head for the same as I paid just to fix.
I have learned since to fix my own problems since, when it lost power last time I fixed the problem my self and all it was, was a coil that melted down.
I do not trust car dealers so why did I think I could trust a boat dealer even if its a Whaler dealer? I guess I fell into the Hype! Love my Whaler but I wish I could get the next from the factory because dealers are thieves.

Love the site because it is the only place to get truthfull information.

Lake Breeze Rage

SeaGrass posted 10-02-2001 01:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for SeaGrass  Send Email to SeaGrass     
I also lost a piston on a omc 115 in a whaler rage with the TurboJet motor. The motor was running rough and seemed to miss intermitedly, dealer changed plugs, wires, coils and even the powerpack, still ran rough on occasion, finaly the kids brought it back from wakeboarding one day reporting it was running very poorly, pulled the plugs and found aluminum melted on one of the pistons, now I knew it was definetly a lean mix, removed the carbs and disasebled them very carefully, what caused the lean out was a shred of aluminum that was periodicaly plugging the high speed jet for the burned piston, this was most likely left in the carb from the factory, but being unable to prove it I had to eat the cost of the rebuild. Just my two cents.
JLL posted 10-06-2001 07:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for JLL  Send Email to JLL     
Well, my rebuilt powerhead installation should be completed early next week. In anticipation, I have been reading up (OMC Sevice Manual) on proper "break in" procedure for used engine with newly rebuilt powerhead.

They reccommend 50:1 fuel/oil in tank, along with VRO. First 10 minutes, fast idle in gear. Next 50 minutes no more than 3500 rpm and constant change (every 15 minutes) of rpm. Second hour, no more than 3/4 throttle with occasional full throttle for one or two minutes. Again, changing rpm every 15 minutes. Next 8 hours, avoid full throttle for extended periods and again, change engine speed every 15 minutes.

In addition I have heard that it is good to retard the timing (2-4 degrees) during this break in period. I have also heard that with a rebuilt powerhead, it is good to replace the carbs high speed orifice(s) with the next larger than "stock" size. Has anyone done this?

Any suggestions will be appreciated, as I understand the "break in" is critical to increase the life of the outboard.

Thanks, Jim

grandmufti posted 10-08-2001 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandmufti  Send Email to grandmufti     
I too scored the wall of cylinder on a 1979 115.The ring had hung up in the groove of the piston from carbon deposits.Rebuilt her 7 years ago and still running strong.Use premium TCW 3 oil such as OMC oil and run OMC engine tuner every 50 hours or once a year which ever comes first.Most ring and scoring problems started after they did away with lead in gasoline.Take a good look at the piston and rings that came out of your blown motor they may light the way.OMC oil burns along with the gas and does not leave as many deposits as discount oil.

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