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What about the 4 stroke Honda's
|Author||Topic: What about the 4 stroke Honda's|
posted 07-07-2001 10:04 PM ET (US)
I'm fairly new to outboard motors. I have a 1975 Evanrude on my 13' sport. It's not running so well so I started looking around. I got hooked on the 4 stroke motors primarily because they are so quite (at least the Honda I test-drove). I haven't seen any other 4 strokes up close, which brings me to my question. I'm seeing a lot of talk in this forum about 4 strokes but nothing about the Honda's. WHY is that? THANKS...
posted 07-08-2001 06:59 PM ET (US)
In my opinion they are too heavy and too expensive compared to others. Hear they are not very salt water friendlt too.
posted 07-09-2001 08:52 AM ET (US)
I have a 90 Honda, and so far it has been reliable, strong, trouble free, quiet, thrifty. It uses four carbs instead of fuel injection the design has been around for a while. This is older tecnology that is proven.
There are not as many of us that have Hondas here, but as far as I know, everyone that has one has nothing but good to say about the engine. I have always run mine in saltwater and it is no different than any other engine there, experience over hearsay.
posted 07-09-2001 09:38 AM ET (US)
Bear and I have identical boats, 16 Dauntless, except for the motor. I have a 115 Ficht and Bear has the Honda 90. Although we only ran for a short time on the Chester River I canít say that the 2 stroke had more power if any over the 4 stroke. I was looking at a picture of the boats side buy side and Bears boat sits just a tad lower than mine but nothing that draws your eye, the difference is very slight and perhaps the hull of the Dauntless can handle the extra weight of a 4 stroke better than others. One thing is for sure, Hondaís are smooth , quiet & clean.
I was scared away from the 4 strokes buy many different sales people who said they didnít have the power and torque of 2 stroke and they weighed much more.
My next boat will have a 4 stroke.
posted 07-09-2001 10:34 AM ET (US)
Not ragging on Hondas, but IMHO I would go with the competition due to price and weight. 4 strokes are less powerful out of the hole but the mpg and quietness and idle quality, etc is worth it. When I see a 115 Honda is 9500 and the suzuki is 6800, that is a big difference, especially when the honda is heavier.
|2001 13 Sport Owner||
posted 07-09-2001 12:22 PM ET (US)
I have a 2001 13 Sport with a 40 HP Honda. I am very pleased with the perfromance. However, the extra weight of the engine required me to get a transom wedge. The tansom wedge helps get the bow down in the water and prevents it from being so light in the bow section. The engine is very quiet and you can run all day long on a single tank of gas.
posted 07-09-2001 02:01 PM ET (US)
Do you mean they put a hook in your hull? Kind of extreme if they did but would cure the porpoising.
posted 07-09-2001 06:05 PM ET (US)
The transom wedge is available at West Marine.
I don't think he was refering to any permanent hull modification.
posted 07-10-2001 10:34 AM ET (US)
posted 07-10-2001 12:08 PM ET (US)
If one is considering transom wedges one really should consider the wedges that Land and Sea or cook Manufacturing offer. The top mounting are individual holes rather than slots. This will keep the wedge from sliding.
posted 07-10-2001 08:55 PM ET (US)
When you compare pricing, be sure you are getting a fair comparison. Many times one engine comes with Prop, Controls, Tach, and other gauges, while the other engine is quoted as just the engine. All those accessories can make quite a difference in price.
posted 07-12-2001 03:18 AM ET (US)
What I hear about 4 strokes is that Honda is the best. Compared to 2 strokes motors they are more environmentally friendly, quieter, and use about 1/3 as much gas. However, the 2 strokes have the better out of the hole shot and boats tend to plane faster. Also, with the 4 strokes the engine needs to wind up before there is power transfer. So if you are trolling and using your motors all the time, it will save you money. But if you bottom fish or just speed around, two strokes is the way to go.
posted 07-12-2001 02:20 PM ET (US)
This might be interesting, in "General there is a post "13 sports making a trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Venezuela", these sports are rigged with a new Honda 40 outboard with a doel fin. The story can be found on the honda-marine.com web site.
Also some might not know that Honda's warranty is a non-degrading warranty where all the componets are covered during the entire warranty period rather than having items dropped off the waranty over time as with other manufacturers.
Seem that they too are getting into the bigger HP, they have a 200, 220 HP engine coming out in 2002.
This is interesting , also. It explains why my engine uses the Honda CIVC oil filter which is a larger filter than found on many outboards.
posted 07-12-2001 07:34 PM ET (US)
Just to keep various opinions expressed here, what I hear is that Honda 4 strokes are the worst, in spite of their advertizing. They are consistently outperformed, and under weighed, and under-priced, by the new brands, with blocks specifically designed for Marine use, not converted automotive blocks. Various test reports I've seen verify this.
But, they have one strong suit that works very well in sales, exceptionally smooth idle, the best of any. Has something to do with the crankshaft design.
Interesting lesson here, and that is that idle seems to be where the 4 stroke sales action is. After all, at 3000-4000RPM, is there much difference at all between a 2 stroke and a 4 stroke? Not much. But sales are made at the dock, or even with an engine running in a test tank, one of Honda's tricks. I don't run my engines at idle speed much, so the difference in that characteristic between a Honda 4 stroke and Merc/Yamaha 4 stroke doesn't mean much. I'd rather have the better speed and fuel economy of the other brands, the lower size profile, and larger service networks.
posted 07-12-2001 08:56 PM ET (US)
I ate lunch in Anacortas, WA today at a resteraunt overlooking the Guemes Channel. Many trawlers, sailboats and yachts passed as I was eating, but most notable were 4 woorkboats all Honda powered. They may be heavy and expensive but they are used extensively here in the Puget Sound.
posted 07-13-2001 12:08 AM ET (US)
lhg, why would an automotive block be a disadvantage? The large 3-cyl and 4-cyl Suzuki OBís are also automotive based. Quite frankly, almost every IO I can think of has roots back to an automotive block. There is a trend developing to use land based powerplants in marine applications. For example, one of the newest Yamaha jet boat power plants is based on a very high output liquid cooled motorcycle engine. I also have a hunch that when we see the 200+ hp 4-stroke Yamaha, it too will have roots to the automotive world.
Some one on this forum stated that Honda's are susceptible to corrosion. Using the Google.com search engine, I looked for any shred of support for that statement without success. I did find a couple of unhappy customers who felt that their smaller (less than 30hp) Honda outboards were not as durable as some other brands. But overall, I think there is a very small number of complaints.
BTW, I have owned several Mercís in the past, and my most recent purchase was a 2001 70hp Tohatsu. I have never owned a Honda outboard, nor do I have any linkage to Honda. Are you associated with Mercury?
posted 07-13-2001 01:59 AM ET (US)
Well since I started this mess, let me see if I can clarify. Not associated with Mercury at all, but do own their engines. They've been good to me.
First of all I never said the Hondas weren't mechanically good and reliable. I'm sure they are, but I have heard about salt water corrosion resistance poorer than other brands. No direct knowledge here. It's just in testing they don't measure up in cost, weight, speed and fuel economy. Every other brand will outrun them and get better MPG doing it. I also think they don't have many that meet the 2008 emissions standards above 50 HP.
Outboards are not I/O's, where size and weight are not as critical. From what I understand in the marine industry, outboards are better off being designed from the ground up. This is almost universally accepted practice. Yamaha's new 225, and indeed all of their 4 stroke outboards, are brand new marine blocks, not from the automotive world. Mercurys' will be the same. I understand Yamaha's 200 has even reversed intake/exhaust porting configurations, nothing like an automotive engine at all.
The criticism that Honda gets from Marine writers is the huge size and weight of the higher HP models, exactly because they were auto engine conversions, designed for other purposes.
But I understand Honda is not resting on its laurels, and has brand new all-marine blocks on the drawing boards to replace these aging current models. If they don't, Yamaha/Mercury will pass them by. They are already outselling Honda in 4 strokes. Cost, weight and size is tremendously important in outboards, and Honda is low on the totem pole here. But they idle super smoooooth, and owners love that.
posted 07-13-2001 08:28 AM ET (US)
That is really an excellent point regarding the practice of making comparisons between outboard engines at idle speeds. That is how it is done at boat shows and dealer demos.
The buyer seldom can compare two engines at mid throttle or WOT with a load on them; they just compare them at idle!
The HONDA design puts the flywheel under the engine--most outboards have it on top--which lowers the center of gravity and helps smooth out the engine (because the rotating mass of the flywheel is located nearer the engine mounts).
I noticed that YAMAHA explicitly points out that their flywheel placement (on top) "keeps sensitive electronics out of the water."
And there is always is issue of dealer network. Compared to MERCURY and YAMAHA, HONDA's dealer network is a distant third or maybe fourth or fifth.
For quite a few years HONDA had the 4-cycle outboard market to itself. That is not the case any more, as all the engine makers are producing 4-cycle outboards in a wide range of horsepower.
posted 07-13-2001 08:55 AM ET (US)
For what its worth, I just came back from a two week vacation at Martha's Vineyard (an island off the coast of Mass) and I brought my newly restored 1969 Sakonnet with a brand new Murcury 50hp 4S. The up side was I had a great time and the boat performed better then expected. The down side was the engine siezed after 41 hrs of operation. The oil pump failed and the low oil buzzer came on but it was to late. It is now in the shop getting rebuilt. It is not under warranty because I bought the engine in 1999 and kept it in my garage while restoring the boat. Not a good idea so buy engines when you are ready to use them. The dealer is going to try to work with Murcury to get this fixed as a new engine because it was brand new and the dealer gave it a once over after I was ready for the maiden voyage. I will post the end results when this odyssey is over. Also, while at the Vineyard and surrouding Cape Cod, almost every 4 stroke I saw on a boat was a Honda. I didn't see one Murcury 4s during the entire two week vacation. Most people put Honda 90's on the Montauk. A little heavy for me but all said they loved the engines. I will stick with the Murcury 50 and hope the repair and/or new block will leave me with a reliable engine. Regards, Kurt
posted 07-13-2001 10:47 AM ET (US)
I'll bite! I have never owned a mercury that ran right. Never leftme stranded,always a tempermental POS. That is MY experience with about 4 of them from the 70's and 80's. Many people scorn Suzuki, I had 2 and they were one of the best motors I ever had, Never needed the dealer so that was not a problem. OMC has always been great, anemic, sickly, sneezing engines but always started and ran like a champ. So that is MY opinion on outboards. In the last year I have owned 2 Yamahas and I am impressed, more research needed though:). As far as 4 strokes go, too early to tell but I hear more horror stories on the Hondas. Aluminum blocks in salt water w/o closed cooling systems is a disaster above 165 degrees where salt starts to crystalize. 4 strokes run hotter than 2's and I am curious as to the outcome. Fresh water there is no issue. As for Honda vs the competition, they will either get competitive in their specs and $ or have problems. Maybe people still think "you get what you pay for" and that makes them sell. Different strokes for different folks, no pun intended:)
posted 07-13-2001 03:26 PM ET (US)
I just spent three weeks on the water and on the waterfront at the south end of Puget Sound and couldn't help but notice that the commercial shellfishing folks seem to prefer aluminum boats with Honda or Evinrude power. The older motors were usually OMC and the brand new ones were almost always Honda. These guys are running their boats everyday year round and since they wear out motors more often than the rest of us, I have to think they are choosing their outboards on the basis of a favorable cost-to-operate basis. For them, I doubt that the smooth idle or the weight is much of a deciding factor.
Just my observation . . .
posted 07-13-2001 07:17 PM ET (US)
KCarlsen, you should fight all the way to the top to have your new engine repaired at factory expense. Every mfr has a Warranty which is a legal obligation to the customer BUT they also have a slush fund known as Policy that is a moral obligation to cover warrantable type failures especially when there is no evidence of customer neglect. This Policy fund is usually reserved for failures just beyond the warranty time limits or catastrophic failures that would cause financial hardship.
I belive the Hondas are smoother at idle than the competitive brands because they are balanced more than the others. 3 and 4 cylinder engines are inherently unbalanced and the 4 cylinder is the worst. You'll notice that most automotive 4 cylinder engines have a added balance shaft to dampen this. In order to keep the weight down outboards don't have them.
The downside of using a standard automotive engine in a marine application is that the engine alloy is designed for a perfect cooling medium of ethylene glycol NOT salt water. That's why the inboard and sterndrive marine engine mfrs offer fresh water cooling or closed cooling for salt water applications.
posted 07-13-2001 08:27 PM ET (US)
As Skookum Point mentioned the number of Honda motors he saw on his vacation, and the number I see in may daily travels up and down Puget Sound. These motors are being used on pleasure boats and work boats alike and extensively in saltwater. I know three Honda dealers very well and they would starve if they didn't work on other brands. There is absolutly no indication that saltwater is a problem with Hondas in this area, the only problem I have with them is the weight and price but that doesn't seem to make a difference to the hundreds of Honda owners.
I am still a Merc man, but a Honda or a Suzuki wouldn't look bad on my Montauk either.
posted 07-13-2001 11:35 PM ET (US)
LHG I know you are playing the Devil's adovcate here. So I will do a little of the same. I am curious, LHG how many Hondas have you owned, serviced, or just know people that have them over a period of time? How about people that have Hondas and used the Dealer network? Did you make all these concludsions from comparsion articles in magazines, of which you had stated earlier that they cannot make fair assesments due to the nature of their need to advertize? Where are the hard facts?
The Hondas are designed for marine service, using parts that were tested and proven through racing, endurance runs, extensive testing. How is a crank, pistons, rings, valves, bearings any different in a 4 stroke outboard than it is in a 4 stroke engine for a car. What about have a decent sized oil filter for once? All this adds up to is time tested reliability.
I am pleased that some members of the forum have taken the time to make observations that are relevent, to do research, and to be able to use good logic. Kudos!
If some are to be believed, something that is so bad as the Honda outboard should have disappeared before it's 35 years (to date)production due to its shortcomings and reputation for corrison. Also if the engine cannot stand up to saltwater, why sell the engine to poeple that us it for a living everyday in saltwater and give it a non-degrading warranty? Honda must be losing their shirts on that alone!
I run my engine at idle quite a bit trolling, in fact, hours at a time. As a four stroke I have never fouled a plug, it has never failed to start, try that with a two stroke.
posted 07-14-2001 01:48 AM ET (US)
After reading this thread, those "automotive" engines don't sound so bad at all.
Nor does it seem to matter in this case that there is a "local" presence for the dealer. If they don't break (your engines), you don't need a local presence.
posted 07-14-2001 11:49 AM ET (US)
I appreciate all the comments. Iím hearing some brand loyalty here, not all bad, usually based on good experiences.
Iím also hearing some consistent comments about Hondaís costing more and being heaver. Since I havenít shopped around I assumed that all OB 4 strokes were more expensive and heaver. However, it sounds like Honda is leading in these two areas.
Itís surprising that so many longtime 2 stroke OB owners are switching to the 4 stroke motors. As I mention above, youíve got to appreciate lessons learned through experience. The OB 2 stroke manufactures have been perfecting this technology for some 40+ years. I wonder if the reduction in noise on the 4 strokes is the primary reason?
Anyways, I appreciate the comments and Iím enjoying this forum.
posted 07-16-2001 10:19 AM ET (US)
If I had the money I'd buy the Honda. (Just had to Chime in)
posted 07-17-2001 11:47 AM ET (US)
In another thread in the General section one of our fellow Whalers is lamenting the recall for replacement of his 60hp Mercury. In situations such as these I can't help but think that Honda's 4-stroke experience has some value. As I recall, the 60hp Merc. was designed and produced in-house. The plot thickens. BTW the Honda trip is now over 1/3 of the way to Venezuela.
posted 07-17-2001 12:55 PM ET (US)
Shoshiro(sp) Honda was an motor person. And in my opinion, Honda is an motor company. They build a great motor and find a use for it. I have never met a person with a Honda car, mower, outboard, generator, or motorcycle that had any complaints about the motor. I have never owned any of the above, but it sure seems to me that the people that do are more than satisfied. Kelly
posted 07-17-2001 11:33 PM ET (US)
I can't stand it. I don't know why I put "an" motor instead of "a" motor, twice. I think I had engine in there and replaced it with motor. Kelly
posted 07-17-2001 11:53 PM ET (US)
How about some hard facts. Using the link given for the USCG recalls found in this Performace and Post-Classic forums, these are problems that occured enough to become listed.
Well as far as Honda goes, no recalls present or past.
Tohatsu, no recalls.
Yamaha has one on their 115 - 250 HP outboards fuel systems.
Nissan has one for a fuel tank leak for their 5 HP.
Suzuki has one on their DF60, DF70 outboards with the shift linkage, and the same problem with their V4, V6 and some V6 1990.
As far as OMC and Mercury more than I would like to list.
I would think that any recall would be a reflection of engine quality and design.
posted 07-18-2001 10:15 AM ET (US)
Can't dispute the facts you cited. But here are some others:
In the world of motorcyles, Honda has had several engine design fllaws. Like the one on my CX-500 v-twin; faulty water pump seal. And the one on my VF-700 Saber, valves couldn't be adjusted without re-machining some undisclosed part. And Honda has had some problems in their cars. And last year they had to recall 112,000 lawnmowers because of splitting gas tanks.
Nissan/Tohatsu has had problems with automotive recalls as well.
This is the problem with statistics, taken out of context they can be used to prove any point. How many people last week ate peanut butter? How many had car accidents? Could be very high correlation, so peanut butter consumption is linked to car accidents. At one point in time GM was producing 1/2 of the cars in the world. Most of the cars that were stolen were GMs. Does this mean that a single GM car would be more likely to be stolen than a Ford parked right next to it. If we we take the theft statistics out of context the answer would be yes. But, carefull anaylisys would give a different result.
LHG's point is that given Mercurie's predominant share of the market, especially I/Os, we are bound to see more voulume of recalls. This can't automatically be interpreted to indicate that Mercuries are lower quality motors. And he is correct in that they tend to be heavier and more expensive than other motors. But, are these factual differences worth dissuading one from buying a Honda? That is pure opinion.
Personnally, I think your Dauntless 16/Honda 90 combination is pretty nice. But, even with the need to have my motor replaced, I feel the same way about my Dauntless 14/Mercury 60 combination.
P.S. maybe if I mention this enough times it will come true. Wouldn't it be nice if I got an EFI 2002 in exchange? Anybody got some Ruby Slippers... "There's no thing like EFI, there's no thing like EFI..."
posted 07-18-2001 12:13 PM ET (US)
Statistics are like a bikini, what they reveal may be interesting, but what they conceal may be vital. Quoted from one of my professors from a long long time ago, but never forgotten. Kelly
posted 07-18-2001 01:25 PM ET (US)
ment to say:
And he is correct in that Hondas tend to be heavier and more expensive than other motors. But, are these factual differences worth dissuading one from buying a Honda? That is pure opinion.
posted 07-18-2001 02:09 PM ET (US)
It is true that stats can be construed to a great many conclusions, good or bad. Some stats used stated that the Honda was heavier, thirstier, and not as powerful as other four strokes on the market. How much a difference was there in each catagory?
I won't argue with weight and expense, but with the rest may be so close that they really don't mean much.
The real truth is in the first hand experiences over time with certian products. Any engine manufacturer will have some problems with their products, most likely after the introduction of a new design. And then it is only through time that these flaws make an appearance and are corrected. So something fresh off the drawing board with the newest technology is not always the best, even if it is lighter or smaller. There must be a period of time for a froduct to prove itself. This is what Honda has, by producing four stroke outboards for the last 35 years. This is not what Mercury or some of the other manufacturers have yet in four stroke outboards.
I had a 5.7 liter Mercruser that used raw water cooling and it was fine. It did use alot of gas though, and it had a proven track record.
And in the end you are correct in saying that "what are the factual differences in dissuading one from buying a Honda? That is pure opinon." So stats are not the way to base a judgement call here. Time and experience is. That is how I ended up with my Honda even after I looked at all the stats. That is the point I would like to make, that is how Whaler got it's reputation.
posted 07-18-2001 02:35 PM ET (US)
Firsts! my dad was the laughing stock of the town when he bought his 16 Whaler in 62. Then a 19 Revenge in 74. We were it again when we bought a Suzuki in 81. Man being a whaler owner was tough.
posted 07-18-2001 06:16 PM ET (US)
Honda purchases their complete lower units for at least the 75 & 90 hp models from Mercury!
OMC was selling Suzuki's four strokes as their own, and Bombardier will keep up that relationship.
Several of Mercury's 4 strokes are made in a joint venture with Yamaha. So there is a lot of "mixing and matching" these days.
posted 07-18-2001 07:23 PM ET (US)
Which lower unit for the Hondas, the big foot or the standard? BTW, the lower units seem to be very reliable, it is the power head that some engine companies are having problems with.
posted 07-18-2001 08:03 PM ET (US)
Bob (B Bear),
I think we are saying pretty much the same thing. I woudn't rule out a Honda purely on price, weight, or a small difference in perfromance. But, I also woudn't rule out a Mercurey because of newness either. My problem may very well trun into a blessing, and could very well be a small hiccup. Could be a mojor problem as well. Time will tell.
No doubt Honda has the most experience.
posted 07-18-2001 08:07 PM ET (US)
I think the "big foots". When the first Honda 75's and 90's were being shown at a trade show, I mentioned to a Honda rep that "those look like Mercury's mid range engine (75-125's, and big foots) lower units" Did they copy them?" He said, "I'm not supposed to admit this, but we're buying them from Mercury. We don't make our own"
Lower unit and prop design is one of Mercury's strong suits. When Yamaha introduced their engines, they copied the 90 degree V engine design from OMC (a mistake, as now everybody is closing in to Mercury's 60 degree V invention), and their lower unit design from Mercury.
posted 07-18-2001 10:54 PM ET (US)
Yes Sean, we are saying the same thing. When I bought my Honda 90 Suzuki only made up to a 70 HP in their fourstroke line and Mercury/Yamaha just brought out their four stroke line. I am quite conservative when it came to buying an engine. I was more of a Steam man (engineer, steam is an art)than a motor man even though I ran quite a few big diesels. It may be another story by the time I am ready to repower or move into a larger Whaler. I am sure your Mercury 60 will work out in time.
LHG that is great news! I was smart of Honda to use Mercury lower units. As you said the lower units are one of Mercury's strong suits. There is only one difference between a two stroke and a four stroke lower uint, and that is the gear ratio. There is many years of experience and proven reliability in the Merc lower units. This allows Honda to have a good varity choice in propeller diameters, pitch and design with Mercury propellers. Also another plus is that the lower units can be serviced by the Mercury dealerships. Like the Romans that adopted the best of other cultures Honda has done well in using these lower units. This make Honda a heck of a package. Thanks.
posted 07-19-2001 02:56 AM ET (US)
Honda 75/90 use the lower units from a Merc 75/90 2 stroke (lower unit #13 gear ratio 2.31:1). Merc 75/90 4 strokes use the same lower unit as the Merc 100/115/125 2 stroke (lower unit #14 gear ratio 2.07:1). I think the Merc 4 strokes would do better with a #13 for more low end torque.
posted 07-19-2001 10:54 AM ET (US)
Yamaha's first engine I believe was a copy of the OMC 55hp twin mated to a merc foot. Was a great engine and still made. Might be only overseas now.
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