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  Outboardspast, present and future....

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Author Topic:   Outboardspast, present and future....
masbama posted 02-25-2003 12:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for masbama   Send Email to masbama  
I started to study with great interest outboard motors when I had to repower my 1977 Montauk in 1995. I was broke so I settled on a 1990 rebuilt Johnson 60hp. Good motor, had a few minor problems but held me until this time last year when I felt the need for speed. I bought a 2002 Johnson (Bomb) 90hp 2 stroke. Great price and it seems so much more advanced than the 60hp. Quiet and smooth. I was then given an extra year, at no charge, of warranty. This had me thinking on how outboards don't seem to be the mechanical crap shoot that they once were. 4 strokes, Optimax's, Fichts, HPDI's and now E-Techs are in the mix. Companies are throwing out incredible warranties. You don't hear or read of major problems like you once did. It seems to me that the future of outboards is only going to get better with performance, reliability and economy leading the way in customer expectations. What do you think?
Bigshot posted 02-25-2003 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I say except for the greater consumption of fuel, I would rather have a die hard OMC from the 70's or 80's if I really wanted reliability. My OMC's always coughed and sneezed and fouled plugs but they ALWAYS ran. As far as new technology goes, I hope you are right because I really love that 4 stroke but fixing it scares the hell out of me.
masbama posted 02-25-2003 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Hope you never have to; at least in the next 10 years anyway.
Arch Autenreith posted 02-26-2003 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I agree whole heartedly. Cars, motorcycles and such certainly have gotten more reliable and efficient. Stands to reason to me also that ob's are follow suit.

I'm starting to show my age a little. Remember points (vs. electronic ignition)? Anything would foul those darn things and I never could figure out what that cylindrical thingy next to it was for anyhow.

litnin posted 02-26-2003 11:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for litnin  Send Email to litnin     
Funny though, I have owned old MG cars for thirty years. People have always complained to me that they are so unreliable. To this I reply that maybe so but they are also incredibly simple mechanically. I have NEVER had one break down anywhere that I could not piece it back together to drive it home. Could not say that about the brand new automobile engines and outboards with all of the wild electronics.
I agree with Bigshot, old OMC gas hogs are tough, fixable and not real complicated. I love simplicity. Just my thoughts.
brisboats posted 02-27-2003 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
Reluctantly, I agree I think great things are happening and are on the horizon for outboards. Today's consumers are demanding and are featuure oriented. Those MG's and VW's we drove in the past wouldn't suffice today not so much because they are unreliable, but because they lack the feautures that we now take for granted, a/c, power windows,cd player, traction control, heat,cruise, etc. It seems to me that these same consumers want outboards as feautured packed and reliable as their car. The way things have been progressing the automotive mentality operater can pretty much jump in an outboard powered boat turn the key and motor away just like he/she does in a car. No priming ,choking or warm up lever to worry about. While this is exciting it is at the same time disappointing, think about all the pre float thinking we can do as our motor warms up. In the past the outboard pre start procedure was kinda like a screening device to slow the inexperienced operater. Maybe in some instances keeping them off the water.

I love working on outboards but as the complexity increases on the new releases I find that I will soon lack the factory tools and training to do so and subsequently my enthusiasm for them decreases. Personally I feel its a manufacturer's ploy to create a dealer only service network. I know the new will win out to the old and the increasing complexity supposedly makes them easier to troubleshoot. But in the meantime I will check over my spare crossflow inventory.


litnin posted 02-28-2003 06:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for litnin  Send Email to litnin     
Well put post. I agree completely. My heart yearns for the simplicity but I love the extras also. When it comes time to repower my Montauk w/87 90 vro (which runs great now), the experience will be exciting to consider the possibilities and also misery to realize that I cannot probably do much more than routine maintanance and as years go on, be held hostage by the dealer for anything else that is required due to the complexity.
brisboats posted 02-28-2003 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
Thanks Chris, I guess what it will probably all come to eventually is we will have our newer "daily driver" ouboards one day. And hopefully nearby the out classed ones we love and understand the v-4 crossflows etc. ,ready and waiting to provide back up duty or just a nostalgic run. Whalers are simple and utilitarian, and thats the attraction so I guess it natural for us to cling to the proven simple engines we know. I bet your 90 has plenty of life left.


Sal DiMercurio posted 03-01-2003 12:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Talk about a complicated engine, try taking the hood off my FICHT 200 hp, most guys would say forget it, but I also have a laptop [ specificly for the engine ] & the software for my engine.
Sure makes it easy to just plug it in & the pc says, [ true story ] your #4 coil wire is loose, or theres 1/4" of water in your fuel seperator.
But then theres indexing the plugs which can frusrate the average guy, but once you mark your wrench where the electrode points, it's a snap/
No carbs to fool with, no sqeezing the bulb & over double the milage from my carbed 150 Johnson.
Granted, I really do enjoy playing with my 1980 - 15 hp kicker or my 1974 - 25 hp [ still runs like better then it did when brand new ] on the zodiak, i mean they are simple, but the new engines are really where it's at as far as power & economy.
litnin posted 03-01-2003 05:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for litnin  Send Email to litnin     
I'm with ya Sal. I guess that I live somewhat in the past wanting it to be simple. When my newer F-150 Ford just quits, I go into a tizzy. What can I check out on the road? If the electronic ignition module dies, forget it, call the tow truck.
On the other hand, if the old MG stops, I hop out like a man possessed with the knowlwdge and wisdom of Solomon. With a common screwdriver, I will know in minutes, fuel problem , electrical problem or unlikely mechanical problem. I almost ENJOY (not really) a breakdown just to reaffirm my vast knowledge :) To sum it up I tremble at the thought of a new powerplant for the Montauk.
masbama posted 03-01-2003 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
The new high-tech engines are great but putting something that complex so close to saltwater will always bring a few trials and tribulations.
ALso- I used to adjust the twin carbs on my 1970 red MBGGT. Neat car.

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