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Author Topic:   Engine Hours
Reese posted 11-12-2003 06:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for Reese   Send Email to Reese  
Tried searching for this topic but couldn't find it. What classifies if the engine has high or low hours. Example: 2000 Yamaha 150hp Saltwater Series 2 with 550 hours. If the motor is properly maintained and broke in how many hours does the manufacturer suggest before major work? The example above is a motor on a boat that we are interested in. Thanks Reese
RJM posted 11-12-2003 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for RJM  Send Email to RJM     
Very good question, I hope some of the experts on this forum can give us an answer. I believe 550 hours is at the high end for a normal boater in three years. But you probably can tell how the boat was used by it overall condition. The important question was HOW it was used? Example, was it a rental? Was it only used for pulling skiers out of the water? Was it used for commercial fishing? Did it only idle all day? Or, does it look like it was babied so that it would last a life time? If it was babied; then the engine will probably out last both of us. Good Luck.
jimh posted 11-12-2003 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I was searching for some information about ICOMIA horsepower ratings when I came across another document of theirs. In this specification, it called for the engine to retain a particular performance specification for its "life". For outboard engines that was specified to be 350 Hours!
jimh posted 11-12-2003 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is a hyperlink to that document wherein "useful life" is specified at 350 hours:!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&numdoc=500PC0639&lg=EN

lhg posted 11-12-2003 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Well, that's a joke. For me, at least.
Reese posted 11-12-2003 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Reese  Send Email to Reese     
350 hrs? This motor is on a boat in Pensacola Fla. I spoke to a mechanic and he mentioned somethings, due a compression check, inspect oil in the lower unit, spark plugs and the overall condition of the motor and if everything checks out and your happy with the price - Good luck.
Sal DiMercurio posted 11-12-2003 11:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
350 hours,,......ha, ha, ha.
I think they forgot at least one zero, like 3,500 hours.
If the people who wrote that report of an engine lasting 350 hours had any idea of what they said, they would be very dangerous.
If that were true, would people really go out & spend $15,000......$18,000 for an engine that would last one season [ I average 325 hours per year on all of mine ].
If I can't get at least 4,000 hours out of an engine [ & sell it while it's still running good ], it's a lemon, & I'v never owned a lemon?
Thats just about the dumbest report i'v ever heard of.
Can you imagine Bombardier, Merc, Yamaha, or Honda advertising saying, "We gaurantee our engine for 350 hours " ?....they wouldn't sell one single engine.
With proper care & maintenance of any outboard, you can expect 3...4 thousand hours out of it if it's propped right, such as allowing that engine to get to recomended max rpms & using the best oil you can run in her.
Clark Roberts posted 11-13-2003 07:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
An outboard (two stroke) is barely broken in at 350 hrs and if properly maintained/serviced and if not abused should last at least 2000 hrs. without any performance degradation and about 3000-4000 before requiring rebuilding (rings, bearings etc). I usually trade for some reason before reaching these figures but have put 2170hrs on a 90merc 3 cyl 1995/6 and I think it's still running fine. How many hrs for a 4 stroker.. when I wear my 115 EFI 4S out I will let you know... happy Whalin'.. Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy
Bigshot posted 11-13-2003 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Reese to answer your question....550 hours is maybe on the high side for a 2000 model up north but means about 125 per year which is in line for FL. I do about 150-200 per year. Even if you put 100 hours a year on it, she will go another 10 years easily. If you put 200/year it will go another 10 years as well. Outboards like to be run. I would rather buy a motor with 500 hours than 50.
Tom2697 posted 11-13-2003 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
...unless the 50 hour motor costs the same as the 500 hour motor...

Is everybody on this site a fair-weather boater? I do about 400 hours per year! I have friends (fishing guides) that easily go over 1000 hours per year!

The standard for cars is about 15000 miles per year. Running the car at an average of 45 mph, this means about 333 hours. For 100,000 miles in a car, this means about 2300 hours. Some of the 4-stroke motors are based off of auto engines (Honda 130 & Suzuki 115...I think) so we can probably assume that the outboards are also meant to last as long...

brisboats posted 11-13-2003 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
If you can average 45mph in everyday use with a car you most likely would be breaking 100mph often. I just bought a county owned dually for boat hauling, has an hour meter at 3,659 hrs but only 42,356 miles. Yeah I know it was County owned and probably spent most of its life idling with the a/c on.

An outboard will easily break 2,000 hours when used and maintained properly. Around here seems that the average boater runs about 50 hours a year and most motor problems are related to non use than accumulated hours.


Sal DiMercurio posted 11-14-2003 12:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
If you want your engine to last along time & run good every time you use it, run it everyday, it's surprising how well the run when used everyday.
I doubt very much if we can compare 4 stroke car engines with 4 stroke outboards in hours lasting.
Reason is, the average maximum rpms in a car engine is around 2,000 rpms, most autos run at 2,200 rpms at 60....65 mph where an outboard is going to average at cruise, 4,000.....5,000 rpms, thats over twice as many as an automobile, so I don't think the outboards can be compared to auto engines.
I have a saying, " A boat engine is always going uphill, never down hill."
Perry posted 11-14-2003 02:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Maybe a powerful car or truck with an auto transmission averages 2000 rpm but 4 cylinder cars need to be run harder and with the revs much higher. My Daughter has a 10 year old Honda Civic, the same motor my outboard is based on. While driving around town, her motor runs through the gears between 2500 and 4500 rpm. When driving over the hill to work, she keeps the pedal to the floor for close to 5 minutes. This is over and back 5 days a week. I mostly run my motor (Honda 90) between 2500 and 4500 rpm while cruising and trolling but I rarely run mine at WOT like she does in her car. Her car runs great, starts first try and has 137,000 miles. It has only needed routine maintenance and oil changes every 5,000 miles. I think there is a valid argument in comparing the two. If I continue to take good care of my motor, I'm confident it will last a very long time.
brisboats posted 11-14-2003 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
Sal's point is a valid one and true. A marine engine is running most times under load and at the high end of its rpm range. The automotive engine has a much easier life especially with its gearbox and lives in a much better enviornment. A more direct comparison would be the automotive based inboard engines to a car engine, the automotive engine will generally far outlast its marine counterpart. The Honda 90-130hp would be a good comparison, but with modern Civics pushing 400,000 miles plus that outboard would need to accumulate some serious hours.


Tom2697 posted 11-14-2003 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
As usual, I generalized and that has gotten some of you debating. I used 45 mph average as that is what I do when I go to work...60mph for 15 miles and then 30 mph for 15 miles...Obviously, a car motor will run longer than the car is actually moving because of stop lights, etc. But, 100,000 miles is 100,000 miles is 100,000 miles.
Tom2697 posted 11-14-2003 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
One last point, outboards rairly die because of excessive use (but some obviously do!). What normally causes an outboard's death is improper maintenance or owner negligence...under-cowling corrosion, bad impeller, tilt & trim costs too much to repair, steering tiller rusts away, hit a submerged rock or tree stump, no oil, etc...
hooter posted 11-14-2003 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
About half the men still wearin' all they own teeth in mah neighborhood make their day-job earnin's as fishin' guides. Nearly all use big bore Yamaha outboards. Like religion, they replace those motors every three years with typically 1,800 hours on them. Ah've bought a number of those hand-me-downs over the years, all with at or near spec compression and then rode them for another five years and 800 to 1,000 hours without a hitch. Main thing is the guides take care of they equipment, 'cause it's their arse and they livin' if they break down on a boat full o'client sportsmen. And Ah pampers mah gear. So the answer here is you should be able to get eight years and up to 3,000 hours, if you keep up with the maintenance. That 350 hour figure, that's a joke meant to help sell boat motors:-!
David Jenkins posted 11-15-2003 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
When should the timing belt in an outboard engine be replaced? I asked my Suzuki mechanic about it and he said that I would be wasting my money to have it done as it does not need it. The DF70 4-stroke engine is 4 years old, has 1600 hours on it, and runs perfectly.
kglinz posted 11-15-2003 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
David Jenkins
As far as timing belts, there are engines that are "clearance" engines and there are "non clearance" engines. On clearance engines the pistons will not contact the valves if the cam stops turning. On non clearance engines you have big problems if you lose a timing belt. I,m told my engine is a clearance engine.(225 Mercury) My engine manual says change at 1000 hours or 5 years. I can inspect my belt easily and may not change it if it still looks good. I would be more concerned if I had a non clearance engine.
David Jenkins posted 11-15-2003 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Bigshot, JB, anyone.... Is the Suzuki DF70 is a clearance engine?
Moe posted 11-15-2003 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Clearance or not, it would be my luck the belt would break in heavy waves, right when I need the motor most, or worse yet, right off rocks on shore.

In the last year, my daughter trashed an older Nissan non-clearance engine with a broken belt, while my son got away much cheaper with a broken belt on a clearance Escort engine. Nevertheless, he was out in the country on a rainy night with his girl friend and no cell phone. Long, wet walk to use a phone. I'd tried to talk both of them into getting the belts replaced, but it was "too expensive."

A belt's a lot cheaper than being towed in, even if your luck is a lot better than mine.


Steve Leone posted 11-20-2003 02:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
Some belts are better than others. Take for instance the Honda 7.5 and 10hp belts from 1973-1989. These are very stong woven belts that tend not to stretch. Some other belts (Mercury and Chrysler)however have a tendency to stretch and fatigue alot sooner given the same useage.
SpeedBump posted 11-20-2003 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Given the vast amount of electronic circutry in outboards these days do the engines have an internal clock that tracks hours that it is run and is there a way to get this info out? If so what engines track this informaiton?

I have a 2000 70 HP Nissan that I would consider pretty plain jane, PT&T,normally asperated 3 carb, electronic ignition, oil injected, etc. It would be nice to figure out how many hours are actually on it as I acquired this with the boat this past year. I was told it had between 25 and 50 hours on it. It looked new inside and out, being cautious I had the water pump impeller changed. What came out looked as good as the new one going in. It just bugs me I can't figure out how many actual hours are on it for routine maintenance needs.

Currently my only way to track engine hours are with my fish finder which keeps a cumulative logs of hours of operation along with distance and speed averages. Unfortunately, I run the FF longer than I run the engine so even that is not very accurate.

David Jenkins posted 11-21-2003 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
My mechanic was able to connect a laptop computer to my Evinrude (Suzuki) DF70 and tell me the number of hours on it, as well as the amount of time spent at various RPM.
Bigshot posted 11-21-2003 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
They make these neat little things called hour meters and they cost about $30.
SpeedBump posted 11-21-2003 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Bigshot- good suggestion, I know about hour meters and have considered one for the future, the boat didn't have one when I purchased it. I am more interested in figuring out how many hours are already on the outboard. I have emailed Nissan tech support to see if they have a chip onboard like the Evenrude Dave mentioned that tracks this stuff. Haven't heard back from them yet.
jimh posted 11-22-2003 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My impression of the state of electronics in modern outboard motors: Only the most recent and technologically sophisticated outboard motors have microprocessor controllers that also record running time information.

The first step to finding this data would be to look for a serial data I/O port on the engine control module.

If you have the port, you'll need to discover the details of connecting, like:

--pin layout
--signal levels
--baud rate
--data format

Assuming you can make a connection, then you'll need to know all about the software on the engine controller, how to interrogate it, where to find the data.

I believe that Evinrude was kind enough to provide (at a very modest cost) all this information as well as software (probably for Microsoft Windows-XX) which would allow an owner to connect a laptop to an Evinrude outboard motor.

More typically, outboard makers don't divulge all this information. Instead they provide an expensive "code reader" device, and make this available only to their authorized dealers.

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