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Author Topic:   Reasonable Outboard Life Expectancy
kamie posted 04-26-2004 06:54 PM ET (US)   Profile for kamie   Send Email to kamie  
I know that nothing lasts forever. The 1995 Merc 150XL is going strong now, the question is how long can one expect this outboard to last.
Saltwater only, already showing signs of rust or corrosion in some places. Basically took the Merc mechanic about 2 seconds to spot she was a saltwater engine. I have no idea on number of hours. Should I look to repowering in the next 1 to 2 years or should I run it until it quits and then worry about repowering.

thanks

striper swiper posted 04-26-2004 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for striper swiper    
I have a 90 johnson 150hp,the compression is still good give or take a few pound variance.The mechanic says she"s good just do the routine maintenance,this spring new water pump ,plugs ,clean carbs,fresh oil etc.I"ll replace it when it dies.good luck,striper.
andygere posted 04-27-2004 02:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Touch up the paint as often as needed, do all the required preventative maintenance, and run her till she drops. A '95 is still a young engine in my book.
kgregg posted 04-27-2004 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for kgregg  Send Email to kgregg     
My 1991 Merc 135 with unknown number of hours is still running strong. Like others have written, I'll run her until she drops . Kevin
keltonkrew posted 04-27-2004 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for keltonkrew  Send Email to keltonkrew     
my 1986 Merc 35 is still running strong....she has mostly been a Salt water engine (70% salt), but have no corrostion as she has been washed well after each use.

Compression is still good and she start immediately, even with ice in the boat.....

I will run this pup till she cries no more@

kamie posted 04-27-2004 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
Thanks for all the replies. Guess the plan is to run the engine until it drops.
Jarhead posted 04-27-2004 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
"Should I look to repower in he next 1 to 2 years...?"

Hmmm. Seems to me you'll know the answer to your question in one or two years. ;)

Sorry, don't mean to be curt but there's really no way of knowing if the engine will still be strong in a couple of years. Proper maintenance and use, who knows?

I can think of an exception to the "run it till it drops" philosophy however. That would be running offshore with one engine. Miles out, foul weather rolling in you really don't want to worry about your power letting you down...

JBCornwell posted 04-27-2004 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I have read and heard, often, that "average life without major repair" of 2 stroke outboards is about 1500 hours.

That must mean that half or more last longer than that. I have guide friends that put about 4500 hours on their engines, then replace them only to keep their sugar deal with the manufacturer.

We all know someone who is still regularly using a TD series Johnson, made in the late '40s, with never a major repair. Some of those li'l' hummers must have well over 10,000 hours on them.

Well cared for, an outboard can be considered to have a looooong life.

Red sky at night. . .
JB

SuburbanBoy posted 04-27-2004 12:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The 1,500 hours is a good guess. That would be less than 90,000 or so in a car... And car engines will last longer. Corrosion will end it way before 1,500 hours if you are not careful.

sub

linust posted 04-27-2004 01:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for linust  Send Email to linust     
lots of "it depends" factors...

in my case, the 1988 Laser (Mercury 220 EFI) on my Revenge had severe corrosion around the steering column, steering tang, an occasionally balky hydraulic trim system, and a few other issues...and it didn't turn near its rated rpm (based on performance with a couple different props, I figure it was missing about 40 hp from its rating). All on an engine showing just under 600 hrs.

Since repowering the boat (Opti 225) I'm convinced the old motor was just not the right match for this boat--too small a motor (2.3 liter v6) for the size of the boat (over 3600# fully loaded)--IMO, Mercury goofed in rating that engine at 220, and in fact later on rated the same engine at only 175 or 200hp. That may well have contributed to overstressing and prematurely wearing out the motor (it also suffered from low compression).

nFL_Bosn69 posted 04-27-2004 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for nFL_Bosn69  Send Email to nFL_Bosn69     
That's funny, the Johnson dealer here in Tall. told me that I could only expect about 500 hours out of an outboard, to which I shot him a look acknowledging the fact that I thought he was totally full of "it".

From my experience, equipment will run properly as long as you treat it well. I think that my dealer's estimate must have come from the very bottom of the curve, were you would buy a brand new engine, run the crap out of it, perform no maintenance, and let it die. Other than that, and barring faulty equipment failure, it should run forever with proper maintenance.

Much like the automobile industry, the boating industry has fallen victim to planned obsoletion, producing an atmosphere where people get the idea that they can not perform their own equipment maintenance, therefore they feel they must purchase new multi-thousand dollar motors every couple of years.

One problem I've found here in nFL, and I'm sure this problem is wide spread, is that the dealer doesn't really want to sell me the parts, rathering that I just let them do the repairs. This I can understand, but I've asked specific questions about parts/repairs and gotten incorrect answers. It's almost as if their trying to set me up to blow the motor myself, so I'll then bring it to them.

Bottom line, if your industrious and can do the work yourself, you should be able to keep the engine running for a long time. That's the idea behind interchangable parts. Otherwise, you just have to make the trade off of buying new motors every few years.

Personally, I think they're pirates.

Ryan

CHRISWEIGHT posted 04-27-2004 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for CHRISWEIGHT  Send Email to CHRISWEIGHT     
kamie
had a couple of engines now 20-25 years old still go well, one a volvo which is waiting for attention and a very old 2s Yamaha 25 which sits on the small boat. 1995 is a new 1!!

regards chris

where2 posted 04-27-2004 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
My 1985 70Hp Johnson is still running strong, with 99.8% saltwater useage. I'm running it until it quits! Then I'll deal with the unending question of what to repower with...

I just bought a stainless steel tilt-tube to replace my rusting original steel one, and removed and cleaned up the upper power trim and tilt pivot shaft which is also ordinary steel and has been rusting heavily. I intend to respray the two halves of the engine transom bracket while I have everything apart to replace the tilt tube and swap in the Baystar hydraulic steering.

After that, I've got the complete water pump replacement kit to install...

If I thought it was going to die in a year or two, I'd skip replacing the water pump...

andygere posted 04-28-2004 02:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The 1979 Johnson 85 hp on the Montauk I sold last year is still running strong. I just saw her not long ago. How many hours on it? Who knows, but with maintenance and reasonable care while in use, they can last a long time.
JohnJ80 posted 05-02-2004 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Heck, we replaced a 1973 Evinrude 85 a couple of years ago on my dad's boat when the ingnition module went out. Because the motor was so old, the module cost about $1500 - as much as the whole boat and motor was worth.

We donated the rig to a charity but the motor would have gone another whole long time if that module had been replaced.

We also were still running a 1938 5HP Goodyear outboard on a rowboat in 1990. Never had any real maintenace other than new plugs and new shear pins when we hit something with it. All we ever did was dump out the gas for the winter and fog the carb.

Also had a 2hp 4 stroke Larson from the 40's as well that still always ran. But 50lb for a 2hp motor was a bit much.

Keep these things maintaned, cleaned and lubed and they pretty much last forever in my opinion.

J

Plotman posted 05-02-2004 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
We're still running a 1964 Evinrude 28hp at out hunting/fishing camp - the moto probably gets used 6-8 weekends per year, for a total of 30 hours, tops, so hour-wise it is probably around 1500 hours.

Starts every time on thfirst or second pull.

Florida15 posted 05-03-2004 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
I've got a 1956 7.5 hp Johnson Sea Horse that my Dad bought new. It'll start by the third pull every time.
Outrage22Cuddy posted 05-03-2004 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Outrage22Cuddy    
My 1991 Yamaha 130's are still going strong on cheap 2-stroke oil. Occasional compression checks will help to determine when the motor has worn out. I too will run it till it gernades.
where2 posted 05-03-2004 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
JohnJ80 has a point. At such time as the parts required to rejuvinate the motor become prohibitively expensive, or the hours spent fixing the engine amount to more than those spent enjoying it this season. Then it becomes someone else's problem, and I bail on this engine.

My repainting of the engine brackets is going well. I'm repainting the power trim-n-tilt also. While removing the tilt tube over the weekend, I found 2 plastic bushings and 2 thrust washers that needed replacement. They amounted to $13 at the OMC dealer this afternoon... Off to spray more paint...

My 1967 Evinrude 9.5hp engine continues to age nicely. I last had it running 2.5 years ago, and I would bet it would run tonight, if I tossed it in a garbage can, and hooked up a fuel tank.

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