Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
90 HP 4-Stroke 2004 model 100 hour service
|Author||Topic: 90 HP 4-Stroke 2004 model 100 hour service|
posted 06-07-2006 01:35 PM ET (US)
Can a few of you out there please give me your area quotes of what you have paid local dealers for the 100 hour routine maintenance service on this engine? Thank you.
posted 06-07-2006 01:55 PM ET (US)
My local Whaler dealer just told me it would cost me $600.00 to do the routine 100 hour maintenance. Now needless to say I nearly collapsed. Assuming that the retail cost of the engine is what like $8,000, well that works out to 7.5% of the value of a brand new engine. This is more money than I ever spent servicing any caterpillar I ever owned or anything else for that matter. Btw, they also say that you should have this same service done EVERY hundred hours or once per year. So, using that formula every 1300 hours you could purchase a brand new retail priced engine. Is there something wrong with this picture?
posted 06-07-2006 02:11 PM ET (US)
Call the cops!!! You're being robbed.
I just got quoted for a 200 hour service for my 2004 Montauk with 90 hp 4 stroke. $285 labor, $100 for parts, plugs, fuel and oil filters and impeller. I haven't used this Boston Whaler dealer before but it's probably 100 miles round trip closer.
posted 06-07-2006 03:12 PM ET (US)
That's still nearly $400.
What does the 100-hour service involve (i.e. what do they do that takes about 3 hours of labor and $100 in parts)?
I don't know how much spark plugs are going to cost me at 300 hours on my engines, but I'd imagine that the cost of spark plugs and lower unit oil will cost about $40, plus any labor (perhaps 3/4 of an hour at $95/hour)...about $72...so around $112, plus perhaps a gallon of XD 100 oil (about $28-30 bought in bulk and owner-added)...so $140 in 300 hours of service vs. $1,140 ($380 x 3 services) for the 4-stroke?!
posted 06-07-2006 04:45 PM ET (US)
Yes, they really recommend this service every 100 hours. In addition, the dealer implied that if I don't do the service my engine warranty could be voided if I have any [problems] later on.
They were vague about what the service covered. Basically, engine oil, engine oil filter, gear oil, fuel filter, check thermostat, check water pump impeller, and it got less clear as I pressed on.
Needless to say after two years of telling everyone how much I love my Whaler I am starting to get a sour taste in my mouth. $600.00 for this routine service is an absolute scam as far as I'm concerned. $385.00 is still bad but obviously better. For something like this there should be a flat rate. You shouldn't have to pay inflated shop rates (here it's $95.00 per hour) for routine service on a brand new engine still under warranty. I can understand it if you bring in an engine out of warranty and ask for repairs but when you have a new engine in warranty there should be a reasonable flat rate for each prescribed level of service. It's all part of making a customer feel loyalty to the product line. Right now my feeling of loyalty is fast fading.
posted 06-07-2006 04:51 PM ET (US)
Dave, Warren's price includes an impeller, which requires pulling the lower unit, so his price isn't all that bad for work done at the dealer. Warren if you are changing out your impeller every two years with the kind of off-shore runs you make, you are a smart man!...Jack
posted 06-07-2006 04:58 PM ET (US)
Divefan, I think I agree with Warren, you are paying too much at your dealer, how is he checking the impeller? Pulling the lower unit to look at an impeller and not change it sounds penny smart,and dollar dumb! Perhaps they are not pulling the unit but using a pressure test on the water pump. Might be worth a call to Mercury to ask if the warranty is void if work is not done by the dealer, I would think proof that the work was done by yourself or another shop with receipts kept, should be fair. Jack
posted 06-07-2006 05:00 PM ET (US)
That's a rip-off, no matter how you slice it. Glad my engine isn't under warranty, so I don't have to worry about voiding it with anything I do to it, although I think you can do quite a bit. It's not all that difficult to change an impeller, and down right easy to change oil, filters, etc.
I'd find out exactly what can be and what can not be done by yourself without voiding the warranty. I think you'll be surprised by the answer.
posted 06-07-2006 06:01 PM ET (US)
Impeller? Okay then THAT is more reasonable for $285.
Incidentally, I too, will be changing impellers. but I'll probably let it go 300 hours between changes.
I still thing $600 is high. There is something major he is quoting in there that he failed to mention to you.
So Warren, how much is your 100-hour service? Assume you get a spike every other service for the impeller change. Is it more like $150? Or even less?
Just curious as I think that these recommended services are significant costs of ownership that should be considered by those who are evaluating technologies/costs to repower their Whaler.
posted 06-07-2006 06:49 PM ET (US)
I just called my Boston Whaler dealer (Outboard Motor Shop). The service guy says a 100 hour service is about $250. He also recommends that I change my impeller at 200 hours (He knows I do a lot of ocean fishing). He said my 200 hour service is $250 (same work as 100 hour service) and a little under $250 to change the impeller. So it's about the same price in Sacramento (Rocklin) as Alameda (San Francisco).
I'm sticking with my guys in the San Francisco area even though it's a 90 mile one way tow as opposed to a 35 mile tow to Rocklin.
posted 06-07-2006 08:48 PM ET (US)
Please forgive me if this comes across the wrong way, but why would you not want to do the maintenance yourself? Is there something difficult that I am not seeing? I admit that I have not changed my impeller yet, but I have changed plugs, oil, filters, lower unit lube in my 2005 Merc 115 hp 4stroke. All was very simple. Much, much easier than working on an automobile. The impeller sounds pretty easy as well. Gonna tackle that later this fall.
Please forgive my naiveté.
posted 06-07-2006 09:06 PM ET (US)
I changed the impeller on my 2003 Mercury 115 4-stroke this spring; it was the first time I've ever done this on an outboard. It was pretty straightforward, the only difficulty was that there was a little corrosion on the speedometer tube at the front of the lower unit, and it was reluctant to come free of the leg. Next time a shot of WD-40 will make short work of that.
I spent about $40 or so for the impeller (more for the full kit with the housing, but I'll do that next time), plus a quart of lower unit lube, 5 quarts of synthetic oil, and an oil filter -- maybe $100 total. Oh yeah, add $30 or so for the maintenance manual, but that's a 1-time cost. I did new plugs last year, and though the manual suggests yearly, I generally do those every 2 years as long as they look good. All the work together was maybe 3-4 hours, taking my time on a nice spring day. No big deal.
posted 06-08-2006 08:05 AM ET (US)
I did the engine oil, filter, fuel filter, and gear oil myself. It took less than an hour to do it all. When I mentioned that to the service guy that's where the issue of warranty came up. He said the dealer needs to do the service in order for the warranty to be good.
I am calling there this morning and asking them again to fax me in writing exactly what is done on the 100 hour service and the exact breakdown on the cost. Maybe then I will get a more detailed answer. I can't see $600.00 no matter how I look at it. As soon as I get the fax I will post it here for all to see.
All of your answers have been very helpful. Thanks very much.
posted 06-08-2006 09:22 AM ET (US)
Re changing the water pump impeller yourself:
The difficulty of doing this is proportional to the size of the engine because of the weight of the gear case. When you get to a V6 size gear case, the darn thing weighs quite a bit, and it can be difficult for one person to handle.
Removal and reinstallation of the gear case is probably the hardest part of water pump service. If you have the strength to handle it alone, it will not be as much of a challenge as it is for some of us who have less strength and perhaps have a back not quite as strong. Removal and re-installation of the gear case on the engine often requires working at some awkward angles, and that can be hard on your back. Also, there are a few tricks to the process, and often these can become a roadblock for the novice repairman.
It is a good idea to have the water pump serviced periodically, as it not only insures good water pressure and cooling, but the act of removing the gear case prevents it from corroding in place. A friend just dropped the leg off his engine for the first time--it was a 1995 motor. After being in place for 11 years, there was a lot of reluctance to come apart. Periodic changing of the water pump will mean periodic separation of the gear case from the motor, giving you a chance to apply the recommended grease and break loose fasteners before they corrode together.
posted 06-08-2006 01:01 PM ET (US)
OK guys here is the written estimate from Lauderdale Marina located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The total comes to $821.93 not including tax. Parts $228.18 and labor (6.25 hours @$95.00)$593.75.
filter assy oil
100 hour service
.25 hours R/R Zincs
posted 06-08-2006 05:00 PM ET (US)
I just called MarineMax North Palm Beach and asked the cost for a 100 hour service for a 2004 Montauk with 90 hp 4 stroke.
Quick answer was $800. Says I can check all the local shops but that's the going rate.
I am stunned.
posted 06-08-2006 06:27 PM ET (US)
Reminds me of the old joke:
Says the customer to the shop foreman: "$800.00! That's outrageous! I am a doctor, and I don't charge that much!"
Reply from the shop foreman: "Neither did I when I was a doctor."
posted 06-08-2006 06:42 PM ET (US)
Well I've saved $2400 over the last 3 years then. Less maybe a $100 for the service I've done. I'll put that toward the replacement outboard! Jim
|BOB KEMMLER JR||
posted 06-08-2006 07:20 PM ET (US)
Between paying more for them right off the start,the added costs from the required service, added weight and slower performance,the four-stroke advantage don't look like much of an advantage to me. But they are quieter at idle, I guess.
posted 06-08-2006 11:03 PM ET (US)
I'll keep my Merc Classic 75 2 stroke. Cheap to keep and sounds like a Harley.
posted 06-09-2006 12:26 AM ET (US)
R/R zincs? Does the boat live in the water? I've got
750 hours on my Evinrude (including a lot of time while I'm
diving and the engine isn't running) and the zincs are fine.
Decarb a 4-stroke? Does you car need to be decarbed ever?
R&R Thermostat and Poppet? What does the factory service
R&R Waterpump (presumably to replace the impeller). Maybe.
posted 06-09-2006 01:08 AM ET (US)
That price is ridiculous. I'd be ponying up the bucks for the special tools to do ALL that service myself. Those tools would be a flywheel holder and flywheel puller - about $350.00. My engine only came with the 1-year overseas warranty so there is no warranty consequence in my case.
posted 06-09-2006 10:24 AM ET (US)
Chuck, WT, and others who have been kind enough to respond,
You are right on. Once I saw the items included and "quizzed" the service manager at length it all started to become clear. The 100 hour service is essentially the 2.0 hours ($190.00) plus parts. The rest of the STUFF is all what the dealer tries to include and sell you on as part of the 100 hour service, which in fact none of it is. The 100 hour service is basically oil (engine and gearbox), filters (oil and fuel), sparkplug change, general grease, general look over, zincs if you need them, etc.
1. My engine is not overheating nor having trouble circulating water so I don't see the need for an impeller change or thermostat change at this time. Preventive, certainly - necessary, no. Hence no lower unit removal. BIG SAVINGS off of the original cost.
2. Decarbing?? Chuck is right on. What for? A short run at high RPM solves any carbon build up from idling along. More BIG SAVINGS off the original cost.
3. R/R zincs?? No, the boat does not live in the water! LOL. It is on a lift out of the water and you are correct the zincs are fine. Even if they weren't I could do them myself. Why change them. More BIG SAVINGS off the original cost.
So all in all after speaking with the service manager several times and several faxes later we agreed that:
Since I just changed the engine oil, oil filter, and gear oil we could deduct that portion of labor from the 2.0 hours. They would do the rest of the service for 1.25 hours labor plus parts. Since I hadn't done the spark plugs or fuel filter yet (and the parts cost me almost about the same as what they charge anyway) I am letting them do that. I know it is very simple and I can certainly do it myself but I figured as long as it was already in the shop I would give them some work to do. They are also removing the prop and greasing the drive shaft spline which I don't like to do if I don't have to, checking compression on all cylinders, engine timing check, some warranty stuff (which is how this whole ordeal started) and basically just giving me a clean bill of health. In the end we got down to $118.75 labor plus about $40.00 in parts.
So hopefully that ends the saga of the 100 hour service for me (I didn't get the boat back yet so I can't be 100% sure yet). But, I tell you after all this what I really feel bad about. It's the honest hard working people that can't do the maintenance work themselves, don't know about this great forum we use to get help, who bring the boat to the selling dealer for service, trusting them to be doing the right thing by them, and getting stuck with an $800 bill for a simple routine service visit. These are the people that are getting the shaft alright and with no grease on it either.
Thank you all again for taking the time to respond.
|Casco Bay Outrage||
posted 06-09-2006 12:00 PM ET (US)
While this sounds better, what bothers me is the dealer's initial communication.
The fact he initially stated $600 and did not give you a crystal clear explaination bugs me. The add-on's are sleezy and targeted to novice boaters. Why should you need to come to this site and get the guys to help clear this up?
I would look for another place for service. If not an option, learn to do the work yourself.
posted 06-09-2006 01:52 PM ET (US)
I have been doing my own 100-hour services on my 90-Hp four-stroke Mercury, and it's all pretty easy, even pulling the prop and lubing the splines. I haven't changed or inspected the impeller yet - that's scheduled for my next service.
It sounds to me like that dealer is being downright dishonest to lump all of those other services into a "100-hour service", as the shop manual does not include ANY of those in the list of recommended 100-hour maintenance items. I would point this out to them and then stop doing business with them except for any warranty-related repairs.
I wouldn't change out your plugs every time unless they are looking noticeably deteriorated, either. My dealer (Outboard Motor Shop in Oakland, CA) charges $17 per plug! That's just obscene, platinum coating or not. I have been unable to find those exact plugs at alternative retailers yet, but I haven't done much searching online. I replaced mine during my last service just because I bought new ones and wanted to do everything I could to optimize my motor's performance, but I really doubt it made any difference, and I'm pretty confident that the plugs will last at least 200-300 hours. In the future I'll have a new set ready to replace worn ones, but only swap them if the condition of the old ones warrant it.
BTW, I highly recommend purchasing the Mercury service manual for this motor - it's a good manual, one of the best shop manuals I've had, in fact, and it will greatly simplify a lot of issues like this.
posted 06-09-2006 02:37 PM ET (US)
Well guys I guess I posted too soon and did jinx the deal. Just got a call from the service manager at Lauderdale Marine (who by the way is a very nice guy) and he told me the reason my engine won't run right (the reason I brought it to them in the first place) is because the carbs are way out of adjustment. Now they want another 1.25 hours to fix it. And the kicker is that I must pay for it.
My position is that the motor was never set up correctly to begin with and I shouldn't have to pay. Why would any motor with barely 200 hours on it need such extensive carburetor adjustments done to get it to run? It looks like we have a real brouhaha starting. He is calling Mercury to see if they will pay for it but he insists as per the tech guy who is doing the work that because it is an "adjustment" it is my responsibility. Well again why would any engine that was set up correctly from day one need a total carb synchronization and fine tuning just to get it to run at 200 hours??
The Mercury people refused to pay for the "adjustment" as per the managers call. I then called Mercury and spoke to a supervisor named Brian who spent about 40 minutes giving me corporate doublespeak. He admitted that the engine should not need this type of adjustment at 200 hours BUT because it does it is my responsibility to pay for it because it is not covered under warranty. We went round and round and never could agree. He pushed it back on the dealer. My opinion is that Mercury is stone cold deaf to customer issues like this one. Spending millions of dollars to seek out new customers and for a few penny's losing an existing customer. Sorry but there are too many choices out there for me. Personally, it is the last Mercury product I will ever own I can tell you that. If that means not buying a new Whaler because it only comes with a Mercury well then I guess I won't buy it. "Yes you are correct it shouldn't happen. But, now that it has happened it's your responsibility to fix it". Great response to get from the factory that built your engine.
I am just curious if there is anyone else out there with this engine that has paid for carb adjustments after just 200 hours of use???? If I am wrong I will be happy to admit it but I don't think I am. I have owned plenty of carb'd outboards and never needed carb adjustments with so few hours.
posted 06-09-2006 05:09 PM ET (US)
One thing that bothers me is this business of the maintenance having to be performed by a Mercury dealer. I have never run afoul of warranties by doing maintenance myself, or having it done by a generic boatyard. (These were Yamaha, J/E, and Tohatsu engines though). Nobody ever even asked for proof of maintenance by a dealer.
At least in this state (MA) with a car they can't force you to have it maintained by the selling dealer. You only have to prove that it received the called-for scheduled maintenance somewhere. But again, it usually doesn't come up UNLESS the problem is due to lack or, or incorrect maintenance.
I have a feeling that outboard manafacturers try harder than auto manufacturers to find a way to get of of warranty work.
posted 06-09-2006 05:37 PM ET (US)
If this is the going price for a routine 100 hour service I don't see the advantage of having the 4-stroke engine compared to a 2-stroke engine except for the noise. I just had my routine 100 hour service done on my 90-hp Mercury 2-stroke and I paid $185.
For someone like Tony (Tuco elaelap), who runs his Yamaha more than 250 hours yearly, he could save out a new engine every 5 years or so if he bought i.e. an E-TEC engine. I find this hard to believe. Tony, what do you pay for a 100 hour routine service on your 115 Yamaha?
posted 06-09-2006 07:39 PM ET (US)
During my 100 hour service, my dealer cleaned (perhaps took apart) my carbs and told me afterwards to use Quickleen with my fuel. He did NOT charge me for the carb "adjustment" but let me know that he did me a favor.
I'm ready to bring it in for the 200 hour service and I did mention that the motor sometimes dies at idle. It might be the carbs again.
posted 06-10-2006 07:21 PM ET (US)
That was one of the symptoms I was having before bringing it in to the dealer. Very poor low rpm running and out right dying when just moving into forward idle or reverse.
Have you used Quickeen yet?
I certainly agree with Casco Bay Outrage and bobeson that adding on items NOT normally part of the 100 hour recommended service and saying they are is sleazy. Seeing that it is all mostly labor at $95.00 per hour makes you understand quickly why they do it.
You can certainly mention the extra items and offer them but to just include them and state that they are all part of the required service is wrong.
posted 06-10-2006 10:22 PM ET (US)
Another symptom is the motor won't start in neutral. You have to get the shifter out of neutral and give if more gas to start and maintain an idle.
I think it may be dirty carbs or need for an idle adjustment. I use Quickleen but not religiously.
The symptoms seem to happen at 100 hours of service.
posted 06-11-2006 08:38 AM ET (US)
Not trying to peddle the "snake oil" here gents but there is strong anecdotal evidence that suggests regular use of Quickleen in these 90 4-strokes seems to lessen the occurance of carb problems. I'm sure Ringfree is just as good. There are scores of those 90 Yamaha-Merc engines around my locale and they don't seem to have the carb problems some have reported here on CW. Read into that what you will but I am sold on the stuff.
posted 06-11-2006 09:12 AM ET (US)
I'll give the Quickleen a try. It can't be worse than what I have without it. Although I must say I am very disappointed in the situation with the Mercury engine. I have never had a carb'd outboard that has been so sensitive in this area and needed so much attention as this little Mercury. It is a dealers dream and a customers nightmare. Seems like constant maintenance on carbs at very high hourly shop rates. I was a big proponent of this 4 Stroke before I bought it having had some of the first Yamaha 225 4 Strokes in my area. They were great. I know this one is supposed to be built on a Yamaha block but whatever else Mercury did to it they sure messed up a good thing. Any repower or new boat in the future will be having a different brand hanging off of the transom for sure.
The really sad thing is the attitude of the factory on this. It seems like they know all about the problems with the engine but don't seem to care at all. It's a discontinued model and the people that bought it in good faith are left hanging. Basically, the attitude is "deal with it" and go see your local dealer and pay for a carb adjustment if it stops running right - no matter how few hours between adjustments. Adjustments being the key word. Because conveniently adjustments are NOT covered under warranty. I can understand this under normal circumstances. However, when you have such a crucial item such as your carburetors needing what amounts to constant attention I think this goes beyond "adjustments" in the true sense and spirit of the meaning.
posted 06-11-2006 11:13 AM ET (US)
posted 06-11-2006 02:03 PM ET (US)
Well folks, check around the greater Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area for an authorized Mercury dealer and you'll find the shop rates are very similar and the 100 hour service cost is comparable. You'll also find that it is almost impossible to get an appointment - anywhere. My understanding of any outboard warranty is that as long as you can show proof that the regular service has been done, you won't have a problem - I don't know of any dealer in their right mind that would try to force you to have to take the boat to them for service in order to keep the warranty. Sounds like a misunderstanding.
I have also wondered about the decarbing issue in the past and have even called Mercury and was informed that they do indeed recommend decarbing every 100 hours. Boats are not like cars - with all of the idling that boat engines have to do (especially in South Florida) with no wake zones, trolling, etc., the decarb is actually necessary. In any event, the choices are limited, either pay the going rate, or do it yourself - or trailer your boat to wherever these guys are claiming they can get a full 100 hour service for $250. From my understanding of the manufacturer's position (Mercury, Yamaha, OMC, you name it), if you choose the "do it yourself" route and you screw something up - don't count on the manufacturer to show much sympathy with regards to warranty issues.
It looks like the dealer gave some choices - if you don't want the decarb, water pumps, etc., then don't take them. The last time I had my boat in for service, it took 2 and a half weeks for them to "get er done," after waiting 3 weeks just to get the appointment. With that being said, when I have the chance to get my boat in to an authorized service center, I am going to bite the bullet and get the works. The last thing I want to do is get 20 miles off shore and hear an overheat alarm and then wish I would have had my water pumps changed out. I have had a few experiences with Lauderdale Marina and have found those guys to be very helpful, friendly and competent. I have never felt that they were ripping me off or "piling on." Granted, it is hard to get an appointment there, but the good shops usually are hard to get into.
I know I'm going against the grain here a little bit and the easy thing to do is to jump on the bandwagon and bash the mechanics, dealers, etc., but this is the boating world of 2006.
posted 06-11-2006 02:56 PM ET (US)
This certainly puts the issue in perspective. It obviously confirms my opinions that were derived prior to reading any of those posts in the two threads you posted. I guess there is not much more for me to say. Mercury knew about it, do know about it, and refuse to address it. Period. Seriously bad customer relations. End of story.
Sorry NO misunderstandings. I stand by everything I have posted. The dealer only gave me a choice AFTER I confronted him with the information on the ITEMIZED invoice that I requested and that he did not voluntarily provide beforehand when I asked him for the initial service quote. So had I not demanded the itemized invoice for the 100 hour service and just told him to go ahead and do it I would have never known that most of the charges were for OPTIONAL items NOT really part of the 100 hour service. That is not a misunderstanding. It is as one other poster put it just "sleazy".
And Btw, all of this stemmed from me bringing in the boat for warranty work on the carb issue that everyone BUT me obviously knew about. The dealer proposed the 100 hour service "as long as the boat was there anyway". All I wanted was the initial problem fixed under warranty. He tried to tell me it would all be fixed with the 100 hour service.
I think your comments about appointment times at dealers speaks for itself. The dealers are "fat" and really don't care whether you come to them or not. And if you do then you'd better pay up because if YOU don't someone else will.
I am not sure what the meaning is of "this is the boating world of 2006". Other than "it sucks but what can you do about it".
posted 06-11-2006 03:01 PM ET (US)
The lack of responses (price quotes) to the question on this thread suggests to me that most ContinuousWave members do not take their Whalers to Boston Whaler dealers for service.
This makes sense due to this site being an informational (do it yourselfer) site for Boston Whaler boats.
posted 06-11-2006 04:22 PM ET (US)
I paid $400 for the "100 hour service" which consisted of a water pump impeller kit R&R, oil and filter, lower unit oil, and a set of spark plugs. For 100 hours of salt water use, the water pump looked great, impeller was soft and not cracked and the wear plate looked new. I was however surprised by the amount of salt build up on the water pump parts, considering I flush with fresh water after each use.
I'm going to switch to an "on condition" maintenance cycle in the future and not replace the water pump until the telltale appears weak.
posted 06-11-2006 05:00 PM ET (US)
Maximus, That jives with the "Service Manual", which calls for the water pump impeller to be replaced "Every 300 Hours of use or three years". I did the maintenance myself, and there was alot of salt build up behind the wear plate at three years.
I just try not to break anything the first time into something. Jim
posted 06-12-2006 01:19 PM ET (US)
I just got off of the phone with Matt who is the new service manager at Lauderdale Marina. He is the guy that I have been dealing with throughout this ordeal. He communicated to me some very interesting things in our conversation. He expressed his feelings that what we both went through with the 100 hour service issue was a learning experience for him. He believes that he will be making some changes in the way this item and similar items will be presented to customers in the future. He spoke candidly about his belief that parallels mine and others that have posted on this thread that:
1. Service items should be presented in an itemized menu format
and so forth and so on..I believe after speaking with Matt that he is going to be a great asset to Lauderdale Marina and wish him success in his new post. He is sincere in his desire to help the customer. I would highly recommend for anyone in this area that needs service on Mercury or Yamaha to give him a call. NO - I am not getting paid to say any of this nor did I get anything back from the dealership.
Of course none of this changes anything RE: the carb issue or Mercury. That is something that is still tasting very bad in my mouth.
posted 10-16-2006 03:31 PM ET (US)
Impeller changes used to be easy but Yamaha has changed the way that the shift rod connects from the lower unit to the top half of the motor. A few years back, the shift rod had a treaded coupling that could be unscrewed halfway down the motor, you could see the rod go up and down as you shifted the motor into forward, neutral and reverse and see the treaded coupling. Then some genius decided this was too easy to work on so now the shift rod rotates when you shift from forward, neutral and reverse! To release this shift rod to drop the lower unit, you must remove a cotter pin that is located beneath the carburetors! I found it easier to remove the carburetors to get to the pin but I am sure there is some type of specialty tool to remove the pin. Removing the carburetors sound difficult but it was really easy, the new motor have fuel injection that I am not familiar with. Also remember that you must remove your anode plate because there is a hidden bolt that holds the lower unit on beneath this plate. One more thing, don't forget to reconnect your speedometer tube when you reinstall your lower unit! By the way, once the lower unit is off, changing the impeller is a piece of cake provided you don't have any seized bolts. Before I reinstall the bolts I always coat them with an anti-seize compound so the next time you have to do it everything comes off smoothly. If you do it yourself, have a complete drill set and a tap and die set, and some cutting fluid ready just in case you do break a bolt. It also would be advantageous to spend about $30 and get a Yamaha Repair Manual the following link may help: http://www.themotorbookstore.com/yamema4ourem.html
posted 10-17-2006 02:26 PM ET (US)
There are a fair amount of authorized outboard motor repair facilities that are not new boat dealerships. I have had much better luck over the years having work done at these businesses as opposed to the big dealerships. This includes both better pricing and a straightforward approach what work gets done and why.
bobeson- If you do need authorized Mercury dealer service, I've had good luck with Moore and Sons Mercury in Santa Cruz. Jim Moore is the owner, and he's the guy you will be dealing with.
After reading all this, I'm really glad I bought an E-TEC and don't need to have it serviced until I reach 300 hours.
posted 10-18-2006 12:08 AM ET (US)
Many of these anecdotal reports include mention of receiving advice for chronic use of a fuel additive to prevent problems. These additives are not free. I think you have to pay about $7 for a pint of Mercury® QUICKLEEN™ ENGINE TREATMENT. One ounce treats six gallons, so a 16-oz bottle treats 72-gallons. Thus the cost of your fuel goes up by $7/72gallon = $0.097/gallon.
If gasoline is selling around $2.10/gallon (as it is this evening in my area), this means that chronic use of this fuel additive has the effect of driving up your fuel cost by
0.097/2.1 = 4.6 percent
One of the reasons that people make a substantial investment in a four-stroke motor is to get better fuel economy. Using less fuel reduces the cost of the fuel needed to operate the boat. If a new engine gets 30-percent better fuel economy, this means it will reduce the operating cost for fuel by 30-percent, too.
However, if you have to pour in fuel additives to every tank to keep the engine running, you have to figure those costs back into the equation. This means you have to give back some the fuel economy savings from the engine because it needs this special diet of fuel additives to keep it running.
While the fuel additive does not affect the gas mileage, it has the same real effect on your costs as if the engine suddenly got 4.6-percent worse fuel economy!
Next time someone cites a report where one engine gets a tiny fraction better fuel mileage than another, we better all ask if that "winning" engine has to be fed a diet of some boutique fuel additive to keep it running well. It it does, you need to back about 5-percent of the fuel mileage out of the comparison to keep the costs on a level basis.
posted 10-18-2006 12:19 AM ET (US)
If you add Yamaha RING FREE to your fuel, it sells for $20 for a 12-oz bottle. I am not sure what the suggested ratio is for use. Let's guess it is the same 1-oz treats 6-gallons. $20/72=$0.27/gallon, or a whopping $0.27/2.1=13-percent increase in fuel cost.
If you're adding RING FREE to your Yamaha four-stroke, you are giving away 13-percent of your fuel economy in terms of cost savings.
posted 10-18-2006 07:40 AM ET (US)
Many people seem to be using additives, and some of them are using multiple additives (there are reports of year-round Stabil + Techron in this forum).
Few people seem to feel the need to put these witches' brews in their cars. There are two possible conclusions.
1) Today's outboards are so fussy that they will not run off stock fuel.
2) People are throwing this stuff in based on unscientific evidence. As jimh said in another topic, stating that "I used SuperZappo and I never had an engine problem" doesn't mean anything unless you also ran the same engine under the same conditions without the additive and it blew up.
And the manufacturers are no help. My 2004 Mercury service manual says nothing about any additive (other than a stabilizer for post-season layup), yet there is Quickleen and other exhorbitantly-priced additives on display at the Mercury dealer. Depending on who you talk to, you probably won't get a scientific opinion either. ("Lots of our customers use it and their engines haven't blown up").
I seem to remember a long time ago someone ran a scientific test of STP, which was for years the leading automotive additive, and came to the conclusion it was basically useless.
I wouldn;t expert a similar study on marine additives - who would fund it?
As long as this stuff is about 90% pure profit, don't expect any straight answers.
posted 10-18-2006 08:53 AM ET (US)
Jim, while I won't try and refute what either you or swist state, many folks felt this engine was their best option at the time of their new Whaler purchase. By now, I think we can all agree the "Mercaha" 90 4-stroke (carb model) has a tendency to gum up the carbs when used in certain geograpic areas and under certain usage patterns [read that - moreso when the boat is used infrequently]. As I have stated numerous times in threads dealing with this particular engine, there are scores of them running here in my locale on various boats and we don't really see these problems. Perhaps this is due to boaters here using their craft year-round, perhaps its the weather, our fuel, or a combinations of these factors.
The fact that one would need to buy a $7 bottle of snake oil (Quickleen in this case) for each 72 gallons of fuel used is a drop in the bucket for the "average Joe" using his boat 3-5 months per year. Sure, it stinks to have to buy a $7 bottle of Quickleen but if helps owners of this engine avoid (or delay) a problem, it is well worth it in the long run.
posted 10-18-2006 09:00 AM ET (US)
I will take back one thing I stated above. There was one report out of Guam on this forum last year from an owner of this engine. He had the same cronic carb problem reported by many others. I had a chance to personally meet this fellow at the ramp one day and we discussed his problem more indepth. It turns out he is active duty military and spends long periods away from home. His un-covered boat sits out in a large open marina parking lot cooking away in the hot South Pacific sun. I pass his boat each day going to work and it rarely moves.
posted 10-22-2006 09:08 PM ET (US)
I purchased a 2004 Montauk last April with the motor in question. I keep the boat in dry-storage and since purchased I would estimate between 150-200 hours of use from trolling at 1700-1800 rpms, to short, fast, runs at 4500rpms and slow puttering at 1200-1500rpms have been the norm. The motor gets used at least once a week and I've been using a Mercury fuel-additive, 1ounce for every six-gals. I had read after purchasing the boat the problems others have had but I've encountered none. I did change the oil in June and plan on a total service job in March. Overall, a good motor, the fuel-add does give it a tendency to eject exhuast smoke upon starting but I assume that from carbs being cleaned. It's never failed me yet. I do keep the engine down, its rare to be tilted unless on an island for a few hours or camping. I use 87octane from the Marina where it's stored.
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.