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Author Topic:   Optimax oil
highanddry posted 06-21-2005 12:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for highanddry   Send Email to highanddry  
I was wondering what fellow Opti users run for oil. I have been using the Mercury DFI oil which is fairly expensive. The manual states that you can use the Premium Plus oil which cost half as much or even less in the Pennzoil version. The place we just stayed on a short vacation trip the owner ran Opti engines on his boats. He used the Pennzoil product for many years with no problems and could not believe I was running the DFI stuff.
While suspicious of the blackk engine due to all the bashing on this board I have found this to be a relatively quiet, powerful engine that starts and run great. It is smooth and VERY fuel/oil efficient.
Also, I keep reading the bashing of so called post Classics that they are heavy and low quality and this and that. I have had the opportunity now to put my boat next to a similar powered Outrage 18 so called classic. I will take mine. If I were BW I would remame the Legend series "Classics" and offer an Outrage version of the Nantucket with a transom cut for twin engines and then stick some teak on it to satisfy the owners of equally heavy, smaller and less robust classics.
LHG posted 06-21-2005 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Optimax technology is really now perfected and trouble free, from what I can tell. All of the V-6 models are powerful and get great gas and oil mileage. They now have a 225 that is 3 star rated.

High HP HPDI and 90 E-TEC's now have some catching up to do on the reliability side from what I can tell.

bluewaterpirate posted 06-21-2005 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I have a Whaler 210 Ventura with a 225 Opti & been using Mercury brand DFI oil since the beginning. It now has 500 + hours of exclusive saltwater use & hasn't missed a beat. Overall a terrific engine. I also use the the Mercury gear lube. Change it out every 50 hours because of the saltwater use. Strong running & economical motor.


prm1177 posted 06-21-2005 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
I've had Opti 135s (single on my former Outrage 17) twins on my Conquest 23. I use the DFI oil, but buy it in bulk from my dealer. The engines are very efficient when it comes to oil usage, and buying in bulk makes the DFI oil reasonable.
Treypescatorie posted 06-24-2005 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
I have a 2000 200 hp optimax and have always used Walmart oil, engine runs great.
diveorfish posted 06-25-2005 02:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
I get my opti oil from the dealer as well. I take my old jugs and the dealer refills them.

I used to think the opti oil was expensive when gas was a $1.50 a gallon. Now that gas is $2.25 per gallon the opti oil price became insignificant.

Clark Roberts posted 06-25-2005 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Maybe someone can clarify why the Direct Fuel Injected (DFI)engines, OptiMax, Ficht/E-Tec and HPDI, require some special oil formulation since oil is not involved in the combustion process. The oil is distributed directly to the lube points in the crankcase (main/rod/wrist pin bearings) and fuel is directly injected into combustion chamber... So why the special oil and why wouldn't regular automotive oil (like 10W-30) work just fine. What am I missing here? Beam me up!... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
lakeman posted 06-25-2005 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
I have use Opti oil in my 135 since they introduced it as part of a solution to their problems. I have toyed with switching to full synthetic, but it is more expensive than the opti oil. I was talking with a factory Merc repair Rep. and asked him about using full synthetic, and his reply was basically, the Opti oil has a lot of synthetic in it, and it was designed for that engine specifically, the pure synthetic was designed for all engines. You can take his comments anyway you want. I think, for the price, I will stick with the Opti oil, as mentioned above the Opti is very oil efficient so cost is not a big factor.
I still like the Idea of pure synthetic, and have had good past experiences with it and may go that direction in the future.
highanddry posted 06-25-2005 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Clark Roberts, the reason E-Tec and Opti engines need "expensive" oils is that they are low emission, lean burn engines. They operate at very LOW oiling levels and also run at higher temps (leaner) for the purpose of lower emissions and higher efficiency. They have achieved this level of power and efficiency by using premium materials in construction, digital/computer controls/sensors and a high quality oil that can operate at extremely dilute conditions and high temperature is an absolute requirment.
My initial post was to find out if other guys use Pennzoil etc Premium Plus oils in their Opti and E-Tec engines. Supposedcly, according to Pennzoil, their products meet the specs.
Treypescatorie posted 06-25-2005 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
Check out this web site:
Clark Roberts posted 06-26-2005 07:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
High, thanks very much for the explanation! As to high (lean) temps, by comparison my Opti had 140 degree thermostats (don't know what temp in combustion chamber was but no oil there anyway...and it ran very warm at idle only and cool as a cucumber at speed) and my Jeep runs at 210 degrees so which is running at higher temp? Looks to me like my Jeep is running hotter than the Opti. Also the crankcase on the outboard (where the lubed parts are)is cooled by inrushing throttled air! As to the higher quality materials, closer tolerances??? And "extremely dilute conditions"? What conditions? Not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to get some specifics! Thanks... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
Clark Roberts posted 06-26-2005 07:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Additional note: the 210 degrees on Jeep is jacket water temp therefore the core temp and combustion chamber temps are somewhat higher (jacket water temp is always cooler than core temp unless engine is overheating)... More revealing measurements would be cyl head temp and exhaust gas temp but these are combustion chamber related and the oil is in the crank area.
highanddry posted 06-26-2005 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Clark Roberts, the water/coolant thermostat has very little to do with what I was talking about. I am talking about combustion temps not coolant temps. Sorry you misunderstood.

As to "conditions" I told you what they are, lean burning and dilute lubrication and low oiling schedule.

As to premium materials I did not use the word tolerence--you did. I mean to refer to the bearing materials, the pistons materials, coatings such as Nicoseal etc. I have a feeling your arguing, I am not. I think you do not understand two strokes engines. The oil is not all in the "crank" area and that oil which is in that area on a lean burn engines is much less than in a conventional two stroke. Even on a four stroke the oil is not all in the "crank" area (oil control rings--hint--hint, valve train etc) and what does a Jeep have to do with lean burn technology on an outboard engine? OK, the Opti/E-Tec are the same as a carbed engine, whatever you wish to think. Yes, combustion temps in four stroke engines are higher than two strokes typically and yes the crankcase charging of a two stroke does provide some cooling effect. Way back when I first took up flying and boating etc I was always asking the mechanics why this or that and then arguing with them. I always noted they rolled their eyes and patronized me. So now that I am a mechanic and have answered the same questions I fully understand their dilema. LOL, Good luck.

RonB posted 06-28-2005 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
What interests me is.. if anyone is using 100% Pennzoil Synthetic in their Opti's?

I'd also like to know if the Mercury DFI Optimax Oil is really a Pennzoil product with a Mercury label.

Pennzoil says that their 100% Synthetic does not void many manufacturers warraties:


"PENNZOIL MARINE 100% SYNTHETIC OUTBOARD 2-CYCLE OIL exceeds the requirements of the NMMA TC-W3 standard. It is recommended for and meets the warranty requirements of outboard engines produced by the following manufacturers:

*Evinrude *Johnson *Mercury *Mariner

*U.S. Marine/Force *Sears *Suzuki *Yamaha"


In my neck of the woods I have not been able to find a dealer that will sell me Opti oil out of a 55 gallon drum and I must resort to paying a little over $25.00 a gallon ($27.00 after taxes) to keep my 2000 135 Opti happy.

At another site there is a discussion of Yamalube vs. 100% Synthetic and many folks with newer Yamaha HPDI's have made the switch with satifactory results.

Pennzoil 100% Synthetic can be bought off the web for less than $20.00 a gallon. I wonder if I'm using it already, but masked as Opti Oil in a black Mercury gallon container.

Anybody know if we can run 100% Pennzoil Synthetic in our Opti's?


aubv posted 06-29-2005 03:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

You can purchase Premium Plus Oil, in gallon containers from West Marine for $17.99.


highanddry posted 06-29-2005 03:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
RonB, the Mercury/Quicksilver DFI oil recommended for Opti engines is not synthetic but is a synthetic blend stated so on the label and it is not claimed to be a TCW-3 oil either---look for yourself. If the Pennzoil, not their Premium Plus syn/blend, but their pure synthetic is available under 22 dollars then that is a good price and probably an optimal Opti oil--lol. What I find curious is that the Quicksilver DFI oil states it may not meet all requirements of TCW-3---hmmmmmm.
RonB posted 06-29-2005 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

Funny thing about West Marine, there's one within a mile or so from my Dad in Port St. Lucie, FL but nothing close for me up here on the Hudson River in New York. I buy from the web from West Marine all the time but not sure how much shipping costs would be for a 4 gallon case of oil. "'ve thought about Mercury's Premium Plus which is a little less than the Opti Oil but have had no reason as my Opti runs fine with the Opti Oil. Anyway, thanks for the tip.


On the web there's a site called the Oil Store where you can get decent prices for Pennzoil. The link is below. Again, I just don't know if a pure synthetic would be an equal or superior substitute for Mercury's Optimax Oil.


I know there is this common opinion that for the price of the Optimax, why fret over a few additional dollars on the cost of Mercury DFI/Optimax Oil? I understand that thinking and I've only put the Mercury DFI/Optimax oil in my engine. However...if someone said I could use another brand of oil that is equal to or superior to the Opti Oil for $5.00 less a gallon, do you think Mercury would continue to charge what they charge for thier Optimax Oil?

Same thing for Yamaha, the dealers say use Yamalube and Ring Free, and with the Mercury dealers, it's Opti Oil and Quikleen.

Well.. how about Pennzoil or another brand oil and Techron (or whatever) for a lot less, I'm sure folks are doing it, I was just curious if their experiences could sway me to try it too. For now, I'm still buying my $27.00 Opti Oil but would like to know if others are using another brand of Oil (other than Mercury/Quiksilver Premium Plus which according to Mercury is okay)in their Opti's.


RonB posted 06-29-2005 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB
Whalerider posted 06-29-2005 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerider  Send Email to Whalerider     
I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I can’t understand why you would spend so much money for a Whaler....they aren’t cheap ya know... and try to save $100 or so a year on experimenting with some cheap oil. I am ALL for saving money, but I rather save it somewhere else than feed my expensive Optimax something I am not SURE about. An analogy I have heard is, putting K-mart tires on a Mercedes. Give it Optimax oil and Quickleen, increase your chances that your motor will last you nearly a lifetime. If the price of oil is a MAJOR issue then downsize or boat one or two times less each year. Just my opinion though.


SteviLad posted 06-29-2005 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteviLad  Send Email to SteviLad


JoJo posted 06-29-2005 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoJo  Send Email to JoJo     
I just purchased today two (2) 2.5 gallon containers of Optimax Engine Oil for $39.00 per 2.5 gallons (a $20.00 savings that runs through the end of July) from Marine Max. may want to consider (as they say 'down South') putting up a supply. Best. \


RonB posted 06-29-2005 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

I am not offended by the analogy. I like options, as options create competition and keep prices in check.

Using your analogy, if you pull up to a red light at an intersection in that Mercedes and you need gas, I am sure you would like to see three gas stations on three of the four corners rather than one. With three gas stations YOU can choose what best fits your Mercedes engine and your wallet. You have a choice.

That's all I'm saying.

BTW, I buy my tires from BJ's, they sell Michelin MXV's. Not too shabby and a great price. Free rotation too and a lot less than other tire dealers in the area who sell the same tires. Isn't an educated consumer the best shopper? I've always thought so.

For three years I've used Opti Oil and Quikleen, no regrets, just want to know if there are other options. Like you, I am not sure either about using another oil, whether more expensive or not, that's why I posed the question. If there is no other option, than so be it.

JoJo, thanks for letting us know about the Marine Max sale on Opti Oil, I will stock up now.


Whalerider posted 06-29-2005 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerider  Send Email to Whalerider     
Well said RonB
gorji posted 08-30-2006 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     
I am getting an Eastport 205 in 2 weeks. The whaler site does not have the manual for this boat.

Can someone state what the mercury manual states for the oil requirments of the Optimax 150 please?


highanddry posted 08-31-2006 04:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Gorgi, you should use the Optimax/Quicksilver DFI oil. You should run Quick Clean in every tank. I dilue it a bit more--sometimes-- than Mercury says to. The bottles are expensive but go a long way and the thing just don't burn that much fuel or oil anyways.
gorji posted 08-31-2006 06:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     
Thank you HighandDry.
sosmerc posted 08-31-2006 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Merc recommends Premium Plus in their high performance Optimax I would think it would also work well in the standard Optimax engines.
I run Amsoil HP injector oil in my Optimax 135...and I do use Quickleen at the recommended dosage.
highanddry posted 08-31-2006 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Premium Plus is recommended as a substitute for Optimax or DFI oil fromMercury brand or Quicksilver brand.

I would not use the Pennsoil. It might be an expensive experiment and it might not be covered by warranty.

These engines do not use much fuel or oil.

I have considerable mechanical experience in many areas and have used Pennsoil in other two stroke engines with good success and I have taken them apart and found that the engines were in great shape--but-- I bought two gallons of it when I bought the boat. I then decided not to use it. These engines are critical on lubrication, they use so little oil it must be a superior product. You will not save enough moeny to make it worth the experiment.

As to using Techron instead of Quick Clean, I don't see that as a problem.

Treypescatorie posted 08-31-2006 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
Still using Walmart oil engine runs great!
Royboy posted 08-31-2006 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I use the Merc DFI oil and Quickclean in my 135 Opti and don't want to experiment with cheaper oils. There is no way the few dollars I'd save over the course of the life of my engine will make up for shortening its life. I do buy the oil in bulk from my dealer. I use about four or five gallons a year, so what's the annual savings with the cheap stuff? About a hundred bucks? It would take a lot of hundred dollar bills to buy me a new Opti. I figure it's pretty cheap insurance.


macfam posted 09-02-2006 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
I thought it was interesting that on the Tohatsu website,. which uses the same technology as the OptiMax, they have tested, and recommend certain oils.

Both Pennsoil Synthetic and Pennsoil Plus have been tested, and recommended.

Perhaps Pennsoil makes Tohatsu and Nissan 2-stroke TLDI oil. Maybe they make Mercury's oil too. No way to really tell.

gorji posted 09-17-2006 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     
There is a person on ebay selling 6 pack of [OptiMax/DFI Oil] FOR $121 + about $30 shipping. I saw [OptiMax/DFI Oil] for $35 plus tax at a local marine store@@@@!!!!!
Mambo Minnow posted 09-17-2006 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
I buy Opti oil from two local retailers who buy in 55 gallon drums and sell Gallon jugs for $17.95. They tell me several of the professional bass fisherman in the area actually chip in together and buy the 55 gallon drum since they go through so much on the tournament trail in their Opti powered bassboats.
bsmotril posted 09-17-2006 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Since TCW-3 spec oil has to be able to both mix with fuel, and run in direct injected outboards, but DFI oil is designed to ONLY runs in direct injection mode engines, I'm not suprised it does not meet all TCW-3 specifications. That does not mean it is inferior in the lubrication it provides. Lubiricity is one small part of the TCW-3 specification.
bluewaterpirate posted 09-19-2006 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
A friend of mine and I buy a 55 gallon drum each year. We both run single Opti 225's and average about 25 offshore trips a year per boat, so it's more cost effective to buy it by the drum. I've used Opti DFI Oil & Quickleen since I purchased my Whaler/Opti package in 2002. Neither has missed a beat.

Tightlines ......


Treypescatorie posted 06-26-2012 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
Hey guess what? I'm still using Walmart Tcw3 0n my 2000 200 HP optimax and my engine is still running great!
martyn1075 posted 06-27-2012 02:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
This is encouraging news have you encountered any large repairs to the engine regardless of oil related or not?


Treypescatorie posted 06-27-2012 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
The optimax uses o rings on top of each cylinder instead of a head gasket. I had 1 o ring fail which caused an idle problem and eventually loss of power , after removing the head and replacing the o ring it ran like a top. The only other repair was a starter solenoid and some plug wires.Not bad for a 12 year old engine.
martyn1075 posted 06-27-2012 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
No not at all you have done well especially for that era Optimax which has been a bit nasty to many owners. Would you say that Mercury is basically trying to play the fear game to purchase their oil rather than the competition? They charge enormous amount of money for it. Average $100US for the large 10L buy the same one just north of the border and its $180 to $200.00 hit! It can't be that good can it?


Treypescatorie posted 06-28-2012 06:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
I would equate the additive/oil thing to vitamins or hair care products. People decide for them selves on how much vitamin c they need and believe that there doing there body good by taking these vitamins. If you go into a beauty supply store you will see the same thing with hair care products. Don't believe the hype!
Jefecinco posted 06-28-2012 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

How many hours have you run that Opti?


bluewaterpirate posted 06-28-2012 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
We've used Merc's Opti DFI exclusively for the last ten years & our 225 Opti just broke the 4300 hour mark. We buy it in bulk 55 gallon drum pay $18.99 gallon. One 55 gallon drum will get me thru almost 1.7 years.

Our normal day offshore usually lasts for about 12 hours in which time we burn about 1.3 - 1.5 gallons depending how far we run on step.

Currently one gallon at the Merc dealer is $32.00. You can also carry your container in to my Merc dealer and he will sell you 3 - 5 gallons for $22.00 per gallon. He buys it in bulk.


martyn1075 posted 06-28-2012 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Thats a good way of getting around it. I found one guy in our area that does the same thing he uses his Optimax so much in a year the dealer went in with the client and purchased a drum. He won't get through all of it so I can now get a bit of a break on it by just bringing in my old 10L jug. Nice thing is that he fills it right up nice and fat. I would say I get a bit more than buying it pre measured off the shelf from the Quicksilver factory. I have noticed like potato chips packages their is a bit of air factor involved when its sealed limiting the overall amount of oil in the jug.

I saved about $25.00 but got a bit extra as well.


Treypescatorie posted 06-28-2012 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
Hi Butch,
Don't know the hours(no hour meter and don't have smartcraft gauges). I live in the NY and use my boat 1-2 times per week from april to early November.


jimh posted 06-30-2012 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This thread begins with a rather broad sweep:

"While suspicious of the blackk (sic) engine due to all the bashing on this board..."

Please point out a few prior discussions in which the Mercury OptiMax outboard has been "bashed." I am interested to learn what constitutes bashing. Generally whenever the Mercury OptiMax is mentioned there is a cadre of fans who immediately begin praising it. For example, the first reply in this thread from L H G says:

"Optimax technology is really now perfected and trouble free..."

That does not sound like bashing. And I could probably cite a dozen other examples of L H G extolling the virtues of the Mercury OptiMax. While I find it ironic that Larry owns seven or eight Mercury outboards and none of them are OptiMax engines, he is certainly down in the category of big-OptiMax-fan, and you can't say he's bashing them.

I'd like to know that constitutes bashing, so give me a few examples, if you would. Thanks.

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