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Old 22 August 2007, 16:11   #1
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How long should an engine last?

I am very happy with my present engine and have no plans to change it in the immediate future.

However, I expect to keep my boat for quite a few years and would be interested to know if there is an expected lifespan for higher powered outboards. For example, if I intended to keep my boat for 15 - 20 years (which I do), should I be changing the engine at some stage, as a matter of course, or only if it becomes unreliable?

Your views would be most welcome.

Thank you.

Chris.
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Old 22 August 2007, 16:31   #2
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In the USA they often change outboards after about 2 - 3,000 hrs - thats prob about 20yrs of typical British use!!!
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Old 22 August 2007, 16:36   #3
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Many of the outboards are based on car engines. (For instance the 2.4 litre honda 150 is basically the VTEC Accord Engine).

If you took CodPrawns 3000 hours and said "apply that to a car at an average of 40mph" - then that would give you 120,000 miles on the corresponding car engine.

You'd be seriously upset if the modern car engine didnt do that sort of mileage, so I reckon thats a pretty fair estimate.
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Old 22 August 2007, 16:42   #4
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It all depends how nice you are to it.

I sold this a couple of years ago-the numbers dated it as 1964. It's still pushing a small ski boat around quite happily.
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Old 22 August 2007, 18:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
It all depends how nice you are to it.

I sold this a couple of years ago-the numbers dated it as 1964. It's still pushing a small ski boat around quite happily.
Bugger me Nos.. I can remember my dad with one of those, and oh the stories I could tell ... 'Thunderbolt ignition' they called it ... hmm
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Old 22 August 2007, 19:07   #6
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You can still see them around on a nice sunny day on the back of many a small speedboat in the Solent.

Usually the boats with loads of fuel cans !
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Old 23 August 2007, 04:30   #7
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Most car engines theser days are designed for >150K Miles. Difference here is that you don't do said mileage at WOT!

Having said that I have a 1972 vintage Johnsorude which after the bottom end rebuild (which wouldn't have been needed if the previous owner hadn't introduced it to the bottom quite so often!) is still a "first pull" starter....

I suspect it's one of these things - some people will own the most reliable engine ever built, and the next boat along will have the same engine and nothing but troubles..... It's all dowm to the statistical fun of mating components reliably in mass produced machines - until relatively recently sometimes it's spot on, other times.....
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Old 23 August 2007, 04:47   #8
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I don’t think you should worry about it lasting say 20 years. I recon you are more than likely to see some new advances in outboard technology that will make it attractive to swap to a new motor.

Just look at the advance in 2 strokes in the past few years. Old outboards are still about and still getting sold but given the choice and funds an e-tec Optimax etc would be the choice of most.

Besides odds on we will be getting the greens banning us using 20year old 2 strokes by then if the current trends are to continue?
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Old 23 August 2007, 07:32   #9
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Most car engines theser days are designed for >150K Miles. Difference here is that you don't do said mileage at WOT!
I guess that's the key thing. If you took a modern car engine and cruised at 5000rpm for a prolonged period I bet it wouldn't get to 100k miles before something let go.
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Old 23 August 2007, 11:14   #10
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Depends on wether its a 2 stroke or 4 stroke as to how long it lasts . Equating hrs to miles and comparing with a car is probably fair enough on 4 strokes but not on 2strokes
Iam no knocking 2 strokes here and I would still buy one of it best suited my purpose as the chance of me ever owning it untill its worn out are slim .
Neglect usually kills most engines long before wear .
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