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Old 04 April 2017, 08:18   #1
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Suzuki DF20A DIY yearly service.

Last year in different threads I mentioned I might self service my Suzuki DF20A (which was new in march 2016) and to hell with the warranty.

Firstly I'd not been that Impressed with my local dealers 20hr service... then consider it would probably cost at least £400 more than me buying parts/oils to have the dealer do the four yearly services required within the five year warranty period (plus whatever the timing belt change would cost at year four) ... and the travelling to my nearest dealer to drop off/collect would amount to another £50 in diesel over that period plus about 8hrs of my time.

So I've just received the required bits and started today.

I ordered the complete service kit from Suzuki... plus the gasket to check the valve clearances which stupidly isn't in the kit... 4lit of Motul 10W-40 engine oil (half the cost of buying by the litre and should just about do four services)... two tubes of Suzuki SAE90 gear oil (again better value than one and enough for about 3 services).

The service kit contains an oil filter & its 2 O-rings, 2 spark plugs, impellor kit, 2 anodes and O-ring for internal anode housing, prop split pin, fuel filter, oil drain plug copper washer, 2x gearbox compressed card seals.

I bought the service kit as everything comes in sealed individual part numbered bags so I can just use what I need and then have the part numbers to replace what's missing for next year.

I'd already bought the (physical) workshop manual last year so have all the extra info that's not in the instruction manual.
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Old 04 April 2017, 08:33   #2
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First job was to remove the engine cover... its rubber to the lower cowls... the cowl catch... and the 9 bolts to enable the 2 lower cowls to split.

The OB had been out in the sun for an hour so I was happy the oil would drain off without running it to warm.... this proved to be true.

The fuel filter and a few hoses needed moving aside to get to the oil filter housing cover so that gave me a chance to drain the fuel filter from its blanked bottom tapping... no water or debris so as that's an inspect item at 12mths it will be going back on.

I drained the engine oil into a measuring jug and was pleased after just a few minutes to get just over 1lit which I was expecting. In the jug the old oil looked dirtier than it had on the dipstick.

I changed the oil filter and used new O-rings from the kit (note there are 2... the outer housing one and a smaller one the filter seals against internally). A new copper washer was fitted to the drain plug and it plus the filter housing bolts were torqued.

Re-filled with a carefully measured 1lit of fresh oil... will re-check exact level on dipstick once it's been run when the whole service is complete.
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Old 04 April 2017, 08:45   #3
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Next I checked the anodes which are an inspect item at 12mths.

The external one on the lower leg just needed a light clean. I took it off to do this and was glad I did as the bolt was so tight... with even a decent fitting hex socket trying to slip off... I reckon another year might have seen it a right pig to remove. I lightly oiled the threads before replacing.

The internal anode hides away under a cover just below the oil filler. You have to take the manifold sensor out before the anode can be fully removed. Its cover has an O-ring which is in the service kit and I replaced it. The waterways were totally clean but the anode itself was cruddy so cleaned that up too. The Suzuki spec is to change the anodes when they have lost about 35% of their volume. Mine had lost no more than 5% so the new ones can stay in the kit for future years.

Breather and fuel hoses are an inspect item.... they were all fine.

Also all nuts, bolts and fastenings are an inspect item so I just gave everything a look over... nothing loose.

Finally for today I removed the spark plugs which also are an inspect item at 12mths. They were perfect with gaps still to new spec so the boxed new ones will stay in the kit for another year.

To be continued...
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Old 04 April 2017, 11:16   #4
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good write up what about a new forum section on diy services
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Old 04 April 2017, 11:38   #5
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Interesting re the weighing of anodes to decide status. I've been doing this for a couple of seasons but wasn't sure what was acceptable to leave.

Nice thread in the making. I'm sure the fact that now you have a public record of your servicing technique and schedule in the event of a warranty claim is entirely fortuitous...

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Old 04 April 2017, 12:30   #6
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A very good article and easy to follow.
Top man!
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Old 05 April 2017, 16:15   #7
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Thanks guys. Lower unit stuff today...

Pump impellor is a yearly inspect and three yearly replace. Four housing bolts and gearchange linkage to remove to drop lower unit. To keep the gearchance in sync I counted the number of turns the locknut wound down to its stop before unscrewing the brass collar. Then I eased off the four bolts about 5mm before tapping with a rubber hammer. I find it easiest to keep the OB upright and put a few towels down for padding in case the gearbox comes off suddenly. Once I know it's free I pop one bolt back in to retain and tilt the OB so the gearbox with driveshaft will come right off.

Four nuts to remove the pump housing and withdraw from impellor. Unsurprisingly at just one year old there was no problem with the rubber blades and the stainless housing was free from scoring. The pump housing gasket had plenty of life in it too so all fine to refit. When placing the housing back on the impellor the driveshaft needs turning clockwise to properly settle the rubber blades.

I coated the driveshaft splines... the lower unit to leg mating faces... the four bolts... the two locating dowels... and the water tube interface with waterproof grease** and pushed the lower unit back on while (having put it in gear) jiggling the prop to in turn jiggle the drive splines into the powerhead.

Torqued the four lower unit bolts then the gearchange rod connection was re-made... remembering to take the lower unit out of gear first then set it up by putting the locknut back to its original amount of turns. Finally checked that the indexed neutral position on the gearchange lever did produce neutral on the gearbox.

**In the manual it says to use "silicone seal" on the gearbox to leg mating faces and bolts. There was none there from new when I took it apart and my own experience plus that of others on various forums says the last thing you want there is set silicone.
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Old 05 April 2017, 16:38   #8
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Next the very straightforward gearbox oil change which is a yearly task. I drained it off over a lunchtime and found I had 300ml rather than the spec of 250ml. When I filled it up from the bottom it also took 300ml so the capacity must be over the theoretical spec. The Suzuki gear oil "sachets" are very thin walled which makes them far easier to squeeze than others (such as Quicksilver) I've used.

The drained oil was free of water, metallic particles and dirt which was a good sign.

Note the oil spec is a GL5 which some other brands (again such as Quicksilver) might not match. New drain and level plug fibre washers were in the service kit... I was disappointed to note at the 20hr service the dealers had put one of the plugs back with a generic hard plastic washer which risked not sealing properly and water ingress.

Final lower unit job was to remove prop and grease the splines... replacing with the new split pin from the service kit.

As it happened I put back the 10" pitch I'd had off for repainting after I polished it leaving a Scottish beach last summer... etch primer on the exposed alloy and a standard black gloss top coat.

The image with the shiny prop shows the "prop kit" I carry... spanner... split pin pliers... wood to block it against cav plate to prevent turning... and spare nut/washer/split pin.
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Old 05 April 2017, 16:45   #9
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Note in post #3 I mentioned doing the standard check that all fixings were tight. I did come across something today though...

The steering friction damper when brand new would go from free to firmly locked but by the time I'd run in it went from free to as good as free. I just assumed it was a rubbish damper and as I always run with it free thought no more. But today I noticed the damper nut had come loose and re-tightened the full range of friction is available. Looks like a lock nut but without enough thread showing through to hold... so I locked it with a blob of paint.
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Old 06 April 2017, 07:56   #10
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Top end jobs today... check timing belt condition... check valve clearances.

To do both of these the recoil start needs to be removed. To do that you need to remove/move aside the fuel evap box and its hoses... the no start in gear cable... and the air intake silencer. Then its 4 bolts and the recoil lifts off.

Turning the engine over in its running direction I examined the full length of the timing belt... all OK as new. (It is a bit odd after all the car timing systems I've worked on for outboards of this size not to have a belt tensioner)

The belt inspection is a yearly item and it needs changing at 4yrs regardless of hours run.
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