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Old 04 October 2012, 08:36   #1
paddlers's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Sticks, N.Yorks
Boat name: Tamanco
Make: Honwave 3.5AE
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu Outboard
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Posts: 1,029
Engine destroyed, what next ?

After two weeks of using my 1993 Mariner 115 engine off Scotlands west coast took my boat to a well known retailer locally for a service and to get an issue with leaking carbs sorted. All went well until they decided to adjust the timing on the engine (unrequested) when they managed to get one of the pistons to damage the bore. They're now saying that the engine is too damaged to repair & that it's nothing to do with them !
The engine was running strongly with no apparent rattles etc.
Has anybody any idea what my next step should be as it seems more than coincidence that on the afternoon that the timing was altered the engine was damaged.

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Old 04 October 2012, 08:55   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Dorset & Hants
Boat name: Streaker/Orange
Make: Avon/Ribcraft
Length: 4m +
Engine: 50Yam/25 Mariner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,551
I'd ;

See if my own boat cover has some kind of legal cover on it ( sometimes an option, sometimes just included ) - speak to them and explain / get advice .

You may have the same kind of 'helpline' through your household insurance or if you have insurance through work - an employee assitance programme - will also have this.

Ask the guys to put in writing the cause of the damage and that they have not touched the timing in any way . Not sure how timing will bugger the bore ?

Ask them for thier liability insurance details as you are looking to make a claim from that .

See what responses you get on the above and post again ...or start talking to a solicitor ...

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Old 04 October 2012, 11:39   #3
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Town: Paisley
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Make: Arctic 22
Length: 6m +
Engine: 2x 150 etecs
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What damage has the piston done to the bore? Were there any underlying faults or niggles with engine while you were running it? Was the timing set correctly before it went in to get the carbs fixed?

I am not sure but I wasn't aware that the timing could cause the piston to damage the bore. I thought that adjusting the timing on an outboard would only affect how well it runs.
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Old 04 October 2012, 11:47   #4
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Country: UK - England
Town: Dartmouth
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Posts: 821
surely you need to get a mariner dealer to check that the timing is correct or incorrect before coming to any conclusions ,it may be a total coincidence .My sons yamaha hillclimb bike was rebored and had some other work done to the engine at the start of the race season ,when tried in anger it would not pull full revs and seemed very flat ,it turned out to be a bad connection between the plug cap and ht lead ,TOTAL COINCIDENCE no one to blame just one of those things
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Old 04 October 2012, 11:56   #5
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Country: UK - England
Town: South Yorks
Boat name: Black Pig
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 6m +
Engine: 2 x 115 Etecs/DF140a
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It could be a 4 stroke & it's tha valve timing that's been altered rather than the ignition timing, that'd sting a bit.

Forget that! just realised it's a '93 mariner, I'm talking bollix ....again
Rule#2: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level & then beat you with experience.
Rule#3: Tha' can't educate pork.
Rule#4: See rule#5
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Old 04 October 2012, 11:57   #6
Country: USA
Town: Leesburg
Make: Zodiac
Length: 4m +
Engine: Outboard 40
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It depends if you are talking about ignition timing or valve timing. In the case of ignition timing you could mess it up enough to cause either the piston to fire too early or too late. If it is too early you'll usually only get poor power output. If it is too late you may get detonation instead of burning. This can damage the pistons and the possibly the cylinder walls.

If you are talking about valve timing this usually refers to the timing of the valve operation in relation to the piston position. A lot of compact engines (i.e. the one in your car) are designed so that there is not enough space in the cylinder for the piston to be at the top at the same time as the valves are open. If this timing is off, the piston can hit the valves and damage them. This is usually hardest on the valves and not so much on the cylinder wall. It is possible for the valve to break off and get pounded around in the cylinder. The case of a car engine breaking the timing belt while the engine is running will usually result in an engine that is not economical to repair. If the timing belt breaks on a start you might get away with limited damage.

Due to the size most outboards are timed with gears rather than a belt so it is harder for the timing to change on its own, but it can certainly be changed if someone does take a good part of the engine apart.
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Old 04 October 2012, 12:35   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Surrey
Boat name: Fugly & Rokraider 1
Make: Pac 22 & Porter 6.5
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Engine: Ford 250 & jet,DT140
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I would have thought the worse that ignition timing being out will do is to hole a piston, but I would have thought you would have heard it struggling and would have stopped. I suppose if the timing was way out and it got hot enough, it could seize, that could damage the bores. either way, if the timing was way off, I would have thought it would have been a pig to start.
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Old 04 October 2012, 12:53   #8
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Country: UK - England
Town: yorkshire
Boat name: little vicky
Make: avon ex RNLI
Length: 3m +
Engine: tohatsu
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I have known 2 strokes where the timing is out for the piston to start pinkin , the piston then starts tumbling about which can do damage to the bore ,or even cause the exhaust portion of the piston crown and edge of the exhaust port to overheat and even burn away though it did rattle loudly.
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Old 04 October 2012, 13:27   #9
paddlers's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Sticks, N.Yorks
Boat name: Tamanco
Make: Honwave 3.5AE
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu Outboard
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,029
Frustratingly this engine ran beatifully for two weeks before going in & even the mechanic stated that all the issues (float needles replaced). At @1.30pm rang me to ask if I had the timing cover for the flywheel but I hadn't, he said they'd manage. By 4.30 pm my engine was scrap.
I found some imformation on another post on here describing incorrect ignition timing on these being crucial. They're now denying any responsibility saying they have concerns,old engine, history etc & stating 4 weeks for engineers report etc.
Had some advice from trading standards/C.A.B to write to them initially & then follow up with legal action but I'm curious if others have had any similar problems?
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Old 04 October 2012, 13:33   #10
Country: UK - England
Town: Gloucestershire
Boat name: Osprey
Make: Osprey Vipermax
Length: 5m +
Engine: E-tec 300 G2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,008
Your going to have difficulty in proving what has happened. I cant see how incorrect timing could have such a sudden impact on the engine. I would be straight round there un-announced to make sure they have not done something daft.

Otherwise you are going to struggle so I would be looking out for a s/h engine.

Chris Stevens

Born fiddler
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