Bought a 90 Etec back in 2006 new with my boat. 126 hours later it blew. Repowered to a Yamaha 90 2 stroke and she is on 514 hours with only 1 fuel issue about 2 years ago.
I heard from 2 people, its cause I switched to 100:1 oil that I had the problem. Don't know, but I lost confidence in the white motors, only gray from now on.
I have one and hate it - although maybe I shouldn't. It's loud and not very refined, and gets poor fuel economy versus the suzuki 90 I wish I had - that only ways 20 lbs more. However, I'm told it is a very powerful 90 -but I have nothing to directly compare it against. If the zuk was close in terms of power, I would much rather have it.
I'm on my third E-Tec 90 at present and couldn't be happier (but at 320lbs doubt you'll ever see one on a microskiff....). Yes, I'm in hard commercial service and lucky enough to be on BRP's guide program (and on OMC's before that....). Since I've never had anything other than a Johnrude since 1973 I may be a bit biased.... Although I'm on their guide program I don't get any freebies, stand in line for my maintenance like everyone else, etc.
Now for the nuts and bolts... don't buy an E-Tec unless you're confident of a strong authorized BRP outfit within reasonable distance to you. Most early failures I'm familiar with are almost directly attributable to improper initial setup by the dealer... You don't want just any marine mechanic working on one (the lower unit maybe, since they're no different than they were years ago...) the upper end is designed to be worked on by a factory trained tech, with the correct software for that year/model and all work will be done with it hooked up to the computer.... These motors come set up to run XD 50 oil (semi-synthetic, in a pinch you can substitute any TCW3 oil....). Your tech can set the motor up to run XD 100 oil - but in that setting you must run XD100 oil and nothing else, period. I've never run any of mine on anything other than XD50 since I can easily find it in bulk re-fills.
Yes, the 300 hour service interval is the real deal... No, you don't have any break-in period with these motors. They'll automatically double oil for the first 10 operating hours and they advise to vary your rpms durinng that same first ten hours.
Yes, you can run wide open from the start but remember to vary those rpms.... I'll range from 3500 to 5500 with my motors (about five minutes each then up or down 500 at a time or however I feel like doing it....). Yes, these motors are actually cleaner burning than any current production four stroke anywhere... Yes, the fuel consumption rate is very good. In my case I ran 115 Johnson or Evinrudes for years before going to just E-tec... With the 115 motors the best I ever did was four miles per gallon (even the fuel injected V4... and that was being very careful to run no more than 4500 rms. Bolted on the first E-Tec 90, ran it anyway I pleased and got five miles per gallon... a full 25% improvement in fuel consumption (and a 25% boost in my practical operating range.... very important if you're running 65 to 75 miles a day in the 'Glades the way I normally do.... By the way all the fuel comparisons were run on the same beat up old Maverick skiff....
One last item. Unlike other brands E-Tecs aren't particularly fuel sensitive at all (as long as your fuel is clean and not loaded with water). I've never used anything other than standard alcohol laced gasoline ever....
Yamaha 90 hp 2-stroke, 261 pounds and bullet-proof. No fancy computer required to work on it. Do-it-yourself labor = free. Street price for clean low hr. motors $3500 - $4000.
Evinrude 90 hp 2-stroke, 320 pounds and as noted requires a factory-trained tech with up-to-date computer software to work on it. $125/hr labor. Suggested retail $10,635 installed (can't do it yourself and have warranty).
good luck getting one for 6600 bucks. I shopped around, 7500.00 and since the dealers insist on rigging it to keep the warranty and their rigging price was close to 1500 bucks it gets closer to 9K. But I'm sure there are deals out there.
I read so much online about ecu failures, injector failures, weeks in the shop that I just couldn't pull the trigger. ended up with a new 14 hatsu 90 rigged for under 7200.00. I am completely happy.
That old Yamaha 90 is probably the best lightweight flats motor in its era - but not very fuel efficient, runs dirty (understatement), and is noisy enough to give me a headache.... Would be nice to have an updated clean burning version of it -but everyone other than BRP just gave up on two strokes and went to four strokes.... I've run loaner boats equipped with them when I had to but finding a new one just isn't going to happen so every one of us has to make choices with what's available. Yes, you can have one re-built to new specs but will never be able to re-coup the money spent if you need to sell it afterwards.
I figured that out last night. I tried to find a like new Yamaha 90 before I started my new motor search. All of the new motors, 2 and 4 stroke are big fat pigs, including my hatsu. It is nice not having to deal with carbs though.
I do not own an ETEC but have been doing a lot of research and asking around because I'm ordering a new skiff. That being said, a lot of ETEC horror stories I have heard have been pretty scary. My other option is a yamaha F70, which has been having its own set of problems (losing its prime every time you shut it off). Can't I just keep my old 2 stroke ??? lol
Good luck with your decision. I'm a F70 lean right now...