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Brand new to the motorized boat world and a question I have had is "what is the general threshold for a high hour motor?" I know this is somewhat subjective as it is on vehicles but I generally assume this on a car to be 175-200k miles. What is the point on motors where expensive problems start to come into play? And the other question is how do people track hours on a motor? I'm guessing there isn't a timer attached to the motor.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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Commercial motors log thousands of hours but only because they are constantly running and not allowed to sit and develop fuel, lubrication and fuel issues which are the main killers of outboard motors. Some guides fish so much they can log 2-3k (Captain Lemay) with no real issues. What you don’t want is a motor with 100 hours that has not been flushed or maintained and has been allowed to sit and develop issues like I mentioned above. I have no hour meter on my 2001 Yamaha 70TLRZ but I am sure it is pushing 700-800 hours if not more. I have personally put 250-300 on it in the last three years of owning it.
Older outboards without computers had hour meters tied into the ignition that count whenever the key is in the on position even if the motor isn’t running. Newer motors with conputers keel track of run time and it can be checked along with other parameters with a reader.
 

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The conditions in which the outboard was used would mean the most to me.

A 15 year old car that an old lady drove back and forth to church once a week with 50,000 miles had a very hard life. The engine oil didn’t get to operating temp very much and probably wasn’t changed but every other year.

A well maintained fleet truck with 200k miles that was mainly highway would, in my mind, be in better condition.
 

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What smack said my 2 Merc 2 strokes are 05's with easily over 500 hours probably more and I never worry about a failure deep in the glades. But my motors get cranked up and ran at least once a week or two at the most,outboards want to be ran they aren't made to sit. I prefer the 2 stroke motors personally though less moving parts to fail and weight to torque ratio is better in my opinion.
 

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I asked Ron Ratliff how many hours he had on his 50 etec. "About 4,000" was his answer.
 

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I believe all the newer motors these days can tell any technician that works on them the exact hours on that motor (the only exception might be smaller motors that don't have that capability).... As a general rule, since I'm an "old school"kind of guy... I won't rig a skiff without an hour meter (and yes an hour meter turns on and off when your ignition switch is on...). I figure an hour meter is just good basic maintenance since it tells you when needed service is due (and also greatly aids you in tracking service/longevity problems with your motor systems... For those with limited console space an hour meter can always be wired into your existing wiring harness wherever you choose (just make sure it's easily visible so that you can refer to it when needed...).

Earlier this week I had a basic 300 hour maintenance done by my dealer (Seapower in south Dade). The bill came with the engine hours information (just over 2000 hours for mine). Since it's going to be up for sale shortly (for the past three years I've said this - but this time there's no great family needs on the horizon so things should actually go as planned). Very handy to be able to tell a potential buyer exactly what he/she is getting if they make the purchase... and being able to show them the most recent billing for service or problems...
 

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My worry is not hours of runtime, it's engine age.
Heat, moisture, salt and electricity are a harsh combination.
Combine galvanic corrosion and metal fatigue
that old engine may look well maintained
but cosmetics can hide a mechanical/electronics nightmare.

I've bought older engines that held up the few years I owned them
and I've had a few that lasted just long enough to leave me stranded.
That's why I always had a 5 hp kicker on the transom.
I might not get home fast, but I get home.
 

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Don't want to derail the thread, but I sorta have the opposite problem. I just bought a little 13' Whaler for the grandkids that has an 40hp Evinrude that I'm pretty sure hasnt been run in 4 plus years---it's was my next door neighbors' who had it sitting in an open carport, so I'm pretty sure this is accurate. And although the engine is an '87, it probably doesnt have more than 50 total hours on it. Quite frankly, I'm almost scared to fire it up as I am in the company that believes that lack of running is probably the worst thing you can do to an outboard. Before I carry it to a mechanic, does anyone have any suggestions to keep me from screwing this thing up?
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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Don't want to derail the thread, but I sorta have the opposite problem. I just bought a little 13' Whaler for the grandkids that has an 40hp Evinrude that I'm pretty sure hasnt been run in 4 plus years---it's was my next door neighbors' who had it sitting in an open carport, so I'm pretty sure this is accurate. And although the engine is an '87, it probably doesnt have more than 50 total hours on it. Quite frankly, I'm almost scared to fire it up as I am in the company that believes that lack of running is probably the worst thing you can do to an outboard. Before I carry it to a mechanic, does anyone have any suggestions to keep me from screwing this thing up?
Boatbrains might have better advice but I’d get a small portable tank and fuel hose with primer bulb and double mix the oil in about a gallon or so of fresh gas and run it on that until it’s empty then go back to the boat tank but just make sure you have good fuel lines, bulb, fresh gas and the gas mixed correctly and you should be fine.
It’s going to smoke like a broke stove but you’ll be sure the cylinders get good lubrication right away.
 
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Don't want to derail the thread, but I sorta have the opposite problem. I just bought a little 13' Whaler for the grandkids that has an 40hp Evinrude that I'm pretty sure hasnt been run in 4 plus years---it's was my next door neighbors' who had it sitting in an open carport, so I'm pretty sure this is accurate. And although the engine is an '87, it probably doesnt have more than 50 total hours on it. Quite frankly, I'm almost scared to fire it up as I am in the company that believes that lack of running is probably the worst thing you can do to an outboard. Before I carry it to a mechanic, does anyone have any suggestions to keep me from screwing this thing up?
Like @Smackdaddy53 said, run on a fresh tank of 25:1 with a some BRP carbon gaurd/ Yamaha ring free in the tank. But before ya do that plan on a new w/p impellor, fuel pum, & spark plugs. I would pull carbs and clean them also as well as check and replace all the under cowl fuel and recirc lines. It’s all pretty straight forward on this motor so if you are mechanical at all then I can walk ya through it.
 

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Don't want to derail the thread, but I sorta have the opposite problem. I just bought a little 13' Whaler for the grandkids that has an 40hp Evinrude that I'm pretty sure hasnt been run in 4 plus years---it's was my next door neighbors' who had it sitting in an open carport, so I'm pretty sure this is accurate. And although the engine is an '87, it probably doesnt have more than 50 total hours on it. Quite frankly, I'm almost scared to fire it up as I am in the company that believes that lack of running is probably the worst thing you can do to an outboard. Before I carry it to a mechanic, does anyone have any suggestions to keep me from screwing this thing up?
Rebuild carbs and fuel pump, replace fuel lines and filter. Run double oil for the first startup to get everything lubed up good. New water pump as well.
 
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Thanks Smack and Brains--really appreciate the advice
That’s what we’re here for brother!

That and... to piss and moan about politics and the environment, argue about who’s boat levitates better, who’s motor pisses farther, what lure is better for trout “when we all know a pin fish under a big poppin cork is best”, and how much a tunnel increases draft! ;):)
 

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Good point made above..........very reputable Yamaha dealer in my area has said 3k for 2 stroke 6k for 4 stroke.

There are water taxi's running Tohatsu's that have clocked over 10K fwiw.
 

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Good point made above..........very reputable Yamaha dealer in my area has said 3k for 2 stroke 6k for 4 stroke.

There are water taxi's running Tohatsu's that have clocked over 10K fwiw.
All low rpm use I'm sure. Anything that lives at max rpm is short and sweet.
 

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I wish I knew how many hours I have on my 1995 115. I would think it’s somewhere north of 2000, might be 3000. It gets used a lot! It has never let me down and I’ll run it till it kacks. If someone listed the same thing for sale, would I buy it? Not a chance!
 
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