Saltwater Usage

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eeshaw

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I've read on many forums that salt water usage is something I should take into account when making a offer on an outboard. Up to this point I've avoided all motors that have been used in salt water. Nada states this also so I assume it's a real problem. What is the best and most expedient way to inspect a motor to see if it's been maintained correctly? Also, when making offers, how much should a person offer for lower hour usage? I've seen some outboards that for example only have 266 substantiated hours on it, but is a 2006 vintage. Nada stated it's worth on average 2500 roughly. The seller is asking in the 6K range. I understand it has low hours but disparity of 3500 dollars?, really? The manufacturer is no longer in business so parts availablility could also be an issue in the future. This is why I don't make offers on Johnson and Evinrude. Am I being paranoid?
 

DaleH

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Paranoid? No, just cautious ... and rightly so!

Hours - First off , unless the ECM or EMM 'brain' can be read with a laptop, NO ONE can tell you the hours on an OB, never mind an old/older one. I am of the opinion that I'd rather have a used OB that was well-cared for, even if 1,000 hours, versus one that sat, and sat and sat ... and maybe the Owner did service ... or maybe they didn't, reasoning that "Hey, it has 'low' hours".

Saltwater Use - Unless they let you pull any typical service bolt one at a time to check to see if they come loose AND are coated with OMC gasket sealing compound [FYI, the BEST product to use!] ... then clean, reapply goop and retorque them to factory specs ... you're sadly SOL.

Now the 1st thing I do to any NEW to me engine, is to remove ANY service bolt I know that someday I may to remove, e.g., lower unit bolts, thermostat housing, trim/tilt pump, t/t motor, tilt ram pivot, etc.

Old Engines - The above are reasons why many OB shops nowadays won't even TOUCH an OB 10-years old or older. Now you can get a good glimpse of an engine's water-cooling interior by borescoping the head via the t-stat port. Even bore scope the cylinders, as well as checking for compression and/or doing a 'leak down' test with oil, seeing how oily or clean the OB pans are, etc.

Many times one can get a favorable impression by seeing how clean and lubed the OB is ... but sadly, that does't mean you'll still get it apart if/when you ever need to, even if it runs flawlessly today. Now my twin bro just went through broken SS bolt in an aluminum piece conundrum, as a shop that has done service used grease on the bolts instead of the gasket goop. Well that turned a simple < 1-hour job into a week's + ordeal, buying/borrowing special bits, sweating, whacking, and swearing and applying some judicious use of a heat hammer (torch). Plus consulting me every other minute, LOL!

I don't know what else to say ...
 

eeshaw

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Thanks for your opinion Dale, I appreciate it. Sounds like any way a person cuts it that it will be a crap shoot. I know what you're saying about the SS bolt in aluminum. I just got done removing two bolts from an aluminum block for a friend. They snapped off when he was removing the head and broke flush with the block surface. Any how, thanks again for the info.
 

RaisedByWolves

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Unless I was going off shore or running a hazardous river I wouldn’t pay good money($2k +) for a used motor.

I have been buying serviceable but not running 10-35hp motors for $100ish and running them.

If one blows up or falls off the transom, oh well, next!
 

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