The bad news that no boat owner wants to hear

Well after 10 good years and 650hrs of owning a 70hp suzuki 4 stroke outboard, I was given the bad news that no boat owner wants to hear, your motors stuffed!

 

It all started about 6 months ago when I noticed the outboard was idling a little rough every now and then, didn’t think too much of it, hadn’t used it enough before then so maybe some stale fuel. But then it wouldn’t start, I needed to give it a fair bit of throttle to kick over and then warm up so that it didn’t stall, but when it was cruising it was fine and didn’t miss a beat. Thought I better get it looked at before the cray season kicked off. Drop it in to the mechanic and get him to look it over, that day get the call from the mechanic that it’s bad news and that the bottom cylinder has lost most of its compression. It’s a 4-5hr job to pull the motor down to tell me the extent of the damage and quote me on a price to fix it. He didn’t wanna say too much to me in terms of what the damage could be and what the cost to fix might be, which is fair enough because he hasn’t seen inside the engine yet so it’s hard to say, I asked for a worse case scenario tho and he reluctantly said it could possibly be up to $4000 to fix (rebuild) so he suggested I wait until I’ve got the money to fix the motor before he pulls it apart and has a better look at it, no point spending $1000 to open it up and then put it back together again if I’m not gonna fix it there and then.

 

So after doing some reading on the internet I’ve discovered that I’m not alone, it’s happened to quite a few suzuki outboards in the same era as mine (2002-2007). From what I’ve read there is a corrosion issue in the exhaust system which when it corrodes a hole in the wall of the exhaust it allows salt water to get back into the bottom cylinder, which is obviously a major problem. There’s heaps of posts on various forums around the world with people having he same issue, some with only 300hrs on the motor. Some are saying it’s excessive corrosion due to dissimilar metals being used in the exhaust system somewhere, I’m not mechanically minded at all so I’m just repeating what I’ve read. I brought this boat and motor combo brand new 10 years ago with the plan of keeping it for a long time, so I looked after it as well as I could, had it serviced every year, always flushed it with fresh water after use (excluding a few north trips where that isn’t an option, maybe that was my undoing?! But once I was back from those trips it got lots of TLC to make up for it) so I was pretty disappointed to hear what’s happened to my engine. I guess the question now tho, is do I get it rebuilt for possibly $4000, but not be sure if the problem is going to occur again or not, or lash out and buy a new one for $13000. Big price difference there. At the moment I’m just saving some coin and thinking of rebuilding it and then selling it, I’ve already got the bad taste in my mouth now which will be hard to get out. There’s a link below to someone who has had the same issue as me for anyone who wants to look into it more. Or just google “suzuki internal exhaust passage corrosion”. http://www.c-brats.com/viewtopic.php?t=24647&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0


little johnny's picture

Posts: 3126

Date Joined: 04/12/11

Wow

Wed, 2018-01-10 08:31

That's not good. My yammy 2012 model up to 2200 hrs.. every 600 hrs I replace the internal anodes . No dramas yet no dought something will give one day .

sstevee's picture

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Date Joined: 15/11/11

 There will no doubt be

Wed, 2018-01-10 08:46

 There will no doubt be others with more info than me however if you do go down the re-build path be sure to find out if it was in fact that plug that caused the issue, theres a fair bit of info about it on the hull truth forum. I also believe there are aftermarket kits/plugs which are available that remove the element of dissimilar metals. Maybe try ask if anyone on here knows of a decent Suzuki specialist who has come across this problem before.

IMO this sort of thing shouldn’t happen to a modern 4 stroke at such relatively low hrs. But like you said, a big gap from 4K to 13k

Paul_86's picture

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 Yeah I read all about the

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:10

 Yeah I read all about the exhaust plug issue with the dissimilar metals, but mine doesn’t have that plug, that was from the same era of engines, but in the larger size’s, 90hp, 115hp and 140hp from memory. 

I think Rob H down a post a few years back about the exhaust plug issue and I checked my engine back then for it but it’s not on my engine. 

Yeah I certainly feel like it’s a pre mature death. 

 

The orher thing is, if I do rebuil it then what’s to stop this from happening again?!

Rob H's picture

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 No the steel plug is

Thu, 2018-01-11 13:40

 No the steel plug is something completely different
Is he sure it is a corrosion issue?

Id suggest pulling the head off for a look first, doest take long

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 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

Paul_86's picture

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 Mechanic told me that to

Thu, 2018-01-11 16:07

 Mechanic told me that to pull it all apart and diagnose the problem properly was going to take approx 4-5hrs on that model of suzuki, which is about $500, but yeah until that happens I won’t know for sure. Compression on the other 3 cylinders was fine tho and all consistent 

con

Paj man's picture

Posts: 335

Date Joined: 16/09/12

Happened to me 2 weeks after I bought my boat

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:08

Bought my boat with a 2 stroke oil injected motor - apparently the oil injector stopped working on one cylinder and bascially cooked the motor. Payed someone 300 to find this out. Recon was quoted at 12k and was basically told it's worth just buying a new motor.

 

Went for a 4 stroke suzuki and traded the old one for parts. I know my price difference was smaller than yours but I didn't want to muck around with rebuilding an old motor - not on the boat. Haven't regretted the decision at all.

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aka Nick

Paul_86's picture

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 Bugger, that’s bad timing

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:24

 Bugger, that’s bad timing mate! 

Paj man's picture

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Date Joined: 16/09/12

It happens

Thu, 2018-01-11 14:27

Ahh these things happen mate - the plus side is I've had so much more confidence with my boat now as I have a newer and more powerful motor. 

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aka Nick

Posts: 155

Date Joined: 19/08/13

not only suzukis

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:08

 It's not only Suzuki's. Google Yamaha f225 corrosion issues and you will see the same thing. Because it starts in the Exhaust Ports no amount of flushing or anything else would have prevented it as the Exhaust Port doesn't get flushed anyway. Of course the manufacturers deny it and put it down to poor owner maintenance    

I had a Early 140 Suzi 4 stroke that had major corrosion issues due to dissimilar metals in the block, spent 6K fixing it. Has been fixed on the newer models but anyone buying an early model 4 stroke      Beware  

Vinesh87's picture

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 Happended to my cuz 200km

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:30

 Happended to my cuz 200km offshore!

250suzuki. Gamr over only 700hrs in the clock

 

Sucks!

 

Paul_86's picture

Posts: 1351

Date Joined: 27/03/09

 Yeah that’s not good being

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:34

 Yeah that’s not good being that far out, I was certainly grateful that I picked up on it before it blew up while I was at sea!

Vinesh87's picture

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He ended a 8 day trip early

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:38

He ended a 8 day trip early when i started running rough. Basically got home at full noise. Dead at the ramp! Lucky to get home but total failure upon inspection!

 

Now has a 250 yammy. But then again his previous 250 zuk was still.going strong at 1500!

Paul_86's picture

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Date Joined: 27/03/09

 Very lucky! Yeah up until

Wed, 2018-01-10 10:13

 Very lucky! 

Yeah up until mine died it was great, and they are a great motor, I just got unlucky and have one of the few that die pre maturely.

Posts: 6454

Date Joined: 08/08/11

 I wouldnt beat yourself up

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:41

 I wouldnt beat yourself up about not flushing it on trips up north.  Our outboards at water police were never flushed as they were being used every day.  Its not the salt that is the problem UNLESS it is left in the motor to crystalise.  If it is getting used it is getting flushed out every day with more salt water and that shouldnt be a problem.

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Fish! HARD!

Posts: 678

Date Joined: 09/10/06

 Move on and buy new.

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:44

 Move on and buy new. Happened to me. Internal corrosion. Buy new  with warrenty and dont look back. I sold old motor fir $1200 

Paul_86's picture

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Date Joined: 27/03/09

 Yeah I know it’s a smarter

Wed, 2018-01-10 09:48

 Yeah I know it’s a smarter move to buy a new motor if I’m going to keep the boat, but I think I’m just gonna fix it and then sell it and buy something else, I have been wanting to upgrade for the last few years anyway.

If I were to buy a new motor and then sell it I’d loose way more money then rebuilding and selling. Not too sure if having a fresh rebuilt engine would work for or against me when it comes to selling it. 

z00m's picture

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Is the problem solved

Wed, 2018-01-10 10:45

If rebuilding, is the problem solved? Would a used 4 stroke of some other brand be a better story to sell? Probably wouldn't get one for less than $4k anyway. I would be tempted to put the extra $7k towards the new boat purchase - Make sure you get a compression check on any new purchase! ha ha 

Paul_86's picture

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 Yeah well that’s what I’ve

Wed, 2018-01-10 10:52

 Yeah well that’s what I’ve been working out, selling mine for parts and buying another used 4 stroke or even an old 2 stroke for less, or rebuilding the motor, I’m gonna come out the other side with the same amount of coin in my pocket either way, so that’s why I’m leaning towards rebuilding and selling, at least some buyers might see the value in that. 

I’ll only buy the new motor if I decide to keep my boat, it’s a 10 year old quintrex coast runner, I’ve stripped all the floor out and got the hull inspected and been told it looks fine, no corrosion or anything yet so might be worth keeping. But if I’m spending the extra money on a new motor then why not spend a bit more and get a whole new boat, motor and trailer package. That would be ideal, but the hardest one to try convince the wife to agree too haha. 

uncle's picture

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Thats never good Paul

Wed, 2018-01-10 11:31

 Had my old girl over 30 years and still on the second motor.got15 years out of a 75 suzi and more from the 90 yami.

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Paul_86's picture

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Date Joined: 27/03/09

 Yeah I think it’s just come

Wed, 2018-01-10 11:39

 Yeah I think it’s just come down to a bit of bad luck for me! It’s good to hear others story’s of outboards that have lasted a long time tho, gives me faith in the next motor haha

Posts: 11

Date Joined: 06/10/13

Suzuki Owners Beware

Thu, 2018-01-11 13:13

 It's not "haha" , "a bit of bad luck for me" , it's all part of someone else's plan.

Suzuki are still doing this shi*.  I have a brand new DF70A it came with steel plugs in the engine holder ,

part # 09248-18010, even with only 5 hours on the motor it was corroded and very hard to remove.

I got an aluminium plug online as the first thing I did . Have a look at:

https://goldplug.com/shop/outboard/

 

 

Posts: 11

Date Joined: 06/10/13

   

Thu, 2018-01-11 13:15

 

 

 

bowlsie51's picture

Posts: 15

Date Joined: 02/06/14

same same

Wed, 2018-07-18 17:28

 our 150 suzi with 650 hrs, spat 6litres of oil somewhere - im guessing througha similar corrosion related hole

just got the word after $500 breakdown, engine f*&ked

seems very similar to above but we got no buzzer alarm or limp mode or any hint either of low oil pressure

full service Hx etc

interested in others experience

will insurance cover it?

 

cheers

Rob H's picture

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Date Joined: 18/01/12

 Insurance wont cover Id say

Wed, 2018-07-18 18:49

 Insurance wont cover Id say, not the result off an accident.

So with yours, it dropped all the oil then seized with any alarm?

____________________________________________________________________________

 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2344

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Time to accidentally drag it

Wed, 2018-07-18 19:14

 Time to accidentally drag it up a boat ramp or reverse it into a wall....

big john's picture

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Date Joined: 20/07/06

???

Wed, 2018-07-18 19:20

Suzuki becoming the new black anchor or what? Looking at upgrading my 150 Yamaha in the next 6 months or so to a 175/200, was looking at Suzuki but I think I might stay with Yamaha. 

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sea-kem's picture

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 Touching wood BJ mine's

Wed, 2018-07-18 19:27

 Touching wood BJ mine's never given me a skerrick of trouble. Serviced once a year, always flushed well and run on 98.

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sea-kem's picture

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 Touching wood BJ mine's

Wed, 2018-07-18 19:27

 Touching wood BJ mine's never given me a skerrick of trouble. Serviced once a year, always flushed well and run on 98.

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Love the West!

Stevo81's picture

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Look at the new 175, 200 225

Wed, 2018-07-18 20:42

Look at the new 175, 200 225 Merc Four Strokes too BJ. The 200hp lighter than Suzi i4 200 and Yammy f200 but a V6 with way more torque. Just got to get over the look....

Merc 4-stroke V6! 200hp- 216kg

Suzuki Inline 4-Cyl 200hp- 241kg

Yammy Inline 4-Cyl 200hp- 220kg

 

www.mercurymarine.com/en-gb/au/engines/outboard/fourstroke/175-300-hp/

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Paul_86's picture

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Date Joined: 27/03/09

 From what I read online it

Thu, 2018-07-19 08:35

 From what I read online it seems it was mostly a problem with Suzuki’s pre 2008 from memory. But once bitten twice shy, went Yamaha with the new motor and love it! 

deep south's picture

Posts: 70

Date Joined: 28/12/16

Lucky I guess

Wed, 2018-07-18 19:50

 Have clocked over 1100 hours on my 175 zook not a drama and did 880 hours on my 115 hassle free , would definitely buy another next time around

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The next time i see that jig will be in the mouth of something big !!

 

bowlsie51's picture

Posts: 15

Date Joined: 02/06/14

 haha swampa, the thought did

Wed, 2018-07-18 20:05

 

haha swampa, the thought did cross my mind

"forgot to hook it up properly and trailer came off and ...."

we had no hint of any significant issue as it was running fine, only stopped 5 times or so on the last outing, low oil flashed then disapppeared (hence taken in for a check), it then started and ran normally

no other warning lights or anything, log shows no over heating thou

my guess it dropped the oil, heated , seized a cylinder at some stage'

will update on further news from the mechanic who perplexed too where the oil went

 

 

 

 

bowlsie51's picture

Posts: 15

Date Joined: 02/06/14

 well not the corrosion

Fri, 2018-07-20 09:47

 

well not the corrosion issue

but mechanic has seen it very rarely in the stated motors at risk

 

still questions with no answers..lost oil, warning system failure

willy2668's picture

Posts: 125

Date Joined: 18/10/11

 08 140 suk 2500 hours only

Tue, 2018-07-31 01:42

 08 140 suk 2500 hours only issue i have had was idel air sensor needed replacing at 2000hrs

 

Rob H's picture

Posts: 4882

Date Joined: 18/01/12

 Thatd be the IAV (idle air

Thu, 2018-08-02 20:06

 Thatd be the IAV (idle air valve) Id say, stalling when coming back to neutral.
Mine started playing up last year, and when I was enquiring about a replacement ($300 odd) the local mechanic said "pull it off and spray it with this stuff" and gave me a can with dregs of Merc carby or topend cleaner.

No repeat after a year/200hrs.

____________________________________________________________________________

 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

Cruise Control's picture

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Date Joined: 03/11/10

 Wish I had known that before

Fri, 2018-08-03 10:50

 Wish I had known that before I replaced valve on both my Yammies, nearly $400 a pop ☹️