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Thread: Old outboard. Rebuild or just find a new one?

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Default Old outboard. Rebuild or just find a new one?

    I have an old evinrude 35 horse 2 stroke outboard. It still runs but its weak. It goes on my old ugly boat. I dont have a lot of cash and was wondering if I should try to have it worked over by a shop or if I should just try to acquire another one. Not sure the typical problems these old motors develop and if it would be worth even attempting to get it working properly again.

    Thanks.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    It would probably take a 50hp 4 stroke to replace it. Lots of parts around for those old motors. I would check the compression and go from there.
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    You could have a shop give you an estimate for repairs, but you might find the cost to be prohibitive.
    If you have the skills to rebuild the motor yourself, that would be the way to go.
    Another option is to buy a used motor to replace it if repair costs are going to be too high or you can't do the repair yourself.

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    For me it would be a risk...reward thing. There is a limit of course but looking at the cost of a new motor or a used with possible up coming problems , I`d at least get a quote for any repairs.

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    Not too many parts to replace if it is running condition now. Carb kit, rings, head gasket, thermostat (if it has one), water pump, and impellor. All of which can be done at home except for the piston rings unless you have the tools. I would vote for a rebuild...then you would know exactly how it operates for future issues. I personally couldn`t see spending another 8K to replace it with new.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    It would probably take a 50hp 4 stroke to replace it. Lots of parts around for those old motors. I would check the compression and go from there.
    I

    I totally second that. (But I'm biased against 4 strokes lol)

    I'm not sure by what you mean by "runs weak" but those engines are so simple and so easy you should really look into home repair. Get yourself a Clymer's or other manual for it. I think you can rent or borrow tools from Autozone etc.

    Stat with a compression check. Look at total compression for each cylinder, but expect it to be low compared to what the book says is the "new" spec. A better gauge is to compare each cylinder to the other. (It's a two cylinder engine, I know, so compare one to the other.) If you see one way lower than the other (20% -ish) then that's a problem. The correction for that is new rings and hone the cylinder.

    Next up is ignition. Those engines use a magnet and coil. You can get a spark tester that plugs into the plug line and clips tot he block. If I remember correctly, you may have to clean the contact points with emry cloth or something. I believe there is a gap you have to set at the points. If the ignition isn't coming on strong, you're going to have poor combustion and low power as a result.

    Fuel flow and Carburetor. The fuel pump on that engine is vacuum driven and mounted on the side of the crank case. The rubber diaphragms eventually rot and crack and loose suction ability which results in reduced fuel flow. The carbs are rather small with very small parts and are highly susceptible to crap screwing them up. This is made worse by using crap quality fuel and not changing out the little inline fuel filters that SHOULD be on your fuel line. Carb work is, to me (as I never mastered it) probably the most daunting part of working on an outboard because of all the detail and intricate parts. Bottom line you need to clan out the lines and the clean the needle and the arm on which it floats up and down. There is also a sort of last chance, fine screen filter inside that needs to be clear. More often than not, gunk in the carb is what screws up those old outboards, especially if it has been sitting in storage for a long time.

    Those old Johnson/Evinrude outboards are bullet proof. I grew up with them and won't own anything else. They're easy to work on and parts are dirt cheap. (Correction, parts are dirt cheap IF you don't go to an Evinrude dealer-they're like car dealers in that respect.)

    Now is the perfect time for a project like this.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    A 4 stroke is out of the question especially a 50. They are heavy and my boat is small. I have run a rented 25-35 on it and it worked great but I cant afford to shell out 3-5k for a new motor.

    It does still run but Ive got some good things to look at. Ill also call around and ask about repair prices at shops. I dont have the time to rebuild it because I have to rebuild the front end on my truck right now. Hopefully there are some shops with reasonable prices. Any suggestions?
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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Two strokes are easy to work on. I am interpreting your 'runs weak' statement to mean it just may need a new piston, which is an easy project to do yourself. Another option if it has problems is watch craigslist for other used 35 HP 2 strokes. Since they were recently banned from the Kenai, I am guessing the used price for them is not very high.
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    That old outboard is much easier to work on than new ones. Not to put my nose in your biz, but I'd recommend learning how to rebuild; start with studying up how to remove the head to get to the rings; its a pretty sure bet that your rings are busted/worn. While in there check the cylinders. Of course check any rubber hoses also to see if cracked - likely that many are.

    Or alternatively, get a high school kid (or possibly their shop class) involved, and get a better motor while helping kids to learn motor-innards.

  11. #11
    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    That old outboard is much easier to work on than new ones. Not to put my nose in your biz, but I'd recommend learning how to rebuild; start with studying up how to remove the head to get to the rings; its a pretty sure bet that your rings are busted/worn. While in there check the cylinders. Of course check any rubber hoses also to see if cracked - likely that many are.

    Or alternatively, get a high school kid (or possibly their shop class) involved, and get a better motor while helping kids to learn motor-innards.
    Not a bad idea with the high school shop class. I am a mechanic by trade (aircraft) so Im sure it wouldnt be too difficult for me to take on but unfortunately time is a big issue. I still have to rebuild the front end on my truck this winter and Im rapidly running out of time to get anything done before the summer hits. If Im not on the water I will surely lose my mind so if it cost a couple hundred bucks to get this thing rebuilt I guess Ill do it. Just wasnt sure if it was worth it.
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