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Thread: Switching to outboards

  1. #1
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    Default Switching to outboards

    I have been a long time inboard guy. I have a 20ft XtraPlus with a 351w. My buddies all have inboards for their jet boats too. And, they break. It seems like a lot, especially on long trips, like the Yukon. My fourth time down the Yukon was the fourth time we had to constantly fix one of the inboards. So, I am seriously considering scraping my current setup and going with the new technologies with outboards. My hesitation is that I can fix a 351 or 350 in the field easy enough and not so much an outboard.

    How much more reliable are new outboards compared to a well built 350 inboard (or 351w).

    How is the maintenance?

    Is there much reliability difference between the Etec's and comparable four stroke?

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    You think reliability is bad with inboards, just wait till you have ETECS that don't run and you can't fix in the field hanging on the back of your boat....

    Outboards are not a bad choice, four stroke tech has come a long way to reduce the weight gap between two stroke and four. I would not hesitate to put any of the big name four strokes on any of my boats. When it comes to inboards, I would stick with new model GM motors. Ford small blocks of the older variety do seem to be more prone to needing TLC. I do own a boat with a ETEC on the back, but I do not take it further than I want to walk or paddle... it stays on my little lake. From what I have seen ETEC's are not the popular choice for Jet Boaters. There are currently making a push to gain some of that market share, but time will tell if the new BRP product is any better than what they have in the field now.
    Just my two cents

    Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    I have been a long time inboard guy. I have a 20ft XtraPlus with a 351w. My buddies all have inboards for their jet boats too. And, they break. It seems like a lot, especially on long trips, like the Yukon. My fourth time down the Yukon was the fourth time we had to constantly fix one of the inboards. So, I am seriously considering scraping my current setup and going with the new technologies with outboards. My hesitation is that I can fix a 351 or 350 in the field easy enough and not so much an outboard.

    How much more reliable are new outboards compared to a well built 350 inboard (or 351w).

    How is the maintenance?

    Is there much reliability difference between the Etec's and comparable four stroke?

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    What kind of issues are you having? There might some maintenance issues? Is it just small stuff or major engine overhauls? Gm marine motors (same thing as millions of truck) are known to be pretty darn solid. I think you still might be better off, if your more than just a yukon boater to throw a new MP engine in your boat if it's that bad. You can buy 2 new 2015 6.0 liters for the price of a 200hp outboard conversion

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    I'd definitely be interested to hear what kinds of problems you've had. Only boat I've been stranded on in the last 15 years had a mid 2000s or so Etec on it. That occured this spring and to this day the dealership can't tell the owner what the problem was, owner wont even put the boat back in the water since he's scared it will die again.

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    The problems are many and varied over the 4 years of running the yukon: bent push rod, blown head gasket, intake manifold gasket, water pump, alternator, heater hose blown, 3x stuff stuck in the jet, water water water in the fuel, 2x broken belts, sand plugging up the manifold, wear rings worn out and causing cavitation, bent impeller from sucking up rocks, carburetor gummed up.

    I hear you on buying a new factory drop in motor instead of an outboard and new boat. It just seems the 350 was meant to be a car/truck motor. Then we make it into a race motor and stick it into a boat and expect the motor to be as reliable as it is in a truck. At least the outboards were meant to be that way from the get go.

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    Chevy make a 350 EFI marine aluminum engine for many years.

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    I'm pretty sure that gm marine engines are not opened up and messed with to turn them into a "race" engine?
    Belts, water in the fuel, and issues with the jet are avoidable. Unless your really unlucky.

    I guess to answer your question, I don't think a new outboard is more reliable than a new v8 with a jet unit that is maintained properly and operated with caution when your on very long trips to not suck up a ton of rocks and enough sand to clog up the manifolds and the rest of the cooling system.

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    [QUOTE=DanielApplin;1506666]I'm pretty sure that gm marine engines are not opened up and messed with to turn them into a "race" engine?
    QUOTE]

    I did not know Daved was looking for a race engine for his boat.

  9. #9

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    In Post 5 those are Daved 's words.

    I did not know Daved was looking for a race engine for his boat.[/QUOTE]

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    Hard to beat a new motor, OB or V8, belts, hoses, water pumps sound like mostly maintenance issues. Built right a 351 is a good marine engine, maybe better that a GM, the biggest thing the GM 5.7 has going for it is they made a gazillion of them and built right, maintained properly and if not run continuously at high RPM will last quite a while.

    All the new OB's plenty reliable, if the maintenance is done, but still weird things happen, I get a overheat sensor that goes wacko every year at Chitina, only at Chitina.... convinced its due to idiling a lot and sand accumulating somewhere in the head near a sensor...
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    The problems are many and varied over the 4 years of running the yukon: bent push rod, blown head gasket, intake manifold gasket, water pump, alternator, heater hose blown, 3x stuff stuck in the jet, water water water in the fuel, 2x broken belts, sand plugging up the manifold, wear rings worn out and causing cavitation, bent impeller from sucking up rocks, carburetor gummed up.

    I hear you on buying a new factory drop in motor instead of an outboard and new boat. It just seems the 350 was meant to be a car/truck motor. Then we make it into a race motor and stick it into a boat and expect the motor to be as reliable as it is in a truck. At least the outboards were meant to be that way from the get go.
    Well I will agree you can't run one as many hours in a boat as you can in a truck. Having said that, many of those things should be replaced before they ever show signs of trouble, general on an hour schedule. The beauty is you can do it yourself rather than taking it into the outboard shop every time like you darn near have to for an outboard. The 350 powers more jet boats than any other engine back home on the Snake and Columbia, though the sport jets seem to be catching up, the big boats are still running 350s or 350 variants and its for a reason. We didn't have the glacial silt to deal with so I can't comment on the difference between back home and the Yukon as far as the pump is concerned.

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    So let us address the problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    The problems are many and varied over the 4 years of running the yukon:
    bent push rod=stuck valve or out of proper adjustment.
    blown head gasket=water in fuel can cause high combustion pressures.
    intake manifold gasket= rare incident but there is a cause.
    water pump=they all fail sometime and most with warning.
    alternator=same as above.
    heater hose blown=scheduled maintenance item
    3x stuff stuck in the jet=welcome to fall river running. Stomp Grate.
    water water water in the fuel=this will not go away with outboards. Also a maintenance issue. Fuel water seperators help.
    2x broken belts=scheduled maintenance item
    sand plugging up the manifold=sand trap for cooling water intake. I actually run mine slightly open while I am running.
    wear rings worn out and causing cavitation=scheduled maintenance item
    bent impeller from sucking up rocks=welcome to river running
    carburetor gummed up=maintenance issue

    I hear you on buying a new factory drop in motor instead of an outboard and new boat. It just seems the 350 was meant to be a car/truck motor. Then we make it into a race motor and stick it into a boat and expect the motor to be as reliable as it is in a truck. At least the outboards were meant to be that way from the get go.
    When it comes to watercraft whether it is a river sled or for the big water. Maintenance is absolutely critical....treat you boat as if it were an airplane and see if things will run better........

    I have an observation for everyone. Over one winter I ran 300 gallons of gas from a clear 30 gallon can for sled fillups. I purchased the fuel from a high volume station. Fuel was bought 15 or 30 gallons at a time and transferred to this can in my shop. At the end of the winter season I emptied this can to measure the water......just a little over 9 ounces. So for all...when was the last time you opened your fuel tank and looked down inside to see how much water you have built up from over the summer or better yet over the years????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    So let us address the problems.



    When it comes to watercraft whether it is a river sled or for the big water. Maintenance is absolutely critical....treat you boat as if it were an airplane and see if things will run better........

    I have an observation for everyone. Over one winter I ran 300 gallons of gas from a clear 30 gallon can for sled fillups. I purchased the fuel from a high volume station. Fuel was bought 15 or 30 gallons at a time and transferred to this can in my shop. At the end of the winter season I emptied this can to measure the water......just a little over 9 ounces. So for all...when was the last time you opened your fuel tank and looked down inside to see how much water you have built up from over the summer or better yet over the years????
    I only run a 6 gallon tank on my little boat and I keep it fairly full all summer, then I dump all but a cup or two in the fall. Never the less I still have ice in the tank in the middle of winter, its unavoidable. Fuel/water separator and annual filter changes keep it out of the motor nicely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I only run a 6 gallon tank on my little boat and I keep it fairly full all summer, then I dump all but a cup or two in the fall. Never the less I still have ice in the tank in the middle of winter, its unavoidable. Fuel/water separator and annual filter changes keep it out of the motor nicely.

    Yes getting the water is unavoidable but doing something to remedy the problem is imperative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    Yes getting the water is unavoidable but doing something to remedy the problem is imperative.
    I agree, I'm amazed anyone runs without a filter/separator.

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    Dave stick with inboard
    Buy a new marine 350 and leave it stock....



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    I agree, stick with the inboard. You won't be as impressed with an outboard jet once you load the boat down. That 30% power loss at the pump becomes more like a 50% loss when you get weight on it.

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    One other item I haven't seen discussed here is cavitation, if you run any kind of big water, outboard jets cavitate it big water far more than an inboard. I haven't run jet boats in Alaska so I'm not sure if there is any water big enough for that to be an issue?

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