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  • Outboard water pump

    Looking to see how often you rebuild your water pumps and if it isn't a set schedule, do you wait till there is a failure? Does a weak stream of water exiting the motor indicate up coming failure?

    Thanks for the input.


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    If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.

  • #2
    I rebuild mine every 200 hours, but I've heard a guy should do it every 100 hours. That would be at least once a year for me, and I'm lazy. Sure hate to wait for it to fail before doing it. I don't know of any reliable signs that it's gonna happen, so I go by engine hours.

    I do replace the thermostat every time I change the oil and plugs. It's a snap to do and the replacement costs about $40, IIRC.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    • #3
      A weak stream would indicate impending failure, yes. I always carried a spare on the boat, had to put one to use once after the jet pump ingested a large quantity of sand and locked up the impeller-the blades locked against the housing while the hub spun inside it. Changed it out on the river bank and carried on.

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      • #4
        Unless you are using a jet.....and actually hitting stuff and sucking up gravel......I have found that time is the worst enemy of water pumps. Stiffening rubber getting brittle just sitting there can do more damage than running 100 plus hours in the same years. I feel that with motors that are either run in fresh, or always flushed in salt, that don't experience mass gritty nasty stuff getting pumped through them, can go for easily 2-400 hours. At least that's my story, and surely now my motor with 270 on the pump is gonna poop out 40 miles from home......

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        • #5
          I agree with Catch It. I have put 261 hours on my current pump in my 90 yammie and I am not sure whether the previous 2 owners changed it out. The last owner had all services done by the stealer so it may have been new when I bought the boat (it had 241 hours on it and I just hit 500 last weekend). I very well might be putting home on the kicker one of these days. I have a new one and planned to change it this spring, but haven't done it yet.

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          • #6
            Are water pumps difficult to replace? Have a 2007 60hp Suzuki...99.9% salt water used ...always flushed at home with the 'earmuff' style flusher hose combo

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ulflyfish View Post
              Are water pumps difficult to replace? Have a 2007 60hp Suzuki...99.9% salt water used ...always flushed at home with the 'earmuff' style flusher hose combo
              Quite easy to replace if you have any mechanical aptitude. Unbolt and remove the lower unit to access the water pump housing, unbolt w.p. housing, remove cover taking care to notice direction of travel the impeller turns, remove impeller, install new impeller, reverse procedure.

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              • #8
                Easy job to replace. I did mine on twin Suzuki DF140's after 3 years, I don't get a ton of hours on the boat, no real visible damage to impeller blades and rubber was still nice and pliable with no cracks visible. I have heard if you run them till the rubber blades snap you could be in trouble if a blade lodges and blocks the cooling passage, can be a pain to get out. It was usually stored outside in Homer in the winter. Every year seems like overkill if not sucking sand and gravel or racking up the hours, I'm planning on every other year.

                Some good Youtube videos on changing Suzuki pumps from "D-Ray's Shop"

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                • #9
                  Running the Big Su all the time is hard on them. We used to change them every season and keep a spare. I do remember a few trips sandbar incidents that helped speed up the deteriating of the impeller but that was part of the fun.
                  Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alaskabliss View Post
                    Running the Big Su all the time is hard on them. We used to change them every season and keep a spare. I do remember a few trips sandbar incidents that helped speed up the deteriating of the impeller but that was part of the fun.
                    Yep, glacial silt is some of the hardest most abrasive substances on earth, it will wear rubber parts quickly as well as jet pump impellers/liners and props.

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