4 stroke maintainance

Anyone who's owned a boat knows what a PITA it can be. If you have questions or solutions help fellow boat owners out!

4 stroke maintainance

Postby chris oak » August 14th, 2015, 2:46 pm

So I did my 300 hour service today on my 4stroke yamaha. This is on Gigas and she came from the east coast with about 200 hours on her yamaha f90. I've already done the engine oil but figured I should do the water pump and small things.

I ordered my parts from ebay and amazon (I went with genuine yamaha parts so it cost a bit more and it was about 100$ for spark plugs, water pump kit (including gaskets, stainless cup etc which I didn't think I needed), fuel filter, and thermostat. I also picked up a quart of mercury gear oil for my lower unit which is supposed to be superior to yamaha's. I probably read up the last month to figure out what was the easiest and best stuff to get. btw wallymart has the mercury gear oil for about 11$ a quart, its 15-20 everywhere else.

I figured the whole thing would take me maybe 2 hours tops. It took me about four hours and if I didn't have internet and youtube I'd be in big trouble.

1. Lower unit fluid change was a snap, took fifteen minutes and the fluid came out one color so I'm not getting water intrusion.

2. water pump was a bitch. My old impeller was fused to the shaft, I had to grease the shaft and then slowly pry it off, it probably took an hour and the old impeller was trashed in the process. It was shot anyways and was showing stress fractures in the vanes, next time I will probably change it at 200 hours. I also damaged the gaskets trying to pry that impeller off so it's a good thing I ordered the kit and not just the impeller.

There are a billion things they don't show you online, little o rings that fall out, water lines that must be detached first etc. I got it back together but the shaft wouldn't line up and I couldn't get the lower unit back in, it would go all the way except for the last inch. I bet I worked on that for an hour. Turns out you have to spin the shaft a bit to line up the gearing and then it pops right in. I greased that shaft really well because I was getting squeeling and the yamaha guys said it's that bushing and it gets dry. It doesn't make that squeeling anymore. It was obvious the water pump/impeller had not been changed (my engine is about 300 hours old).

3. spark plugs went in/out no problem. No fouling and I bet those were changed about a hundred hours ago maybe. I anti seized all the bolts and plugs.

4. The thermostat was a nightmare. Imagine my surprise when I finally located the thermostat (it's not where my honda one was) and popped the lid off. The thermostat was stuck in the open position, which I guess is better than if it was stuck in the closed position. It was also loaded with shit. The best part is it was fused to the the block with a shitload of corrosion. I had to carve it out carefully and pry it for about an hour and then it popped out, I was getting a bit worried. I looked inside the cavity and it was loaded with salt and shit. I threw some vinegar in there and flushed it out and reinstalled the new thermostat. I will be changing the thermostat out every 200 hours and inspecting it every 100.

The boat pees like a champ, it always peed well before but man now it's amazing how much it is peeing. I will probably take mine in to the dealer at the next big interval just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I'm thinking saltaway with the muffs on (when I read up everyone said that if you use the bypass flush it doesn't flush the thermostats) is a good idea. I was even thinking of running it in a trash can with a shitload of vinegar in there for a while just in case but I don't think I can get one under my engine.

I was lucky I got to do this in the burning sun with no shade. Owning a boat is so much fun.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby Mr Paul » August 14th, 2015, 6:23 pm

I'm inspired. I do most all of my maintenance, but I was going to have the mechanic do the impeller. If Oak can do it, i guess I'll give it a shot.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby Bamz » August 14th, 2015, 6:24 pm

I feel your pain Chris. I did the water pump & thermostat on my 25hp honda last summer.
I've never beached my rib so I can only imagine what the previous owner(s) did.


The tiny 6mm bolts on the thermostat both broke off. I had to drill them out and chase the threads with a tap. :angry-cussingblack:
Talking to the mechanic at the Honda place, these bolts are notorious for breaking when you try to remove them.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby chris oak » August 15th, 2015, 7:56 am

Scott that's the worst looking thermostat I've ever seen. How did you clean out the port once you removed the thermostat?

Paul, I bet you could do yours in half the time I did mine. The weird thing is mine was peeing okay, never had an overheat alarm. I was blown away at how the thermostat was in the open position and how the impeller was showing stress cracks at 300 hours.

I was thinking about this last night, I remember flattie telling me he uses the muffs on his 4stroke yami because after the motor heats up the thermostats open and they get flushed better. From what I've read, when you use the bypass it doesn't flow by the thermostats but I need to talk to a mechanic to verify this. Yamaha recommends running the bypass at 15 minutes, that's crazy as people will be pissed if I run mine like that during the drought.

I think my goto is to run the motor on muffs with just freshwater to 5 minutes to open the thermostat, then run saltaway for a minute while the thermostat is open, then run freshwater to wash off the salt away for a few minutes.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby no bananas » March 10th, 2016, 10:26 am

Thanks Chris. Motivated by your posts, I did all my preventative maintenance on the trailer and boat.

What do I need to do next to get big white sea basses like you?



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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby chris oak » March 10th, 2016, 11:54 am

WTG! It's not that hard, especially with all the youtube vids out there now. We have the mechanic visiting right now for our work boat (yamaha 300hp) and I asked him a few questions. He said yamahas should have thermostat every 200 hours. He also said if you are using synthetics you also need to do the interval change as normal, ie it does not extend the time of the service interval. He also said that once you use synthetics you are supposed to continue to use them thru the life of the engine.

I don't know about white seabass, I haven't been out forever :(
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby Bill McIntyre » March 10th, 2016, 2:49 pm

This reminds me that I'm glad I'm rich so that I can pay professionals to do this shit.

But wait, I'm not rich. OK, it makes me wish I had an outboard so that I could work on it without standing on my head in the bilge. I was never much of a mechanic anyway, but I used to do some stuff. Now that I'm older than dirt, my body just can't assume the positions necessary to work on my engine. I'm pretty much limited to changing the engine oil and oil filter and the fuel filters. Anything else I have to pay for.

And my engine is coming up on 2100 hours.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby no bananas » March 10th, 2016, 5:37 pm

I sometimes do more damage than good. Working on the trailer brake, I keep breaking these stupid brass flares from over tightening the hydraulic hose. Not being smart enough to learn from my mistakes, I brake another one. Had to make couple of trips to Pacific Trailers. At the end of the project, I ended up replacing all my brake hoses.

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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby no bananas » March 10th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Bill McIntyre wrote:This reminds me that I'm glad I'm rich so that I can pay professionals to do this shit.

But wait, I'm not rich. OK, it makes me wish I had an outboard so that I could work on it without standing on my head in the bilge. I was never much of a mechanic anyway, but I used to do some stuff. Now that I'm older than dirt, my body just can't assume the positions necessary to work on my engine. I'm pretty much limited to changing the engine oil and oil filter and the fuel filters. Anything else I have to pay for.

And my engine is coming up on 2100 hours.


Hi Bill. This new to me engine has about 1000 hours on it. I put 300 hours on it last year. Living in Riverside, I am not aware of any good mechanics here that I could trust. Plus, it is a logistical nightmare for me to travel the distance in traffic, drop off the boat, pick it up and etc. For this reason, I try to help myself on low tech stuff.

I have known you on this cyber space for a long time from Mark Barville's Freedivelist days. I hope our paths cross one day and meet you.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby castronova » September 29th, 2016, 6:09 am

This should be an eye opening thread. Motor manufacturers send the the outboards out the door with not the slightest bit of Anti-cease on a single bolt thread. It's astonishing. Boat maintenance is super simple if you do it often and use grease or anti-cease on the parts. Impellers should not be difficult at all and I've only learned this stuff in the passed 2 years so I'm no mechanic. I use Evinrude triple guard grease on everything. Thermostats are only going to be as good as how often you flush your motors. Grease all your gaskets and parts as you put them back especially if they didn't have them to begin with. Definitely grease the 6 lower unit bolt threads that hold the LU on. Grease the drive shaft, the inside of the impeller as well as the top and bottom against the wear plate. If you do that and flush the motor you will have no issue on the next service.

I don't often get to flush my motor while running it but this is very important and I do it whenever I flush the motors out of the water. While running water will come out of the tell tail and it goes through the passages the only way to clear the pump housing from salt is to spin the drive shaft by running it, even if only for a few seconds.

Every time I service my motors and more importantly when I purchased new to me used motors or new motors I take the cowling off and cover the entire block and every screw or bolt head with Fluid Film or CRC corrosion inhibitor. These two are not like most other sprays like WD-40 or 646. They create a greasy coating that does not come off, especially not by evaporation. I would avoid spraying it on fuel filters or parts you will need to change often as they will be very slippery. This one simple step will work wonders to keep your motor from corroding out from salt air or spray. Cover all electrical connections as well. I spray this stuff on my battery terminals, fuse panel connections, power posts, bus bars, everywhere there is an electrical connection or conductor that is not insulated.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby gringo sushi » October 1st, 2016, 2:50 pm

This is the right idea!!!

I have been amazed at the difference it has made on both inboards and outboards. I use CorrosionX to leave a thin film on all surfaces and CorrosionX HD for a thicker coating like on battery terminals and bus bars.

One area to avoid when dusting the engine with spray is the pinion gear assembly on the starter. I've been warned that if it has a friction device that engages pinion gear with fly wheel that it may fail to engage once lubed.

castronova wrote:
Every time I service my motors and more importantly when I purchased new to me used motors or new motors I take the cowling off and cover the entire block and every screw or bolt head with Fluid Film or CRC corrosion inhibitor. These two are not like most other sprays like WD-40 or 646. They create a greasy coating that does not come off, especially not by evaporation. I would avoid spraying it on fuel filters or parts you will need to change often as they will be very slippery. This one simple step will work wonders to keep your motor from corroding out from salt air or spray. Cover all electrical connections as well. I spray this stuff on my battery terminals, fuse panel connections, power posts, bus bars, everywhere there is an electrical connection or conductor that is not insulated.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby undrH2Ohntr » May 17th, 2017, 8:01 am

Thanks for posting Chris, I am switching from 2 stroke to 4 stroke so another learning experience.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby chris oak » May 17th, 2017, 8:18 am

undrH2Ohntr wrote:Thanks for posting Chris, I am switching from 2 stroke to 4 stroke so another learning experience.


What did you get Eric?
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 17th, 2017, 9:41 am

castronova wrote:Every time I service my motors and more importantly when I purchased new to me used motors or new motors I take the cowling off and cover the entire block and every screw or bolt head with Fluid Film or CRC corrosion inhibitor. These two are not like most other sprays like WD-40 or 646. They create a greasy coating that does not come off, especially not by evaporation. I would avoid spraying it on fuel filters or parts you will need to change often as they will be very slippery. This one simple step will work wonders to keep your motor from corroding out from salt air or spray. Cover all electrical connections as well. I spray this stuff on my battery terminals, fuse panel connections, power posts, bus bars, everywhere there is an electrical connection or conductor that is not insulated.


I use Boeshield T-9 this way. Is your stuff better?
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby castronova » May 17th, 2017, 9:42 am

no bananas wrote:I sometimes do more damage than good. Working on the trailer brake, I keep breaking these stupid brass flares from over tightening the hydraulic hose. Not being smart enough to learn from my mistakes, I brake another one. Had to make couple of trips to Pacific Trailers. At the end of the project, I ended up replacing all my brake hoses.

I am dumber than I look.


Haha, this is so funny. But only because we can all relate.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby castronova » May 17th, 2017, 9:49 am

Bill I believe CRC Corrosion Inhibitor and Boeshield T-9 are the 2 best for saltwater use. I think Boeshield may have even tested a little better but my friend and long time marine electrician tells me to use the CRC product so I do.

This thread is old but covers most of the products still available. They tested 12 corrosion inhibitors in fresh and salt water.

http://www.thehulltruth.com/sportfishin ... prays.html
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 17th, 2017, 10:03 am

Thanks. It looks like the CRC Corrosion Inhibitor tested slightly better, so when I run out of T-9 I'll try it.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby undrH2Ohntr » May 18th, 2017, 8:33 am

chris oak wrote:
undrH2Ohntr wrote:Thanks for posting Chris, I am switching from 2 stroke to 4 stroke so another learning experience.


What did you get Eric?


60 hp Suzuki :D
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby Freediverman » June 25th, 2017, 6:23 am

Some good tidbits in here. Thanks for writing guys. I especially like the preventative corrosion applications. I'm picking up a new boat soon and will definitely apply.
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Re: 4 stroke maintainance

Postby castronova » June 26th, 2017, 5:38 am

Anyone have a favorite grease gun? I swear of all the tools I've bought over the years the grease gun is the only one I cannot find in a superior model.

Any suggestions on a grease gun that gets as much in the fitting as it does on your hands and in your tool box?
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