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Old 04-29-2014, 08:43 PM   #1
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Etec Evinrude 25 / 30 hp

Old , grumpy, cheap, verses new motor.

Currently running 30 / 35 hp Evinrude's late 80's early 90's engines.

I have purchased over the last 13 years three used motors all running and in good shape for used at time of purchase.

2 x 35 hp for 1,200 bucks each and 1 x 30hp at 600 bucks. With the odd prop tune, shut off switch along the way. But a total cost for power in the 3,500 mark over a 13 year term.

Each engine comes with a complete set of spare parts, that has allowed me to keep them reliable over that time. But I have run that coarse to the point that I now need to actually rebuild a power head. That's a bunch of work I really don't want. to do again !

So I bin looking at new motors in the 25 , 30 hp range. Without a doubt for a new power plant the E-tec is my choice.

Good deal for a new one here is in the 4,500 , 5,000 range all in with taxes etc.

5 year warranty ? this for me is actually the deal breaker , kinda, for just about any new power plant on the market. 5 years but to maintain the warranty it has to be returned to the dealer every 300 hours or 3 years. For me that's at least once a year, and more like twice a year, at around 700 bucks a pop? No they do not come with an hour meter. yes the dealer can install one. But to maintain the warranty I could be looking at 700, to 1000 per year over a 5 year term just for the warranty.

Kinda makes me go Hmmmmmmmm. I mean its like purchasing a cell phone. Over the long haul the dealer makes more on the service than the power plant. Ya have too laugh.

Ya cheap old and grumpy.

With todays power plants who would just run the power and kiss the warranty good by ? I mean if it goes boom in the first six months or 300 hours I am covered, aftet that I am on my own.

Or do I hold the course and just rebuild my rebuild. I just put this motor together but F,d up the power head some where. Piston? ring? head gasket, not really sure. Bunch of work any way , again.

I am in the flower biz and gamble cash all the time. That's biz, and I have a tough time gambling on anything else

Couple of pics of the rebuild, so close but so far away, and spring is here.

Just venting and looking for random thoughts.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:53 PM   #2
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Etec Evinrude 25 / 30 hp

We have two E-tecs and had very few problems with them, we love'em which is why we chose the Etec for both T/T Oliver because out in the Bahamas you need a motor you can rely on!

Couple things I also like is the high output alternators and loads of torque!!

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Old 04-29-2014, 09:14 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. OFB. Is there any chance of finding a comparable motor without the stringent and expensive warranty requirements? How about trading in every year on a new one?
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:41 PM   #4
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I have a 115 E Tec, which is about a 2009. I purchased it under their guide program (I was guiding then almost full time) which included a 3 year warranty. I ran it hard, about 120 plus days a year until 2011 when I stopped my guide business.

I have had some problems, three new starters being the biggest issue, also a cracked lower unit. Mine came with only one lifting piston on the tilt, the newer 115s have two. The motor would not stay tilted up for more than 24 hours. My dealer eventually retrofitted a 2 piston motor on mine under warranty, which fixed the issue.

A few other issues, mainly minor. The motor HATES ethanol spiced fuel and the issues that come with it, (especially when you let it sit a while) but that is true of all modern outboards in my opinion.

It is not as fast as my old 115 merc two stroke was, but is faster/lighter than any 4 stroke I've run.

Hope this helps.

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Old 04-29-2014, 11:46 PM   #5
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OFB,
I have an e-tec 40. Bought it in Alaska and have run it on this skiff for only about 30 hrs. Maybe 40. Went on a 3 day trip out on the west coast of POW Is and took 27 gallons of fuel. Didn't even use 1/2 of that going to Edna Bay and Marble Is. I've decided they need the 100-1 mix injection to pass the EPA requirements so I left my engine set at 50-1. That's the break-in mix. No smoke or other downside that I know of. When I left I was the only one on Thorne Bay running an e-tec. Mine runs text book perfect and I've had no issues. Most everybody else ran them at 100-1 and WOT.

If I had it to do over again I'd get a 30hp Honda 3 cyl. It has three carbs as I recall. I think the weak link w the modern OBs is complexity. My first modern OB engine was a 60hp Suzuki. Fabulous engine but heavy and very complex. I bought the Evinrude because I like 2 strokes and it's far less complicated than all the 4 strokes. I had a recall fix on the Suzuki but other than that both engines have been perfect. Close as I can tell the Evinrude burns 1.5 gph and the Suzuki 2. My skiff dosn't need 40hp and the honda would have been perfect but the Honda has a much smaller prop and higher gear ratio. But the engine I had on the skiff before was a Suzuki 25hp 2 stroke. Never used it w a heavy load but otherwise it was fine. I can't put enough weight in the skiff to dent the performance of the e-tec.

Look on e-bay and Craig's list and find a good old engine or just do some serious shopping. Can you buy down here? Can I help you out?
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:48 PM   #6
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OFB,
I have an e-tec 40. Bought it in Alaska and have run it on this skiff for only about 30 hrs. Maybe 40. Went on a 3 day trip out on the west coast of POW Is and took 27 gallons of fuel. Didn't even use 1/2 of that going to Edna Bay and Marble Is. I've decided they need the 100-1 mix injection to pass the EPA requirements so I left my engine set at 50-1. That's the break-in mix. No smoke or other downside that I know of. When I left I was the only one on Thorne Bay running an e-tec. Mine runs text book perfect and I've had no issues. Most everybody else ran them at 100-1 and WOT.

If I had it to do over again I'd get a 30hp Honda 3 cyl. It has three carbs as I recall. I think the weak link w the modern OBs is complexity. My first modern OB engine was a 60hp Suzuki. Fabulous engine but heavy and very complex. I bought the Evinrude because I like 2 strokes and it's far less complicated than all the 4 strokes. I had a recall fix on the Suzuki but other than that both engines have been perfect. Close as I can tell the Evinrude burns 1.5 gph and the Suzuki 2. My skiff dosn't need 40hp and the honda would have been perfect but the Honda has a much smaller prop and higher gear ratio. But the engine I had on the skiff before was a Suzuki 25hp 2 stroke. Never used it w a heavy load but otherwise it was fine. I can't put enough weight in the skiff to dent the performance of the e-tec.

Look on e-bay and Craig's list and find a good old engine or just do some serious shopping. Can you buy down here? Can I help you out?

You're supposed to mix oil in the fuel for the etec? I thought they have a oil tank for a reason.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:59 PM   #7
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Oliver,
The dealer adjusts the mixture ratio w the computer and the oil injection system. The e-tec's use less oil than a 4 stroke. That may not be true w mine though as I still have it set at 50-1. But even at 50-1 the oil consumption is extremely low. Incidentally I use the most expensive full synthetic oil.

One of the things I liked about the 40 e-tec is the 2.67-1 gear ratio and big prop. See pic. That's even a lower gear than the Mercury "Big Foot". But I out did the situation w the skiff as it seems to have boundless power. At least on my aluminum skiff but it's a big skiff. Top speed is great but that's coming from an old man.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:05 AM   #8
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Eric

Maybe a purchase down south of a 25 / 30 for you and a purchase from me of your 40 ?

Too bad the weight of the 40 would sink the Livingston .

Ya have ta laugh,
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:05 AM   #9
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Oliver,
The dealer adjusts the mixture ratio w the computer and the oil injection system. The e-tec's use less oil than a 4 stroke. That may not be true w mine though as I still have it set at 50-1. But even at 50-1 the oil consumption is extremely low. Incidentally I use the most expensive full synthetic oil.

One of the things I liked about the 40 e-tec is the 2.67-1 gear ratio and big prop. See pic. That's even a lower gear than the Mercury "Big Foot". But I out did the situation w the skiff as it seems to have boundless power. At least on my aluminum skiff but it's a big skiff. Top speed is great but that's coming from an old man.

Oh we never took ours in to get it changed, whoops. But they've ran great so I'm not going mess with them, although we did take our 40 Etec (we took it off one of our skiffs and put it on the dink) in for its 3 year service.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:07 AM   #10
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Man I love those old Evinrude/Johnson 25/30/35's. Super hard to kill them. A good one will run forever. But dang are they rough, loud and thirsty.

I've heard good things about the Etec's running in my 'hood. Never run one myself, but the few that are running around here get rave reviews. Some of the really big ones have had trouble, but those are different beasts.

I still like 2-strokes for little motors. I run a 8hp merc on my jonboat, and that thing has become my fave. Rock solid idle, quiet, everything works, 12yrs old and nothing has broke in salt water service.

For a while I had a 4-stroke merc (really a tohatsu) and that thing was a PITA as carb had such tiny jets that it plugged and carb was hard to clean. Two strokes have big jets!! No clog (of course more fuel goes through too!!). Thief got the fourstroke and back to the 2's for me.

For the OP: If you can find a merc 25 two stroke from the 80's-90's-00's, I've run a few of those and always liked them. Shift on tiller, pull start much easier than the evins, quieter too. I can't vouch for how reliable they are as I've only run them briefly. But seen a bunch at low price on CL.

Also older yamaha two strokes, but those seem to command a heck of a premium on the used market. Great motors, though.

In the 90's, Evinrude/Johnson sold a 3cyl 30-odd hp two stroke. Those were really neat, but rare.

Four strokes in the 25-35hp range uniformly suck IMHO. Either heavy (3cyl Honda), rough (anything 2cyl), or cloggy carbs (anything with carbs). And all are heavy.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:29 AM   #11
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Doug

Yes helps a lot actually.

Issues you had be in the starter category or the bottom end etc. Not the management category AKA computer system.

I am looking at the 25/ 30 hp with rope start , shallow water drive , no tilt trim, no electric start etc/ . For my current use the 150 lb weight is max for my back.

I guess the question is are they reliable, do I trust the dealer from where I might make such a purchase?

HMMMMMMMM
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:39 AM   #12
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You might relook at the warranty terms carefully on your own, rather than take the dealer's summary.

Two things. First, unless it's changed you're talking two warranty's, the regular 3 year and the BEST on top of that.

Second, in most cases a warranty cannot require you to take something to a specific dealer or manufacturer's authorized station but can simply require you to get certain service performed according to a schedule. This battle was fought out with auto manufacturers. Furthermore, the manufacturer still has to show that failure to get that service contributed to the issue.

For instance, you don't change oil for three years and 40,000 miles in a car and the engine blows due to old sludge or low oil and they have a valid exclusion. However, you don't change oil and the air conditioner goes out there is no connection. Yes, dealers want you to think you must come to them. They also then try to get you to go for a 300 hour program they've designed rather than simply the requirements stated in the warranty and operators guide.

Again, looking at auto dealers as an example. Let's say at 30,000 miles the manual says change oil and filter and interior air filter, then lists a few things to check. Cost would be perhaps $40-50. However, dealer creates an elaborate 30,000 mile package at a discount rate of $460. It includes many things the manufacturer does not say is necessary. How common it is on cars for the manufacturer to say 7500 miles or 6000 but the dealer tells you to come every 3 months or 3000 miles.

Just look carefully before running because of the cost to maintain the warranty. Then decide based on how it really reads.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:48 AM   #13
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You might relook at the warranty terms carefully on your own, rather than take the dealer's summary.

Two things. First, unless it's changed you're talking two warranty's, the regular 3 year and the BEST on top of that.

Second, in most cases a warranty cannot require you to take something to a specific dealer or manufacturer's authorized station but can simply require you to get certain service performed according to a schedule. This battle was fought out with auto manufacturers. Furthermore, the manufacturer still has to show that failure to get that service contributed to the issue.

For instance, you don't change oil for three years and 40,000 miles in a car and the engine blows due to old sludge or low oil and they have a valid exclusion. However, you don't change oil and the air conditioner goes out there is no connection. Yes, dealers want you to think you must come to them. They also then try to get you to go for a 300 hour program they've designed rather than simply the requirements stated in the warranty and operators guide.

Again, looking at auto dealers as an example. Let's say at 30,000 miles the manual says change oil and filter and interior air filter, then lists a few things to check. Cost would be perhaps $40-50. However, dealer creates an elaborate 30,000 mile package at a discount rate of $460. It includes many things the manufacturer does not say is necessary. How common it is on cars for the manufacturer to say 7500 miles or 6000 but the dealer tells you to come every 3 months or 3000 miles.

Just look carefully before running because of the cost to maintain the warranty. Then decide based on how it really reads.
Per the warranty:

As outlined in the Operatorís Guide, timely routine required maintenance must be performed to maintain warranty coverage. BRP may require proof of proper maintenance prior to authorizing warranty coverage.

Note there is no mention of the dealer.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:48 AM   #14
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Doug

Yes helps a lot actually.

Issues you had be in the starter category or the bottom end etc. Not the management category AKA computer system.

I am looking at the 25/ 30 hp with rope start , shallow water drive , no tilt trim, no electric start etc/ . For my current use the 150 lb weight is max for my back.

I guess the question is are they reliable, do I trust the dealer from where I might make such a purchase?

HMMMMMMMM

Ref the weight issue...

You might compare the E-tec against Suzuki's EFI models. The Suzuki 4-stroke might actually be lighter than the Evinrude, or at least same weight.

That's just an idea. We just got a new Suzuki 15-hp EFI for our dinghy, but I've only had time to mount it... haven't yet trailered the dinghy over to the water to launch and test.

FWIW, turns out trailers are relatively cheap... so we got one so I don't have to dismount and schlepp the motor around separately...

-Chris
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:18 AM   #15
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Oliver,
They will probably adjust your oil ratio up to 100-1 .. in the dealer service unless they over look it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:44 PM   #16
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I have several non marine BRP products. I usually buy a new BRP product every year on average. The last 3 have been etecs. I do all of the maintanence myself. Its very easy. I would never go back to a carbed unit. I have had zero issues with offseason storage with the etecs since they do not have carbs. I do no winter storage rituals like drain the fuel tanks, fog the cylinders, etc. Zero problems with the etecs. Most warranty decisions are made by the dealer. I've had BRP warranty work done before but not related to an engine. It was rather painless. I was never asked to provide documentation for regular service like the 10 hour inspections blah blah.) Again, its the dealer. Haggle him too much on the selling price and your warranty service may suffer slightly in the future.
My only complaint with BRP is that they put new technology on teh market before it has been tested properly. Their customers are their test base and suffer because of it. At this point, I would never buy a BRP product that is new to the market. I would only buy a BRP product that has been on the market for at least a year.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:31 PM   #17
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Whether etec or four stroke, the efi thing is moving to the lower hp outboards. And that is a very good thing. Carbs are a PITA. As posted above, with EFI you can turn it off and let it sit six months and next start it just fires right up. Nice to hear Suzuki is making a 15hp EFI. Still there is that weight thing that favors the old two strokes. But the fours are getting lighter.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:41 PM   #18
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I would never buy a BRP product that is new to the market. I would only buy a BRP product that has been on the market for at least a year.
I pretty much say the same thing on any major item, not limited to BRP. At least six months of actual customer usage and feedback that I can see online and see what the issues have been.

The way I put it is I don't want to be on the leading edge. I want to be almost on it. But let someone else lead. If there's a trap it will get them, not me.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:49 PM   #19
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Yeah, we got a 20hp Suzuki EFI for our dinghy last year. My old 15hp 2 stroke johnson was stolen, which broke my heart.

I hated it at first but it has grown on me a little. The starter cord locks up when pulled about every 6th pull and about jerks my elbow out of the socket. Other than that it runs well. Quiet, doesn't burn any fuel to speak of. Not as powerful as my old 15, but some of that may be the extra weight that it brings to the dinghy.

The 15 and the 20 weigh exactly the same, so I bought the 20hp. Glad I did.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:09 AM   #20
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I am looking at the 25/ 30 hp with rope start , shallow water drive , no tilt trim, no electric start etc/ . For my current use the 150 lb weight is max for my back.

I guess the question is are they reliable, do I trust the dealer from where I might make such a purchase?
Should a need arise, you can access information and troubleshooting advice here: Owners Message Board

The 25hp E-tec has an excellent reputation for reliability. I've a 2014.
As someone else suggested, an inexpensive hour/tach is worthwhile to monitor correct propping and maintenance schedule.
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