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  #1  
Old 10-24-2011
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Outboard Survey

I'm thinking I would like to buy an old outboard maybe 2 to 4 horse for two purposes.
1. I have a dinghy I would like to motorize.
2. If it is not to dumb I would like to take one apart clean it up and make it run well so I would know more about outboards in general.

I'm hoping the experience on one even an old one would at least get me started in understanding the beasts.

So if I found an old one on Craigs list etc. how much should I pay and what should I be looking for?
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Old 10-24-2011
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I would look for one that at least runs, even if badly. Not too expensive to do a tuneup and carb rebuild. Prices are all over the map based on reasonable (or unreasonable) owners expectations. As a point of reference, I paid $399 for a brand new leftover Yamaha 2 hp a number of years ago.
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Old 10-24-2011
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Get an outboard that has been used in fresh water. Corrosion and mineral deposits are a problem with salt water. If you pull the piston out, you will need to glaze break the cylinder wall and install new rings. A small engine repair facility can glaze break and install rings. The shop will clean out carbon the piston ring groves and check for wear in the groves and skirt. Probably the best thing is just replace the piston anyway and with new rings. A piston ring compressor will be needed to get the piston back into the cylinder. Pulling the piston allows inspection of the cylinder wall for scoring which can occur from lack of lubrication or overheating.
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Old 10-24-2011
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Running, pay no more than $250.
Not running, no more than $100.
If you want to gewt the best price, you need to set the market. Rather than responding to craigslist ads, place your own "O/B wanted" ad. When you get a response, ask what they want for their O/B, then offer them 50% of their ask. If they have no idea what they want, offer $50.
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Old 10-24-2011
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Every area is going to be different, don't forget. But, for what it's worth, I bought an older (70s) model Evinrude 2hp for $80.00 that ran like a top.

Last edited by emoney; 10-24-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-25-2011
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... or you could just get one for free. Apparently the trick is to take a boat out to a moored sailboat and take the motor off the transom. Rather than unclipping the fuel hose is even easier to just cut it.

That is a whole lot simpler than researching what you want, negotiating a price and paying for it. Also a whole lot simpler than calling police and insurance company and arranging to replace a 5 month old motor!

Mike
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Old 10-25-2011
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Been there, got burnt with that, Mike. Nothing is worse than some scum-sucker coming in the middle of the night to steal your hard earned money. Lost probably the best OB I've owned, Yamaha 8hp EL shaft, from the stern of my boat tied up to the dock behind my house. AND, the dang neighbor tells the cop the next day, "Oh, I tho't those guys looked suspicious that came through here during the day".....ARGHH

Needless to say, my ins. deductible was $1000.00 and the motor was 14years old. I got nothing in return for all my hard work.
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Old 10-25-2011
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Am lucky. Was new this year and ded only $500. Will be able to replace with identical motor but newer model year
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Old 10-25-2011
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For my Merc 9.9 2-stroke, (larger than what you're thinking about), the parts to fix the carb were ~$60, the lower unit seal kit was I think ~$60-80, and replacement throttle shift cables were ~$30. A new lower unit oil drain/fill plug was ~$10. I haven't ever had to get into the electrics, so don't know about replacement costs there.

So buying a non-running motor, not knowing what you may be getting into, may be a costly education. (But maybe that's your idea, and I think it'd be a fun way to learn...)

I'd tend to suggest getting one that runs, and then working on it a bit at a time as needed.

Our local community college I think offers outboard mechanic classes-that's another idea...

Just some thoughts...
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Old 10-25-2011
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Your problem with buying a non or badly-running outboard is that the issue could be trivial (spark plug, leads, plugged carb) or catastrophic (compression failure, cracked head, etc) and it will be very hard to determine which at the time of sale.

Easier to buy one that's running well, probably won't be much more expensive anyway.
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