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Older F150 with low hours, good or bad?

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  • 2 Post By CaptnJuff
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Older F150 with low hours, good or bad?

Old 12-19-2018, 07:14 AM
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Default Older F150 with low hours, good or bad?

I have been considering repowering my boat and recently found a used 2004 Yamaha F150 with only 350 hours. The motor was winterized by a Yamaha dealer and has been in storage for the last 5 years. All maintenance (since new) has been done at the dealership and the owner has all service records. The trim/tilt motor is new. The dealer who is brokering the sale has offered to go through the motor to see if anything needs to be repaired prior to sale. I can't sea trial the motor, however the dealer has offered to run it on a dyno under load.

What is the general consensus about buying an old motor with low hours? I am not mechanically inclined and frankly don't know what to look for. The research I have done online suggests that there is a lot of risk with motors that have been in storage for long periods of time. Is there anything in particular I should be looking for?

I would be looking at a similar amount of $$ to get my current motor with 3K hours back in prime condition FWIW.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:23 AM
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Don’t trust the dealer. Hire a certified Yamaha tech to inspect the motor. If everything checks out, I’d go for it.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:18 AM
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Is the dealer/broker who is selling the engine the same dealer who has stored and serviced the engine all along? If yes, then I would do some research on their reputation. I would also get the story on why the engine was stored all this time and is not currently hanging on a transom. If found to be credible, I'd have no reservations about buying a low hour motor that was stored properly, and has all the records to back it's service life/maintenance.

Our 2004 F90 that is on our Whaler has only 280 hours, and it runs strong and has been virtually trouble free with recommended maintenance. Do your due diligence and take advantage of a good deal if it all checks out.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:25 AM
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It's all in the care the motor has had. I have several old motors with relatively low hours and they are in excellent condition. I've seen 5yr old motors that are crap because the owners didn't take care of or didn't have a professional do the work. Best advice is have a pro go over the engine.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Strat View Post
I have been considering repowering my boat and recently found a used 2004 Yamaha F150 with only 350 hours. The motor was winterized by a Yamaha dealer and has been in storage for the last 5 years. All maintenance (since new) has been done at the dealership and the owner has all service records. The trim/tilt motor is new. The dealer who is brokering the sale has offered to go through the motor to see if anything needs to be repaired prior to sale. I can't sea trial the motor, however the dealer has offered to run it on a dyno under load.

What is the general consensus about buying an old motor with low hours? I am not mechanically inclined and frankly don't know what to look for. The research I have done online suggests that there is a lot of risk with motors that have been in storage for long periods of time. Is there anything in particular I should be looking for?

I would be looking at a similar amount of $$ to get my current motor with 3K hours back in prime condition FWIW.
Get a copy of all the service records, review, see what was done for it to be stored

Have someone run the serial #s look at warranty history

Have him run it and see how it does with your own eyes

Ask for a full computer print out from the ECU to see how it was run etc

Try to negotiate a short warranty (i.e. enough time to get it hung on your boat, sea trialed), maybe 30 days? 15?

Research F150 to look up any known issues so you can have it independently inspected
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:32 PM
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Factor in a new balancer. Even if replaced previously, it probably does not have the newest iteration. The 04's I repowered my Contender with are still going strong, although with a different owner. Other than the well known balancer problem, these are good, dependable engines.
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. This is helpful.

The story with the motor: the dealership owns a slip and the original owner wanted more power. So they repowered with a 225. The motor was then sold to a local guy who had plans on hanging it on a new boat, but that never happened. So it has been sitting in storage. The same dealer that sold the motor to the original owner has done all the work on the motor including winterization and storage. They are a good company and I have had them do some work on my current motor.

I will certainly hire someone to look over the motor before I purchase. I there anything else we should be looking for aside from the balancer (I'm guessing that was done under recall but will check). I would think carburetor issues, filters or dried out plastic and rubber parts and wires would be a concern?
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:53 PM
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I bought a boat with twin 06 150s a year ago. A little newer than yours but similar hours. Have had no issues whatsoever... Obviously some of this is case by case but I had some of the same concerns you did and I have been pleased.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:43 PM
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No Yamaha recall on the balancer issue. Also, at least anecdotally, lower hour motors have more balancer failures than high hour motors.
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:44 PM
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sorry, to add to my list:

if you are in a state that titles outboards, make sure you get a title free and clear (i.e. it was not signed over by a prior owner and left open)

might not hurt to do a ucc lien search
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:12 PM
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I bought a similar engine about 18mo ago, 2006, had 150 hrs paid $5500 installed. I pulled old 2 stroke and sold as parts engine. Had my mechanic change balancer, no issues in 100 hrs since installed.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:27 PM
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ASk to see it run.....
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:59 PM
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I have a early F150, so these things happened to me. I bought it new in '05.

Listen for the balancer "whir" on YouTube. It's a distinctive sound. Either way you should get it done as mentioned. (The parts are less than 400 bucks from SIM Yamaha and it took an amateur -me- 2 hrs to replace). Knowing that, don't let them skewer you for a grand to do it.
They have a hot start issue....meaning if you immediately try to refire after a long run it is sort of difficult to start...just let it idle for a minute after a long run to prevent this if it bugs you. I missed the recall, so I just deal with it.
The bushing the drive shaft runs through will squeal after a long run if it gets dry. Remedy is to pull lower unit every year and grease the shaft and splines. Should be done anyway for impeller...
Install an external 10u filter to keep injectors clean. Refirbed one's are around $100. I have changed mine twice, only once did it make a difference.

It's a beast and you will be pleased (if it checks out).

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