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Top 20 FAQ's about Outboards

by on ‎09-04-2012 04:38



Top 20 FAQ's about Outboards                                   8-15-2012


Edited by Bill Grannis



1)  What is my fuel/oil ratio?


Johnson and Evinrude carbureted 2-stroke outboards since 1964 require a 50:1 fuel to oil mixture (2%) on engines without an automatic oiling system - 6 gallons of gas to 1 pint of outboard oil.  Refer to question #5 for information on oil.


Most outboards manufactured before 1964 need 24:1. Fishing motors prior to 1955 commonly used a 16:1 ratio. Refer to question #20 for more information about older outboards.



2)  How can I tell my model year?


Every modern outboard has a model and serial number tag or plate on the front of the motor between the transom brackets or on the side of the transom bracket. Very old motors have the numbers stamped into the flywheel or on the cylinder block.


You can download a model-year guide at: http://shop.evinrude.com/media/document/ModelNumberReference.pdf



3)  What is my sparkplug gap?


Refer to question 4.


4)  What is the correct sparkplug for my engine?


The proper sparkplugs and the correct gap specifications are found in your Operator's Guide, the service manual, or in the dealer's Parts & Accessory Catalog. If the engine is 1998 or newer, you can consult the EPA Emissions Control Label near the model and serial number tag for sparkplug information.


An online factory sparkplug chart can be accessed at  www.shop.evinrude.com , choose MAINTENANCE, then select SPARKPLUGS from the categories. Click on your type of outboard and scroll down to the appropriate engine listing.



            a) Sparkplug cross-reference charts may not be accurate. Use only the factory recommended sparkplugs for your motor to avoid engine problems and to comply with EPA emission regulations.


            b) Sparkplug recommendations may have changed over the years compared to what was printed in the original manuals. Consult the latest Evinrude literature concerning updated sparkplug numbers for your engine.



5)  What engine oil should I use? And what is the difference?


Johnson and Evinrude two-stroke outboard engines perform best with Evinrude/Johnson Genuine Parts®   XD-100, XD-50, or XD-30 oils which are specifically formulated for your motor. If Evinrude/Johnson Genuine Parts® oils are not available, you must use an NMMA® certified TC-W3® outboard motor oil.


The XD-100 is synthetic oil, XD-50 utilizes a synthetic-blend formula, and XD-30 is conventional outboard oil.  XD-100 and XD-50 lubricants offer enhanced engine protection for FICHT, DI, and E-TEC models as well as for outboards operated in high-performance or heavy-duty applications. In addition, these two premium oils may reduce exhaust smoke when used in traditional outboard motors.



XD-100 is recommended for the operation of oil-injected outboards below 40°F (5°C) and is required for temperatures at or below freezing.


Four-stroke Johnson and Evinrude outboards use Evinrude-Johnson Ultra 4-Stroke Oil® or an equivalent lubricant specified in the Operator's Guide.


For more oil information, go to: http://shop.evinrude.com/Product+Information/MAINTENANCE/1994



6)  Can I order parts directly from BRP?


To find part numbers, prices, and to order parts:


Go to www.evinrude.com, choose ONLINE STORE, click on PARTS. Use the pull-down menu to choose which brand, then click on the year and the model number. Refer to question #2 to determine your engine's model year.


For ordering information:



7)  What is the standard prop for my engine?


Refer to question 8.


8)  What type of propeller do I need?


Only the 30 hp and smaller motors come equipped with a standard propeller.


Because 40 hp and larger outboards are installed on all sizes and types of watercraft capable of various speeds, one propeller does not work on all boats.  Proper engine operation and longevity are governed by the propeller. The general recommendation is to achieve an RPM in the upper half of the factory recommended operational range with a normal load aboard.


It is up to the dealer or boat builder to furnish you with the correct prop for your boating needs. Consult your dealer for more information on what propeller(s) would be recommended for your application.


An Evinrude technical publication explaining how to find the correct propeller is available for download at:





9) What RPM should my engine run at?


Outboards have a recommended full throttle operational range that is listed in the Operator's Guide and in the Service Manual. Typically, the best full-throttle RPM is in the upper half of the operational range and determined by the propeller. (Refer to question #8 for more information)


The most advantageous cruising RPM and fuel economy are generally from 60% to 75% full-throttle depending on boat design, engine horsepower, load, and sea conditions.



10) What does my engine weigh?


Refer to the Operator's Guide, the appropriate service manual, or the specification page on the correct year's sales brochure.


Weights are also listed in the NADA® pricing guide.  http://www.nadaguides.com/Boats


11) What gearcase oil do I need for my engine?


Refer to your Operator's Guide or the service manual. Over the years, oil types become outdated when improved lubricants replace them.


Currently, all manual shift outboards can use the Evinrude/Johnson Genuine Parts®   HPF-Pro gearcase lubricant. Electric shift gearcases, from 1962 through 1972, require Type C or Premium Blend Gearcase Lubricant®. Small non-shifting outboards, from the early 1950's or older, may call for a #105 marine gear grease.



12) How much gearcase lube do I need?


Refer to your Operator's Guide or to the service manual for the exact capacity in fluid ounces. Generally speaking, 1 quart is more than enough for a small to medium sized outboard gearcase. For larger outboards, 2 quarts are ample and the remainder may be saved and used later.



13) What is the part number for the water pump kit of my engine?


You can look up the parts and prices at www.shop.evinrude.com or contact your local dealer. Refer to question #6 for more details.



14) What is the correct battery capacity for my engine?

Refer to your Operator's Guide or to the service manual. This is one item where size does matter. Purchase the highest capacity battery you can afford as long as it EXCEEDS the minimum required specifications.


An 800 CCA (1000 MCA) group 24 battery should be adequate for any Johnson or Evinrude outboard.



15) How do I get service information for my engine?


Evinrude stocks parts books, service manuals and operator's guides for 1997 and newer products. They may be ordered through your local dealer or from http://shop.evinrude.com/category/342499/Literature


 For 1996 and older models, contact:


Ken Cook Company

9929 West Silver Spring Drive

P.O. Box 250940

Milwaukee, Wisconsin53225




16) I need a wiring diagram for my engine - do you have one?


Wiring diagrams are printed in the factory service manuals. Refer to question #15 on how to obtain a service manual.



17) Does the part I buy from BRP have a warranty?


Standard parts come with a one year warranty. Certain assemblies, consumables, accessories, and specialized items may have a different warranty. Consult your dealer for more information.


Be aware that the parts warranty does not cover incorrect installation, wrong application, abuse, incorrect voltage, submerging, corrosion, modifications, or other conditions not related to a manufacturing defect.



18) What is in the 300 hour / 3 year service for my E-TEC?


The 300 hour/ 3 year service interval is for normal recreational boating in fresh water. Salt water environments, high-performance applications, and commercial usage require more frequent service and inspections. Consult your dealer.


A maintenance guide illustrating most of the services needed for a 300 hour/ 3 year interval is published in the Operator's Guide. A service manual is recommended as it goes into more detail of the servicing aspect. Contact your dealer who should be familiar with any additional services required that may be unique to your boating area or type of use.



For outboards beyond the original 3-year warranty and covered under the B.E.S.T. extended service plan, proof of required 300 hour/3 year services by an authorized dealer is needed BEFORE commencing repairs.



19) Where did the purple wire go on the regulator you sold me?


Originally the purple wire was required to sense the engine's charging voltage. In 2002, the regulator was improved which eliminated the need for the purple wire. Be sure to secure and insulate the engine's purple wire as it is not needed with the new style regulator.



20)  I found an old outboard motor. What is it worth? Where can I find parts to get it running?


Most older outboards only have a modest value since large numbers were built in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's with many still in operation today. Certain models and engines manufactured prior to World War II are popular with collectors and enthusiasts. Motors with visible damage, corrosion, or missing items have very little worth and are often purchased just for spare parts.


For information about vintage motors and obsolete parts contact:


Antique Outboard Motor Club

P.O. Box 69

Sussex, WI 53089



on ‎09-04-2012 09:22


Easier to use and more complete spark plug charts can be found using the following links:







E-TEC  engines:







on ‎09-05-2012 07:55



3 year/ 300 hour Maintenance Chart

300hr chart.jpg




 E-TEC Spark Plug Chart thru 2012.jpg