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Old 24-02-2019, 06:36   #1
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Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Iíve heard reports of a couple of newer Suzuki outboards building up salt deposits in the power head to the point that they overheat and go into ďLimpĒ mode with a flashing trouble light. Iíve not heard of any damage though, just overheat and limp mode, assumption is limp mode does seem to protect the engine.
There doesnít seem to be a correlation with flushing, or not flushing the engines, nor of high hours, hard running etc.

My motor is four years old, operated almost entirely in salt water, and isnít flushed as often as it should be, assumption is that most cruising outboards arenít.
Itís got as a guess about 300 hours on it, so a relatively high time motor and is often run at full throttle sometimes bogged as in off plane to keep the bow high to stay dry, so itís been run as hard as is possible.
However yesterday I pulled the cap off of the water jacket that contains the internal anode to change it , and got a good look inside of the water passages in the power head.
Mine were as clean as a whistle, no build up at all.

I theorize that the ones that are having a problem have either malfunctioning thermostats and or possibly just incorrect temp thermostats, and that they are building salt deposits because the cooling jacket temp is too high, I believe that salt precipitates out at or above 165F?

The couple of engines that have had this issue, did it return? Did you change or test the thermostat?
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Old 24-02-2019, 06:58   #2
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

OP...

Topic isnít projected to a community well versed much less relevant in our lifestyles of this audience Imo

Good luck but ĒthehulltruthĒ is better website/forum if you want an audience where experience and expertise can address this topic.

Aside from smaller outboards on dunks and smaller engine bracket mounted outboards used as kickers/keelboats without aux diesels (common audiences here)

Seems outta place like mention of plaining boat hulls with exception of larger consoled ribs (which are far & few between here) of grandeur sized sail vessels as audience here.

Aux motors I use (Honda 2.3hp 4strk) is air cooled and reason I use this motor is specifically so I donít have impeller/cooling issues like your threads topic.

Valid topic but directed at such misnatched audience. Might as well a try to start a conversation about wakeboarding or jetskis
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Old 24-02-2019, 08:02   #3
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Perfectly acceptable topic here A64, not sure why a topic about dink outboards are tabboo for a cruisers forum Iíve heard the same thing with Suzukiís but have never actually seen it. I think the bigger problem is some of the smaller galleries being clogged from a combo of not flushing and long periods of non use. It sounds like youíre using it pretty frequently so the deposits get dissolved and dislodged. I suspect older smaller obís are a bigger problem due to smaller galleries. A good chunk of suzís have a flushing port to attach a hose which actually back flushes (reverse of normal flow) but it depends on the year and model.
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Old 24-02-2019, 08:11   #4
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt JJ View Post
OP...

Topic isnít projected to a community well versed much less relevant in our lifestyles of this audience Imo

Good luck but ĒthehulltruthĒ is better website/forum if you want an audience where experience and expertise can address this topic.

Aside from smaller outboards on dunks and smaller engine bracket mounted outboards used as kickers/keelboats without aux diesels (common audiences here)

Seems outta place like mention of plaining boat hulls with exception of larger consoled ribs (which are far & few between here) of grandeur sized sail vessels as audience here.

Aux motors I use (Honda 2.3hp 4strk) is air cooled and reason I use this motor is specifically so I donít have impeller/cooling issues like your threads topic.

Valid topic but directed at such misnatched audience. Might as well a try to start a conversation about wakeboarding or jetskis
Seems out of place for a relative newbie to cite forum etiquette to one of the forum moderators
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Old 24-02-2019, 08:41   #5
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Iíve heard reports of a couple of newer Suzuki outboards building up salt deposits in the power head to the point that they overheat and go into ďLimpĒ mode with a flashing trouble light. Iíve not heard of any damage though, just overheat and limp mode, assumption is limp mode does seem to protect the engine.
There doesnít seem to be a correlation with flushing, or not flushing the engines, nor of high hours, hard running etc.

My motor is four years old, operated almost entirely in salt water, and isnít flushed as often as it should be, assumption is that most cruising outboards arenít.
Itís got as a guess about 300 hours on it, so a relatively high time motor and is often run at full throttle sometimes bogged as in off plane to keep the bow high to stay dry, so itís been run as hard as is possible.
However yesterday I pulled the cap off of the water jacket that contains the internal anode to change it , and got a good look inside of the water passages in the power head.
Mine were as clean as a whistle, no build up at all.

I theorize that the ones that are having a problem have either malfunctioning thermostats and or possibly just incorrect temp thermostats, and that they are building salt deposits because the cooling jacket temp is too high, I believe that salt precipitates out at or above 165F?

The couple of engines that have had this issue, did it return? Did you change or test the thermostat?
Hey A64
I work for a Suzuki OB dealer service and repair.
Aside from the usual salt build up in the power head around the anodes, incorporated into the power head.
It's not unusual to see telltails clog.
Aside from this, I've not seen this regularly enough to say it's caused by salt precipitation out of solution.
It does happen though.
Thanks for your input and I'll ask the other guys if they have a different opinion about this
Cheers
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Old 24-02-2019, 09:07   #6
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Personally I think anything having to do with boats is on topic here.
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Old 24-02-2019, 09:58   #7
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

salt build up??? Salt dissolvrs in water, the warmer the better.
ok, that build up is wnitish and it will taste salt. But it is somethong that does not dissolve well in water and the earmer the worse. that is why it builds up in earm engines.
Those little animals on the sea build their homes of that stiff: shellfish!
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:05   #8
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

I have a 2011 6hp Suzuki. Only external anodes. I don't know what the internal engine looks like but I had a large salt crystal form on the outside bottom of the power-head at what looked like the location where the internal exhaust was ported. It never overheated. In the spring I am going to run a couple gallons of vinegar thru it to see what flushes out. It does make me wonder if Suzuki's have issues with salt build-up.
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:21   #9
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

head, salt??
salt dissolves in water and the warmer the better.
That stuff that is also white and also tastes salty is theaterial those little creatures in the sea built their homes of. And that stiff is one of the few stuffs that dissole a bit on cold eater but less good in warmer.
That is wny it builds up in a warm engine or in your kettle at home on whoch you eatm, heat your eayer for thr coffee or thea
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:29   #10
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Ours is one that exhibited the problem.

I suspect partly not from high hours, instead from low hours. I suspect partly from not flushing with the engine running instead of flushing with engine off (thermostat closed). I suspect slightly possible from flushing only with fresh water, instead of a solution like Salt Away.

The symptom hasn't reappeared but then again we didn't have it out much (at all) before winterizing after the event, so can't speak to whether it's a persistent problem or just a transitory thing due to our own interaction with the thing.

When we prepped to winterize, I did flush the snot out of it, engine running, using a really long Salt Away recirculation.

I'm thinking if the problem were to reappear, I could instead try flushing with Barnacle Buster or Rydlyme... in case the "salt" was something else, or a mixture of salt buildup and something else.

I'm not actually too worried about it, partly because I now know more about what happened where (in the unit), partly because I'm comfortable that a better flushing regime will probably (maybe) help, and partly because I foresee using the outboard more this coming season.

He says... optimistically...

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Old 24-02-2019, 10:44   #11
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Quote:
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Seems out of place for a relative newbie to cite forum etiquette to one of the forum moderators
I agree! What a condescending reply to a very valid question. I have a 29 ft boat, a 16.5 ft speedboat, and a 9 ft hard dingy, all of which have motors, two being Suzuki.
I enjoy this forum more than others because of the low level of scathing remarks on fellow posters. Please, let's keep it that way, welcoming all boating questions.
I'm going to check my Suzuki outboards right now!
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:13   #12
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

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head, salt??
salt dissolves in water and the warmer the better.
That stuff that is also white and also tastes salty is theaterial those little creatures in the sea built their homes of. And that stiff is one of the few stuffs that dissole a bit on cold eater but less good in warmer.
That is wny it builds up in a warm engine or in your kettle at home on whoch you eatm, heat your eayer for thr coffee or thea
This is different than calcium build up from sea life.
Salt will come out of solution and crystallize together to form blockages in passages.
Salt water passes normally until temps rise enough for the salt, normally in solution, begins to drop out of solution and form crystals that bind together in slow moving areas in the engine block.
Most raw water cooling systems run 150 or there about.
With long periods of open throttle running and possibilities of not enough cooling down time in these engines, it's my belief that hot areas form and cause salt water temps to rise to the point of Chrystals forming, eventually causing a potential for blockages to happen.
Just a lack of proper running and regular
SV Cloud Duster
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:25   #13
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Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Quote:
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Valid topic but directed at such misnatched audience. Might as well a try to start a conversation about wakeboarding or jetskis


Sorry I think you misunderstand, the engine in question is the newer 9.9 to 20 HP Suzuki, which power a whole lot of the dinghies out there.
One of the draws to this engine is that itís fuel injected and therefore no carburetor to gum up from ethanol fuel or whatever clogs up carburetors these days.

There have to my knowledge been only a couple of engines exhibiting this symptom, making me think there is something wrong with those engines and not a design defect, or the internet would be full of failure reports.
I surmise based on mine being clean as a whistle that it could be their engines running hotter than mine as I know that can cause salt or other salt like minerals to precipitate out of solution, for this reason raw water engines run quite cool, or they too will clog their cooling passages.

Also I run the snot out of mine, often full throttle, I donít baby it.
I donít try to abuse it either, just I donít take it easy.
I have never flushed it with anything except fresh water, and truthfully have only flushed when we are in a Marina.
In contrast on my old boat with a big Mercury Verado, it was flushed after each use, even if only taken to the lake to ski.
However that outboard cost about as much as a decent car too, so I was careful with it.
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:42   #14
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Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

I didnít know of an internal anode either, bumped into its existence I think maybe on this forum. It is part number 7 in this picture which is under and attached to the cap part number 5.
Itís the same anode as the external one.
Iím on my third external anode, but interestingly the internal one was still in almost new condition
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:43   #15
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Re: Salt Build up in Suzuki Powerheads

Seems this is a 4 stroke thing?
Can't find any reference to internal anodes for our dt30 Suzi.

Ours never gets fresh water flushed but does get a run every couple of days.
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