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Old 18-09-2015, 18:26   #16
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

Tohatsu or Nissan is the most reliable out of the ones u listed

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Old 18-09-2015, 23:23   #17
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

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Originally Posted by ejlindahl View Post
It looks like the Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 hp outboard with the neutral gear is what I want for my dingy.

I heard someone say they break shear pins often. A shop guy said thats only if not set up right, meaning the idle is too high and when you shift the pin can break. I suppose that kids or the unexperienced may also shift without idling down completely. This seems like a weak point. Anybody have this problem?

I looked at one on CL where the lower pivot bearing/pivot support on the leg had come off and someone had used it for years that way. The leg casting was grooved and worn from where it pressed and rotated against the angle adjusting bolt of the clamp bracket. Incidently this made the upper pivot bearing quite loose and the whole thing was quite wobbly. I only offered him $150 as there were other problems and parts to buy as well. I think this was a one off occurrence by an inattentive, uncaring user/abuser, however I thought I'd ask if anyone else has had this happen?

Also on the same motor the hole that the tilt-up lock pin goes in was very worn so that the pin would barely stay in, it just kind a wobbled around in there. It appears. that this pin was for both reverse hold down and to lock the motor in the tilted up position. (this is the rotate 180 to reverse type). The engine ran like a top, though, as opposed the obvious bearing problem.

Another question for those who own one is if the internal tank is leak tight. i will be storing it in the float of my Corsair 31 trimaran and I can not have a leaker. (My 40 year old 2hp Evinrude has been living in there and has never leaked. Its been great so I'm keeping it, I just want to get on a plane.)

I recently borrowed a friends 3.3 and it planned out my dingy easily, tho he did not have the neutral model. Would the neutral gear box rob power from the engine and make it have less thrust?

Lastly, are there any other caveats to be aware of on these motors before I start looking?

Thanks

Eric
My Mercury 2 stroke 5 HP is the best small outboard I have owned. It has both built in fuel tank and a separate tank depending on which you want to use. Its 5 years old and has never missed a beat. I did make a circular SS guard around the prop for those heavy beach landings in surf. My 8'6" rib does 10.5 knots with one person but slower with 2 up. I guess that there are different models for different markets. 2 strokes are still allowed in NZ.
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Old 19-09-2015, 04:24   #18
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

Mercury, Mariner, Yanaha, maybe Tohatsu and Nissan are all the same pretty much. Some cosmetic differences.
Mercury, Mariner, Yamaha all use the same aftermarket manual. I believe all made by Tohatsu and according to a post here Nissan is as well, never seen one of those.
Johnson and Evinrude are the same, used to be made 10 minutes from where I now sit. It's a canoe museum now, OMC used to employ a few thousand people here.
Looks like there are only a couple actual manufacturers.
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Old 26-09-2015, 21:10   #19
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

Great replies. thanks. Still waiting for the right one to pop up.

I saw a pretty nice Nissan 3.5 but the hinge bolt that holds the engine to the transom clamp bracket, (allowing you to pull the motor up out of the water) has worn the aluminum holes it goes thru. This allows the motor to wobble quite a bit and there is no friction as you tilt it up, so don't let go or it will fall back down to the run position with a bang. The only thing holding it up is the pin made for that purpose. I passed on it.

The seller said it mostly lived on the push pit bracket on his sailboat. My theory is that the hinge pivot bolt hole just got alot of wear with each wave the big boat hit. I suspect the bolt is seized in the transom clamp side of the hinge and might be real hard or impossible to remove or tighten. This is because the adjustable trim angle pin right next to the bolt is so tight (from salt corrosion I suspect) that you can barely turn it and I certainly couldn't pull it out to change the trim angle. Removing the bolt for a repair wouldn't help anyway as the bolt hole in the motor part of the hinge is worn oversize so you really need a big disassemble and motor bracket replacement job.

Anyone have this wobbly/worn bolt hole connection between the motor and transom clamp bracket?
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Old 26-09-2015, 21:35   #20
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

You don't want a motor so badly used up.
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Old 26-09-2015, 23:38   #21
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

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Originally Posted by ejlindahl View Post
Great replies. thanks. Still waiting for the right one to pop up.

I saw a pretty nice Nissan 3.5 but the hinge bolt that holds the engine to the transom clamp bracket, (allowing you to pull the motor up out of the water) has worn the aluminum holes it goes thru. This allows the motor to wobble quite a bit and there is no friction as you tilt it up, so don't let go or it will fall back down to the run position with a bang. The only thing holding it up is the pin made for that purpose. I passed on it.

The seller said it mostly lived on the push pit bracket on his sailboat. My theory is that the hinge pivot bolt hole just got alot of wear with each wave the big boat hit. I suspect the bolt is seized in the transom clamp side of the hinge and might be real hard or impossible to remove or tighten. This is because the adjustable trim angle pin right next to the bolt is so tight (from salt corrosion I suspect) that you can barely turn it and I certainly couldn't pull it out to change the trim angle. Removing the bolt for a repair wouldn't help anyway as the bolt hole in the motor part of the hinge is worn oversize so you really need a big disassemble and motor bracket replacement job.

Anyone have this wobbly/worn bolt hole connection between the motor and transom clamp bracket?
Yes they are all tohatsu engines "merc nissan" they are all made in Mexico. the company was closed in Georgia several years ago and moved to Mexico. put ten thousand people out if work. now the motors are made with inferior materials. Steer clear of these motors. They are cheap but won't last more than four or five years, if taken care of. your money is better spent on Yamaha, Honda or lehr in the small out board department
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Old 27-09-2015, 00:48   #22
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

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Yes they are all tohatsu engines "merc nissan" they are all made in Mexico. the company was closed in Georgia several years ago and moved to Mexico. put ten thousand people out if work. now the motors are made with inferior materials. Steer clear of these motors. They are cheap but won't last more than four or five years, if taken care of. your money is better spent on Yamaha, Honda or lehr in the small out board department
Tohatsu have a pretty good reputation. I'm not sure on what basis you're suggesting that these won't last. Perhaps you can guide us to some sources that would indicate this.

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Old 27-09-2015, 05:32   #23
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

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Yes they are all tohatsu engines "merc nissan" they are all made in Mexico. the company was closed in Georgia several years ago and moved to Mexico ...
In January 2005, Tohatsu opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in the mountainous area of central Japan that boasts over 370,000 sq. ft. of space and has a production capacity of over 200,000 outboards per year. Tohatsu's new plant uses technologically advanced machinery that is fully automated to produce reliable outboards with award winning reputations. All Tohatsu outboard motors are produced in Japan.
About Tohatsu Outboard Motors
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Old 27-09-2015, 06:36   #24
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

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Originally Posted by tinkrman69 View Post
Yes they are all tohatsu engines "merc nissan" they are all made in Mexico. the company was closed in Georgia several years ago and moved to Mexico. put ten thousand people out if work. now the motors are made with inferior materials. Steer clear of these motors. They are cheap but won't last more than four or five years, if taken care of. your money is better spent on Yamaha, Honda or lehr in the small out board department

IMHO.....Lehr hasn't been on the market long enough to say something like this about it......and like Gord says, the others are not produced on Mexico.


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Old 27-09-2015, 07:59   #25
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

I happen to have a nice Mariner 3.3 2 stroke listed on ebay. They used several different variations of carbs on these motors and this has the largest jets. Also the engine with neutral has a bigger and easier to service impeller.
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Old 27-09-2015, 08:18   #26
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

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Tohatsu have a pretty good reputation. I'm not sure on what basis you're suggesting that these won't last. Perhaps you can guide us to some sources that would indicate this.

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I base it on the Nissan I own and the many that are brought to me for repair. I repair small outboards for a living. The four stroke tohatsu, nissan, mercury are the most I get for repair and most of those repairs are due to faulty material and construction. the hondas yamahas johnson come with dirty fuel and water pumps. I've had broken recoil mechanisms leaking fuel tanks rusted parts on carbs due to low grade ferrous steal screws. once even a sheared crank shaft at the flywheel. some motors lightly froze up after sitting three to four weeks.

So in answer to your question? First hand experience. I may be small time as I am a working cruiser. But as a cruiser my market is spread out over a large range. I even get european made Johnson's of which I might add are the better made johnson's

Out of the small four strokes yamaha and Honda are the best, with honda having the longest experience in small four strokes, with over 25 years.
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Old 27-09-2015, 23:31   #27
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

Wish my 2 stroke Merc. Never passed away but it did. Now that only 4 strokes are available to the American market I was forced to replace it with an inferior outboard. I priced them all and decided to go with what I trusted, a Merc.. Then I discovered Merc was in fact a Tohatsu so I went with Tohatsu because it was marketed cheaper. I had to learn to turn the fuel off and run the engine for a couple minutes before stopping it to get most of the fuel out of the carb or it would flood EVERY time. Now that I adhere to that rule we are getting along fine. It is still not as good as my 2 stroke was on its worst day.
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Old 28-09-2015, 01:57   #28
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

The Tohatsu 3.5 2 strokes are worth looking for. I've had 2 of them over for 15 years of full time cruising (using them about 250 days a year), and I'd buy another in a heartbeat. The first one took me around the world, but got really banged up under a dock in Tobago when the surf came in. I sold the still running remains for $100 and bought a new one for $500 in Trinidad. About 6 years later I advertised it on CL and there was a fight over it for $400.

The engines took a lot of abuse- submerged twice, never flushed with fresh water, and had (non-ethanol) gas sit in the carb for up to six months. The first one had no neutral, so I used to leave the newer one in forward gear, but learned that the shifter would salt up unless it was lubed and exercised. The first one had the ignition go bad after 4 years, but parts were easy to get in Australia. Sometimes I would have to take the carb apart at the start of a cruising season, but it was really simple. I did have a bit of problem with the first one breaking shear pins, but it was after I put on a metal prop--switching back to the plastic prop solved that. The engine was stored vertically down the front hatch, and I never had a problem with gas leaking as long as I closed the tank vent.
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Old 28-09-2015, 23:05   #29
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

Found one!! My quest is over. 3.3 Merc with neutral. Built 1996 and I believe the seller who said it sat unused in a garage for 10 years. It doesn't have the characteristic wear patterns I've seen on several others. And, as he said, it must have been mostly fresh water. It shows little corrosion and he is in a small fishing lake area away from Puget Sound. His shop & yard are full of outboards and boats making it obvious he's a back yard fixer/flipper. Nice rural type of guy full of great advice. I kept telling him I wish I lived next door so he could help me when I get stumped.

its hard to shift though which I've heard about so I will have to sort that out and start or search for a thread about it.

Got it home and ran it around the lake in my 12' light weight aluminum boat and it seemed like it had a governor on it. It would give full power out of the hole but when it got up on a plane and just starting to wind up to full rpm where you'd ordinarily expect it add a few more mph and flatten the boat out it would back off several hundred rpm, boat would slow then it would go to full power again and start to wind up, then it would back off, and so forth. So I found a needle valve on the carb which I suspect was a high rpm fuel/air mixture adjustment and leaned it out a quarter turn and viola; full wind up to an astounding 8 or 10 knots! My 1984 Evinrude 6 had this adjustment on the outside face plate and my 1972 2 hp had two of em; for low and high speed. I often tinker with them to get the best idle or top end speed. Its nice when they're accessible with out having to take the cowling off.

So, as the OP, I am done with this thread but carry on for the benefit of others. I will drop in on occasion to see what other good advice comes up.

Thanks

Eric
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Old 06-12-2015, 23:45   #30
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Re: Mercury Johnson Evinrude Tohatsu 3.3 or 2.3 hp Outboard, Any Problems With Them?

I thought I would check back and give any who are interested an update.

I finally made an attempt today to free up the shift on my 3.3 Merc 2 stroke. I didn’t get finished but when I pulled the shift lever assembly off (#1 in the schematic below) there was a lot of plastic dust/crumbs between the 2 o-rings, and the bearing surface of the plastic shift lever was scored from abrasion. Aha! the source of the dust and excess friction! When I looked inside the housing where the lever inserts in the engine block the bearing surface was very rough, like a rough casting that was never reamed out or machined in anyway, (ok I will agree on shoddy manufacturing here, but some of the newer models I looked at had very smooth shifting so maybe they fixed that, mine’s a 1996, made in Japan). It also brought to mind a rusted steel surface that was pock marked with scale but I’m sure, (I hope) that it is an aluminum block. So that is what did the scoring and most certainly is the cause of the stiff/hard shifting. That will have to be fixed and when done it should go a long way to making shifting easy like some of the other engines I looked at. Tomorrow I will figure out a way to smooth it out. I’m thinking a small diameter, (~5/8”) fine grinding/polishing drum or maybe some rolled up sand paper on a drum/mandrel on a drill. Or better yet, maybe the hardware store has a polishing stone/drum or buffing wheel that has a small enough diameter to fit inside the hole. I’ll have to go lightly as I don’t want to enlarge the hole or make it out of round which would make the lever wobbly with excess play.

I expect my fix will solve the stiff shifting issue. If not and I find more issues I will report back. So far I’m very happy to have a relatively powerful light weight kicker. I hope it will give me years of relatively trouble free service like my old Evinrudes.

One other thing I read recently is that a couple folks have noted that the small engine Merc ignition pack/coil or what ever it is, has a flaw that causes it to miss, shut down or misbehave when under load. It works ok in the repairman's test tank but when you get it back out on the dink it will act up. The fix was easy, just replace it, but the problem was often misdiagnosed. Don’t know if that is on a 4 stroke or 2 but its something for us to be aware of.

As an aside, I’ll second Tinkrmans opinion in post (#26 ) that the European Johnson/OMCs are really good: My ~1985 6hp Evinrude was made in Belgium, but bought in Seattle. It still works great even though I’ve never done anything to it except ream the pee hole out with a wire when I forget to run it in fresh water and I guess I had to clean the carb a couple times when I forgot to run the gas out. It is low hours, though, (5-20 hrs/year) and I do store it inside over the winter. I did change the plugs a decade or so ago, but have never changed the gear oil or impeller, etc. In the spring I just plug in the tank thats sat out in our rainy PNW winter with old regular gas and after several pulls it starts right up. Yeah, I know I should take better care of it. OTOH, my 2013 9.9 Honda impeller disintegrated after less than 50 hours!?!?! and I’ve had to clean its carb twice already. The first time the float bowl had hundreds of granules in it from the rubber cement they used to hold the complicated o-ring in place during manufacturing - totally unnecessary as I obviously did not repeat this, (Honda’s), stupidity. ….. It took me 2 or 3 hours with dental pick to careful scrape off the rest of the rubber cement from inside the bowl. Fingers are always crossed on this really new engine. Sheesh! Yes I use fresh, non alcohol gas on this engine, always.

I also read somewhere where a guy tried to fix the hard shifting like mine and he had success with removing the petroleum based lube, sanding down the bearing surface on the plastic shift lever and lubing it with silicone grease. He did not mention a rough surface like I found but surmised that the petroleum lube caused the plastic shift lever bearing area to expand slightly and make it hard to shift. He reported no problems since he took a little off the bearing surface and switched to silicone lube

Eric
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