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Author Topic:   Suzuki Outboard: buy or not?
lc posted 05-14-2003 04:53 PM ET (US)   Profile for lc   Send Email to lc  
Finally got the money to purchase an outboard. I'm set on a Four stroke 50hp efi. I was set on meeting and finalizing a deal with the suzuki dealer here on Friday. Problem is, I did more homework and found many negative comments (Iboats boating forum) about suzuki, especially about warranty and parts availibility. Many have said to stay away from Suzuki's. Now I'm second guessing myself. Called the Merc dealer today, will meet with him today. Anybody out there have an opinion on what I should get? Merc or Suzuki. Dealer also told me that Johnson and suzuki are the same manufacturer. Should I go with the Johnson because its an american company and assume parts won't be a problem. Being that these outboard are expensive, I just want to make a good decision. Any and all input will be greatly appreciated.
lc posted 05-14-2003 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for lc  Send Email to lc     
Just saw the "mercury nightmare" post. Now I'm really confused!
Jay A posted 05-14-2003 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
To add to your confusion: I have a 1975 40hp Merc on my 13'Whaler and it still goes strong. The only thing replaced are the sparkplugs! On my "big" boat I have a 200hp Suzuki,this is it's third season with no problems. Tied-up next to me is a ten year old 80hp Suzuki, the owner says it's been realiable.
JBCornwell posted 05-14-2003 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy LC.

The Suzuki bashing on iboats stopped about a year ago. I assume that the bashers are getting good service from their Suzukis or never had one in the first place.

I have had no problems with my Suzuki, including availability of parts.

Those are great engines. If you have no access to a nearby dealer, The Johnson is the same engine but Bombardier has it's own part numbers and parts supply.

I would not hesitate to recommend the engine in either color.

Red sky at night. . .

Perry posted 05-14-2003 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
lc, Suzuki has a good dealer network here in Hawaii. My Dad has twin Suzuki 70's on his Hawaiian Sea Cat and they have run great for over 2 years. I chose to power my Whaler with a Honda, both brands are good reliable motors.
half shell posted 05-14-2003 06:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for half shell  Send Email to half shell     
Hello I cannot advise on the suzuki however I have a 1996 Honda 50hp 4 stroke on my montauk and love it.Starts on first try runs all day on a few gallons of fuel have not had any problems with it.Just oil and fluid changes the paint looks new and no signs of corrosions anywhere and the boat is kept in a salt water slip.
Good luck Bob
Tom2697 posted 05-14-2003 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
I bought a 140 Suzuki 4-stroke about 2 months ago. I had the same reservations as you but I was able to get a 6 year warranty. That made the decision to buy from Suzuki instead of Johnson MUCH easier.

Also, the dealer network for Suzuki has vastly improved even over last year! I remember hearing somewhere(maybe read in a magazine) that Suzuki has gotten some contracts to supply motors for OEM boat companies. Meaning, you should start seeing a lot more of them. This will then make parts availability much better.

ducktwin posted 05-14-2003 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for ducktwin  Send Email to ducktwin     
If you like and trust the Suzuki dealer, go for it.

Or, you can do as JBCornwell suggested, buy the Johnson-same engine.

I've heard nothing but praises for the 4-stroke Suzuki performance.

lhg posted 05-14-2003 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
It should be pointed out that the "Mercury nightmare" thread was about a Yamaha 4-stroke powerhead. The Mercury EFI 50 HP is all Mercury designed and built, and excellent. Even Yamaha buys it from Mercury for their models in this HP range.

Mercury has thousands more dealers than Suzuki if service is your issue. What's interesting is that both engines are now black. Suzuki finally had the nerve to copy Mercury's highly recognized paint jobs. From a distance, you'd think they were Mercurys.
Buy from an American corporation, help keep Boston Whaler financed, and go for the original black engine rather than the copycat!

Dick posted 05-14-2003 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick    

I outfitted my 99 Montauk with a 50 HP Merc 4 stroke (carburated Yamaha powerhead}. It will be starting it's 4th season shortly and I have had no problems.

At the marina we are hanging some 40 HP Johnson 4 strokes on 16' Duraboats for our rental fleet. From what I have seen so far I am impressed, by the end of the season we will know how good they are.

I have a friend who is a Suzuki dealer. He raves about Suzuki quality. I don't think he would BS me because he knows that if I re-powered it would be a Merc.

Suzuki parts will be no problem. If you have to get them from a Johnson dealer, all he has to do is bring the motor up in the electronic parts catalog. No problem figuring out which part you need and here is the Bombardier part number.


rsgwynn1 posted 05-15-2003 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
My brother has a 70 hp Suzuki four-stroke on a 17' McKee. Wonderful engine--sounds like a sewing machine at full throttle--and he's had no complaints in four years. Besides, Johnson ain't an American company anymore.
goldstem posted 05-15-2003 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for goldstem  Send Email to goldstem     
we have been running the 50hp suzuki four stroke on our sailing club whaler for a year now. It has been wonderful. no complaints at all. of course our usage may be atypical, but it has been a great match for our 16 foot whaler rescue boat.
dan firth posted 05-15-2003 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for dan firth  Send Email to dan firth     
Like Tom, I purchased a 140 hp 4 stroke Suzuki with a six year warranty early last year. It's been flawless so far with about 100 hours on it. It's on an '83 Outrage 18. By the way, the dealer, Brinkman Marine in Vallejo has been top notch, too. I'd buy another motor from them anytime even though they are a long way from my place. Dan
lc posted 05-15-2003 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for lc  Send Email to lc     
I feel a whole lot better about the suzuki. I talked to the dealer today and he assured me that parts aren't a problem. Thanks for the input! This is a great forum! aloha
Bigshot posted 05-16-2003 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have had 3 suzui outboards. A 1981 140hp, 1989 9.9hp and a 1999 70hp and all have NEVER been in a shop while I owned them. i have about 150hours on my 70 and nothing but 2 oil changes.
small craft advisory posted 05-16-2003 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for small craft advisory  Send Email to small craft advisory     
Dick, just bought a used Suzuki 70 hp 4 stroke to put on my Montauk restoration project. Nearly complete and wanted to take it in for servicing before I take it out. Been sitting a while. Could you send me the name of your friend who is a dealer?

If any of you with the DF70 4 stroke can email me a copy of the last page of the owners manual (wiring diagram) I sure would appreciate it. Previous owner left the manual out in the rain so it's not legible!
Thanks in advance, Lance....

homey posted 05-16-2003 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     

I wouldn't touch a Mercury again, I've owned 2. The Suzuki's on average are far more reliable and surpass the mercury's fourstroke technology. Mercury makes great racing motors but, reliability suffers. The Japanese hold the market in fourstroke power. Mercury had to go to Yamaha to stay in the large fourstroke catagory. Their large fourstrokes are actually Yamahas painted black...What does that tell you? Good luck in your decision. Homey.

Peved posted 09-06-2008 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peved  Send Email to Peved     
[Revived a five-year-old discussion in order to add negative comments about the brand. This article can only be located via searching. It was probably found in a search looking for articles about this brand for the purpose of appending comments. This is the first, and probably only article we'll see from this author; note the screen name.--jimh]

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