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1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

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  • 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

    I have had an ongoing problem with my tilt motor. It seems to work fine while on dry ground but once in the water and all the way down it will not lift it back up. I here the solenoid clicking and it is getting power to it. After several minutes it all of the sudden works. This motor is new (three years old) it has no water in it as I had the seals replaced on the housing. I checked to see if there was water in the motor and it was clean. I was told by a mechanic that that paticular motor was notorious for being underpowered and that OMC sells a more powerful replacement. Does anyone have any info on this.


  • #2
    Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

    Mine seemed to have a "dead spot" in the full down position. I took my quadrant gear off and bumped the motor a bit with the switch (a tooth or two). Now, the dead spot is part way up, so the motor rolls right by it once the drives in motion. You could try that. I don't think you'll find an OMC motor at all anymore, weak or strong versions... a few people selling aftermarket stuff on the 'bay...

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    • #3
      Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

      actually, when I was checking last summer, I found the motors at many different sites, priced anywhere from $100-$200, but never notice any stronger than another, not to say it doesn't exist.

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      • #4
        Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

        Don Welcome to the board. I have a question before I can help. 1985 could be a Cobra drive or a Stringer. Do you know which you have. Also you say 3.8 Liter, Is this a 4 Cylinder or a 6 Cylinder. I do not know the 3.8L.If it is the Stringer drive a 4 cylinder then likely a 3.0L. Easy way to tell if it a Stringer or Cobra is by the way the outdrive lifts. Stringer lifts by a 1/4 round gear on the port side of the outdrive. Cobra lift by two hydralic cylinders one on each side of the ourdrive. Many things that can cause your problem on the stringer motor.1 Weak battery.2 Bad Tilt motor. Motor can get water in it if you lift the bow and do not pull the plug, or if you have a water leak in the clutch and drive shaft area.3 Bad Solenoids.4 Water not in Tilt Clutch instead of 30 weight oil.5 Out drive pivot pins have not been greased. Mine I greased every year twice but still where the zert put grease in the grease did not get all the way around. When I pulled the caps over the pins and cleaned out all the old grease then relubed and put back together, my out drive went for lifting 1/2 inch at a time to full up in 3 seconds. Best way I know to start is to remove the three bolts that hold the 1/4 round big gear. This will let you manually lift the outdrive and see if it binds up. Also you can try and run the motor and see if the small gear turns.good luck
        Have some fun and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
        Love to fish out of Bodega Bay, California.

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        • #5
          Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

          Yes! Good info about the grease in the pivots. Those cheesy bearings don't distribute the greas every well.3.8 is a V6, only used with 800 series stringers.re: clutch hsg:3 year old seals or 1 day old seals, ALL stringer tilt clutch housings take on water. It's a design flaw. Change the oil a couple times a season and drain completely when winterizing.

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          • #6
            Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

            Don, A couple of the "Pro's" here reccommended filling the tilt gear case housing with "marine" grease or a combo of that and gear oil. Your problem is most likely electrical. I ran a separate ground from the battery direct to the ground point on the bellhousing where the tilt motor ground is connected. The assist solenoid posts should be cleaned thoroughly and when reassembled, coated with liquid tape. It is possible to have a bad solenoid, but most likely problem is connections, especially around salt water.FYI BOATIST...Cobra drives where introduced in '86 and used hydralic jacks for tilt/trim.
            sigpicIf it were easy, any Caveman could do it.

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            • #7
              Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

              Great advice from all! I will grease those zircs after cleaning thouroughly. I will add marine grease to my oil in the clutch housing. I will remove the quadrant gear and bump that motor a touch and at same time check to see if it is binding. I will also clean those solenoids. Are they right there on top of the motor? If I get stuck again out on the water I guess my only recourse is to remove that quadrant gear, right?

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              • #8
                Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

                Yes, the solenoids are on top by the carb. One side is the tilt, other side is the trim. Starter assist is the solenoid on the back. I cleaned them all at once when I was doing it.If push came to shove, the only way to free the drive to trailer is to remove the quadrant.Good luck!
                sigpicIf it were easy, any Caveman could do it.

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                • #9
                  Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

                  Same problem here too. I did what Keith suggested and drained it and then I pumped it full of marine grease. Never had a problem since and no water seems to be getting in either. I think the grease helped seal it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

                    My clutch got water in it one time. I took it apart and replaced with two new seals on the small gear side and a new O-Ring on the cover side. Filled it with 30 weight oil and change every spring and check every fall. Used OMC sealer on the seals and have had no more problems. I should add mine is a trailer boat so is in the water less than 12 hours at a time. To this day will fully raise in 3 seconds.
                    Have some fun and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
                    Love to fish out of Bodega Bay, California.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

                      Boatist, I am getting water in the tilt unit on my 84 OMC 5.0 Liter sterndrive. The water is forcing the oil/water mess up into the tilt motor. I changed out the tilt motor, replaced the little gaskets on the fill and drain screws, put it in the water for four hours and had a lot of water back in the unit. Where can I find the seals, and is it difficult to replace them?Thanks

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                      • #12
                        Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

                        Check this out Lindy: http://www.sterndrive.info/id12.html
                        sigpicIf it were easy, any Caveman could do it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 1985 omc 3.8 liter tilt motor

                          Excellent... Thanks

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