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  1. #1
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    Default Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Hello fellow boaters!Newbie here with a need to know and this place seems like a wealth of information. I searched the forums for this issue, but couldn't find any direct information. Help!?I have a 1999 BF130. It's on a Valco Bayrunner Baja and used for offshore fishing. It's my baby and maintenance has been meticulous, it now has 450 hours on it. Received the "Product Update Campaign" notice from Honda (funny how they don't call it a "recall", huh?) concerning fuel pump issue and inspection for block/cylinder head cracks. Actually had the notice for awhile, but figured it could wait until I took the boat in for next major service because it's been running fine.Well, took it in for service and to have these two warranty issues addressed. Just got off the phone with the local certified Honda dealer and he delivered the bad news -- both the block AND cylinder head were found to have cracks during the inspection. The dealer has notified Honda and Honda has basically said they have no idea of when they will be able to provide replacement parts. Arrrgh! So, I've tried to contact Honda myself, but after three attempts at the customer relations number without ever reaching a real person, I finally ended up leaving a voicemail.So... questions ahoy:1) Has anybody here had to have this service done? Your experience please?2) How long did it take you to get parts?3) Did Honda drag their feet on it?4) Does anybody know a real, live Honda representative I can talk to concerning this issue or a back door/phone number into Honda? I don't necessarily want to raise a ruckus yet, but would like them to know I'm not exactly pleased with "we don't know" as an answer. Dealer has recommended this so far:1) Put it back together and run it. 2) Parts will be ordered; but he said he wouldn't be surprised if it took 6 months or more (SIX MONTHS?) because parts have to come from Japan.I fish 50 miles or more offshore in this boat on a regular basis. Usually in Mexico on the Sea of Cortez. There's no such thing as "Vessel Assist", so I'm concerned about reliability. The reason I'm having this addressed now is because it is off-season; I only have one trip planned coming up in February, but am not concerned if I have to cancel that one. Am I unreasonable to think that Honda should at least give the dealer some commitment on when then can provide the parts? Six months seems ridiculous to me!EDIT: Honda returned my call this afternoon. Took some basic information and said they wanted to talk to the dealer. They said they would look into the issue and get back with me, but agreed that it shouldn't take six months. I will edit this post as I find out more. Comments, anyone? Stuart

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Stuart thanks, and please keep the forum updated.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Good to read your 'EDIT' part. I haven't the time now myself but if you do a search on replies I have made in my user ID you might find a reply I made to a post concerning Honda's warranty and customer service. I think I even posted a semi-private phone number to the rep that was so helpful. In a nutshell, I was amazed at how willing Honda was not only to give me warranty service concerning a problem that was not recall related or even common, but also to the fact that the dealer basically told me that Honda told them to do whatever it takes to make me happy, regardless of cost. The thing about it was, I wasn't even complaining in the first place. My original inquiry was basically and FYI - they took it from there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    I would be interested to know why this dealer concluded that you needed these repairs.Any water in the oil? You do'nt mention poor performance.So what gives?My input here has been sporadic lately because of my sons school workload,but I am here,and very interested in your situation.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Hondon,I don't know the specifics of the inspection procedure, other than it's specified by Honda and the inspection was performed by the only authorized Honda dealership in my area. The mechanic at the dealership told me that when he performed the procedure, he discovered hairline cracks in both the engine block and cylinder head. There was no water leakage at this point and performance has been fine. The only reason I asked the inspection be done was because of the Product Update Campaign notices I received from Honda. Due to the way I use my boat (offshore), I figured better safe than sorry and since I was having other routine stuff done, it seemed opportune to have those issues addressed at the same time. I do the same thing with my vehicles if I get a recall notice - simply wait until I'm taking it in for other things and then have them address any recall issues (unless it's a major safety issue) at the same time. Just saves on the amount of down time and less towing the boat around. On one hand, being that I never even suspected that there was a problem, I'm glad that they found it and are going to repair it. The alternative could have been a seized engine with me sitting somewhere in the middle of the Sea of Cortez, scratching my butt and crying a lot. On the other hand, now that they have flagged the issue, I'm concerned about what/how long it is going to take to have the repairs done. That's why I was looking for anybody that's been through this to see what their experience was. I'm also concerned and want to find out exactly what they are going to do to fix it. This is a major rebuild -- are they going to use new bearings, new piston rings, will there be a new break-in period on the motor? What exactly do they replace and will the engine be as good as it was new? I think you get the picture; there are a lot of unknowns at the moment and nobody is very forthcoming (the dealer or Honda) with any answers. I'd have to think that it would almost be easier for them to just swap out the whole outboard motor. By the time you figure parts and labor to do a job like that, geez, I can only imagine what it costs and you'd have to think it would be cheaper to just swap a new motor. Anyway, MajBach's experience sounds encouraging (thanks for letting me know this). I'm not raising any red flags at the moment because it's only been a week. However, I did want Honda to know that I'm concerned about what's going on and get them involved at the outset of this. I'm hoping to experience the same -- that they will do whatever it takes to make it right. And I think they're more likely to do that if I establish a relationship with them right from the start. Ultimately, them doing the right thing is what will make me happy. When I plunked down the big bucks to buy a Honda four-stroke (as many of you have), one of the major reasons I did so is the Honda name for reliabilty. To be told you need a new engine block and cylinder head with only 450 hours on them is disheartening to anybody. So, let's see how the saga unfolds.Stuart

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    That inspection process is pretty invasive and only warranted if you are having performace problems.This is not an across the board problem, therefore ,no recall.There are many of these units out there working happily without the upgrade.So I ask you again .What gives?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Stuart I work at a dealership that became a honda dealership 3years ago.Let me tell you I was impressed with the fact that honda has been building marine engines since 1964 and since that time have had less than 45 service bulletins.To give you perspective mercruiser has at least 45 per year.Honda is a good company and will stand behind their product.I would advise you though to not use any back door phone numbers as this will only annoy them and probably not speed anything.According to the service bulletin you refer to honda experienced engines that did not get cast thick enough around the head which led to cracking after getting hot then cold several times.As far as I can remember the fix was to remove the old powerhead and replace it with a new one.I think that the six month wait is a tactic I use with my wife, when she asks how long it is going to take to fix the truck I take what I think it will take and add some that way when I'm done in half the time I look like a hero.Anyway your fuel pump recall is a pretty simple one hour install that will replace your current fuel pump, vapor seperator,fuel rail and a few fuel lines as well as install a water seperating fuel filter inline.Try not to worry I believe that they will take care of you and your engine will run just like it was new.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Stuart, Honda has just revised the service bulletin on the 115-130 casting cracks. The original was to replace with a complete engine assy. and the new one is a short block and cylinder head. I have only seen one of these 130's with cracks in the block and that was at the training center. Seems strange to me that you could have a cracked block and cylinder head and not notice any running problems. I know Honda will take care of you no matter what, they have the best support out there. Let us know how it goes....

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Originally posted by hondon:That inspection process is pretty invasive and only warranted if you are having performace problems.This is not an across the board problem, therefore ,no recall.There are many of these units out there working happily without the upgrade. So I ask you again. What gives?
    For some reason, we seem to have differing ideas about this. The Product Update Campaign made no mention of performance problems whatsoever. It simply stated that because of this issue, Honda authorizes a one-time inspection to confirm or deny the existence of the problem. It also states that they warrant the engine for 10 years after having the inspection. I have had the letter for well over a year, along with the fuel pump update letter. Basically, since I had no problems, I had no reason to take the boat in. The motor has been running fine. And exactly as stated, I figured I would have both these issues checked while I was having other work done on the boat (trailer wheel bearings, a new prop, regularly scheduled checks and adjustments). That's all that gives, seriously. I'm not a mechanic (I do know how to do most basic stuff), so I don't know what is involved. No more than I would if I took my truck in for a recall notice and they needed to adjust the injectors or something along those lines. Let those that know what they are doing do it. That's the main reason for my posting here -- so that I can learn more about this issue and what it takes to fix it. Make sense? Stuart

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Just an update on the situation so far:Spoke with the dealer yesterday and they have heard back from Honda. They said Honda would be shipping a short block and new cylinder head sometime next month. They also said Honda was going to contact me directly on the issue (they may have tried at my office, I was out of office all week). So, that's good news so far! I spoke with the mechanic at the dealer and he is going to buckle up the motor for the time being and I will pick it up next week. I'll bring it back to the dealer when the parts arrive and they will do the rebuild. The mechanic is not sure how long the rebuild will take because they've never done one of these before, but he's confident he can address all issues. That's all for the moment; I'll update this thread again when the work begins. I'm thinking that I will go to the dealer and take pictures of the process. I'd also like to see if I can get some pictures of the actual cracking on the block. Not CYA or anything, but just informational so that anybody else that's interested can see what's involved. Thanks for the support, guys!Stuart

  11. #11

    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Stuart,Pics would be greatly appreciated. My boat is on Block Island, and Its a real pain (plus expensive) to get it back and forth from the Honda Dealer.Looking forward to those pics.- Mike

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Hi Folks,For about 6 months now, I've been a reader of all the good info you knowledgeable people have been posting, but I never felt I had anything to contribute until now. This may run a little long, but I think I can contribute some good info to this thread.I have a Honda BF130. In August 2002 I received a letter from Honda advising of 2 separate issues with the BF130: (1) A "product update" to replace the original high pressure fuel pump with an improved one less susceptible to corrosion and resultant failure of the pump experienced in "A small number of these engines...", and (2) A warranty extension to 10 years on "...the cylinder head and/or engine block assembly...from the date of purchase" coupled with "...a complimentary, one-time inspection of your engine" due to "A small number of these motors have developed localized cylinder head and/or engine block casting cracks." Well, back in August of '02 when I got the letter, my motor was running fine: easy starting, smooth running, good fuel economy, and able to attain 5700 rpm WOT, so I pretty much ignored the letter and figured I'd have my dealer install the fuel pump upgrade the next time I took the motor in for the 400 hour service.In April of '03 I noticed the motor wouldn't start as easily as before when cold; hot starts were no problem, and the motor continued to run smoothly with the same fuel economy. Now out here the water is normally too rough to run WOT so it wasn't until later that I noticed I could no longer attain 5700 rpm. Over the next few trips, I tried fewer people in the boat, running downwind and sea, but I continued to lose top end rpm. When I could not exceed 3800 rpm at WOT, even though the motor still ran smoothly, I figured enough is enough and, suspecting the fuel pump just wasn't pushing enough fuel, took her in to have the pump upgrade done.Well...my dealer was smart enough to also do the complimentary one-time inspection and found that my motor did indeed have cracks in the block. For all you good Honda techs out there, this inspection is covered under Honda Outboard Motor Service Bulletin #27 entitled "POOR ENGINE PERFORMANCE CAUSED BY ENGINE CRACKS". It states "On some affected units, water may enter one or more of the cylinder's (sic) combustion chambers and may cause the engine to idle poorly, accelerate poorly in the 2000 ~ 3000 rpm range, and stall during quick deceleration." The areas of the block susceptible to cracks are the cooling water passages' reinforcement ribs under the water jacket cover. The corrective action is to replace the head/block assembly.Honda told my dealer that there were no head/block assemblies available for 6 WEEKS. I was told it was OK to continue to run the motoras it was, but chose not to, for fear of being stranded in the middle of the Pacific. I instead wrote to Honda asking that they expedite getting a replacement head/block, or give me a complete engine in exchange, or consider an exchange for a 225 hp engine and some cash. I NEVER GOT ANY REPLY FROM HONDA. Thankfully my dealer was working hard for me, and managed to get a replacement head/block in only 3 weeks. The dealer saved the day for Honda in my opinion. Honda did great by standing behind their product with free replacement of the defective part, but their customer relations suck, and there's where the dealer filled in.On my motor the cracks in the water passages allowed sea water to get into the exhaust manifold of the motor. The hot walls of the manifold boiled away the sea water, leaving calcium-like deposits inside the exhaust passageway. These deposits built up over time to the extent that what started out as about a 2"x3" exhaust opening at the base of the block narrowed to a quarter-sized hole. Talk about stuffing a potato up your tailpipe! The wonder to me was that the ECU was able to keep the motor running smoothly for as long as it did while the motor was having a harder and harder time 'exhaling.'Anyway, all's well that ends well (thanks again to the dealer). I have essentially a new motor with everything inside the cowling being new except the starting motor and ECU. And yes, I had to undergo the break-in period and 20 hour service for that essentially new motor. But my motor now once again starts easily and can attain 5750 rpm.Please excuse this post being long, but hopefully it answers some of the questions posed above. I have pictures showing the blocked exhaust if anyone would like to see, but I don't know how to put them with this post; if anyone wants, I'll e-mail them. Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    pchonda,Thanks so much for adding your story to this post. It really furthers my knowledge and is quite similar to what I've experienced so far, other than I had yet to notice any performance problems. I think it's amazing your motor kept running, given what was going on. I'd have to put +1 in the Honda reliability column for that. I was supposed to pick my boat up Friday. The dealer had buckled it back up and told me to run it until the parts came. So, I called them Friday and guess what? A new short block and cylinder head had arrived that afternoon. Almost 3 weeks to the day from when I first took the boat in. The mechanic said I could still pick the boat up, or he would start Monday (today) on the rebuild. I opted for having him go at it immediately. My thought process being that I'd only be pushing my luck running the boat in Mexico now KNOWING it had this problem. Like you, I run offshore and think nothing of running out to reefs in deep water that are 50 miles or more from where I launch in Puerto Penasco. Although I love fishing in Mexico, it's the LAST place I want to break down.And also like you, other than my initial call to Honda directly, I have not heard another word from them. I have talked to the dealer many times, but Honda (apparently) doesn't want to talk to me for some reason. All it would take is a simple call from Honda customer service (or the guy I originally talked to about the problem) saying "We'll do whatever it takes to make it right." And I'd be perfectly happy with that. In this day and age, information travels the Internet at warp speed (as an example, less than 24 hours after Janet Jackson flashed the entire country with her studded little booby at the Superbowl, there are already pictures of it all over the Internet). You'd think that Honda would want to COMMUNICATE with their customers, especially on something like this. Pulling a "turtle" and retracting into their shell only hurts the process. Yes, I'm happy that they are doing the right thing so far. The true test will be how well the boat runs when I get it back and hopefully not too many follow-up trips back to the shop because it "just ain't right." If you want, email me the pictures of your manifold and I'll be happy to post them on my personal webspace. I'll put a link in this thread that anyone can use to see the pictures. Thanks again,Stuart

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Good to see that you won't have to wait as long as originally thought to get the repairs done. In my case the dealer had a Honda certified tech replace the entire powerhead as a unit (re-used the original starter motor and ECU), and that actual work plus the high-pressure fuel pump upgrade and a water pump housing/impeller upgrade was all completed in less than a full day. Hopefully your work will be as quick. I'll e-mail you a picture showing the blocked exhaust; what's your e-mail address?.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    You can reach me at compuquill@msn.com to send the pictures.Thanks!Stuart

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Yea, I have a friend that has twin Honda 130's on his World Cat, and Honda didn't mess around there either. He uses the boat offshore, and had a few hours on the motors too.He now has two basically new motors, with a 10 year warranty to boot. They even went through the lower units too, and replaced any worn parts, etc., including the water pumps.He is one of their biggest salesmen now, and for good reason.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Well, I'm happy to report all's well that ends well. The mechanic at the dealer called me Friday and said he had the engine back together with the new block and cylinder head and that it was ready to go. I went out and picked the boat up Saturday. Ran the motor for a little bit yesterday and it purrs like new. True test will be this coming weekend because I plan on fishing both Saturday and Sunday.Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any pictures of the cracks. They had already boxed up the block and head for return to Honda. I'd like to thank all who responded to this thread. Your support and knowledge was wonderful!Tight Lines!Stuart

  19. #19

    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Guys, I want to personally thankyou for posting your experiences. I know now what to look for.pchonda and mackerelena, Thanks for posting the pics. I will be usesing them in the spring when I get back to my boat.Happy fishing!- Mike

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Good for Honda!!!I can't imagine Mercury standing by a product and customer that well- Brunswick's bottom line and stock option values take much higher priority!Can you imagine the pride of working for such a good company? In Japan that means more than anything.Now, where were we in that discussion about jobs going overseas and why?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    Gentlemen,I have 2003 115HP Honda. This engine has the samedisplacement as the 130HP. Does the service bulletin for the cracked block apply to the 115HP engine? Thanks.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    YES. All the letters I got from Honda were addressed "Dear Honda BF115 or BF130 Owner," and throughout the letters they refer to "BF115 or BF130". The service bulletin likewise is for both the BF115 and BF130. Affected BF115 units have frame serial numbers from BZBD-1000001 to 1200270 and BZBG-1000001 to 1200000. See other BF130 threads on this forum for additional info on the warranty and inspection requirements; they're equally applicable to the BF115.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    pchonda,thanks for the reply on my 115hp question. I checked my serial number and lucked out with a number 14200XX.Thanks Again,Peddler

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    I will come to the defense of Honda Motor Company!!!Your message stated..."Received the "Product Update Campaign" notice from Honda (funny how they don't call it a "recall", huh?)..."From my experiences & memory, Honda (autos, motorcycles, power equipment) has never has a "recall per se" as they are a pro-active organization that is in tune with thier owners of thier products. What I mean by that is they are constantly in development of current & future products and fine tuning these to fit the marketplace.The "Product Update Campaign" that you are referring to is due to dedicated testing BEFORE & AFTER the sale & is in conjuction with thier service departments. If a problem is defined in the field, then this product is returned & if deemed an issue after testing on various owners products, ex. fuel leak on Honda Automobile gas tank filler tubes in areas of high salt content deposited on the roads caused filler tube to deteriorate... they brought various models at thier expense to dealerships, across the nation, over a two week period & paid going shop labor rates at these dealerships across the nation plus paid for rental cars for the owners of these vehicles.They took all the information, product that was removed from these vehicles and formulated a plan after it was determined that this was an issue & issued a "Product Update Campaign" on filler tubes. Simple!!!!!No one said to do it as in the recalls forced on other manufactures by government agencies and they did it at thier own considerable expense!!!Yes, I understand that you spent considerable money for Honda Outboards and you feel their Customer Relations was faulty but you are getting a new powerhead plus a ten year warranty and you still can make your fishing trips in the spring.How is that for CUSTOMER RELATIONS!!! Honda stands behind thier products!!! Think about where you would be if this was another manuafcturer of your outboard engines... this is why "American" companies have adopted the "business" stategies of the "Japanese" companies and I say it is about time.As a owner of Honda autombiles & power equipment and being in management & sales at 2 Honda Automobile Dealerships in Nashville TN area, I can personally say if it has "HONDA" on it you are getting the best possible product and service in the long run!!!As for Notices, "Product Update Campaign" and/or Recalls sent to you by manufactures of any equipment or product, please schedule an appointment with and/or call your service advisor or warranty center when this is received... they sent it to you for a reason!!!Enough said.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Honda BF 130 - Warranty Issue - Block Cracks

    I bought a 2002 bf130 a year ago. I haven't received any factory notices. Was this year model included in the block "recall".

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