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  1. #1

    Default Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Iam getting a new boat and I can't choose between a Mercury 115 Opti Max or a Evinrude 115 Direct Injection. Which one should I go with and why?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Neither, I would get a 4-stroke.JD

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    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Yep. Get a 4 stroke.The wave of the future.If you have to have a 2 stroke, you might consider a 'Rude E-Tec.Uh-Oh, now the war will begin anew. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    I agree about the war starting, but let me get in early, as it is usually a war of opinion. I personally see no advaantage to 4 strokes, at least in the outboard world. Between those two motors I would go with the Evinrude, OMC originally tested the Ficht system and the OptiMax system, they determined the Ficht(which is now just the direct injection) to be the better system and Merc. bought the Optimax. If I was gonna repower right now in that HP range, I would get the 90 HP E-TEC, I have read reports that it outperforms the 115 direct injection motors and the fuel economy, emmisions, and volume are on par with a 4 stroke. Good luck with the new motor, whichever it may be.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    I would go with whatever is cheapest. They're both going to perform about the same. I would like to point out that most outboard racers use Mercury...

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    mmcpek; More "URBAN LEGEND"....Where did you get your Info. Merc. bought a controlling Interest In "Orbital Engine" In Austrailia. A tried and true Induction system. Merc's Optimax had a few problems (but that happens when you are designing and manufacturing the most sophisticated production Internal combustion engine ever built) and Merc stood AND stands behind every legitimate complaint It Is made aware of. As for OMC, I have no factual Info......

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    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Speaking of Urban Legends, Wakebite, where did you get this "most sophisticated internal combustion engine ever built" nonsense??Maybe the most sophisticated 2 stroke outboard ever built by Mercury. Maybe not even that.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Fact Is my friend, The optimax, When first Introduced was, and I quote " The most technologically (sp) advanced ICE engine with production numbers over 1000 units , being built In the world".

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    J.B....With all due respect, Do you know what "Lost foam casting" Is....The difference between a "Digital" signal and an "Analog" signal Is ?.....

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Wakebite...I got my info from an OMC(Bombardier) factory rep.. Ever thought maybe OMC tried both systems out before Merc. bought Orbital Engine. I am not saying that the Optimax system is bad or even that Mercs are bad, we all know the problems that OMC had when they first produced the Ficht(Direct Injection), but they have worked them out, as I am sure Merc has with the Optimax problems. I am just giving my opinion, what I would do and what I like better, which is why I said if "I" were going to repower, same as the guys who said they would get a 4 stroke. In actuality, either one that he buys would probably perform great and he would be happy. As for the Optimax being the most sophisticated internal combustion engine ever built, I would have to disagree, I am with JB on that one, maybe 2 stroke. Even at the time when Optimax came out there were far more sophisticated 4 strokes in cars, even today with the E-TEC, which is the most sophisticated thing that has ever been on the water, the auto industry blows it out of the water, or else you wouldn't have seen a carb in the last 15 years on any outboard.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    You guys are not getting It....The ECM (built by Motorola) At the time was 5-6 time more powerful than any ECM used In a production automobile. Automobile engines run at 15-2500 rpm's...NOT 5-6000....Automobiles are of a 4-stroke design, Not a 2-stroke....They have a wet sump oiling system for lubrication. The Opti has an electric oil pump that meters ratios from 400:1 at Idle to 60:1 at WOT. Direct Injected engines are ALWAYS on the edge of a melt down, That's why the burn so clean...HeatP.S. The Optimax was Introduced In 1996 as a 1997 model....7-years ago...E-tec Is only 19 months old....

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    F.Y.I. Hey guys, I don't want you to think that I am a smart aleck or a snot. I have owned a boat dealership for 24 years. I've been a Merc., Mercruiser and Force stocking dealer for that time and have been very well educated by Mercury Marine. I have close friends and contacts At Merc., General Motors engineering (engine, driveline and electrical), Ford Fuel system and driveline engineering and most Dept's at Dodge. I have been to Lake X twice and was at "Mercabo"(Placida Florida testing and endurance, near Gaspirilla island) For a week. One of my very close friends and customers Was the chief engineer for the Chrysler 426 Hemi-project. I am surrounded by a wealth of Information plus a ton of experience. I may come across as cynical or sarcastic, But i am not. Happy boating, Wakebite...

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Hmm... Then why did Mercury Marine go out and "buy back" every 1997 model OptiMax? Maybe they ran too good and that was bad for the parts business - eh?Then there was all them service bulletins and upgrade kits that everyone "forgets" about. I lost track of the number of Opti kits I installed - What a pain!Lets see,-1998 Oil reservoirs, oil pump gaskets, oil pump to cylinder oil lines, starter motors, kinked fuel distribution lines, fuel rails and fuel injector retainer bolts (and that's just the 1st TSB). -Also belt tensioner and alternator bracket (remember all that belt dust?) and of course the flywheel cover with a redesigned air filter so the belt dust wouldn't get into the air compressor and trash it. -Then there was the oil check valve kit, so oil wouldn't drain back out of the lines (yep, that failed a few powerheads). -1999, that stupid end cap on the compressor - Oh, by the way, those compressors hate salt water. -Let's see 2000, the end cap again, this time leaking oil. -2001: Direct Injectors coming apart and pintles falling into the combustion chamber (bet that trashed a few powerheads).-an incorrect hook up caused sensor voltage to go crazy, burning up ECU's and causing idle speeds in excess of 2000 rpm's (try docking or trailering at that speed!)-Spark plug fouling, hmmm... -fuel rails and t-stats (120 degree t-stats too, ain't that kinda' too cool???). -More spark plug fouling issues and replacement ECU's. -O yes, don't forget the Smart Craft Guages (Yeh, I know, they're not an Opti problem, but its the only engine that they worked with back then) more problems with reference voltages causing hi-idle speed (1200 rpm this time, at least if the operator is "strong armed", he has a chance to get it out of gear before the boat goes over the dock!) -Oh, I almost forgot - several thousand Opti's recalled for a potential fuel leak - seems the cross over hose was rubbing on a mounting bolt. -Then there was the total halt in production and sales of the 3.0 litres (200/225 hp), seems that 175's were passing them like rockets...Look, it's not my intent to "bash" the Opti, or start a war over it. It too had (and in cases still has) it's own problems. It don't matter if it's 2 stroke or 4, carbureted, EFI or DI - they're all pieces of machinery, all built somewhere along the way by a human - and occassionally, humans make mistakes.Y'all gotta' buy, and run, what fits your budget and what you are comfortable with.Later,John

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    John... WE can all list the fixes and updates.....That's not the point. We are not talking good, bad, worst or best. We are talking technology.....Who told you Merc. bought back all 1997 MY opti's....I tend to speak In facts, not urban legend...I have 6 or 7 '97's On customers boats In storage....

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    The Merc service rep at my previous dealership, is who I got that info from. No details were provided, just a statement he made. Also, I've never personally even seen a 1997 model - I believe they we decaled "DFI" yes?Ok, maybe I did jerk your chain a little bit too hard - I agree with the technology thing - I hope I made my point in my last paragraphs.-John

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Point well taken...I still cringe when I see an older Opti and yes They were DFI....Seems like only yesterday.....Last week i spent ~ 5k on a laptop with the new diagnostic software, interface and breakout box just to service the new Gen. outboard and Sterndrives....Scarry

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    I saw a comment about "Lost Foam Casting" in a earlier post as being high tech...I am probably wrong but wasn't OMC using this back in the 80's ???BTW wakebite you might want to see how many posts someone has before you start doggen them about what they know or don't know .

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Jon Boater,You are absolutely 100% correct. OMC used the lost foam process back in the mid eighties and all the domestic car companies used it before that.littlehaku,Buy what you want. Are they both from the same dealer? If so, great! If you like the dealer and trust them, buy the one with the color scheme that matches your boat best.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    WakebiteYes, I understand the difference between analog and digital. I taught real time computer automatic control systems, including engine management, for the last few years before I retired. That, of course, included engine technology as well.Advertising claims are hardly proof. If you add the number of units and the adjective "production" you may have an argument, but that is not what you said.From time to time experienced, knowledgable persons like yourself become members here and are very welcome, but please don't underestimate the company you are joining. There are a lot of helpers here who pretty experienced and knowledgable in a lot of areas themselves.Glad you are here. There is no need to prove that you are an expert. Time will prove that.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Ok. I'll weigh in.
    I can't choose between a Mercury 115 Opti Max or a Evinrude 115 Direct Injection.
    Those would be my last two choices for a 115 HP, and not in that order. Why would you want a potentially troublesome DFI when you can have reliable 4-stroke EFI? Heck, I'd even take a traditional carbed 2-stroke 115 over DFI. We know they're reliable.
    I personally see no advaantage to 4 strokes, at least in the outboard world.
    Reliability. Dependability. Longevity. More enjoyable to own. Easier to operate, especially idling (trolling). Better warranty. Higher resale. The real question is, "what's the advantage to DFI?"As for the E-TEC? They don't make them in 115 HP, and there is no way a 90 E-TEC will outperform an outboard with 25 more HP. Twin E-TEC 60 HP's might be cool, but IMO the jury is still out on the E-TEC.
    By John from Illinois - Hmm... Then why did Mercury Marine go out and "buy back" every 1997 model OptiMax?
    Maybe for the same reason OMC and their FICHT went completely out of business!
    By John from Illinois - Then there was all them service bulletins and upgrade kits that everyone "forgets" about.
    You must've "forgot" all the transformations and fixes made to the FICHT DFI. Maybe you could list those for us? One of the DFI OMC's I had caught fire, and it's twin didn't make it long enough to catch fire.
    By John from Illinois - It don't matter if it's 2 stroke or 4, carbureted, EFI or DI - they're all pieces of machinery
    Sure it matters. Some are better than others. Evinrude's FICHT RAM 115 and Merc's OPTI 115 are not at the top of the list.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Get a Suzuki

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Hey wakebite...you are a bit arrogant but it doesn't matter. You can be as superior as you want and I don't mind. You are a dealer so I can see why you say merc stands behind "legit" problems. My issue with them is they won't admit to "legit" problems (50 4s watertube corossion at powerhead). Me being a past and present merc (mariner)owner do not have that same viewpoint of factory customer care. I put merc way behind omc, yahama and suzuki in caring about customers. Merc has always been at the top of technology...maybe that's why they break down so much?Where is the resale higher for 4 strokes? My 50 4 stroke cost almost exactly the same as a 70 2 stroke in 1996. Now the 70 2 stroke has a higher book value. My 50 4 stroke is barely higher than a 50 2 stroke. Get the 2 stroke.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    Where is the resale higher for 4 strokes?
    At every shop that sells used outboards. Or you can compare their bank (book) prices here...www.nada.comFor example (apples to apples) a 1996 50 HP 4-stroke Mariner (ELPT) has an average book retail of $2,040. A 1996 50 HP 2-stroke Mariner (ELPTO) has an average book retail of $1,740. That's a 15% better resale for the 4-stroke. Other brands will show even greater resale value. For example a 1996 Yamaha F50 (TLHU) will book for an average retail of $2,500. That's over a 30% better resale than the Mariner 2-stroke.And remember, book value isn't always what customers pay. I've found here that when it comes to used outboards, cutomers want 4-strokes over 2-strokes, and the average price the customer is willing to pay is higher than book. Obviously it could depend on where you are. 4-strokes are preferred here in Alaska. I recently sold a 4-stroke outboard for twice what book listed.
    My 50 4 stroke cost almost exactly the same as a 70 2 stroke in 1996.
    What you originally paid is irrelevant to re-sale value. You could've paid anything, or one dealer might charge a customer more than another. Maybe you got suckered on the 4-stroke deal, and got a break on the 2-stroke deal? It's kind of like wondering what the guy sitting next to you on the airplane paid for his seat.BTW, Mariner didn't make a 70 HP 2-stroke in 1996, so I'm not sure what you're comparing your 50 HP Mariner 4-stroke to. It looks like an apples to oranges comparison IMO.If you want to compare outboards of different power ratings, or compare various prices originally paid vs various resale values, or area markets, value of different brands, etc., we would need to start a new thread and take some serious data. Regardless, when talking "resale", I don't think you'll find any apples-to-apples case where a 2-stroke has a higher resale than a 4-stroke. There is a reason.

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    Default Re: Evinrude vs. Mercury

    If you don't include the initial retail cost in the comparison I don't think it makes a lot of sense. For example if a new purchase of a 4-stroke cost 25% more than the comparable 2-stroke but the resale cost 5-years down the road is only 15% more then I would think the 2-stroke has a better resale VALUE. It did in fact hold its value better. Just my opinion so don't pound on me to much !

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