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Jack plate on pontoon

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  • Jack plate on pontoon

    My tilt assist cylinder is gone on my Johnson 48 SPL. They tell me a new one is about 450.00. I'm not sure what a tilt & trim system would cost. The boat shop told me he had a used jack plate he could mount for 350.00 total. I'm fairly new to this motor business and need some advice. I don't think I need a T & T. I just don't want the motor coming up when you put in reverse. It's a hydraulic jack plate. Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Re: Jack plate on pontoon

    Tilt/trim makes the engine tilt up and down, a jack plate lifts the entire engine straight up, you don't want a jack plate, also a tilt assist has nothing to do with trim, it only helps you manually tilt the engine.

    If you have a tilt assist I would venture to guess that your engine doesn't have TT.

    Is there a button by your thumb on the throttle, if not you don't have tilt trim.

    The purpose of trimming the engine is to get the nose of the hull up out of the water to make the boat go faster, since you have a pontoon and they don't plane tilt trim has very limited effect on them.

    You should have a big pin that the engine rests on, I woudl just find a happy place for that that the boat likes and save your money btu a jack plate will not do anything for you
    GO IRISH!!!!


    • #3
      Re: Jack plate on pontoon

      In addition to what 5150 said you should have a lever that you can flip to keep the motor locked down so it will not pop out of the water in reverse.

      $450 for new tilt assist cylinder, or $350 for a jackplate you don't need. I would flee from that guy and not go back. If he is talking about one of the aftermarket tilt and trim units that is not bad but still kinda steep.

      There are literally thousands of those old OMC 2 cylinder motors around. You should be able pick up a good used cylinder for less that $100 and have any competent mechanic install it. Don't be afraid to ask you local independant auto garage to do this job.

      The pontoon in my sig had a 50 on it just like your 48. I locked it down and never moved it. I towed with it down and launched with it down without any problem for 3 years. I think you could lock your motor down and put $400 into extra gas for this season.
      '06 Forester 19 Fish pontoon
      '91 Merc 50 50ELPTO
      '83 Sea Nymph 171 CC Striper deep V aluminum hull
      '85 70 Johnson
      '97 Dodge ram 1500 pickup
      Fishin' and 'tooning on the Raystown Branch
      Huntingdon County, PA

      My Sea Nymph 171 CC restoration, SC conversion


      • #4
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        Re: Jack plate on pontoon

        I also have a 48 SPL with the tilt assist however mine is still working. I did check into repairing one for a friend only to find out that there were no repair kits available for the cyclinder (at least the sources I checked). I started looking on ebay, this was over a year ago. My thought was someone would be upgrading from the tilt assist to full tilt/trim and there would be used parts available cheap. It's been a year now and I have watched the tilt assist units bring at least $150 and anything that would kinda work in the tilt/trim without relays would bring $300. A used kit for full tilt and trim will bring $500.

        CMC makes a tilt/trim unit that sells used for $300 up to around $600 new. This is an option if in fact you need to tilt your engine. I have only had my pontoon 2 years and typically have it in deep lakes and up until now I have never tilted my motor once in the water. Generally speaking, I keep my boat away from the banks when in the water and this has never been an issue.

        If you do want to lock your motor down all that you would need is to replace your cyclinder with a piece of flat bar steel with a hole in each end to attach where the cyclinder now attaches to the motor. That rising in reverse is not all bad however, hit a stump going forward and it might save your lower unit as it would allow it to rise.