Backcountry Snowmobiling

The Northeast may be experiencing their worst snowfall in decades but here in the Pacific Northwest, the mountains are bare. This season, the opportunities for prime snowmobiling have been few and far between, so I have periodically been taking weekend trips inland, towards Idaho, Montana and whiter pastures. Tonight I’ll be doing some quick maintenance on my sled and topping off the Evinrude XD100 oil before heading out to Eastern Idaho.

My brother in-law has a cabin out in the woods, and he invited my son and me to join him for a weekend of snowmobiling. Now that the NFL season is over, I don’t mind being without TV and the internet for a few days. It will probably even turnout to be a nice change of pace from my hectic work schedule.

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Marine Engine Wear and Tear

Every engine needs oil to maintain proper lubrication and preserve the integrity of the various moving components. This is particularly important for marine engines because of two factors that cause an unusual amount of wear and tear. First of all, outboard motor motors constantly run at a high RPM, and, on top of that, have to maintain their torque through waves and adverse conditions.

The fact that boats often go weeks, months or, in some cases, even years between uses doesn’t bode well for them either. Because of these constant strains on the engine, it is crucial to perform routine maintenance and change your outboard motor oil frequently. This will not only improve your boat’s performance, but will also prolong its life.

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Mercury Marine Company Overview

While Evinrude may get a lot of publicity, Mercury Marine is actually the world’s leading manufacturer of marine propulsion engines. Unlike other companies that produce complete watercrafts, Mercury focuses exclusively on engines, providing units for recreational, commercial and government usage. The company creates both Mercury and Mariner engines.

You won’t see Mercury Marine on the NYSE, but that’s because they are a division of Brunswick Corporation, who also owns Bayliner, Sea Ray and other leading marine manufactures. In addition to their award-winning engines, Mercury also produces a wide line of accessories and Mercury oil. The Mercury Marines mission statement outlines their commitment to excellence and their customers.

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Engine Oil Specs: Part Two

Yesterday we outlined some of the main organizations that are responsible for ensuring that our motor oil is adequate. Now we are going to take a closer look at how these organizations work and what they actually tell us. The ACEA, Europe’s oil association, creates baseline specifications, meaning that many manufacturers add their own criteria to ensure that their products are meeting all of their consumers’ needs.

In the US, all of the meetings of the ASTM are open to the public, and the various companies vote to determine what the test limits are going to be. According to some experts, the complex system employed in the US creates a lower standard for passable oil. In Europe, several classes of oil are created, whereas in the US, a minimum standard is set. When you buy your motor oil, each company will have different grades of oil, Evinrude XD 100, for example, is a premium blend.

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Engine Oil Specs: Part One

For those of us who aren’t certified mechanics or spend every waking moment doing research on our vehicles, choosing the proper parts and products can often be a guessing game. When it comes to your outboard motor oil, however, there is no need to make guesses. There are testing associations in both the US and overseas that work to ensure oils meet certain standards and specifications.

In Europe, this group is comprised of 13 major manufacturers and known as the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or the ACEA. Their US counterpart, the American Petroleum Institute (API), includes over 400 corporations and is responsible for producing service categories. In additions to the API, the US also has the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), which set limits on oil quality. Tomorrow we will go into more specifics about each organization and take a closer look at the information they provide.

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Changing Your Outboard Motor Oil

Most manufacturers recommend changing your outboard motor oil and filter after every 100 hours of use or every season, which ever comes first. Some people may postpone this task, but it is essential if you want to prolong the life of your boat and achieve optimal performance. Changing your oil may seem daunting, but with a few wrenches and some knowhow, you can get the job done in no time.

Always remember to drain all of the old oil before refilling the crankcase. Mixing old and new oils will leave deposits in the system and limit the effectiveness of the new oil. Also, be sure to add a quart of oil for the new filter and run the engine when you are done to ensure that the oil pressure is correct and there are no leaky areas.

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Evinrude Stays In Front of the Competition

The key to success in any industry is innovation, and when it comes to outboard motors, nobody knows this better than Evinrude. There are usually a myriad of maintenance costs innate in boat ownership, but Evinrude has worked to eliminate these. Evinrude E-Tec motors do not need maintenance for the first three years or 300 miles of normal recreational use, including Evinrude XD 100 oil, oil filter, and gear case lube changes.

The new product line of Evinrude E-Tec outboard engines are more lightweight than previous Evinrude models, start more easily, run more quietly, provide better fuel economy and lower emissions. They also use their own patented low-friction design, resulting in smooth power and performance. Once again, Evinrude has proven that innovation and technology development are paramount to staying ahead of the curve.

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Staying Active

When my wife and I retired, we knew that simply sitting around and growing old wouldn’t be enough to keep us satisfied. After working at a desk job for 47 years, I wanted to live near the water and have the freedom to be outside and interact with people. Following much deliberation, we decided to move to Tahoe and start our own watercraft rental service.

We’ve been at it for three years now, and I love every minute of it. I handle the business side of things, like accounting and ordering bulk motor oil and other supplies, while my wife focuses on the customers and day-to-day operations. Admittedly, it is hard work, but I don’t mind since I get to relax on a boat of jet ski whenever I like.

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Picking the Right Oil

As any boat owner will attest, all oils are not created equal. When you go to purchase oil for your boat, or any vehicle for that matter, it is important to consult your owner’s manual to verify what grade and type of oil is optimal. You often get what you pay for, and oil is no exception.

Take Evinrude oil for example; there are several different two-stroke oils available, and they each provide a different level of protection. While their entire line of oils pass the TC-W3 requirements, XD30 is best for water-cooled engines and load light applications. Evinrude XD 150 is a good middle-grade option, but for optimal performance and unparalleled protection, Evinrude XD100 is the only choice.

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Outboard Motor Oil Basics

In this blog, we often explore some of the more advanced aspects on engine maintenance and may overlook the primary purpose of this site: outboard motor oil. Most of us know that the oil’s primary objective is to act as a lubricant for the various components of the engine. This lubrication is necessary due to the amount of heat and corrosion imparted on the various parts during the engine cycle.

Any two things that move against one another cause friction, and in the case of an engine, there is constant friction between the many moving parts. The oil works to facilitate the movements and reduce the amount to friction between the parts. In addition to acting as a lubricant, the oil also removes deposits and promotes energy savings.

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The Evolution of the Snowmobile

Anyone who is familiar with snowmobiles knows that the machine has evolved into a more lightweight and versatile vehicle, which has also led to a substantial increase in price. Snowmobiles had as little as five horsepower when they were first designed. Today you can find models that produce nearly 200 and can scale steep hillsides and access remote locations.

Snowmobiles have customarily utilized a two-stroke engine, but due to environmental complaints and concerns, many models now come with a four-stroke. Although four-strokes produce less power, they don’t require you to mix the gasoline and Evinrude XD 100, which means that the engine receives better lubrication and will last longer. Originally designed for pragmatic purposes, snowmobiling has evolved into a popular recreational activity, and there are even professional leagues and competitions at the X Games.

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Basic Snowmobile Maintenance

snowmobileYesterday we reviewed some of the pre-ride checks that you should go through every time you ride your motorcycle — primarily, checking the levels of gas and outboard motor oil. There are some other basic systems that should be checked and adjusted on a regular basis to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your vehicle; we suggest checking these systems on a daily basis. These include the throttle lever and over ride system, as well as the brake lever.

Also inspect the starter rope, engine start switch and all of the drive track and slider elements. Whenever heading out on a ride, be sure to bring a spare belt and plugs with you. Although it doesn’t need to be check on a daily basis, the chassis lubrication should be verified a few times season to preserve the various suspension and steering components.

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