This system starts with the construction of the engines. Suzuki outboard engines are cast from extra-strong, high grade aluminum alloys.
Next comes a multi-step surface treatment, beginning with a thorough cleaning of the aluminum alloy castings in a special chemical bath that removes any impurities or contaminants that might interfere with the adhesion of the surface coatings.
Once cleaned, the engine castings are submerged in an electrified bath of CrO2 (chromium oxide), or Alodine. This process alters the chemical composition of the surface, creating an invisible barrier that becomes an integral part of the casting to seal out corrosion.
The engines then receive an extremely hard and resilient baked-on epoxy resin primer engineered especially for marine applications. The epoxy primer completely covers all surfaces.
Once fully primered, the engine is given a final coat of a specialized Melamine resin marine grade paint. The Melamine paint cures to a tough yet lustrous finish to completely seal the engine castings from the saltwater environment. The result is an engine that is effectively triple-sealed against saltwater.
The Little Things Mean a Lot
This comprehensive surface treatment is only part of Suzuki's anti-corrosion system. Along with these procedures, several special sacrificial zinc anodes are strategically placed both externally and within the cooling water passages. These replaceable zinc anodes take on the brunt of saltwater's corrosive action, sacrificing themselves over time to preserve the overall integrity of the engine.
To help the zinc anodes work most effectively, Suzuki incorporates several special external and internal bonding wires on all models (except the 5 and 6 hp models), uniting all major engine parts. This seemingly simple but important step ensures that any corrosive action is directed away from metal engine components and toward the anodes.
Another key element in Suzuki's anti-corrosion system is specialized marine-grade stainless steel, used for propellers, propeller shafts, driveshafts, shift rods and more. Stainless steel is also used for bolts, nuts and washers exposed to saltwater.
To further prevent galvanic corrosion, key bolts, nuts and washers are also coated with chrome plating or Dacromate, a specialized corrosion-fighting marine primer, to create a barrier between dissimilar metals. Cylinder head bolts and exhaust cover bolts are chrome-plated for added durability. Finally, exposed portions of primered stainless steel and tempered steel bolts, nuts and washers are sealed with a final coat of Melamine resin paint.
As part of the Suzuki advanced anti-corrosion system, the water pump housings on all prop-driven Suzuki outboards are also durable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel. This feature ensures that corrosion does not form within the water pump - and thus will not interfere with the all-important cooling function of the engine.
In addition to all of these corrosion fighting features, the one-piece engine hood and baffled air induction systems on Suzuki outboard engines effectively seal the powerhead from saltwater.
This advanced anti-corrosion system has earned Suzuki engines an enviable reputation for reliability, durability and corrosion resistance from coast to coast - especially where corrosion is worst.
The Digital Revolution increasingly dominated the 1990's, Suzuki Marine stepped forward as the marine industry's technological leader with Digital EFI.
Without a doubt, the 1990's had become the "digital decade," the ideal segue into the next century. Today, "digital" is a word that has permeated our lives, bringing about a revolution of burgeoning, wondrous technology. LPs have been replaced by digitally-recorded compact discs (CDs). Personal computers, using digital processing, are becoming virtual household appliances. Our cars are using digital technology to run ever cleaner and more efficiently. And now - thanks to Suzuki Marine - even outboard engines are benefiting from digital technology.
In basic terms, digital reduces any process to basic, extremely precise numerical components. Analog, the antithesis of digital, utilizes imprecise, complicated physical representations - lengths, dimensions, spatial comparisons, etc.
Digital, by its very simplicity, has opened the door to new technologies which are dominating a variety of industries. The consumer electronics industry is at the forefront in offering the benefits of digital technology to the public. The music industry was introduced to the digital CD about 15 years ago. Today, the recording industry has also brought forth digital compact cassettes (DAT and DCC) and the Mini Disc (MD) format. In addition, there are now more digital sound processing systems such as "surround sound" for in-home entertainment.
Television, with the high definition TVs (HDTV), has become digitized. HDTV is generally regarded as the future of consumer television. In other areas, consumers are regularly seeing the results of new technologies through digital communication and processing. Recent films such as What Dreams May Come and Pleasantville, to name just a few, utilized digital enhancement techniques to simulate an image that was otherwise impossible to obtain.
One digital element that touches all of our lives every day is in the automobile. Nearly every car on the road today utilizes a digital electronic fuel injection system to precisely control air/fuel mixture. Other systems, such as those using carburetors, are now obsolete, considered "dinosaurs" by an auto industry striving to incorporate the latest technology into its products. That technology revolves around digital.
EFI in the Marine Industry
Though Digital EFI can be found in almost every automobile on the road, in the marine outboard industry, Suzuki is the only manufacturer to offer a full line of digitally-controlled EFI Four Stroke engines, from the DF40 through DF300. Only through years of experience with Digital EFI systems in its automobiles and motorcycles has Suzuki been able to bring this technology to the marine outboard market.
Considering the rapid rate in which digital technology continues to permeate our society, it is only logical that Digital EFI will eventually become the system of choice for outboard motors as well. The Suzuki line of EFI Four Stroke outboards contain what will become the industry-wide norm.
Suzuki's state-of-the-art digital electronics technology, featured in each of these motors, monitors changing conditions on the water and in the motor, and maintains continuous access to a pre-programmed information "map." The Digital EFI system then responds instantly to any changes in throttle setting, atmospheric pressure, cylinder wall temperature, exhaust manifold temperature, air temperature and engine speed by adjusting the air/fuel mixture according to this map.
The four-strokes have incorporated a sequential multi-point fuel injection system. Fuel is delivered to the engine through four (six on V-6 engines) high-pressure injectors. These injectors have a delivery timing that is directly related to the ignition timing and crankshaft positioning. Fuel is released at each injector at separate times in conjunction with each revolution of the crankshaft. The result of all this high technology is an outboard motor that starts instantly in all weather conditions, runs cleaner and has a quicker and crisper throttle response under all types of loads.
Predictably, Suzuki's Digital EFI system accomplishes this much more accurately than analog-based injection systems. Analog systems - archaic by today's standards - must rely on "average" settings that lack the precision of digital-based controls when operating under the wide variety of conditions outboard motors face every day.
There seems to be little doubt that the digital revolution is upon us, and that rather than fading away, its technological advantages will carry us into the next century and beyond. Analog communication is becoming obsolete on all but the most basic levels, as can be seen with the latest developments in consumer electronics, personal computers, telecommunications, automobiles and countless other industries.
This holds true for the marine market as well. Currently Suzuki Marine enjoys its place as the technological leader among outboard manufacturers, and can always lay claim as the innovator of the Digital EFI system which will likely become a standard feature of outboard motors in the future. As of the printing date of this guide, two other outboard manufacturers have entered the Digital Age - using a system similar to one that has been marketed by Suzuki Marine since 1990.
Most salt/polluted water problems can be avoided by following a few simple steps. Click here to download or print Honda's Salt Water Operation handout.
It’s also important to clean and flush your Honda outboard, touch up any chipped or scratched paint, and lubricate controls with appropriate marine lubricants.
Owner's Manuals can be downloaded directly from Honda Marine's website. Select your model, click the "Manuals" tab and then select the appropriate manual based on your outboards serial number. Find an Owner’s Manual here.
Honda engines are developed, tested, and certified with petroleum based motor oils as a lubricant. We recommend Honda Marine 10W-30 FC-W engine oil or 5W-30M engine oil (see your owner’s manual for recommended oil) available through your local Honda Marine dealer. Honda FC-W Marine engine oil is specially formulated for use in marine engines and has several advantages over automotive oil. See your owner’s manual for oil change intervals.
Honda engines are designed and certified to run on regular unleaded gasoline.
Gasoline is allowed, by regulation, to contain a variety of additives. The same regulation limits how much of some additives, such as alcohol, can be included in the fuel and still allow it to be sold as gasoline. If you look in a Honda product owner’s manual, you will see that a maximum of 10% ethanol is allowed in gasoline (other oxygenates are also listed). Honda engines are designed for good performance and efficient operation using gasoline containing from 0 to 10% ethanol.
E85, a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, has been in the news recently. E85 is an alternative fuel; it is not gasoline. Honda Marine engines are not currently designed or certified to run on E85 or any other alternative fuel.
Always refer to the owner’s manual for your Honda to get a list of recommended fuel and the current approved additives.