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Outboard and Inboard Engine Inspection

Keeping an articulating borescope on hand in your toolbox is an essential thing to have for your onboard and inborn engine.

Understanding Outboard Engines

Knowing what the needs are for outboard engines means understanding how they work. The outboard engine is a portable, self-containing package that is made up of the engine, gearbox, and propeller. This package is attached to the transom of the boat. A number of outboard engines are made along the lines of a four-stroke design, but there are still many outboard engines that are two-stroke engines that burn oil and lubricant, along with fuel. The newer two-stroke engines are direct injection and burn much cleaner the older two-stroke engines. These engines are also used to steer by means of the tiller or steering wheel that swivels the engine to direct thrust. Pound to pound, the outboard engine has more power more than the inboard engine.

Understanding Inboard Engines

The inboard engine is a four-stroke auto engine that’s been adapted for use in marine applications — they are mounted inside the midsection of the hull and are attached to the propeller at the other end. The two-stroke inboard engine is a common personal watercraft engine that burns oil and lubricant, along with fuel. Most of these engines are made with direct injection technology that burns much cleaner than older, conventional personal watercraft engines. Steering is not dependent on this engine.

As you can see, these two kinds of engines have their own unique features but they also share some common features. They are both engines that burn oil and lubricant, as well as fuel. They are both now being made with direct injection technology as well. Inspection of these engines is nearly the same, but there are additional considerations for each engine due to their locations.

The inspection of each engine should start with a fully charged battery that powers your articulating borescope. This is because inspection can be a lengthy process and you don’t want your battery dying in the middle of the process. That would cause you to have to stop, and then start all over again. Once your battery is charged, fully extend the probe so you can achieve maximum articulation. If you don’t fully extend the probe, you are limiting movement and compromising the life of the equipment. Insert the borescope’s probe into an opening in the engine. From here, take your time to make sure you are gathering all of the visual data from all components.

As with automotive engines, you are looking for a few common things. First of all, you need to look for signs of wear, tear, breaks, cracks, rust, and contaminated fluid. Any of these things signal to a much bigger problem, and need to be corrected right away. Once you identify and repair any issues, you can avoid catastrophic engine failure.

How often you need to complete an inspection depends on how often you operated the engine. An inspection should be done twice a year, or more if you drive more than 50 hours a year. You should also conduct an inspection if you suspect performance lag or a loss of power.




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