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MichLivin

New Boat - To Break-in or NOT Break-in?

32 posts in this topic

I have a new 2011 WS 23LSV with the Indmar L96, 410hp engine. Pictures coming soon... Reading the manuals it says to break in for the first ten hours, first hour no higher than 2000 rpm, second hour no higher than 3000 rpm and fourth hour no higher than 4000 rpm. After that I have vary speed, but not throttling the engine to fast and not filling the ballast tanks for the first ten hours. Then get the oil changed.

Should I do this?

At 25 hours the transmission oil is supposed to be changed too. Can't they make the fluids change at 15 hours for both and call it good?

Its kind of difficult to get the boat in and out of the water for me, just want your thoughts on if its necessary or not.

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yes, you should break in your engine, and then change the oil. New engines have to wear in and seat orings and such. Changing the oil removes the parts that wore down to seat. otherwise those mostly metal particles get flushed through the engine

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Yes you should follow the break in details. Would you really want problems later on down the road? It is absolutely necessary.

Edited by mwoodward

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Absolutely necessary? Cmon. You'd probably cry if you saw how the factory and dealers water test the boats in the first hour.

Its a very personal thing with a wide variety of opinions. PCM who uses the same block wants a WOT run for a few minutes on a fresh motor.

A search will turn up a TON of old threads on the subject.

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Run it like you stole it to seat the rings, just don't leave it a WOT for extended periods. The key is to vary it is what I have been told.

I have been to more than a few "boat show on the water" with all different brands (malibu, nautique, mastercraft) and looked down at the hour gauge to find that the dealers were running the boats like it was a stunt show with < 1hour on them. I raised the issue of proper break in period once and got laughed at by the dealer rep. "If its going to blow, we'd rather know now, before it goes out the door."

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Absolutely necessary? Cmon. You'd probably cry if you saw how the factory and dealers water test the boats in the first hour.

Its a very personal thing with a wide variety of opinions. PCM who uses the same block wants a WOT run for a few minutes on a fresh motor.

A search will turn up a TON of old threads on the subject.

:plus1: These engines are redlined at the factory before they ever get into your boat, and hammered on by Malibu on their lake test. I agree with loosely following the guidelines layed out but not to the letter. I've never been on a test drive where any of these things were followed by anyone, including dealers.

I think it's more important to take it easy the first 10 hours (not sacking out the boat) and use that time to totally familiarize yourself with the new boat. It's always worked for me :dontknow: .

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Another for just not holding it at one speed for long periods of time. and not WOT for extended time. I like to run some harder short runs from idle to 80% to 90%

and Back to mid range.

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I would definitely follow the engine break in stuff (rpms/no WOT/etc).... I think you can be a little more flexible with the fluid changing specs. Just my 2 cents and I'm ANYTHING but a mechanic......right, Ruffdog? :)

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2011 here same engine.... just finished the 10hr break in and I followed the reqs to the letter....do your break in service and have them change all 3 fluids at 20hrs.... I am at 13.5hrs and its been 100% flawless.

You just spent 70-80K on a boat and it only has a limited warranty on that engine... follow the instructions and enjoy the boat!

Post some pics!!

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If the owners manual says there is a break-in period why would you not want to follow the manual?

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Go cruising , brother !

It has been 20 years since I broke in my current boat.

We took some friends with us a couple of times and just cruised Lake Billy Chinook.

It was spring anyway so it was good to be bundled up anyway.

Let your kids drive. Let your buddy drive. Bring enough snacks to keep the crew happy. Maybe a Mike's Hard Lemonade.

One of my buddies still tells the story how we got to 10 hours and then he ran it flat out on the way back home.

I still maintain that the best boat ( and truck and RV) is the one you bought brand new and have taken care of for many many years.

No questions about abuse or maintenance.

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You'd probably cry if you saw how the factory and dealers water test the boats in the first hour.

I have seen this first hand. I spend summers in college skiing the Conway chain, where they used to lake test Nautiques. They'd have them out there with no windshield, no graphics, etc...just hammering those boats. Power turns and everything. We used to don lifejackets, tie ourselves to our boat, and float in the lake drinking beer listening to them run those engines WOT around and around us on the lake.

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Just had the dealer say 20 hours before sacking the boat. I can only assume there are as many opinions as there are folks on the forums. Coming from the flying world the most controversial subjects were lean vs. rich of peak and engine management. Will have to check out the rest of the post for my soon new to me boat. Breaking in a engine in a 182 we just varied the throttle every 30 min or so till 20 hrs (I think).

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I had an oil analysis done on my factory oil for two reasons. First, I ran the factory oil for 25 hours due to the fact that I was on vacation. Second, after the 20 minute acceptance ride at the dealer, I had to do idle speed on the next ride, which lasted for 2 hours. This was due to a speed restriction on the local NJ lake I used to break the engine in on due to high water. This left me with 2 1/2 hours on my engine and vacation a week away. On vacation, I did not really follow the break-in procedure, but was easy on the engine. The oil analysis ended up showing everything was normal. That year, 2003 was a very rainy year. A second analysis this past year also showed normal numbers.

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If the owners manual says there is a break-in period why would you not want to follow the manual?

EXACTLY,

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2011 here same engine.... just finished the 10hr break in and I followed the reqs to the letter....do your break in service and have them change all 3 fluids at 20hrs.... I am at 13.5hrs and its been 100% flawless.

You just spent 70-80K on a boat and it only has a limited warranty on that engine... follow the instructions and enjoy the boat!

Post some pics!!

All three fluids? What am i missing... engine oil, tranny oil, magic juice?

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All three fluids? What am i missing... engine oil, tranny oil, magic juice?

No not magic juice, you might have this thing on your boat called a V-drive? Unless you have a DD that points forward. That'd be the 3rd fluid Indmar specs call for servicing after break in. ATF same as in the tranny.

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I wouldn't give the manufacturer any reason to not honor the warranty should anything happen. And when you go to sell it, you can honestly tell the buyer how you stuck to the rules.

Regardless though, have mucho fun on your new sweeeeet ride !

Steve B.

(there will be plenty of time to flog her later, lol)

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We want :kewlpics:

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If the owners manual says there is a break-in period why would you not want to follow the manual?

This topic has come up before, at that time i called Indmar and was told if they didn't want their engines broke in that way they wouldn't have put a break in procedure in the manual.

It is your boat and you can do as you please with it, hopefully your engine will last the way other engines have lasted that have been broken in by "driving it like you stole it", i would not take that chance though.

Would be a pity if the engine cratered in the first 10 hours due to a manufacturer defect and the engine log showed you didn't follow break in procedures.

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So, to the OP (MichLivin)……

Have you decided how you’re going to break it in? Run it hard or follow the manual?

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Personally, I think it comes to down to using common sense, and dont abuse the boat for the first 10 hours. And most importantly, take it in for the 20 hour service to have all work performed by the dealer. These engines as others have mentioned get hammered by Indmar and Malibu during the test phases. I thought this was a good break-in recommendation:

0-6 hours, no towing allowed, fluctuate speed and very limited wide open throttle

6-8 hours, towing allowed with no ballast, or wedge

8-10 hours, towing allowed with no ballast and 1/4 wedge

10+ hours towing allowed with full ballast, wedge

I probably will not start surfing until I hit the 15 hour mark.

When I demo'd the dealers VLX, we were driving the boat like we stole it.... wide open throttle, loading ballast up, using the wedge, he even brought out 400 extra lbs of bags to check out the surf wake.... this happens with every boat when they are demo'd by customers.

Just my thoughts..... I am by no means an expert, but I did the same break-in on my last boat, and after 230 hours motor was in perfect condition.

Edited by Fman

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So, to the OP (MichLivin)……

Have you decided how you’re going to break it in? Run it hard or follow the manual?

After reading all the responses I decided to go ahead with the recommended break-in. I am leaning toward taking the boat out for fluids change at 15-20 hours rather than 10 hours for the engine oil and 25 hours for the trans oil.

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