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Breaking in a new boat


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I need some help! How many hour's for 1st. oil change and also what amount for safe barefooting speed's. I have all kinds of mixed reviews. Dealer say's 20 for oil and aleast that for wide open run's. Is this what most of you have heard?

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Thanks for the input, i thought 20 seemed long on first oil change. I will go 50 between changes after that unless people think that's too long?

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Go by what the Indmar book states. Everything in there states exactly when and what needs to be done, except for lubing the starter which is something many people don't need to do.

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I read this on TMC several years ago...

Break-In Period

I know, warranty-wise I shouldn't say it, but I decided to follow the PCM-Break-In-Procedure, not the "baby-your-engine" Indmar style. And I'm more than satisfied with the performance of my engine (320LCR)! Oil consumption on my engine: zero. Performance: more than good!

Two weeks ago my Response 320LCR outperformed my dealer's 04 LXI with the HH380! It was faster on top end and had also a slightly better holeshot. (I know, the LXI is heavier than the Response but 320 vs 380 hp and the 320 won!) You can imagine the dealer's puzzled face.

Here's the PCM Procedure:

The break-in period of your engine is the first 25 hours of operation. Proper engine break-in is essential to achieve maximum performance, longevity and minimum oil consumption. During the break-in period, the following operation guidelines must be adhered to.

• After the engine is thoroughly warmed up, and the boat is underway, open the throttle to WOT until maximum RPM is reached. DO NOT EXCEED MAXIMUM RPM. (RPM should cease climbing after 10 to 20 seconds).

• Reduce the throttle to 2800 - 3000 RPM, and cruise at or below this speed for 1/2 hour. Reduce the speed to idle. Go to WOT until maximum RPM is reached and operate for approximately 1 minute. Reduce throttle to 2800-3000 RPM and operate for a few minutes. (Bringing the engine speed from idle to WOT will load the engine and assist in seating the piston rings). This cycle should be repeated from time to time during the first 5 hours of operation, but WOT should not be sustained for more than 1 minute.

• During the remaining 20 hours of break in period, the engines can be run at cruise speeds that are approximately 75-80% of the WOT RPM, occasionally varying the cruise speed by 100 RPM.

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I have heard so many stories and everyone has an opinion. I am really somewhere in the middle. I have two friends that build engines. They are good friends too, but both call their way the best. I am in the middle.

Guy #1 Says to start it up, let it warm up, so for a leisurely cruise and nice fluid throttle movements and go up and down the rpm range. Not staying at one place for more then a minute. Do that for 30 mins and then slow down and stop. Shut motor off to cool. Float for a bit and then go back and cruise again but each time getting more and more aggressive with the throttle. Full operating temp of course. After the third hour he felt you could pretty much be ready to ski or wakeboard, but barefooting should wait for the 10 hour oil change.

Guy #2 Drive it like you stole it once it was warmed up. Change the oil at 5 hours, 10 hours, and 20 hours. But once it is warmed up, just jam. You want to ski or barefoot.. why the hell not. Accelerate fast and hard... or slow and soft.. but pin the throttle and give it hell. He basically said to just drive it like you will once it is broken in.

I rarely pin the throttle on my RLXI. Absolutely no need for it. I have pulling up really big guys on a slalom ski, but that is for a few seconds and then I am backing off for PP to take over. I am either at idle or 3200rpm most of the time.

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Follow the break in procedure in the manual from Indmar, dealers opinions will vary on this.

Plus1.gif

If there is a problem with the engine during the warranty period and they find out from the computer that the breakin procedure was not followed, they could argue that the warranty is void.

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Follow the break in procedure in the manual from Indmar, dealers opinions will vary on this.

Plus1.gif

If there is a problem with the engine during the warranty period and they find out from the computer that the breakin procedure was not followed, they could argue that the warranty is void.

I'm curious about this. Are you saying there is an onboard computer that is mapping what RPM my engine is running at every given moment in time? If so, how many hours does it take before the memory runs out of space?

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Follow the break in procedure in the manual from Indmar, dealers opinions will vary on this.

Plus1.gif

If there is a problem with the engine during the warranty period and they find out from the computer that the breakin procedure was not followed, they could argue that the warranty is void.

I'm curious about this. Are you saying there is an onboard computer that is mapping what RPM my engine is running at every given moment in time? If so, how many hours does it take before the memory runs out of space?

If it was true, I think that you would have been completely hosed on your '04. :lol: I don't put much stock in this or Indmar's recommendations, I've been around way too many gearheads that believe in something much closer to PCM's guidelines.

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Follow the break in procedure in the manual from Indmar, dealers opinions will vary on this.

Plus1.gif

If there is a problem with the engine during the warranty period and they find out from the computer that the breakin procedure was not followed, they could argue that the warranty is void.

I'm curious about this. Are you saying there is an onboard computer that is mapping what RPM my engine is running at every given moment in time? If so, how many hours does it take before the memory runs out of space?

If it was true, I think that you would have been completely hosed on your '04. :lol: I don't put much stock in this or Indmar's recommendations, I've been around way too many gearheads that believe in something much closer to PCM's guidelines.

The ECU does keep a rolling log of engine use, like a flight data recorder. At least that's what one of the WI area dealers told us when we picked up our '02 team boats. However, in order to deny warranty work, they would have to PROVE that your breakin procedure caused engine failure.

As far as breaking in a new engine... flog it. Don't hold it at one RPM for minutes on end, but don't be afraid of shots up to WOT or full throttle takeoffs. A full throttle takeoff from a dead stop is probably the BEST way to get a good mating of your rings to the cylinder walls because that's when internal cylinder pressure is at its highest and the rings are pressed out against the cylinder walls the most.

Do NOT start it on the fake-a-lake in your driveway and let it idle for minutes on end. I wouldn't even let it idle up to temperature the first time. Instead, give it some light in-gear throttle pressure until the temp is up where it needs to be, then perform some good loading exercises like above.

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Follow the break in procedure in the manual from Indmar, dealers opinions will vary on this.

Plus1.gif

If there is a problem with the engine during the warranty period and they find out from the computer that the breakin procedure was not followed, they could argue that the warranty is void.

I'm curious about this. Are you saying there is an onboard computer that is mapping what RPM my engine is running at every given moment in time? If so, how many hours does it take before the memory runs out of space?

If it was true, I think that you would have been completely hosed on your '04. :lol: I don't put much stock in this or Indmar's recommendations, I've been around way too many gearheads that believe in something much closer to PCM's guidelines.

The ECU does keep a rolling log of engine use, like a flight data recorder. At least that's what one of the WI area dealers told us when we picked up our '02 team boats. However, in order to deny warranty work, they would have to PROVE that your breakin procedure caused engine failure.

As far as breaking in a new engine... flog it. Don't hold it at one RPM for minutes on end, but don't be afraid of shots up to WOT or full throttle takeoffs. A full throttle takeoff from a dead stop is probably the BEST way to get a good mating of your rings to the cylinder walls because that's when internal cylinder pressure is at its highest and the rings are pressed out against the cylinder walls the most.

Do NOT start it on the fake-a-lake in your driveway and let it idle for minutes on end. I wouldn't even let it idle up to temperature the first time. Instead, give it some light in-gear throttle pressure until the temp is up where it needs to be, then perform some good loading exercises like above.

I agree Plus1.gif

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IMO, it probably doesn't make much diffierence how the engine is broken in as far as performance goes in a skiboat. The way our ski/wake boats are used, there probably isn't much of a difference between breakin methods. I guess I could understand the importance of it in a hotboat or racing applications, but as far as pulling someone out of the water and accelerating to wakeboard or skiing speeds, there is plenty of power either way it is broken in. If so, then why not follow the manufacturers advice. Obviously, they are breaking the engine in their way to maximize it's service life (to avoid warranty work) which would be my goal as well.

As far as using data from the ECU for a warranty claim, I agree it would be tough for them to win, but is a hassle that nobody would want. Especially if the repair was delayed a long time while the issue went through arbitration or the courts. Just my 2 cents.

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Having been through 1 major repair and 3 engine replacements on my 04 LSV (all under the first 17 hours on each engine), I can tell you the following.

1) The ECU never came up, nor to my knowledge was it ever even in play...

2) Break-in procedure was never even discussed.

3) After the 2nd engine, they questioned my driving.... so I had a Malibu rep break it in. He put 10 hours on per the Indmar break-in procedure. Asked him if there was anything I needed to know, and he said "just drive it". 2 hours later, number three :bomb:

4) My buddy broke his HH383 in according to Indmar and burned oil up to 90 hours. I broke in my HH383 according to PCM type schedule and only burned oil in the first 20 hours. And it ran like a _____ Rockon.gif

Also, when you buy a new car do you only drive side streets at 25 mph for the first 2 hours, and then 35 mph zones for 3 more hours and than hit the highway? Or, do you have a big smile on your face and throttle that baby onto the on ramp? :)

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IMO, it probably doesn't make much diffierence how the engine is broken in as far as performance goes in a skiboat. The way our ski/wake boats are used, there probably isn't much of a difference between breakin methods. I guess I could understand the importance of it in a hotboat or racing applications, but as far as pulling someone out of the water and accelerating to wakeboard or skiing speeds, there is plenty of power either way it is broken in. If so, then why not follow the manufacturers advice. Obviously, they are breaking the engine in their way to maximize it's service life (to avoid warranty work) which would be my goal as well.

Service life is maximized when a motor stays tight. Light breakin leads to poor mating of the surfaces, excessive blow by, hot spots on the cylinder walls and pistons, premature compression loss, poor fuel economy. A more aggressive breakin leads to tighter tolerances, better surface mating, less piston ring blow-by, higher compression, better cooling, better fuel economy... Lots of reasons to break in an engine harder.

I'll go back to our 2002 boats. We got 4 Responses for area ski teams. Two were broken in lightly, two were pulling barefooters by hour 2.5-3. Guess which ones were faster by the time there was about 30 hours on the clock? The boats that were 'abused' felt a lot stronger on the a$$ dyno on the low end and midrange than those that were babied.

I have done this with identical snowmobiles too. In 2002, my dad and I each got identical sleds. I flogged mine, he babied his. Mine gets better fuel economy, accelerates harder, burns cleaner, and pulls about 3 lbs more compression on each cylinder than his.

Edited by UWSkier
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Malibudude
Having been through 1 major repair and 3 engine replacements on my 04 LSV (all under the first 17 hours on each engine), I can tell you the following.

1) The ECU never came up, nor to my knowledge was it ever even in play...

2) Break-in procedure was never even discussed.

3) After the 2nd engine, they questioned my driving.... so I had a Malibu rep break it in. He put 10 hours on per the Indmar break-in procedure. Asked him if there was anything I needed to know, and he said "just drive it". 2 hours later, number three :bomb:

4) My buddy broke his HH383 in according to Indmar and burned oil up to 90 hours. I broke in my HH383 according to PCM type schedule and only burned oil in the first 20 hours. And it ran like a _____ Rockon.gif

Also, when you buy a new car do you only drive side streets at 25 mph for the first 2 hours, and then 35 mph zones for 3 more hours and than hit the highway? Or, do you have a big smile on your face and throttle that baby onto the on ramp? :)

No but they do say wait X-miles before you tow. :unsure:

Basically everyone has an opinion on this but the fact that remains constant is the recommended break-in procedure by Indmar.

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Having been through 1 major repair and 3 engine replacements on my 04 LSV (all under the first 17 hours on each engine), I can tell you the following.

1) The ECU never came up, nor to my knowledge was it ever even in play...

2) Break-in procedure was never even discussed.

3) After the 2nd engine, they questioned my driving.... so I had a Malibu rep break it in. He put 10 hours on per the Indmar break-in procedure. Asked him if there was anything I needed to know, and he said "just drive it". 2 hours later, number three :bomb:

4) My buddy broke his HH383 in according to Indmar and burned oil up to 90 hours. I broke in my HH383 according to PCM type schedule and only burned oil in the first 20 hours. And it ran like a _____ Rockon.gif

Also, when you buy a new car do you only drive side streets at 25 mph for the first 2 hours, and then 35 mph zones for 3 more hours and than hit the highway? Or, do you have a big smile on your face and throttle that baby onto the on ramp? :)

No but they do say wait X-miles before you tow. :unsure:

Basically everyone has an opinion on this but the fact that remains constant is the recommended break-in procedure by Indmar.

So? Dontknow.gif

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mine was new this season. first two hour under 2000 but occasional hard accell to say 2200. third hour we pulled a boarder. third hour same just up to 3000 and occ hard accell to 3200. fourth hour same up to 4000 and occ hard accell to 4200. fifth hour full accelleration occasionally to nearly top end hold for 15 secs and back down to cruise 20 mph.

hard accell seats rings.

thing not to do is cruise at 1500-2500 rpms for first five hours. need to seat rings.

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