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Thread: 1978 OMC 185

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lake Jackson, TX, USA
    Posts
    307

    Default "I have never owned an I/O, bu

    "I have never owned an I/O, but have an opportunity to buy a 185. Not sure if this is a complete description. I has a V8. From the pictures it looks like new..pretty light blue block and no oil stains. the out drive looks like factory fresh as does the inside and outside of the boat.
    Would you give me some advise as to what to look for and what questions to ask?
    Thanks, Mike"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    148

    Default "I know the more experienced g

    "I know the more experienced guys here can give you more pointed technical info. What I can say is this. Just because it looks good on the outside, doesn't mean it runs and drives as it should. Its possible that maybe it has a partially seized engine or perhaps there is a worn coupler in the drive unit. Those are just examples of what could be wrong in an older boat. If there is one thing I have learned here, and this can be applied for cars and trucks too, is that you can't judge a book by its cover. There are a lot of dishonest sellers out there and many many good ones to. You will see which one you are dealing with when you start to ask him questions about what he is selling. Myself I would ask to hear the engine run. Preferably I would see if he would take you out on the water and demonstrate that everything, including the drive, works properly. If taking it on the water is not possible, at the very minimum I would ask to have him hook up a garden hose to it so you can at least hear and see it run. Bring a compression gauge and do a quick compression test to make sure all cylinders are at the correct psi. If he wants to sell it badly he shouldn't have any problem demonstrating to a potential buyer that it runs and operates as it should. If he doesn't want to do this I would forget this one and move on and start looking for something else.

    As far as sources of technical advice for these engines I have found the folks here to be invaluable. So if you buy this or a different boat rest assured that the experience on this board almost always will be able to help you. I have run into a few situations myself that I couldn't solve by looking at the OMC shop manuals alone, but the expertise here has made the difference. Hope this helps."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lake Jackson, TX, USA
    Posts
    307

    Default "Robert, thanks. I'm in

    "Robert, thanks. I'm in Texas and the boat is in Ohio, so it should be a freshwater rig. I own a boat from the same mfg and belong to a website for that mfg. One of the moderators is a former employee of the mfg and says that the interior is original and looks like new.
    I share your concerns, but every so often there is a garage find that is too good to be true. I have sent the dealer a list of questions including some of the ones you mentioned.
    My problem is that I know zip about I/O's and don't know their quirks in general or this OMC unit. Couplings, sift linkages, seal to the shafts and the transom, etc.
    SO I am gather a list of questions to ask. and your help.
    Thanks again, Mike"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kawarthas
    Posts
    3,224

    Default "I would recommend you not buy

    "I would recommend you not buy a boat with a 1978 OMC. They are the worst of the worst as far as parts pricing, and reliability. And that's a bad combination as you can imagine.
    If you are an excellent mechanic and the boat is free or near free and you like tinkering then sure, but otherwise stay mercruiser.
    If you want any shops to ever be able to work on it or if you ever want to sell it, mercruiser is the only way."
    Factory Manual Best, Seloc 2nd best, Clymer if you're desperate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    148

    Default "Hy Stat. I can appreciate wh

    "Hy Stat. I can appreciate what you have said after working on my '78 225. Not sure on the same year Mercruiser equivalent but my OMC sure seems to have an overly complicated ignition system. OMCs seem to like lots of wires and solenoids from my experience. Maybe the post '78s OMCs aren't as complicated?

    As you can see with my post here:
    http://www.marineengine.com/discus/m...8/285495.shtml

    that I am having some difficulty in identifying some of the wiring (due to my own doing in this case) on my engine. The great thing about this sight is the knowledge that you can gain or help you will receive if you buy an old OMC that happens to be in a boat you really love."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Manalapan, nj, usa
    Posts
    3,727

    Default "I have a omc. I would strongl

    "I have a omc. I would strongly suggest, not to purchase any boat with a omc. Parts are getting harder and harder to purchase.

    No support, no parts. want to enjoy your time on the water or work on the boat all the time?"

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