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Thread: Homelite Reliability

  1. #11
    Supporting Member Supporting Member Super Sportster's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Sylvan 16ft Super Sportster
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmar, post: 19769

    So just so people don't get the wrong idea about these engines, they are Old engines, just like Any other engine that is a Classic. No one really knows how many hours are on them really...
    I have just as much trust, if not more, with these engines than would with Merc or OMC.

    So folks, these engines are not Hot Rods by any means, but they Are Classics and just fine by me. I might go a little slower than others but the fuel savings alone puts a smile on my face.
    The fact that I don't have to smell the stink of the oil (wife is not to fond of that either) just keeps the smile on my face longer VeryBigSmile
    Joe is correct, they are old engines from an era of simple technology. Treated right they will run a long time, abuse them and like anything else you'll have problems. The nice thing about them is parts are easy enough to find, new and used. There always seems to be a guru out there, for these it's Scott Stewart. There was a discussion going on the iboat forum about these engines about two years ago, there were a few slams and they seemed to coming from "someone who knew someone who owned one". Scott chimed in and the slams ceased. Here's his quote:

    "Hello. I hardly read this stuff anymore, but I knoticed this. Here's 2 cents from a guy that forgot more about these engines than most people knew! I run many 55's. They are as dependable as any car engine...period. I used to have a web page. It is still available as an archived site. The link is below.

    The 85 is a little tricky, but I have restored 2 of them and and they run perfect.

    All parts are available for the 55. There is Ed Ewing at Economy 4 cycle Marine in Redding CA. Bill Roberts in Coupeville, WA Don at Adventure Bearcat in CA "

    One more quote from the same discussion, different author:

    "i was raised on the TX coast & in the company of professional watermen/fishermen & MANY of the Homelite 55 engines are still in daily use after more than 3 decades of commercial fishing.
    (i worked my way through > 2 years of college on commercial trotlining & my big "line skiff" was powered by a '65 Homelite 55. it ran flawlessly for the whole time with nothing but routine/minimal/operator maintaince. - when i went into the service, i sold my rig to a distant cousin & Dave is still running it. - he's worn out/replaced the first line skiff!)"
    Dick Johnson
    1989 16ft Sylvan
    '57 Evinrude 18hp
    '58 Johnson 5.5hp
    '61 Johnson 5.5hp LS
    '64 Johnson 18hp
    '72 Johnson 6hp
    '61 Homelite 55 Shortshaft
    '65 Homelite 55
    '66 Homelite
    '68 Bearcat 55 (3)
    '70 Bearcat 55 (2)

  2. #12
    Administrator Helmar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Uniflite - Skagits - Dorsett
    Quote Originally Posted by Super Sportster, post: 19771
    Hey Tim, I know you're teasing. After now running mine for three seasons, yes there has been some problems but overall I wouldn't be afraid to take mine anywhere. I pretty much know them inside and out. Yes for my needs it's a perfect fit. At the start of the season it had a half tank of fuel (tank is 12 gallon) I've filled it once this year and it's down to about half again. We used it almost every weekend and trolled an average 4 hrs with some WOT runs too. It is very cheap to operate.

    I understand why you went with the Merc and don't blame you, running my 85hp Bearcat I certainly get a rush with it's performance! It's the only one I've run in the Columbia and it's the one that seems to have the reputation for reliability issues depending on who you talk to.

    I got to work on a 115 Stack for a co-worker last spring. He had it two different shops for the same problem and after $350 it still would not run right. I spent a couple hrs on it one weekend and it's been running perfect ever since. Pisses me off how they "took" his money but not fixed the problem. Now that it's running good he loves it!!!

    Yes Joe as long as I'm running one we'll keep yours going too! I still have to send that "care" package to you. It would be nice to see how well the Black Bearcat runs at some point. Glad the other one is running great now and Tim needs to go for a ride in the Uniflite. Ross, those faster fish are out there, I haven't been skunked yet!!!

    My boat isn't a classic though it's now 22 yrs old. Looks like most of the newer ones so it doesn't really fit here but the vintage iron pushing it does fit. The circle of that vintage 4 cycle iron seems to be growing smaller.
    We have a few people around up here that will do the same thing. Think they are helping you and take your money when really, nothing was done.
    Hell, I can just start replacing parts but it takes a real mechanic to know what and how to fix them.

    I mean, you can go to the Napa store and get your tune up parts for a Bearcat !!! It has a Real Automotive coil on it to boot.
    Helmar Joe Johanesen
    1959 Skagit 20ft Offshore, 1959 Skagit 16ft Skimaster,
    1961 17ft Dorsett Catalina.1958 Uniflite 17 ft
    Outboards: 2.5 Bearcats, 3 50hp White shadow Mercs
    2 40hp Johnsons, several smaller Old kickers for a total of 12

    Our Sister club

    Oh, and Where is Robin Hood when you need him??

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