Frequently Asked Questions
- Tohatsu or Nissan: Is there any difference?
- Shaft Length: How do I measure?
- Transport/Storage: Can a 4-stroke outboard be laid on its side?
- Fuel Type: What type of gasoline should I use in my outboard?
- Fuel Consumption: How much fuel is used per hour at full throttle?
- Electric Start Models: Do they have back-up manual start also?
- What is the smallest outboard that offers electric start?
- 12V Alternator: How much is a 12V Alternator kit for my outboard?
- Remote Conversion: Can I convert a tiller model to remote control?
- Saltwater Use: Are Tohatsu/Nissan outboards salt-water rated?
- Freshwater Flush: How do you recommend I flush my outboard?
- Break-In: What is the break-in procedure for my new outboard?
- Warranty: How does the Tohatsu/Nissan warranty work?
Tohatsu or Nissan: Is there any difference?
Tohatsu is the manufacturer of all Nissan outboards. They are identical
with the exception of branding and brand label (decals). Nissan models are
typically slightly higher in price as a result of the premium branding and
offer slightly higher resale values. There is no difference in features,
specifications, or warranty term.
Tohatsu also has a relationship with Mercury Marine to manufacture portable outboards offered by Mercury Marine below 40hp.
Shaft Length:How do I measure?Measure from the top of your transom to the bottom of your keel. If it is from 15" to 17" long you'll need to get a Tohatsu outboard with a "short" shaft. If it is from 20" to 22" long you'll need our "long" shaft outboard. Tohatsu outboard shafts are measured from the bottom of the engine mounting bracket to the cavitation plate on the lower unit. Generally most boats need either a short or long shaft although some boats require a 25" shaft (ultra-long shaft) outboard.
Please note that depending on the particular model, some Tohatsu shaft lengths may be 2" longer than "standard" (ie: a short shaft may be 17" instead of 15" and a long shaft may be 22" instead of 20"). Therefore, depending on the configuration of your keel, the shaft length required by your boat may be different than the above recommendation. We recommend that you consult with your local dealer to determine which is the correct shaft length for your particular boat.
Transport/Storage: Can a 4-stroke outboard be laid on its side?Yes. If necessary, the engine can be laid on its side but it must be laid on the proper side. Your outboard includes a label on the engine side itself indicating which direction the engine can be laid. Please see owner's manual for additional information on transporting and storage of your outboard.
Fuel Type: What type of gasoline should I use in my outboard?We recommend using gas with an octane rating of 87 or higher.
Fuel Consumption: How much fuel is used per hour at full throttle?We've put together the charts below to help you determine what type of fuel consumption you can expect from your Nissan outboard. Please remember though, all figures are approximate.
There are a great deal of factors that affect the amount of fuel consumption and therefore the figures listed below will not necessarily be what you will obtain. Factors such as weight, hull shape, hull condition, water conditions, etc. may drastically affect the consumption figures shown below.
The following charts show the approximate fuel consumption of each model:
Fuel Consumption Chart
Fuel Consumption Chart
Electric Start Models: Do they have back-up manual start also?
What is the smallest outboard that offers electric start?
The 8 HP Tohatsu or Nissan outboards offer electric or manual start.
12V Alternator: How much is a 12V Alternator kit for my outboard?
Remote Conversion: Can I convert a tiller model to remote control?
Saltwater Use: Are Tohatsu/Nissan outboards salt-water rated?
Yes...all Tohatsu outboards are designed to be used in both saltwater or freshwater applications. Tohatsu outboards are used worldwide by commercial fishermen whose main application is saltwater usage. To help combat the corrosive effects of saltwater, all Tohatsu outboards are treated with a unique paint process which includes starting with marine grade aluminum alloy and then applying a high solid epoxy primer undercoat and then a high solid acrylic resin coat of paint. In addition, critical parts are made of stainless steel and all outboards include a zinc anode. As with any outboard used in saltwater, it is recommended you thoroughly flush your motor with freshwater after each use.
Freshwater Flush: How do you recommend I flush my outboard?
Thoroughly flush your engine with clean, fresh water.
All Tohatsu outboards are water cooled; running your outboard without an adequate source of cooling water will result in severe damage to your outboard!
For our 4-stroke models 2hp-6hp and our 5hp 2-stroke models you can use the optional flushing plug or attachment. For smaller outboards, you can also flush your outboard by using a large container (large bucket or garbage can) of water. Be sure the container is large enough to completely cover the water intake ports and the lower unit of the outboard. Also be sure that the container is wide enough so that no part of the motor will touch the sides/bottom of the bucket. Securely mount your outboard on a sawhorse or some other type of apparatus that will allow safe operation of your outboard.
8 hp and up:
With the 8-140 hp you can either use the optional flushing plug which can be attached to a hose for flushing the engine with fresh water or purchase a set of “ear muffs” (available at Amber Marine). This equipment attaches to your garden hose and clamps on to your outboard's lower unit, covering the water intake ports. Turn the garden hose 1/2 to full before starting your engine to get a good water flow without too much pressure (to minimize air bubbles).
Run your outboard at normal idle speed for 5-10 minutes to allow the
engine to warm up. It is best to use a mixture of stabilized fuel with fogging
oil. (follow brand directions and be sure 2-stroke pre-mix models have the
appropriate oil also in the fuel). Or, you may remove the air box and spray
fogging oil through the carburetor/s throat(s) while running the engine
just before you shut it down. This will cause excessive smoke and ensure
that all internal parts are lubricated. If you plan to leave the stabilized
fuel in the tank (for short seasonal periods-usually 3 months or less),
then be sure it is full to keep evaporation and condensation to a minimum.
Or you may drain the fuel system completely for longer periods. Fuel quality
can be different in many areas.
After flushing the outboard, allow the water to completely drain from the engine. Your outboard should be in a vertical position for the water to completely drain. While you're waiting for your engine to drain, wipe off any dirt, grease, etc. from the exterior of the engine.
Break-In: What is the break-in procedure for my new outboard?
The break-in period is the most critical time in the life of your Tohatsu outboard. Correct operation during the break-in period will prolong the life of your new outboard and will ensure optimum performance. Properly breaking-in your new outboard will ensure the initial smooth operation and lubrication of all moving parts (pistons, gears, bearings, etc). For a complete list of break-in procedures for all Tohatsu and Nissan Marine outboards click here.
Warranty: How does the Tohatsu/Nissan warranty work?
Your outboard is covered by Tohatsu ’s impressive 5 year warranty. Warranty service can be obtained through Amber Marine in Southern California or any authorized Tohatsu outboard or Nissan Marine service center anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. If you need help locating an authorized service center, please email us and include your zip code. We'll be glad to help you find a service center in the Tohatsu network. These service centers can also provide service after the warranty period.