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115 Suzuki 4Stroke Compression - Walleye Message Central
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:16 PM
Ecnadnus Ecnadnus is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NW Ohio
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Default 115 Suzuki 4Stroke Compression

I've done a lot of reading about compression on outboards and the consensus is that a variance of 10-15% between the highest and lowest cylinder is acceptable but you wouldn't want any more than that. I've also read that it shouldn't be any more than 10PSI variance???

Either way, should I be concerned with a 2002 Suzuki 115 4-Stroke that seems to run very good, but has compression readings of the following:
175 / 170 / 155 / 175

The dealer and their mechanic indicate they have checked everything on the motor and she is a very strong performer. The previous owner indicates that he has never had an issue with it either and it has always performed very well and was serviced regularly.

Can you run an additive in the fuel to help improve compression?

Thanks in advance and I'm looking forward to some great advice on this one!!
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:27 PM
grasshopper armory grasshopper armory is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: sw kansas
Posts: 320

dont know about boat motors but and airplane motor that has a compression difference like that either has bad rings or valves.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:18 AM
REW REW is offline
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Since 2- of the cylinders have a compression reading of 175, the majority rule would indicate that this is the nominal compression of the engine.
A good rule of thumb is a + or - 5 psi variation is acceptable off the nominal value. Or a reading of 170-180 would be an acceptable value.

The 155 is out of the expected value.

The next thing to do, is to perform a leak down test.
This is where the engine is brought up to top dead center on that cylinder, held there - and then have air injected into the cylinder in question.

Most good mechanics will have the ability to do a leak down test on an engine.

Then, with the air being injected into the cylinder, and if air is leaking down - the crank case is checked for the hiss of leaking air - to determine a bad piston, bad piston ring or scored cylinder.

The in system is checked for a hissing sound to determine the presence of a leaking intake valve seal.

Then, the exhaust system is checked for a hissing sound to determine the presence of a leaking exhaust valve seal.

Remember, since this is a 4-stroke engine - it is possible that the only issue with the engine might be a mis adjusted valve.

I would suggest that before much more checking is done on the engine, that the valve lash is checked on all cylinders. If the valve lash is too tight - i.e not enough space between the rocker arm and valve, the valve could be held open during the time that it is supposed to be closed.

One thing to then be worried about a bit, is that if you find that the valve lash is too tight and the engine has been running that way for a while, it is possible that the valve and or valve seat might have some damage due to being held partially open. Of course, a resetting of the valve - if it was incorrect and retesting will verify if any damage has been done.


If the dealer and mechanic say that this variation is all right, and if another similar engine is available - have a compression check run on that engine - whether it is new or used. I am guessing that another engine will not have the same reading differences.

Take care
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:04 AM
Ecnadnus Ecnadnus is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 9


Thanks for the insight and the time consideration taken to post it!
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:23 PM
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beeman beeman is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,088
Default within 10 percent is fine

If one is way lower could be head gasket, stuck ring. Alot of guys suggest running sea foam and decarbing. If rings are not moving in piston because of carbon buildup lower comp is result. 105,104,113 where my readings yours sound really good. Did some more reading my info is on 2stroke outboards.
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