Personal Water Craft Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hate to do this, but I feel I need to let the public and future customers know of an incident which occurred in which SBT is sticking to the "letter of the law" vs using a little common sense on a mistake they overlooked in QC of their engine.

On 12-20-21, I ordered a long block engine for my 2005 FXHO Yamaha. The order number is 367547. This engine cost nearly $3,900. I am not rich by any means, and I say this because when I purchase a product, especially with the cost of thousands, I expect it to work when I install it, and if it is installed correctly of course. Again, I expect a product to be free from fault and expect it to work when I pay for it.

SBT is the only engine manufacturer around besides going OEM. One reason why many go with SBT is because they are cheaper than OEM price wise, but also make a quality product. With this, I decided to give them a try as majority of the reviews were sound and great.

The long block came, looked beautiful, installed it over a matter of about 4-5 months due to work and working with a friend, a mechanic, who helped me on his time for free to install.

My ski is spotless. Everything about it, well maintained. The engine components transferred were even cleaned and examined and some parts replaced, such as the oil pump, to ensure the engine would run smoothly.

In late July, I ran the engine (3) separate times on Lake Perris in SoCal, to make sure if there were any issues, I could easily load it up, and take it back to the shop to diagnose. After each run of about 6 hours, I noticed about a quart of oil was leaking into the hull of my ski. I refilled, topped off, and went out the next day, same thing. One last time, same thing.

There was clearly an oil leak, but since every oil leaking area is below the engine, and with minimal room to access the oil area, the engine would most likely need to be removed and pulled.

Dan, my Mechanic, a decorated boat mechanic of over 30 years, many of which dealt with Yamaha's, knew this ski backwards and forwards. He informed me to properly diagnose this issue, he needed to pull the engine. He also informed me SBT would hard to deal with if the issue was theirs. I am assuming from his long history of working with customers who had their engines.

Prior to pulling the engine, he used some mirrors and located a brass plug after following the trail of oil with his fingers. This plug was adjacent to the oil filter. Dan knows the MR-1 engine, and knows that Yamaha does NOT put this plug in their engine block. He informed me this is a SBT design, and what they do to THEIR cases. Therefore, SBT has a duty and obligation to ensure this engine block and case is secure, sound, and properly sealed to prevent oil leaks.

Dan was 100% confident this was the leak area. With a proper seal, the plug, which had no loc tite or sealant on it, threaded right out. He sealed it properly, professionally, and replaced the engine. The cost was $800 out of my pocket.

This is a cost that could and SHOULD have been avoided by a customer, me. SBT clearly did not do the QC they informed they do, which was by everyone including the CEO of the company. SBT, did you check this plug? Why was there no sealant, no threat loc, and why was oil leaking from it? Why is this my responsibility to not only send back this engine, pay shipping, and deal with the heartache of sending a 200# engine back to Florida. This would have been well over $150 which your employees informed me would cost? I don't have a business account sending out engines by the quantity. My cost would have been outrageous.

So in the end, this engine actually cost me nearly $4,600 because of their screwup in the QC phase, which they should have caught.

I understand their is a warranty, policy, and it is in writing. I also understand there is a difference between the "letter of the law" vs. the "spirit of the law."

This is an important difference. Policy is in place so your business does not get taken advantage of. I get it. This is not the case. This is a fault in SBT's court in which they failed to accept. The ski was given to my mechanic on 8/1. They were informed via email on 08/02/21. I spoke with the warranty manager on 08/04/21 I believe.

Now, I commend the professionalism and the talk I had with the gentleman at SBT, warranty Mgr. But, this was not the solution I wanted.

Morally, do the right thing. I do expect SBT to take full ownership for their plug they failed to seal properly, causing an oil leak within minutes of running the engine. $800 refund?

Do I want a refund for this repair? Yes. It would have cost more to ship the engine. But then I am still responsible for it?

Use the moral compass on this issue, do the right thing, and resolve this issue. I will continue to post until this is resolved.

And yes, once this was diagnosed, I did call per your policy within (14) days.


1,609 Posts
I only buy maintenance parts from sbt. There crank shafts and short blocks are junk and the warranty is as worthless as the paper it's printed on. But this is just my opinion. I've seen and heard of more problems than a few with there motors. I've seen cranks with the wrong type brgs, missing rod shims, motors assembled with the crank brg pin not aligned with the detent hole so the case halves can't close together. I wouldn't buy a motor or crank from them if my life depended on it.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts