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Outboard engine Trim UP - Not Functioning on NEW E18 - Motor Won't Life from the Water

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    Outboard engine Trim UP - Not Functioning on NEW E18 - Motor Won't Life from the Water

    Hello - we are new to boating and we purchased a NEW Element E18 hoping to have minimal issues since it was a new boat. Boy were we wrong! The issue of the day is the trim. When we start boating - we can easily put the motor into the water (trim moves). When we finish boating - we cannot lift the trim. I called the dealer and they sent over a person who fixed it - but we're not sure how. Now we are experiencing the same issue again. Perhaps there is some easy fix we are overlooking? One idea is that the motor is hot and that's causing some electrical misfires. Perhaps people have seen this issue?

    you told us what isnt happening, but you didnt say if its making any sound when it wont lift... since about 1990, a lot of boats (not all) have 2 switches for the trim/tilt function, hence the term TRIM and TILT.... the TRIM switch is the one used while cruising across the water to trim the drive for best effect, which wont allow you to lift the drive so high as to damage the driveshaft while the rev's are high.... and the TILT which is sometimes called the TRAILERING switch, is used to tilt the outdrive up the rest of the way for maximum height after loading it on the trailer... this should never be used while the engine is running, or damage could result...

    do you have this second switch?.... sometimes its 2 separate switches which have to be activated at the SAME time to get the drive into TILT mode....

    Salem, OR

    1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
    5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
    N2K equipped throughout..
    2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
    2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
    '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
    Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding (RETIRED)


      Welcome! You are going through what’s known as the shakedown phase and new or used, it doesn’t matter.IMO, it’s negligent that the tech didn’t explain what the issue was last time. You probably thought it was missed in the rigging process of boat and a one time thing. As you’ve discovered, there are no one time things. It’s part of the boating culture to ask, even if it feels like you are being a bother, what went wrong and how to fix it when getting a tech isn’t really an option.
      Centerline2 is likely correct about the trim/tilt switches. I don’t know if it’s a three button switch where the up (top) button lifts until a switch on the drive stops it for trim, then if the center button is pushed along with the top button the drive continues to lift until it’s in the full up position. It you have some sort of controls on the shift/throttle handle, there’s going to be some sort of trim limit switch override. There are a multitude of YouTube videos on the subject of troubleshooting this feature and I encourage you to do some armchair boating watching them.
      If the case isn’t switch operation, you push the proper buttons and don’t hear a click (quiet everyone) coming from near the engine, look in the compartments around the engine and you’ll see a pump that looks kinda like this Make sure the wire connection plugs are well connected. They can get bumped by tool boxes, small coolers, beverage cases, anything stored and not mounted, and the plug goes part time. Don’t ask me how I know, it just cost me several hours. Make sure the plugs are firmly installed and you should hear the click, and the pump working.
      So, how long does the shakedown last? That depends on how much you use the boat. One thing for sure, in my experience the more you use it, the fewer problems you’ll have.
      Again, Welcome. If the issue persists, pictures help, general location helps (like Lake Stevens, WA), there may be a member nearby to help.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      MMSI 367770440


        Hi Everyone, sorry I was not specific - I am new to this and I don't know all the terms. There are two ways to raise the trim/motor up - there is a button on the gear shifter (the thing that makes the boat go forward or back?) and there is one on the motor itself - neither one is working. The boat makes a nose like "ZZHH" but it doesn't actually lift the motor up. I am not trying to lift it very high in order to trailer it - just to get the propeller out of the water.

        Initially, when I called the boat yard - they said that it may be an oil leak from the engine. Then the tech guy came and fixed the issue. He told me, over the phone, that a "wire was lose". We removed the lid of the engine and everything looks ok. Someone also told me that it could be that the engine is overheating? That's why the tilt works before we drive it but not after?

        At another time when we used the boat, we discovered the battery was dead. We had someone at the local boatyard come to help us jump the battery.

        Then the radio stopped working and sometimes the mileage gauge is not working - there are some sort of electrical issues going on. Maybe I need to check the fuses - I just learned where they are located.

        So mind you - this is the 5th time we are using the new boat. I see what you mean by the "shakedown phase". Really starting to regret this purchase


        • Centerline2
          Centerline2 commented
          Editing a comment
          when someone who isnt knowledgeable about boats purchases one, its going to be very frustrating for awhile until you DO learn about boats a little..... its always a good thing to have a friend that is boat savvy too help you... boaters are helpful people, and other than going back to the dealer, if you were to post an ad on your local craigslist, im sure you could find someone to help you out...

        Oh the location is Bronx, NY - Evers Marina.


          Take it back to the dealer with a punch list of problems you are having. Tell them to fix them all. It's a new boat. None of this should be happening. The engine should not be overheating, the trim should work every time, there should be no loose wires or anything that's easily disconnected, the radio should work, there should be no blown fuses. Make them sea test it so they replicate the same conditions you are experiencing the problems (engine warm after a cruise).

          I'm assuming its the same up/down trim as I have in my element. It sounds like an electrical or hydraulic issue. I'm pretty sure this is an electro hydraulic system. If. you hear the sound of the ram trying to move (the zzhh sound) but the engine doesn't tilt, that sounds like a hydraulic leak but I can't think of why it works when cold but not warm) general...the dealer needs to look at this boat and fix everything.


            Yes the dealer is a bit far - I would need a trailer to bring the boat there. The dealer thinks it's an issue with a relay - so we are getting one to replace. I will keep everyone updated. Thanks for everyone's support and commentary!