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Proper oil level for longtail outboards

Proper Oil Level on a Longtail

Add one to two ounces of of extra oil to the motor to keep the oil sensor from freaking out.

If you’re out on the water after an oil change, and it keeps cutting out, raise the props to level the motor out, run up the RPM, then slowly drop the propeller into the water. You’ll be able to get back to the dock on plane where you can add an extra ounce or two of oil.

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Trifecta of Making Horsepower PDF

Get the free, original “How to Hot Rod Your Mud Motor” e-course:

Get the Chicken Liver Cure Recipe PDF:


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Stage 2/3 Mud Motor Build | Connecting Rod Prep

Arc Racing Connecting Rod Prep

Getting into the motor build in earnest now. Here’s you’ll learn how to check the clearances and properly seat the bearings onto the connecting rod.

ARC Racing Connecting Rod Installation

The guys at OMB Warehouse gave us all the parts to do the build! Good times. Here are the parts used:

Stage 2/3 Parts for non-Hemi 212CC Predator Engine

ARC Billet Flywheel – Predator 1st & 3rd Generation
Part Number: ARC_6625

Billet Rod, HF Predator 212cc
Part Number: ARC_6254

MOD2 Grind, Predator Core Dyno Cams
Part Number: DC_MOD2PRED

Race Ready/CNC Bored Box Stock Carb
Part Number: ARC_DJ-2225

Honda GX200 18 LB Valve Spring (NON-HEMI ONLY)
Part Number: ARC_DJ-2056

Predator Engine Throttle Kit
Part Number: TD_KMPE118

Predator 212cc Gasket Kit
Part Number: ARC_DJ-1305P

Stage 2/3 Parts for Hemi 212CC Predator Engine

ARC Billet Flywheel – Hemi Predator 212cc / Kohler CH270
Part Number: ARC_6626

Billet Rod, HF Predator 212cc
Part Number: ARC_6254

MOD2 Grind, Clone Cheater Cam
Part Number: DC_MOD2

Race Ready/CNC Bored Box Stock Carb
Part Number: ARC_DJ-2225

(Springs only work with the non-hemi.)

Predator Engine Throttle Kit
Part Number: TD_KMPE118

Gasket Set – Honda GX200 / 2008 & Older Clone
Part Number: ARC_DJ-1305

DISCLAIMER: If you remove the governor on your engine, you must use a billeted flywheel. It is highly recommened that you use a billeted connecting rod as well.

Hot rodding mud motors is dangerous. Be careful. Use eye protection, ear plugs, and wear rubber gloves.

I make no claim nor am I liable to nor do I warrant or guarantee your saefty if you perform this procedure. You’re on your own. Be wise. Be prudent in operating said engine.

These procedures all or in part will void the manufacturers warranty. I make no claim, warrant or guarantee that your engine will survive such modifications. You’re on your own. Be wise. Be prudent.

FULL DISCLOSURE: OMB Warehouse supplied all the parts for this build in exchange for placing their logo in the video and providing links to their Web site to the exact parts they sent me.


Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

BWL, vid. Stage 2/3 Mud Motor Build | Connecting Rod Prep.


Here’s what you’ll need:
*1/4 inch, inch/lbs torque wrench
*ARC Racing connecting rod
*bench vice
*shop towel
*plastiguages (.0025 to .003 inches, not metric)
*assembly lube or 30 wt motor oil.

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Hot Rod Your Mud Motor In Stages

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-CourseOh, I just figured out how to give Darth Predt more power without him totally disintegrating. (Darth Predt is my SPS longtail for those of you who don’t know.) It’s the old stage system. In auto racing drivers and builders refer to a system of escalating stages for any motor build.

Here’s how it works. You buy a basic engine like a 212cc, 6.5 hp Predator, then follow this sequence:

Stage 0

  • Engine acquisition
  • Engine break-in with cheap oil
  • First oil change replace cheap oil with high-end synthetic oil
  • Zero modifications

Stage 1

  • cheap or easy modifications without modifying the motor’s interior components
  • this leads to significant increases in power because you remove the EPA’s restrictive exterior system components
  • add performance intake and exhaust
  • jet the carburetor
  • more power virtually no loss in reliability

Stage 2

  • more expensive or more difficult modifications without modifying the motor’s interior components.
  • billeted fly wheel
  • advanced timing key
  • stiffer springs
  • performance carburetor
  • even more power with little loss in reliability

Stage 3

  • cost effective but more difficult modifications made to the interior engine components
  • camshaft
  • governor removal
  • billet rod
  • high RPM
  • good balance between high power and engine reliability

Stage 4

  • all out, Mad Max, Evel Knievel mods of epic doom
  • high compression cylinder head
  • big carburetor
  • high lift rocker arms
  • lightweight push rods
  • crankshafts
  • basically a total rebuild from the bottom up with all racing grade components.
  • a custom build for a specific application. high torque vs high RPM.
  • most power output, least reliability: get ready to build a new motor after about five trips.

Keep in mind each stage builds off the previous stage.

If you want to know how to build and hot rod mud motors kind these, consider the free Hot Rod Your Mud Motor eCourse.

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Three Things Outboard Motor Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Know

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-CourseI searched for several years to buy an outboard motor. The kinds of motors you see all the time here in the United States, the Johnsons, Mercuries, Yamahas and Suzukis of the world. Don’t get me wrong these are all nice motors, well built, but being a poor, country man like myself, these motors were out of my reach. The cost of acquisition was too high, maintenance and repair too complicated, and the closed architecture of these units meant I could not work on them myself without a diploma in marine outboard repair or mechanical engineering. Let’s look at these concepts:

Overly Complicated Motors

Have you ever noticed how cars have become as complicated as airplanes? Computer controlled this, that and the other. Well, outboard manufacturers have followed the same path. I love technology, and advances in such have brought better fuel economy to outboard motors that electronic fuel injection and computer controlled ignition brought to automobiles.

The cost? Well, good luck working on it yourself. If something goes wrong, unless you have the tools and training to work on a modern fighter jet, you’ll have to rely on technicians at the shop. Than means money. Not only that but get ready to have your boat in the shop for up to two weeks even for an oil change or tune up with $100 per hour shop rate.

That sets up the next point.

Cost Effectiveness

I went to Academy Sports to see what outboards they had. I needed something for less than $1,000, as that was all I could afford. Well, they had a 2.5 horsepower Mercury short shaft motor for $864. Do the math. That’s $345.60 per horsepower.

2.5 hp motor would have made a great trolling motor, but I needed speed, enough power to get up on a plane and get to my spots quicker so I could spend more time gunning and less time running. Eight to 10 horsepower would have been more like it.

As far as cost, hey, buy it online and save right? If you looks at some of the online outboard discount places, a 2.5 hp four stroke Tohatsu runs $869.99, more that the local Mercury. (Mercury power heads are made by Tohatsu, by the way.) The cheapest motor I could buy was almost out of my budget range with nowhere near enough power for my needs. An 8 hp Tohatsu? $1,599.99 or $199.99 per horsepower. A 9.8 hp Tohatsu? $1,799.99 or $183.67 per horsepower.

Notice how the cost per horsepower decreases as you buy more motor.

Build & Modify Yourself

Over Thanksgiving 2014 I built my own mud motor using a kit from SPS North America at $464.92, the power head a simple 6.5 hp go-kart motor from Harbor Freight at $106.82, and I bought a few hot rod go-kart upgrade parts for $48.99 from OMB Warehouse. That totals $620.73 or $95.49 per horsepower. That’s stock horsepower.

I don’t have access to a small engine dyno, but according to go-kart engine builders to do test these things, they have measured just shy of 9 hp with similar upgrades: intake, exhaust and carburetor mods. Let’s say 8.5 hp with the upgrades. The price per horsepower drops to $73.02.

These were mild upgrades, only removing the restrictive external components replacing them high-flow, high-performance parts. Just imagine if you went inside the motor and upgraded cam shafts, value trains, fly wheels and such. Would the costs continue to drop? That a post for another day!

Longtail mud motors are a great value-per-dollar option for anyone needing an outboard motor.

Good times, tight lines


P.S., If you have want to learn how to upgrade your SPS Longtail to get the kind of horsepower mentioned above without breaking the bank or ruining your motor, check out my new Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course. It’s free.

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SPS Longtail Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hey, guys. I just finished putting together a new video e-course teaching how to hot rod you mud motors. If you’ve been wondering how to get more horsepower and torque out of your mud motor without ruining the engine or breaking your bank account, this e-course might be for you. It’s free.

Good times, tight lines