Tohatsu TLDI Series

Started by skip, April 15, 2008, 23:05:25 CET

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Hi Guys,

As some of you may be aware Tohatsu released a range of TLDI motors in 2006, that utilise a low pressure direct injection fuel system, licensed from Australian company Orbital which is also used by Mercury in their Optimax range. Both these outboards use a two stroke block and so benefit from all the good things about two strokes, whilst addressing what's now considered to be 'dreadful' fuel consumption that two strokes have.

In comparing the two, the Tohatsu deliver the same quoted power as the Optimax 90 from a slightly smaller bore/stroke and is also lighter which is important on smaller boats where savings are paramount. It's also interesting to add that Tohatsu make all the smaller 9.9 etc 4 strokes for people like Mercury, Honda, Suzuki etc and are becoming on of the largest unit producers of outboards in the world.

Without going too much into the marketing jargon of the superiority of each engine, ETEC, TLDI or Optimax as all make claims to being more economical than each other, let's point out some great features found on the Tohatsu:

1) Made in Japan
2) Salt Water Outboard
3) 3 year parts and labour warranty offered in Malta by their dealer Mecca not two like many others
4) User adjustable trolling/idle speed, 700, 800 or 900 rpm just by pushing the key (excellent for slow/faster fishing trolling)
5) Lighter than the Optimax, same weight as the ETEC90
6) Higher full throttle rpm range than the ETEC and the Optimax, 5150-5850 (ETEC lowest at 4500-5500)
7) Price advantage locally - subject to clarification as am requesting pricing on the ETEC 90 and Optimax 90

Tohatsu are the ONLY manufacturer who make Salt Water Only Outboards reasoning that an outboard designed for salt water can be used in fresh water but not vice-versa. They've been making outboards for over 50 years primarily targeting fisherman and commercial operators.

With conventional two strokes officially no longer available in Europe for recreational use, end users have been forced to look at heavier 4 strokes, hence Direct injection engines like the Tohatsu, ETEC, Optimax have come to the rescue. With the TLDI pricing let's say they sit in between 2 stroke and 4 stroke pricing (still hard to compete with the Lm2160 of the Yamaha 85 2 stroke), and I believe cheaper than the Optimax and ETEC.

ETECs by the way use a high pressure direct fuel injection system, which apparently is ever so slightly less economical than the low pressure system used by Tohatsu/Mercury, although a belt driven air compressor is needed on these low pressure systems. Like anything else, more components and plumbing, could potentially lead to more possible failure points but so far no major reports on the Internet indicate any kind of issues.

Tohatsu recommend lower crankcase oil change every year and compressor belt, air filter and fuel filter every 2 years just to give people an idea of a-typical maintenance on these engines.

Tohatsu may not have the major brand image that manufacturers like Mercury, Evinrude, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda enjoy, but those in the know and many commercial operators choose Tohatsu engines for their reliability and price/performance that they can offer.

So in summary we now have a major contender providing a price competitive solution, I suggest all you guys&gals! give due consideration to the TLDI series when choosing a motor, especially in the 16-22 foot range. Currently Tohatsu offer the TLDI in the following horsepowers: 40/50/70/90/115 so they don't have the power range that Evinrude or Mercury offer yet, with the greatest range offered by Evinrude 40hp - 300

I'm looking at an 17-18 foot boat so I may well consider the TLDI as my chosen power for the new boat and will keep you posted. If anyone has direct experience of the TLDI's/ETECs/Optimax's, post your replies and let's discuss.



Hi Skip. Thanks for the info. I'm considering changing my 15ft boat to a slightly larger 18-19ft boat next year! Mind me asking what's the approx. price of the Tohatsu 90 please?
I'd rather be fishing.....


I believe it's in the region of Lm3200 with the control box etc but you would have to confirm with Nichol at Mecca, but it's somewhere in that area.

Still undecided which boat I get, but I'm seriously attracted to the TLDI series, so either way perhaps you will be able to see this engine shortly on the water!


the mariner optimax 90 is LM3500 with control box


Good to know Busumark and it would be interesting to see what their warranty period is as in the Uk they give 5 years.


no they give you 2 years. in the uk they give you 5yrs but i think with certain conditions


Dear All Boating Enthusiasts,

I am sure that you are all aware of MECCA MARINE and our new Catalogue web site I am proud to inform you that we are opening a new 6 floor showroom strictly dedicated to Boats, RIBs & Salt Water Outboards in the hearth of St Paul's Bay.
I must emphisize our commitment in the Marine Field. I must admit that our current sales point has grown out of proportion for our work force and work load and we had to invest a lot to serve our clients better.

Mecca Marine's Commitments:

MECCA MARINE is offering the largest range of Boats (Run Abouts - Center Console Boats - Caddy Cabins - CABIN Cruisers - Fly Bridge Yachts - Fishers and Sailing Yachts, Tenders & RIBS, TOHATSU Salt Water Outboards, UMBRA RIMORCHI Trailers & Tow Bars, PRESIDENT VHF's and all Marine accessories. We shall soon have on display more than 5000 different marine items from Stainless Steel Fittings to Life Jackets; Electric Pannels to Ropes.

MECCA Marine believes in competitive market but also GUARANTEES the lowest prices on the market. Yes we boast to supply the best quality at the LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE. Yes we shall match and even try to beat any lower price for any product in the market offering same quality.

MECCA MARINE is committed in aftersale service. Although our current organisation is not at its best now due to space limitations, our new showroom will definalety boost our service, identity and delivery. We also stress the fact in delivering what is promised on sale and delivery date.

Get ready for Summer to Ride the Waves with MECCA!

I will try to be on this forum as much as possible for any questions or enquiries. Better still email me on

Thanks - hope to serve you better.



Hi Nichol, it's good to know the future developments that you have planned as I'm sure that helps reassure customers of what they can expect in the future.

I would like to welcome you to the forum and also point out that you are the first company registered and participating within the forum. I hope that with youe participation, not only will members benefit by being able to get first hand information, but also that you will benefit by seeing and interacting to the needs and views expressed here.




Thought it would be interesting to add this which is comparison data compiled by Tohatsu which is at least a guideline.


Initial Engine Performance Review on Marino Gabry 5.50

It would have been nice if I could have afforded the 115TLDI as I think that would be a great match to the boat, but given all the extra fuel, fishing accessories and the weight of an aux engine, perhaps sticking with the 90TLDI was in fact the way to go. The engine sits very nicely on the back of the boat and isnt' too large, Tohatsu have retained a very traditional boxy style design rather than something curvy.

The engine cover clamps very securely in place with no cause for concern about any water getting has an access flap to fill the oil tank but caution, i tried doing this whilst stopped with no funnel and I wouldn't recommend it!! Get a good sized funnel and due to it's location you could probably happily do this in calm seas at slow speed, a great plus point!

Gone are the days of having to push the key in to activate the choke and raise the idle lever bar to get the engine to start. These bad boys always start first time, at least those have been my observations over the season, and once the engine gets past it's initial start up phase it settles down.

Expect to see and feel some vibration visible by the engine moving left to right slightly on its internal rubber? supports but I've been told this is normal and have confirmed that nothing is loose, so rest assured.

Oil consumption for my kind of use was good, I went through two containers (not sure of the size but not the small bottles) over the season and I believe the oil tank is around 1/3 full at the moment. You tend to forget it's there but luckily the engine buzzer and light on the tachometer will kick in and give you plenty of warning. It happened to me at 6.30am as I was going out for a day's fishing, and the buzzing got more frequent so you want to make sure you always have oil on board to top up.

Observe the recommended service intervals especially for the drive oil and enjoy these excellent engine.

All up weight with people is 1220kgs (The dry weight of the boat is 550kgs, main engine 143kgs, Auxillary 37kgs, 90kgs fuel, 40kgs water, around another 60kgs of additional weight from other fixed items; approx all up weight of 920kgs excluding people on board which would typical be around another 300kgs!!

Standard Factory Prop - 3 blade Aluminium 15P - Full Fuel,
Top speed GPS is around 29.6 knots trimmed @ 5250rpm - 600rpm off suggested WOT using (32 litres per hour), cruise at 3900-4000rpm, 19.5- 20.5 knots using 14.6 - 15.5 litres per hour (2 people on board)

Solas Alcup 4 blade Aluminium 13P - Full Fuel, Water weights as above
Top Speed GPS 29 knots trimmed @ 5700rpm - 32 litres per hour
Cruise at 4000-4200rpm, 19.5 - 20.5 knots using 14.6 - 15.5 litres per hour

I didn't record the time to plane with these two set ups but the four blader 13P prop is much quicker to plane and will also keep the boat on the plane at lower rpm's, at the sacrifice of needing higher rpms to get the same speeds.

As you can see even though the high rake factory 15P prop was only able to turn at a max of 5250rpm it still delivered 29 knots. Had I been alone or indeed a lighter person, with no water, half fuel and no additional gear (auxilliary, no water etc) the boat will probably hit close to 5,750rpm and I'd be curious to see what the top speed would be. I desperately need to find some time one weekend soon along with SimonG to do some further testing.

I do feel that for most people the 15P factory prop is ideal, but as it's quite a high rake prop it prefers as Mecca recommended the engine being mounted up higher on the transom. If you intend to run a different prop which isn't a high rake prop then make sure that you have the ability to lower the engine a few holes without re-drilling to avoid prop cavitation.

For my set up, a heavy boat both due to the fact that I'm not a light guy, tend to go out with another two guys and none of us are lightweights, plus that I carry an extra 112 litres of fuel (50x2 main tanks, plus 12L for aux), 40L water tank and then various fishing related extras plus I have a 37kgs 9.9 4 stroke hanging off the back, I think either a 4 blade 13P cupped to 14P would be the ideal prop for this boat and engine combo.

I intend on ordering another 4 blade 13P Solas prop cupped to 14P as it's not worth the money in freight to send my existing 13P prop abroad, have the work done and then returned. This will give me maximum flexibility:

15P Factory prop for lighter running loads and max performance/speed
14P - Everyday prop as hopefully the best compromise
13P - For when I'm 3-4 guys and full fuel etc.

Part II will need to contain more detailed fuel burn/speed reading across the rev range as well as some additional figures such as nautical miles per gallon etc which are all on the GPS!