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150, 175, 200 Optimax?

Thread in 'Nitro & Tracker Owners' started by Rusty C., Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Rusty C.

    Rusty C. Well-Known Member

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    I am condsidering buying a 2010 Nitro Z-7. It comes standard with a 150 Optimax. I am trying to decide whether it would it be worth it for ME to upgrade the engine to the 175 or 200. I mainly fish small local lakes that are only a few hundred acres. I only go to the big lakes 6 times a year at the most. I don't care so much about top end speed. I just want to make sure I have a decent hole shot. $3,500 is the price of upgrading to the 200. That is a lot of money to me. I don't know what it cost for a 175 upgrade.



    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Herndonpro

    Herndonpro Well-Known Member

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    If you can get a test ride with a 150, that would be the best thing to do. That way you can decide for yourself. If you can do the test drive, just consider that the boat may or may not be loaded the way it will be when you are fishing. If this isn't an option and you can afford more power take it.



    Good luck, HP
     
  3. Bill McElroy

    Bill McElroy Well-Known Member

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    The 175 would be ideal IMO.....more power equals better holeshot....but it won't cost as much as the 200 and it'll enhance the "resale" value too. BUT,..if it's @ $2K or more for the additional 75HP then don't bother.
     
  4. TOMMY RICH

    TOMMY RICH Well-Known Member

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    If your not worried about speed and more about economy (I have a feeling gas is going up) then, it's an obvious choice.

    That is a nice boat for the coin.
     
  5. Jim B

    Jim B Well-Known Member

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    My take on it, the 150 holeshot is fine on the Z7, you just have to really pay attention to the setup on it to make the holeshot good. On the 08-09 models a jackplate was a must to get the motor where it needs to be to get the most out of it. there is a member here ( Bruce Y) who i helped get his Z7 dialed in and with his 23" prop and a 150 his holeshot was as good as my Z7 with a 24" prop and a 175 Pro XS. My holeshot is fine even fully loaded, his i thought was outstanding for a 150( compared to my old 882 it's a rocket out of the hole) and it was a world better then i thought it would be. One thing to keep in mind is the 150 and 175 are both 2.5l blocks and carry a similar torque curve so the holeshot will be similar. The pro XS model is said to have a little more on the bottom end vs the standard 175 which may explain why mine is similar to Bruce's swinging 1" more prop. The 200 is a 3.0l block and it has a lot more torque so the holeshot should be better on it. The new RPS transom could change a lot of things ao i cant speak to how a 2010 will be.



     
  6. TOMMY RICH

    TOMMY RICH Well-Known Member

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    The RPS system looks interesting to me as it's design is similar to a stepped transom for hole shot and cleaner water. I know my lil' 90 puts my 185 on plane in a blink.
     
  7. Rusty C.

    Rusty C. Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking that the 175 and 200 would both be heavier engines, so I don't know how much that would counter effect the additional 25 or 50 horsepower. How much quicker holeshot would the 175 and 200 improve? A second or two?
     
  8. Aroldo Hernandez

    Aroldo Hernandez Well-Known Member

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    150 u are good to go just add a stingray tail and you save $$$$ on the up grade of a bigger motor. What's cheeper a sting ray tail which you would pay cash or finance $3,500 for some year's to come?..........Oh what's your weight and your fishing partner's or how many ppl go fishing with you? I might be wrong. 2 ppl everytime on the boat that weight about 380 on both and full gear you are fine with a 150 and a tail.
     
  9. Jim B

    Jim B Well-Known Member

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    Rusty, The 150 and 175 are both the same weight. Both are 2.5l blocks and use common components. There are internal differences that give you the extra 25 hp. As i said before the bottom end torque curves are similar on these two motors. The 175 would give you more up top for sure because you wil need a bigger prop to keep it from hitting the rev limiter.



    To add to the confusion there is the 175 pro XS which is also the same 2.5l block but with carbon fiber reeds, different porting, ignition and fuel system then the standard one. It makes a little more then 175 hp (close to 200) and can rev higher. Its a high performance version that has a little stronger torque curve when the regular motors and some claim better fuel economy too. I can tell you from experience with mine its a very strong performer and worth every penny of the ~$400 extra it costs vs the standard 175. The thing i love the most is even with two guys and a full load it never ever sounds like its working hard and having a motor that isnt being lugged around and bogged down to carry a load is always better for it long term.



    The 200 is a 3.0l block and yes its heavier then the 150/175. It also has a good bit more torque and of all the options would be the quickest out of the hole and will have the fastest top end. The 200 Pro XS should be even better for all the same reasons as the 175 XS.



    Like i said before i dont think you will have any problems with the 150, you will just need to get it setup right ( motor height, prop, weight dist, etc). The same goes for the other motors as well but i think its slightly less critical then it would be with the 150. Keep in mind that no matter what engine you buy if you have a full tank of fuel and full wells its still going to take a little time to get going. Thats where the setup really comes into play. Personally i( and plenty of others here will too) disagree with Ace4u on the hydrofoil. Those are a band-aid for a bad setup.



    To answer your other question, i would bet the 200 would be at least 2 seconds quicker then the 150 fully loaded up with wells full etc, maybe even quicker then that. The 175 should be close to the same. The 175 XS would be a little quicker depending on setup because its a little stronger. I can tell you that mine full will get going in under 5 seconds and with just me and no water its as fast as i can plant my foot.
     
  10. TritonGlenn

    TritonGlenn Well-Known Member

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    Although we just went through this whole discussion the other day (read further down this page, or on the next page), I'll restate my opinion.



    200hp. Always max out the HP on a rig. There are people that disagree with that opinion (quite a few above my post). I still stand by my assertion that you should never underpower a boat, and 150 is underpowered. 175 is still underpowered. If the max hp as quoted on the CG tag is 200, that's what I'd put on it.



    By the way, more hp doesn't necessarily mean more gas being burnt. If the whole package is balanced (i.e. - more efficient due to sufficient hp), then you can actually turn out burning less gas. If a smaller engine is straining to get it on plane and push the boat, it may be burning more gas than the larger engine.



    In either instance, if you are going to base your purchase off the estimated future higher gas prices, then my opinion would be that you probably shouldn't be buying a boat. No offense meant to anyone, but seriously - A boat is a huge hole in the water that you constantly throw money into. BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand. :lol: Buy what you want, but ensure that you have enough money to cover future costs. Boat oil, to me, is much more of an expense than the gas I put into it. And I run a 225.



    All the best,

    Glenn
     
  11. Derek Chance

    Derek Chance Well-Known Member

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    I am with Jim B amd Glenn on this. I am also in the same situation you are and think I am gonna spend the extra cash on a 200.



    goog points I agree with are holeshot with a 150 and 175 are going to be the same. The extra HP is measured at the top end. You also won't have to spend more $$$ and time trying to get the boat setup perfectly so it performs well. With a 200 you can get "close" and it will perform just fine.



    Another point I like is the fact that in this case the larger motor will be better on gas. Easier out of hole=less gas. Less strain on the motor while running=less gas. Only time it won't be as good is if you are rinning WOT everywhere you go.



    One other point about the hydrofoil tails. They do have benefits and I have one now, but it is a bandaid fix to improper setup and also can void warranty. I use mine, not to get on plane quicker, but to minimize porpoising and stay on plan at slow speeds. You will not be happy though if you think that a foil and a 150hp will be equivalent to a larger moter.



    Derek Chance
     
  12. Bill McElroy

    Bill McElroy Well-Known Member

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    You sure about the holeshots being the same on the 150 and 175?? Maybe you're right....but the fastest motor I ever owned (and I've owned LOTS of 150's - 225's) was a 175 'Rude. It was flat out scary fast!!! It had a holeshot that was unbelievable..and the topend was easily 70! That was on a 190DC Nitro...and before GPS. (But the on board speedo was way over 70...and we all know how unaccurate indash speedo's are.....but to this day, I've never had a faster boat!!)
     
  13. Jim B

    Jim B Well-Known Member

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    Mac was that rude one of the early "intruder" models? If it was that would explain it. Those motors made waaaaay more power then what was put on the cowl. A guy in my club had a 150 intruder on a 186 champion that was good for over 70. His new 198 with a 225 is much slower then that boat was. I also had a 115 intruder on my 16" champion and i could easily hang with( and even beat some) most any 18' boat with a 150 on it any day of the week. That little boat was a 60+ mph rocketship. Those early intruder/fast strike motors were really hot, the later ones not so much after they dutuned them to meet EPA regs.



    The merc 150 and 175 are the same in just about every way with the 175 making a little more power up top. In reality the holeshot could even be slower on a 175 since you need a bigger prop. All things being equal same prop etc id bet they are very simiar. The 2.5l merc was never really known for its bottom end power. Like i mentioned the Pro XS would be a little quicker getting going becuase it does have more on the bottom end.
     
  14. Bill McElroy

    Bill McElroy Well-Known Member

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    Jim,......yes it was....a 175 Intruder...Gawd I loved that motor...especially since gas was cheap back then...LOL!!!:D:wub:
     
  15. TritonGlenn

    TritonGlenn Well-Known Member

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    Mac,

    Yeah, I know what you mean. My 18 footer with the FastStrike 150 was a little rocket-ship. Kept up pretty good with my friends 20 footer with the 200, although he would pull away from me slowly on a long run. I passed many boats with that rig, but the one thing I couldn't ever pass up - The gas station! :( My long-time mechanic claimed I was putting out close to 168 hp with that engine. I don't know how he measured that, or if it was accurate, but it sure seemed like it was more than 150.



    When I went from that rig to a 20 footer with a 225 Optimax, I saw my gas bill drop drastically.



    Every trip with my 18 footer / 150 FastStrike - gas station stop on the way home. I can fish several tournaments with my 20 footer / 225 Optimax before I even think about stopping for gas.



    All the best,

    Glenn
     
  16. Jim B

    Jim B Well-Known Member

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    Mac, that 175 was most likley pushing out waee over 200hp. I know the guy in my club's 150 had to be over 200 too. there arent too many 150's that can turn a 26" prop on a heavy hull and do it well, his was one of them.



    They were thirsty for sure even my little 115 was a pig. It used way more gas them my 175 proxs does.



    on the bright side at least is wasnt the Johnson GT series. My father had a 150 GT years ago and he always said the GT stood for "gas thirsty" . It used way more then my 150 XR6 did for sure.
     
  17. Baja 252

    Baja 252 Well-Known Member

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    I'm also trying to decide what motor to get on a new Z7. It a tough decision, I don't care if I get to 70 mph but I really want a killer hole shot. I agree it's worth the extra money to get a Pro XS, so I was thinking I'd get a 175 Pro XS. Now some of you have me thinking I should get a 200 Pro XS. I know with 3 liter torque and the 220 hp you get with the 200 Pro XS it would have a great hole shot.



    Some other things that I'm also considering;



    The 2.5 has been around forever and has proven to be a dependable motor.

    (It seems to me that I hear more about 3 liter problems than I do 2.5 problems)



    The 3 liter weighs 74 lbs more (hanging off the back) that will eat up some of the extra power.



    2.5 is a physically smaller motor, easier to fish around for the person in the back???



    Yes, the 200 Pro XS will be worth more in resale, but not the same amount of money it will cost upfront, so it's only worth it if I need and use the extra power.



    Does the extra torque of the 3 liter have an effect on chine walking?

    I assume with the higher speeds of a 200 Pro XS chine walking will be more of an issue.

    The 3 liter motor also has a larger gear case and will spin a larger pitch prop, is that a pro or con with respect to chine walking. I would also like to get a hydraulic jack plate; I assume that would also help with chine walking. I'm unsure if with the new RPS transom do you benefit from a jack plate as much, although Z8's and Z9's almost always use them.



    The extra money saved with a 150 Opti or 175 Pro XS over the 200 Pro XS could help pay for the jack plate, HDS Side imaging and other options I want. As always it comes down to money. I'm just thankful I'm in the position to be making this decision.





     
  18. TritonGlenn

    TritonGlenn Well-Known Member

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    You can't really compare the number of problems associated with 3.0 liter engines vs 2.5 right now, as the 3.0 liter really took off in recent years and was the most popular offering on many high performance rigs. Years ago, before BASS lifted their hp restriction and the 150 was the most popular offering, I heard quite a bit about the 2.5 liter engines and their associated problems. The play on words "Optipop" and "E-Tic,Tic,Tic" were seen quite often in recent years. I haven't heard near as many issues lately as I did when they first hit the scene.



    75 lbs more in the rear of your boat won't make that much of a difference, especially considering the added hp you have back there. Consider this - 75 lbs is just a little bit more than adding an additional battery to your bilge area for a 12 to 24 volt or 24 to 36 volt upgrade. Those who have performed this upgrade can tell you that it might make a little bit of difference, but not enough to make you regret adding it.



    Fishing around it? I wouldn't concern myself with something like that, but if if bothers you that much, then I guess it might be a concern. My 225 is quite a bit bigger than my old 150, and I never even thought about the differences in fishing back there. I have on several occasions too, and never even thought of the differences.



    You never get back out of a resale what you put in upgrades from the beginning. That's a given. However, it's not necessarily the money you put into it and get back out. It's the selling point. Think of it this way - When you finally sell your boat, how many people do you think will point out that it has "too much hp for them"? Then compare that with the amount of people that will point out that the CG tag said it's rated for a 200, but it only has a 150 or 175 on it? I'll grant you this - I wouldn't buy it. Just because I firmly believe in putting the max allowed hp on the transom. If I was really interested in your boat, the first thing I'd start chewing you down on price would be because of the engine size. I couldn't do that if you have the max allowed hp already mounted back there.



    Chine walking has so many more variables than just the size of the engine. I would't worry about chine walking in the choosing of an engine size. You can learn to drive it, with or without the chine walk. When I first bought my Triton (a known chine-walker), I had a difficult time. I played around with the setup, got it to the best I could, and it still would walk. Not as bad as originally, but it still did it at speed. I learned through driving it how to manage it and get it to stop. It took a very short time, and now I can wind it all the way up without a problem. Put someone in my boat that doesn't know how to drive it, and they will be all over the place. Don't be hesitant - you CAN, and WILL learn to drive it if it walks.



    Hydraulic plates / manual plates - doesn't matter. I actually think that a manual plate is better for assisting with handling issues, as once it is locked down tight, it's locked. There is no movement, and therefore it's a stronger base for the outboard. The stronger the base / less movement - the less apt you are to have control and handling issues. However, I love a hydraulic plate. The setback had more to do with helping smooth out my chine walk than the type of plate I had. I started out with a manual plate, set 6 inches back. It walked. Bad. Added 2" Bob's Machine shop spacers. It was like a different boat. Then I wanted a hydraulic, so I bought a "8" plate from Detweiller - it was actually 7 1/4" when I measured it, and I had all kinds of issues with it. I finally ended up going with a 10" Bobs Machine Hydraulic and never looked back. I think I actually could have got away with using a 8" Bobs, but now that I have the 10", I'm satisfied. I've often thought of buying the 8" side plates from Bobs to see if there would be a difference, but I just never did. If you are going to add a plate to a boat, I highly recommend Bob's Machine for a hydraulic, and Rapid Jack for a manual. I've owned many plates in my lifetime, and these are the two I will always recommend to anyone asking.



    I jokingly added a post above, and particularly touched on your comment regarding buying those "extras" with the money you would save on an engine. I was serious about my comments though - I would never skimp on the size of an engine in order to add "extras" to the rest of my boat. I'd buy those after the fact, or keep saving money until I had enough to add them AND buy the larger engine.



    Simply recommendations. It's your money. Spend it as YOU want, because in the long run, it's your happiness that counts.



    Hope this helps.

    All the best,

    Glenn
     
  19. Baja 252

    Baja 252 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Glen, I appreciate the the help.



    I was thinking of getting a Detweiller 6" hyd plate because I like the idea of moving the exact-a-dial knob and the plate goes to the right height. I thought that would be simpler than adjusting both the plate and having to keep an eye on two gauges. But it doesn't sound like you had good luck with your Detweiller. Also your saying I should go with an 8" plate over the 6"?



    Bill
     
  20. TritonGlenn

    TritonGlenn Well-Known Member

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    I had lots of issues with the Detweiler. The first of them being that they advertise their plate as an 8", when it really was a 7 1/4". Closer to a 7" plate to me, and I told them that. The second issue I had with it was that I couldn't bring my engine all the way up. They ended up selling me an "extention plate" that was totally useless. I couldn't get to any of the controls I needed to get to with that solid plate in the way (other brands use two pieces - one on each side). This is what ended up happening when I tried to bring my engine all the way up (notice the hydraulic line fittings banging against the jack plate):



    [​IMG]



    When I called them back, they insisted that they had told me to install it between the transom and the jackplate. Well... that didn't work. It wasn't designed to be put there, and looked like it was about to crack my fiberglass in several places when I started cranking it down. It has "fingers" all over the place instead of being flat on the edges, and those edges were digging into the fiberglass. In the end, the guy on the phone kind of got really short with me and asked me "Well, what do you want me to do?" I responded that I wanted him to send me an actual 8" plate that I could use. He said "Well, we don't make an "actual" 8" plate. When I told him they shouldn't advertise it as an 8" if it isn't actually an 8", he got a little more annoyed and asked me again "Well, what do you want?" I then asked for my money back, and he agreed - less the "restocking fee".



    I got on the phone and called Bobs Machine shop and explained my delima. They sold me the plate that day, and shipped it VERY quickly. If I'm not mistaken, I think they overnighted it to me, as they knew my engine was hanging on a engine hoist after removing the Detweiler plate. We went back and forth over whether to do 8" or 10", but ended up going with the 10". It came in, and was everything I wanted it to be. Quality manufacturing... and actually 10" when I measured it. Customer service was awesome - much more friendly and helpful than my experience with Detweiller.



    As far as the gauges - Get Bobs LED gauge. It's dead on accurate. It displays LED's in 1/4" inch increments. I've had a few different brand gauges, including some higher dollar ones, and nobody beats the accuracy of this gauge. I like to keep my engine at 3 1/4" on the gauge most of the time, and only make minor adjustments as needed. You won't (or shouldn't) be messing with the hydraulic plate all that often, unless your water conditions change constantly. I tried adjusting up and down for better holeshot and then bringing it back to 3 1/4" for my run - I've discovered that most of the time it's better just to leave it on my mark through the whole run. I might bring up the engine for shallow water, or down for a rough water run, but other than that, it stays on my premium running number. (Your number may vary - you need to figure out where your boat runs best after you install it).



    [​IMG]



    No, Sorry about that - I'm not telling you to go with a 8" over a 6". Sorry if I confused you on that one. I was saying that a Triton TR-20X with a 225 likes a 8" or greater setback. 6" is the normal starting point for most boats that I've set up, and the great thing about a 6" is that you can add low cost 2" Bobs Machine Shop spacers and turn it into an 8" immediately. You can't go the other way that easily. You would have to buy all new sideplates to bring the size down to a 6" from an 8", and that is considerably more money. A 6" plate is normally sufficient for most rigs.



    Here is my original TH Marine plate that came with my boat, along with the 2" Bobs Machine spacers I added. The additional 2" of setback made all the difference in handling on my particular rig. Again - your results may vary.



    [​IMG]



    All the best,

    Glenn

     
  21. TRCM

    TRCM Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about the 175, but the 150 EFI I had on my boat originally was less than 1 sec slower on holeshot than my 200 Opti is now. Tuning/setup has a lot to do with that.



    And as far as fuel economy, I am using about 50% less fuel, and 75% less oil than I did with the 150...and I go a lot faster now too.



    With the 150, my rig would do solid low-mid 60's depending on load (62-64), and now, with the 200, it does low-mid 70's all day long (no light weight runs, this boat is loaded, trust me).
     
  22. Baja 252

    Baja 252 Well-Known Member

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    I was told by Bass Pro in Springfield that you have to get either the 150 or the 200 Pro XS. The boats are all being rigged by the factory now and they buy the 150 and 200 Pro XS, so right now no 175 Pro XS's.
     
  23. TRCM

    TRCM Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm, that's kinda stupid if it's true. Make it a lot more expensive to ship the boat to the dealer now.
     
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