Chrysler Outboard Motors ⇒ Force Outboards

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The Evolution & Demise of Chrysler & Force Outboards
Kissel ⇒ West Bend ⇒ Chrysler ⇒ Force (Bayliner ⇒ Brunswick / Mercury)

Two brothers, George and William Kissel founded the Kissel Motor Car company in 1908. The plant was located in Hartford, Wisconsin. Like so many other companies of the period, they fell on hard times in the late 20’s. In 1929 they filed for bankruptcy and lost the company in 1931. In 1934 the brothers regained control of the plant and founded Kissel Industries. They started manufacturing candy vending machines among other ventures.

WaterWitch

Sears sold outboard motors manufactured by several different manufacturers under their brand name “Water Witch” (two words) which later became “Waterwitch” (one word). See our Waterwitch page for more details. In late 1936, Kissel Industries won the exclusive contract with Sears and Roebucks Company to build outboard motors. George Kissel and Herman Palmer would design the new outboard. They had been the chief engine designers at the old motor car company. The new outboards would be called Waterwitch (one word). Kissel Industries never marketed outboards under Kissel or any other name. For more information about these engines, go to a really beautiful website dedicated to the Waterwitch Outboards built by the Kissel Motor Company in Hartford, Wisconsin from 1936~1944. Note that during the War Years 1941~1945, the only outboard production was for government agencies.

In 1944 Kissel Industries was purchased by West Bend Aluminum Company along with the Sears and Roebucks contract to make outboards. The relationship continued with Sears and Roebucks through this transition. This brought an end to the Waterwitch brand of outboard motors in 1945. In 1946 West Bend Outboard manufactured their first motor for Sears. It was in this year that Sears and Roebucks changed their outboard motor brand name to “Elgin”. West Bend had a non-compete clause with Sears for the USA that ran through 1955. Starting in 1956 some outboards appeared wearing the West Bend name.

More from OddJobsOutboats.com & FiberGlassics.com.

1959 West Bend 16 hp Ad

1959 West Bend 16 hp Ad

West Bend continued to add to their product line. This caught the eye of the Chrysler Corporation. In 1965, the Chrysler Corporation purchased West Bend’s outboard motor business. Chrysler acquired the 413,000 square foot facility in Hartford, Wisconsin which employed 500 people. The business was added to Chrysler’s Marine and Industrial Engine division which already included a Marysville, Michigan plant for producing inboard marine engines

From Jan. 8, 1965, Wall Street Journal.

In 1965, the Chrysler Corporation also purchased Lone Star Boats of Plano, Texas. Chrysler pioneered the concept of marketing boats and outboard motors together as a turn-key package.

More at our Chrysler Marine webpage.

1969

The 1980’s government bailout forced Chrysler’s parent corporation to sell off their non-core businesses, so in 1983, Chrysler Corporation sold the profitable outboard division to Bayliner’s US Marine who changed the brand name to Force Outboards. Bayliner sold many Force engines mated to their boats as turn-key packages with matching trailers.

Baylinder with White Force_In 1986, Bayliner and its US Marine division, which included Force, were acquired by the Brunswick Corporation, owners of Mercury Outboards who were then tasked with supporting the Force product line. Shortly thereafter, the engine color scheme was changed from white to ‘bowling ball’ charcoal black like Mercury Outboards’ white color scheme had changed to Phantom Black years earlier. Brunswick continued to market many of the smaller Bayliner outboard models with Force outboards as turn-key packages.

Force on Bayliner

In 1990, when a long running labor dispute at the Hartford, Wisconsin plant (shown below) was decided in labor’s favor, the Hartford plant was closed as Brunswick had threatened and Force production was relocated to the Mercury Marine outboard assembly line in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Chrysler/Force Outboard Plant in Hartford, WI. Now occupied by Steel Craft, Inc.

Chrysler/Force Outboard Plant in Hartford, WI. Now partly occupied by Steel Craft, Inc.

The West Bend/Chrysler/Force engines had developed a strong following because of their lower initial price, inexpensive replacement parts, and simplicity which had made them cheaper to buy and maintain. However, it started to became apparent that the ‘Old-School, Low-Tech cross-scavenged’ design of the West Bend/Chrysler/Force engines, which had been adopted by all the 2-stroke cycle outboard producers prior to the 1950s, could not tolerate modern fuels. More about this later under “How to Keep Your Force Alive”. As word of increasing engine failures spread, new engine sales plummeted.

Force Outboard by Mercury Marine

Force Outboard by Mercury Marine

Mercury made none of the much needed improvements to the Force engine lineup as they already had fully developed modern engines in the Mercury engine lineup. New Force engine sales continued to fall until all new Force engine production ceased in 1999. Surprisingly, many parts are still currently available from parts suppliers, including Mercury Marine and their dealers, and from aftermarket suppliers. However, it is becoming more difficult to find mechanics willing and able to work on them.

How to Keep Your Chrysler/Force Engine Alive

Neither Chrysler nor Force ever developed oil injection for any of their engines, and while other 2-Stroke Cycle engine producers were developing oil injection, flat topped pistons and loop scavenged combustion chambers, Chrysler and later, Force stayed with the ‘cross-scavenged’ combustion chambers with ridged pistons which promote detonation and the resulting detonation piston damage and thermal runaway cylinder damage that became common-place with the advent of low/no lead fuels especially those fuels containing alcohol. See our article “The often overlooked cause of Engine Detonation – Phase-Separation” for more details.

The piston shown on the left in the picture below has suffered fuel detonation damage. An undamaged piston is shown on the right for comparison.

Always use fresh fuel!

The first rule to keeping any Chrysler/Force 2-Stroke Cycle engine healthy is to never run it on “stale” fuel, but always run it on fresh fuel mixed with fresh oil. Modern gasoline is inherently unstable and can degrade and separate in a matter of weeks when stored in a boat’s “openly-vented” fuel tank. Stale gasoline looses the anti-knock quality (measured by its octane rating) to prevent detonation and thermal runaway. After oil is mixed with the gasoline, the fuel will degrade even more quickly. This means that if your fuel-oil mix is more then a couple of weeks old, you should get rid of ALL of it and start fresh.

Larger bore Chrysler and Force engines (50hp and up) are more susceptible to detonation and the damage that it causes, so they are often de-tuned by retarding their spark timing advancement and installing larger (richer) fuel jets. But while this helps prevent detonation, it lowers their power output which requires that these engines be fitted with lower pitch propellers so they can attain their rated RPM and avoid lugging.

Other Shortcomings

The Chrysler & Force engines suffered from several other design flaws and deficiencies as well. The high energy ignition systems (supplied by Motorola or Prestolite) suffered frequent failures until they were upgraded to more robust Mercury Marine components. The earlier two-piece lower unit housings were easily bent during impacts with submerged objects or groundings. And then there was the “Propeller Clutch Hub Fiasco” detailed below.

Propeller Clutch Hub Fiasco

In the 1980’s, a problem developed that plagued the newer and stronger Chrysler/Force one piece lower units used on 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines when propeller vendors began installing a shorter propeller clutch hub in new and repaired propellers. Whether this was a mistake on their part or not has been debated, but regardless, they did not announce the change which resulted in catastrophic failure of many lower units. The resulting gap created by the shorter clutch hub allowed the propeller’s front and rear thrust washers to tighten down and grip the propeller’s own hub, effectively disabling the propeller’s rubber clutch.

Shorter hub

Since the rubber clutch provided protection against damage to the lower unit shafts, gears and shifting dogs in the event of a prop-strike and also against the torsional shock produced by the solid steel shifting dog when shifting, reports of broken shafts, gears and shifting dogs skyrocketed. Unaware of the shorter propeller clutch hubs, Force developed a reduced diameter driveshaft with more torsional “spring” to absorb the torsional shock when shifting.

Cross-section of Lower Unit w/shafts, gears, etc.

When Force eventually realized the true cause of the lower unit damage, they developed a spacer ring to fill the gap created by the shorter clutch hub (shown below – left). Unfortunately, this spacer tended to break, so Force developed a thrust washer that incorporated an integral spacer (shown below – middle). And finally, they developed a thrust washer that incorporated a larger integral spacer that offered better support of the propeller (shown below – right).

Thrust washers

Unfortunately, lack of consumer awareness about this problem and confusion about which thrust washers had to be used with which propellers has resulted in many damaged lower units and propellers. The illustration below shows the possible damage when a spacer or long thrust washer is matched to a propeller with a long clutch hub.

Long thrust washer used with long hub

A short thrust washer is needed when using a propeller with the long propeller hub, so don’t throw it away.

Contact Information

Force engines > Out of Production since 1999 – But some parts are still stocked
and available from Mercury Marine through there outboard motor dealers.

MERCURY MARINE (A division of Brunswick Corporation)
Global Headquarters
W6250 Pioneer Road
P.O.Box 1939
Fond du Lac, WI 54936-1939, USA

Toll Free: 1-8
Phone: 920-929-5040
Cellphone:
Fax:

Website: mercurymarine.com
^ Contact Form:
Email:

From mercurymarine.com.

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Models

Details

From Source.


Specifications For Chrysler & Force Outboard Motors
2-Stroke Cycle, Spark Ignited, Gasoline (Petrol) Fueled
Features: Vertical Crankshaft and Horizontal Boreable Parent Bore Cylinders

>> Specification Table Under Development <<

TABLE KEY:
Types of Engine Vendors: Engine design owners may produce the engines in-house as manufacturers.
^ Licensees are licensed by engine design owners to produce base engines and/or marine engines.
^ Marinizers buy base engines from the producers at wholesale, marinize them for marine service,
^ ^ and then sell them to boat builders, resellers, etc. at wholesale or to end users at retail.
^ Resellers buy marine engines at wholesale and resell them at a markup including retail.
BASE ENGINE: Manufacturer/Vendor & Model of Base Engine followed by Specifications.
^ CYL: Cylinder Orientation & Configuration - (Dash w/no spaces) Number of Cylinders: (example: "V-8")
^ ^ Cylinder Orientation: v... = Vertical Crankshaft (Pistons are always horizontal).
^ ^ ^ Horizontal Crankshaft: No Code = u… = Upright (Vertical). s… = Slanted (Inclined).
^ ^ ^ h… = Horizontal (Flat, Pancake). i… = Inverted (Crankshaft Up, Head Down, Upside Down).
^ ^ Cylinder Configuration: …S = Single Cylinder. I = In-Line. …V = V Pattern (eg V-8).
^ ^ ^ …W = W Pattern. …Y = Y Pattern. …X… = X Pattern. …+… = + Pattern. …Δ… = Delta.
^ ^ ^ …o = Outward Facing Pistons (eg Boxer). …i = Inward Facing Opposed Pistons (O-P).
^ ^ ^ …R,R2,R3,R4 = Radial (Single,Double,Triple,Quad Banks). …® = Radial Rotary = Rotary Radial.
^ ^ ^ …Θ… = Rotary. …∞ = BiQuad Rotary. …ω = Wankel Rotary.
^ BORE & STROKE: …mm = Millimeters. …in = …" = Inches.
^ DISPLACEMENT = Swept Volume: …cc = Cubic Centimeters (cm³). …L = Liters. …ci = Cubic Inches (in³).
MODEL RATINGS: Base Engine Model, Vendor Rating Code, Duty Ratings, Power Ratings, etc.
^ A-F: Aspiration-Fueling: Intake Air uncharged or charged - Petrol or Diesel Fueling.
^ ^ Aspiration: N = Naturally Aspirated. T = Turbocharged. TT = Twin Turbos. S = Supercharged.
^ ^ ^ …c = Crankcase Scavenged. …h = Crosshead Scavenged. …b = w/Blower.
^ ^ ^ …i = Intercooled. …a = Aftercooled. …A = Air Cooled Intercooler/Aftercooler (Charged Air Cooler).
^ ^ ^ …R = …r = w/RawWater (Seawater) Cooled Intercooler/Aftercooler (Charged Air Cooler).
^ ^ ^ …F = …f = w/FreshWater (Engine Coolant) Cooled Intercooler/Aftercooler (Charged Air Cooler).
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^ ^ ^ D = Direct Injection. …a = Compressed Air Assisted Injection.
^ ^ Diesel Fueling: M = Mechanical Injection. …d = Distributor Injection Pump. …I = In-line Injection Pump.
^ ^ ^ …ii = II = Integral Injector. C = Common Rail. E = …e = Electronic Injection.
^ ^ ^ …d = Direct Injection (into combustion chamber). …i = Indirect Injection (pre-combustion chamber).
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^ ^ ♦♦ = Highest Power Rating from Data Sources.
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^ ^ BS = B. S. Rating. OL = B. S. Overload.
^ POWER: kW = Kilowatts. HP = Horsepower. BHP = Brake Horsepower. SHP = SAE Horsepower.
^ ^ sHP = Shaft Horsepower. MHP = Metric Horsepower. PS = Pferdestärke (Metric Horsepower).
^ RPM = Power Ratings @ Revolutions Per Minute.
^ YEARS: Beginning∼Ending. Trailing "–" or "∼" without an Ending Date = Still in Production/Available.
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^ ^ ^ ...o = Owner's/Operator's Manual. ...m = Service/Repair/Technical/Workshop/Shop Manual.
^ ^ ^ ...p = Parts Catalog. …# = Serial # List ...h = History. ...y = Years Vended (History). ...f = Forum.
^ ^ DS's Last Digits: ...1,2,3,A,B,C,etc = Source #, Version, Revision (example: Fc1 = Ford Catalog #1).
Data: ⊗ = Data Not Available from Data Source. ¿... = ...? = Data Unconfirmed/in Question.

Clicking a Model Link in the table will open a new window displaying our webpage containing details about that model. Clicking a Vendor Link will open a new window displaying our webpage containing details about that vendor and their products.

HOW TO READ THIS TABLE

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Specification Table Under Development

BASE ENGINE:
MANUFACTURER CYL BORE STROKE DISPLACEMENT
MODEL ⊗-⊗ ⊗mm / ⊗in ⊗mm / ⊗in ⊗cc / ⊗L / ⊗ci

MODEL RATINGS:
VENDOR A-F DR kW BHP MHP RPM YEARS DS
MODEL (Notes) ⊗-⊗ ♦♦♦ ⊗∼⊗ ♦♦♦
  ^ MODEL (Notes) ⊗-⊗ ⊗∼⊗ ?
PRODUCERS:
LICENSEES:
MARINIZERS:
RESELLERS:
VENDOR A-F DR kW BHP MHP RPM YEARS DS
MODEL (Notes) ⊗-⊗ ♦♦♦ ⊗∼⊗ ♦♦♦
  ^ MODEL (Notes) ⊗-⊗ ⊗∼⊗ ?
VENDOR A-F DR kW BHP MHP RPM YEARS DS
MODEL (Notes) ⊗-⊗ ♦♦♦ ⊗∼⊗ ♦♦♦
  ^ MODEL (Notes) ⊗-⊗ ⊗∼⊗ ?

NOTES:

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Chrysler & Force
Outboard Engine Duty Ratings

Marine:
Cm = Commercial (Workboats).
Pc = Pleasure Craft.
CP = Commercial (Workboats) & Pleasure Craft.


Product Documentation

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Directory Under Development

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Product Recalls: ↓r↓
Vendor Recall – Products (Notes) — Creator – Source –r–
Other Documentation: ↓?↓
Vendor ? – Products (Notes) — Creator – Source –?–

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Beta Marine
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American Boat and Yacht Counsel (ABYC)
USCG NVIC 07-95 Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls


Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages.

This website consists almost entirely of four types of webpages as follows:

(Note in the examples above that these pages form a natural hierarchy)
(The unnumbered "^" pages are usually listed alphabetically in any tables)

Website pages contain the following: (Depending on the type of page)

  • PATH (Shows chain of EAB pages w/links that lead to this page).
  • PAGE CONTENTS (With links to each section).
  • PAGE BODY (The type of page determines it's contents).
    • TOPIC PAGE (Topic Treatment: Introduction, Overview, Background, Details,+.).
      • (Smaller Directories are usually contained in the Topic Pages).
      • (Larger Directories usually have their own dedicated page – See next item).
    • DIRECTORY PAGES (Listings are Topical, Alphabetical and/or by Locale).
    • VENDOR PAGE (Vendor's Profile, Contact Information, Products, Services,+).
    • PRODUCT PAGE (Product's Overview, Details, Features, Specs, Documentation,+).
      • (Media created by a vendor is treated as a product on its own Product Page).
  • RELATED RESOURCES: Topics, Directories, Vendors, Products, Media, + (w/Links).
  • PAGE TAIL — Begins with the big red and includes the following:
    • The Anchors Aweigh Academy –  EverythingAboutBoats.org Logo.
    • A link to our Featured Articles Home Page.
    • Top 20 Most Popular Articles. (The section that appears just above this section).
    • Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages. (This very section).
    • What we have accomplished so far. (The very next section below).
    • Members must Sign-In to gain full access to Expanded Pages & Programs.
    • Sign-Up (if not already a member).
    • Public Comments (about the website & about the page).
  • RIGHT SIDEBAR (with links to Main Topic Pages).

What we have accomplished so far.
Anchors Aweigh Academy and its EverythingAboutBoats.org website.

  • Published over 300 website main topic webpages, many with full articles on the topic. See our Website Contents or the Right Sidebar for the listing of the main topic pages.
  • Published over 9,000 marine vendor webpages, all with their contact information, most with a description of their products and services, many with product documentation, specifications and independent reviews. (incl.: Boat designers, boat building tools, material and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, boat builders and dealers, yacht brokers, marine surveyors, boat insurers, boat transporters, skippers and crews, boatyards and marinas, yacht clubs, boat rentals and yacht charters, boating, seamanship and maritime schools, marine law attorneys and expert witnesses, boat refitters and repairers, book authors and publishers, and video producers)
  • Acquired over 120,000 pages of product documentation including Catalogs, Brochures, SpecSheets, Pictures, Serial Number Guides, Installation Manuals, OpManuals, Parts Schematics, Parts Bulletins, Shop Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Service Bulletins, and Recalls. And have made all viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website.
  • Acquired over 1,200 books and magazine back issues in our academy library and so far have made over 700 viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website.
  • Published over 500 DIY How-To articles about boat design, construction, inspection, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. We are working hard to do more.

We are currently formatting and polishing the Anchors Aweigh Academy online and hands-on courses. Our Marine Surveying course has proven to be excellent for both the beginner and the seasoned surveyor, and especially helpful to the Do-It-Yourselfer.


Current Academy Members must SIGN IN to gain FULL access to this
website including expanded pages and valuable Academy programs
like our Academy eLibrary and our Ask-An-Expert Program!

If your membership has expired, CLICK HERE to Renew.

IF YOU ARE NOT YET AN ANCHORS AWEIGH ACADEMY MEMBER,
CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
thousands of expanded pages and articles, and dozens of excellent programs
WITH JUST A SMALL DONATION!


Comments for Public Viewing

Submit any comments for public viewing via email To: Comments♥EverthingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")
Please remember to put this webpage's title in the subject line of your email.
All comments are moderated before they appear on this page. See Comment Rules.

General Comments About the Website

FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 20,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."

FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks. You inspire us to keep working on this phenomenal website. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To: Comments♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To: Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). It has been truly amazing to see what we have been able to accomplished when we've worked together. Thanks to all those that have donated their valuable time and energy, and a special THANK YOU to all that have supported this cause with their membership donations."

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