Twin City Outboard


For answers to general questions,

Call us at: 952-496-1951




This portion of the site is a “work-in-progress”  I will continue to add to it as questions arise.



Q: How do I tell the year of my motor?


A: In many cases it is not germane to finding parts. The model and serial are more important, due to mid run changes in the motors. You can call us, or contact us With your serial number, and model number and we will look-up the year for you. Most motors have a serial number plate located somewhere on the swivel assembly or clamps. If you have no idea what type of motor you have, you can email a picture to us and we will try to help ID the motor(please be patient, we get a lot of requests).

If you have a Johnson/Evinrude engine built after 1979, You can decode the model number with the acronym;  INTRODUCES   with  “I” being #1 and the “s” being #0  each letter denotes a number 1 to 9 and 0.  If you look at your model number, It will read something like; J110TLCOS.   The “J” denotes a Johnson. “110 denotes 110 horsepower.  The “TL” Denotes a motor with tilt/trim, and a long shaft length. The “CO” will be the year. If we look at our acronym, “C” will equal # 8 and “0” will denote a #5. The year is a 1985. The suffix “S” is a mfg designator.  This system works on 99.999% of J/E engines. Sometimes you will find an “A” this equals a 9.


Q: Why do you need to match my parts, this seems unorthodox?


A: A great deal of the motors we sell parts for are long since obsolete, not just the models, but the whole companies! While we have a staggering array of literature at our disposal, the drawings in old parts books are not very helpful in locating the proper parts, and we are dealing with used parts in many cases so part numbers do little good.  Remember we have over 12,000 engines for parts, with an average of approx 450 parts each (a low estimate) That is over 5 million parts! And that does not even include the 10,000 square feet of pulled parts that fill our front warehouse floor to ceiling!  We have a lot of old motor parts, but we just need a little help sometimes to get us in the right direction!


Q: Are marine parts really different, or is it just a scam to charge more?


A: In most cases the answer is a resounding “YES”, they are quite different!  In fact, using automotive substitutes can be very dangerous. In the case of electrical components, Marine units shield sparks and arcs from igniting the often present gas fumes in the bilge of the boat. Remember, gas fumes are heavier than air, and will sink into the bilge of the boat and stay there unless forced out by movement, or the blower.

Marine parts are often made stronger than auto parts as well. How often do you run your car or truck at 5000 rpm up a steep hill for hours at a time? This is exactly what you are requesting your marine engine to do at all times! In many cases, there are good aftermarket parts available to counter the OEMs sometimes obnoxious pricing.


Q: Why do you not accept returns on electrical and hydraulic parts? If I could buy them and return the ones that don’t fix my motor, that would be easier.


A: Easier for who? Parts substitution should never replace good troubleshooting. In many cases a bad electrical part down the circuit will cause a failure in a part. Replacing that part might temporarily fix the symptom, but will fail again, and you will then want our supplier to warranty the item. We sell parts not lend tools. We can help you troubleshoot your motor as well as possible without expensive special tools, but at some point you will need to weigh the risk of choosing the wrong part, or just paying a tech to troubleshoot it properly. With labor costs running high, the better money is sometimes on the educated guess. Each case is different.


Q: Is my motor a valuable antique?


A: The short answer is “probably not” Most outboards were made in pretty big numbers, so most are not rare. Oddity is more valuable in old outboards than age in many cases. For example, there exists a very rare psychedelic trimmed late 60’s 55hp Johnson that would fetch quite a nice sum from an interested buyer.(the regular version being near worthless!)  But, a 1931 Elto carries only sentimental value. 3hp johnson/Evinrudes from the late 50’s through most of the 60’s still command a pretty good price, (as it is hard to find such a durable,good running motor in modern outboards this size) even though they are far from rare.

So it varies you are best to do a little research on the antique club sites, and ebay, and you can contact us and we will try to help.


Q: Do you guys buy old outboards, and how much is mine worth?


A: We do buy outboards for parts and salvage. Our prices are very much like you would find selling baseball cards, rare pieces will bring a pretty good sum, common pieces are worth their weight in aluminum. If you call, we will try to give you a wide ballpark figure of what we will pay, but need to see the motors before we will commit to a price. If you are selling a running late model(1987 and up) motor, we will, typically,  give about ½ the market value, less the cost to ready the motor for sale.  We do not consign motors. Motors traded in, or sold for store credit will bring you more value than if sold for cash.


Q: Do you sell windshields and other boat parts?


A: Yes and no. We have misc boat parts, and surplus accessories for sale in our front showroom. They are arrayed “garage sale style” you must come down and look through the parts. Due to the fluid nature of these things we do not sell them for mail order.


Q: Can I drop off an old boat, even for free?


A: You cannot just drop anything off here. I most cases, the cost to dispose of boats has increased to the point that we must charge to take old boats now. We will have to see the boat, and subtract the value of the engine and trailer from our cost to dispose of the boat, including about 3 hours to remove gas tanks, lines, foam, and vinyl/plastic.  Dumps have become quite picky, and expensive.