REVIEW: TOHATSU M18E2 VS MFS 20E

By: Andrew Norton

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  • Trade-A-Boat

Old school meets new generation...

REVIEW: TOHATSU M18E2 VS MFS 20E
TOHATSU M18E2 AND MFS 20E

The M18E2 has been one of Tohatsu’s most popular models because it has way more grunt than a 15 but weighs a lot less than two-stroke 20s. It was first released in 1982 as the M18A with above-prop exhaust, but through the eighties and nineties was upgraded with through-hub exhaust and redesigned combustion chambers for better fuel burn and lower emissions. Though it still remains a 50:1 premix engine (after 10 hours on 25:1). The current M18E2 runs a lot better than its predecessors with less oil smoke on cold start up and less vibration across the entire rev range even though it still has mechanical ignition timing advance.

Designed more for commercial operators (it was a favourite amongst professional fishermen on Lake Macquarie) it has an auxiliary cooling water intake under the anti-ventilation plate, rod-operated throttle control and a thermostat separate from the cylinder head for easy replacement. With the M9.8B the cylinder head must be removed from the block to access the thermostat.

Six trim positions and a single shallow-water drive setting are provided along with an automatic reverse lock and manual tilt lock. Power head access is excellent and the bowl-type fuel filter provides better protection than the inline unit of the M9.8B.

Released last year, the MFS 20E is Tohatsu’s first battery-less EFI four-stroke under 25hp. Opting for EFI allowed Tohatsu to use a smaller power head and combined with a new plastic engine pan and slimmer leg, the 20E is only five per cent heavier than the M18E2. It has the same transom brackets as its two-stroke counterpart, but the trim tab anode has been omitted. The fuel filter also has a water drain and a canister oil filter helps keep the sump oil cleaner between changes.

Power head access is still excellent and the four-valve engine is non-interference. The camshaft belt is designed to last 800 to 1000 running hours. The electronic ignition timing advance system incorporates a 6300 rev limiter.

The 20E starts way more easily than the M18E2 and is quieter at or near WOT. Vibration levels across the entire rev range are also much lower. And there’s an upfront gear shift which makes operating the 20E easier.

Servicing intervals are every 50 hours or annually after the first 20 hours and the recreational warranty for both engines is three years.

SEA TRIALS

Single M18E2 and MFS 20E on 3.7m 2000 Stessl EdgeTacker vee-nose punt, swinging 9.1-inch and 11.5-inch props and pushing 360kg and 370kg respectively. Average of two-way runs on Lake Munmorah and Budgewoi Lake, NSW, in calm water. Range is in nautical miles using 25lt plastic remote fuel tanks with a 10% reserve.

ENGINE M18E2 MFS 20E
TROLLING 700rpm 900rpm
KTS 1.8 2.3
LT/H 0.8 0.4
RANGE 50 129
PLANE RPM 3300 3300
KTS 10 10.8
LT/H 3.4 2.7
RANGE 66 90
CRUISE RPM 4000 4900
KTS 12.9 18.1
LT/H 3.9 3.7
RANGE 74 110
WOT RPM 5900 5900
KTS 22.8 23.2
LT/H 8.4 5.8
RANGE 61 90

 

SPECIFICATIONS: TOHATSU MFS 20E

ENGINE

TYPE EFI OHC four-stroke

2-stroke

RATED BHP/MHP* 19.7/20 at 5750rpm

WOT RANGE 5400 to 6100rpm

DISPLACEMENT 333cc

BORE X STROKE 61mm x 57mm

GEAR RATIO 2.15:1

DRY WEIGHT short/long shaft 43kg/44kg

RRPs $3667/$3719

OEDA stars 3

*Brake horsepower/metric horsepower

SPECIFICATIONS: TOHATSU M18E2

ENGINE

TYPE Loop-charged two-stroke

RATED BHP/MHP* 17.7/18 at 5500rpm

WOT RANGE 5200 to 5800rpm

DISPLACEMENT 294cc

BORE X STROKE 60mm x 52mm

GEAR RATIO 1.85:1

DRY WEIGHT short/long shaft 41kg/42kg

RRPs $2260/$2358

OEDA stars 1

*Brake horsepower/metric horsepower

Check out the full review in issue #502 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest boat news, reviews and travel inspiration.

 


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