Reed Valves – LJ20

Sources For New Reeds

Inspecting / Servicing Reeds

Myers - “Old Codger New To Old Suzuki _eeps.


Background Information:  Apparently the folks that make Suzuki automobiles have not sold replacement reeds for their LJ20 engine for some time.  However, after I contacted Boyesen Engineering (mfg. of Boyesen Power Reeds) seeking to buy material so I could make DIY reeds, a very nice lady there by the name of Cheryl spent extra time and effort on the issue.  The end result was Cheryl advising me that the  LJ20 reed I had sent her had the exact same dimensions as the factory original reeds on Suzuki Marine’s 1988 DT15 Outboard Motor.  An additional surprise was that Boyesen makes Power Reeds made of fiberglass to fit the Suzuki DT15 Outboard. 

Backtracking from the information above, it was also determined that Suzuki Marine still sells the original metal reeds for the outboard noted above.

Thus, if new replacement reeds are needed for a LJ20 engine, there are a least two different reeds that can be used.  One is Boyesen’s Part Number 423, an aftermarket fiberglass two-stage reed.  The other is Suzuki Marine’s Part Number 13153-65010 which appears to be an exact match to the original reeds used on the LJ20.

I installed Boyesen two-stage fiberglass reeds on “Miss Alice” several months prior to the 2010 Meet in South Dakota. Results included a very noticeable improvement in low RPM performance which still continues.  I also purchased four (4) of the metal reeds from Suzuki Marine but have not installed them in a LJ20 as yet.

1.    Where to buy.

A.  Fiberglass two-stage reeds  (sold in sets of two (2) so you would need to order two sets for one LJ20)

a     Boyesen Part Number 423 - Should be available from any of the sources listed below;  Caution – Do not order Boyesen’s 423P reed as it does not fit the LJ20.

§  Boyesen Engineering, 8 Rhoades Rd. Lenhartsville, PA    USA

(610) 756 6818  or  (800) 441 1177

or  or

§  Poynter Marine, 807 Hwy 104, Pine Bluff, AR  71602   USA

(870) 247 0798  or

Web site Email  Poynter_D@Hotmail.Com

§  Other Boyesen Dealers found locally or on the internet.

B.   Original metal reeds – Important – These are sold as singles so you would need to order four (4) for one LJ 20)

a     Suzuki Marine Part Number – 13153-65010 - Should be available from any of the sources listed below.

§  H2O Sports Unlimited LLC, 8002 West 6th Ave. Stillwater, OK 74074  USA
(405) 533-2628

§  Other Suzuki Marine Dealers found locally or on the internet.


Suzuki Marine PN 13153-65010


2.    Inspection – Reeds and Reed Plate

A.  The LJ20 Service Manual located on this web site provides instructions for removing and inspecting the reed assembly.  It also provides the bolt tighting sequence and torque for reassembly.  The three pictures below include one showing a reed plate with eroded reed seat area, the other an original metal reed with broken/split petals, and the last showing how a piece of broken reed from the No. 2 reeds ended up on top of the No. 1 reed plate.  All three of the pictures are of parts from one of my LJ20s (“Miss Alice”). The picture showing the movement of the piece of broken reed is exactly how I found it.  Please note that when the piece of reed broke off, “Miss Alice” immediately defaulted to having only one cylinder producing power.


















3.    Helpful hints – At least they were helpful for me.

A.  Digital pictures taken prior to starting work and during disassembly.    

B.   The reed plate bolts are not identical.  Used a bolt sorter made by poking ten holes that made an approximate pattern of the bolt holes in the reed plate into a piece of cardboard and placing the boltes in the holes as they are removed.

C.  With the reed plate removed and BEFORE starting to clean up the gasket surface on the crankcase side,  it is easy to plug all of the openings into the crankcase with clean rags to prevent gasket debris from dropping into the crankcase.

D.  The seat side of the reed plate is coated with a rubber or plastic like substance.  Before using any type of solvent to clean the plate, verify it will not harm this surface.

E.   If the heads of the Phillips Head screws holding the reeds in place are plugged, using a tiny pick pin to clean the heads helps as does using very small Vice Grip type pliers to loosen the screws.

F.   For us with piss (acidic) fingers, spraying a little WD40 on both our fingers and new metal reeds before handleing may help protect the surface of the new reeds.

G.  If you are installing the Boyesen 423 reeds, you will need to reinstall the original LJ20 reed stops.  (Boyesen has confirmed this does apply to the LJ20 engne due to the RPM possible.)

H.  One additional benefit of replacing the metal reeds with the Boyesen 423 reeds is the  difference in the shape of the 423 reeds allows them to seat on a previously unused (less eroded) portion of the reed seat surface.

I.    I had fair success in hand resurfacing the seat area of the eroded reed plate pictured in Sect. 2.

·      Placed wet/dry sandpaper face up on a very flat, hard surface not affected by water. (My machine shop neighbor let me use his Starrett granite surface plate for the flat surface – picture below)

·      Keeping the paper wet (a bottle of water with a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap) hand motion was used to move the eroded surface of the plate over the paper in a circular motion.  Try to only have the pressure of the plate and the hand. 

·      Also, the position of the plate in my hand was rotated approximately 90 degrees on an intermittent basis.

·      Started with 320 grit followed by finer grits until finishing with 600 grit or finer.  (Note: Boyesen provides similar instructions with their two-stage reeds)











                 Note: The aluminum blocks were used to help hold the W/OD sandpaper down


Have a good one,