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Old 09-07-2021, 12:04 PM   #1
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Mercury Outboard

I'm frustrated and so my rant follows; Purchased a new 25 hp Mercury 4 stroke in 2014. So far I've been able to put about 125 hours on it. It has now broken down for the fourth time (or is it the 5th, I'm losing count). I'm reluctant to take it out for a spin as I never know if I will get back home. I urge all to never buy a Mercury engine as they are a PITA piece of sh?t!
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:29 PM   #2
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I have actually had very good luck with Mercury outboards. I guess it depends on the specific engine. Maybe the installation. On the other hand Yamaha has had severe issues with their big engines for over a decade and they will not admit it. That, to me, is a reason not to buy a certain brand of engines. Hope yours gets better.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:30 PM   #3
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Reportedly, Mercury's outboards up to 30 hp are manufactured in Japan by Tohatsu. Elsewhere I have read that their motors between 30 and 60 hp are manufactured in China. No idea whether that applies to your 2014, Howard, but it says something about Mercury Marine's modern business model.

I've owned two Mercs - one good, one bad. Not going back there again.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:52 PM   #4
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My 2009 20hp mercy with “out of stock parts”??? That I found and installed is the sweet heart of our boat...reliable, first start and get up go...I got lucky��
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:03 PM   #5
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My merc 3.3s have been OK (last one new in Grenada 2017). Yamaha Enduro was/is awesome (but bery loud and inefficient). Just bought a Suzuki 20hp EFI (as Yamaha is 20 yrs old w/ >5000 hrs) Will report back in time.

Sorry, I feel your frustration....that's why you buy new to avoid it! Before the Yamaha, had a Honda 9.9, failed out of the box due to a water pump tube misalignment, overheated and shut down 4 times in first 2 hours of break in! Still got 3000+ hrs out of her, though she smoked alot towards the end
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Timicrinn View Post
My 2009 20hp mercy with “out of stock parts”??? That I found and installed is the sweet heart of our boat...reliable, first start and get up go...I got lucky��
You have no idea how lucky you are. I have already spent more on repairs than the engine cost new.
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Old 09-07-2021, 04:04 PM   #7
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Howard we carry a 2008 version of your Whaler and motor. So far it has been bull it proof except for stalling sometimes with old gas going from forward-neutral-reverse. As others have noted, these are built by Tohatsu, (Merchatsu) they can work on it and Tohatsu parts fit.

What problems are you having?
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:23 PM   #8
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Oh, the outboard world of today. You have the Tohatsu Mercury vs. the Mercury Mercury. Sorry to hear of your problems.

Funny, I grew up an OMC fan as my father had Evinrude and my uncle had Mercury. Them have Mercruiser and then Volvo I/O's before getting to diesels. However, the only outboards I've personally owned are the Yamaha 300's on a boat we have for employee usage. When we bought the CC with them 7 years ago, we were adamant for Yamaha, but not for the 350's which were a mess. Now in the large horsepower ranges we would feel compelled to go Mercury. Yamaha has had a lot of problems, but worse, they've made no improvements to address them. It's like they just stopped. They've got the 425 hp offshore, a totally new and different design. They appear to have given up on the 350 and dropped it. It appears to me that if you buy 300 hp or below you're buying the same engines you would have years ago. Meanwhile, Mercury has addressed issues while also expanding their lines. They have V12's of 500 and 600 hp. They confuse me with 4 different lines but their Sea Pro designed for commercial use is extremely popular for those users. They have their jet outboards and their diesel, a 175 hp two stroke. Their diesel only has a 50 lb. weight penalty versus their gas model. Oh, and a 5 hp propane.

Now, I've come to a conclusion and it also applies to the Tohatsu engines. Mercury, and this only applies to the engines they build, not the OP's, is the only marine engine builder whose primary business is building marine engines, for whom that is their sole focus. Boats to them are simply to sell engines, but no tractor engines, no motorcycles, on four wheelers, no airplanes, no other businesses. It seems to be during the last few years, the others have given attention to their other businesses and not to the marine engines.

I never thought I'd be tempted to buy a Mercury but when we replace our CC, we will. On the other hand, I'd never buy a Mercury by Tohatsu, having seen the problems. The challenge is I'm not sure what I'd buy instead.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:00 PM   #9
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We had a 9.9 merc with all controls in the handle. No independent choke. It was a terrible engine. Constantly had to clean the carb. The linkage for shifting included a plastic part which would break.Donated it to Haiti. Told a fisherman got it and was able to keep it going. Don’t know about their fuel injected engines.
Also had a tohatsu. It was flawless. No issues at all.
My favorite in low hp outboards is Suzuki. Don’t know about >25 but more reliable, excellent efficiency and best hole shot of any I’ve owned. Also lower theft risk than Yamaha from what I hear. My two cents.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:02 PM   #10
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Interesting. I have a 87 Mercury 4.5hp 2 stroke and it has been a very good motor for past 16 years since buying it used. I also have an 88 7.5hp Mercury 2 stroke bought used and has given me very good service past 12 years. just sold my 20hp 91 Mercury 2 stroke that gave me very good service past 16 years on my 14' lake boat. I feel your pain though as I had 3 Crusader 350 Classic 300hp engines replaced, 1 under warranty and 2 out of my pocket.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:26 PM   #11
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With smaller engines, say 90hp and below, I've had the best luck with Yamaha. Especially if it's fuel injected.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:37 PM   #12
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What type of issues have you been having?
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:54 PM   #13
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2006 Suzuki 150, 4 cylinder, fuel injected main. 1100 plus hours. Basic maintenance only. Has been flawless.

2011 Tohatsu 9.8 kicker. Minimal hours. Has been flawless. But again, minimal hours of use.

2010 Suzuki 2.5 for the dinghy. Untold hours. Basic maintenance only. Has been flawless.

Clean fuel is a must. If I’m forced to use E10 or E15 I use blue Stabil. Religiously. I try to only use 100% dyno gas in the 2.5 (along with the Honda gen). Not always possible. Also replace the fuel filter water separator at the beginning of every season.

Not saying bad gas is to blame on your engine. Some are just lemons, like vehicles. It sucks. The Suzuki 150 has always been reliable for us.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
I'm frustrated and so my rant follows; Purchased a new 25 hp Mercury 4 stroke in 2014. So far I've been able to put about 125 hours on it. It has now broken down for the fourth time (or is it the 5th, I'm losing count). I'm reluctant to take it out for a spin as I never know if I will get back home. I urge all to never buy a Mercury engine as they are a PITA piece of sh?t!
Reasons for problems not given. My own experience with dinghy outboards of several manufacturers is that they are generally reliable EXCEPT for water intrusion in the fuel. Suspect Mercury not immune. Solved by adding a raycor water separator in the fuel line and the bottom of a cut off soda bottle over tank cap vent.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:35 PM   #15
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My all time favorite outboard. ( I have an even dozen of them to back up that statement). Is a 1957 through 1959 Evinrude 35 horsepower. Electric start if you can find or convert one. (About half of my collection is electric start)

They sound like an outboard should sound. They smell like an outboard should smell. And they look like an outboard should look.

True story. I have one which I bought over 20 years ago. I bought it at a garage sale. The owner said he didn't know anything about the engine other than that it had sat in his garage for at least fifteen years. It sat in my garage for another 20 years. I changed the plugs, fixed a couple mouse chewed lines and wires and connected it to a battery. It took a shot of gas down the throat but fired right up. The water pump immediately started pumping water.

They are heavy. I'll grant you that, about 165 pounds but I suppose that is about what a new four stroke weighs in at.

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Old 09-07-2021, 10:32 PM   #16
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Reasons for problems not given. My own experience with dinghy outboards of several manufacturers is that they are generally reliable EXCEPT for water intrusion in the fuel. Suspect Mercury not immune. Solved by adding a raycor water separator in the fuel line and the bottom of a cut off soda bottle over tank cap vent.
Jc you beat me to it. No reasons given. The OP must have gotten a certified outboard mechanic (tech) to find the problem.
There are lemons in all brands, but can they be repaired is the question. To outright never own another or that everyone should boycott is plain foolishness.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:35 PM   #17
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My all time favorite outboard. ( I have an even dozen of them to back up that statement). Is a 1957 through 1959 Evinrude 35 horsepower. Electric start if you can find or convert one. (About half of my collection is electric start)

They sound like an outboard should sound. They smell like an outboard should smell. And they look like an outboard should look.

True story. I have one which I bought over 20 years ago. I bought it at a garage sale. The owner said he didn't know anything about the engine other than that it had sat in his garage for at least fifteen years. It sat in my garage for another 20 years. I changed the plugs, fixed a couple mouse chewed lines and wires and connected it to a battery. It took a shot of gas down the throat but fired right up. The water pump immediately started pumping water.

They are heavy. I'll grant you that, about 165 pounds but I suppose that is about what a new four stroke weighs in at.

pete
Pete, back in my early twenties I was put in charge of an 18 foot skiff with twin 35 Johnson, of course the same as Evinrude. Heavy indeed, it was fortunate I was young and strong. And yes they were dependable workhorses.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:48 PM   #18
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Reasons for problems not given. My own experience with dinghy outboards of several manufacturers is that they are generally reliable EXCEPT for water intrusion in the fuel. Suspect Mercury not immune. Solved by adding a raycor water separator in the fuel line and the bottom of a cut off soda bottle over tank cap vent.
Water in fuel, and letting them sit without draining fuel from carb accounts for probably 95 % of all small outboard issues. Everyone that owns a small outboard should know how to clean the carb. Heck..I usually keep spare carbs so I can swap them quickly and then rebuild the gummed up one in my spare time. Repeat.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:00 PM   #19
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Suzuki pioneered EFI in small outboards (down to 9.9?) and I think others have followed since. I have owned a 20HP Zuke EFI that has started on the first pull for 8 years. It has been generally neglected and still purrs like new. I will never own another carb OB.
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Old 09-08-2021, 12:08 AM   #20
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Suzuki pioneered EFI in small outboards (down to 9.9?) and I think others have followed since. I have owned a 20HP Zuke EFI that has started on the first pull for 8 years. It has been generally neglected and still purrs like new. I will never own another carb OB.
I own that same model EFI 20HP Suzuki. Started up almost immediately first use this year. Idled fine but would not power up beyond 2,500 RPM. Even though my dinghy has a large fuel filter before the engine, I took a guess and replaced the internal filter which had about 25 hours on it. Engine ran as normal after the change. I had no confidence in that fuel filter was the problem but it apparently was. Took 10 minutes to change.
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