Proper Way to Start a Merc?

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by zeneb, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. zeneb

    zeneb River Hawk 15'4" 15HP Evinrude / 15 HP Merc

    158
    0
    91
    I know this may sound like a pretty stupid question, but being an Evinrude/Johnson guy, I just got my first Merc and am  not sure the best way to get it started.  For my Evinrude/Johnson motors, I'd pump the ball until firm, open the choke and set the throttle to the start position.  Pull the cord a time or two and it cranks right up.

    With the Merc, there is this knob that has slow to start and 'pull to prime'.  At first I treated this like my other motors, turned it all the way to start, pulled the 'choke' and yanked until my arm fell off.  Read the 'pull to prime' and figured maybe this isn't a choke.  Last time out, I set the knob to about half way between and pulled a few times with nothing.  I pulled the knob to prime then pushed it back in and it cranked.

    The videos I've seen online, they don't mess with that knob at all, they grab the pull cord and it cranks right up.  Any info on how to properly start this thing would be appreciated.

    Hooching
     
  2. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    1,544
    21
    643
    That knob is usless, it almost creates no advance. As far as the primer , pull it all the way out 2-3 times then leave it out and crank her up. When she cranks push her back in!

    If the motor is warm it should crank on the 1st pull with out messing with the primer.

    Might need a tune up!
     

  3. zeneb

    zeneb River Hawk 15'4" 15HP Evinrude / 15 HP Merc

    158
    0
    91
    Thanks! It will usually crank right up if it's warm. The guy I got it from claimed it was 'fully serviced' including changing the impeller. I'll run it the rest of the season then take it in for a tune up, assuming your tip gets it started quicker.

    Hooching
     
  4. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    4,573
    440
    1,938
    I had one or four of those old timers and got tired of yanking when it was 10 degrees. I drilled a hole through the cowling and through the airbox directly in front of the carb. Then I took the red nozzle and stuck it on the can of starting fluid, stuffed it in the hole and gave her a quick shot. One pull from that point on and I never had to guess if it was warm or cold or risk flooding it by priming. Sucks when you flood an engine in those temps.
     
  5. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    1,544
    21
    643
    I run a 2000 Merc 25hp, and if your engine is tuned correctly in proper running condition, you should never need to pull it more than 3 times! Cold, Hot, Mild, what ever temp it or outside is.
     
  6. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    4,573
    440
    1,938
    You are absolutely right Creek - should. Problem is I would rather run my motor rather than run it to the shop. Even when it mabe tuned right not every engine is going to work as theorized. Perfect example is the advance knob that is useless but it was put there because in theory it should help with ignition on a cold motor.

    I found a solution to my personal issue and it worked for me and just passed my solution to the member.
     
  7. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    3 things:
    Hammer
    Starting fluid
    Seatow

    If I ever had a merc I would have these onboard



    Haha just joking.. well kinda :D
     
  8. JBMitziSkiff

    JBMitziSkiff Ninja balance is the key... for a poling platfrom

    459
    0
    141
    ^^^ That hilarious!!^^^
    Seriously though every time I see a merc at the boat ramp they are always sitting there turing the motor over or yanking on that thing.  It must tick them off to pull up pop the key real quick and start the motor.  In my years I have seen a bunch of Mercs doing that.  I am not sure what the deal is, but When the bigger ones like the 250 come screaming by on the water in a bass boat they sound mean as heck!  I still like my 48 spl Johnson and my ETEC.  That old Johnson sat for 2 years while I rebuilt the boat and it started right up.  Then I go my new boat and parked it "the old boat" back in the barn.  I just got it out the other day changed the fuel line since it crumbled in my hand and some fresh gas and again it cranked right up.  I love them motors!
     
  9. zeneb

    zeneb River Hawk 15'4" 15HP Evinrude / 15 HP Merc

    158
    0
    91
    I'm going to keep my 15 HP Evinrude and take it out from time to time. Even though it is 10 years older, it runs good and starts easily. It also push my boat a tad faster. I've considered converting the Evinrude into a full on river runner with skeg guard and foil.

    Hooching
     
  10. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    4,573
    440
    1,938
    I run a mac river runner on my outboard and it has saved many props. I do not worry about logs, stumps, sand, oysters, etc. Simply the best protection.
     
  11. dont those river runner things kill top speed ?
     
  12. zeneb

    zeneb River Hawk 15'4" 15HP Evinrude / 15 HP Merc

    158
    0
    91
    They do, as will the foil. I will take the cut in speed to run skinny water without killing my LU. I have the mercury to work on top end.

    Hooching
     
  13. Rediculous

    Rediculous Boozle on...

    859
    8
    141
    Agreed... Mine is an 04' 25hp electric start, so no pulling. But it fires right up every time. I only pull the knob if it hasn't been started in a couple weeks, which is very, very rare.
     
  14. Rediculous

    Rediculous Boozle on...

    859
    8
    141
    I've always heard things like this my whole life... But, I've been around a few mercs, now. In my experience, they've all been pretty damn reliable. Of coarse when taken care of properly. I absolutely love my 25 merc, runs great and has some balls. The most reliable engine I've been around was a 91' 15hp tohatsu, hundreds of hours and never let us down. I know a guy who just got stranded 40 miles out by his 300 yammies. All engines have problems, some more than others. But smaller hp mercs are pretty damn badass from my experience.
     
  15. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    4,573
    440
    1,938
    Most likely, but I have never actually tested it, but I am not one of those that have to get every mph known to man and I do not care if I get 28 vs. 29; I want the insurance that I will come back with a prop and lower unit.
     
  16. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Them was jokes lol.
    But to be fair, some of the older merc ignition was an absolute failure.
    But yes the 25 is a very good powerful motor
    And yes everything breaks
     
  17. Rediculous

    Rediculous Boozle on...

    859
    8
    141
    I know you were kidding, but there must be some truth cause I've heard it about mercs my whole life. Seriously, some people talk like they'd rather row than run a mercury. But, the ones I've been around have been good engines. Must have been a really bad run of mercs at some point. Honestly, I could care less what was on the back of my boat as long it runs good.
     
  18. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    4,573
    440
    1,938
    The reason you have heard about Merc's issues forever is because when there is ten bazillion of them there are lots of owners around.

    I remember the old snomobiles. Drive them for an hour and fix them for a week. I have had many merc's during my life and only had a real lemon once and it quickly became someone elses fruit. When x-millions are built, statistically x-percent is going to be possessed.
     
  19. zeneb

    zeneb River Hawk 15'4" 15HP Evinrude / 15 HP Merc

    158
    0
    91
    I think I may have figured out part of the problem. On a hunch, I pulled the plugs to see if they were gapped properly. Turns out this guy, or the previous owner, had the wrong plugs in and they were gapped at ~.02 not .06 as per specs. I picked up some new plugs today and hopefully that will fix my starting problem and maybe give me a little more power.

    FYI, I hit 24 MPH yesterday. I put in a new 10 pitch prop and messed with the motor angle. 3rd pin with a tailwind hit 24.

    Hooching
     
  20. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    4,573
    440
    1,938
    Don't forget to check the gap on the new plugs