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View Full Version : Is mercury really that bad?



lhumphre
12-11-2008, 11:19 AM
I posted a few days ago about repowering my boat and thanks for all the replies..Since then I have contacted at least 20 different dealers and 2 different mechanics...To say the least I have had no positive response about mercury motors...at least 3/4 say to go with eveinrude e-techs...am i being schemed for price here or are evinrude's really that much better...they are all telling me, "you cant argue with 3 years no maintenance..there is a reason there is 3 years no maintenance"...they all say mercury is way behind in technology and cheap parts...yamaha, suzuki, and honda are also hgih on their boards, but they have all told me to steer clear of mercury..this si really just blowing my mind..any thoughts? mercury is so much cheaper than evinrude's or yammie's..i guess there may be a reason that you get what you pay for..

frank lawhead
12-11-2008, 11:53 AM
About 25 yrs. or so ago --I had 3 mercury,s on 3 different Rangers[ fishin tours.]---every one blew up [thats right--blue up]
Went with one evinrude [ran it two years and quit fishin ]
Started 4 years ago crappie fishin--bought a LOWE with a 90 hp. 2 cycle--merc.---it ,s not been that bad--minor electric problems but theres never been a motor thats harder to start cold --don,t see the opti-max
having that prob

robbor
12-11-2008, 12:23 PM
When I was researching outboards a few years ago the only really recommended brands were Yamahaha and honda. I dont think id ever buy a new outboard that was not a honda given their reputation.

Outlaw1&2
12-11-2008, 12:25 PM
I have had Johnsons,a mariner and for the last 10 years been running 2 stroke Mercs, with no problems what so ever except to change plugs every couple years needed or not,I'm pretty tough on em,fish a whole lot and they will haul the mail. With that said the E tec does seem to be a reliable,quite,good running engine, a friend got one recently and likes it.

Scrapper
12-11-2008, 12:29 PM
I think all companies make good and bad engines....just depends on which one on the line you end up with. After BRP bought out OMC their engines got WAY better...the old ficht engines I've been told to steer clear from...One of the best they ever built was the early 90's intruder and faststrike. They were beasts....unless you took them in for service and got detuned!:mad: There were a few years in there though that OMC had a bad time...then BRP brought them back with the etecs...I've heard good things about them...I've heard good things about optis...but I've heard the best about the 4 stroke yammies, hondas, suzukis and such. When my GT150 Johnnyrude goes south I hope to be in a posistion to get a 4stroker on my Ranger.

Mercury has also been known for high performance engines....you rarely see high performance upgrades or forums for the johnnyrudes...now I do not know about the newer ones. I was always told that for the recreational user the johnnyrudes were better and for performance get a merc. Thats also why you see more questions and problems on forums for mercs (older) because of their performance characteristics many get pushed harder. Most of what I know is about 90's and pervious engines....carbed engines. Thats where my info comes from...can't tell you about newer ones...all I know is I hear really good stuff about the 4strokers I mentioned earlier...I really want a yammie myself. :D

Gamblinman
12-11-2008, 03:56 PM
Been running Mercs, both consumer and high performance motors for years. and never had a powerhead malfunction. I've had a trim solenoid go bad, and a lower unit go south.

I think all the major brands have had their problems at one time or another with their direct injection technology, but have worked out the bugs.

4-strokes, although not as performance oriented, are the direction we are being forced to go, due to environmental concerns..

Scott S
12-11-2008, 05:31 PM
I posted a few days ago about repowering my boat and thanks for all the replies..Since then I have contacted at least 20 different dealers and 2 different mechanics...To say the least I have had no positive response about mercury motors...at least 3/4 say to go with eveinrude e-techs...am i being schemed for price here or are evinrude's really that much better...they are all telling me, "you cant argue with 3 years no maintenance..there is a reason there is 3 years no maintenance"...they all say mercury is way behind in technology and cheap parts...yamaha, suzuki, and honda are also hgih on their boards, but they have all told me to steer clear of mercury..this si really just blowing my mind..any thoughts? mercury is so much cheaper than evinrude's or yammie's..i guess there may be a reason that you get what you pay for..

Well, the folks your calling should be the experts so assuming they are not just competing against Mercury for business I think your best to go with their advice. I have one each Johnson, Mercury, & Honda all of which get me out and get me back to my satisfaction but none are new so who knows how they might compare to a current production unit.
Maybe it would be worthwhile to note which outboards the fishing guides prefer as those are the ones that get worked pretty hard.
Your doing your home work, that's gotta be good.:)
Scott

skiptomylu
12-11-2008, 05:33 PM
I was always a Johnson/Evenrude guy for many years and then Yamaha took over as the best there was. I now have a 115 4 Stroke Merc and have no problems and no trouble starting it even after it sits for a while. It is Fuel injected and I have a friend that has a Merc Dealership and he told me this motor is very good, but some Merc's may not be as good.

I did have a 1996 200 Merc that was fast top end, but no low end at all (traded it of a 200 Yamaha). If you were putting it on the trailer and stopped before it got all the way on, you either had to crank it on or start over as it would not push it on the trailer. No problems like that with this one though.

Skip

fingerlicken
12-11-2008, 06:34 PM
I've been running a 150 efi mercury for 12 years now and I have never had a problem. I also have had a 7.5 mercury on my jon boat and never had a problem until someone needed it more than me and now have a 9.9 mercury on it.

FishforFood82
12-11-2008, 07:05 PM
Im only 26 but i have experienced owning just about every motor under the sun. i practicaly live for fish and duck. if you want high end speed got with e tec or merc opti's evinrude e tec will out live you. merc will fly but they do have electrical issues but hardly no moving parts issues but e tec are pricey compared to mercs.. Now in your lower hp yamaha is hands down the best, most reliable and the lightest. We have 3 jon boats we run out of the camp for yoyo and running lines that have all older evinrudes and johnsons. they are 30 and 40 years old but still tickin. they do have there minor issues but what can you expect they are dinosaurs and low money investments. Oh and they als weight as much as a boeing 747 LOL. If you have the money stick with post OMC evinrudes and yamahas, but if you are budgeted go with the mercs and roll with it. just keep regular maintenance and avoid long periods of running at high rpms (really on any motor) and youll be set

monkscrappie
12-11-2008, 08:23 PM
The 150 EFI is a good engine. Available since 1988. Starts good; runs good!

Monk Welcome to MonksCrappie.com (http://monkscrappie.com)

Navigator
12-11-2008, 08:44 PM
Everyone I guess has a favorite and you are doing the best thing by getting some info. I can't tell you must about the lastest and greatest stuff.

I have 5 Merc's, and have never had any serious problems, except you do have to put some gas in them ocassionally. I have also had Rudes, Johnsons with no problem, just don't have any new ones to compare. Oldest motor I have was my dads and have been running for 49yrs is an old Merc Mark 58A 45hp that will still get it done. My newest is '03 50hp.

I have a friend that runs nothing but Tohatsu and has repowered with 3 new 50hp Tohatsu on a pontoon and 2 fishing boats, he passed his old units (still good) on to his kids.

rieve
12-11-2008, 10:44 PM
if you get a merc get an efi

AmileGrace
12-11-2008, 11:15 PM
honestly if your going less then a 150 dont get a merc if your getting more then a 150 get a merc...if your goping around 50 hp get a honda or yamaha.. you know mine luke i have no engine problems cept trolling motor probs lol...and ill bust 65 with a boatload on it.

Big Willie
12-11-2008, 11:19 PM
I think Mecr is giving a 5 year warranty on big outboards right now

skiptomylu
12-11-2008, 11:27 PM
Let me add if what my friend told me is the the best Merc these days is the EFI and if you go EFI you will be fine. I take that no other one was mentioned that not all Mercs are equal???

Skip

Gamblinman
12-12-2008, 09:20 AM
I think the newer model Optimax's and 4-strokes are good motors. Stay away from the early Optimax's.

Wannabe...
12-12-2008, 10:07 AM
Compare the market share on the brands. You'll see some remarkable differences.

Having said that, I tend to agree - 150 and up Merc, below 150 and I start to waiver. I'm no outboard guru, but I've owned 1 each of Yamaha 2 stroke (25) and 4 stroke 60, Johnson 25, Evinrude 15, Merc 200 carbed. Never had a malfunction on any of them (knock on wood). Of all of those, the 4 stroke 60 just oozes confidence when you hit the key and drop the throttle. Sure, I'm giving up some margin of performance with a comparable 2 stroke of DFI, but it's feels dead reliable at all operating ranges. Having said that - any of them and all of them do go kablooie.

Truthfully, given you're size (90, if I remember correctly) I'd buy on the combination of price, a good servicing dealer that is close and warranty offered by the manufacturer. All of them make pretty dang good motors these days and none that I know of have inherent problems such as the early Fichts or Optimax.

Personally, I'd go with a 4 stroke in the color you prefer. :)

Wannabe...

Cane Pole
12-12-2008, 10:26 AM
Compare the market share on the brands. You'll see some remarkable differences.

Having said that, I tend to agree - 150 and up Merc, below 150 and I start to waiver. I'm no outboard guru, but I've owned 1 each of Yamaha 2 stroke (25) and 4 stroke 60, Johnson 25, Evinrude 15, Merc 200 carbed. Never had a malfunction on any of them (knock on wood). Of all of those, the 4 stroke 60 just oozes confidence when you hit the key and drop the throttle. Sure, I'm giving up some margin of performance with a comparable 2 stroke of DFI, but it's feels dead reliable at all operating ranges. Having said that - any of them and all of them do go kablooie.

Truthfully, given you're size (90, if I remember correctly) I'd buy on the combination of price, a good servicing dealer that is close and warranty offered by the manufacturer. All of them make pretty dang good motors these days and none that I know of have inherent problems such as the early Fichts or Optimax.

Personally, I'd go with a 4 stroke in the color you prefer. :)

Wannabe...

I agree.

I have real confidence in the 4 strokes. I had Merc 4 stroke, and now have Suzuki and Yamaha. No problems.

I gotta 90 Yamaha on my big boat. It fast enough to get you to the bank if you haveta "do it".;)

Ronnie
12-12-2008, 10:27 AM
In the 70's Evinrude/Johnson was the motor to own. In the 80's Merc took off. I recently laid to rest a merc 150 that was 20 years old. I replaced it with another Merc 150.
Buy what you can have serviced locally.

creekslick
12-12-2008, 10:51 AM
I have a mercury 60 horse Bigfoot 4-stroke EFI and have not had any problems at all. Just change the oil once a year. Does not matter how long it sets without running just hit the key and it starts unlike the 2-stroke motors that I own.

ProvTexas
12-15-2008, 07:30 PM
I have a 1340 Honda on my old guide boat and it has been a great motor. No problems in 4 years. It is sluggish, heavy and slow but bullet proof.
On my new boat I have a 150 Mercury Verado and it is the most impressive motor I've ever ran.

harmonhunter
12-15-2008, 07:44 PM
bought a new triton alumunum boat last year fished with it probally 50 times now it has a 50 merc 2stroke like it so far but only draw back when its cold its hard2 start easy on gas which is a plus had johnsons all my life guess i would buy another etec now are they hard2 start?

slipbobber
12-16-2008, 07:00 AM
My E-Tec is the best starting motor that I have ever owned, about 40 years of Johnsons and Merc's, hit the starter and it's running no matter how long it sets!

rockmike
12-16-2008, 07:47 AM
I have a 80/115 hp Yamaha jet that has been in yhe shop four times in less than a year, and its still not fixed---overheats at idle. I've had other Yamahas that were bulletproof. I've also run Merc and Johnson that were good. Had a terrible Evinrude back in the 70's.Sometimes its just luck of the draw, or the dealership.

Speck69
12-17-2008, 12:18 AM
I've got an '06 Merc 50 EFI 4 stroke. Have not had any problems, starts easy no matter what the temp is, smooth and quite running. I'm pleased with it.

crappieseeker
12-17-2008, 09:29 AM
I had a 90hp optimax and lost the power head after a few months. I run it the way it is suppose to be run and it still went out. Cost nearly 5 grand to repair it. Good thing for warranties. However some people say they have trouble starting their Mercs in the cold. I fish very cold weather and never had a problem starting it. Saw all the other brands have trouble, but I never did. So I guess it depends on a lot of things.

horseshoer
12-17-2008, 10:53 AM
I have a mercury 60 horse Bigfoot 4-stroke EFI and have not had any problems at all. Just change the oil once a year. Does not matter how long it sets without running just hit the key and it starts unlike the 2-stroke motors that I own.

I'd like to check out and git down and dirty, a little jiggy witcha in that 2 horse trailer in yur photo. That baby is SLEEK. Did you purchase it as-is, or are you the Michaelangelo? I would feel downright privaledged to sit outside that thing with ya all, cleanin fish and bustin caps at cats. I have some extra Xmas ornaments here and will even pay for the shipping if theres anything I can do in the way of makin that puppy Xmassy.

creekslick
12-17-2008, 11:05 AM
I'd like to check out and git down and dirty, a little jiggy witcha in that 2 horse trailer in yur photo. That baby is SLEEK. Did you purchase it as-is, or are you the Michaelangelo? I would feel downright privaledged to sit outside that thing with ya all, cleanin fish and bustin caps at cats. I have some extra Xmas ornaments here and will even pay for the shipping if theres anything I can do in the way of makin that puppy Xmassy.

horseshoer, the trailer is not for horses, it's for old fat crappie fishermen that don't want to sleep on the ground anymore.:D I call it the Crappie Condo. Here is a link I posted this spring after I finished building it.

http://www.crappie.com/crappie/arkansas-crappie-fishing/59339-condo.html