Mercruiser Engines

Mercruiser Engines

A recent post focused on sterndrives, and Mercruiser by Mercury Marine is the most popular one available in America. Mercruiser exposes engine systems to rigorous testing in the toughest conditions to assist in the development of some of the strongest and most reliable sterndrive packages in the industry. They cast components in special alloys and utilize computer-controlled painting processes that have withstood immersion and corrosion testing. Mercruisers also include an expanded passageway in the exhaust elbow to prevent saltwater from clogging the system. The standard production gas sterndrive and inboard packages by Mercruiser are protected by Mercury Marine’s three-year limited warranty against corrosion failure. Check your operation and maintenance manual for complete information regarding warranty.

Power steering is standard on all Mercruiser sterndrives 4.3L and larger and are optional on the 3.0L. 3- and 6-inch risers to further prevent saltwater clogging are optional on all Mercruiser sterndrives and inboards with the exception of the 3.0L. Remote oil filters are standard on all gas fuel-injected sterndrives, Bluewater inboards, diesel engines, and are available as a kit for all carburetor sterndrive models. There is an audio warning system mounted under the helm to alert the boater to low Mercury engine oil pressure, high engine temperature, and other potentially damaging engine conditions which is standard on all gas and diesel models, available as a kit on the 3.0L sterndrives.

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What is a Sterndrive?

mercury oilA sterndrive, or stern drive, is a form of boat propulsion also known as inboard/outboard or I/O. The upper unit engine is located inboard, just forward of the boat stern, producing power by way of a shaft that goes through the stern to the lower drive unit (also known as the outdrive) located outside the hull, which resembles the bottom half of an outboard. The lower drive unit carries the boat propeller and contains gearing for the engine system. This unit controls the steering of the boat, as with an outboard motor. No rudder is necessary. The sterndrive engine itself is usually the same as those used in true inboard systems. The most popular sterndrive engines have historically been Chevrolet and Ford V-8 car engines that have been adapted for marine use. The most popular brand of sterndrive is Mercruiser by Mercury Marine, who also manufactures outboard motors and Mercury oil. Advantages of the sterndrive versus the outboard include higher available engine horsepower, a clean stern with no cutouts for outboard motor installation and no protruding powerhead, making for easier egress and ingress for pleasure boat passengers and more convenient fishing. Advantages of the sterndrive system versus outboards include simpler engineering for boat builders and space savings with engines mounted all the way aft, allowing more occupancy space for the boat’s passengers. Performance with sterndrives is better than inboards, due to the inherent loss of force with inboard propellers due to the angle of the prop shaft.

The main disadvantages of sterndrives versus inboards is that their components–namely oil lines, hoses, and rubber bellows, some of which are in the water–are more vulnerable to corrosion and damage from being exposed to the elements. Maintenance on sterndrives is more complex than outboard maintenance in several ways. Sterndrive oil changes may necessitate complicated pumping mechanisms, and engine repairs are often difficult to perform due to tight engine compartment spaces. In some sterndrive boats, the entire engine must be removed to perform even simple repairs, whereas with an outboard motor, only removal of the cover is necessary. With both inboards and sterndrives there are fire and explosion hazards from fuel vapors within the engine compartment. It is recommended that these boats run a blower for several minutes prior to starting the engine, while idling, or moving below cruising speed. The blower circulates the fresh outside air inside the engine compartment and vice versa. Sterndrives have become sought after for use in pleasure boating due to their practical advantages and attractive costs, and there are many current boat product lines that include models for which sterndrive power is the only option for available propulsion.

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The Mercury Trailer Boat at Rest

The Mercury Trailer Boat at Rest

If your Mercury boat takes you into salt water, it is recommended that you park with the outdrive in the down position. This prevents barnacle formation on the bellows; if barnacles form, they can cut into the bellows and ultimately sink the boat. There have been many recent instances in the Midwest where beavers have eaten enough boat bellows to sink the craft and render it useless. If your Mercury outboard is stored in the sun with the outdrive down, it will also alleviate the effects of dry rot on the bellows.

Bellows should not have to be replaced more than once every five or six years, barring formation of a leak or hole. When performing preventative maintenance on the bellows, you may have more success with Mercury parts-they have a bellows kit-the Mercury shop manual, and/or Mercury’s Master-certified mechanics. There are special tools, a thread lock and a certain adhesive you will need for bellow replacement. Once all this is done and it’s time to go out on the water again, stock up on Mercury engine oil and happy boating!

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Mercury Builds on Success

Mercury Builds on Success

Expanding on the success of its 9.9 hp Pro Kicker Four Stroke outboard engine, Mercury Marine has launched its 15 hp Pro Kicker Four Stroke, which also comes in 15 Bigfoot and 15 Prokicker models. The specifications of the straight 15 hp include a maximum rpm of 4500-5500, a water-cooled system, manual or electric starters, tiller or remote steering, standard propellers, and a standing recommendation to use Mercury engine oil.

The 15 Bigfoot model has a larger gearcase designed to haul heavier loads, such as pontoons. This expanded gearcase has a better torque ratio, enabling the use of larger propellers. The 15 Prokicker model is meant to incorporate the best features of the 15 Prokicker Four Stroke, but its construction is purposely lightweight to allow for versatility and use in any number of boating applications.

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History of Outboard Motors

History of Outboard MotorsThe creation of the first practical outboard motor is often credited to Norwegian-American inventor Ole Evinrude in 1909.

Historically, a majority of outboards have been two-stroke powerheads fitted with a carburetor due to the designs inherent simplicity, reliability, low cost and light weight.

In the 1990s, U.S. and European exhaust emissions regulations led to the proliferation of four-stroke outboards. Though fewer in number, four-stroke outboards have always been with us.

Outboard motors benefit from the ability to draw coolant from the water, obviating the need for radiators and cooling fans, thereby simplifying the design and lowering component weight. The motors also have several brands (i.e. Yamalube, Mercury and the creator’s namesake, Evinrude) of oil to choose from, giving the consumer a seemingly infinite amount of options based on their needs.

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New Outboard for Duck Hunters

New Outboard for Duck HuntersJust in time for duck season comes the Mercury Flyway 25 EFI FourStroke outboard with Advantage MAX-4 HD camouflage and matching low-gloss paint, so hunters seeking total stealth no longer need hide an outboard under spray paint, stickers or a bag.

Mercury says if you look carefully, you’ll see that the pattern incorporates cattails, millet, milo, corn stalks, sunflowers, oak and maple leaves, cedar and oak limbs, plus a variety of other plant life. The Flyway 25, available at participating dealers, features battery-free electronic fuel injection system and is available in both electric and manual start models; and, of course, it’s suggested that you use Mercury engine oil with the boat.

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Not All Mercury Causes Poisoning

Mercury engine oil.When you’re prepping your boat over the coming weeks for the summer boating season, don’t forget to use some Mercury engine oil. As a synthetic blend, Mercury will provide the maximum amount of power to your engine, without all the corrosion that typically comes around. Get a bottle soon and have a whole summer for smoothly riding the waves.

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The Simple Addition that Keeps Your Engine Running Well

outboard motor oil

A key element to a smooth running boat is to purchase outboard motor oil that has additives in that will keep your engine clean and prevents wear and corrosion. Additives will also enhance the lubrication of the motor. Several brands such as Evinrude and Mercury sell oil that has said additives in them so as to make your boating experience one with a minimal amount of problems.

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Mercury Quicksilver

Mercury Engine OilPREMIUM PLUS 2-CYCLE OUTBOARD OIL
Mercury Engine Oil Specifically formulated with a higher concentration marine additive package to meet the needs of:

  • High-horsepower outboard including direct fuel-injected engines in extreme marine operating conditions.
  • Far exceeds Mercury in-house test standards, which are more stringent than the industry’s TC-W3 standard.
  • Cleanest burning – reduces carbon build-up in exhaust system.
  • Superior lubrication.
  • Meets all outboard and personal watercraft manufacturers’ recommendations for use of TC-W2 and TC-W3 oils in pre-mix or oil-injected 2-cycle applications.
  • Provides warranty protection for Mercury, Mariner, Force and Sport Jet and M2 Jet Drive 2-cycle engines.
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