» Fishing Forum  Fishing Regs  
 Members |  Forum Rules |  Search
  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Mercury Optimax Turns Over...Won't Start?
SKRAMO
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 06:33 am


Adult Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 217
Member No.: 3999
Joined: March 25, 2013




As an honest person, I feel the need to share with you my failures (along with my successes...as few as they are...lol). This happened to me the other day. I hope that someone else out there can benefit from this and avoid costly tech/mechanic bills and headaches out on the water....It's not really a fishing story...but it did happen on Lake Nipissing...lol.

So I get my boat all ready, batteries charged, gear set up. Off we go. Launch my boat at the waterfront. Turn the key...engine keeps turning over, no go. I pretty much did this until my starter battery drained. This has never happened to me....EVER. I know for a fact my battery was charged and my engine ran a few days ago in my driveway with the muffs hooked up? WTF?

Back on the trailer, back in my yard. I have a limited knowledge of engines and the like...so I pull a spark plug and try to turn it over. NADA...no spark. Right away...and like most of you right now are thinking...bad coil or plug....and I am seeing huge tech mechanic bills in my future to diagnose if its something else.

I take a moment to think about things (a.k.a. beer break) while I throw my battery on the charger. I go back to my boat after 10 minutes and for $hits and giggles, turn my key. Pow...engine starts right away!...again...WTF?

After some internet searching ( and a few more "breaks"...), I find that most Mercury engines need a newer...FULLY charged and FULLY working... battery to produce a spark. Yes an old battery will turn it over many times, but the voltage is not quite up to snuff and it will not give you a spark when trying to start the motor. I do remember topping up my battery's cells with distilled water last fall prior to storage, but had no idea if any of the cells were bad. Heck, the battery even read "fully charged" when tested which is what was throwing me off. I got 5 years out of that one...lol.

Moral of this unfortunate event:

1. If you have a Mercury motor, always make sure you fully charge your starting battery and keep an eye out for bad cells...it will throw off the voltage even if it reads "fully charged".

2. If you have trolling motor batteries on board as well, keep a set of long jumper cables just in case it quits on you (I don't think a jumper booster pack would be strong enough?).

3. Don't be a cheapo (like me...had a car battery in there....lol) and pony up the $$$ to get yourself a marine AGM starter battery (often on sale at Canadian Tire). It is kind of important to be able to start your motor out on the lake.

I am just glad this happened to me on the launch and not out in the middle of Nip. I am also glad I figured it out before I hauled it into a shop to run diagnostics. Hopefully I have helped out at least one person on here with my misfortune.

Good luck out there this season.....don't be afraid to flag me down if you need help out there on Nipissing. She can be a real b#### sometimes. I usually have tools and tow ropes on board!....green Legend V188 All Sport with a power hungry Mercury Optimax....

SKRAMO.......}-)))0>............

PMEmail Poster
Top
Fisherman
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 08:18 am


World Record Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2144
Member No.: 25
Joined: February 10, 2011




Agony at times, at least you got going. As for Merc, I'll never own one and if I have to get in someones boat powered by a Merc, I'll bring oars.

PM
Top
Ice
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 10:47 am


Trophy Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 517
Member No.: 7713
Joined: December 27, 2014




Just a suggestion but it may be a faulty ignition/kill switch. If any of those fail on you it will produce no spark. As long as the battery’s have 12v it should spark and start right up. Good luck hope your issues is resolved and your back to fishing.

PMEmail Poster
Top
Fisherman
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 12:19 pm


World Record Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2144
Member No.: 25
Joined: February 10, 2011




Neutral safety switch is another one overlooked at times.

PM
Top
Grumpa
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 12:55 pm


Lunker Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 372
Member No.: 4676
Joined: September 12, 2013




Hi Skramo.
I've had several Merc's over the years. One thing that's helped me....is downloading the particular motors engines serivice/repair manuals off Mercury's website.
If you have any spark during ignition it's likely not the safety ignition/kill switch....generally if there's a problem there it surpress' ignition spark altogether.
Check the voltage at the starter solenoid during engine crank...it should be no lower then 10-11 volts otherwise there's too much voltage drop off from the battery.
I'm sure you probably already checked your terminal connections at the battery. If they're at all loose that can cause intermittent ignition at well. Make sure to clean off any corrosion...as it prevents a battery from properly discharging energy.
The other easy things to check are contaminated fuel stored over the winter....fuel line connection issues or clogged/dirt fuel filter and fuel pump pressure problems.
Most marine batteries use AGM (absorbent glass mat technology)....they charge quick in a fraction of as much time as traditional lead acid batteries. However, they're far easier to damage. Avoid overcharging your marine battery if possible.
The best chargers for marine batteries are smart chargers (or multi stage chargers) they deliver a charge in 3 stages....bulk phase, acceptance phase and float phase to maximize the charge and prevent damage to the battery's internal components.
The service/repair manuals are a big help though....saved me many a time.

PM
Top
morecowbell23
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 03:02 pm


Smolt Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 120
Member No.: 3596
Joined: February 14, 2013




You might find this video helpful if your problem still is there.
I'm a retired auto mechanic and he seems to know his stuff.
Also ignition coils use to be oil filled to keep them cool.
When they over heat the insulation on the windings burns off and causes them to fail.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDbvkFM1V_c

PMEmail Poster
Top
longfish
Posted: May 27, 2018 - 06:44 pm


Trophy Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 673
Member No.: 10648
Joined: January 17, 2016




I have never owned anything but Mercury...54 years of lots of fishing....have had three Mercs.....never had a problem......not sure why you are blaming Mercury when it was clearly your battery cell.....that will work against starting any motor.....I am also a small engine mechanic btw....... I am actually buying a used 25hp Merc next weekend and have no qualms that it will perform as good as all my past Mercs........also batteries used to last 5 to 6 years.....now you are lucky to get 2 to 3 years out of them before you have a dead cell.

PMEmail PosterYahoo
Top
Parnelly
Posted: May 28, 2018 - 05:15 am


Fry
*

Group: Members
Posts: 32
Member No.: 6656
Joined: April 22, 2014




The battery that came with our 20 when purchased new in 2010, is still fully operational in my boat. 2 years ago we replaced the 4 stroke 20 with a 4 stroke 30 and still using that original battery. Always used a smart charger on it, and put it on a couple times every winter.

PMEmail Poster
Top
SKRAMO
Posted: May 28, 2018 - 05:34 am


Adult Trout
*

Group: Members
Posts: 217
Member No.: 3999
Joined: March 25, 2013




Thanks for all the tips and help everyone much appreciated!

Also, my apologies if it seemed I was slamming Mercury motors...I am a big fan and always have been. I was just commenting on how they need lots of power to start up and apparently I found out the hard way. My bad for not having a proper battery to go along with this awesome motor.

The kill switch is another good idea to check. I happened to do that and flipped my kill swith a few times when i was trying to get her going. I even ran a tester on it.

Awesome group of people on this forum...very smart bunch! Thanks again!

SKRAMO... }-)))0>...

PMEmail Poster
Top

Topic Options Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 


Fishing Lake Nipissing
Fishing forum for Lake Nipissing & Area. Fishing for walleye/pickerel, muskie, pike, bass, perch, crappie and more. Local Fishing Reports, Current Ice Conditions, Fishing Tips, Tactics, Discussions & More. Northern Ontario Fishing at it's Best!

Marketplace