Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
  Great Engine (Mercury 2 stroke 90)

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Great Engine (Mercury 2 stroke 90)
GAwhale posted 06-05-2002 09:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for GAwhale   Send Email to GAwhale  
To all Montauk owners:

If you are repowering, consider the Mercury 2 stroke 90. It is a great engine and from what I hear outboard mechanics will back this up.

My 2001 Montauk came rigged from the factory with the 2 stroke 90 and was priced right. That's the reason I own one.

I will be honest the engine starts rough, and smokes, and rattles when cold. Once warm and at higher RPM's it runs like a champ.

This past Saturday there were four of us on my boat at Lake Hartwell. We took turns skiing and wakeboarding. The engine had plenty of power to pull a 200 plus pound skier out of the water.

Dick E posted 06-05-2002 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick E  Send Email to Dick E     
My Merc 90 HP is 4 years old last month and I have not had one problem.

I use it every month of the year.
I agree it may be a little tempermental staring, but get the baby warm and it Purrs.

masbama posted 06-06-2002 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Ditto for my 2002 Johnson 90 2 stroke.
JBCornwell posted 06-06-2002 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
My son has a Merc 2s 90 on his 1999 Montauk and hates it. It was a take it or leave it deal.

It starts hard, smokes, rattles and is rough as a cob at idle speeds. It is noisy and smoky at any speed.

What he hates most is that he can only barely outrun my Suzi DF70 if we are equally loaded and not at all if he has one more passenger, and he uses twice the fuel and many, many times the oil.

He would swap it for a DF70 in a nanosecond.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

GAwhale posted 06-06-2002 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     
Hi JB!

Just curious if you ever pulled a waterskier with the DF70. Surely the Merc 2s 90 would have more power.

Is that Suzuki DF70 a four stroke?

Bigshot posted 06-06-2002 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Great engine....heard it can hold a 22' in Gale winds as long as you use 10' of chain! HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA!
JBCornwell posted 06-06-2002 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hey, GAwhale.

Nope, don't waste my boat on such frivolities unless there is a GREAT BIG hook dangling back there. I do think I could if I wanted to.

Bigshot, do you pull skiers with your DF70?

My son does pull skiers, well, skier, or two or three tubes.

Yes, the DF70 is a EFI 4 stroke, and pure magic.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Bigshot posted 06-06-2002 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Nope! just tow in Mercury owners!


Actually it has enough spunk to pull a skier easily. I had a pluged drain and had water up to my splash well and she planed off. Had to be 500-800lbs of water in there.

lhg posted 06-06-2002 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
This thread, and a few others recently, is starting to sound like the Mercury bashing garbage they do over on the Yamaha infiltrated Hull Truth site. A couple of guys come on here and say they're pleased with their Whaler and 90 HP Merc engine combos, and then are quickly made to look like an idiots for buying them. All brands of outboard engines have lemons, including all of the Japanese brands.

I know some of you hate it that Mercury owns Whaler, and still sells 2-strokes, and that most Whalers come with Mercs, but that's the way it goes.

Bigshot posted 06-06-2002 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Oh calm down Larry:) We love you and your Mercs. I did say HAHAHAHAHAH, etc and used a bunch of these:)

Just busting some chops. He stated in his post that "To be honest the engine starts rough, and smokes, and rattles when cold"

Had to be the devils advocate.

JB WAS bashing them.....I swear:)

lhg posted 06-06-2002 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Nick - I think you missed my point. I don't expect anybody here to love or hate Mercury's. They just happened to be the brand involved here, so it caught my eye. The issue here is that this was not a thread asking for opinions on something one MIGHT buy, but more was meant to be informative about some product (just happened to be Mercury) that they liked and had good experience with. Occasionally, we all like to mention something that we have found to our liking, and this can be informative to others here, and I don't think such comments, or the poster, needs to be ridiculed. If one disagrees with that person's success with a product, they could just let it pass. Here we have two fellows who like their new engines, and then we have two other fellows snap right back that they're nothing but junk compared to what THEY own.
KeysNole posted 06-06-2002 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for KeysNole  Send Email to KeysNole     
I am very interested in opinions on Merc 2 strokes. I am actually looking at two different 90 hp models, one 97 and one 01.

On there is a thread about the Optimax, and not many nice things are being said. I might be forced to stick with Yamaha on this one.

Taylor posted 06-06-2002 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
I'm also interested in what folks who have the 2 stroke Merc 90's think. Here's why... they are being sold on the new Montauk and if the new Montauk hull HP rating is upgraded in the next year or two people may decide to swap to 115. Then there might be some used ones out there if and when my 1988 100HP Merc 4-cyl. goes to its reward.
JBCornwell posted 06-06-2002 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hey! Not Guilty, Nick!

I merely reported my son's experience and his opinions that don't match what someone else reported on the same package. I don't think I added any bashes that hadn't already been mentioned.

If it would make Larry feel any better, we both are faster than another Montauk that shows up on PK from time to time. His Yamaha 90 2s is smoother and quieter than the Merc, but 70 cubic inches is a very small 90 horses. It can't keep up with the 80 cubic inch DF70, but in all fairness he has neither setback nor hydrofoil, and I think he is overpropped at 19".

Flipper posted 06-06-2002 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Flipper  Send Email to Flipper     
I LOVE MY 90 MERC!!!(I'm ducking for cover now)
It does run rough on idle, and on a jack plate, rattling and shaking my 15', it has rattled the nerves of a few passengers. Alot of them think I've "tricked it out".Three seasons, and it's been a great motor.
RWM posted 06-06-2002 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for RWM  Send Email to RWM     
I ran my Montauk for years with a '78 Merc 90 and loved it. That engine got a lot of respect at the dock too. But talk about hard to start...I had to squirt gas in the carbs towards the end when it was cold...and smoke...whew! But man, I loved it and kept it going until salt corrosion finally blew a hole in the block.
I was looking for a new Merc when I stumbled on a 70 Evinrude 4 stroke deal when OMC went belly up. Man, as Bigshot says that engine is sweeeeeeeeeet. Starting? Click...varoom and then all you hear is the telltale spashing on the surface.
I was expecting a loss in performance with a drop in HP but to tell you the truth I don't see it.
The one thing is that it sits a little stern heavy and can't hold a plane at quite as low a speed. I'm thinking of trying a doel fin or stingray hydrofoil.
Hey Bigshot...what do you think about the hydrofoil? I'm running a 14x17 aluminum with 5500 RPM at WOT...Bob M.
videofxr posted 06-06-2002 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for videofxr  Send Email to videofxr     
Is the 90 Merc a triple or 4 cylinder?
lhg posted 06-06-2002 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
It's a three cylinder, and the block is one half of the loop charged Merc 2.5 liter V-6 135-200's. Stroke is a bit longer, however.
It's one of the most popular engines Mercury has ever made.

In 1986 and earlier, the block was a direct (cross) charged in-line 6.

jimh posted 06-07-2002 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It may be that the 90-HP Merc starts a bit hard due to how they have the carburetors set up--as lean as possible to keep emissions down? I don't really know--just a guess.

In any case, the Electronic Fuel Injection would probably be a plus if they used it on the Merc. That is the big advantage that the SUZUKI engine had (all to itself for a long time): it was both 4-stroke and fuel-injected when no one else had such a combination. I don't know if anyone else has that combination in a mid-range outboard.

The 90-HP Mercury 2-stroke has one nice advantage going for: good prices and wide distribution.

Clark Roberts posted 06-07-2002 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
I bought a 90 Merc (brand new) in 1996 and installed it on a 17 Newport and criused it to the Bahamas (Green Turtle, Abacos) and back shortly after break-in. Many long cruises later, I installed it on a Montauk and later it propelled my 1979 Revenge 21(not a misprint... 21' Revenge) for some long 200 to 300 mile cruises. The 21 would cruise at 25 and run over 30mph at WOT. (Am now running a 115 Merc EFI 4s on the Revenge)... The 90 never failed to start right up and never missed a beat in the 2170 hrs I logged on it before selling it! (not a misprint...2170 hrs) But I'm on the water more than most, seldom a day that I'm not out running a boat for several hrs... For me the 90 Merc was a great engine and I should probably buy a couple and store them while they're still made... BTW, the 75hp version is, in my opinion, a really great engine also! Clark ... Spruce Creek Navy
PS> Anything mechanical can and will fail eventually and some engines are tempermental from the get-go... Much depends on the care and use given by the owner/user and regular maint. is a must!
AnthonyT posted 06-07-2002 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     
This isn't the kind of discussion I was hoping to see exactly 2 days before I pick up my new Montauk Whaler with a factory rigged 90 Merc. 2 stroke. Didn't go for the 4 stroke due to $ considerations....

It seems that the opinions are quite polarized, either love em or hate em ....

Somebody please tell me it will be okay ?


Landlocked posted 06-07-2002 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Never owned a Merc. in my life until this year - always Johnsons. I've been through about 6 company owned work boats as well - all of which had Johnsons. All were great motors.

This year when I repowered my Montauk, I went with a 90 2-stroke Merc. due to cost, dealer availability, and the Johnson/Bomb change-over.

I love this motor. You won't be un-happy. It may be loud compared to a 4-stroke but Its quiet to me. You can carry on a normal conversation at full speed while sitting on the RPS. At idle, you can hear the water from the cooling indicator hitting the water.

Smokes a little at start-up but then stops. Has always started with 1 or 2 turns of the key. Gets close to 5 mpg depending on speed.
Uses one tank of oil for about every 4 12 gallon tanks of gas. Top speed 40+. Plenty of power.

For each their own but I'm happy with my decision. Only regret is I wish I had gotten a 19" prop instead of a 21".


Ventura16 posted 06-07-2002 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
My Merc. 90 has been flawless from day 1.

I do agree with some of the other does occasionally take a little bit of fiddling to get it started first thing in the morning. But after that first start, it is good to go for the entire day...first turn of the key. It trolls quietly and smoothly, pushes my boat to 41mph (GPS), sips gas lightly (at least for a carbureted engine), doesn't use an excessive amount of oil, and parts are cheap and readily available. It is also one of the lightest 90hp motors on the market at 303 lbs.

AnthonyT...there is no downside to this motor as far as I am concerned...enjoy the heck your new Montauk!

As far as the Merc-bashing goes, they are all entitled to their opinions...for me, I'm very happy with my Merc. 90.


Bigshot posted 06-07-2002 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
To set the record straight....we never bashed them, just joking round, geez!

2nd "RWM" scrap the 14x17 unless you are always running with a heavy load. I run a 13x19 alum and here are my results:
14x17...3800rpms=21mph, 4500=27, 5000=30, and 5800(wot)=35.
13x19...3800=26, 4500=34, 5400(wot)=39.5

all done on GPS with a full 27 Pate and 2 people & bottom paint.

Tsuriki BW posted 06-07-2002 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
I have the 75hp 2s Merc. Bitch in the morning to get started (I need a tune up) but after that runs great. lots of power, good troller. I am very happy with it.


masbama posted 06-07-2002 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Your Merc 90 is fine. My 2002 Johnson 90 is fine too. Not as quiet at idle but almost as quiet at cruising RPM's (which is equal to WOT on a 70 4stroke.) Also it is lighter w/ 20 more hp! You don't need to add a jackplate, hydrofoil, SS prop or any other add on to get to desired speed (which add more weight). You won't have to run at WOT to reach desired speed (which will wear down any engine quicker-both 2 and 4 stroke) Plus less moving parts to go wrong (any engine+water equals some kind of problem in the long run) But the main advantage (at least to me) is price. You add the basic cost of a 70 4stroke coupled with the before mentioned additions (needed to get close to 2 stroke performance) and you are looking at close to 10 grand and close to 100 pounds more on the transom. Just my opinion........
Bigshot posted 06-07-2002 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
What a bunch of mud that is! I don't have a hydrofoil(not necessary on a Montauk) or a SS prop. My cruise and top speed is posted above and I spent $2850 for a brand new 70hp. Place by me has 2000 leftovers for $4350. Where the hell did you get $10G's?Just my $.02
Bigshot posted 06-07-2002 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Plus at 1000 rpms I burn less than a quart and hour. At cruise(27mph) I burn around 2.5gph. try that with a 2 stroke.
Bigshot posted 06-07-2002 12:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
PSS My engine weighs about 20lbs more than your 90.
masbama posted 06-07-2002 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Mr Big: Did you really pay $2850 for a brand new 4 stroke 70? Come on now.... fess up! Do you have a jackplate? If so-what was the cost? The 2002 Johnson brochure shows that the 70 4 stroke weighs in at 359 lbs. I assume that is dry weight. The 2002 90 2 stroke comes in at 319 lbs. 40 lbs difference to me.... (Does not include 4 stroke oil in engine) These are Bombardiers' numbers-not mine. I agree with the gph. But I cruise at close to 35 mph. WOT 45+mph. I can run all day and not go to my 2nd 12 gallon tank. Best 4 stroke 70 price I could find was $6800. Add tach, prop, cables, wiring harness, binnacle, jackplate plus installation and tax and you are getting close to the 10 grand mark. I searched for leftover models but could not find one.
Taylor posted 06-07-2002 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Just cause one choice works well does not mean an alternative choice is wrong.

If I were in the market to repower my Montauk, Bigshot's setup of a 70hp Suzuki 4s on a jackplate, would be on my list of prime alternatives, but so would a Merc 2s 90. Intial dollars, noise, reliability, service, ecomomy, perfomance (and the related weight issue) would all be on the list of criteria.

Regarding the prices BS found, we all know he's a pretty tough shopper, he must have found a great price! We all should be so lucky.

jimh posted 06-07-2002 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As for starting, sometimes there are particular procedures that need to be followed. I had to teach Chris how to start her car a few years ago; she was still using advice her Dad gave her when she was 16 years old about holding the throttle down, etc., none of which was applicable to a modern fuel injected, computer controlled engine.

It may be that Merc has some suggestions in the owner's manual for how to start their engine. I believe the controls for this engine have a somewhat unusual arrangement of the "prime" or "choke" button, which may be getting overlooked. Since I used to write technical manuals for a living, I guess I am more inclined to read them.


AnthonyT posted 06-07-2002 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     
Thanks for the positive feedback... I was getting a little nervous there..... Also didn't want to restart the above back and forth...

When I pickup the boat on Sunday,with the 2 90 Merc. I'll give the group a report....

I've basically become a little boy waiting for Christmas morning.. the wait is intolerable.....

It will be worse when I have to leave her at the dock all by herself for a week.... Do I sound like a NEWBIE.........

Now to do more research on moderately priced electronics..... The front runners are a Garmin 160 Depth and a GPS 12.....

Thanks again,

Bigshot posted 06-07-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
1st this thread is getting way off balance and I realize my posts are sounding angry or sarcastic which I apologize, rough week in the market as you all know:)

Ok.....I did get the deal of the new millenium(1999 so NO warranty). The zuki manual states 338lbs, my evinrude states 342. Why Johnson has 359 is beyond me...prop? The jack plate(manual)cost $140. tach $69, controls $200, wiring harness $60. These are OMC stuff so if you already have an OMC you do not need to buy this. This would also have to be changed if you bought another manufacturers 2 stroke. So no matter if it is 2 or 4 stroke, if you change brands, you change everything. Like I said there is a place in FL that has 2000 70hp Zukis for $4350 brand new. They also have 2001 60's for the same price I believe. They also have some demo Johnson 175's for $4500 or so. They have some great deals on 25-40hp OMC & Zukis too. Especially in 15".

If you do buy one for say $6000 it should be rigged for $7000 or so and about the same for a 90hp yamaha, $1000 cheaper than a 90 Ficht and about $1000 more than a 90 Merc 2 stroke. and about the same as a 75 Merc 4 stroke. No matter what you aint gonna be cheap, but it aint $10k either unless you pay MSRP.

lhg posted 06-07-2002 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Well I see it's alright to dump on a Merc ib this thread, but when someone dumps back on a Suzuki, that's a different story.
AnthonyT posted 06-07-2002 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     
Would it help if I said the word TRUCE ?


Bigshot posted 06-07-2002 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
What the heck is ebveryone talking about....nobody has dumped on either engine in this thread. What do you need to call a truce for Tony, you have not dumped....nobody has.

I DO NOT SEE ANY DUMPING ON THIS THREAD! A few pokes and jokes....but no dumping.

Ventura16 posted 06-07-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Jimh, I am a big manual reader (and besides my size, I read manuals a lot). I've read the Mercury manual repeatedly to try and solve the cold-starting problem...there is very little real information in there on the subject.

If anyone has a technique that works well for them with the 90 2s, I'd love to hear it. Basically, I just advance the throttle a little bit and try to use the choke VERY sparingly because it seems to flood easily.


Ventura16 posted 06-07-2002 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Jimh, I am a big manual reader (and besides my size, I read manuals a lot). I've read the Mercury manual repeatedly to try and solve the cold-starting problem...there is very little real information in there on the subject.

If anyone has a technique that works well for them with the 90 2s, I'd love to hear it. Basically, I just advance the throttle a little bit and try to use the choke VERY sparingly because it seems to flood easily.


PMUCCIOLO posted 06-07-2002 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
Anthony T,

Your decision to purchase the Montauk with the 90 HP two-stroke Mercury is a wise one. The engine is light, simple, easily repaired, requires minimal maintenance, and has a built-in oil reservoir. The service network is extensive for these engines, and parts are readily avialable--and cheap.

If I were you, I would proceed with confidence. That engine has withstood the test of time, which is the most important of them all. I prefer Yamaha power, but I purchased my 90 HP 2-stroke for the same reasons as outlined above.

I wish you the best of luck with your new boat, and keep in mind that many of the carbureted engines are a bit fickle when cold, regardless of manufacturer. The reasons for which you chose the Mercury 2-stroke 90 confer benefits which far outweigh the drawbacks which are obviated by engines equipped with newer technology.

Enjoy the boat, and let there be no hint of buyer's remorse.


whalerfran posted 06-07-2002 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerfran    
lhg, Either you own a large block of Mercury stock or you are employed by Mercury. In either case, your repeated harsh responses to others' negative opinions of Mercury outboards are uncalled for. Try to tone it down a little. After all, this is a forum for discussion, including contrary opinions based on experience.
Wreckdiver posted 06-08-2002 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
I was really disappointed with the 90 HP Mercury on the 2000 Montauk that a got last summer. It would start hard, Idle rough, and stall while docking. Adjusting the stop position on the spark advance has cured these problems, and now it runs like a real engine.
PS Breaking in two strokes is a real pain. I think the cold water I usually run in kept the engine tight for half of last summer.

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.