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Author Topic:   Foul Forty Mercury
Wayneman posted 05-26-2002 02:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for Wayneman   Send Email to Wayneman  
Hello all in whalerland. Before I turn the abobe motor into a nice boat-anchor, I was hoping someone could help me. After the motor is warm, one cylinder starts to drop out and then the thing tries to quit altogether. As soon as it is put in gear, it dies. It will only run at high throttle settings. I have replaced the switch-box and the plugs. The motor itself was rebuilt not long ago and ran fine untill last Oct when this problem became apparent. Any ideas please?!
Wayneman posted 05-26-2002 02:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wayneman  Send Email to Wayneman     
By the way; it is a 1981 Mercury 40 that was well cared for.
andygere posted 05-26-2002 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I had a Merc 40 of similar vintage on a 13 with the same symptoms. It was an ignition problem (can't remember if it was coil, powerpack or what) but it took a major Merc/Whaler dealer 4-6 weeks to get the parts and finally repair it. When I got the bill, I discovered I would have been better off looking for a used motor. It's a good thing those 13's are pretty easy to row....
aubv posted 05-26-2002 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     
I would check for a cracked coil. We had the same kind of problem and I think that is what it turned out to be.
maverick posted 05-27-2002 07:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
I had the same motor, same problem. Was weak stator, the electrical "charging" system that provides voltage to coils and all. It is located under the flywheel, and was reasonably easy to replace once the flywheel was off. Cost was $150 in parts. Labor was free. I work cheap. Mav
Ed Z posted 05-27-2002 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Z  Send Email to Ed Z     
Wayneman, Possibly you could put an induction type timing light (clamps on the high tension wire) and run the motor looking for ignition dropouts (light stops flashing or intermitant)... Just a thought, before you spend bucks replacing stuff...
dangc78 posted 05-28-2002 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for dangc78  Send Email to dangc78     
What model mercury are these problems associated with? I have a merc 402 that i haven't had any problems with yet, well at least in the three years that i have had the boat.
Wayneman posted 05-31-2002 12:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wayneman  Send Email to Wayneman     
Thx all who replied. I think I shall give the thing one more trip to the shop for repairs. It died again today and I had to paddle in. But I was with the tide so no biggie. By the way; the engine is 1981 Merc 40 hp which had been rebuilt.
lhg posted 05-31-2002 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
As most know, I'm a diehard Mercury fan, but that old 2 cylinder 35/40HP was one of the worst engines they ever made if you ask me. It's the reason I overpowered my 1958 13' Sport. I needed a new engine way back in 1970, and the dealer told me to avoid the Merc 2 banger 35HP, so I went up to the 4 cylinder 50HP. Huge difference.
Steve Leone posted 05-31-2002 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
edz, that is exactly how you do it. if it is a pull start engine without a battery you can STILL do that if you use a "shop" 12v battery. the intermitant spark WILL show up on the light. a great manuver. i learned it from a tired old man that repaired outboards most of his born days, heres to you jake!!! steve out.
Steve Leone posted 05-31-2002 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
do a compression test also!!! even if it was recently rebuilt. sometimes especially if it has recently been rebuilt....steve out.
Wayneman posted 06-04-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wayneman  Send Email to Wayneman     
Hi guys. It is an electric start and it has excellent compression. I think it will end up being the stator. It's at the shop now. I did not have a flywheel puller nor the inclination or time to putz with it again. I think I will seriously put some effort in trying to locate a used motor in the 70-90 hp range. I borrowed a friend's whaler with an old 88 on it and it became airborne as soon as I hit the throttle!

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