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Author Topic:   Mercury Trim/Tilt
matawan posted 03-17-2004 04:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for matawan   Send Email to matawan  
Just found a leak at the base of my tilt ram, I have a 2002 135 Optimax. Mercury sells a rebuid kit, or just the bootm o-ring for the fix, just wondering how hard it is to service the unit, does the engine have to be lifted?
greyg8r posted 03-17-2004 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for greyg8r    
Isn't that engine under warranty? Quite frankly, with a newish engine like that, I would let the dealer do it. Messing with tilt hydraulic units is a challenge for the not-so-brave-at-heart.


matawan posted 03-17-2004 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for matawan  Send Email to matawan     
I think your right I have the Five year warranty on these motors and I don't feel like getting it half way done. Do you know if these things are prone to leaking?
jimh posted 03-17-2004 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It seems hard to understand why every outboard manufacturer can't produce an hydraulic tilt and trim ram that will last more than 5 years, but they all seem to be prone to problems like this.

We have a four storey elevator in the parking garage at work that has been running up and down hundreds of times each day for the past twenty years and it does not leak. Maybe OTIS should go into outboard motor production!

Ask five guys who have outboard motors about this, and four of them will tell you a story about their hydraulic tilt problem.

where2 posted 03-18-2004 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
As the son of a retired United Technologies worker(parent company of Otis), I am biased and would love to say that the Otis elevator is far superior to the average power trim and tilt setup. However, there's something to be said for the marine enviromnent. Even the hydraulic steering actuators are lucky to get 5 years of service without needing a seal overhaul.

BTW: The background behind a good working elevator (any brand), is a good service technician. I have a friend who works as an elevator service tech in Chicago, he's got horror stories about almost every brand.

jimh posted 03-18-2004 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am not kidding, but when I left work tonight there was a sign on the elevator door: Out of Service. I had to walk up four floors to get to my car! I think that is "irony."
Toad2001 posted 03-19-2004 03:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
HA! Good one Jim.

Anyway, it really does suck. If they can't make it last longer, the least the mfr's should do is stand behind the product and make the parts available and be reasonably priced. I ended up repowering because mercury didn't sell a P/T motor for my 1990 40 Hp Merc anymore, and thats all it needed, and to replace the entire P/T&T assembly, it was going to cost something like a grand. Obviously it wasn't cost prohibitive to overhaul. I wasn't going to spend $1000 on a $700 motor.

lurkynot posted 04-29-2007 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
I have a 2001 135 Optimax and the tilt trim failed on me this weekend. Was making an awful grinding noise at the ramp. It was so bad I had to just reload the boat on the trailer and to make things just a little harder I had to go in waist deep to lift the motor because it was just laying on the ramp and I did not want to damage the skeg. After getting it out of the water I noticed the starboard ram was not deployed and hydraulic fluid was leaking down the center of the transom below the unit. Does anyone have any idea if this a do it yourself or dealer thing. Ironically it was not the 40 degree water temperature on the Detroit that got to me it was all those limits of walleye that were being caught while I was tending to the mishap and I missed out!
contender posted 05-01-2007 12:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
The seals on the rams leak because they are not used enough. The seals dry out and the ram is dry or dirt on the cylinder. Lube the ram with some light oil(wd 40) if it has been sitting for a long time...good luck
an86carrera posted 05-01-2007 06:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
The seals on my Merc were leaking due to corrossion. I cut new o-ring grooves futher down on the cyl end caps and reused them but usually they need to be replaced on salt water motors. They cost about $160 a piece to buy replacements.


an86carrera posted 05-01-2007 06:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
You also need special spanner wrenches to get the caps out. I made this too with a aluminum plate and a couple of dowel pins. It still required a good hammer blow on the aluminum plate to break the end caps free.
lurkynot posted 05-02-2007 12:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
an86carrera, this system has 3 rams. 1 in the middle flanked by 2 others. The motor made an awful grinding noise before the whole system quit. There is some evidence of a leak on the port ram. When i lift the engine (manually) and open the fill screw there seems to be no shortage of fluid. At this point when use either switch to attempt to activate the unit I can hear a slight attempt engagement happening with the noise coming from the starboard side or the side the motor appears to be mounted. My guess at this point is that grinding noise on the water that day was the motor failing. However I am suspect as to why there was a leak in the system. Prior to this the unit had operated flawlessly.
lurkynot posted 05-02-2007 12:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
an88carrera, It looks as if I can remove the unit without unbolting the engine from the transom. Is it a simple unbolt from the "C" bracket. The outboard rams or cylinders appear to be locked or appear to physically interfering with the "C" bracket in the event I attempt to remove the unit. Tomorow I will post some pics from a dead rear view to show what I am talking about. Thanks for your input. Tony
an86carrera posted 05-02-2007 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
I would start by removing the trim motor/pump assembly, this CAN be done without removing entire trim unit. Try running it out of the trim unit on it's own. Picture would help to see where your leak is.
lurkynot posted 05-03-2007 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
Len, here are some pics. I can not pin point where the leak is however I am 90 percent that it is coming from the port tube or cylinder. Since the system is in operable I do not think I can get it to leak again. Thanks for your input.

an86carrera posted 05-03-2007 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
I would start by removing the motor/pump assembly, either way you must get that working first. First make sure you are getting current to the motor, follow the wires up to the soleniods. make sure they are operating they should make a click sound when the trim switch is activated. Also you need to make sure that the switch is electrically working with a volt meter. They can make noise but not make electrical contact.

You can disconnect the wires to the pump at the solenoids and connect 12 volts to them one at a time to check both up and down.

If all the solenoids are functional then you need to remove the pump/motor. Just remove the two socket head cap screws and the pump/motor will lift out do not disconnect yet.

I do not know about your ability but the motor can be removed from the pump and inspected for corrosion. I see some near the mounting flange on it so you could have leaked water into the motor. If you are not familiar with taking a DC electric motor apart then don't unless you feel comfortable with the idea. Otherwise, I have had many of these repaired at auto electric shops for far less than a new one.

No liability is taken here for skill sets of the readers.

Good luck,

lurkynot posted 05-04-2007 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
Len, I appreciate your help regarding this matter. I was able to verify (I think) that the relays were functioning. I felt them while articulating the rocker switch (trim) and observed them clicking in the up and down position. They also made an audible signature when articulating the switch. Next I unbolted the motor from the assembly and applied direct source of power and the motor just hummed like the stator was jammed up. The trickle charger providing the source of power also indicated through the needle gauge something funny was going in side that motor when the juice was applied in very short intervals. I was able to procure a Mercury motor and am ready to install. However the leads to the first motor must be fed through what appears to be a maze of other components along the cowl side. My question is whether or not there is a way to remove the starboard cowl side in order to get the old lead out and the new one back through. Thanks
an86carrera posted 05-04-2007 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
Can not help here my motor is a different vintage (no lower cowl). But, how about a pull wire, attach to old wires on removal and tie to new wires and just pull thru?


lurkynot posted 05-04-2007 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
I thought the same thing. However the wire is so bound up I am afraid that without removing the cowl side I will not be able to remove it. Found a link on web with some guys with Optis having a problem with lower plug removal. Kind of explain the procedure in some detail. I am on my way outside to attempt the removal of the cowl side. I will update you if I make any progress. Tony
lurkynot posted 05-04-2007 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
No luck on the cowl removal. I did install the new motor and it works like a charm. Only problem is I gorillaed the plastic fill cap and you guessed it snap. An easy out made quick work of the polymer extraction though. In order to finish buttoning up the grommet portion of the harness it appears the cowl has to removed. Sounds like the easy part but in reality I think its going take more time than the R & R of the motor. Tony

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