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Author Topic:   170 Montauk: Mercury 90-HP Four-stroke
dirk posted 05-01-2005 12:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for dirk  
I have a new 170 Montauk Mercury 90HP ELPT four-stroke with Vengeance prop. On my first trip I experienced :
--the neutral position is very hard to find
--when shifting from neutral to forward/reverse I hear a very loud abnormal sound (click)
--when I don't hold the throttle handle it slowly returns direction neutral
--the lowest possible speed is still to high to manoeuvre
--from neutral to forward there is 1 1/2 - 2 inches I get no response.

Now I read this forum I know these problems are not uncommon. But how you solve these problems? Or do you have to take some irregularities like that?

My dealer says these are minor problems he will resolve by tuning the cables. Will you give me some information on what can be ameliorated and what I have to accept? Previous I've had another 17 ft boat (not Boston Whaler) with OMC-controls and Johnson two-stroke and I never had any important problem.

Woodee posted 05-01-2005 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Woodee  Send Email to Woodee     
Dirk- Most of your concerns are probably due to being "used to" the old Johnson. I'm in the same situation (switching boats, new Montauk) and I'm shifting much better now. I agree, they need a much better "click" when you find neutral.As far as your headway speed, that sounds like you're out of adjustment. should be easy. I've been told by a dealer that the throttle control should return towards neutral when you let it go (safety- but what a pain)I would say you'll get used to it.
bsmotril posted 05-02-2005 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
In the latest BoatUS member bulletin, there was a Mercury safety recall noted for the four-stroke motors. The recall was for high friction in the ball joints of the throttle and shift linkage in the motors. Maybe that is your problem. BillS
jimh posted 05-02-2005 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There have been anecdotal reports that:

--the OMC engine shifting mechanism is smoother than the Mercury engine;

--propellers using the Mercury FLO-TORQ hub do not cushion the shift like propellers which have a rubber insert hub (like OMC propellers) and make much more of a "clunk" when shifting

This may account for the "clunk" in shifting.

Every engine has a different feel at the throttle and shift controls, and it may be that you will have to become accustomed to the feel of the Mercury controls before you find them workable. Your dealer may be able to accomplish some improvement by cable adjustment, particularly if there is any binding in the cables. Because your boat was delivered in Europe, I believe that the rigging of the engine may have been done by your dealer. If that is the case, then there are some other possible areas to check:

--in the remote throttle and shift cables, did the dealer use the premium grade Mercury low friction cables?

--in the remote throttle and shift mechanism, did the dealer use the premium Mercury throttle and shift controls?

These components are available in several tiers of quality. Usually on short runs like those found in a 17-foot boat it is not necessary to use the very highest grade cables because there is not much friction or bending in the cables.

Check that the engine speed at idle is set to the proper speed. This will also affect the shifting. If the idle speed is too high it will cause the shifting to be more difficult and make more "clunk," too.

bsmotril posted 05-06-2005 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I was mistaken about the safety recall I mentioned. I found it on the Boat US web site, and it is NOT for the 90-115 Four strokes. The recall is for the 225 V6 four stroke.
LHG posted 05-06-2005 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
You are simply, and only, dealing with a lousy throttle/shift/engine control installation job, and improper adjustments. I am surprised at BW, as I would have thought the factory work would be excellent, always better than any dealership usually does. Somebody must have been having a bad day in Edgewater. There are also detent adjustments in the engine control that sound like they are not set correctly. Take it back and have the dealer do it right for you.
Knot at Work posted 05-06-2005 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
I have NO, NADA, ZERO Problem with my 90 HP 4 stroke Merc. This is simply a great, confident, strong motor.

( I am not a paid representive of Mercury)

erik selis posted 05-07-2005 04:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     

I'm pretty sure the dealer is responsible for mounting the engines on new Boston Whalers here in Europe. At least that was the case with my boat. I think the delivery time of a boat would increase drastically if the dealer wouldn't have the flexibility of taking the Mercury engine of choice out of the box and put it on the buyers transom.

Dirk is having the bad luck that he's dealing with a brand new Boston Whaler dealership that has sold it's first 170 Montauk to him. They are in a learning faze and IMO didn't take that boat out for a test run. This I find unacceptable, learning faze or not. When you buy a new Boston Whaler it's standard procedure for the dealer to take you out on a test run and show you how to operate the boat. It's on the check list delivered with the boat that both the customer and the dealer have to put their signature on. If it were me I would take it back to the dealer ASAP and have them solve this problem, eliminating any frustrations, damage or dangers involved in operating a boat that doesn't handle correctly due to faulty installation and or adjustment of throttle controls.


dirk posted 05-07-2005 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for dirk    
I think the outboard was installed by the dealer. But I must me honest. I did not do a test run with the boat because of bad weather that day and I had no time to wait for a better occasion as I live not so near the dealer. Also, I had to take the boat as soon as possible to the harbour near Rotterdam (Netherlands - 200 km away). This can be considered as mistake on behalve of me. On the other hand the Montauk was tested by the dealer and a journalist for a review in a Belgian boating magazine. The dealer assured me everything was ok. Thursday me and my fishing friend have solved a part of the problem ourselfs. Rpm( idle speed) was 1150, we brought it back to 825. The boat handles far more better now. There is also less "clunk" in shifting. I think a dealer should now the rpm at neutral is somewhere around 800. Remains the problem that it is very difficult to find the neutral position, especially when coming from reverse to neutral. When slowing down at docking by going in reverse, I have the problem when I go out reverse to neutral I pass neutral en go in forward, simply because I have no feeling where neutral is. As I read in the comments this seems to be a frequent problem. But how to solve it?
fishinchips posted 05-08-2005 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
--the neutral position is very hard to find
Answer: On the merc, its slightly angled, NOT straight up and down. You have to get use to this.

--when shifting from neutral to forward/reverse I hear a very loud abnormal sound (click)
Answer: This is normal on the 90 hp merc 4stroke.

--when I don't hold the throttle handle it slowly returns direction neutral
Answer: You need your throttle cables to be adjusted. You were given a manuel on the binnacle. On there explains how to adjust or just bring it back to the dealer for adjustment since its under warrenty.

--the lowest possible speed is still to high to manoeuvre
Answer: You must pop in and out of gear to do tight manoevering.

--from neutral to forward there is 1 1/2 - 2 inches I get no response.
Answer: don't understand the question? From neutral to forward gear, there is a gap. Is this what your talking about?

LHG posted 05-09-2005 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Well, I'm very glad to hear the BW factory has been cleared of any wrongdoing!! Since the engine was a Merc, I just assumed it came factory rigged. I'm sure the dealership will get everything adjusted properly.

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