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Author Topic:   Can't rope pull-start new 170 Montauks.
WT posted 02-25-2008 06:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for WT   Send Email to WT  
I understand that you can not rope pull-start the new Mercury 90 hp FourStoke EFI outboard that shares the same block as the Verados.

I do not see instructions to rope pull-start in the owners manual. I do not have a rope for pull-starting under my cowling. And my BW service advisor wasn't positive, but thinks the Mercury 90 can not be pull-started. He said something about the EFI being the limiting factor for rope pull-starting.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.



Lars Simonsen posted 02-25-2008 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I don't know anything specific about the Mercury 90, but it is correct that EFI engines cannot be started with a starter rope (at least where the battery is dead or near dead). The reason is that they use electric fuel pumps and electronic "brains." Without either of these, the motor won't start. With the old carbureted engines, fuel is provided to the motor by the carburetor, which is "powered" by the vacuum from the turning engine. So when you pull start it, the magneto ignition provides the spark, and the vacuum sucks the fuel air mixture into the combustion chamber, providing all of the ingredients for a combustion.
WT posted 02-25-2008 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Thanks for clearing that up.


jimh posted 02-26-2008 02:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are at least three problems to be overcome to start a motor with electronic fuel injection and a dead battery:

--the boot-up of the engine computer control; this has to occur very fast if the engine is going to be able to power itself without a battery attached;

--the pressurization of the fuel system; if the fuel injectors rely on a high-pressure fuel rail, there is typically an electric fuel pump which must be running to create the rail pressure;

--the electrical power to operate the injectors.

Some engines with fuel injection have overcome these problems and can be pull-started. Two examples that come to mind are the Evinrude E-TEC motors and the Tohatsu EFI four-stroke motors (in approximately 25-HP range).

In some cases a large capacitor is used to store electrical energy for the processor so that it can stay running between pulls on the cord. Also, some fuel injectors work off a relatively low-pressure fuel rail, and the injector itself creates the pressure needed to force the fuel into the cylinder. The other type of injector is more like a valve and just admits a pressurized fuel supply into the cylinder (which is generally called a "common rail" system). Another technique is to move the injector voltage higher, let the engine alternator generate a higher voltage, and power the injectors that way. The E-TEC uses this approach with its 55-volt main power bus generated by the permanent magnet alternator power system.

In those motors where you absolutely need a battery to start, it is a good idea to have a dual battery system. And to keep an isolated starting battery in reserve.

swist posted 02-26-2008 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Note that on modern engines, although you do need battery power to rope start (for all the reasons given), you don't need much of it. The electronics and other things that need to be working don't need much juice. It is frequently the case that a partially or almost completely discharged battery will still run everything except the starter motor.

Most modern car enigines have the same characteristics, and you can still start a standard-transmission engine by pushing the car, or rolling it downhill. Works unless the battery is in fact totally dead.

Marlin posted 02-26-2008 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
There's a fourth problem too, at least on my 2003 Mercury 115 4-stroke -- I just about dislocated my shoulders testing the pull start, without being able to turn over the motor at all.
fisherman posted 02-26-2008 07:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for fisherman  Send Email to fisherman     
My 2006 170 has the 90hp 4str efi engine.
Under the cover there is a starting rope. On pages 52/53/54 of the Operations Manual, instructions on how to start with the rope are provided. I assume therefore,when rope-starting capabilities are provided the engine will start by this method. There is no mention of battery requirements or otherwise.
Rest-assured come summer, I am going to see if it actually will or will not start WITH THE ROPE?
bigjohn1 posted 02-26-2008 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
Right on fisherman, you have the right idea; try first-hand for yourself before taking anecdotal information on the internet. I'm sure it is true some outboards cannot start via a pull cord but many said my 2004 Mercury 115efi could not be pull started and I found out that information was completely incorrect. Anyone who says carte blanche that EFI's will not start without a fully-charged battery is wrong.
itl posted 02-27-2008 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for itl  Send Email to itl     
My Evinzuke 70 and Yamaha F100 (both were efi engines) did have a rope. However, never try to pull start those engines. Turning the key always start those engines.
sapple posted 02-27-2008 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
The Mercury 40 hp EFI that came with my 2007 Sport 130 has a pull start rope under the crowling and instrctions in the user's manual for pull starting.
jimh posted 02-27-2008 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There is a difference between starting an engine with a battery connected (but with the charge state so low that the battery cannot run the starting motor) and starting an engine with NO BATTERY connected.

swist made a good point when he observed that even a so-called dead battery will have enough electrical energy in it to run a microprocessor that only needs a few milliamperes, or to run a small fuel pump motor long enough to build up some pressure in the fuel system. But that same battery will go very flat when you turn the key to crank the engine over with the electric starter.

L H G posted 03-03-2008 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
My Mercury 200 EFI engines can be pull started, and there is a rope furnished under the hood. The manual says it can be done AS LONG AS THE BATTERY HAS AT LEAST 8 VOLTS AVAILABLE, to run the fuel pump. With a totally blown battery, you can't do it.
Bella con23 posted 03-03-2008 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
My Mercury 225 EFI has a rope under the hood as well. I often thought if it is even possible to start with a rope in the event of a starter/solenoid failure.

My buddy was in that predicament with a 115 Evinrude and could not start it with two other grown men on board to help.

Nine year old starter....maybe it's time to have Edison Generator give it the once over.

fisherman posted 08-23-2008 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for fisherman  Send Email to fisherman     
Well, two days ago I decided to follow the instructions provided in the manual relative to rope starting my 2006 Merc 4str efi. That is to determine if it would in fact start with or without battery power.
I decided to attempt the start first with the battery and of course the key on. Well Gentleman, forget about it!! I could hardly pull the rope on the first try. The second try I braced myself well and gave it a good pull. Hell man, half-way through the pull the damned thing reefed back and just about drew me overboard!!!!!
Needless to say I did not bother to attempt a rope start without battery power.
As far as I'm concerned Mercury, should dispense with that pidly a---- little rope and plastic pouch it's well as the write up in the manual. This should reduce the price of the motor by $500.00 or so????
What Mercury should do is provide some form of a decompression switch like Harley Davidson had on their older police motorcycles which made kick-starting easy..
Anyway, so much for the THEORY OF ROPE/PULL STARTING.
BWhalerlover posted 08-23-2008 11:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for BWhalerlover  Send Email to BWhalerlover     
Its common knowledge that EFI engines cannot start with a rope sans battery or with low battery power. This is just one more trick to lure potential buyers into believing a frivolous claim and ultimately purchase a given product. In larger outboards, the E-Tec is the only current technology that does not require a battery. I my eyes, this is simply one more reason why they are superior.
swist posted 08-24-2008 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
This topic has come up many times - here and elsewhere. Even in the days of simple magneto-powered 2-cycle engines, where the battery strength wasn't much of an issue, the ability to rope start an engine gets more and more random with increasing engine size. In some of those discussions, people clained to have no trouble rope-starting big-block engines over 200 hp whereas others couldn't even do it with motors in the 25-40 hp range. I know I had a 115 Johnson that was impossible to rope start (even through it came with a rope and instructions) - I am a fairly strong person and I could never overcome the engine compression to get enough speed on the pull to accomplish anything.

So it's more that just the battery. Some engines just don't like it.

seabob4 posted 08-24-2008 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
Good batteries! Probably the most important things on your boat. And notice the use of the plural tense. Even on a 13, you can find a place for an extra 35 lbs. or so. Exide's Nautilus 1000 comes in at 48 lbs., so there is no excuse.

9.9s are good with ropes...

Tohsgib posted 08-25-2008 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Has anyone tried rope starting with a plug removed?
SC Joe posted 08-25-2008 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
Good batteries! Probably the most important things on your boat. And notice the use of the plural tense. Even on a 13, you can find a place for an extra 35 lbs. or so. Exide's Nautilus 1000 comes in at 48 lbs., so there is no excuse.<<<

That was sort of my thought. If you're going somewhere that being stranded with a dead battery might leave you in peril (or more than just inconvenienced) I would consider having a dual (or more) battery system with a quality isolater/combiner part of the safety equipment.

With the growing reliance on a quality battery as part of an engine and/or navigation system, there is no excuse to ever have a dead battery.

Tohsgib posted 08-26-2008 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Buy one of those emergency jump start thingies for like $40 that way it works on all your stuff and you are not buying 2 batts every 2 years. I think they also have a flashlight and a radio in them so multi purpose.
contender posted 08-26-2008 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Growing up I never had a battery on my 13 whaler,(but had two oars) had to pull start the engine every time, I use to be able to pull start my 140 rude if it was hot/warm from running (probably can not do it now no arm power). I do have to agree with Bwhalerlover you should be able to start your engine with out a battery so Evinrude is ahead. Tohsgib are you stating it would be like a pressure relief valve, to help turn/start the engine? But once it/if it started would you replace the plug? Shock city... I think another problem here is people not taking care of your engine and keeping the fuel clean and new...good luck

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