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Author Topic:   Optimax Malaise
Jurisproodenz posted 07-20-2001 06:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jurisproodenz   Send Email to Jurisproodenz  
In order to address the comment that the previous thread was getting too long.... Here I go.

Current status: the boat is still broken. Another weekend consigned to the great hull-blister in the sky. Technicians that were promised to visit my boat on Tuesday did not show. Nothing doing. Mr. Russo (junior -- and seemed to be a really nice guy to talk to) called me today -- I do not know if this was in response to my asking my dealer in Florida to call Russo yesterday. Basically, the answer was "we are trying to fit you in." I pointed out that this was the umpteenth broken promise, and how could I feel confident that that his guarantee that someone would attend to the boat amounts to a hill of beans?

I asked whether they could let me know if they would not be able to make it next week so that I might attempt to induce another dealer to come to the boat. No way, if we are ever going to service and handle your boat, we insist on being the only dealer to do it. I said that this would be great if only someone would in fact do something. I said that I had broken off with contacting other dealers on the strength of their representations that they'd attend to it.

The trouble seems to be the following: because the problem is complex, it will require a lot of time to solve. They don't have a lot of time. I was told that if it had been a blown powerhead, they'd have hauled the boat, slapped a new one on, and I'd have been away weeks ago. But because the problem will require trouble shooting, I have to wait until they have the time. I pointed out that if instead of sporadic visits (those times that people actually have made the promised visits) someone had attempted to address the problem, I'd be away already. I also asked how it could be that their computers failed to notice a broken coil? Had in fact anyone really ever attached a computer -- yes, because they know how many hours are on them, but did it mean any analysis? No real answer to that. (Curious situation: if your motor blows a hole out the back of the cowling, you get to go directly to go and collect 200. If you merely have a problem, in leisure-time purgatory you shall languish until the gods of mechanical divination should choose to bestow a grant of operational grace in your direction.)

I offered to sell the boat to Russo. He said that he is the wrong person to address the offer to (does that mean that perhaps I can do a trade in? Wonder what the offer might be...). I also offered to buy a new engine in cash and have that put on the boat and have them claim against Mercury for the old one --I'd collect when they did. No takers.

In the end, Russo said that he would attempt to convince the factory tech rep that was due to visit them to come with them to the boat next week, but he could guarantee nothing. In concluding, I thanked him and asked him that he keep me informed. Rationally, I can see that he is really a decent sounding guy in an awful position and I can't be the only disgruntled owner darkening his doorstep. However, that (as they say) does not float my boat.

Frustrated, and in a less than charitable state of mind (in fact downright pissed-off), I called my Lauderdale dealer. "Time has come for IMMEDIATE assistance. As in NOW." He supplied me with the number of a senior VP at Whaler (if you need to know his name and number I will supply it, but in deference to him and relative privacy I will not post it). He took my call and listened patiently to my tale of woe. It turns out that he has read this thread and knows of my outstanding problem, but is contrained by procedure, etc. He pointed out that Whaler is not Mercury, but he made some calls to his counterpart at Mercury and also to Russo. The Mercury tech promised to Russo next week will go to my boat (although at this juncture I doubt absolutely everything) and attempt to address the situation.

Also, he stated that he feels for Whaler owners with Optimax problems -- it does cause him more than some grief. I opined that they are wrecking Whaler's reputation. He didn't exactly disagree. He knows that the recent editions of the motor have had more than their fair share of problems, but can vouch for motors that have been on Whalers from 1997-1998 editions of the motor that have over 2500 hours on them. Without problem. He realizes that this is NOT the case with the 2000 and 2001 versions.

Interestingly, he also is aware of the New England problem with service and warranties and confirmed the practicalities: the dealer first has to deal with the guy whom he sold a boat and there are simply not enough techs to go around to adequately assist those without a dealer home. As a consequence, people wait for months for assistance.

As to warranties, with the hull at any rate, the selling dealer -- wherever located -- is the dealer responsible for the warranty. Trouble here is that the hull is bulletproof and the motor isn't. There are simply not enough motor techs to go around. Mercury have taken to flying techs to trouble spots -- clearly not enough and too late. Implicit in what was said is the idea that Mercury has to step up to the plate, and soon. Though as he pointed out, this could be happening to me with Yamaha or Suzuki or any other motor. I could have one that explodes on the transom.

He apologized that I would have to go to such lengths to try to get my boat fixed, but hoped that at any rate this would do it.
Thank you, sir. Talking to him you realize that he truly loves boats.

Which brings me to a crisis of confidence: what happens if something else happens? Do I go to Russo? For sure, the rest of my summer and fall would be toast. Someone else? Sell the rig and let someone else have the problem? The clear and obvious solution is to buy local (and this does mean that if you move - sell your boat if it contains any high tech critical parts) -- but how in fetid reaches of hell can I even consider buying new/used from ANYONE that has already blanked me in this regard? Give them profit and cash flow from having forced me to buy a local-dealer sourced boat in order to secure reliability as to service (obviously the motor is unreliable)? You can have the boat you want, but only if you buy it here? Is this ritual and institutional coercion as provided by the marine leisure industry at large? Thus how can a brand name possibly have any meaning in the marine context when it is purely your local dealer/service establishment that dictates your boating experience?

Consider that you buy a Whaler -- say at Nauset marine on the Cape. You cruise up to Kennebunkport where your fickle black bomber on the transom decides to throw an electronic version of "so you wanna be a boat owner?" Your lifeline is the local Merc dealer.... You call, they put you through to voice mail and Regis sit there staring .. so what's it gonna be?

In a flash of insight you realize that a boat makes a great lawn ornament. Where are my Flamingos? The t-top will make a swell place for hanging baskets of fuschias. The live well a super bird-bath and I think that I will let ivy grow along the outriggers! I digress....

I am sorry. I am just disgusted. Another weekend down the tubes. I just can't believe it. It is also meant to be gorgeous. Mercury: if you are reading this, make it happen (you will get a copy of the most recent posts too). Make me whole.

reelescape1 posted 07-20-2001 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
I just cant put myself in your shoes....and DAMN glad!!! Do you have a "Lemon Law" that might apply???
Macman posted 07-20-2001 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
My first boat( 25'Carver) was destroyed in '91 in the "Perfect Storm". It wasn't known by that name at the time...not until the book came out. I should not have left her on the mooring that long; just needed that last fall outing. A cruel lesson, indeed.
Put your boat on a deep mooring and pray for hurricane season.
Until then, your tale is carthatic for all of us that love being on the water but hate all of the pain of boat ownership. Good luck to you.
LarrySherman posted 07-20-2001 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Sorry man. This blows. A boat is mobile asset just like a car; I think this line from BW/Merc about having to go through purchasing dealer is pure BS. Would ford get away with that? (They might try if they read the thread...). My Expy is a POS, been to 2 dealerships, always pleasant and fix it: no questions asked. Not withstanding the admitted lack of technical talent due to seasonal nature, their answer does not hold water: if they are not able to honor their end of the warrantee, perhaps they should reduce the sales of engines in NE to a level commensurate with the ability of their service org to support them.

Sorry again, Larry

Jurisproodenz posted 07-21-2001 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Just when you thought that it could not get any worse.... Or at any rate, that's what I thought....

It was such an awsomely beautiful day that I thought - what the heck, a harbour cruise on one engine at displacement speeds. About an hour away from the dock at 5 knots or so, the starboard engine decided to send out the alarms for oil. Now, the oil tank is more than half full, but "fill it up quick."

Every three to five mintues: beep, beep, beep. Typically, I had to go all the way around Logan against the tide (which runs at about 2-3 knots), with the bloody motor telling me on a regular basis that I was a chump. Tried anchoring to allow a cool down and restart. Nah. So at 1000 rpm all the way back. Beep, beep and beep. Smooth as a top, but lots of beeps.

So, now I have to ask Russo and Mercury to look at two engines.

Question: does anyone know of Florida lemon laws as they might apply to boats? Or outboards? I should probably direct an e-mail to DHLAW (if he/she would be so kind as to forward that), make sure forum is proper and that I can state a cause of action....

Clearly, on the facts Massachusetts would have minimum contacts for this purpose for the parties in contemplation, too. Should be an interesting week.

dhlaw posted 07-21-2001 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for dhlaw  Send Email to dhlaw     
My office number is 383-257-0790, call and ask for Brett (me) if you decide to pursue this.
sorcerer posted 07-22-2001 07:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for sorcerer    
This item might be handy to own, on eBay today "Mercury 200/225 Optimax Service Manual"
Clark Roberts posted 07-22-2001 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Juris, I have been following this saga since beginning and offer this as a theory... it seems unlikely to have TWO lemons! So what's the common thread here... same person (s) installed and set up both, right!? If improperly set up then this could be root of problem and believe me (I have personally installed and set-up my own 135 Opti) it's not as simple as a regular 2 stroker. It is necessary to acitivate an automatic oil prime and separate fuel prime before engine is started for first time... if this isn't done properly then the engine alarm system could be fooled and also engine may not run properly as everything is controlled by the engine control module (ECM). Now, there is a check-list, included with the installation instructions, that should have been filled out at time of installation and sighed by the installer... try to trace this piece of paper and if not found you may have a case from that standpoint. I am not trusting of anyone at a dealership installing anything for me... old and doubtful I suppose, but I've been snookered too many times! My money is on mistakes made by the installer!!!! Also, it's not difficult to follow the instruction Mercury provides for installation and set-up... If I can do it it can't be that complicated! It's interesting that within earshot of my dock there are seven Optimax's and all are run almost daily and there have no problems except for and injector recall. There is a 17 SeaSwirl with 1999 135 Opti owned by Cris Holley (he and wife love it), a 19' ActionCraft with 1999 135 Opti owned by Kirt French (he love it), a 23 Conquest with twin 1999 135 Opti's owned by Billy Clark (he loves them), a 22 Revenge with 2001 225hp Opti (he loves it), a 21' Scout with 1999 225 Opti owned by Mark O'neil (he loves it) and my 21 Revenge with 2000 135 Opti (I love it). Also, on Spruce Creek there is one 150 Yamaha HPDI on a 20' flats boat owned by Dennis Hall and he loves the yamaha. There are no OMC Fichts. Except for my Opti and the Yamaha, I think all were set up by Lucenti Marine's mechanics and they know what they are doing.
I know the above is a different tack on your problems and may not be correct but it's all I can come up with... Oh yes, a computer check may be possible to derermine if set-ups were properly done???? Happy Whalin... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy.... PS> I may be trading my 135 Opti for a 115 merc 4 stroker in a few weeks as my dealer says he can get me a 2002 model for same difference as extended warranty fee (coming due in Aug). If he can do that I may just trade as I can't use all the power of the 135 as it is! If I do this, I will be able to compare performance and economy and report to all.. could be very interesting even though it will be comparing apples to oranges... Keep on Whalin'
Clark Roberts posted 07-22-2001 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Juris, the beep, beep every few minutes on the oil is a low level alarm for the ready tank under cowling... NOT the level in the big 3 gal separate oil tank... could be low level or a bad sensor.. have you checked the level in the ready tank? Have you had the cowling off and had a look?... It's very easy to bleed and refill the ready tank if it's taken a gulp of air, like from an improperly set-up oil pump as mentioned above. Feel free to e-mail or call me at 386-767-9730 and I can talk you through it! With all the new engines there are air filters, oil filters, fuel/water filters etc that need attention from time to time.. it's a good idea to get really familiar with your hardware! Right BigZ? Happy Whalin'.. Clark.. The Old Man and the Sea
blackdog posted 07-22-2001 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Try this site . Click on the Mercury forum. I have got some good info about my Ficht. Many of the people in the Florida area.
Jurisproodenz posted 07-22-2001 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
I appreciate the ideas, and while distinctly possible, I don't tend to think that set-up is likely to be an error with regards to this boat (although I agree with Clark, it cannot be discounted), however, maintenance is something else. This boat is now 14 months old and has some significant hours on the engines; at least over 200 per. The selling dealer is one of the largest and most reputable in South Florida. What I really need before going any further is a better picture of each engine's history.

As to the oil warning -- I am 98% sure that it is the sensor, or something more bizarre. Clarifying (or elaborating on) my earlier post made late last night when freshly pissed off: when the alarm first went off my initial response was to hit the tank with fresh oil, somewhat freaked, I must admit. But after the first jug went in (having accomplished initial first aid), I peeked into the bilge. The main tank must have been at least half full before the first jug was added, because it was even more so after the addition. So I topped it up; about only another quart went in. Which made sense; I am pretty careful about keeping tabs on fluid levels (due to previous ownership of a pair of Crusader 454's on my old boat). The second course of action was the cool-down stop -- try to allow for a potential reset of the ECM and look under the cowl while I was at it (a marine equivalent of pull over and look under the hood). From my limited knowledge --and I fully admit to being a complete babe-in-the-woods as regards to this engine, it appeared that there was plenty of oil to the motor. So with this in mind, rather than calling SeaTow and since I was at less than 1500 rpm displacement speeds all day within the harbor anyway, I went back under my own power. Beep, beep and beep. But it still needs attention -- for all I know, it could be that once set off for whatever reason, the damn alarm will sound until the ECM is reset by a service tech? Just dunno.

As to learning the systems in an Optimax, to be sure, if I am going to keep them, which at this juncture is by no means certain, as suggested I am going to need to get more than a passing acquaintance with them. A service manual does seem like a good place to start. Some new tools too -- I'd be surprised if my old filter wrench would grip the smaller filter. Unfortunately, the skill set from a big block (filters, carb, some electrics, belts, water pump, etc.) to an Optimax seems outwardly to be one of limited transfer. Wonder how much the plug-in computers cost? Probably a lot. But point taken, especially if I am going to screw up the courage to take this thing offshore.

No, the reason I am possibly looking at the "lemon laws" is not that the engines (both) are lemons -- they most likely are not -- but rather that the dealer has certain duties and responsibilities as to products that he sells to consumers. I would be very interested to see if I can get Russo to download and print out the entire engine history for both motors and compare as against representations made at time of sale.
Now THAT might be interesting....

dhlaw posted 07-22-2001 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for dhlaw  Send Email to dhlaw     
all you need to do is get a mercury tech (any will do) to come over to your boat with the Digital Diagnostic Terminal and hok up to the motors. Screw Russo. The DDT can reset the faults, do a static self check, and a running self check. This machine is very thorough. All you have to do is read the results.

I actually was looking at the purchase of a large sportfisher (50 foot plus) and the Russo advertisements were enticing. After hearing of their treatment of you I will never spend a penny at that dealership. There is no excuse for the delays that you have experienced, period. Tell them to give you the DDT after the shop closes, leave them $1500 in cash as a return deposit, and take it to your boat and call me. I will walk you through the tests with mine hooked up to my DDT at the same time. Of course I am not a mercury tech but I am willing to take some of my personal time to help you, more than what Russo is willing to do....And I bill out at $250 an hour. I want you to be using that boat not using your computer.

SuburbanBoy posted 07-23-2001 12:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
This is a real long shot, but simple... Disconnect all of the batteries. And leave them disconnected over-night. While this will probably not reset the error codes, it may rest your alarm triggers. Many engine CPU's have a reset button. Take a quick peek at yours. It might also help. You might be able to rent a DDT as well. Good luck.


Clark Roberts posted 07-23-2001 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Juris, Surbanboy has a good suggestion! And I believe that you need only remove the negative battery cable to allow the ECM to reset itself. Once, when my buddy slammed a sandbar, in Mosquito Lagoon, his 135 Opti began to surge. Not knowing what to do we disconnected the neg cable and waited 5 minutes, restarted and smooth as silk (this is the technique I use on my Grand Cherokee if the "check engine" light comes on. After the 5 min. wait, if the light goes off then it was a transient and if it comes on again, it's a real fault! etc..etc..etc.. BTY , Sears makes a gadget called a "strap wrench" which is ideal for removing the fuel filter on the Opti. I keep one onboard along with a big mouth jar and funnel so that if the "water in fuel" alarm ever goes off I will be able to remove filter, dump its contents, replace filter and keep going! Clark... Spruce Creek Navy...
PS> The offer from dhlaw is the kindest most generous offer ever! We all want you to get back on the water asap!
Jurisproodenz posted 07-23-2001 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
I'd like very much to get ANY Optimax tech out to the boat. Ultimately, I placed my eggs in the Russo basket because through the intervention of my Florida dealer they called back. Virtually all of the other Boston area dealers simply blanked me. I mean literally all the dealers within 20 miles or so simply told me to take a hike, didn't call back or told me I'd have to wait a month before they would see me (that doesn't sound so bad right now!!). Only McLellan brothers agreed to see the boat and they stood me up. So, you see, that is sort of at the root of the frustration! It is also why I am hesitant to say anything really bad about Russo -- with a little prod, they did call back and did not flatly refuse to help (I can name those that did). And despite a certain failure to keep promised appointments, they are unfailingly (at least the Russos, not necessarily their service department) polite and sympathetic. The other Boston dealers were downright rude (the local M.O. (subject to notable exceptions) seems to be to see how rude you can be without getting physically assaulted -- try driving a car here, it makes the French look polite and the Italians look sane (car-wise)).

So.... Chances of getting a DDT? Probably pretty slim, but if all else fails, I'll give it a whirl. If I can get my hands on one, perhaps Mr. P (Outrage 26) might agree to assist during surgery.

BTW: I hope everyone had a great weekend, I saw some great Whalers while I was out, and yesterday while waxing the boat.


the bosuns mate posted 07-23-2001 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for the bosuns mate  Send Email to the bosuns mate     
Your plight was drawn to my attention by a reader of Forum Whaler, and I may be able to throw some light on the oil alarm problem. Chances are that the float is sticking down in the engine oil reservoir under the cowling - slide it back up to the top and try again. The alarm should stay off. You can also isolate a problem with the switch by unplugging the two wires that go the oil alarm switch and connecting them directly together - this should cancel the alarm if the switch is causing the problem. The float sticking is usually - but not necessarily always - due to oil other than Premium Plus being used. Secondly, may I recommend that you bite the bullet and acquire your own Disgustingly Dear Thing (Digital Diagnostic Terminal) as this will free you from the grip of your local dealer. This will immediately give you the ability to diagnose your motor without having to call anybody out, and you can relax and take your time learning how to use it. To all Optimax owners that have noticed "main power relay fault" coming up on the DDT, note that this fault is logged every time you turn the motor off using the kill lanyard - nothing to worry about once you know what caused it.
Do remember though that although the ignition and fuel systems are trick on the Optimax, it is nevertheless a standard outboard motor in every other respect. A worn impellor, broken piston ring or blown oil seal are as likely as anything else, so if the DDT tells you nothing, look for an old fashioned mechanical fault. Finally, I have been informed that a service bulletin is coming our way as I write this concerning sooting up at low speed, but I don't know at this juncture what it says.
Hope this helps.
SWarren posted 07-23-2001 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for SWarren  Send Email to SWarren     
I would try to make the dealer give you a loaner boat to use while yours is out of commision. I know you bought the boat in Fl, but have the dealer who is working on it try to get you something to use, espically if they keep holding you off. It would be a good move on their part to try and make you happier.
Whalerdan posted 07-23-2001 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Are they going to extent your warrentys for the amount of time the boat has been down? The way they're going your warrenty could expire before they get it fixed.
bigz posted 07-23-2001 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Thank you "the bosuns mate", thought you would be able to shed some light on this problem.

I can understand being in the UK, this dealer pass the buck mess you can't comment, however your suggestion of getting ones own DDT is definitely a way to cut some of the strings attached to dealer service, even though costly!

At least Fichts just use a nice software program on a laptop. Nice inexpensive floppies and just a special serial connector for the motor so it can spit out all the juicy info to help cure the sick puppy ---

Juris your right on man keep that "sugar" flowing at the Russo boys, alienate them and your probably end up in the UK getting them fixed --- ;)

Clarks message is right on got to get to know these critters, and yeah Clark I should know better than most ---


lhg posted 07-23-2001 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I was a little late for the Door County WI Rendezvous last Friday because my Whaler was at my local Mercury Dealer getting a new voltage regulator installed. (Nothing serious, first repair I've had on the 200 EFI engine in 4 years and 800 hours)

Asked him about 200/225 Optimax's! Without batting an eye, says "well, we've sold four 225 Opti's this season (on Ranger Bass Boats) and they all blew up!" I almost fell over. "you're kidding", I said. "Nope - all four of them failed for the same reason, the #6 cylinder. One of these guys is really mad - He's been waiting for a new powerhead for 3 weeks". He told me Mercury has pulled them from the market, and they're still not back in production until they figure out what's wrong with them. I think they're absolutely buried with warranty problems on these on a national basis. Probably the real reason Juris can't get service. I don't think the dealers know what to do to fix them yet. Since they know this story is on the internet, real answers are not going to be forthcoming, for fear of panicking the rest.

I also heard that Mercury had clues these engines were trouble as early as last September, when they sponsored the Bass Master Classic, and furnished 225 Opti's on all the boats. They had a semi on premises with 16 fully wired powerheads to swap out if any went bad (don't know whether they did).
My guy seems to think almost all of the 200/225's have problems, or will eventually.
Getting a good one is just luck of the draw.

So I also asked about the 2.5 litre 135/150 Opti's. Hardly any problems with them at all. They seem to be fine. It's the 3 litre block that's the problem for some reason.

Jurisproodenz posted 07-27-2001 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Well another weekend -- and no boat. Mercury technician did arrive and finally (yesterday)got to the boat. Two diagnoses: (1) fuel starvation problem (I think that I guessed that right at first?); and (2) problem with "o" rings and air pump. Net here, according to Mr. Russo, is that water has entered the cylinders (how?) as well as other timing/ignition fall-out.

Since this was late Thursday when they eventually went down to the boat (Thursday the only day with rain in Boston for WEEKS) the cannot order or procure parts until today, which means Monday at the earliest and installation -- assuming no missing parts -- sometime next week. August. Boat went bad in mid June. I will be in Europe for two weeks and a bit starting Friday (biz with boondogle pleasure). That pretty much wraps up the warm weather boating for the year in the Northeast. Gone. Done. Finished.

Other engine? Oil problem not yet determined to my satisfaction. We'll see.

Mr. Russo tells me that the diagnostic history of these motors is not good. I am not happy. What is the time value of the cash that I put out in April to buy this boat? Just as easily could have saved that, plus the marina fees, the coming winter storage and maintenance fees. North of 80K to be sure. The value of my wasted time chasing this? The value of the lost summer days? From my office in Boston I can see a stream of boats headed out of the harbor. It is another one of those cloudless high 70's days. Tomorrow meant to be great too.

dhlaw posted 07-30-2001 03:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for dhlaw  Send Email to dhlaw     
my buddy at the dealer will not be in until tomorrow so I will have him run the VIN's then. Not to rub it in, but yesterday was my first day back offshore in a while and it went realy well. We trolled for hours, ran hard on the way out and back in with not even a hiccup. We did about 110 miles total. Maybe the Mercury gods have punished me enough.........
Bigshot posted 07-30-2001 03:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Not sure if I posted this at this forum or not but check this crap out....Buddy owns a shop and installed a new 90hp Yamaha on a clients WaBoo. 4 weeks or so later it is blown off his lift and just the engine gets submerged. They take care of it and the insuance co gives them a check for a new powerhead from Yamaha. Here is the juice...Dec or January! More juice...90 day warranty on new head because it is a "part". If he rebuilds old one with new bearings(runs but why not since ins is paying) he maintains the 3 yr warranty. Kinda puts a bad taste in your mouth from the Japs, huh? Good thing is they were upfront. If Juris knew the season was over, he would have nursed that hangover and got on with his life instead of this airline tactic he is receiving(any minute sir!)
Jurisproodenz posted 07-30-2001 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Went down to the boat to do the ritual weekly wash-down.... Went to turn the batteries on to drop the one good motor and charge the batteries: both switches are set to "ALL" and electronics box in T-top is open and that's where the stereo is. Batteries are stone dead. Any connection? Maybe. Last folks on the boat were the Mercury and Russo techs. Now dead batteries are a pain, but in some boats it could be worse, 'cause your bilge pumps won't work either. Glad its a Whaler....
Bigshot posted 07-30-2001 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Little salt on your wounds, eh? Lucky you caught it in time. Hope they help you sooner than Yamaha is helping this guy. 3 dealers gave him the same time frame,what a sin.
Tsuriki BW posted 07-30-2001 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

"Kinda puts a bad taste in your mouth from the Japs, huh? "

What exactly do you mean by this?


Bigshot posted 07-30-2001 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Trying to type fast and abbreviate. Sorry, referring to the Japanese engine makers vs American. This is not a dealer or warehouse issue, this is their manufacturing plant in Japan. Sorry for the confusion.
hardensheetmetal posted 07-30-2001 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     
'confusion' - I think not
Dan posted 07-31-2001 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Do any of the lemon laws apply to boats/engines? Also, a friend told me, in NY after 3 attempts by a dealer to fix something you can go to an independent repair facility, fix your problem, get a receipt, and sue in small claims for cost of repair. In Japan, when a Mercury engine has problems they say damn them Gaigin! -- lol, just kidding -- sumimasenga -- ohayu goizamas.
Contender25 posted 08-01-2001 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Contender25  Send Email to Contender25     
Hello Juris-

I feel your pain but I can not stand it anymore! I had a much smaller problem on my Contender, T-tops legs cracked, but after getting nowhere with my dealer and Contender I spoke w/ my atty. and we wrote a letter to Joe Neber, the pres. of Contender. A brand new t-top ,with more options than my first, was shipped shortly thereafter. You should not put up with this any further!!!

In Marion Ma. there is/was a 28 Conquest, brand new in 1999, that developed a crack underwater in the bow and "absorbed" a bit of water. Whaler replaced the entire boat. Do not hold me to this but I was told the new boat also developed a crack and that had to be replaced. Whaler did something though and they should for you too. This next statement will really tick alot of people off but: Are new whalers really worth the $ and hassle? Check out a Regulator, Sea Vee,Conch27 or a Contender and the only boat you may lust after would be a "classic whaler of any size"

LarrySherman posted 08-08-2001 07:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Are you back from europe yet? sure hope to hear that your boat is on the mend.

Hope all is well, Larry

Bigshot posted 08-10-2001 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Code reset. This works on just about every car made so why not a boat? Disconnect the battery cables and touch the 2(pos&neg) coming from the engine together for a few moments. Should reset it. If it is really a problem then it will come back.
Macman posted 08-16-2001 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
I can't speak for the other members, but I for one am dying to hear the latest chapter in the saga of the Optimax engines.
Whaletosh posted 08-17-2001 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
You didn't hear it form me but...

apperantly there was a recent dealer meeting at which Russo Marine attended as well as my dealer. Apperantly, there were a couple of long meetings dealing with 3 liter Optimax problems. Apperantly the Russo rep was pretty unhappy at the headaches that he had with these motors.

The good news is Mercury has diagnosed most of the trouble:

1) The themostats that were supplied Mercury's supplier were allowing the engine to run 10 degrees colder than they were supposed. This resulted in carbon build up problems.

2) The air pressure regulation system for the fuel injection system was running really low. The Optimax system uses air pressure in the 80 PSI range, and some motors had pressures in the mis sixties. apperantly an adjustment screw was loosing up. These are now being Loc Tited into place. The result of this problem was that the fuel wasn't being atomized properly, but was going in to cylinder as liquid stream. (Gee, where did we hear this before? Hope I don't break my arm patting myself on the back :) ) Again this leads to carbon build up and also poor running. It could also cause hot spots that might damage pistons or cylinder walls, although that wasn't stated as problem.

3) Changing the programming on the ECM to address a problem that resulted in motors shutting down randomly.

None of this sounds like Juris's problem but it does answer some of the general 3 liter Optimax problems.


LarrySherman posted 08-17-2001 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Man, talk about inside information! Reminds me of the intel I saw in the Navy, you go boy!
Jurisproodenz posted 08-20-2001 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
I got back into the office this morning hoping (but not expecting) to see a response from my Florida dealer to my rather directly phrased e-letter of August 1.

To be clear about the matter, I pointed out that I have now learned the details of the warranty work done on the engines since their installation. This is information that had been constructively withheld from me at and before purchase (never delivered despite requests to do so): one engine has had two injector failures, water in the gear case, two con-rod failures, one piston failure and the factory recall work; the other engine has twice had water in the gear case, oil alarm failure (sound familiar?), two lower unit replacements (I think -- can't get the details on that), two trim failures and the factory recall work. The representation at purchase was that these were strong and trouble-free engines and had received good attention at the dealership. I think not. Read this another way: it appears to me that one engine has been rebuilt at least three times. If someone directly inquires about the history of the engine, I'd think that this was disclosable material, wouldn't you? Even better, the warranty is still in the previous owner's name, despite repeated requests for the relevant materials and papers to be delivered and warranties transferred(originally, all this material was due to have been delivered with the boat upon shipping).

So, I called Alex Russo today to try and find out if the repairs due to have been completed after the Mercury tech visited the boat have been done: Alex tells me that they installed all the parts required by Mercury and took the boat out for a sea trial. During the course of this sea trial, they blew the #6 injector. Net result? Russo have done nothing to remedy this most recent motor failure and I will not be able to use my boat this weekend either. And I can add these problems to the warranty list.

This all makes me feel rather litigious. Accordingly, I will only post or comment on what is currently in the public record.

BUT, and this is a big one, it also goes to show the remarkable fragility of the motor itself. Sure, it now appears that these engines may have been trashed (the representation at sale was that much of the hours were at idle speeds cruising within the confines of the New River in Ft Lauderdale -- I need the DDT to download hours/rpms to check), but this litany of failures is hardly the mark of a robust system. Mercury needs to respond here.

Houston, we have a problem.

blackdog posted 08-20-2001 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Sounds like consumer fraud. Triple Damages awarded in New Jersey. Very difficult to win an award but it sounds like its time to sue.
lhg posted 08-20-2001 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sounds like Boston Whaler and their Dealers have an even bigger problem. Who in their right mind is going to buy a new Whaler with one of these engines on it? Now one will ever fully trust them for offshore duty, a problem the Ficht's also have. Add to that, the failure to jump in and just plain replace the bad engines. That would be so easy to do, but might start a "run on the bank", like happened to OMC. So they've probably decided to stonewall it, and deal with the lawsuits one by one, when and if they occur.

Looks like the info I picked up regarding failure in the #6 piston was reliable.

All of this is leaving a huge gap for those that need to buy a 200/225HP engine. In reality, there are only two alternatives right now, the Mercury or Yamaha EFI's. Nothing else has proven reliability yet.

They're now saying Bombardier won't have any new engines out and tested until Feburary 2002. I think Mercury's Buckley correctly predicted this back in Feburary of this year.
But Mercury's Optimax problems could be a lucky break for Bombardier.

LarrySherman posted 08-21-2001 12:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Sue the selling dealer and Mercury. they both deserve it. My sister in-law is/was a hot-shot product trial layer, both going ater and defending the auto industry, and B&W (think smokes). She practices in NY and GA. Be glad to give you her number.

Really sorry this is not resolved yet. It's unbelivable the way business can be practiced.

Keep your chin up, Larry

mcahill2 posted 08-26-2001 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for mcahill2  Send Email to mcahill2     
Dam and i thought i had a problem when i repowered my 17 with a 2000 omc,I said i would never go B
Jurisproodenz posted 08-31-2001 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
It is no coincidence that I am of Irish extraction (I have a Murphy in the family somewhere)....

Got a call this morning from Alex Russo at Russo Marine. Supposedly the boat is "fixed" as of today, ready for Labor Day weekend. Just when I have basically given up all hope of use this summer -- and made plans to drive inland to visit friends for Labor Day, she is running.

PLEASE don't get me wrong, I am over the moon if this puppy will hunt, but I am going to be seriously distracted all weekend visiting friends, yacking and barbeque-ing when all I really want to be doing is futzin around on the boat, fishing, swimming and burning some fossil fuels.

I may even have to duck out of work early today ... you know, just to see.

NOT that I will ever risk taking this thing offshore, NOT that I am in any way happy with my dealer or Mercury, NOT that I no longer need to replace these pieces of junk with reliable engines -- most emphatically I do. However, I might still be able to enjoy some September sunshine and if that is the case, I will have no-one to thank but Russo's. So in advance, even if the @!%#!! motor explodes ten feet from the dock, thanks for the effort of opening the boating window Alex.

gf posted 08-31-2001 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

Hey, I work in Boston too and I'm free this weekend! I'm sure I could manage to test out your engines for you over the weekend! You'll pay for the gas right?

Ok, ok, it was just a suggestion.

bigz posted 08-31-2001 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Day-o day-o give me my boat cause I want's t'a go home -- day-o day-o -- give me da boat because I want's t'a go home --

I work all day -- I work all night -- just figure'n me plight --- singing day-o--day-o give me da boat -- I want's t'a go home ---

Well mister service man can I have me boat? --- do I have keep a sing'n day-o day-o ---

Well mister service man he say --- you can have your banana boat ---- you can go home ---

Day-o day-o --- got me boat -- now I can go home --------------------------------

Just a touch of humor Juris not at all to forgrt your sorrowful plight and sag. Just to celebrate the wonderful news, the very best of luck with her ---

PS-- maybe do a quick spin down and out to Province Town -- nice high pressure this weekend --

Bigshot posted 08-31-2001 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Bigshot posted 08-31-2001 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Bigshot posted 08-31-2001 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I'll try this again...I recently found out through carfax that my supposably 59k Mercedes has about 150k. Was issued a "not original milage title" a month before I purchased it(38k) and 20 days later had 59k and a clean title because it was over 10 years old, FL loophole. Anyway, I went back to the dealer 18 months after my purchase with this info. and they made good (after some arm twisting". Gave me my $$ back and a new one at cost. My point is it was 1.5 years ago and I put 13k on it. According to law(this is a felony) I was entitled treble damages, punitive damages, some other kind of damages and the papers would have had a field day with a very prominent MB dealer overlooking this easy step(carfax-title search). I am like you, make good and I am happy. No matter how long you have these engines, you can probably get new ones with a few attorney drafted letters. Good Luck, especially this weekend.
Alioop posted 08-31-2001 05:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alioop  Send Email to Alioop     
Hey Bigshot! Not trying to be negitive so don't take this the wrong way. I think you need to look at Juris's profile. I think then you'll understand his screen name and see he doesnot need any legal advise. Just thought I would point out this,I think this the reason for a profile and Jim is tryimg to get everyone to update theirs
dfmcintyre posted 09-03-2001 07:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Bigshot -

It sounds like, according to your post, that an earlier owner had scammed the dealership when trading it in? This sounds fairly typical, i.e. in my business (law enforcement) the suspects in odometer rollback cases that we end up investigating and charging more often are individual owners instead of dealers, especially franchised dealers. Straight used car dealers fall in the middle. We often get a call right from the dealer, after they find out.

With the consolidation of many vehicle auction wholesalers into the Manheim Group, their computer system can track a vehicle that has been through their system multiple times.

Bottome line?....stay away from any vehicle that has a "not origional milage" title.


Bigshot posted 09-04-2001 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I know Juris is/was a lawyer(name says it all) and that is why I suggested the letters. I do not know what the MA laws are regarding this, he would.
Jurisproodenz posted 09-12-2001 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
I had the boat out both days last weekend. I polished and waxed that beauty to glow. The port disaster (motor) performed flawlessly. The other motor showed a warning sporadically (it seems to be having fun with me). But, it was indeed a pleasure. However, no fishing: I cannot bring myself to risk my family (or me) going offshore.

Which brings me to a new chapter.... Mercury FINALLY called me today and left a message basically stating that they "are there to get my motor running for me." Earth to Mercury.... Earth to Mercury.... Come in please? Are they seriously "stepping up to the plate" three months later? "To get [my] motors running for me?" Uh, have you been vacationing somewhere on the other side of the Crab Nebula?


The point here, folks, is that in my humble opinion these are not reliable motors. At all. Ever. Nope. Not even remotely so. Each and every time I back the boat out of the slip I am and will continue to be gambling that I won't have to limp back on one motor or call out SeaTow. Each motor has a "rap sheet" a mile long. If these motors were felons, they'd be doing 25 to life. Third strike, heck! Try strike nine or so (in a previous existence I "did" a certain fellow who was 27 years old and had a 24 page rap sheet -- sorta like my port motor). Judge Curci would take judicial notice of the lack of reliability.

I am not interested in getting my motors "to work": I am only interested in new motors. I am already damaged (financially and emotionally) by these. These things are lurking nightmares ready to fail me at the most critical moment. Sure, if Mercury could absolutely guarantee that the next 1000 hours will be flawless and that I'd never have to worry about these again, I'd be thrilled. BUT I AM NOT THAT STUPID! As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, one or both of these weasel back-stabbers will fail me coming home through standing 5 footers in a tide race or breaking bar. My damages then? That I might be so lucky as to be able to voice my displeasure....

Assuming that Mercury and Boston Whaler read this forum, which I have on pretty good authority that they do, please understand that I KNOW the substance of what has been said in your meetings with your dealers; at least two of them have told me. Please re-enter the atmosphere and ingest some oxygen to counteract the nitrous oxide that is so evidently wafting liberally around your spaceship. I need to talk with someone who can address this matter on a more or less rational basis.

I look forwards to tomorrow....

P.S. It does occur to me that Mercury might just now be getting to me in the line of people who might have been before me. In which case, if I have just spent three months waiting my turn, that by itself would be the most critical and damning indictment of the crisis that faces owners of these engines. Buy yourself a pair of Optimaxes - lose your Summer for only 30 grand down! On the other hand, if was merely "sorta losing that piece o' paper an' jus' finding it now" ... please pass the nitrous, I need some.

Scotty posted 09-12-2001 07:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Scotty  Send Email to Scotty     
My 2001 225 Opti's received the work mentioned in the Service Bulletin of July(new plugs, new ECM 60 series, new fuel rail. Within two weeks, I learned of a new service bulletin requiring the replacement if the items just installed. The new and improved fuel rail has a green dot on the side (indicating LocTight on the set screws), a new ECM 70 series. Once these are installed Mercury says we will all have reliable motors.

I understand the service bulletins are not out from Mercury concerning the 70 series ECM's but Whaler is aware of them and should be of help in obtaining the parts from Mercury.

Dan posted 09-12-2001 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
I was wondering why I've been seeing year 2000 26' Outrage Whalers with 225 Optis for sale, fully equipped, in the 60G range. The money you spent for the motors should be fully refunded, including a fee for installation that would be incurred when you repower, and money to compensate you for your time. The Magnusson-Moss warranty act should provide the above mentioned relief. I own a 1999 Whaler with a Merc engine. Based on your treatment I might not buy another Merc in the future.
acseatsri posted 09-12-2001 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Here's another proud owner of a Boston Whaler with twin 225 Optimax that is selling.

Bigshot posted 09-13-2001 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Ouch! Is that US or Canadian currency:)
Jurisproodenz posted 09-20-2001 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
I checked out that e-bay Whaler -- you'll notice it did not sell. Price too much or just Opti-damage? Both?

I talked with the character from Mercury. What a joke. He just wanted (as I indicated in my previous post) to "get the motors running." I told him that no thanks to Mercury, Russo Marine finally replaced enough parts to get it working. I also told him about the starboard engine teasing me. He dutifully and seriously tried to take me through a diagnosis. I appreciate that. Russo even called me about 1/2 hour after I got off the phone to try schedule a repair visit for the sporadic warning lights. Why was this not the response three months ago?

After talking with the gent for about 5 minutes I cut to the chase: "Sir, it is not about 'getting these motors to run', it is all about a defective product." The gent then started to tell me how these are not defective products, and how they can't build them fast enough people are buying so many. I pointed out that Brunswick is a large company and packaged boats are sold to rubes everyday. I then told him that at least two dealers who are willing to be named attended the Mercury dealer conference not three weeks before to complain about the mountain of Optimax repair backlogs. I pointed out that I know what was said at the meetings, that I know the history of service bulletins and that if he didn't, he needed to bone up on the subject. For giggles I read the warranty history on my port motor (two con-rod failures, one piston failure, two or three injector failures, lower unit failure plus the usual recall work): 'How can you call these reliable motors?' Are we even looking at the history of the same motors?

Yesterday I received call from a "Bud Stoudt" at Mercury -- a different gent. Sadly, I was in a meeting and unable to take the call. I returned it later but got voicemail. I sincerely wonder what this call will bring in terms of response. However, I shall make this simple: Mr. Stoudt, I need these motors replaced with reliable motors. Or cut me the check. I will gladly return the scrap on my transom (you pay for re-rigging and freight both ways).

Frustrated in Boston, I remain,

hauptjm posted 09-20-2001 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Juris, I think you're on the right track. Unfortunately, the very folks who manufactured these “reliable” machines have backed you into this corner. After following your travails over these last months, I know you're a lot more patient than I; virtuous, as the saying goes! At this point I can only see one truly correct solution: a check. I wish you all of the luck in the world. You got a rotten deal on the summer that can't be repaid. At the very least, you should be able to feel good about your prospects of safe, reliable boating next summer. Keep us up on the developments.

Fair winds!

LarrySherman posted 09-20-2001 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

I second Jim's sentiments. I really wish we could do something as an organization to help you. This has gone on far too long, and the people at Mercury need to step up and make right of this.

Please, if you think there is any way we can help, let us know.


lhg posted 09-20-2001 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Juris - I would recommend you get your claim figures ready at hand for dealing with Mercury or Boston Whaler. Go to some unsuspecting Mercury Dealers,(or have them come to your boat) and get quotes for trading in the Opti's for 225HP EFI's. It should be a real eye opener! Or call your selling dealer, and have them give you a trade in price. After all, the word here is that "selling Dealers" really go out of their way to take care of THEIR customers!

Also try to get the Mercury Dealer to talk. He will, because he'll be trying to justify the ridiculously low trade-in price he's offering. He's sure to say "well, these things aren't worth much. etc etc. Nobody wants them." OMC Ficht owners were told the same thing when they tried to trade out of them. Anybody bought a used Ficht or Optimax 200/225 lately?

LarryS - I'm sure this site has affected sales of the Mercury Optimax 3 litre engines. How many people do you think have rushed out to buy new Whalers with these 200/225 Opti's on them? None that I've heard of!

But Mercury has a real problem here. If they replace Juris' engines, which would get published here for all to see, they open the floodgate to hundreds of others. OMC did this, trying to keep up good will, and paid the ultimate price!

If I was Mercury, I'd replace the engines quietly, have Juris sign a non-disclosure agreement to stay off this site for a while, and be done with it!

Jurisproodenz posted 09-20-2001 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Actually, I have already inquired about a trade in with Russo. The not-so-amazing answer is that they have no value whatsoever. They will not take them as a trade-in. At all. Their response was in the vein of "why on Earth would I want to make those headaches mine? We have enough problems of our own already." On a not to be named basis, several other dealers have declined too -- and they don't even know the history of these particular motors. So you see, it is relatively easy to estimate my damages: imputed purchase price vesus scrap

Sign a non-disclosure or gag? Maybe not a very civic thing to do considering what I preceive to be a hazard to the public, but....

Jurisproodenz posted 09-21-2001 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
We are talking finally. Mercury are in direct communications. I have made my case and it is up for review at Fond du Lac. Wish me luck, friends!!
kingfish posted 09-21-2001 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
You got it, Jp - Good Luck!! This has been a real Oddysey.

If we don't hear anything from you for a stretch, or at least not anything referencing this issue, we'll assume the best...


LarrySherman posted 09-21-2001 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you Juris. Heck, we might still make it to the Lady this season! I'll bring a sweater or two though...

Good luck, Larry

DCPeters posted 09-21-2001 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
JP.....perhaps we could arrange for a "secret code"....if they insist on your silence via a linked gag order....

Maybe you could post a message commenting on how you will enjoy a spectacular summer in 2002!

Good Luck; we're all pulling for you.

DCPeters posted 09-30-2001 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Well, it's 10 sound from Juris. I guess he's been made as whole as possible after suffering for a season.
LarrySherman posted 09-30-2001 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
If the past history is any indication, they are probably leading him down the primrose path as we speak.

Lets hope they have changed thier spots for stripes.

Jurisproodenz posted 10-01-2001 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
So far not a peep in almost 10 days. My dealer wants to selling me some canvas for the boat -- but I think I'll wait to see how well this other little issue progresses.

Anyone surprised?

blackdog posted 10-02-2001 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
I had to laugh when I read your post about the canvas. Not that your situation is funny at all but the guy has a set on him.. Did he actually call you up out of the blue and try to sell you something else before they resolved your issue? Wow………..
WantaWhale posted 10-02-2001 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
You may find it ironic but Mercury considers themselves to be a premium brand. We did a case study on them in college. I remember asking the professor what that ment in this context. She said it ment that they positioned themselves in the market in such a way as to command a higher price. They limit dealerships so the consumer has to seek them out as they are not on every corner. I asked her if this would work even if their quality was lower than their competitor (OMC) and she said yes as long as they had some other attribute that consumers seeked. It's amazing what marketing can do.
blackdog posted 10-03-2001 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
So what was the attribute that consumers seeked. Did she ever say?
What are the different motor companies know for?
Mercury - Fast
OMC- get there and back
Yamaha - High Quality....
WantaWhale posted 10-03-2001 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
I can't remember if she said it, the textbook said it, or the class said it, but yes , speed or rpm was the attribute. And I would agree with that as I had a new mercury 60. It would turn the rpms and seemed faster than the equilent Johnson, but had factory defects. The first one the dealer couldn't figure out after 2 trips and a buddy ended up figuring it out. Within 1 week after we bought it the motor would die right after the boat would get on a plane. Turned out that mecury had mounted the emergency starter rope right over the fuel pump and it was pinching the line. The second problem was more serious-The oil injection and the warning system both failed and toasted the engine. We were left with a $1500.00 bill as it was just out of warrenty. So no more Mecurys for me as I prefer realibility over performance.
Dick posted 10-03-2001 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Over the years I have been a dealer for Chrysler, Evinrude and Mercury, all were good motors with no major failures. Some had features others didn't but all performed as they were designed to.

I am running a Mercury now but if I were to re-power I would look at all options, reliability, dealer network and bang for the buck. I think Mercury would still come out ahead. They haven't survived and gained in sales only because of marketing. They build a very reliable product at a fair price. There are other very good motors on the market as well and they all have had their problems too. One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a motor is the dealers reputation. Will he take care of you if there is a problem? If not, find a dealer that will even if you have to purchase a different brand. The selling dealer is the key to customer satisfaction.

WantaWhale posted 10-03-2001 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
Well, I would consider Jurisproodenz's problems a major failure and my siezed engine a major failure. I don't know how old his engines are but mine was like a year and half at the time. My father has owned many boats over the years and we have co-owned them together as well. Between us, all have been OMC (Johnson and evinrude)except for that one mercury. That mercury has been the only engine to give us major problems like that.
ChimoII posted 10-03-2001 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for ChimoII  Send Email to ChimoII     
Just a small comment. It is mentioned in an earlier post that the problems seem to be with the later (2000/2001) 200/225 Optimax. I have a 225 on a 23 Conquest from 1998, one of the first. Had a fuel rail replaced in the early days but I am just finishing the fourth season. I have had a bit of a TPI problem over the last couple of months (known with these motors) and finally got to the point last week where it was going to keep me from my vacation. Thanks to the dealer, Chesapeake Whalertowne, (who has always been first class) I was back on the water in short order and smiling all the time! I think dealer quality has a lot to be said for it.

Chimo !!

jbtaz posted 10-04-2001 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jbtaz  Send Email to jbtaz     
My Optimax's are great engines..The best infact I've ever owned. I would reccommend them and Mercury..They are certainly better than my Yamahas I had on my older Whaler.
acseatsri posted 10-04-2001 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
A lot of energy has been spent spent here discussing the attributes of various manufacturer's DFI engines. At this point it seems nearly all 2-stroke motors' days are numbered and will be replaced by newer, lighter, and more reliable 4-stroke designs. I really have to question why anyone would even consider purchasing one with their track record and the availability or expected availability of larger 4-stroke motors. Comments?
LarrySherman posted 10-04-2001 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I agree, an evolutionary dead end. But if asked the same question 1 yera ago, the answer would have been a milestone achivement.

Hindsight is truly 20/20.

acseatsri posted 10-13-2001 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
jurisprudence, any further developments? Somehow I get the feeling that when the engineers get a call like yours you hear them in the background laughing and saying to their fellow techs "Another sucker, we'll see how long before this one gives up!"
Jurisproodenz posted 10-24-2001 06:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
An unpleasant post, but....

October 24 -- it is now almost two months since my starboard engine decided to taunt me -- sort of like the French in Monty Python and Holy Grail. Today I received a call from Lac Du Fond in Wisconsin -- Mercury headquarters, during the course of which I was patched in to a Factory Tech on my boat (I had no warning that they were going to send someone, I just happend to be in the office). Their DDT does not reveal anything. Duh. Now that just surprises the heck out of me. Where have I seen that before.... Oh yeah, wait a minute! That large lump of black garbage on the port side of my transom! All summer!

Still, kind of them to come out to the boat before I haul it for the winter. Very kind. Shows that they are "on-the-ball." Helping out their consumers. On a timely basis. Honoring that warranty so's I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


Other News:

Mercury: its official, you are stuck with your engines. We make great engines and can't make enough of them, so yours can't suck. If they do, however, that's not our fault.

Dealer: what problem? Mercury is trying to make sure you get the attention you deserve.

Consumer: Izzatso? Read Chapter 93A Sec. 9 (Mass). Section 9(3) is particularly to the point: "...recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages or ... up to three but not less than two times such amount if the court finds that the ... act was a wilfull or knowing violation...." Oh, and if you want to see how it applies to vendors in Florida or Wisconsin where the consumer is in Massachusetts, please refer to Section 2.

Damages: the NADA listed average price for the 225 Saltwater Opti is $10,600. Current value of my motors is $0.00 (per Russo). Since I believe that I can prove wilfullness and intentional deception, it should be a matter of triple damages. That is $63,600. Plus costs (although I suppose that I could do this "in house" -- I know this litigator on 17 who HATES corporate stonewalling). And a lost summer. And dockage for the season that went substantially unused.

Repent. Quickly.

P.S. There is also a neat-o provision for a class action in 93A too.

hauptjm posted 10-25-2001 10:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
"I hate the litigious society we all now live in." These words are almost a mantra for me. However, when all avenues are pursued, you have to do what is necessary. Juris, you have shown a level of patience that Jobe may not have tolerated. I'm impressed. But, now the time has come for you to be FAIRLY compensated for their deficiencies. I truly wish you good luck.
Bigshot posted 10-25-2001 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
One small problem Juris. You state that you dockage has gone "sustantially unused". On the contrary I think your boat has spent TOO much time at the dock. Funny how that works, you pay an extreme amount of money for a dock space and then do your best not to use it....huuummm:)
jbtaz posted 10-25-2001 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jbtaz  Send Email to jbtaz     
All of the postings under this one topic makes it sound like this is the first time someone has ever bought a bad engine and had service problems. These things unfortunalty happen. It stinks it happens. It happens with engines, with cars, boats and many other things. The engine is a lemon..Most of us are fortunate enough to get a good product whether it be an engine or whatever. I just can't believe the airtime this one saga gets..Get a lawyer, get it settled, and move on. To keep going on with this novel doesn't get the situation rectified.
John from Madison CT posted 10-25-2001 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

Your Merc problem reminded me of a problem a friend had with a Mercedes Benz. He was one of the first to get the Mercedes 190, which was a terrible little version of a Benz. It was a mechanical nightmare and after many many failed attempts by the dealer and factory techs. to fix it, he hit rock bottom, he was left with a Lemon.
What he did was make a large sign for the back of his rear window which said something to the effect that this Mercedes was a Lemon and nobody should consider buying one. He took a photo of the sign and brought it to the local Benz dealer who forwarded it to Mercedes of North America. To make a long story short, they bought his car off him for alot more than it was worth. They wanted to get rid of him as best they could. Negative advertising scares marketing folks.
If I was you, I would take this battle up a notch. Write weekly letters to the President of Mercury, let them know you will NOT give up and they will have to deal with you day in and day out. Perserverence usually pays.

John from Madison, CT

WantaWhale posted 10-25-2001 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
"To keep going on with this novel doesn't get the situation rectified"

Perhaps not but it certianly warns would be buyers what to expect should they need factory support.

I think the old saying applies here"
Everyone makes a mistake, its how you handle the mistake that counts."

The point is not that he got a lemon, but that Mercury still has not taken care of him.

LarrySherman posted 10-25-2001 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

I was hoping for better news for your sake. Sorry.

I think John and you are on track. Take them to court, and be persistant. I'd be glad to help you make up some new engine cowlings. How about Lemmon Yellow? Then we call Soundings...

Don't tire of the fight, the war is just begun.


John from Madison CT posted 10-26-2001 07:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

Oh my god, that would be a great idea. We all need to come up with a great new Mercury graphics scheme for Juris's motor covers.
I'm sucker for a good fight.


blackdog posted 10-26-2001 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
In the mean time a simple fix until you can make some nice graphics to stick on your engines would be to go out to your local produce stand and get two bangs of lemons.
Ya with me so far? Hang the mesh type bags on your engine, just pop the cowling and slip the top of the bag underneath. Take plenty of pictures and send them to everyone. Just the site of the BW with two bags of lemons on them will warn off would be buyers. Just image anyone cruising buy and saying Hmmmmmm. “Why are those bags of lemons hanging from those two brand new engines”?

Please report back on reactions you get to this.

“Got Lemons, make lemonade”

Time to take it up a few notches.


Arch Autenreith posted 10-26-2001 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Madison John: I had one of those nightmare 190 Benzs'. A never ending list of problems. Ended up just getting rid of it. That particular car/model was a real lemon but has left a bad taste for that European car since.
Bigshot posted 10-26-2001 10:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
2 things....Surplus marine in sarasota, FL has yellow decal kits for 225 Opti's. Donzi used them on their yellow boats(another lemon saga:). 2) jbtaz- just so you know he has "2' lemons and he IS a lawyer.
Jurisproodenz posted 10-26-2001 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
I absolutely LOVE the idea of hanging bags of lemons from the motors. Decals would be good too.

How about renaming the boat "Lemon-Aid" and "visiting" the various "in-water" boat shows, slowly cruising the perimeter (better still to be towed around with both engines tilted up and some more lemons around the lower units)? A couple of mesh bags filled with yellow balloons from the outriggers to draw a little attention.... And printout of the warranty history of each engine to hand out to anyone interested. By then there should be a few more items to list.

Lemme see, port engine: 3 con rod failures, 1 piston failure, three direct air failures, 1 injector failure, 1 fuel rail failure, 1 shift linkage failure, various factory recalls.... You can even get them fixed under warranty within three months, if the factory tech even knows at all what is wrong!!

"Truth is an absolute defense."

Jurisproodenz posted 10-26-2001 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
To be fair the starboard engine is more like a lime: it only munches gears, has oil system problems and cooling problems. Nothing too radical and lemony. Still, 9 of them plus recalls....

A service tech I recently talked to at Russo's said that when customers get them and they run right, they just love them -- quiet, great fuel economy and powerful. It's the people with the wrong ones that hate them -- and that it appears to be a serial number lottery, and also if they can get to the recall for a serial number in time before they crap out. Of course the backlog to get to the recall is such that there are a lot of crap-outs.

Peter posted 10-26-2001 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
All this talk of lemons here brings back such fond memories of the late 70s, early 80s GM cars with the converted V8 diesels driving the rear wheels through the left over Vega transmissions. My folks had one of those back then. I'll never forget the day they took delivery. Pulled it 3 feet out of the dealer's garage and the heads blew off, with coolant spewing everywhere. Once they got the engine mostly squared away (months later) seemed like that car used to grind up a new transmission each week. What a LEMON!
LKS posted 10-27-2001 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for LKS  Send Email to LKS     
Perhaps a print-out of this thread sent/faxed to corporate hq, and all the BW dealers you can think of? Seeing the number of people who have read and responded to this thread may give them some food for thought! Believe me, when the time comes to move up, I'm thinking twice!!!!! Good luck in getting this resolved! --LKS
acseatsri posted 10-27-2001 11:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Have to agree with others on this thread. After reading Juris' horror story, Mercury can take their motors and stick 'em where the sun doesn't shine! That's one stop I won't make when I need to repower. Those motors belong in jail, don't pass go, don't collect $200! Hope Brunswick reads this thread!
John from Madison CT posted 10-28-2001 07:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

I was thinking... (that can be dangerous)....BUT perhaps all of us here on this Forum can help.

If you want, we can each individually email, Fax, or even call, whoever you think would listen at Mercury, on how disappointed we are at hearing your story...and how we wouldn't consider buying a Mercury product based on their poor customer service with your incident.

I'm sure you'd get quite a few people to help. Let us know if you wish this to be done.


DCPeters posted 10-28-2001 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     

Consider me mobilized into your army.

I just had a odd interesting anomoly...while this is clearly a whaler-lover site, I'd guess most of us aren't Boston Whaler Co. customers. By this I mean we may have bought our whalers second hand (or third, or fourth ). Lots of posts seek alternatives to Whaler's parts pricing, etc...and this is clearly the alternative market we support.

I guess we do support aftermarket business and this could help B-Ws sales by demonstrating that the boats do in fact live up to their performance and value reputations, but lots of us aren't able to buy fresh from the factory.

But more importantly, we do represent a significant market force when it comes to the re-powering of these older whalers. The first thing most buyers of 10-15 year old whalers face is the choice of new motor(s). The boats still thrive at that age, but we need reliable motors on the back end.

From this perspective, this forum may have a bigger impact on the Merc business (or their ever more attractive alternatives) than on the Boston Whaler Company's sales.

I am appalled with the way Merc has treated this situation, and will not consider buying either a new Merc for re-power or any new boat with a Merc hanging on the back if this situation goes unrectified. (and to me, that's either cash back or two new units of Juris's preference.)

I'm just one guy....but I imagine there are others.

Fix this, Mercury. Behave responsibly. There are alternatives to your products.

Whalerdan posted 10-29-2001 03:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
I hate buying non-American on big ticket items. I have never owned a foreign car, although I've had many Japanese motorcycles. But at this point the only engines I would look at are Yamaha, Honda, or Suzuki. At this point in my life I just can't afford to spend the kind of money that an outboard cost and not get what I'm paying for.
blackdog posted 10-29-2001 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
I’ll offer my help and enlist in the "Lemon Lime" Army also. Make up a form letter and who ever wants to can e-mail you for a copy.. We then mail these signed letters to the president of Mercury, Whaler and Brunswick. You should get 40 or 50 letters from this site alone.. 3 copies each!


Bigshot posted 10-30-2001 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I'm game, e-mail me 3 with addresses
DCPeters posted 10-31-2001 12:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Another way to get the word out would be to do something similar to this fellow with a blistered Donzi

Whalerdan posted 10-31-2001 02:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Man that guys got a bad deal. If you do make a site like that you need to get registered with Yahoo so when people search for Mercury your site will pop up!
DCPeters posted 11-14-2001 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Any news? Did you get your new batteries?
Jurisproodenz posted 11-15-2001 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
It gets to a point where it starts to be painful. The answer is no -- batteries not (yet) included. Meanwhile, the dealer in Florida continues to ignore the existence of a fundamental problem with the engines -- even after I sent them what amounts to a demand letter, except of course to decide now that I ought to pay for haulage for the survey and for placing the boat on a dolly for shrinkwrapping prior to shipping -- and invoicing me for this only now. These charges seem bizarre considering that this was never discussed and after all they are the dealer! Maybe to offset the battery costs? Of course, they are invoicing as though a third party performed the services and not a service affiliate.

My boat is high and dry undercover for the winter, lemons and all. I am going to make one last appeal to Mercury -- I will most likely humbly ask for the help of this community in my appeal. I've got to take some time out and draft a form letter and my cover letter. Notwithstanding direct information to the contrary, Mercury claim to have been unaware of the actual circumstances surrounding the purchase and the actions (or lack thereof) of the dealer. I faxed them a copy of the letter to the dealer. If the dealer was playing a double game hoping to keep Mercury in the dark about certain elements of the sale, such a failure to disclose the service history upon request, and certain representations as to reliability, they have got a surprise in store.

I am jealous of you Florida guys. I have to wait until April to start burning some serious fossil fuels again -- apart from heating my house ... another thing you Florida types don't do a lot of.

Aloha from Beantown.

Bigshot posted 11-16-2001 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Good luck Juris!
andygere posted 12-03-2001 11:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I can't help but wonder why anyone would sell a nearly new Optimax 225 motor on e-bay "to get one of those new 4-strokes" : . Curiously enough, the motor is coming off a Whaler.
lhg posted 12-04-2001 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The guy probably wants to get rid of it before it goes bad, and off warranty. The 99's were not so good, from what I've heard.
Anybody knows that when you sell a relatively new engine you take a bath. These things have to be kept for at least 6 years once purchased. People trying to trade in 98-2000 Fichts had the same problem. No dealers would take them in trade.

He's going to have a hard time selling it, and not for that price. You can get a new one for about 2 grand more. Whoever buys one of these used should have the diagnostic computer put on it, to see where it's been and what problems have been encountered. Everything in the engine history is recorded.

A Mercury mechanic that I trust told me that the 99 & 2000 had problems, but the 2001's, and now 2002's, are pretty good, as long as they were run hard enough. That seems to be the key to preventing carbon build up & plug fouling, the real killer of these DFI's. He said they need to be run FREQUENTLY up to 5500 and pushed hard. Then the problems seem to be few. He said a lot of idling and trolling are the enemies of these things. His advice, run the hell out them and you won't have any problems. (But I'm not sure that's the way I want to use my outboards!)

I'm still not convinced these Optimax models are a good investment at all, except for the 135's and 150's. It will be interesting to see if that one on E-bay sells at all.

blackdog posted 12-04-2001 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Your advise sounds similar to what I was told about Ficht engines. Run the hell out of them, which I do! Carbon is the enemy .


Bigshot posted 12-04-2001 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
The one thing you guys are forgetting is that over 5000 rpm's the DFI efficiency is not there. Running them hard is defeating the purpose of owning a DFI. These engines shine at cruise speed and lower compared to their non DFI siblings. Run a 200 OPTI and a 200 EFI wide open and your GPH is very close.
lhg posted 12-18-2001 07:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I just heard an interesting story on the news tonight that is relevant, and similar, to this Optimax case.

It seems a Ford Dealership in California sold a Ford Taurus demonstrator, without revealing this relatively new vehicle had a considerable repair and failed transmission history. I think this is what happened to Juris.

A jury just awarded the owners $10,000,000 plus $13,000 for repairs the people had to put in for two transmissions, after the warranty expired!

Since the boat was bought in FL, I wonder what kind of Lemon Law they have?

LarrySherman posted 12-20-2001 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I was hoping that a post to this thread would indicate success on Juris's part.

Alas, no.

Juris, whats the status?

DCPeters posted 12-30-2001 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
45 days and no peep from Juris. The way this was progressing, it's likely no news is NOT good news......Perhaps the litigation has begun and he's letting the water settle some.

If you can, let us have an update.

Jurisproodenz posted 01-07-2002 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Thanks for the interest: a final and formal attempt at mediation is being made (suitably delayed by the holidays and some messy little matters for clients). If this fails, I am sure that my lawyer will tell me to shut up.... But I guarantee that we'll hit them with paper immediately. Nothing like a complaint to focus attention on the issues.

Hope all you Florida boys are enjoying some decent fishing, us northerners are enjoying some freezing rain today followed by snow overnight, all the better to make the morning commute a bit more slippery.

hauptjm posted 01-08-2002 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Good Luck! When the time is appropriate, please update us as to the outcome.
LarrySherman posted 01-08-2002 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Glad to here from you Juris. Good luck and good hunting.


triblet posted 01-17-2002 01:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
From, posted by"

> Looking to start a class action case
> against Mercury regarding their defective
> 2001 Optimax engines. I spoke with a lawyer
> who is seriously looking at this case.
> Anyone who had problems with their engines
> and lost money due to problems ect let me
> know. I'm tired of dealing with these
> idiots who don't want to take care of a
> loyal customer. Capt Jak

Somebody already pointed him here.


jimh posted 01-17-2002 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To prospective litigants and their attorneys in any suit against any other party: You should not plan on using this FORUM as an on-line rallying point.

James W. Hebert
continuousWave website

Bigshot posted 01-17-2002 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Ralley Ralley Sis coom ba! Go Whalers! Yeah!!! Opps sorry:(
Scotty posted 01-17-2002 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Scotty  Send Email to Scotty     

The price for extended warranties for the 200+ Optimax engines has more than doubled as of 1-1-02. The reasons for the increase is quoted as extreme problems with the engines. You probably received the same notice as I from Whaler advising owners to pospone purchase of extended warranties because they think the prices will eventually drop.

It seems the insurance companies have experienced many of the same problems you have experienced. Mercury should have a hard time denying the experience of the insurance companies and the increase in premium prices.

Good luck in the negotiations.

jbtaz posted 01-18-2002 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jbtaz  Send Email to jbtaz     
This topic is starting to get real old.
Sixer posted 01-18-2002 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sixer    
I'll second that.
LarrySherman posted 01-19-2002 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Am I mistaken in my assumption that if this topic was of concern to you, that you might be somewhat disappointed if members of the site said it was old and/tired?

There are many threads that are not necessarily of interest to me. I just skip them.


John from Madison CT posted 01-19-2002 07:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     
Actually, I think this is one of the best threads I've been following.

Juris's Optimax problems are just the type some of us may find ourselves in someday when we buy new outboards. Personally I follow it to see what will ultimately happen and hope to learn from it in the event that it happens to me.

John from Madison CT

Arch Autenreith posted 01-19-2002 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I agree. I don't follow this with the same interest as in the beginning but I do occasionally check in to see the end result. No harm no foul.
SuburbanBoy posted 01-19-2002 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
I would imagine that this thread would grow tedious if you owned an Opti.


Macman posted 01-19-2002 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
I have been following this post since July. I think that it is quite informative, and in some ways, cathartic. I am very intersted in the resolution of this problem. Hey...if you don't like it, don't read it.
Juris, keep us informed and good luck to you.
Bigshot posted 01-22-2002 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
ditto with Arch.
Wild Turkey posted 01-22-2002 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wild Turkey  Send Email to Wild Turkey     
Don't listen to jbtaz.... I think he works for or sells Brunswick/Mercury.
I personally find the information found on this thread quite informative.
louie posted 01-25-2002 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for louie  Send Email to louie     
Just wondering if these problems relate to a 2000 model year. I bought the boat as a left over in sept in Ct and had it shipped to Florida. The fuel pump was replaced after the sea trial, but since then it has been fine knock knock. Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank You....
SuburbanBoy posted 01-26-2002 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Look here for some additional comments:

and here:

and here:

Good luck,


Jurisproodenz posted 01-27-2002 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     

I have so far had some very progressive responses from Mercury Marine as a result (I presume) of BOAT US agreeing to mediate and send some "interesting" letters to (it seems like virtually everyone) persons in the Brunswick chain of command at Whaler and Mercury. Mr. Vandermoolen at Mercury (Florida area chief) has been very cooperative and understanding. I have yet to be able to say helpful, but they seem willing to take the ball and run with it in respect to my selling dealer and the motors unreliability.

I hope for a resolution that will "make me whole" or as near as I might expect. But things are looking up and if ultimately successful, it will be a BOATUS and Mercury touchdown.

Hope you guys down south are getting some whalin' in.

LarrySherman posted 01-27-2002 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Sounds like great news! Glad to hear that thinks are finally on the mend, so to speak.

Perhaps we can make the run to the Lady this summer?


James posted 02-01-2002 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for James  Send Email to James     

The following message was posted on the Boating board, and I thought of you. Perhaps, it may be of some use to you. Apparently boaters there shared in similar disgust with the Optimax engines.

I confess that I have not read every post in your thread, but I do symphatize with the general frustration that you must have. Based on your experience and that of tohers, I am prepared to pay extra for a Yamaha when I get my new Whaler. Good Luck!


Mercury Marine has contacted us and asked us to post the following message on our forum.
Mercury Marine is committed to insuring customers have a satisfactory experience with their OptiMax engines. If you need any assistance with your OptiMax engine, please contact Mercury Marine customer service toll-free at 1-866-637-2227 Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM central time.

lhg posted 02-07-2002 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Here is the latest that I have been able to find out on the 200/225 Optimax problems.

My source is a person I believe to be one of the best Mercury mechanics around, period.
He has been to Optimax training, and really knows his stuff, and is at a major Mercury dealership, that specializes in large V-6 sales. So put what he says in this context.

This only applies to the 200/225 3 liter engines. The smaller 2.5 liter 135/150/175's have been great from day one. Evidently Mercury had a particularly bad run of these larger engines in the 2001 model year, involving defective fuel rails, that really tied up the system, especially the dealer repair networks in certain parts of the country where they were ill-equipped to handle this situation, and who had to immediately fix a lot of these new engines they had just sold. This service overload is evidently what "Juris" got caught in with his older motors. Regarding the previous 1999 and 2000 motors, there were evidently great ones (over 1500 hours with no problems), and bad ones, just luck of the draw. These engines needed to be run hard, at high rpms, and when not, suffered carbon build-ups and subsequent problems.

He tells me that with the new re-designed fuel rails and some other minor components, the 2002 engines (on the water since August) have been flawless, and have great power and fuel economy, and no carbon problems. The fact that if you buy one before tax day you get a 5 year warranty on one of these indicates how confident they now are of the product. Mercury is upgrading all of the 2001 engines with the new rails, which resulted in the service backlog, and extending a new 2 year warranty on the upgraded engines. Anybody with original 2001 models should get them in for the free upgrades before they have problems.

So anybody looking at a leftover 2001 Whaler with one of these 2001 engines on it, should be sure the 2002 upgrades have been done.

I keep hearing that the new 225 Yamaha 4-strokes are performance slugs, at lower and mid-range, compared to these Opti's and also the Fichts. Maybe it's just going to take some getting used to the power curve of the 4-stroke outboards, or maybe the DFI 2-strokes have a future after all. Incidentally, the new smaller 135/150/175 Opti's have a sharp new hood shape. Now if they could only make them as quiet at speed as the EFI's.

PMUCCIOLO posted 02-14-2002 02:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
Get it over with, buy a pair of Yamaha's! I have gone through the agony of OMC Ficht and Mercury Optimax ownership with my cohorts at work. They have, unfortunately, ALL had MAJOR problems with these brands. The problems have been pervasive, regardless of induction system. I find this unfortunate, and quite frankly, a poor reflection on Boston Whaler's decision to offer the recreational boats with Mercury power only. The Boston Whaler is like a Chevrolet--it is "America's boat!" If we have the engineering to produce a superior boat, why are our engines so inferior? The whole situation is a disgrace. The situation is a simple one: Boston Whaler may want to consider selling the boats the "old fashioned" way--with whatever pre-rig the customer orders or none at all. I empathize with you, as I enjoyed a 16 mile ride home in the Atlantic Ocean on an Optimax powered boat at idle speed due to a malfunction of some sort.
lhg posted 02-14-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sorry Doc, but I have to disagree with you. American made outboards, like Mercury's, are not inferior, and I don't think the non-Ficht OMC's were, either. When you say "regardless of the induction system", throwing everything in the mix, you're just dead wrong. I'll put my old 200 Hp Merc EFI's up against any 200 Yamaha ever made. They have more HP, are faster, hold up better to salt, get better gas mileage, more reliable, MUCH quieter than Yamaha's, etc. So don't give me this crap that American made products like Mercury outboards are no good, at least not here.

You obviously never had a late 80's Yamaha V-6. Most corroded out in three or four years, and the paint jobs peeled off in sheets. They finally got smart and copied Mercuy's EDP paint process and started using higher grade aluminum alloys. Now they hold up a little better in the salt.

If you want to be applauded on a pro-Yamaha, Mercury bashing board, try The Hull Truth instead of us. You'll fit right in over there. Mercury also just happens to own Boston Whaler, so that's why you get Mercs on them. Ever tried getting a new Merc on a Grady instead of a Yamaha?

With over 80% of the world market, I wasn't aware that "our" US made Mercury Stern-Drive engines were so inferior also. Wonder what you think about the GM Northstar or the GE and Pratt & Whitney jet engines? Yeah, I know, just more inferior US made engines.

Incidentally, the troubled Opti's on this thread were bought used, evidently without full disclosure of this prior use (abuse) by the selling Dealer.

Bigshot posted 02-14-2002 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I agree larry but I think you crushed him:)

I am so sick of Yamaha vs Mercury vs OMC vs Zuki, etc. If everyone here owned a British seagull or a Volvo Penta, they would appreciate what the word "reliability" means. Yamaha makes a fine machine but when I bought my last new boat I could not justify the price and my 225 Johnson is still 100% and it is 1994( so for me it was a prudent choice). I have owned every kind of engine and a good engine is the one that starts. A good used engine is the one that lasts longer than you think it would have. I have seen 1960's engines that have been run hard, put away wet with salt water and never cared for still running. I have seen engines with 30 hours stuff powerheads. It is all relevant and if one brand was clearly better than the next...the next would cease to exist in short order.

lhg posted 02-14-2002 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I also am sick of this brand name stuff, and that was not my intention. What got me going was the statement that AMERICAN MADE engines in general are inferior, a completely false statement that really offends me, and Mercury now happens to be the only US maker of outboards! If one likes their foreign made engines, that is their choice in America, despite the quality of our engines.
Clark Roberts posted 02-14-2002 07:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
In my many years of participating in this forum, I have never heard anyone trash American products! Sure there are the usual brand loyal discussions and some friendly ribbing going on but to call American products "inferior" disappoints and offends me! I have owned most all brands and lots of them and can buy what I want! My choice is my choice and nobody else has to like it! I have many friends who own foreign outboards and they love them and many friends who own OMC and Mercs and they love them... so what am I missing here? Beam me up! happy Whalin'... Clark... The Old Man and the Sea
phatwhaler posted 02-14-2002 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
After flogging mercury products in the Coast Guard I can honeslty say that Mercury makes excellent engines. We had nuumerous 150 and 200's make into the 1800 hour range before replacement. This is 1800 hours of mostly WOT operation, with no time to warm up, and a bunch of young guys treating them like red headed step kids. Yes, a couple here in there didn't last long but they were rare. I think what separates the competitors is being able to find good service, and parts availability. Don't buy a Honda or Suzuki if nobody in town works on them, and you have to order parts mail order. Although they are both well made engines. I'll put my money on a Merc just because they are easy to get parts for, easy to work on, and they run forever.
PMUCCIOLO posted 02-15-2002 04:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
Please allow me to explain. I do not intend to BASH American make products. I don't care if the products are made on Mars, if they are problematic, I hate to see consumers purchase them, encounter problems, and then take a financial loss. Especially pleasure boaters! I also have a few more clarifications (I can offer these because I was not "crushed" as stated!)

I was referring to late model and NEW engines. My brothers and friends have bought NEW Johnsons (carb induction) and had significant electrical and trim pump problems. The FICHT engines have been nothing but a headache according to cohorts of mine (one of whom owns a marina that used to sell them) with catastrophic failures the norm rather than the exception. Hopefully Bombardier's campaign to improve quaility control and engineering will help instill confidence those who own or anticipate buying them. This induction system is GERMAN, but is on an American engine. So, I guess the next thing you'll try to "crush" me for is "bashing" German products.

The Optimax engines have had problems leaving friends of mine (and myself on one occasion) stranded or limping home at idle speed. As I said before, I hate to see someone spend his hard earned money and get stuck. I am not here to promote Yamaha's, nor am I trying to have an elitist attitude. I continually strive to keep an open mind and respect other people's opinions, and to do so without resorting to profanity. This is a forum, not a place for argument!

Furthermore, as you seem to have misinterpreted my statements and resorted to beating your chest with regards to putting one brand of engine up against another, do you use objective or subjective data? Marketing rhetoric is used to lure in prospective buyers, but, as we all know, a boat (even a Whaler) is of no use if its engine doesn't work. Whaler hasn't made the Harpoon in years.

It is my understanding that Mercury doesn't own Boston Whaler, but Brunswick, the parent company does. They don't use D-tronic diesels in the 34'Defiance; in fact, the customer has his choice of Caterpillars or Yanmars. Why not offer the consumer a choice of outboards? Which leads me to your next point about Grady-Whites powered by Mercury engines: Two people I know have Grady's powered by Optimax engines, and they have had nothing but trouble since NEW, not used and neglected. They bought the Merc's because of their preference, and the boats came from Grady with the Merc pre-rig.

I don't know how stern drives, jet engines and such got dragged into this, but, again, I am disturbed and disappointed when Americans buy a product in good faith (regardless of its origin) and get a product which offers poor reliability and results in taking the "pleasure" out of "pleasure boating". I am a fan of Caterpillar, Mercruiser, Cummins, Crusader, and Detroit Diesels (all of which are American made), as the people I know with these powerplants have had nothing but stellar performance and reliability.

With regards to the Coast Guard, the more engines are run (and receive scheduled maintenance) the better they run. Lack of use (I guess we all have to work in between boat trips!) and missing scheduled maintenance often result in the demise of any engine, regardless of it's brand.

So, let's be clear here: I do not bash American products. I do not, in fact, bash anything. I do, however, get disgusted when we are not given the freedom of choice (in "The Land of the Free"), and, when we put faith in an expensive product which proves unreliable and expensive to repair (or in some cases unrepairable).

I apologize if I've offended you, but let's not take things out of context. Also, I would be curious to review the results of a survey of outboard owners such as Consumer Reports performs on automobiles. I am afraid that the results would be embarassing for Optimax and FICHT engines.

I am far from "crushed", thank you!

PMUCCIOLO posted 02-15-2002 06:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
I forgot a few things, as I was trying to clarify my post and respond to the posts that followed in one message. First, you are entirely correct in the fact that the older Yamahas were, in essence, rust buckets. In fact, I think there was a lawsuit by OMC against Yamaha for copying many of OMC's parts! Also, the Yamaha attempt at I/O power was a flop. The older, carb OMC's and Merc's were reliable, simple, and my family (who has owned over a dozen Whalers in addition to other brands) always had our boats powered by them. I am angered and disappointed with OMC and Mercury for releasing engines to the public with "cutting edge technology" (to appease the EPA and lighten up our fuel bills) which were so problematic. That is my beef. Also, per my cohorts with new OMC's and Merc's with carb and EFI induction, they have been sorely disappointed with other quality issues, mainly electrical. The "inferiority" lies in the reliability and lack of ability to diagnose and repair the problems on my cohort's Optimax and FICHT powered boats. Competition (even though it disturbs some people that it comes from a foreign country) may very well be the answer to Mercury's working out the "bugs" with the Optimax that are described in the boating literature and Bombardier's fixing the FICHT technology. Again, let's not misunderstand each other. I mean no offense, in fact, I am disturbed by the "Optimax Malaise" comments I read. If the problems were with Yamaha, I would be commenting on "HPDI Malaise!"

Finally, the boating literature I have reviewed are saying that the new four stroke Honda and Yamaha 200 and 225 engines are "revolutionary," but, so were the FICHT and Optimax promotions, if you recall. I'll be the first one to express my disappointment if they develop reliability and repair problems. I feel as if we boaters are sometimes "lab rats"for the manufacturers. The engines should be tested more thoroughly and with better support for the customer if (hopefully not when) problems arise. These engines are too expensive and our time is too precious to waste trying to fix things for which the manufacturer should be bending over backwards to accomodate the customers.

Some inboard manufacturers (Crusader, Caterpillar and Cummins) offer "customer care" and 24-hour help lines. Maybe the outboard manufacturers should follow suit.

I hope that this has clarified things. Also, thanks to everyone who is helping me finish outfitting my 17'Alert. Your comments and suggestions have been invaluable.

jbtaz posted 02-18-2002 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jbtaz  Send Email to jbtaz     
You want freedom of choice and don't like what BW offers? You've got it-buy another boat with the engine you want. Thats freedom. It is a free country, but it doesn't mean that a maufacturer cannot do what it wants, and right now I feel Whaler and their parent Brunswick build both a great boat and engine.
PMUCCIOLO posted 02-19-2002 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
I appreciate your post. I think that, if a pleasure boater has had a bad experience with an Optimax engine on a less expensive brand than a Whaler and wants to upgrade to a Whaler, Brunswick is limiting it's Boston Whaler sales by offering only these engines for power from the factory. What I resent is that (per a Boston Whaler dealer) the boats can be ordered without the Mercury pre-rig, but the customer is still charged for it. I don't know if that is, indeed, the case, but I hate to think so. Perhaps someone else knows.

I refer you to the February 2002 edition of Southern Boating's "Engine Room" (pages 67 and 68). I hope that the Optimax engines don't generate the same type of article in a few years! It's amazing to see how long it takes (years) for problems with engines to be disclosed to the consumers. I am not "anti-Mercury!" I just don't like for the consumers (of whom you and I are members) to be "stuck" by the manufacturers as the thousands of FICHT owners did. I don't care, as I stated earlier, who makes the engines, just make them reliable and support the customer!

lhg posted 02-19-2002 12:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The next time I buy a new Honda SUV tow vehicle, I'm going to insist they put a "powerful" Chevy engine in it, and not charge me anything additional. I want my freedom of choice. Honda should not be allowed to only offer THEIR brand of engine in their SUV product. Everybody knows Chevy makes a superior engine!

Just because they make the conveyance doesn't mean they should force us to buy their engine. They can't do this to us! It's not fair and un American.

PMUCCIOLO posted 02-19-2002 05:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
If you wish to continue in this manner, please be my guest...I shall formulate no response because your sarcastic post serves as an indicator that you have a different agenda. I neither wish to offend anyone, nor can I understand why you are dragging Honda and Chevrolet into a discussion of outboard motor problems. Furthermore, your analogy is improper. Clearly, your focus is elsewhere. The content of your posts deem no further consideration by me.
Whaletosh posted 02-19-2002 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

I think the point that Larry and others are trying to make is that Brunswick owns Whaler and Mercury. From a a business standpoint it only makes sense for them to package Mercury and Mercruisers on the boats they make. does this limit your choices, yes. but no more so than when you by an automobile and must but the motor packaged with the car maker.

You are fairly new to this forum. Give Larry (LHG) and the rest of us a chance. Larry is known for strong opinions. He and I have butted heads before, probably will in the future. But, despite that I respect his knowledge and opinion. You just happened to hit one of his hot buttons early on in you forum history. There are some people that severly dislike undue criticism of American made products, myself included. Bashing American made cars, trucks, electronics, etc. has become a national hobby. For those of us that prefer to buy American made products and have good luck with them we get tired of hearing our choices run into the ground. thus we tend to develope a touchy attitiude about this, and sometimes have difficult time seperating honest criticism (such as the troubles with 200/225 optimax motors) from irrational bias against great products (such as 135 optimaxes). Hope this clears this up.

LKS posted 02-19-2002 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for LKS  Send Email to LKS     
Can we get this thread back on track, please? This thread started out dealing with problems with certain Optimax engines and a particular dealer, not American vs. foreign-maufactured engines. While the issues may be related, it's like having a Face the Nation debate interjected into the scenes of Law & Order! Juris -- any updates?
lhg posted 02-19-2002 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sean, appreciate your message, clarifying my point. I simply thought an another opinion needed to be expressed on the following:

1. Yamahas are the engine to buy because OMC's and Mercs are inferior, and a disgrace to our country.

2. Resenting the idea that Brunswick exercises it's "right" to exclusively furnish their brand of engines (which is really the source of their financial success) on their boats.

I guess both of these issues are related to the "Juris" experience, unfortunately.

SuburbanBoy posted 02-20-2002 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
I might point out that the majority of products sold by Honda in the United States of America are manufactured here. Honda is a large customer of mine, as are all of the "Big Three" traditional auto manufacturers. The term "American made" has been diluted. And it is not as simple as where the profits go. I know for fact that Honda and others have invested large sums of money in design and engineering facilities here in the good ole USA. The country of origin argument is complicated. Take a look at the window sticker of a new car for some enlightenment. It ain't what ya think. Country of origin has little to do with Optimax problems. People at Mercury knew there were flaws either before it was released or shortly there after. The way they are judged here and elsewhere is really based on their ability to remedy the situation. Mistakes in business are made all the time, it is how you recover and correct the mistakes that makes the difference.


Arch Autenreith posted 02-20-2002 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Nicely said.
Jurisproodenz posted 02-20-2002 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Good news of sorts:

Mr. Bob Van Vollenhoven of Mercury asked that I give him a break during the Miami show and that as soon as it was over, he would return to the task of locating suitable replacement motors for me. The notion is that Mercury will make me "whole" by putting me in the position I should have been in upon completion of my transaction with Lauderdale Marina. It does NOT compensate me for a lost year (summer -- it is more or less the same thing in the NE) of boating, but it does show good faith. Thanks for your attention, Bob.

Ostensibly he will find factory Optimaxes in good working order (how he can do this elludes me -- I mean 100% trouble free or no release) or left-over 2001's in the box. He will make good the factory guarantee for service and set up a relationship with Russo's. We have not actually spoken about rigging etc., but this has certainly been implied in our discussion that Mercury will attend to it. Mercury is not bing quite as responsive as other situations I have heard of (simply replace with new motors), but then I did buy the boat used from a Mercury dealer (however it WAS the dealer's boat, no 3rd parties involved). Everything has balance, I suppose. I assume that the dealer and Mercury will settle things between them. I FINALLY got my Mercury warranty cards -- sent directly from Mercury (there are all sorts of federal and state laws about warranties and the proper time to tender them and consequences for failure to do so).

But they will be Optimaxes. Fine. Bob assures me that they will be taken apart (even if brand new) at the factory before shipping. Hmmm. I will get a full and new warranty on the replacements. I have heard the defense case for reliable Optis -- we'll see if the best that the factory can deliver directly are reliable or not.

Bob has also warranted that they will be installed before the start of this year's boating season. Bob: you better get your skates on, it'll be 60 degrees here tomorrow and I go boating April 15 come rain or shine.

That's the news. Nothing in writing, only oral representations.

Jurisproodenz posted 02-21-2002 09:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
Incidentally, if I sound ungrateful, I am not. If I sound skeptical, I am most assuredly so -- something about the number of phone calls and letters, etc. I will remain in a state of disbelief and anticipation until I see something "new" on my transom. After all, they were meant to be able to fix them too -- the single definitive action I have seen is the procurement of my warranty cars.

Out of interest as to the way that Mercury works, I should also mention that Mr. Van Vollenhoven is a regional officer of Mercury in Florida -- and he has fatihfully called me every week since the beginning of the year to let me know that I am not forgotten.

LarrySherman posted 02-21-2002 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Well, that certianly does sound like a turn for the better. Three cheers for Mr. Vollenhoven for stepping up to the plate! I suppose your skepticism is understandable, but I'd be pretty relived if I were in your shoes. Optimax's or no, at least it sounds like you will be running this summer.

Good news, I think. Good first step by Mercury, albeit later then expected.

lhg posted 02-21-2002 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Juris - I'm curious. Would they not consider giving you EFI's? If so, why? Or did you want Opti's, which are more expensive?

As mentioned above, I have heard that they've now got the bugs out of them, and they're running quite well. These are engines that need to be run hard once in a while, to keep the carbon down.

Jurisproodenz posted 02-22-2002 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
The Optis are Mercury's preference. Mr. Van Vollenhoven was pretty adamant about it -- I did mention the difficulty of the differential in compensation of the relative fuel efficiency and residual value. So Optis they will be (hopefully).

As to running them hard, I try as a general matter to run engines hard (at least long enough to get them properly warmed up/cleaned out) for at least a portion of any given trip, precisely for that reason. You can't always do it (harbor cruise with "guests" -- friends of wife that freak at anything above 30 knots), but otherwise yes.

JoeyP posted 02-28-2002 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoeyP  Send Email to JoeyP     

Reading your past post dated 2/14/2001, you say the 2002 Opti's were on the water in August. This would be August 2001..right? I'm wondering how far in advance of the actual Model year was the 2002 released. I have looked at a few left over 2001 BW's with the Opti's. I see you recommend to check with the dealer about the update. So, is it safe to say any Opti labled 2002 is an improved model? Thanks.

jimh posted 10-28-2002 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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