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Author Topic:   Mercury 90hp 4 stroke
Goosedog posted 09-09-2003 01:57 PM ET (US)   Profile for Goosedog  
On the Mercury web site, there appears to be a visual difference between what they call the "Saltwater" 90hp 4 stroke (says "saltwater" on cowl with blue trim) and the normal 4 stroke (red trim that came on my '04 Montauk). The specs seem the same. Does anyone know if there is a difference?
Moe posted 09-09-2003 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
If you go to
and do a Site Search on Mercury AND Saltwater AND difference, this thread is near the top of the results.
Hope it helps.


Goosedog posted 09-09-2003 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Goosedog    
Thanks Moe. I guess it's my fault for trusting salesman before asking here.
lhg posted 09-09-2003 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
To make it short - The 90's, both 2 and 4-stroke, seem unique. The only difference is the stainless steel tilt tube/nuts and graphics color. Even for freshwater use, I would spend the $50 extra for the Saltwater version.

BUT, in all of the larger Mercs, 115-250HP, Saltwater not only means the SS tilt tube, but 25" shaft length, and with the V-6's, the availability of Counter Rotation. So 25" engine have blue graphics, 20" engines red graphics.

lenm posted 09-09-2003 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lenm  Send Email to lenm     
Before ordering my new 2003 170, I spoke with Mercury and they told me that there was no difference at all between the 2003 Saltwater (blue decal) and non-Saltwater (red decal) outboards. Prior to 2003, there were some minor differences.
lhg posted 09-10-2003 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Yes, and I have to correct my above post in that for 2003 Saltwater versions, which I still think have the SS tilt tube upgrade, are now available in optional 20" shaft for the 115-200HP conventional 2-stroke/EFI models, and also the 150 Optimax. I think this is mainly to accomodate the flats boats, which normally use a 20" engine.
Goosedog posted 09-10-2003 05:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Goosedog    
Here is what I got from Mercury customer service by email:

All Mercury Outboard engines are salt water ready. Engines designated with the salt water version have a extra long shaft and a stainless steel tilt tube and different decals.

Please follow the flushing instructions in your owners operation maintenance manual after each use in salt water.

newt posted 09-11-2003 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
You cannot rely on Mercury customer service or Mercury dealers to correctly inform you about what the significance of the "saltwater series" is - as Goosedog's email from Mercury Customer service confirms once again. The 90 hp "saltwater series" can be bought as a 20" long shaft.

Ask three different Customer Service reps, and you will get three different answers. Luckily, I think we have pretty much figured it out on this forum.

lhg posted 09-11-2003 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
On the 2003 and 2004 170 Montauks, is BW shipping the 90 HP engines with the Saltwater designation? Considering how they are used, this seems like a wise thing to do, either 2 or 4 stroke.
13DAUNTLESS posted 09-11-2003 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for 13DAUNTLESS  Send Email to 13DAUNTLESS     
On the 03 and 04 170 the 90 2 stroke is a sw series and the 90 4 stroke is the non sw series. I am not sure why when the 4 stroke comes in 20" and 25" shaft sizes on the 90 sw series. The non sw series comes only in a 20" shaft on the 4 stroke. It is my understanding that you can order a 170 with the sw series 90 4 stroke.

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