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  1. #1
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    Which Merc 2.5 to look for?

    Hello, all. I'm new to this forum. I've been running big block Mercruisers for 20 years. Last weekend, the wife and I got tangled up in an Allison rally on the TN river near Clifton. I was mesmerized. Didn't take pics but there was a ridiculous row of Allisons lined up on the beach with 2.5 Merc after 2.5 Merc. I talked to a few guys running over 100 mph. They put on quite a show. Saw one guy in a river racer catch air and turn it upside down (he was uninjured, thankfully).
    Anyway, so I have a bit of the 2 stroke outboard fever now. I need to be educated on which 2.5 Merc to look for. One of the guys told me not to consider anything made after 2005. Please educate a Mercruiser guy in the intricacies of selection and what you guys do to these monsters.

    Thanks for the help! I'm currently running a '89 Glastron 239 GX with Mercruiser racing 7.4 and Bravo 1. Beautiful boat, runs 80 but it's looking a little boring after getting sucked in to the Allison rally.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to your new addiction Hurst! I do not know what part of TN you are in but if you are close to Dunlap then you are in luck. One of the best machinist/builders I know lives there and he is a member on this board. His name is James Perry and he goes by wrechin2 on this site as well as http://www.chattanoogafishingforum.com. He has a nice list of quite a few of his engines on that forum as well -->http://www.chattanoogafishingforum.c...sts=43&start=1 . I am CERTAIN there are other guys on here that can fit the bill and maybe even be better, but I have not worked with them so I can only speak for my personal experiece. I drove 5 hours and waited while he did my work, then drove 5 hours home. He is one of the nicest and most straight forward guys I have met. Good luck with your new habit.

    Slimm
    Last edited by Slimm; 07-19-2014 at 12:07 PM. Reason: mispelling
    Hire the handicapped, we're fun to watch

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the site Hurst. Kinda depends on several things. What Allison you thinkin about, what are your plans and expectations, and do you have any experience with a pad v. There are many combinations and with any Alison/Merc set-up you will have a nice fun to dirve rig. I have personally owned a couple different Allys. The 01 drag had a heavilly modified 260 and would scream. I currently have an xb02 with a 15" 200xs. Both a blast and both very well built boats. In my opinion there are not many better looking hulls than the GS or SS. Good luck.

    Rock
    Team Junk

    No sparkling wiggles in here, only dump truck grinches.

    "Screamin Heathen"

  4. #4
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    I'm running a 2.5 200 carb motor with good results. 97 power head.

    Has a lite fly wheel, and carbon fiber reeds, but otherwise stock. The lite fywheel seems to really help my hole shot.

    So far(3rd season) has been really dependable.
    Carlson CT15/90 RUDE(SWEET AND LOW). SOLD!
    Bentley 200Cruise/90hp Evinrude. SOLD!
    Talon18/150Merc: Getting Upgrades. SOLD!
    77 Viking recored sold.
    97 Moomba Boomerang
    00 Mirage Ski Racer 2.5 200





    [IMG][/IMG]

    "The All-Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer. Your fate is fixed. Fear profits a man nothing.

  5. #5
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    If ya want to run 100+ and i were to buy another Allison it would be a SS with a 260 2.5 15 inch. You will be quicker than 99% of the boats anywhere handles the chop well, zero wood to rot so will last and look sexy for a lifetime. If you need more room than a 4 seater a 5 seater like mine is really sweet also Grand Sport XS2003. I have a 225 2.5 and does under 100 into the 90,s quite easily though. My boat ran 104 when it had a 280 on her. Guys with a 260 or 280 will run 104-106 with the GS 103 with 4 in the boat. The SS can do 110+ with a 260/280. Even though 260 and 280,s are a little thirsty they arnt bad at all on Allisons. Allisons being so efficient are the best 20ft vee hulls on the planet for fuel economy with any motor. With my 225 Promax I can bomb around on a big lake all day from 7am till 9pm running 70-90 every chance I get and never burn $100 bucks in fuel a day ever!! Normal boating into the 90 mph passes, skiing, tubing cruising around 80 Ill normally burn around $60-70 a day from sun up till sun down. Out for a 4 hours or so maybe 15 bucks worth? Its unreal compared to my buddies 18ft bayliner with a 4.3 LX inboard. He burns twice what I do in the same day and cant to 50mph. :]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whipper View Post
    If ya want to run 100+ and i were to buy another Allison it would be a SS with a 260 2.5 15 inch. You will be quicker than 99% of the boats anywhere handles the chop well, zero wood to rot so will last and look sexy for a lifetime. If you need more room than a 4 seater a 5 seater like mine is really sweet also Grand Sport XS2003. I have a 225 2.5 and does under 100 into the 90,s quite easily though. My boat ran 104 when it had a 280 on her. Guys with a 260 or 280 will run 104-106 with the GS 103 with 4 in the boat. The SS can do 110+ with a 260/280. Even though 260 and 280,s are a little thirsty they arnt bad at all on Allisons. Allisons being so efficient are the best 20ft vee hulls on the planet for fuel economy with any motor. With my 225 Promax I can bomb around on a big lake all day from 7am till 9pm running 70-90 every chance I get and never burn $100 bucks in fuel a day ever!! Normal boating into the 90 mph passes, skiing, tubing cruising around 80 Ill normally burn around $60-70 a day from sun up till sun down. Out for a 4 hours or so maybe 15 bucks worth? Its unreal compared to my buddies 18ft bayliner with a 4.3 LX inboard. He burns twice what I do in the same day and cant to 50mph. :]
    14 hours of boating at 70 to 90 and spend less than 100 bucks on fuel, that's really good or your great B.S. er

  7. #7
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    75 mph x 14 hours = 1050 miles on 100 bucks in fuel at 4 buck a gal is if ur lucky to get 25 gal of good gas for 100.... So your saying 42 mpg times 25 gal of gas at average of 75 mph ... Low number compared to ur 90 high for 14 hours and do 1050 miles lol nothing I own is close to that . Hmmmmm what am I doing wrong ........ My 2.5 gets if I am lucky 2.5 mpg wide open someone pass the captain
    1990 hydrostream virage diamondpower280

  8. #8
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    Thanks, guys. Great info and pretty much what I'm looking for. What are the best years to look for on the 2.5? Is the guy right when he told me to stay 2005 and older? Also, what sort of mods do you Merc guys do or have done to squeeze more HP out of it? I can build a small or big block Chevy all day but I'm new to outboards. There's a guy not far from me with a 2005 2.5 280hp for sale with 45 hours on it. He's asking $10K. Good or bad?

  9. #9
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    not bad but make sure you or have someone do a leak down on the cylinders and if it was used in salt water be real aware of what salt does to areas you cannot see.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eli View Post
    14 hours of boating at 70 to 90 and spend less than 100 bucks on fuel, that's really good or your great B.S. er
    haha well theres breaks in that time guys wow. A typical full day of boating what ever that is, you guys seem pretty good at numbers figure it out. I do stop for lunch and super oh and ya might even go for a swim or two. The point is from 7am go get the good water before the wake boats come on the scene. Then take a break when the water is no longer perfect. Then go back out do some tubing because it doesn't matter if theres wakes. Get bord going so slow dump off the toys at the wharf and people because no ones going to be brave enough to go for a boat ride I want to go on for a while.. After searching for good stretches to wind er out a bunch stop take a cool swim. BTW not burning any fuel when im swimming {i shut the motor oFF} That debunks the 100% wot for 14 hrs you guys think a normal boating day is already?? Any way you guys cant read everything i write because I usually write to much any way. But if you read what I said I SAID {A NORMAL DAYS BOATING FROM SUN UP TILL SUN DOWN} So if that for you is running 14 hrs straight WOT without food or water, or can eat while your boating at speed my hats off to you. Your a better man than me. Like I said i have never had to fill up and it cost me 100 bucks after a NORMAL days boating. Even pulling a tube around most days it cost around 60-70 to fill her back up. I not once said I hold it for 14 hours pinned come on now think about it. The only people who might find that hard to believe are boaters that never owned an Allison. because I assure you im not alone in what I say about the difference in fuel economy over most other 20 fters. some say we get TWICE the distance or even more from a tank of gas. Just sayen not BS,en haha

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eli View Post
    not bad but make sure you or have someone do a leak down on the cylinders and if it was used in salt water be real aware of what salt does to areas you cannot see.
    What Eli said thats no BS. Sorry Eli couldn't resist. The most common mod for a 280 is just going to 260 electronics. Guys do that because the 260 ecu has a higher rev limiter basicly. A top pinned 280 is a very strong motor and nic sleeved so can rev above 8000 no problem = very fast on an Allison. A 280 is a very strong motor for a SS or a GS or any Allison for that mater. The nice thing about a 280 over a 260 is it has the beefier charging system over the 260. You can get an alternator kit for a 260 but a 280 has a good setup for running your stereo and electronics ect.... if your thinking about a Allison SS a 15 inch mid works real well on that hull. The 15 inch mids in the motors for sale are also referred to as an SS so it will say 2005 280 SS, off shore mid with a SM {sport master} gearcase. Thats a sweet sounding motor made me drool just typing it!! Any way you'll get the outboard lingo in no time. If theres any Q at all dont hesitate to ask because were all hear to help each other and stay safe!! There is also lots of guys in your neck of the woods that can probably help you out when you go and look at a motor. like Eli said there are some things to look for. But generally once you know a few things there pretty basic motors its more the electronics that can get a little puzzling some times if your diagnosing something.. good luck! Looking forward to seeing what ya end up with. Sounds like ya got the power thing figured out. Thats the only thing i wish I did 9 years ago when I got my Allison,was get a 260 or a 280 for her. I love her with the 225 dont get me wrong. But after a few years of driving i got so Im useing all the power she has and theres nothing left. The 260 and 280 its more the hull speed stopping ya at 100+ rather than the power the motor put out. Much more interesting than smashing your foot to the floor and trimming till your maxed out of thrust!!

  12. #12
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    I'm very happy with our stock 04 225x....but I'm just a crotchety retired old fart that rarely goes out without his 'limiter' in the co-pilot seat.






    Bob
    Last edited by H20WKD; 07-20-2014 at 07:56 AM.
    "have you met my little fly named scream?"



    GSE #1 2004 GSE, 2004 225X Promax... RIP


    GSE #2 2013, Gen2 200XS ROS

  13. #13
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    Eli, Whipper and H2O, GREAT info. Exactly what I needed. Thanks muchly, guys. Beautiful Allys too. My wife thinks I'm a little nuts for talking about dumping the big smooth ride for a chine walker but when I get the fever on something, there's not stopping me. Thanks again.

  14. #14
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    The GS and SS are actually pretty smooth riding for a 20fter. They have a deep vee 20deg I think and a very sharp bow that slices chop pretty good. Wake boat wakes suck no matter what but directional wind chop is a breeze to rip on going against or with the white caps. Like anything if its real bad you probably don't want to boat any way unless your in a 22+fter and going out to jump waves.But even if it kicks up real bad while your out there you can safely make it back.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurst View Post
    Eli, Whipper and H2O, GREAT info. Exactly what I needed. Thanks muchly, guys. Beautiful Allys too. My wife thinks I'm a little nuts for talking about dumping the big smooth ride for a chine walker but when I get the fever on something, there's not stopping me. Thanks again.
    Where will you be doing most of your boating? The reason I ask is that different size bodies of water generally require different types of hulls to both go fast and ride like anything less than a floor jack. For instance, a classic Hydrostream or Switzer would be a great small river / lake boat and go like stink. Put it on Lake Ontario (where I do most of my boating) and you'd hate yourself for buying one in about 5 minutes. On the other hand, classic Challengers, Shadows or even my Progression are pretty darn quick, but absolutely eat rough water. (Relatively speaking of course.)

    Hope that helps.
    1992 Progression 22
    Diamond Marine Massaged Mercury 2.5 / 200

    "Outboards only smell bad when they're in front of you - which they usually are."

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