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  1. #1
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    A few inline facts from retired Merc service service school instructor

    I had a long talk with my old retired from Merc buddy last night. The one thing I intended to ask him that I forgot was exactly what year they stuck the power ported pistons in the 1150's, so I still don't know that for sure. A couple of things that he did tell me were that the 140's (later ones, not the 72 model) were the EXACT SAME ENGINES as the year earlier 150's. He said the only reason for this change was that it was the same year that Merc introduced the V6 150 and they didn't want both engines rated the same. He also said that all the inline 150's and 140's had the high dome pistons. I always suspected that the 140 HP rating reflected the lower pistons, but he said this was incorrect.

    He said the 140 was dropped in about 84 or 85 with the 115 being the top of the inlines as far as ratings go. He also said these 115's were slightly modified from the previous 140's for more bottom end which had always been a problem with 150's and 140's and they did have the power ported pistons. Also, this 115 DID reflect the change to propshaft rated horsepower for the first time on these particular engines. (He said there was no specific year when Merc rated at the propshaft on all engines, that it varied from engine to engine).

    Somebody asked the other day when the distributor got gone on the 6 cyl inlines. He said it was mid year in '79 and the ADI type engines were actually called 79 1/2 by Merc. (by then I was knee deep in V6's and didn't care, so I never owned one)

    Someone stated the other day that triggers would cause #3 to burn pistons. I'd never heard this before either so I asked him. He said that in all his years in the warranty department he'd never seen it, but some of Merc's tech reps mentioned it, so when he taught service school later he'd bring it up too. He said the Merc engineers explain it this way: There's always gravity, even in small amounts in the incoming intake charge. In that the inline feeds 2 cyls off each carb, the upturning charge in each pair mixes slightly leaner than the downturning one. That means that #'s 1, 3, & 5 will always be slightly leaner than #'s 2, 4, & 6. Back to the piston burning, the defective triggers (if they did exist) would start advancing the timing in all cyl's, but with 1, 3, & 5 being the leaner already they were the most at risk. Of this group, there may be slightly better airflow to #3 & 4, so this makes 3 arguably the leanest in the engine and the most at risk. He said that they taught in school to stick the .082 jets from the XS in the middle carb to give it a margin of safety. (I think that's the size he said, didn't write it down, but anyway the jet that's stock in the 1500XS) He also said that they recommended that the 150's/140's be pitched to turn about 6K at WOT with usual load and fuel, and not over 6250 with light load. He said pitchin' em down in the 5's greatly increases piston burn risks.

    As far as the inline 90's, he said they had very small ports and were very different from the other inlines. They were built as a low RPM high torque engine, and he wouldn't pitch one to turn over 5400 at WOT, not because of damage worries, but just because they won't make any power up there.

  2. #2
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    Wow. Thank you! That's good readin' right there Raceman. This is getting printed and put in my notebook.
    --Brian Chandler--
    Sunshine Syndicate Wiseguy.





  3. #3
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    pounder,

    i found this while doing some research and thought ya might want it for your files
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  4. #4
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    Question Raceman

    Raceman, this retired instructor, is he the one that used to teach at the Old Peachtree Road location, & called the backyard mechanics "Carport Cowboys"?

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up COOL

    RM,

    Interesting info...thanks for sharing!!

  6. #6
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    Good Post

    I have a 79' 90hp with distributer on my pontoon the thing runs real strong. What would be the best RPM to run this motor at? I'm running a 21p ss Quicksilver prop at only 3700rpm and it runs about 27mph not bad for a 25'. I tried other props and had the RPM up to 5000, but the boat runs slower.

    I also have a 84' 115hp on a Hydrostream Vamp running a 23p at about 6000rpm, it runs about 60mph.

    Is there a trick to starting these motors? It seems like you have to trim them all the way in to get them started.

    LONG LIVE THE TOWER OF POWER!!!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for more info Skip.

    As for starting inlines, mine doesn't seem to have a problem starting when it's trimmed up, just ask Skip and Big D. I wasn't paying attention and almost prop washed Big D off his boat, I caught him shielding himself out of the corner of my eye as I heard him yelling "TRIM IT DOWN TRIM IT DOWN" Oops, sorry!
    --Brian Chandler--
    Sunshine Syndicate Wiseguy.





  8. #8
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    I don't have any experience with the inlines after the 78's but one reason they appear hard to start is that they don't choke all that well. The older ones only had choke butterflies on the top 2 carbs and they don't seal all that great either. It seemed like pumping the bulb real tight to the point of flooding a little fuel past the needle and seat helped them, then it was just a matter of giving it some fast idle and holding the choke down until it cranks. It's always amazed me how many people you see pumping the choke button, when all it does is open and close a pair of covers over the top 2 carb throats. Just hold it until it cranks. Again, I don't have any experience with the later stuff and I know Merc used some enrichening solenoids on some of the engines, so if they did it on yours instead of the manual choke cover the trick will obviously be different.

  9. #9
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    Terry, he was at both, first the one in Norcross, then Suwannee when they moved there. It is Wally who was teaching stern drives when he retired. Merc actually retired 1 instructor nationwide in every center that was using 3 and he got the early out.

    Wally's dad worked very closely with Carl Kiekhaefer in the old days and the three brothers grew up around Lake X and the proving grounds at Sarasota. The brothers had 1000's on little Glastrons, 1250's on the old flat bottom Allisons, then 1350's, 1400's, 1500's and finally a Twister 1. Two of the brothers moved here with their dad in the early 70's and ran a Merc store for a guy who had multiple dealerships in several states, and that's where I first met them. He's real knowledgeable on 6 cyl race stuff from the mid 60's through the first V6's, and because of the time at Merc, maybe the best telephone trouble shooter on later stuff I've ever run across.

    I've begged him to come on here and play with us, but he doesn't like playin' with his daughter's computer and I'm not making much headway. I thought one time about posting a poll, then printing it and mailing it to him, but haven't done it. Whenever I call him it's usually a couple of hours on the phone, he loves talking about Mercs so much, and I know if he ever got started here he'd be hooked.

  10. #10
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    I'd jump on that campaign fer sure!! Hmmmm I'm gonna be in GA for Thanksgiving. Wonder if i can talk the wife into an extra day "Honey, you go shopping while I talk to these nice gentleman."
    --Brian Chandler--
    Sunshine Syndicate Wiseguy.





  11. #11
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    came acrross this too...............
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  12. #12
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    Starting L6 Merc

    In service school, the instructors always taught you to use three fingers while priming an engine with the primer bulb (thumb, index, middle). My instructor said when it came to the in-line 6 to throw that out the window. "The sure fire way to make a L6 fire is to lay the primer bulb down on the back deck of the boat and jump up and down on it until you have created a 6' oil slick on top of the water, stand on top of the choke button and crank it over. Then it will fire right off".

    That wasn't verbatim what he said, but with these engines you really have to get a lot of fuel down inside of them before they want to fire. I always tell my customers to try to flood them and they will start (when the engine is cold).
    ______________________________

    1992 Mirage Ski Racer
    1996 Mariner 225 Super Mag

  13. #13
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    Thumbs up My old Mercs are easy starters...

    I suppose everyone has different experiences, but I used to own a 1977 1150 Merc (distributor model with butterflies) and recently bought a 1985 115 (EDI with enricher circuit), and still have an old 1968 650 (in storage now, but still in mint shape). All three engines would/will light in about three seconds of cranking, much quicker then the two X-flow OMC V4s I also own.

    My procedure on all models is to prime the carbs with the fuel line bulb until firm and advance the throttle to give a starting rpm of about 1500 rpm. On butterfly models I just depress the chock and hold it while I hit the starter key. With the enricher circuit I depress the chock for about three seconds prior to hitting the starter key. In either case, I let the choke go as soon as the engine lights… I get a guaranteed start every time. I do a similar procedure with the two enricher circuit V4s, except I depress the chock for about five seconds prior to hitting the starter key, and then I need to keep pulsing the chock after the engine lights for about 20 seconds or so. Too much and she floods, too little and she stalls.

    I’ve always found those old generation inline Mercs to be easy starters.

  14. #14
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    I wish my 1500xs started that easy, I have to flood the engine with a small tank and a primer blub then plug in the electric fuel pump. Thanks Raceman for the info, Cleared up a couple of questions. Now all we got to do is clear up the SSM questions, That can be for another day. Besides that it's been in the 80's all week up here!!
    DaveW

  15. #15
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    Thanks, Raceman, great information...

    Maybe you can continue to glean some more tips from him as time allows, it is truly invaluable!

    Hope to fire the XS off in the driveway this weekend, will wait for a very firm primer bulb. We used to have to do that with a '72 1400, had to call a mechanic one time when it wouldn't start, heck, he just pumped the bulb up real firm and fired her off!

    I'm not running an electric pump on the XS, what is the advantage in usin one?

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