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  1. #1
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    Dropping a 2006 175 Optimax powerhead onto a 1995 175 carbed

    After seizing my powerhead i want the optimax efficiency without the price of a new pro xs. I've looked everything over I purchased everything but the power head( i have my eyes on one though or ill wait for the next one). Was hoping someone could double check my plan and let me know if they see any issues.

    The bolts pattern is the same on the power head I ordered new studs.

    Both engines have two exhaust plates that as far as I can tell look exactly the same except the opti upper exhaust plate has the coolant and drain lines for the compressor, and the lower is hooked up to a longer tuner on the opti.

    Now mercury lists the exact same gaskets for inbetween the two exhaust plates and between the powerhead and the upper exhaust plate in both my old engine and the new opti. Since the gaskets are the same the passages must be right? After looking at many pictures of those part numbers on ebay the exhaust plates look exactly the same except for what I mentioned above.

    One difference I noticed is that my old setup has a gasket between its lower plate and its short tuner while the opti does not have a gasket for its long tuner #812834A2.

    I ordered a used exhaust tuner
    812834 after contacting mercury and they said it was an older version of the 812834A2 so I'm hoping it works the same and bolts up to my exhaust plate.

    I also ordered the upper exhaust plate and I'm planning on re using my lower as long as the longer tuner bolts up.

    I also ordered a complete 1998 135 upper and lower optimax cowling as no one could confirm if the optihead would fit in my blackmax carbed cowl.

    The powerhead has an option for a 14 pin harness adapted to an old 8 pin setup. Does the 2006 opti have any new useful data besides analog temp and tachometer. I'll probably just plug in and use the old setup (if that even works).

    Any help on this is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by Fishinmymission; 09-29-2017 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'll try. I have experience doing this with 200XS(2.5) on high performance mid using a one piece exhaust plate. Also going from memory here as I did this a few years ago.

    Just because the two piece plates appear to be the same as your two piece doesn't mean they are. You would have to have both of them side by side and follow all the water passages. You are correct on the opti having a water drain line into the plate but there is also a water feed line coming off the plate to feed water to the injector rails and compressor. Maybe the 175 sourced that water differently. On the 200 it's where a filter screen screwed into the exhaust plate if you look at a parts breakdown.

    You should be fine on the tuner, that's just what I did. Wouldn't worry about the gasket between the tuner and exhaust plate, I didn't.

    If you ordered the upper exhaust plate already why not play it safe and use the matching lower? If you could get your hands on an opti one and compare to be sure before you used your lower would be optimum cause chances are once you buy it it won't be returnable. All this is mute if your lower and the opti lower have the same part number, then you're fine.

    Can't advise on the cowl. I do know the cowls for opti needs to sit further back because of the injector rails and compressor on the opti. Also the opti should have an alternator mounted on the side of the block which needs a bigger cowl. Your 175 charging system was under the flywheel.

    I just used the old 8 pin plug harness and all worked fine. Not sure if the 175 you're looking at has data capability or not. On the 200 the data was in a separate harness.

    The irony of all all this is I had all of the parts you need from a 150 opti I picked up. Tried selling the cowls wth mounts and couldn't find a home for them, ended up junking them as I needed the room. Cowls are pretty expensive to ship and that would kill the deal. On the high performance alien cowls it's just a different bottom plate which moves the cowl further back to provide the necessary clearance for the compressor and rails.

    Im considering selling a 200XS powerhead if that's of any interest. Also have the 150 powerhead if you were looking for a project powerhead.

    Hope me this helps some.

    Don't trust what is on eBay for part fit, etc. I have seen so much misinformation on there it's comical except for someone could easily get wrong parts that won't work. Stick with the factory parts lists and numbers.

  3. #3
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    Hey One Time,

    Another member rock gave me the thumbs up on the parts I chose out. We both "think" that because mercury lists the exact same gasket part numbers the passages and function must be the same. Also I'm now thinking of just leaving my short tuner and my lower exhaust plate in place and only replacing the top. Rock mentioned and I'm reading that it might not matter much and my shorter one might even decrease back pressure on the engine.

    I don't know enough about the 200XS to start researching what I need to make sure that fits everything. Plus I don't want to add any more weight to the back of my boat and I see another 60+ lbs across the years going from 175 to 200. I'm not exactly sure if that applies here though.

    So my last thing that I don't need but would like is to figure out the cheapest way to get the 14 pin harness to a smart craft gauge at my helm, or gauge in the rear in the rear for fuel consumption only and use my analog guagues with the 14 pin to 8 pin adapter. My head hurts but I'll continue searching tomorrow to try and figure this out.

  4. #4
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    Mine is also an xs like I stated earlier and I modified a 1 pc plate. While the top of the top plate does look the same Onetime makes a very valid point that without seeing the underside or matching it up to the factory opti bottom plate there could be differences. Keep looking till you know for sure as these things get pretty expensive when they break and not having the proper adapter could easily be a killer.

    Rock
    Team Junk

    No sparkling wiggles in here, only dump truck grinches.

    "Screamin Heathen"

  5. #5
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    When I was doing mine I talked to a mercury engineer at the factory. Was told to run the long tuner as it gave better performance and the fuel/spark programming was done around that tuner. Since these are emissions engines and tuning is held very precise to meet the emissions I didn't want to chance it with a different tuner and potentially hurting the engine being lean or?

    As to the same gasket therefore the same exhaust plates. I wouldn't go by that. If you spend some time on the mercury parts schematics you'll find the same gaskets being used on different exhaust plate part numbers.

    Regarding the weight, the 150,175 and 200XS powerheads are all 2.5's and weigh the same. The 200XS was only available from racing division. The production 200 opti is a 3.0 and does weigh more.

  6. #6
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    Rock, good advise!

  7. #7
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    Im looking at NADA values online and there are many 2.5l optis and other engines that have a massive weight gain from 175 to 200. I can't explain what the weight comes from if they have the same/similar blocks. Because I def would have wanted a 200 if i didn't have to add more weight. Also with ebay pictures i compared both sides and gaskets on both sides(tuner gasket was only no match because it didnt exist on opti).

    So I relooked at the parts list and my lower exhaust plate on my 1995 carbed is 18233A3 but if you hit the "+" dropdown in the left hand column the 18233A20# is shown directly below for my old engine (which is the same as the opti part #). I think this is another one of those part manufacturing changes without affecting its function. Wish I could get someone from mercury to confirm this.

  8. #8
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    The weight difference is when it goes to the 3.0L engines. All the 2.5L opti powerheads pretty much weigh the same.

  9. #9
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    Look at the NADA for 2005 Mercury, scroll all the way down to the racing series and look at the 200XS. You'll see the weight is the same as the 175 Opti. The 200 Opti in the production model is a 3.0L and they weigh more. The 200 XS powerhead bolts on just like the 175 Opti does with all the same conversion factors from carburetor engine to Opti.

    From what you're saying on the lower exhaust plate part numbers you should be fine. What your describing is a number supersede for the replacement part.

  10. #10
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    You are right thanks for clearing that up I was looking at just optimax and pro xs. I haven't purchased the 175 powerhead yet. What year and model etc is your XS? Do you know if it will go to my exhaust plate setup i just bought or do you want to sell or know what i need to get to make it fit?

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    It will bolt up the same as a 175 Opti with all the same scenarios being discussed. I used it with a one piece exhaust plate and an alien cowl so not sure on your cowl stuff as I posted before. My 200 XS is a 2003 or 2004 with approximately 100 hours on it.
    The easiest way would be to use the one piece plate and alien cowl. Everything bolts on then.

  12. #12
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    I'm getting this for efficiency as i fish far and alot. Maybe one out of 4 days its smooth enough that I actually want to go faster(to get to my spots quicker) than full throttle gave (34 mph) on my 175 carbed. But its gets wavy on long island sound and I can't usually go that fast without feeling like my boat will break apart. Is the xs sacrificing efficiency for more HP and is it harder or more expensive to maintain? I'm by no means am a racer like you guys but thanks for helping me out and answering my questions. Respond here or shoot me a PM with the price if you think the XS would be a good fit for me.

    I see a slightly scuffed alien cowl on ebay for $670.

    The opti Im looking to buy is very well priced and guaranteed to run but has much more hours.
    Last edited by Fishinmymission; 09-29-2017 at 08:50 PM.

  13. #13
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    The only potential drawback is the 200 has to use premium fuel. Pretty sure the 175 can use regular.
    Sell the 200 xs powerhead for $3500. Then there would be shipping to get it to you. If you have a 175 lined up locally might be a better fit for you.

  14. #14
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    Decent price for an xs as they are getting hard to find.

    Rock
    Team Junk

    No sparkling wiggles in here, only dump truck grinches.

    "Screamin Heathen"

  15. #15
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    I did my research and it did seem like a very good price. But when it came down to my needs and cost savings and that I already bought the opti cowl i went with the 175hp 2006 opti head which i just purchased for $1600+ freight shipping. Now I have to figure out a way to remove the 80 gallons of premix fuel in my tank lol. MY four stroke 10 hp kicker burns it fine but that will take forever.
    I'll let you know how the drop goes.
    Ill probably make another thread on how to get a smartcraft gauge for the opti becuase I'm still struggling with that.

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