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Old 14 April 2012, 16:18   #1
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Country: UK - Scotland
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1978 Mercury 80

At the beginning of March myself and a pal came across a 1978 Searider 5.4 with a Merc 80 of the same vintage.

First job was to start on the outboard to see if it worked before setting upon the boat armed with a cutting disc and a bucket of gusto.

As the engine hadnt started in some 10-12 years the first job was replacing anything that might give us hassle, fuel pump, water pump, plugs, exhaust cover gaskets, carb to powerhead gaskets, carb rebuild, wirning replacement, new fuel and vacuum hoses and new fuel connectors both engine and tank side, theMercontrol unit was also treated to an overhaul including a new IGN barrel, battery leads and a repaint.

Tonight was the first proper start after ALL the work, we put it in a HUGE tub of water and turned the key.. nothing! It spun over but wouldnt fire, we tried several times but to no avail, we took the cowlings off to check for any visible problems but all looked good, we decided to give it one last go before digging deeper and BINGO! She fired right up and after a fiddle with the throttle she settled onto idle and sat there purring away lovely!

As its the first proper start we mixed up quite an oily mix and left it idling for 20 mins or so just to get everything inside up to temperature and give itself a clean out before lifting RPM, we will try a faster idle tomorrow. If im honest Ive never heard a 2 stroke idle so smoothly and very quiet for an old engine.

We were like kids with a new toy, its been a long time coming but to hear it running so smoothly was worth it.

I must say a big thank you to Rob at Black Dog Marine, without his help sourcing hard to get parts it wouldnt have been possible, we were never going to make him rich by buying a few gaskets off him but nevertheless he got them for us and had them on my doormat in jig time so thanks Rob.

I know its an old engine and some wouldnt bother as the old Mercs have a name for being a bit agricultural and temperamental but hey ho, it was free and worth a shot.

The decals are shot so I have a pal that works in a signmakers so Il be cashing in a favour, with a quick blow over in black and new decals itl look the dogs danglies, the engine itself has come up lovely after cleaning off 30 years of wax/oil/dirt!

Pics....





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Old 14 April 2012, 16:41   #2
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Country: UK - England
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Sounds like you've had fun and all is going well - good job.
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Old 14 April 2012, 16:42   #3
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Country: Australia
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Boat name: Lunasea
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Great work. You are right, except for the fading, it looks in great condition and to get a beautiful idle as well, well that is just magic.

Many of us are perfectly happy with the older simple outboards, the ones we can fix without attaching a computer or that unbalance the boat with their excessive weight.

Don't forget to repost with the new stickers and paint job.
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Old 15 April 2012, 15:39   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubcat View Post
Great work. You are right, except for the fading, it looks in great condition and to get a beautiful idle as well, well that is just magic.

Many of us are perfectly happy with the older simple outboards, the ones we can fix without attaching a computer or that unbalance the boat with their excessive weight.

Don't forget to repost with the new stickers and paint job.
It doesnt take too much head scratching to sort these old motors. Just as long as you dont mind getting dirty and are handy with a drill and taps. We were surprised with the idle after hearing all the scare stories of "link and sync" as we had had the carbs off.

Today we tried it in gear, it was idling for 30 secs before I tried forward gear.... it stalled.

Another minute on idle and it slipped into forward and reverse gear with no issues... well not until I gave it too much gas and it tried to jump out the barrell and part company with the stand. Ive never had any dealings with bigger motors so wasnt aware they were quite so violent... anyway, thats my story and Im sticking to it!

Just need a boat to put it on now.
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Old 15 April 2012, 16:19   #5
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Got to love the smell and sound of a 2-stroke, especially one that could have been destined for spares. Whack it on YouTube so we can hear it purr!
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Old 15 April 2012, 16:46   #6
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Very glad to help!! Please the engine ran after all the work!!
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Old 16 April 2012, 07:07   #7
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Welcome to the Clamshell club!

Ref. the idle, I found with mine that the last thing you want on a cold start is the fast idle lever - after a bit of investigating I found out the "choke" is in fact an enrichening valve, so opening the fast idle just un-chokes it again!
Not sure if you have similar carbs on the 80?
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