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Old 08 December 2010, 15:13   #1
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Mercury Sailmate 4hp problem

Ever since I got it I have not been at all convinced that the Merc 4hp I bought as an aux is working properly. My old Suzuki 6hp on the old boat used to start on 2 or 3 pulls even after sitting for ages, if it had been running the same day it would start first pull every single time and idle smoothly.

Compared to the Suz, the Merc has always been a pig to start and never idled smoothly. Now it doesn't idle at all but more to the point when I tried it this afternoon it wouldn't even start.

It had about 1/4 tank of fuel and the engine has what appears to be a mechanical lift pump on the side of the engine. This doesn't appear to lift any fuel - with the tank 1/4 full, I took the pipe off the carb and pulled and pulled and pulled and F all came out. I am sure on the Suzuki if you did this you got a fairly steady stream of fuel after a couple of pulls and I think that's what should happen. There is no manual priming pump as far as I can see, and presumably an engine should start with 1/4 tank of fuel.

So I filled the tank right to the brim and then fuel came out ... and it started.

I assume the lift pump is probably knackered and has probably never worked - anybody agree with this?

Having got it running it is the same as it has been the last couple of times I have used it - it simply will not idle. Once you get it going (which is a bit of a chore often needing 10-15 pulls) it will idle fast on choke but even when warm it won't idle at all - you have to have the throttle at about the "fast idle" position or above, or it will stop.

It's only on its second tank of fuel since new (total run time maybe an hour to an hour and a half) and both times it has been filled from a clean can with fresh fuel so contamination in the carb should not be a problem unless it has been there from the factory. Having said that when I first got it I sat it on my engine stand and filled it with fuel which promptly all ran out the bottom of the engine as the fuel pipes weren't connected, so it may be a Monday morning job from top to bottom

Any thoughts on the above please? It seems like similar symptoms to my Suzuki when I did have fuel contamination issues with that after a couple of years but this should not be unless it is a problem from the factory.

I'm obviously about to email the supplier with the above info as it's still under warranty, and I haven't picked anything to bits yet as I want their view first, but any thoughts would be welcome as I will have to fix it myself anyway. At the moment it's not a hell of a lot of use as an emergency aux if it won't start and run properly

Ta
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Old 08 December 2010, 15:26   #2
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are you running off the integral tank or internal tank? If integral, because of the abnormal shape, the engine can have difficulty picking up fuel when the tank is low, especially when moving up and down on the sea.
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Old 08 December 2010, 15:35   #3
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Running off the engine's internal tank. I've not tried the external tank yet as I have nowhere to strap it down in the boat. I hadn't thought about it but the lift pump must be essential when you are using the external tank as in most cases it would be much lower than the engine.
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Old 08 December 2010, 15:54   #4
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I'd try running it on the external tank. I have 25 of these of these engines on a hire fleet, and have serviced and PDI'd many more. Never had issues with the fuel pumps.

Speak to your dealer first, (assuming it came from a UK dealer via barrus) barrus are always supportive
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Old 08 December 2010, 18:27   #5
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Uncle Al should be able to help you.
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Old 08 December 2010, 19:59   #6
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I don't really want to have to run it off the external tank - that was one reason for getting the Sailmate to have an internal tank so I have an emergency power source immediately available without having to couple up an external tank or have it rigged all the time. If it can't suck from the internal tank (fuel level about 2 inches below the pump) surely the external is going to be worse?

What sort of pump is it anyway - diaphragm? impeller? you can't tell from looking at the outside.

It wasn't moving up and down it was parked in my yard on the trailer but the engine had been stored tilted up for a couple of weeks since I last used the boat - but again I would have thought that tilting an engine into the normal position and then starting it was not an unreasonable thing to expect to do without problems.

I've emailed the dealer I bought it from so will hopefully get a reply tomorrow anyway and see what they say.

Can you download electronic workshop manuals for these engines anywhere? Handy to know which jets are where if I have to strip the carb which I guess I will have to for the idling issue anyway.
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Old 09 December 2010, 03:43   #7
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hi bogmaster
your problem seems fuel related, unfortunutly for you i am on holiday untill next thursday, (but good for me) if you would like to send me your e-mail address to alan.surman@barrus.co.uk with your obm serial number i will send you an exploded view of the carb if that will help you.
merry christmas and a happy new year
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Old 09 December 2010, 04:26   #8
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sorry bogmonster i got your name wrong ,old age and digit trouble
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Old 09 December 2010, 04:27   #9
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sail mate

sorry bogmonster i got your name wrong ,old age and digit trouble
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Old 09 December 2010, 04:44   #10
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Thanks Al that would be great. I will have to look up the serial number on the engine as I don't have it here but will do that later. I bought it this year so I expect it's a 2010 model.
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Old 09 December 2010, 05:10   #11
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I presume it's not a sticking float in the carb or the choke not coming off and therefore flooding the engine?
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Old 09 December 2010, 05:31   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster View Post
I don't really want to have to run it off the external tank - that was one reason for getting the Sailmate to have an internal tank so I have an emergency power source immediately available without having to couple up an external tank or have it rigged all the time. If it can't suck from the internal tank (fuel level about 2 inches below the pump) surely the external is going to be worse?

What sort of pump is it anyway - diaphragm? impeller? you can't tell from looking at the outside.

It wasn't moving up and down it was parked in my yard on the trailer but the engine had been stored tilted up for a couple of weeks since I last used the boat - but again I would have thought that tilting an engine into the normal position and then starting it was not an unreasonable thing to expect to do without problems.

I've emailed the dealer I bought it from so will hopefully get a reply tomorrow anyway and see what they say.

Can you download electronic workshop manuals for these engines anywhere? Handy to know which jets are where if I have to strip the carb which I guess I will have to for the idling issue anyway.
I've found it best to keep the internal tanks as full as possible. Its a diaphragm type fuel pump. The carbs are pretty simple to strip down and clean, I'd do that before taking the fuel pump apart.

There are no workshop manuals avaliable online to the public (not genuine ones anyway) but you may be able to find a exploded parts diagram.
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Old 09 December 2010, 12:00   #13
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hi bogmaster


sooooo appropriate
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Old 09 December 2010, 16:22   #14
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If it's a new engine why don't you take it to the dealer or any Mercury dealer to fix under its warranty ?
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Old 09 December 2010, 16:28   #15
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If it's a new engine why don't you take it to the dealer or any Mercury dealer to fix under its warranty ?
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Old 09 December 2010, 16:46   #16
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bogmonster:
You can download a manual here for a 2010 Mercury fourstroke sailmate

http://download.brunswick-marine.com/download/dosearch/@isnew/desc?mod=4&lang=EN&categories=OUTBOARD$2010$4-Stroke$

If you need any more help let me know

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Old 09 December 2010, 17:26   #17
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If it's a new engine why don't you take it to the dealer or any Mercury dealer to fix under its warranty ?
I suggest you look at Bogmonster's location, and tell him where his nearest dealer is...
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Old 09 December 2010, 18:32   #18
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I've found it best to keep the internal tanks as full as possible. Its a diaphragm type fuel pump. The carbs are pretty simple to strip down and clean, I'd do that before taking the fuel pump apart.

There are no workshop manuals avaliable online to the public (not genuine ones anyway) but you may be able to find a exploded parts diagram.
Thanks I've had an initial reply from the place I bought it and they are going to try and find an exploded diag of the carb which I hope I will get tomorrow so I can attack it on the weekend. Thanks for the manual link ADI but it's only the user manual - I really need the full shop manual and would like to get that anyway to have for future reference.

One thing I did get back from the dealer was that according to their shop, if the tank level is low, the fuel pump will never pump fuel up just by pulling the engine over, it's got to be running. Now that seems like a pretty darned big design flaw if you happen to want to start an engine with a low tank of fuel, it would explain my problem but I'm not sure it's a good "feature" - the Suzuki wasn't like that.

As suggested the nearest dealer is some distance away but the selling dealer has offered to send out any bits that I find I need so full marks for that.
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Old 09 December 2010, 18:36   #19
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I suggest you look at Bogmonster's location, and tell him where his nearest dealer is...
All you get is "If you are unable to find a dealer in your area contact EP Barrus" can't believe such a big company doesn't have a dealer within 50 miles of Steve, shocking really.
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Old 09 December 2010, 18:42   #20
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All you get is "If you are unable to find a dealer in your area contact EP Barrus" can't believe such a big company doesn't have a dealer within 50 miles of Steve, shocking really.
they'll send Uncle Al out to fix it for him, so long as he's back on Thursday night - cos he don't work Fridays!
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