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Old 15 May 2013, 10:01   #1
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old mercury redband

with a big house restoration project on the go, I dong get much boating time, but another boat for sale has got my attention..... the issue being it has an old mercury redband motor in excellent condition, with 500 bill for service, new 2 stroke pump and carb seals etc, just done on it.....

the question is, would you trust an older motor like this (my fist zodiac had an 1 year old yam for total piece of mind as a beginer to boats)
Am I buying a load of trouble and expense, or could it be fine ? its a 40 hp and it looks imaculate! any experiences or advice greatly received
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Old 15 May 2013, 10:33   #2
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Just because its old doesn't mean it won't be reliable, its all down to the condition of the motor, and how well its been looked after and serviced.
It may look immaculate but if the gearbox has never been off and greased then it may never come off! The other main concern it the condition of electrical and rubber components, but again if these have been replaced when showing signs of ageing then it wouldnt be a problem, also corrosion will possibly be an issue on an engine of this era.
I think in a lot of cases a well maintained and looked after old 2stroke may be as if not more reliable than a modern engine, there is so much less to go wrong with an old 2 stroke. Without seeing the engine it would be almost impossible to say.
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Old 15 May 2013, 11:16   #3
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+1 on doggypaddle's thoughts.

I'm maybe just having a mince brain day, but are you saying you have been quoted 500 for a service, or that's what the current owner spent on it?

The big Q is - are you likely to service it yourself? If so it will be nothing like 500.

Have you gone to see it yet? if not, take a compression tester (auto factors / Halfords etc sell them for about 10 or so) & make sure all three (four?) cyls are on a par with each other. Other hing to check is the anti vibration mounts - one either side at the bottom of the leg, another two probably inside the leg at the top. Test by giving it a good heave fore & aft, they shouldn't move significantly. (on mine the ineer sleeve was detached form the rubber & it squeaked when you pushed the leg forward!) - a common problem with older mounts.

Those two things are the "disproportiontely expensive to fix" failures. Spark plug leads etc can be got from auto factors at much cheapness.

As said, a cared for premix two stroke hasn't got much to go wrong.
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Old 15 May 2013, 12:03   #4
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A redband 40hp Merc will be hp measured at the flywheel, so in todays terms it will be about 35hp at the prop.
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Old 15 May 2013, 12:13   #5
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thanks for the replys so far... to clarify, it has just had 500 spent on it (new 2 stroke pump and carb seals with this 500 service bill)

what will a days fun on the water cost me with this in fuel (ball park, pootling around fishing, bit of high speed, few miles up the coast, bit of floating around, etc) i am used to a 10hp 4 stroke on my zodiac futura 12ft wich is peanuts to run. the boat is a 15 ft fletcher speedboat
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Old 15 May 2013, 12:51   #6
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Not too sure re fuel use, a Fletcher 15 will be a heavy boat for a redband Merc 40hp ( 35hp )

Redband Mercs were built from 1968 to 1971.

My 1976 Merc 500 50hp ( 45hp at prop ) on T15 ( which will be lighter than a Fletcher 15 ) uses 5gals per hour at WOT giving 42mph and at low speeds ( river use ) its about 2gals to 2 1/2 gals per hour; just don't know about the 40hp redband, I will ask my mates on a classic forum.

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Old 15 May 2013, 13:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T 15 View Post
Not too sure re fuel use, a Fletcher 15 will be a heavy boat for a redband Merc 40hp ( 35hp )

Redband Mercs were built from 1968 to 1971.

My 1976 Merc 500 50hp ( 45hp at prop ) on T15 ( which will be lighter than a Fletcher 15 ) uses 5gals per hour at WOT giving 42mph and at low speeds ( river use ) its about 2gals to 2 1/2 gals per hour; just don't know about the 40hp redband, I will ask my mates on a classic forum.


Awaiting reply.....

If the decals on the engine are original, then a redband Merc 400 40 HP was year 1970 or 1971, in 1968 & 1969 they would have been redband Merc 350 35 HP.


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Old 15 May 2013, 14:05   #8
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If it's got a 2 stroke pump, it's not a Red band.

POst a pic, but I bet it's one of these (which is 1993 to 1995):-


not one of these (Late 60's early 70's):-

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Old 15 May 2013, 14:06   #9
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(For what it's worth, if it's a 1960's or 1970s Red band I'd pass-the wiring on those decays and the insulation falls off.)
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Old 15 May 2013, 14:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
thanks for the replys so far... to clarify, it has just had 500 spent on it (new 2 stroke pump and carb seals with this 500 service bill)

what will a days fun on the water cost me with this in fuel (ball park, pootling around fishing, bit of high speed, few miles up the coast, bit of floating around, etc) i am used to a 10hp 4 stroke on my zodiac futura 12ft wich is peanuts to run. the boat is a 15 ft fletcher speedboat

It wont break the bank, think 10 gallons for a full day of mixed continuous use. A lot will depend on exactly which Fletcher it is. On a 129 it will fly, give 40kts and ski someone with ease. On a 140 it will give 30kts if lightly loaded and may ski a small experienced person. If its a genuine 15ft Fletcher 155 its going to struggle, it will plane with 2 up but take an age to get there and probably top out around 25kts. From memory the max HP on 70/80's Fletchers was 129-40hp, 140-65hp and 155-85hp.

I will probably get flamed for this, but the mid range Mercury red band engines were not the best they ever produced. Dad had a new one in the 70's that ruined many a day out by refusing to start. Dont forget to check the floor for soft spots and the transom for stress cracks.
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