Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Store Links Mobile - Shop Now


1 of 2 < >


The iBoats Forums will be down for maintenance starting at 10 AM MST on 12/16/2017. The estimated amount of downtime is 3 hours (we are expected to be back up at 1:00 PM MST). Thanks for being a part of the iBoats community!
2 of 2 < >

Help Tip: If you have a question that has not been answered to your satisfaction in the archives, it is always best to start a new thread of your own. By starting your own thread, you will receive the maximum number of views by forum members.

Below are some additional forum policies in hopes of all iboats members will follow, Thank you.

1. Please do not reply to old topics or hijack existing topics. Old topics of a technical nature are like a library book, Please do not write in them.

2. Old topics should be considered archives and used for reference only. Please do not reply to them.

3. Do not take over someone elseís topic (aka hijack) with your own question, even if it is similar. If you have a question that has not been covered to your satisfaction in the archives, it is always best to start a new topic of your own.

4. If you have a question for the original poster (OP) and the topic is over 30 days old, send the OP a PM, he may not even visit the forums any longer, or may not notice your question in the old topic.

5. By starting your own topic, you will receive the maximum number of views by forum helpers that may not even notice your question when itís posted at the end of someone elseís topic. And those answers will be specific to your particular issue.

6. Please do not post to topics that have been inactive for more than 3 months unless you are the original poster. We have very active forums and any topic that remains inactive for that long should be considered "dead". It is especially confusing when there is an entirely new question posted to an old topic.

7. Posting at the end of any topic is considered to be hijacking the original posters topic which in turn subjects the topic to be closed if it continues to happen thus not making it fair to the original poster in the future had for some reason he/she needed to return for additional information or provide an update of the problem solved which is always welcomed within a reasonable amount of time frame.

8. Please note that you should see a red banner pop up near the bottom of each inactive topic asking you not to reply to old topics. The Red banner will read: Please note this topic has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new topic.

Thank you all in advance for doing your part in helping iboats run a smooth ship.

Additional forum rules linked below.
See more
See less

Timing and Sync of Merc Inlines (to 1988)

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Timing and Sync of Merc Inlines (to 1988)

    Thanks to clamscanino for this info.
    Manual specs are different for each but this is close enough to get them all REAL close. This assumes nothing is broken or "wrong" with it. This also assumes that the timing pointer is properly adjusted (if adjustable) to accurately read TDC of the #1 piston.

    This basic procedure will work for all the 2/3/4/6 cylinder inlines from 1960 to 1988. It's not for the newer 3 and 4 cylinder loopers.

    Engine off

    Disconnect throttle cable

    Pull throttle arm to full throttle and verify carbs open fully. Adjust main throttle stop so that the carbs are JUST hitting thier own little throttle stops. The idea here is that you want the screw stop and NOT the carbs acting as the "final stop" for your throttle lever.

    Return the throttle to idle, carbs should be closed. Set all idle screws to 1 3/4 turns out from lightly seated.

    Remove all plugs except #1, hook a timing light to #1. Then follow the narritive.

    When the throttle is in the idle position the carbs should be fully closed and the ignition retarded. It is the amount of retardation that determines your idle speed and is set later with the idle stop screw.

    Timing Event One - throttle pickup.
    As the throttle is advanced, the spark timing advances toward TDC and then to before TDC. As the timing is just passing TDC the 1st (minor)throttle pickup should hit and start to open the carbs. Use the timing light. Adjust the tang or trigger screw to make this a reality. All of them are speced different, but if the 1st pickup hits at 3-4 degrees BTDC advance - you win. Use the timing light with a friend cranking it to complete this setting.

    Timing Event Two - max advance.
    As you continue to advance the throttle the timing will advance while the carbs slowly open a bit more. The next adjustment is max advance, this is the point where the distibutor (or trigger) can advance no more. Set the max-advance stop to 21 degrees for "direct charge" crossflow inlines and 34 degrees for the older plain vanilla crossflows. Use the light, - err to the side of caution.

    Right after max advance, further throttle motion should cause the second throttle pickup to hit and open the carbs to full. You already set that -now verify it.

    Leave the throttle cable disconnected and go to the water. Leave the boat strapped to the trailer and back it in so it's deep enought to run. Have a friend crank it while you operate the choke and throttle. Warm it up at 1500 rpms's.

    When "warm" adjust the idle stop screw for about 800 rpm and then ajust your idle needle(s) in (one at a time) till the motor stumbles. Quickly backing it out 1/2 turn from "stumble" will usually save it from needing a re-start. Do that for all the idle screws. Re-set idle stop for 800.

    Now have your friend put it in gear (make SURE you are on the transom NOT in the water) and reset your idle stop for as low as you can get it. 500-600rpm is great if your old reeds will let it idle that low in gear. Now, re-adjust the idle screws, in to stumble, then 1/2 turn out. When you've gone back and forth with that a few times and have it "perfect" - adjust each one out 1/4 turn.

    Reset the idle stop so that it's about 700-800 out of gear and 500-600 in gear. Sometimes bad reeds won't let you get that low, you've GOT to get it under 1000 in neutral (worst case) to avoid beating up your lower unit when you shift into gear, even 1000 is "bad" but like I said "worst case".

    Now adjust (and hook up)the throttle cable so that with the shifter in neutral, there is light to moderate pressure holding the throttle arm against the idle stop.

    Take the boat off the trailer and go out in the water. Try the hole shot. If it falls on it's face try adjusting the idle screws out 1/4 turn at a time (all of them together) till you can get a hole shot. You can kind of do this on the trailer at the ramp, but it's not really safe for you, the boat, or the tow vehicle.

    You're done.


    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"