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2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

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  • 2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

    I'm new to the boating world..have an older 3.5 Mercury out board but I don't know how to tell which it is...also wondering wher to find a serial # and the age of the motor...thankx for any help...harlley


  • #2
    Re: 2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

    Well I'd say its a two stroke, as for the serial number, take of the cowling, it should be stamped on the block somewhere. Once you find the number, the year of manufacture can be found.

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    • #3
      Re: 2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

      Look at it this way: Until you can determine for sure, treat it like a 2-stroke. If you mix fuel and run it through a four stroke, all that will happen is you will foul plugs a little more often. (cheap) If, on the other hand, you run a two-stroke without oil, you will quickly burn up the engine (not cheap).

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      • #4
        Re: 2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

        I think one of the easiest ways to check if it's a 2 stroke is, if the spark plugs and head are on one end of the motor and the carb is on the other end it's a 2 stroke. 4 strokes have the carb on the side towards the head.

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        • #5
          Re: 2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

          Originally posted by Jacket4life View Post
          Look at it this way: Until you can determine for sure, treat it like a 2-stroke. If you mix fuel and run it through a four stroke, all that will happen is you will foul plugs a little more often. (cheap) If, on the other hand, you run a two-stroke without oil, you will quickly burn up the engine (not cheap).
          Well thats true UNLESS its a four stroke without any oil in the crankcase. If its a four stroke, somewhere there has to be a place to add check the crankcase oil under the cowling and if it is, then you need to check that anyway, BEFORE you start the engine.

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          • #6
            Re: 2 STROKE OR 4 STROKE how can I tell the difference

            look for an oil filter,and a dip stick=4 stroke
            1962-powercat-17C-merc,900
            16 ft lund-merc ,25ML-4str
            16 ft wellcraft-merc,650

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