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  1. #1

    Question Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Merc 60 HP 4 stroke EFI Outboard 2005(not Bigfoot)
    Problem getting the danged sparkplugs out to squirt in a little oil !
    Just finished searching this forum archives and found all info needed except for one helpful bit.
    I used the owner manual and this forum info to put my motor to bed for the winter. Did the oils and lubes and fuel and oil filters, stabilizers etc.
    Went to pull sparkplugs and gave up !
    Can someone in this group offer a tip on how to pull the sparkplugs without disassembling the danged engine (smile,,).
    What say the group ?
    I'm more stubborn than smart.

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Well, firstly, and not disrespect intended, make sure you are trying to unscrew them anti-clockwise.
    It could be that they're simply oxidised a bit. Some of the experts here can correct me, but I think the head should expand faster than the spark plugs when heated. So you could just let it idle up a bit of heat on the muffs and then give it a go. You might not want to do that if you've done the entire winterizing procedure already.

    In that case I'd suggest some penetrating oil. Spray around the plugs and just let them sit a couple of minutes.

    But lets wait for one of the experts, maybe they have a trick or 2 up their sleeves.

  3. #3
    Admiral j_martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    I think you could safely let it go for now, but put on your schedule at spring startup to warm up the engine, get the plugs out, change them or at least clean up the threads, and put a little anti-sieze on the threads when you reinstall them.

    Some of us tinker with the engine so much they stay pretty free with just the residual 2 cycle oil on them.

    hope it helps
    John

  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Do you mean you can't get them loose, or can't get access to them? A 2005 engine should not have seized plugs. Look at a clock. Pretend the clock hand are runing backwards. Thats loosening the plugs facing them. Use a good six-point spark plug socket with a rubber insert and ratchet. Slight upward bumps with the heel of your hand is all it should take to pop them loose.

  5. #5
    Supreme Mariner rickdb1boat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    The factory really snugs them up (Assuming they have never been out). It will take a pretty good pull on them to break free. I just did my new Merc and they were extremely TIGHT.....
    Rick

    "Boating is Life...All the rest is just Details"

    2007 Bentley 200 Cruise
    2007 Merc. 90 4 stroke

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    I believe I can help you. I have an '06 50 EFI. It's not totally straightforward to work on, and I only do the winterize/maintenance on mine.

    I am interpreting your message to mean that are having trouble getting access to the spark plugs. This is because they are recessed fairly deeply into the engine block, and there is an electrical panel that covers the top of the plugs. This panel has 4 electrical units (spark triggers?) on it, and it is attached to the engine block by 3 bolts, along with the wiring to each plug.

    My mechanic showed me that in order to get at the plugs, these 3 bolts have to be screwed out of the unit, the 4 spark plug leads, and 2 grounds disconnected, then the plate can be carefully lifted off the motor, leaving open access to the motor.

    Shoot some oil in there, carefully snug up the plugs, and you're good for the winter.

    The only advice I'd give you, is to be careful in re-attaching the 3 bolts that hold the electrical panel on. The mechanic who worked on my engine, must have over-tightened these bolts, as the engine block was stripped. I'm going to have to re-tap and oversize bolt, as there are grounds attached to 2 of the bolts.

    hope this helps

    Shane

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Yup, I have a Merc 60efi, 2004, and I know what you mean! It was whilst searching for an answer that l found iboats, and I have subsequently lurked here for 100s of hours!

    Back to the subject. I was unable to get an expert answer, but I was able to obtain an early version workshop manual. Still no specific help.

    I can't remember which plug you cannot get at right now, but I think it is #3 or #4 (from top), because the ignition coils are in the way. You also need a 3/8th drive socket set as opposed to 1/2" because the 1/2" tool is too large.

    I have got at the plugs in two ways, #1 remove/ loosen 2 or 3 of the coil mounting bolts to swivel/lift off the coils in order to get the socket on the plug, or #2, remove the whole coil mounting plate, being fearful of stripping the threads in the mounting plate in method #1.

    #2 was a pia, without a special spanner to get at the back bolt, so I prefer #1. However, because of the risk of stripping the thread in the mounting plate, and not being a pro., I bought a small 1/4" drive inch/pounds torque wrench, to make sure I did not overdo it.

    The torque on the coil nuts/bolts is only 30lb/inch (2.5 lb/ft).
    While you are there, the torque on the flywheel/timing belt cover bolts is either 45 or 75 lb/inch depending on which section of the manual you read.
    I am a bit of a cheapskate, the manual date I have is 2001/2, but I do not intend to do any major work on the engine, so I did not bother to buy an up to date manual. If you intend to do much work, the experts here will recommend you buy a "genuine" Merc manual.

    I hope this helps. I also hope an expert will chime in if I am offering cr*p advice.

    Another winter, because I have the boat in a shed, with a tub of water and no frost risk, I just ran the engine for 20 minutes once a month instead of winterising (but still with fuel stabiliser etc.). You may not have that option.


    O-G

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Sorry, I type too slowly! You have your answer.

    O-G

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Old Gubbins.

    Interesting to note that you mention the importance of not over-torquing the blocks that hold the coils over top of the spark plugs. I bought my motor used, and 2 of the 3 bolts holding the coil plate on the motor, had stripped the soft aluminum engine block. One of the coils on my motor was damaged, and had to be replaced. I am left wondering if it broke, because it wasn't grounded properly? The ground from this coil goes to the engine block, and it should have been held in place by one of the (stripped) bolts.

    Unless I hear a better suggestion, I intend to re-tap the hole, and affix this ground firmly with a slightly larger-size bolt.

    good tip on the 'lb/inch' torque guage, I'll have to find one!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Thanks much all.
    This group's timely and helpful responses are really appreciated !!
    Apologize for being unclear on my problem.
    The problem (I should say my first problem after reading this groups responses) is getting access to the darn plugs. I now know I need special tools and will face stubborn plugs when I get to them.
    I am going to chicken out this winter and do the spark plug/oil squirt step next winter. That way I will have the tools and shop manual (I will copy Santa on this message,, smile) and can work on the engine after warming it up.
    I bought the motor new and put it in service this June. I have about 40 hours on it.
    Follow up question.
    The dealer (another city) who sold me the motor in a box suggested I have it put on a computer and checked/tuned when I put it in service. The mobile marine tech who hung it for me did not have this computer. I called the local dealer and they said they could use their tank (??) and computer and do the check/tune for about $100 this coming spring.
    I don't know enough to know if I am getting smoke and mirrors here or if this is a worthwhile expense.
    I do pinch my pennies but am not penny wise and pound foolish.
    What does this group think about tank test and computer check/tune ups ??
    Again thank you all so much for your help and info

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    old tortuga

    based on the experiences I've had with my motor, I'd suggest that $100 would be a worthwhile expense. Assuming it is working fine, and you've done all the recommended maintenance, you might want to wait a little longer, until the end of warranty is coming up? Having it hooked up to a computer, and run in a tank, will give you information on the history of the motor, up to this point, such as engine hours, temperature range, RPMs it has run at, etc. If there is anything 'fishy' with the motor, I'd recommend that it is better to know about it, while the rig is still under warranty.

    As stated, there is not a lot that 'the average joe' can do, to work on these motors, and any serious maintenance/repair is probably best left to Mercury. I'm expecting (hoping) that there isn't much required!

    good luck

    Shane

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    Hi both,

    Please bear in mind that I am an interested amateur, and there are pros on this board (such as Laddies) who will have forgotten far more than I will ever know. I hope a pro will correct me if I get it wrong!

    Longshanks, thanks. I read your post and could hardly believe how apt my comments were. Pros KNOW what torque to apply, by long experience, but amateurs, more used to steel can easily strip threads. I think you are right to re-tap slightly oversize, and would not rule out the coil going faulty due to poor earth.

    Old Tortuga, thanks. I agree with Longshanks. $100 is cheap by UK standards! Even though I do not know what it will show, I think a tank test will be a wise expense. My understanding is that a tank test is a test in water under load (never stand within 30 feet of a small tank when a mech. opens the throttle wth an ordinary prop. fitted, a tank will empty in 2 seconds!). I assume you have no warranty, as you 'bought the box', but still worthwhile.

    If I recall, the plugs were tightish, first time, but not bad. I never get too worried about loosening, only over-tightening.

    Good luck,

    o-g

  13. #13

    Default Re: Merc 60 HP EFI Outboard Winterize Pull Sparkplugs

    I will wait til spring and get the tank test/tune up at the local dealer.
    The motor is under factory warranty (I called Mercury to confirm).
    Now I will go surfing for a good buy on a shop manual.
    I am no marine mechanic and never will be.
    I agree with the comment that this engine is best left to those with the skills and equipment when it comes to repair and testing.
    By my reckoning the dang thing is an overgrown computer with a gas engine bolted to it.
    But, with $3 plus for a gallon of gas and $4 expected next season,
    I believe the complexities are a fair trade for the fuel efficiency they provide.
    My purchase of a shop manual will help me ask the right questions if I do need to take the motor to a shop.
    Thanks again.
    What a great group of folks.

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