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  1. #1
    Cadet
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    Default Problems with 2005 Mercury 200 OptiMax

    HELP! I have a OptiMax 200 that has 33 hours. Here's the situation: No issues starting the engine when first putting in at the ramp, and no issues when first running down the lake. I run short distance due to the water I'm fishing. I'll then troll around for 2 to 3 hours fishing and then try and fire up the motor. Turns over and tries to fire, but just doesn't "catch". I've been stuck 3x now and had to troll back to the ramp. I've had it in for service after each time and the engine is checking in with no problems. The time before last, they said my ignition switch was bad and replaced. After the new switch, I was out this past weekend and you guessed it, ran fine when I first put in, then after a few hours of no use, I could not get it started again.

    I run a Lowrance 332c GPS / Fishfinder and really is the only thing I have powered up when fishing.

    Alternator was check and is good.

    I thought about the batteries. I had the cranking battery and trolling batts tested, they show as good batteries. Volts look fine when starting (~13V) and running (~14V).

    When they have it at the shop, they can't duplicate the problem.

    HELP???

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Junior Grade hkeiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems with 2005 Mercury 200 OptiMax

    I would suggest first checking for adequate spark when the motor is cranking but does not fire. This will help you narrow down the problem.
    1996 Mercury 150HP V6 carbed outboard motor and Maxum 1900XR bowrider boat

  3. #3
    Admiral j_martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems with 2005 Mercury 200 OptiMax

    You might have a scotchlock splice in the kill circuit laying low in the bilge so it gets wet when yer under way. Gets wet and fails, then dries out before the mech looks at it. Is dry when you launch, but 3 hours later.......

    By the way, I don't think there is any place for idc, or even crimp splices anywhere in a boat on on a trailer.

    hope it helps
    John

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Problems with 2005 Mercury 200 OptiMax

    Thank you both for your input. I've been waiting to respond to you with hopes that someone else may offer their thoughts.

    My update - I've discussed both your thoughts with the Service center. I've purchased a new starter battery (1000 MCA). The last one was also 1000 MCA, however it was two years old and I'm attempting to figure this out.

    I was out yesterday. Everything ran fine. Started, no issues. Traveled down the lake for about 5 minutes, fished with trolling motor for 90 mintues. Then moving to a new location on the lake, I started the engine, started to idle a bit before getting to speed and the engine died. Restarted and died again. Third time, I was able to get it started - fired right up like there wasn't an issue. Ran fine all the way back to the dock.

    Again - Thanks for your help. My plan is to head out again this Saturday and try and duplicate the issue. If successful, I'll get it on the trailor and head back to the Service Center.

  5. #5
    Admiral j_martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems with 2005 Mercury 200 OptiMax

    I'm still betting on scotchlocks in bilge water, or maybe a spider's nest across the ignition switch or kill switch in the shifter.

    Test would be to disconnect the kill wires from the switchboxes when thetrouble is occurring (at the boat ramp, right after recovery) and using a good vom, measure the resistance to ground on either wire with the ignition switch on. It should be infinity. If there's leakage, you'd have flakey ignition.
    Then you dog it till you find the bad part.

    If it's good, you've eliminated that theory and advanced the mystery.

    hope it helps
    John

  6. #6
    Lieutenant Junior Grade hkeiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems with 2005 Mercury 200 OptiMax

    I don't see where you say that you have already confirmed that the spark has failed when the motor dies or does not start. While this may be the case, until you confirm this you may be focused on ignition when you acually have a fuel related problem. Just my thoughts...
    1996 Mercury 150HP V6 carbed outboard motor and Maxum 1900XR bowrider boat

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