Originally Posted by Hagar TH
The early inline 6 mercs had a compression release for pull starting. The engineering downfall of those motors was the lack of cooling water to the top cylinder. We owned several from 80 hp to 115 until finally we had to give up. They offered a different impeller and some other mods but nothing worked. Mercury marketed it as the "Tower Of Power" they had loads of torque and being so narrow they worked very well in multiple engine installations. there are the remains of 4 or 5 of them behind my warehouse if you need parts.
I never saw any compression release, but like I said just pull the manual choke on, advance the throtte a little and it was up and running in the blink of an eye using the rope.
Mine eventually developed multiple water jacket leaks which is why I gave up on it. It sure sold me on JB Weld though. Dealer said that batch of Mercs used aluminium with too much copper in the mix which would corrode.