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Is the Mercury Optimax a good engine?

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Is the Mercury Optimax a good engine?

Old 01-18-2020, 04:32 AM
  #41  
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I have a 2008 150 on my flats boat. Have owned it since 2014 and honestly have no complaints other than it obliterates any attempt at conversation while it's running.
But I will tell you that thing has some serious balls!
Old 01-18-2020, 09:22 AM
  #42  
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Had triple 2001 225's. Engines had ~550 hours when I bought the boat so they were not used much (average 32 hrs/yr). Boat probably spent most of its life in salt water. I got ECM history during survey and most hours were 4500 rpm or less. In the 2 years I ran them went through 2 lower units (Std & CR on 25" and never hit anything/ran aground), a broken reed, fuel pump, everything else was minor. Most of my time was cruising or fishing and I ran them 4000-4500. Above that and they were thirsty. Noisy compared to 4 strokes but I kinda like the throaty sound. I ran Quicksilver oil and Quickleen fuel treatment. I decided to repower because a) 19 year old motors and age/corrosion take their toll, b) I wanted reliability for trips to the Bahamas, c) was tired of carrying oil around. I think once Mercury worked the bugs out they were good motors, maybe 2002 or later. They were in production 20+ years so that says alot. If you have a good mechanic and address the items in this thread you may get several more years of good service. I replaced the Mercury reeds with Chris Carson reeds myself and I am a weekend mechanic, replaced the strainers for the compressor cooling (you will break it removing it), and the compressors because of reputation for failure. Corrosion on the bottom of the fuel/air rails can cause o-rings to leak. YouTube is a good resource. Good luck.
Old 01-18-2020, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigrodholder View Post
They don't call them opti-pops or black anchors for nothing...run, do not walk from a stinkin' mercury...trash!
The predominate reason for that reputation is the high percentageof Opti's went on Bassboats. 35 degree water crank it and then full throttle to there next fishing spot. Then slowing down meant having the trolling motor down before it gets off plane speed. Now that Yamaha's are becoming a little more popular on Bassboats the same reputation is happening to the SHO's used in that application.
Old 01-18-2020, 07:12 PM
  #44  
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I must’ve had a good pair. 2006 225s. They ran like a scalded dog and sipped gas. No ragrets.
Old 01-19-2020, 08:21 AM
  #45  
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[QUOTE=Captainbadfinger;13275766]Remove the lower cowlings
on the lower port side of the power head there is a black hose connected to a plastic fitting screwed into the block
It has a zip tie as a clamp


It's not a regular zip tie - It's a radius head zip tie. If you use a regular one you'll have a gap at the head
Old 01-19-2020, 08:32 AM
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I know that
I was just giving info for locating the strainer
Old 01-20-2020, 11:36 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Captainbadfinger View Post
I know that
I was just giving info for locating the strainer
Didn't know if the OP knew or not
Old 01-20-2020, 12:03 PM
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Gotcha
He probably doesn't, good call
Old 01-20-2020, 12:21 PM
  #49  
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2001 200hp opti that i bought used from Flukehunter on this site in 2003. had very low hrs and had it surveyed before purchase. have put 1500hrs (not used in 3 yrs due to health issues)on it since then with only plugs,impellor and all the hidden filters and strainers. get a Mercury service manual and it will show every thing that needs to be done for maintenance. Would buy another one in a heartbeat.
Old 01-24-2020, 07:03 PM
  #50  
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Hate to bring my thread back but have a question for the fellow Optimax owners. This has happened many times before and I don't understand it.

This morning duck hunting it was about 40 degrees down here in south Texas (yes, this is cold for us.)

I have two "house batteries" that are responsible for cranking and running electronics on board.

For whatever reason when it gets this cold, in the morning it seems almost like the batteries are dead even after being on trickle charge the entire time it's in storage. This morning I go to crank on battery 1, and it turns but very slowly. Switch over to battery 2 via perko switch, it starts right up. Batteries are maybe a year old and test good at Auto Zone. What I don't get is after it does crank, it starts just fine on either battery all day. This only occurs when it gets cold outside.. When its in the 60s or higher, no problem. When I go to run the jack plate or trim while its running, get a low voltage alarm. Never had this issue with my Evinrude and it's cranking batteries didn't even stay on charge in storage. Just wondering if anyone else experiences this

Old 01-24-2020, 08:05 PM
  #51  
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250 trouble free hours. A lot at 5800-6200. Running 80-104 mph in the gulf
Old 01-25-2020, 06:40 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Manoverboard123 View Post
Hate to bring my thread back but have a question for the fellow Optimax owners. This has happened many times before and I don't understand it.

This morning duck hunting it was about 40 degrees down here in south Texas (yes, this is cold for us.)

I have two "house batteries" that are responsible for cranking and running electronics on board.

For whatever reason when it gets this cold, in the morning it seems almost like the batteries are dead even after being on trickle charge the entire time it's in storage. This morning I go to crank on battery 1, and it turns but very slowly. Switch over to battery 2 via perko switch, it starts right up. Batteries are maybe a year old and test good at Auto Zone. What I don't get is after it does crank, it starts just fine on either battery all day. This only occurs when it gets cold outside.. When its in the 60s or higher, no problem. When I go to run the jack plate or trim while its running, get a low voltage alarm. Never had this issue with my Evinrude and it's cranking batteries didn't even stay on charge in storage. Just wondering if anyone else experiences this

If it cranks good on number 2 Battery although new. you have one low battery. Mercury also recommends 1000 CCA Batteries for reserve power down the road.
Old 05-18-2020, 04:26 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
Just like anything thats made...There are good ones and bad ones..As far as I'm concerned Yamahas are Junk with the experience I had. Opinons are like ...... Everybody has one .
I have owned OMC’s, Mercury’s and Yamaha over the last 50 years. I had more trouble with the Mercury’s than all the other motors combined and I hear more negative comments about Mercury’s than other brands. That’s just my experience and it was with two strokes not four strokes. Mercury sells a ton of motors so obviously my experience and maybe the OPs is not typical. But, things change - maybe experience from several years ago is not relevant today.
Old 05-18-2020, 06:19 PM
  #54  
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I run a 16 250 Pro XS on a bass boat...same deal, below 40 it’s a slow start even with a good charge on a lithium battery. Once it’s started the first time, it’s normal after. Very common on Optis in the cold...no idea why.
Old 05-19-2020, 03:38 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Tiger51 View Post
I have owned OMC’s, Mercury’s and Yamaha over the last 50 years. I had more trouble with the Mercury’s than all the other motors combined and I hear more negative comments about Mercury’s than other brands. That’s just my experience and it was with two strokes not four strokes. Mercury sells a ton of motors so obviously my experience and maybe the OPs is not typical. But, things change - maybe experience from several years ago is not relevant today.
We maintain thousands of Mercury engines all across south Louisiana. Many of our customers came to us due to a bad experience with other dealers. Mercury ended 2 stroke production completely 2 years ago and was in process of scaling it down for several years before that. I’ll assure you that your experience, that was likely over a decade ago, is not relevant to the current lineup. Take a look around at the a lot of the top selling boat brands and how many of the transoms are sporting an American product.
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