- I want to transport my FourStroke outboard in my truck after fishing. What is the recommended way to do this?
First, before removing the engine from the water, run the outboard out of fuel by disconnecting the fuel hose and letting the outboard run until it stops. Then, carefully remove the outboard from the boat and carefully lay it on its side, taking note of the position of the "This Side Up" decal on the side of the cowling. On tiller models 8 horsepower and above, it is possible to rotate the tiller handle down for additional space.
- What is "shallow water drive" and how do I use this?
Shallow water drive is a preset position for operating the outboard in very shallow water. This position allows some forward thrust for navigating and steering while off-plane in areas where the outboard would normally hit the bottom.
- What is a Mercury "ProKicker" and how does it compare to a standard model?
ProKicker FourStrokes are outboards designed specifically as auxiliary trolling
motors (often referred to as "kicker" motors). These unique outboards feature
standard power tilt, high-thrust four-blade propellers, automatic self-centering
straps (optional on remote-steer models) and unique decals designed to
complement the main engine.
The 9.9 ProKicker also features a BigFoot gearcase which includes stronger gears, bearings and shafts as well as a low 2.42:1 gear ratio for improved low-speed handling and best-in-class slow trolling speeds.
- What is the difference between "Power Tilt" and "Power Trim & Tilt"?
"Power Tilt" is designed to tilt the motor in and out of the water, or to a
predetermined position prior to planing the boat. Although the power tilt system
will hold the motor position at any engine RPM, it will generally not be able to
tilt the outboard at engine speeds above 2000 RPM.
"Power Trim" is designed to trim the outboard at planing speeds for best optimum performance in addition to tilting the outboard in and out of the water. Power trim is available on outboards 25 horsepower and higher, as these applications are the most likely to benefit from this feature.
- What are the benefits of four-strokes over two-strokes?
- Four-strokes have inherently cleaner running qualities over traditional two-strokes. They tend to have smooth and quiet operation, improved fuel efficiency, and don't smoke. These attributes provide consistent starting, better idle and trolling performance – and they reduce fuel consumption.
- Should my boat be rigged with a starting or a deep cycle battery, and why?
There is a difference between an ordinary starting battery and a deep cycle
battery. Starting requires a high amount of energy for a short period of time
(about 30 seconds maximum). Only a small amount of the battery's capacity is
used. Once the engine starts running, the battery is recharged quickly by the
A deep cycle battery supplies a relatively low amount of current for a long duration. Deep cycle batteries, unlike starting batteries, can be run down and recharged repeatedly with minimum loss of capacity. Deep cycle batteries are designed to power electric fishing motors, and other electrical accessories in boats and recreational vehicles such as radios, TVs, fans, etc.
Since starting batteries and deep cycle batteries are designed for different purposes, they are constructed differently inside. Starting batteries have porous active material. The plates are thin and are designed so the high-amp energy can be quickly delivered for maximum starting power. Repeated cycling, which involves lower capacity drains and recharges, weakens the positive plate. The active material drops from the grid, thus, in repeated deep discharge/recharge applications, the capacity of the starting battery drops below desired levels in about 50 cycles.
The deep cycle battery has a denser active material and thicker plates to withstand deep discharge/re-charge service.
- What should I do to prepare my Mercury Outboard engine for out-of-season storage or prolonged storage?
The major consideration in preparing your outboard for storage is to protect it from rust, corrosion, and damage caused by freezing water that may be trapped in the engine. We recommend taking your engine to an authorized Mercury Dealer to perform the work. Damage from improper storage procedures is not covered under the Mercury Marine limited warranty policy. If you choose to perform the storage procedure, follow the storage procedures outlined in your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual.
- How often do I need to change the oil on my Mercury FourStroke outboard?
Every 100 hours or once yearly, whichever occurs first.
- How can I determine when my Mercury Outboard was built?
Every Mercury outboard has a serial number label located on the transom bracket area of the engine. The latest serial number labels display a 2-digit number in a box at the lower right portion of the label. These digits coincide with the last two digits of the year in which the outboard was manufactured. For example, if an outboard was manufactured in 2010, the number "10" would appear in the box at the lower right portion of the label.
- Why does the Model Year label on my outboard not match the year shown on my Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO)?
- The EPA emissions label on the side of the outboard shows the year the outboard was manufactured, however, this should not be confused with the "Model Year" of the outboard. The model year starts at different times than the calendar year, therefore, it is possible the emissions label will show the motor produced in one year, but the MSO shows a later model year. For example, an emissions label may show a motor was produced in 2006, but the MSO may show that it is a 2007 model year outboard.
- What is the break-in procedure for Nissan & Tohatsu outboards?
- The break-in period is the most critical time in the life of Nissan & Tohatsu outboards. Correct operation during the break-in period will prolong the life of your new outboard and will ensure optimum performance. Properly breaking-in your new outboard will ensure the initial smooth operation and lubrication of all moving parts (pistons, gears, bearings, etc).
- I have a Nissan or Tohatsu 2.5hp (or 3.5hp) outboard. What size shear pin do I need to use?
- For the 2-stroke models and 4-stroke 2, 2.5 and 3.5, any 5/32" x 1" (4mm x 24mm) shear pin will work just fine. There are two types of shear pins available; brass and stainless steel. Brass shear pins are available through aftermarket companies and will "give" if you strike an underwater object. However, brass shears pins may also break more easily if shifting or accelerating too quickly. Stainless steel shear pins are much harder than brass shear pins and won't "give" if striking an object which could cause damage to the prop. However, stainless steel shear pins won't break as easily as brass shear pins when accelerating quickly or when shifting gears. Stainless steel shear pins are standard with new motors, along with the resin prop.
- Do Nissan & Tohatsu outboards come with lower unit oil already installed from the factory?
- Yes. The lower unit gear oil has already been added at the factory, however, you should check to ensure it is completely full before starting your outboard for the first time. To replace/add lower unit oil we recommend any SAE 80 or 90 weight oil. You may also want to check out our resources section for instructions on how to change and check the oil in your lower unit.
- I don't have a remote electric start engine, is there any way to shut off my Nissan or Tohatsu outboard without having to pull the safety lanyard cord off each time?
- Yes, simply press in the "button" where the lanyard cord attaches to the outboard. This will shut off the engine without having to remove the lanyard cord.
- Do I have to use any special type of gas (super unleaded, regular unleaded, etc) in my Nissan or Tohatsu outboard?
- The minimum octane rating that you should use is 87, however, we recommend using gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher.
- Can I use any kind of oil in my Nissan 4-Stroke outboard?
For your 4-stroke outboard, you should use Genuine Nissan Marine FC-W 4-Cycle Oil. Nissan Marine FC-W 4-Cycle Oil is NMMA Certified and has been specially formulated to handle the higher RPM's that outboards are subjected to, as well as special rust inhibitors to combat the harsh operating conditions of the marine environment. Genuine Nissan Marine Oil reduces friction & wear and ensures the internal components are properly lubricated for optimum performance. If Nissan Marine 4-Cycle Oil is not available we recommend using an NMMA Certified FC-W 4-cycle oil formulated for use in outboard engines. Look for oils bearing the FC-W trademark:
Your Nissan 4-stroke outboard is equipped with an Engine Oil Warning Lamp (except 2hp, 2.5hp & 3.5hp). When the warning lamp is off, it indicates that sufficient oil pressure is present. If the warning lamp is on (red light is on) or blinking on/off, immediately shut down your outboard and check the oil level. Replenish as needed. If the oil level is at the appropriate level and the light continues to stay on or blink, consult your local dealer for assistance (do not use your outboard until a dealer has corrected the problem). You may notice the engine oil warning lamp come on when you first start your outboard. This is normal and should go off after a few seconds.
- What is the standard warranty on Mercury outboards?
- All Mercury outboards have a standard limited, non-declining warranty. The length of warranty coverage can be one, two or three years depending on the model. Please refer to our Warranty Coverage Chart or contact your local authorized Mercury outboard dealer for more details.
- Do Nissan & Tohatsu 4-stroke outboards come with crankcase oil already installed from the factory?
- NO!!! Before you start your 4-stroke outboard you must add oil to the crankcase. Nissan 4-stroke outboards are not filled with oil from the factory. If you do not add oil, you will severely damage your outboard. Running a 4-stroke without crankcase oil would be like running your car without oil... the engine will seize up and you will end up having to replace the engine block/powerhead (this type of damage is not covered under warranty). Please consult your owner's manual for the proper oil type and amount to add and for the proper break-in and operating procedures.
- I don't have any water coming from the "tell tale" water hole on my outboard. What should I do?
- Immediately shut down your outboard! Do not start your engine back up until the problem is corrected or you will overheat and severely damage your engine. First check the water intake on your lower unit and make sure that it is unobstructed. If the water intake is clear then chances are your water pump impeller needs to be replaced or you have an obstruction inside your lower unit. Take your outboard to your nearest dealer for inspection.
- How often should I have my water pump impeller changed?
- You should inspect your water pump impeller each year before taking your boat out on the water. We recommend you change your impeller every year at a minimum depending on the amount of use you put on your outboard. One thing to remember is that even if you only use your outboard a couple of times a year you still need to have your impeller checked/replaced every year. Water pump impellers are made from rubber and will deteriorate over time even without being used (commonly referred to as "dry rot"); this can be just as damaging to your water pump as wear and tear.
- Are Nissan & Tohatsu outboards rated for saltwater use?
- Yes...all Nissan & Tohatsu outboards are designed to be used in both saltwater or freshwater applications. Nissan & Tohatsu outboards are used worldwide by commercial fishermen whose main application is saltwater usage. To help combat the corrosive effects of saltwater, all Nissan outboards are treated with a unique paint process which includes starting with marine grade aluminum alloy and then applying a high solid epoxy primer undercoat and then a high solid acrylic resin coat of paint. In addition, critical parts are made of stainless steel and all outboards include a zinc anode. As with any outboard used in saltwater, it is recommended you thoroughly flush your motor with freshwater after each use.
- How can I tell what shaft length my outboard needs to be?
- Measure from the top of your transom to the bottom of your keel. If it is from 15" to 17" long you'll need to get a Nissan outboard with a "short" shaft. If it is from 20" to 22" long you'll need our "long" shaft outboard. Nissan & Tohatsu outboard shafts are measured from the bottom of the engine mounting bracket to the cavitation plate on the lower unit. Generally most boats need either a short or long shaft although some boats require a 25" shaft (ultra-long shaft) outboard. Please note that depending on the particular model, some Nissan & Tohatsu shaft lengths may be 2" longer than "standard" (ie: a short shaft may be 17" instead of 15" and a long shaft may be 22" instead of 20"). Therefore, depending on the configuration of your keel, the shaft length required by your boat may be different than the above recommendation. We recommend that you consult with a technician at outboardsdirect.com to determine which is the correct shaft length for your particular boat.
- What size propeller should I use?
- As with trying to choose the right horsepower, choosing the right propeller to fit your needs requires you to take a number of factors into account. Please bear in mind that there is no one magic answer that will absolutely guarantee that the prop you choose will give you the performance you expect; sometimes it's simply a matter of trying different props to determine which one will work best for your particular application.
- What horsepower motor should I put on my boat?
- There is no one simple answer to this question. There are many factors which must be taken into account, most importantly is to never exceed the horsepower rating of the boat. Other factors to be taken into account are the weight of the boat, weight of passengers/gear, and your expected use of the boat (do you want to water ski? troll around your local lake? etc). To find the best "bang for your buck" please contact us toll free at 888-567-8448. We will be more than happy to help you find the best outboard for your particular needs.