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  1. #1
    Member Dirtlvr's Avatar
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    2012 optimax 115 issue, help needed

    I have a new 2012 mercury optimax 115 on my new boat and am having some issues. This is only my 3rd outting in the boat. The boat sat in the garage for about a month then today I took it to the gas station and topped it off. It took 7 gallons. I also added some mercury quick clean. Then I topped off my injector oil and launched the boat. I took two passes around the lake, maybe 15 mins total and it ran like a champ! Got right up on plane and ripped along, cruising at 4500 rmps. Then I pulled up to my dock and farted around with the girlfriend for a while before we went out on the boat. I trimmed the motor up and used the trolling motor for an hour or so. Then when I started the optimax it didn't sound as smooth as it normally does. It sounded choked, like the old days with choke levers. It struggled to get going and topped out at about 2100 rmps at full throttle, not even able to get on plane. I'm not getting any alarms but called my mercury guy and he said I might have topped it off with bad gas and it just took that long to get to the motor or i over filled the oil resivoir and its over oiling itself. He said to add another ounce of quick clean and to run it as long as no alarms were going off, which there are not. So I did with not much luck. Then I docked for a while and got some lunch. When I went back out I started it and it sounded smooth, I pulled out of the dock and shot off like lightning, got on plane and hit 4600 rpms with ease. Then half way across the lake it started to bog and went right back to topping out at 2100 at wide open or so where it spent the rest of the day when I tried to get her going.

    Anybody ever experience anything like this? Bad gas? Any solutions or suggestions? Add Isopropyl? Sea foam? Im at 3/4 tank now, drain it? If so, that's a lot of gas! Oh and one other thing, how hard should the fuel squeeze ball be? Mine doesn't stay rock hard - yup, I just said that.

    Worth mentioning the BPS I bought my Nitro from is 8 hours away from where m boat stays.

    Thanks in advance guys! Oh and we did get some nice bass today too.

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  3. Lea
    Lea is online now
    Champion Boats Moderator Lea's Avatar
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    #2
    Hey, Don....Can you help here? Thanks!!!

  4. Member Nova Kaw 650's Avatar
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    #3
    I seriously doubt that it's bad gas.
    I would start with the simple stuff like spark plugs. See if they look fouled; it could be down on one cylinder. I would not listen to the mechanic, if it's down a cylinder due to lack of fire, the unburned fuel could wash down the cylinder walls.
    Last edited by Nova Kaw 650; 06-30-2012 at 06:47 PM.
    2011 Stratos 186XT
    Mercury Optimax 115
    Lowrance HDS10, HDS7, LSS1
    Minn Kota 24v 70lbs

  5. Member blackxpress's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lea View Post
    Hey, Don....Can you help here? Thanks!!!
    All we can do is guess. At least Don makes EDUCATED guesses. Surpried he hasn't weighed it yet. He must be on vacation or something.
    1998 Starcraft Superfisherman 170SC, 99 Force 90hp

  6. Mercury - 3 Liter Moderator EuropeanAM's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by blackxpress View Post
    All we can do is guess. At least Don makes EDUCATED guesses. Surpried he hasn't weighed it yet. He must be on vacation or something.
    Actually, my DSL has been down for about 36 hours (now at an alternate location.... nearly 100 degrees at this desk)

    I'd recommend you have your dealer run the boat and DUPLICATE the problem. Once duplicated, it will be necessary to determine which cylinder is not FIRING (it's likely a spark problem).... and replace the approrpiate ignition coil.

    They may also be able to duplicate the problem by performing an Auto Self Test, Plugs OUT of Cylinder Head (it is sometimes necessary to heat the coils with a heat gun or heat lamp to replicate the heat-soak condition that occurred at the dock).


    Dual Mercury Master Technician- for Mercury Outboards, Racing & Mercruiser Sterndrives in Greenville, SC.
    Still consider myself a "Marine Apprentice" after 38 years (learn something new every day).
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  7. Member Dirtlvr's Avatar
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    #6
    Don, thank you very much. You were spot on!

    It was a bad coil. Thankfully there is a mercury dealer about 30 mins from me (I'M on vacation and hours from my dealer) and they swapped my bad coil for a new one under warranty. They would have done the work for me, but were booked through next week. So rather than let my boat sit while on vacation I figured it out. It was a pain as I couldn't get the motor hot enough with the water muffs in the driveway to replicate the issue. So I had to put her in the water and run it for about 10 minutes and then it was back to the driveway with the muffs. I pulled the cowl and had already made up some insulated pliers and one by one I pulled spark wires. Top cylinder wire pulled and it died, not that one. Put it back and restarted the motor. Middle wire pulled and it kept on running, hmmmm? Bottom on pulled and it died again. Checked them all on more time to be sure with the same results and it was the middle coil. Once hot it was dead and not firing. I replaced it and I've been out on the boat every day since Tues with no issues. It runs great and I'm really happy to hear my girlfriend wasn't the issue as well. Thank you again!
    Last edited by Dirtlvr; 07-06-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  8. Member Nova Kaw 650's Avatar
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    #7
    They were supposed to have that coil issue fixed a couple of model years ago. Hopefully it's just a fluke.
    2011 Stratos 186XT
    Mercury Optimax 115
    Lowrance HDS10, HDS7, LSS1
    Minn Kota 24v 70lbs

  9. Member Dirtlvr's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nova Kaw 650 View Post
    They were supposed to have that coil issue fixed a couple of model years ago. Hopefully it's just a fluke.
    I hope so as well. The dealer that replaced the coil said there was a tech bulliten on this motor but that my serial numbers were outside the affected range. He said all in the range were to have all 3 coils replaced when they came in for service.

  10. Mercury - 3 Liter Moderator EuropeanAM's Avatar
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    #9
    Glad to hear they got it fixed for you.

    Your engine indeed would already have the later-style coils.

    However... as with ANY electrical component, failures do sometimes occur. It's unfortunate... but a definite fact.


    Dual Mercury Master Technician- for Mercury Outboards, Racing & Mercruiser Sterndrives in Greenville, SC.
    Still consider myself a "Marine Apprentice" after 38 years (learn something new every day).
    Mercury Parts, Mercury Outboards, Smartcraft & Accessories, Injector Service, TDR Reeds- BBC Sponsor