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Old 07-02-2015, 04:39 AM   #1
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Angry Engine dies when putting in gear

Ever since I bought my '98 Maxum (1900SRL) a few months ago, it's been difficult to pull away from the dock after launching. As soon as I put it in gear it dies. In a panic, I restart the engine and throttle it out of the launch area, which I'm sure upsets my fellow boaters.

It seems to get better after about 10 minutes and idles forward without dying. That said, it's getting stressful launching the boat not knowing if it will stall in the middle of the launch area.

This is a 4-cyl Mercruiser with about 350 hours and I don't know its mechanical history.

Do you think this is an idle setting (although it gets better when warmed up), carburetor, plugs, etc.?

Thanks!
Tom
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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Are you letting the engine warm up some before casting off? This is common on carbed engines.

I let it run for a few minutes until the temp gauge starts moving up.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:35 PM   #3
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For about 5 min yes. Anymore and I feel like I'm holding up the boat launch. Trying to pull out to keep traffic going.
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Old 07-02-2015, 03:10 PM   #4
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5 minutes should be enough.

Verify the choke is set properly and the plate moves freely. It should start opening in 1 minute and open as throttle is applied.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thanks Mike. Before doing this, I suppose I should make sure I'm starting the engine properly. I read another post (hulltruth) about pumping the throttle once or twice before cranking the engine. I haven't been doing that to date (as a new boat owner). I'll give that a try then your suggestions?
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:18 PM   #6
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In other words... https://youtu.be/IOOoBl1gJ4s
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:57 PM   #7
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If you have an Mercruiser Alpha drive it is most likely the shift interrupt switch that momentarily cuts power to engine to let gears engage. I had an old Sea Ray that also had the same problem. It needs adjustment often and is a major problem on Alpha drives. My SCR 2400 has a Bravo 2 that incorporates cone clutch so it is no longer a problem.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:44 AM   #8
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The shift interrupt only stumbles the engine when coming out of gear not going into gear.

The OP said the engine idels poor for 10 minutes until it warms up which would be a carb issue.

If the boat has sat for a week or longer I crank my engine a few seconds, then give the throttle a few pumps and crank again. I do this as the gas seems to evaporate out of the carb and the initial cranking refills it.

The guy in the video does not know what he is talking about. He said his boat has the TKS turn key start carb, this carb does not have a choke or priming circuit that requires pumping. It did not start initially because the carb was dry. Once it filled with gas it started right up. The TKS has a enrichment circuit the uses a solenoid and temp sensor in place of a choke.
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:37 PM   #9
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Hook up a tach to your engine and check idle speed. Tachs on the helm may be off a bit, so a good mechanics electronic tach will be more accurate. Some engines require you to check idle speed while in gear. If its too low, it may simply be stalling on you. Adjust as necessary.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:52 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. So would it be necessary to adjust idle speed if it eventually idles fine? As I said it's primarily getting out of the boat launch area that's the problem, even when running a few minutes.

mmwjr - are you suggesting to crank first then pump a few times then crank again? (As opposed to pumping first I guess.)
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