Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Outboard Motor purchased

Since the boat I'm building has a retro look, I wanted to get a classic outboard for it. After doing a lot of research on older outboard motors and joining the national Antique Outboard Motor Club (AOMCI), I attended a swap meet of our local Great Lakes Chapter of the AOMCI. I was focused on mid-fifties Mercurys and Johnsons in the 15-20 hp range and my preference was for a Mercury Mark 25 (18-20 hp depending on year). I had previously looked at a 1954 Mark 20, but the owner had a different idea about its worth than I did so I walked away on that one. I had another lead on a 1956 Mark 25 that was for sale by the brother of the guy that fixed our computer. He had a picture of the motor sent to my Blackberry and it appeared to be what I had in mind. At the swap meet, I did not find anyone selling a Mark 25, but did learn they were generally good motors and the 1956 Mark 25 had several improvements over the earlier Mark 20 and Mark 25 models. I was also advised to find a motor that already had the set-up for remote steering, shift and throttle control as these items would be hard to find separately. Having gained some good advice and a good contact for working out any issues I might have once I found something to work on, I pressed on.

The next day, my wife and I went and looked at the Mark 25. It had the remote control set-up, but needed a bit of TLC. Unfortunately his father was supposed to meet us there with the fuel tank for it but he could not find it and may have been lost in a recent move. I was told this motor had a new waterpump put on it two years ago and had been running fairly recently. The compression seemed good by pulling the starter rope. The motor colors are Sarasota Blue/Sand Tan. My wife thought the color combo was retro and would look cool. So knowing an old motor is a bit of a gamble, we reached an agreement on price, loaded it up and took it home.

It seems to me at this time that Sarasota Blue/Sand/Tan may be a relatively rare color combination. I've seen pictures of Mercury Green/Sand Tan, Sunset Orange/Sand Tan and Marlin Blue/Gulf Blue on other Mark 25's in pictures on the web of various antique motor club meets or in the Antique Outboarder magazine. I haven't seen this color combo yet. It reminds me of a 1956 two tone Chevy Belaire. Guess I'll find out as I learn more. I ordered and
received a service manual and fuel connector from East Coast Marine and hope to purchase a fuel tank, hose etc. soon and get this baby in a garbage can full of water and see if it fires up. Here's hoping I have an outboard and not just a pretty boat anchor.

March 6, 2010 Update:
I put together a 3 gallon plastic fuel tank with quick disconnect to tank fittings, hose, primer bulb and the connector to the motor. I did a 50:1 ratio mix by putting 2 1/2 oz. of two cycle oil and a gallon of gasoline in the tank....shaken, not stirred. Since it was a 50 degree sunny day, this was my chance to see if it would start. Using the bottom from a defunct shop vac, I put it under the outboard and filled it with water which was about 3-4" over the top of the cavitation plate. I hooked up the fuel line, opened the tank vent, squeezed the primer bulb about 10 times until fuel could be felt in the bulb and I could smell it. Then I set the choke and gave the starter rope a pull...nothing except water sloshing all over. I enlisted my daughter to hold the back of the motor to stabilize it while I gave another pull...nothing. Another pull...nothing. Took off the choke, squeezed the primer bulb again and gave another pull and hot started running! (Big smile on face). I saw a stream of water coming out the hole at the top of the lower unit indicating the water pump was doing what it should, and then I slowed the motor down to shift speed and shifted into forward. Water started leaving the barrel as the prop churned it up. Tried reverse and saw that it worked and then back to neutral. I revved it up a bit, then slowed it down and ran it for a while so some pictures could be taken. I disconnected the fuel line and it ran for a couple of minutes until the fuel in the carb ran out. all works!

1 comment:

  1. You should use 25 to 1 oil mix in these motors!