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Old 01-13-2022, 12:17 PM   #1
TexaRican
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Need some help here. 2005 Merc XR6 150 horse. Got a service in June 2021 right before I bought it: Plugs, water pump and synthetic lower unit lube.

Ran fine through the fall then Christmas day I noticed a rough idle. We cruised at normal speed a few miles up the lake to troll a bit. On the ride back it shut down on me. No alarm or anything so I looked at my oil tank and it was low but not dry. Put oil in it and floated about 10 minutes then started up and ran another couple miles at cruising speed until it did it again. One more time I waited 10-15 then started again and made it home.

Have not run it on plane much since then cause I've been fishing very close to my slip. Earlier this week it was surging some at low speed. Last night I decided to test it out and same story after running on plane. It shut down after I ran about half a mile at 35mph. Didn't want to start again so I just trolled back to the slip. It starts like normal again today.

The mechanic I have used in the past no longer makes service calls and I don't have a trailer to take it in. He said he would not attempt a carb cleaning on the water anyway so I know I probably shouldn't do it. Anything else I can try?
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:24 PM   #2
kruppa24
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I had a similar problem with my 03 90hp merc. I cleaned carbs and it did not help. It ended up being a bad diaphragm in fuel pump.

Edit: Would check fuel filter first: Easy and cheap

Last edited by kruppa24; 01-13-2022 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:25 PM   #3
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Check vent line to fuel tank.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doghouse View Post
Check vent line to fuel tank.
This and check/replace fuel filter. Check for leaks in fuel Line and bulb. Does the bulb get hard when you pump it up. Assuming your alarm system is working you can rule out oiler system and waterpump.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:35 PM   #5
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New fuel filter was the first thing I did after the Christmas day event. Bulb pumps up firm. Not sure how to check the vent line?
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:41 PM   #6
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I would dump double the amount of Sea Foam in the gas also and keep idling around and see if it clears up. Won't hurt anything while you are checking everything else. Sounds like a gas problem of some sort.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexaRican View Post
New fuel filter was the first thing I did after the Christmas day event. Bulb pumps up firm. Not sure how to check the vent line?
Just loosen the gas cap. Probably have to take it to the water though. Does it idle forever or stall out after a while. Does it die suddenly or does it sputter and then die. You can try on the water and have someone pump the bulb when it starts to die.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:44 PM   #8
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Also this works on yamahas. Try it. Loosen the screws that hold the fuel pumps to the motor and squeeze the bulb up tight and watch for gas leaking behind the fuel pumps. It might have more than one. You can do this without starting the motor.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:44 PM   #9
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Does primer bulb go soft when this happens?

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Old 01-13-2022, 12:46 PM   #10
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Primer bulb will get soft when running. It's normal.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:54 PM   #11
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I will have to go back to the slip after work and see what is up with the vent and pump the bulb when it stumbles at idle. It does not like to idle in the normal nuetral throttle position unless it really warmed up. That was not the case before this started but it has always been a hard starter and needed lots of throttle to fire up.

As for alarms, I'm not convinced everything or anything is working. My volt meter and speedo work but the tac and fuel gauge don't. Tac has 12 volts to it and I tried moving the gray wire from one voltage regulator to the next with no luck. I've replaced all the accessory connectors to the cranking battery and cleaned terminals. Replaced corroded connectors on the two wires coming off the fuel tank sending unit and ohmed it out to verify it's working. Fuel gauge jumps to nearly full when the key is on and just stays stuck there. Definitely a gremlin somewhere in my wiring.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexaRican View Post

Definitely a gremlin somewhere in my wiring.
I'd start here^. Then take a look at your switchbox. When it sputters and dies, check to see if your are getting fire to the plugs. Losing spark after warmed up is a tell tale sign of a bad switchbox. You can youtube some ways to test it, as it sounds like you can operate a meter.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:07 PM   #13
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How old are your fuel lines? They can break down inside and clog filters and ports, then after you stop the sediment settles and you'll run again. I had some in an old boat that were large enough they couldn't get into the fuel filter but they'd clog the inlet to it. When I pulled that line off and shook it out all sorts of internal crumbles shook out of it. I don't know about your specific engine but some of these have a high pressure and low pressure fuel pumps and can exhibit your type of symptoms when one has gotten weak.

Last edited by justletmein; 01-13-2022 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:07 PM   #14
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You could have a Power Pack or Stator going bad, as once it heats up similar things start showing up. I would try all of the fuel issues first before going I went to this dianosis though.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:08 PM   #15
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Make sure your gas tank is vented, change fuel filter, then add some ring free. Bulb doesn’t need to be hard when running. Carb repair would be next, then fuel pump and diaphragm.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:14 PM   #16
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The alarm system is in your engine only with a buzzer in the controls or under your console. All your accessories, tach etc, have nothing to do with the alarm. Your buzzer should beet when you turn the key on before your start it.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The alarm system is in your engine only with a buzzer in the controls or under your console. All your accessories, tach etc, have nothing to do with the alarm. Your buzzer should beet when you turn the key on before your start it.
Ok, I do get a beep when I turn the key on. No alarm when the motor started dying at speed.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexaRican View Post
New fuel filter was the first thing I did after the Christmas day event. Bulb pumps up firm. Not sure how to check the vent line?
When it acts up try pumping the bulb and see if anything changes.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:29 PM   #19
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No merc expert but on any outboard I have owned, that ever has surging or rough idle, has always been fuel related. With dirty carbs, fuel pumps, filter, collapsing line, or etc…
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexaRican View Post
New fuel filter was the first thing I did after the Christmas day event. Bulb pumps up firm. Not sure how to check the vent line?
Depends on where its at but if under a console dirt dobbers love to plug them. Vapor locks the tank and after the air you introduced filling it runs out then it creates a vacuum and no fuel movement
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexaRican View Post
Ok, I do get a beep when I turn the key on. No alarm when the motor started dying at speed.
You won't get an alarm if your fuel lines are getting clogged or your lift or high pressure fuel pumps are weak, are they original from 2005?
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:59 PM   #22
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sounds like it is having trouble getting fuel.

ac
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:17 PM   #23
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Had a very similar issue in my suzuki. Turned out to be water in the fuel.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:23 PM   #24
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Not sure if the merc has the same setup but my Yamaha has a small screen before the high pressure fuel pump that can clog and cause these types of issues
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:33 PM   #25
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Sounds like a lean seizure to me.... can't believe Noone said to do a compression check and look at plugs-

Problem could be any of above but if it sits and then will run ok till hot then I suspect it's seizing
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:38 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
Sounds like a lean seizure to me.... can't believe Noone said to do a compression check and look at plugs-

Problem could be any of above but if it sits and then will run ok till hot then I suspect it's seizing
This, get a compression test, how many hours are on the motor?
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:35 PM   #27
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Well I had a few minutes on lunch break to fart with it but now it's just gonna sit a while. The mobile mechanic I used last year quick doing service calls and said he would not have attempted a carb cleaning on the water anyway. He thought it's a fuel or carb issue. The other guy in town won't call me back so I think I'm stuck until I find a trailer.

My tank filler is a flip up cap on the side near my console and the vent line runs into it. I see no indication the vent line is plugged when I shine a light down there. It does have a little screen or something at the top.


I ran the boat at low RPM for a good 20 minutes (it will die at true idle in nuetral) and the fuel filter stayed full the entire time. I was trying to work the guage issue at the same time. Verified good voltage to the tac again then I jumpered to the post where the gray wire is connected and tried plugging in at both voltage regulators - still nada so to me that suggests a bad tac. I did turn that bottom dial on the back and put it back where it was set to. Verified good voltage to the fuel guage too and it's still stuck.

Poking around where all the wires run down I did find a clear/yellowed tube and am not sure where it goes. They don't make these things easy to get into for sure. I used my towable inflator/deflator and put some suction on it but nothing came out.

Will update again when I get a trailer and can get it home. In the mean time I will just keep fishing close to home, trolling motor distance.

Last edited by TexaRican; 01-14-2022 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:53 PM   #28
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Do you have full power when it's running right? An easy test to do is to push on the choke when it starts to stumble, if it does better then it's a fuel issue causing a lean condition.
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:59 PM   #29
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Look under your console at the back of the speedo. That clear tube might go there. It's usually a black tube but who knows?
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