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Vintage Merc 650 starting problems


nova_gh's Avatar
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03-21-09, 07:49 PM   #1  
Vintage Merc 650 starting problems

Just bought a 88 Bass Tracker fiberglass and the guy before me put a 1965 Mercury 650 60 hp outboard on it, and never hooked it up. I was told it ran before he put it on the boat and like an idiot i bought it.

Heres the skinny. I've got no wire harness so i'm doing all my testing with a battery charger for now. In my theory i should be able to connect the - and the + directly to the starter and engage it. Well, the starter spins, but does not pop up. Previous to this i had noticed by hand turning the fly wheel, i was turning the prop, the unit is still in gear. So my thought was with the machine in gear, the starter will not engage. Am i wrong or is the starter shot?

My many attempts to get the motor out of gear have failed. The lever (inside the motor) for the transition moves almost too easy.

 
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Rick Johnston's Avatar
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03-22-09, 01:13 AM   #2  
You're going to need a manual to get that thing wired & running. There's just too much that could be wrong for us to try and answer here. Not the least of which is the missing wiring harness.

A limited preview of a manual is available here. Check page 121. It does mention that it's for Mercs from 1966-69 and newer.

Here's the real deal. It will probably be the best $75 you've spent.

In the meantime, don't keep testing with a charger. Depending on which ignition system it has, you can do serious damage just by hooking up ground in the wrong place!

 
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03-22-09, 06:39 AM   #3  
my goal is to get the machine to run, even as crudely as possible. A $75 book that might help me, doesn't fly. A wire harness is almost $300. I was told by a repairman to get the motor on the boat and working would $1800 minimum.

I'm talking about simple engine troubleshooting here, what makes that starter pop up? Does it do it on its own when energized or is there an outside factor that makes it pop up?

 
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03-22-09, 01:33 PM   #4  
To answer your question, a solenoid kicks the starter into position. If you're only powering the starter motor and not the solenoid it will just sit & spin. You may have a bad solenoid. You may have grabbed the wrong wire that tells the solenoid not to kick in if it's in gear.

Further, if you're powering only the starter motor (with or without the solenoid) you're not powering the ignition system. Further still, if you have electronic ignition and connect it to the wrong wires you can blow it up.

As to the transmission question, if the lower drive section was installed improperly the shift lever could be misaligned, causing the drive train to stick in gear.

That's where the $75 book will (not might) help you. It will show you the complete electrical connections so you can save about $250 and make your own harness. It will also show you everything else you need to know to get that old bear running. And it's certainly cheaper than spending $1800 for someone to do it for you.

I'm sorry if my post seemed to dismiss your original question. You have a long project ahead, my friend. Without the manual you're driving blind. And as I said, it's really too much for us to tackle here.

 
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03-22-09, 06:01 PM   #5  
aha! who needs some stinkin' manual. Got it going. I started my stone dead firebird with my battery charger yesterday so i simply assumed my charged had enough power to start an outboard. After removing the starter from the outboard and bench testing it, i simply hooked it directly to a 12v battery and walla! My charger didn't have enough initial kick to pop up the gear.

After reinstalling the starter, hooking up a battery disconnect switch to temporarily replace an igition switch, and running jumper cables from my tractor to the switch, i can now turn the motor over and even get it to fire on starter fluid.

As far as the transmition, its defintatly still stuck in gear, i'll have to dig a little deaper....

A guy just needs a littler determination .

 
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