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TOPIC: Mercruiser vs. OMC

Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94105

  • HandyDan
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After fighting the Mercruiser sterndrive trim limit switches, I have severly lowered my appreciation for Mercruiser. I have the opportunity to acquire a boat with a 1982 OMC stern drive. What surprises am I in for with it. It has an entirely different operating system from the Merc. I've discovered that the trim system is something I do not want to take apart. Are there other problem areas in the OMC?
Dan

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94110

That is a loaded question.... you may as well have asked which oil is better!

The trim limit has sucked from the introduction of power trim when it was near the upper swivel pin until recently when its reliability was improved. Believe it or not, there were a few years in the '70s when the access plugs were factory installed to get the upper swivel pin out. Even then it's a pain.

Now about the OMC stringers; The thru hub style mechanical shift had growing pains when 1st introduced in 1978. Service bulletins resolved the issues. That being said, some people hate them, other love them. Trim is a jackscrew front motor mount on inline motors and hydraulic ram style front mounts on V engines. Its just a whole different animal that you will need to learn.

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94125

I owned an Stringer outdrive for years and I would buy another. Did have a few problems over the years. Mine was a V6 powerplant with the hydraulic trim/tilt and had troubles with the rams and the pump leaking down internally. Also disabled the troublesome little "shift interrupter switch", and had trouble keeping seals in the tilt gear case, but nothing major, just checked/changed the oil in that little case frequently.

Other than that, I got many hours of great running out of the OMC.

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94451

If the trim switches drove you batty on the Mercruiser then you are REALLY going to have fun with the OMC drives. My advice? Don't even think about it, and I will back that up with 38 years as a Marine mechanic.

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94452

gfgarland,

And your opinion of Volvo-Penta OD is???

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94466

The biggest problem with the OMC Stringer is usually the owner. These units are not idiot proof. Never start the engine with the drive up, even a little. The drive has 4 separate oil levels that must be checked before EVERY trip. If you have an older electric shift use the correct gear oil.

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 months ago #94487

Good words, I totally agree with that.

The older Volvo drives were just about bulletproof, but parts are pricey as Hell and not too many marinas will work on one as they do require special tools to overhaul that most places don't have, and there are not a lot of mechanics with experience on them. Good news is that they don't often break or give trouble if looked after, I like them a lot. Pretty strong in impact resistance as well! (Don't ask me how I know this.)Judge is out on the later Duo Props and DX drives, but they seem to be holding up well. Just out of curiosity, what was driving you nuts about the trim limit switches on the Mercruiser you had?

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 3 weeks ago #97053

Does anyone know how to change the mercruiser trim limit and position switches. I thought I could pull the new units wires through with the old wires. Not able to do it. It seems to be a major job and while you have everything apart you should change out the shift cable ,exhaust bellows and shift bellows. Is there a easier way to change these switches out. This is on a pre alpha (1977)

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 weeks ago #97225

You need to remove the gimbal ring. It is a pain in the ass. That is what started this thread originally.

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Re:Mercruiser vs. OMC 4 years 2 weeks ago #97279

Actually you can do it with the ring in place. Hardest part is removing the bolts holding the wires in place where they go through the transom, use a small socket,long extension and a flex joint in 1/4 drive size. Once you do this they pull right out, just attach a pull wire to the wires inside the boat before you yank them out. That way, you attach the new wires to the pull wire and have a helper inside pull them through and keep tension on them as you put the lower bolt back in the wire clip. You don't need the top one, leave it out. Put the sensors on the ring, adjust as per instructions and you are done!!

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