New to AOMC with a 1963 mercury 200

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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #174654

    As stated I’m new to AOMC and to outboards in general although I’ve owned plenty of old machines through the years. I have inherited my grandfathers 1963 Mercury 200( serial 1593204) and the accompanying 14 foot Starcraft from the the same era. I remember riding in it as a kid, but I’m pretty sure that it has been sitting in the shop at his house for the 15-20 years since then. I want to revive this motor and go for a rip across the lake again, but I know there’s probably a long road ahead of me. I’ve acquired an old copy of the Mercury factory service manual for pre-65 motors and that has been very helpful. My first attempt to start it showed me that I had no spark on the bottom cylinder.
    I removed the condensers and attempted to figure out how to “test” them with a multimeter, which I have now learned is mostly futile unless I could hook them up to a MercOtronic to load test them. The coils on this engine are riveted to the aluminum stator plate, so I really don’t want to remove them without justification. Any thoughts on the next steps to take on troubleshooting the lack of spark?

    I have attempted to order a pile of parts(impeller, lower unit seals kit, carb kit, fuel pump kit, condensers) from Oldmercs.com but they are in no hurry get them shipped. I’ve since found much of the parts for this engine on eBay, but not ordered any since i don’t want duplicates at this point.

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    20mercman
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 583
    Topics: 21
    #174655

    The 1963 200 is a real icon motor for Mercury. It is one of my favorites! (mine is in my avatar) They were a transition motor for Mercury, first year going back to full gear shift, last year of the cloud white paint, and the large cast Mk-28esk top cowl. A great looking motor and great performer.

    As for the issues, you really can do a lot of testing with ah ohm meter. According to your serial number, yours should have the new style Phelon magneto. These are good units. The points need to be clean! Clean!!!!!!! Testing them with an analog style ohm meter works best. You have the correct service manual. it should help with this. Also, the water pump impellers are hard to find, but you can use one for a MK-25 and file the key slot square. Test the coils for proper resistance, and then check the points also. As for removing the coils, you don’t remove the laminates from the stator, you pry the coils off of the laminates if needed. This is easier than it sounds. Good luck, and welcome to the club! Keep us posted, I will help as much as I can.

    Steve

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    billw
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1028
    Topics: 35
    #174661

    I always test all my condensers with a Stevens magneto analyzer, which is similar to the Merc-O-tronic. Almost with out fail, old Phelon condensers will fail a leakage test. My two cents would therefore be to buy some new condensers and have nothing to worry about. Like 20Mercman says, those mags are generally good, though. To test the points, disconnect them from everything and check with an ohm meter on low ohms scale. Resistance should be ZERO. If there is so much as one ohm, the mag won’t work right.

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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #174710

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I ordered new condensers, but naturally the actual replacement is listed as NLA. I’m order the recommended replacement, but waiting to test the new condensers before I remove the coils.

    In regards to testing the coils…. Since the laminates are riveted to the aluminum plate for the magneto; Am I correct in my understanding that to properly test the resistance of the coils I would have to remove them from the laminates? If they are still attached to the magneto plate the Ohms would be whatever the whole magneto reads as one unit, rather than individually correct?

    I’ll pull the points for a good cleaning and testing to make sure they are working correctly. Thanks again.

    Any insight yet as to how to load photos?

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    dave-bernard
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 892
    Topics: 10
    #174712

    coils must stay on the laminations to be tested. disconnect the coil wires before testing.

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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #176564

    Well it turns out that the condensers were Ok. The points were just dirty, and after a quick filing and regap they seem to be pretty good. That’s great news since the replacement condensers were not going to fit well without some modifications. I have since replaced the water pump impeller and seals, overhauled the fuel pump and carburetor, and had it running in the barrel. Unfortunately the short fuel line between the fuel pump and carb is cracked and leaking, so I am waiting on a replacement from MarineEngine.

    Also getting some new rubber seals for the water pipe sections. It pumps water out the tell-tale, but just a trickle and I’m hoping that the seals help improve the water flow. I’m assuming that when the engine is running at “shift range” speed, that there should be a pretty decent amount of water flow correct? More that a trickle?

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    dave-bernard
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 892
    Topics: 10
    #176571

    the tell tail is just that .maybe just clogged a little. try a paper clip to un clog or use compressed air. if the motor is running cool the pump is working. top of block should have a 1/8 pipe plug to check the pumping.. 1 914 310 7086.

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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #176657

    Thanks for the input dave-bernard. I haven’t had time to test it again yet, but here’s pics of it on the stand in the garage. Hopefully tonight I will get a chance to try and make sure the passages are clear.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by seakaye12 seakaye12.
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    JayzonAych
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 15
    Topics: 0
    #176678

    That is a really nice one and cool that is has your family heritage attached to it…

    The cloud white usually didn’t hold up well on those. Meguiar’s cleaner wax will make it look really nice. Wash it with blue Dawn first

    Did the coils have a yellow epoxy securing them to laminate cores? If so, they have a near 100% failure rate by now and I would be shocked they are still working. Most failed within warranty and have long been replaced with the better ones that did not use the yellow epoxy.

    I have had 5 of 63’s and still have the nicest one I came across.

    If you want the motor to run well at trolling and idle you may need to get into crank seals and resealing crankcase with loctite 518. The top crank seal can be done by removing top crank bearing carrier, the bottom takes 2 seals stacked and the requires splitting crankcase. Of course give it a try before you get into all that and see if it runs desirably.

    I had one motor that mud dabbers made a nest in the idle muffler found under the u shaped plate in the rear of pan and clogged it up. Motor would not idle after all that work I described above until I cleared it. The function of this chamber is to muffle the exhaust at idle and provide back pressure relief at idle and trolling since engine is deep in water.

    That telltale will always be an issue. Its design allows it to clog easily. As Dave mentions there is a plug on top of engine near exhaust plate on later motors and even later models ran telltale form this port. Unfortunately your 63 likely doesn’t have the plug or boss to tap into. You’d have to get location from a later model and tapping would be risky as metal is thin in that area.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #176700

    Thanks JayzonAych. Yes the coils have the yellow epoxy in them. That is precisely why I never attempted to remove them from the base plate and laminations when I was testing them previously. SO Far…. They seem to be working fine. I have the original coils and condensers in the motor now and it runs pretty well in the barrel if it gets some throttle, but really struggles as it drops down toward idle and trolling. I had attributed the rough idle to the leaking fuel line and misadjustment on my part. But that sounds like it may not be the case. So the chamber that provides back pressure relief for idle, is that the outlet port that is molded into the bottom/rear/center of the lower pan? It seems to have exhaust and some water coming out of it at times.

    I also included a shot of my complicated way of testing the water pump. I had tried to use my cordless drill but the motor’s drive shaft was too large to fit into the chuck. So I hauled the drill press out of the back of the garage( assuming that I would manage to dump water everywhere) and loaded the lower gearbox and water pump into the drill press. It was a difficult way to test, but it worked like a charm.

    I didn’t get a chance to work on the Mercury tonight as I went for ride on my other perpetual project…. a1971 Honda CL450. Apparently I have a thing for machines that need a lot of TLC.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Mumbles Mumbles.
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    Buccaneer
    Buccaneer
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 3082
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    #176708

    Perhaps I just learned of a new use for my floor drill press!

    Prepare to be boarded!

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    JayzonAych
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 15
    Topics: 0
    #176714

    Thanks JayzonAych. Yes the coils have the yellow epoxy in them. That is precisely why I never attempted to remove them from the base plate and laminations when I was testing them previously. SO Far…. They seem to be working fine. I have the original coils and condensers in the motor now and it runs pretty well in the barrel if it gets some throttle]

    Unfortunately, the motor is well past warranty at this point..haha The coils would be of concern from a reliability standpoint. There were internal wiring issues that caused them to short out. You may want roll the dice or replace them to be sure, that is your call. One of the 5 I have had still had the yellow epoxied originals and the were DOA. A friend of mine who was a long time mercury dealer told me of the issue with the “yellow epoxied” coils, and warranty replacements. The laminate cores are not intended to ever be removed from mag plate. The coils were replaced by pulling them off laminates. I just found a mag with good coils and replaced it all on the one I had. The mags that followed the “yellow epoxied” coils were actually quite reliable. I have never had a original condenser from one of these mags fail the mercotronic load test, I would estimate I have tested about 12-20 of them in past 10 years. Also, in all those cases, the coils were still good. I think I have a 65 9.8 powerhead with a good ignition that would work for you I could sell ya. The “yellow epoxied” coils only existed in last half of 1963 models

    , but really struggles as it drops down toward idle and trolling. I had attributed the rough idle to the leaking fuel line and misadjustment on my part. But that sounds like it may not be the case. So the chamber that provides back pressure relief for idle, is that the outlet port that is molded into the bottom/rear/center of the lower pan? It seems to have exhaust and some water coming out of it at times.

    Yes, the snout cast into the rear of pan is the outlet for idle relief. At idle , basically all of the exhaust pressure would flow through there and yes water discharge also flows through . There is a fuel mixture screw for idle on that motor. Its at the top of carb throat. start somewhere around 1-1/4 turns out (cc) from lightly seating needle all the way in (cw) CC is enriching, CW is leaning. Generally I turn CW until is starts to cough slightly then CC until it smooths out, usually about 1/4 turn CC from when it started to run bad. If this seems to become impossible to get right that is when you should consider the other things I mentioned

    I also included a shot of my complicated way of testing the water pump. I had tried to use my cordless drill but the motor’s drive shaft was too large to fit into the chuck. So I hauled the drill press out of the back of the garage( assuming that I would manage to dump water everywhere) and loaded the lower gearbox and water pump into the drill press. It was a difficult way to test, but it worked like a charm.

    Ha! Love it!! I have done this with smaller motors and a hand held drill

    I didn’t get a chance to work on the Mercury tonight as I went for ride on my other perpetual project…. a1971 Honda CL450. Apparently I have a thing for machines that need a lot of TLC.

    Welcome to the club! I also like vintage MC but offroad. My daughter and I are beginning work on restoring a 79 Honda xr80, my first bike and now hers. I also have been working on a 1989 Kawasaki KX250 I hope to ride in vintage offroad events

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Avatar JayzonAych.
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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #176981

    Jazon,

    I pulled the lower unit this weekend and replaced all of the rubber barrel seals around the intake water pipe and the water pipe running up the leg in an effort to ensure its getting water up to the powerhead. When I blow compressed air into the water pipe from the bottom( with the lower unit removed) I can feel a little bit of air coming out from the tell tale, but it seems like a lot is escaping into the leg. The seal at the top of water pipe feels good. Meaning when I stick the long water pipe back into its home at the top of the leg the seal seems to hold it pretty well.

    Based on the sound of air escaping into the chamber of the leg, it seems like there is a leak in cooling system, hence the lack of good flow out the tell tale. Are there any other obvious locations for the pipe to leak besides the rubber grommet/ barrel seal at the top?

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    nicholas soper
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 12
    Topics: 1
    #177015

    Also in this second image of the fuel pump side of the engine there looks to be paint missing around the area where the crank case splits. Is this an indication that the seals on that side are leaking?

    To my untrained eye it looks like the paint that would have been there has been eaten away along that seam.

    Also I replaced the short fuel line between the fuel pump and carb. That quicksilver line is about a 1/4 inch too short and really puts a lot of pressure on the cone fixture inside of the fuel filter on the carb.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Mumbles Mumbles.
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    JayzonAych
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 15
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    #177032

    The majority of water discharge is directed into the main exhaust stream at base of engine block… I would not expect much air or water pressure to come out the snout or telltale without water filling the lower unit and mid section being submerged in water under normal circumstances of running the motor on a boat. Again, that muffler chamber in pan would only relief the pressure under these circumstances…. When the boats goes on plane the engine rises out of water to the anti-ventilation plate (aka cavitation plate) and the higher exhaust pressures clear the water out of exhaust housing and the pressure is nearly 100% out the prop hub. The point here is its all about back pressures.. When exhaust housing has higher water level in it, the back pressure is higher so water discharge and exhaust will pick paths of least resistance. I wouldn’t base it all with the telltale on that motor, like I said, prone to clogging. The fact that you are feeling some air pressure is a good sign…. Ultimately, the best test will be operating temperature. Depending on temperature of the water you are in, that motor will run fairly cool if all is right with your water pump since it predates the use of thermostats. Do you have a infrared thermometer? Run the motor and take periodic readings all over the engine and make sure is cooling is best advice I can give you until you build confidence… That motor will run in mid 100’s Fahrenheit if all is good… The key is to be below boiling, once boiling occurs, all hell breaks loose. These are the reasons annual water pump maintenance became recommended norm. Even modern tell tales get clogged, they are just less prone.

    As far as the missing paint on block is concerned, that IS an area your particular motor can develop a leak where crankcase halves meet.. I’d say majority of mine leaked there…. My dealer friend pointed out to me there is a long span there from bolt to bolt, more than the others… He said later on later models they used the other cast in boss you will find there without holes or a bolt… However, your fuel line was also leaking so who knows… watch for it getting wet and bubbling since you replaced the fuel line…

    Hope that all helps and doesn’t confuse.

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