Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
MooseKnuckle VI

Who has an Optimax?

Recommended Posts

Looking at a boat early next week possibly. Has a 2007 Optimax 150. ~225 hours I think he said. I read some good things and a lot of bad things with the Mercs. The more I read about them, the more complex these motors seem to be. Appear to be very sensitive to voltage. I read a lot of complaints with blown air compressors and injectors, etc. Seems most of the catastrophic failures happened in the late 90's-early 2000's. 

 

The good thing is the performance and efficiency people claim to get from these engines. Can anybody share any info, good or bad, about their Merc Optimax? I'll be going from a 2008 Yamaha F150 which has spoiled me. I've had perfect luck with 3 Yamahas and I'm hesitant to switch.

 

Also, what kind of life expectancy could I expect to get? I'd be doing a complete maintenance job if I purchase it.  Everything and anything that can possibly be done I'll do to establish a baseline for scheduled maintenance. I'm religious about that, I can't speak for the current owner though. He has no records available. The boat has a merc kicker on it so that would certainly help extend the overall years of service. But I'd hope to get at least 2000 hours on a modern motor. Is that reasonable?

Edited by MooseKnuckle VI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We bought a used boat with a 2007 150 optimax. Put about 500 hours on it last year with no issues. Down load the manual off line and read it. Make sure to run optimax oil and I use seafaom for a fuel additive. The only issue we have is that while trolling you have to trim the motor up to make sure water doesn't come in the rear vent. I you don't trim it up it starts to hesitate if water goes into the vent. I also had a yamaha F115 before this one and the noise is a little more when trolling but not too bad. There is no smell of oil like the old 2 strokes when trolling but you do get a slight smell when running above 3000 rpm. I also did the online research and several things that guys question my motor does also like a lot of steam off the back at trolling speed. A buddy of mine has the same motor but a 2012 and it does the same thing. So far no complaints. It doesn't use a ton of oil filled it to the brim this year and with 25 hours into it we have only used made a quart. The motor does have a lot of power for sure it pushes a 21 foot cuddy to plane fast and we reach 38 mph.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had my 2 stroke 135 Opti on my 18 ft Whaler since both were brand new in 2002 and it has performed flawlessly with the exception of the impeller screwing up in 2013.....my fault as they were supposed to be replaced every couple years and I still had the original in it :lol:  The engine is incredible for a 2 stroke on gas and oil consumption but I run non-ethanol91 octane and always have used the specific Opti oil in it and marine Stabil year round. Mine has probably 500 hrs on it as I have until a couple weeks ago used my 9.9 2 stroke trolling motor for trolling. I now have a new 4 stroke 9.8 Tohatsu for that. The motor will troll down to 1.7-1.9 (stainless steel prop)  when necessary although I have primarily used it for trolling only in real windy conditions going against the wind over the years. It always starts up immediately but I keep my battery fully charged and run  all my secondary stuff off another battery as I was informed when I bought the boat that it has to have over a half charge to start the motor as it a a high amperage draw during startup. I took it in last year for my first set of spark plugs since the originals and when it was tested for compression I was told the compression was just the same as one that he would test from the showroom and that these motors are considered the best that Merc has ever made. In short I love it and feel that it is very reliable. Most of the time I run it to and from places at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle and I kid you not it uses less gas than my old 2 stroke Johnson 35 horse motor on my 13 ft Whaler.

Edited by Sk8man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 2008 175 Opti that was a nightmare! It overheated in the winter, after the powerhead was changed, thermostats, water pump etc then Mercury put a flow device in the pushed more water through it resolved the overheating in the winter but it overheated in the summer, After 4 years of frustration we finally worked out a deal to replace it with a 150 4 stroke which I love. This motor was trouble from day one, it had only 75 hours on it, finally a Mercury rep and I meet a T-falls and he admitted that they didn't know what the problem was!

 

I did recently talk to a Lund dealer who explained the troubles that they had with the valves that era and they dubbed them Opti pops because of the failures.

 

JMHO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2007 135HP Optimax and so far have had great luck with it.  Low maintenance.  The only thing I have done so far was one water pump and your normal plugs.  I have the electronic gauge which is a great add on to read the temps, voltage, pressure.  I have owned it for 5 years now.  I even troll with it when its just two windy to control the boat with my 9.9.  I gotta admit its loud but its definitely got some get up and go for a 135.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 135 opti. I've put 100 hrs on it so far this season. It's fast and quiet at idle. Always starts on first attempt. I too use 91 non ethanol with sea foam in every tank. Just refilled the reservoir with mercury DFI oil as required by Mercury. So far it's the best motor I've ever owned

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just went through the same process and read all the same stuff as you are reading.  I just converted my I/O to an outboard and choosing a motor was a surprisingly difficult task.  I learned a lot about the different flaws from outboards through the years and found every manufacturer has them. I was very close to going with a Yami 4 stroke but in the end choose a 2007 Mercury 250 optimax.  It came down to those two choices. From what I read, the small block you are looking at has always had a seller reputation.  The big block had earlier problems that were ironed out I wanna say by around 2004 if I remember correctly?  

 

I only have 6 trips on mine so I cannot report much yet other than it has been terrific so far and had a clean service report from the dealer. They are fast motors and burn very clean.  I got the smart gauge as well, very very nice addition.  That's all I can really add so far......good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at a boat early next week possibly. Has a 2007 Optimax 150. ~225 hours I think he said. I read some good things and a lot of bad things with the Mercs. The more I read about them, the more complex these motors seem to be. Appear to be very sensitive to voltage. I read a lot of complaints with blown air compressors and injectors, etc. Seems most of the catastrophic failures happened in the late 90's-early 2000's. 

 

The good thing is the performance and efficiency people claim to get from these engines. Can anybody share any info, good or bad, about their Merc Optimax? I'll be going from a 2008 Yamaha F150 which has spoiled me. I've had perfect luck with 3 Yamahas and I'm hesitant to switch.

 

Also, what kind of life expectancy could I expect to get? I'd be doing a complete maintenance job if I purchase it.  Everything and anything that can possibly be done I'll do to establish a baseline for scheduled maintenance. I'm religious about that, I can't speak for the current owner though. He has no records available. The boat has a merc kicker on it so that would certainly help extend the overall years of service. But I'd hope to get at least 2000 hours on a modern motor. Is that reasonable?

Downfall to mercs are you need specialized equipment to work on them. If you like to do your own work look for another boat or a different motor to put on it. There are a lot of them out there good and bad ones. They did have problems with the early model optimax AKA optipop they would blow their heads clean off or piston thru the block. Merc has been around for a long time and have a big following.

 

Personally I like BRP/Evinrude less crap to go wrong than the 4 stroke with just as long a life span and other than the computer I can tear it all down myself.

 

This one of those ford vs chevy arguments both have their good points but it generally just comes down to personal preference.

Edited by Chas0218

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the more I read about the mercs the less I want to trust them. Seems those optimax motors have too much crap to break on them. Air compressors that crap out, studs snap off when replacing it, plugs strip out easily, injectors and fuel rails that need a lot of attention and cleaned often, sensitive to poor fuel quality and voltage fluctuations, etc. too expensive of a gamble. Really want to stick with Yamaha 4 stroke if possible. I'll find something eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I said earlier I love my 150 4 stroke 2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 08' 250 Prox XS I'm north of 500 hours now, this model had some coil issues which were replaced under a service bulletin early on since then it's been rock solid, it's been a very reliable motor for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run a 2008 Honda 135 the 115 /135/150 are all the same block this weekend the hour meter hit 2500 hrs with regular service (oil changes and water separator) this motor has run flawless from single digit temps in Jan to 90 deg in aug .I also believe it is as quiet 4 stroke as you will find I know Honda is a few more dollars but worth every penny in my book

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

175 opti and it burns some oil. I would buy a 4 stroke if I had the choice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...