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Old 05-18-2016, 02:20 PM   #1
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Default Seize Outboard or something else??

Monday afternoon I was out on my local river an felt my outboard bog down (Mercury 200 EFI). I immediately dropped it into neutral at which time it stalled out (no alarms went off)and I could not get it restarted. I brought it to a local marina and the mechanic rotated the flywheel (by hand with a socket) 9-10 times before it locked up. Based on that alone he diagnosed the problem as a seized powerblock and quoted me $7500 to fix it.

When a block seizes is it still possible to turn the flywheel by hand? Is there something else that could cause the fly wheel to lock after 9-10 rotations?
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:32 PM   #2
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Seized usually means the pistons are actually stuck to the cylinder walls. If could rotate it was not seized but maybe something else has broken inside.

After it stopped rotating by hand could it be turned backwards? A piston skirt could have broken and is now lodged in there. Will it crank at all? If it cranks a compression test is needed to check the health of each cylinder.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:40 PM   #3
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Usually, the term "Seized" means the crankshaft won't turn because something won't move. Usually because a piston is "stuck' in a cylinder and won't move. If that is the case, the flywheel won't move either.

Sometimes a motor will overheat due to lack of cooling..OR.. lack of lubrication. Then a piston will "seize" in a cylinder. Sometimes, when the engine cools down, the piston will shrink in diameter enough, that the crankshaft can be rotated again.

I don't know how the mechanic could Induce the engine to seize using a socket and breaker bar. There must be something else going on...crankshaft main bearing failure..??

There are a couple of people on this forum who are more knowledgeable than I am..I think one of them is actually in the business.

Take it slow. Good luck. NB
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:43 PM   #4
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Yes, once it locked in one direction he was able to crank it in the reverse direction. The starter would not crank the engine as when we tried it the flywheel was all the way over to where it locked. Once we knew it was locking I did not want to try to crank the engine.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:13 PM   #5
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OK: So it doesn't appear to be a "seized" piston. I don't know if this motor has "Plain" crankshaft bearings...OR.. Ball bearings or Roller bearings. If it has ball or roller bearings..Maybe..... this diagnosis might be legit.

Perhaps ask the mechanic...specifically..WHAT.. he thinks the problem is.

Someone else might chime in here...I have a problem with the price quote. NB
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:48 PM   #6
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The mechanic could not give me a reason why other than "something was broken inside"(He truly said that). The guy has owned the small marina for many years, but I'll be getting another opinion this weekend.

Just looking here for other explanations for the problem. Since there were no alarms and the engine made no noises before hand I was holding out hope that it was not internal.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:06 PM   #7
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Waiting for more input from people on the forum who... are/were in the business. I wish I could remember his screen name. NB
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:28 PM   #8
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If a 2 stroke seizes up like that its pretty much rebuild time. The motor should turn freely.... Just lie a sled there could be many reasons. Bad Gas, bad oil/fuel mix, bad injector, no/low water pressure etc etc


My guess is it seized up when the bog occurred. You might be looking a t a new powerhead or it might be cheaper just to hang a different motor on it... you wont know until you pull it apart.

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Old 05-21-2016, 06:39 AM   #9
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Sounds like it's a mechanical interference. Could be a piston skirt, could be a bearing. The only way to tell is take it apart, or find someone with a boroscope to look in the cylinders first. It could even be something as simple as a piece of spark plug.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastonBoard View Post
Monday afternoon I was out on my local river an felt my outboard bog down (Mercury 200 EFI). I immediately dropped it into neutral at which time it stalled out (no alarms went off)and I could not get it restarted. I brought it to a local marina and the mechanic rotated the flywheel (by hand with a socket) 9-10 times before it locked up. Based on that alone he diagnosed the problem as a seized powerblock and quoted me $7500 to fix it.

When a block seizes is it still possible to turn the flywheel by hand? Is there something else that could cause the fly wheel to lock after 9-10 rotations?
What year is the motor? How many hours?
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:23 AM   #11
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What year is the motor? How many hours?
1999 with 520 hours. Bought the boat in 2009 and the engine had 150 hours on it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:17 AM   #12
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That vintage of EFI and Optimax motors are known for issues. Been there done that... Before spending $7500 to fix it I would look to replace with something else. Spending that much to fix a 17 year old motor would not be smart math in my opinion.

Look on Ebay, there are typically a fair amount of dealers selling used and refurbished motors and power heads.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
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That vintage of EFI and Optimax motors are known for issues. Been there done that... Before spending $7500 to fix it I would look to replace with something else. Spending that much to fix a 17 year old motor would not be smart math in my opinion.

Look on Ebay, there are typically a fair amount of dealers selling used and refurbished motors and power heads.
This.

Plus, you will get it back on the water sooner taking the replacement route.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:41 AM   #14
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Whatever the actual fault is, the motor is likely to need to be taken apart to expose the guts. He's probably quoting the worst-case-scenario.

Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:17 AM   #15
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Monday afternoon I was out on my local river an felt my outboard bog down (Mercury 200 EFI). I immediately dropped it into neutral at which time it stalled out (no alarms went off)and I could not get it restarted. I brought it to a local marina and the mechanic rotated the flywheel (by hand with a socket) 9-10 times before it locked up. Based on that alone he diagnosed the problem as a seized powerblock and quoted me $7500 to fix it.

When a block seizes is it still possible to turn the flywheel by hand? Is there something else that could cause the fly wheel to lock after 9-10 rotations?
Update for What its Worth - turns out that the top of one piston had started to melt leaving a 1/4 inch ball of melted metal on the head. The piston was still able to move, but hit the melted metal before completing the full stroke (hence the fly wheel locking up). No scoring or damage to the block. Looks like the injector for that one cylinder clogged up, causing the bog I mention above and rapid meltdown of the piston head. Having the injectors cleaned, new pistons, new oil pump (just in case) and hopefully will be back on the water soon.

Thanks to everyone who posted.
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:36 AM   #16
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Cool news. I love keeping old machines running. Time to think about a better fuel filter and/or a new set of injectors...
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:06 AM   #17
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Cool news. I love keeping old machines running. Time to think about a better fuel filter and/or a new set of injectors...
Thanks and I agree about keeping old machines running. This engine is too clean not to rebuild. In fact, two of the three mechanics I've been to with this problem offered to buy the engine. Which tells me they see profit in a rebuild.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:15 PM   #18
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That's good that the damage was minimal. I assume the connecting rod wasn't damaged or bent. Sounds like it was running too lean, either from an air leak or more likely a clogged injector. It's important to winterize the fuel and motor each season. But sometimes this just happens. Glad it worked out for you.
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