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1997 Merc 175 EFI Fuel Problem

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Hi Guys, i'm hopeful someone here can help point me in the right direction.

The above mentioned engine is new to me this year, very low hours when I bought it and it's spotless under the hood.

Today while running about 1/2 throttle it just died, slowly coming to a stop like it was running out of fuel. (middle of a big lake 2-3+ miles from the landing with wind howling...super fun) I've had something similar happen before on this boat and my previous rig, on the old boat it was always related to bad fuel. On this rig I think it was just due to low fuel and rough water equaling the fuel bouncing away from the pickup. Full tank of gas cured that one. It always restarted in the past and was able to keep going, today it would not.

After quite a bit of messing around, I figured out if I tilted the engine all the way up and pumped the primer bulb, fuel would purge from a hole near the intake tract on the left side of the engine and dribble down into the butterflys/throttle bodies (or at least this is the best theory I have at the moment)and then the engine would run for up to 6-8 seconds and die again. At that point, basically out of fuel and I could tilt up, prime, lower, start, go for 50 feet, repeat. It worked when the trolling motor batteries finally died, but a silly amount of wear on the starter i'm sure...

I had a spare fuel filter in the boat so we changed that on a just in case clause, but no change. But at least I know it's new now.

I have a lot of experience spinning wrenches on cars and fuel injection systems in general, just haven't messed with this engine at all yet. It seems like a pump or fuel feed issue in some manner. I found a bleed valve on the left side, when I pressed it, fuel came out. The other thought i'm carrying is a relay or something electronic limiting the fuel control. Gonna check some thinks like that tomorrow.

Just not quite sure where to start beyond that, any tips would be appreciated.



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And I think I found the problem, big connector just in front of the fuel filter is missing the cap that attaches the two halves together. Connected them, voila, started up immediately. Back to the water, electrical tape to the rescue!

Does anybody have one of these engines and is able to maybe take a snap shot of the front right corner with the hood off the engine to confirm what i should be seeing?

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Hey Jeff, not sure of your issue, but service is great from Dennis over at Nelson Marine, right on 61 south of White Bear Lake. He really knows his Mercs, and especially EFI's.

Good luck.

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Can you get me the model number (and a serial number would be even better) and I'll get you a snapshot?


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