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still floats guy

What to check for buying used boat?

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Long story short...going to look at a used boat with 96 mercury 115hp. Anyone know anything about these motors? From what I understand it is NOT a 2+2 outboard.

Wondering what tests I can do other than compression test, check lower unit lube, and run it on rabbit ears in the driveway. I will not have an opportunity to put it in the lake. I will of course check transom as well.

Any suggestions of other things to look for would be great. Thanks.

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I may be wrong (and will be wrong again I'm sure) but I think that motor is a 2+2 - it's the same block as the 125 which is 2+2, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't.

Regardless of that, the 90 / 115 / 125 are good motors. They might not idle the smoothest, but mechanically are pretty bullet proof.

A compression test is good, a leak test that measures the amount of air that goes past the rings is better, but compression is certainly better than nothing.

Everything else you list is what I would check if I were you.

Good luck!

marine_man

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I always look at the bolts (head, lower unit, carbs, ect...) to see if they have been removed (was engine repaired?) and if they are scarred and if so then I look to see if it looks like it was a real mechanic or some home owner (blu goo vs real gaskets) Look at fuel lines and cables (do they move freely). also is the steering easy or stiff? Is the prop new? If so why? Also is the skeg freshly painted? Scratches to the bottom of the hull. That is all I have to add.

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Thanks for the tips. I asked the owner specifically if it was a 2+2 and he said it was not. Is there any way to verify that?

I asked for the serial number for the outboard. The serial number he gave was 06256188. From what I can find, I think this is a lower unit serial number of a 1988 outboard. He did tell me the lower unit gears had been replaced but he didn't say anything about the whole lower unit being changed. I want to make sure the engine is the 96 that it shows on the cowling. I think I may need to insist on finding some accomodating place to run it in open water. thoughts?

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IMO, I bought my first boat without running it. When I would ask, they guy would say give me the money and you can take it anywhere you want. Now, I wouldn't buy a boat without running it first. I would also take it to a mechanic and have them check it out. Worth the little money you spend to have it looked over. If the owner isn't willing to let you do this, then there is a problem with the boat and walk away.

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I'm betting the serial number is actually 0G256188 - which correlates to a 2005 Mercury.

Is the 2+2 a huge deal for you?

I would ask with the lower unit gears were replaced and verify that it shifts smoothly.

marine_man

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I bet your right about the serial number Marine_man.

The 2+2 thing is not a big deal to me. I had just read that they could be a bit more tempermental. I asked him and he was sure it was not.

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I personally have no problem with the 2+2. In the right hands, these can be dialed in pretty smooth. As Rob stated before that block is bullet proof.

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Regardless of that, the 90 / 115 / 125 are good motors. They might not idle the smoothest, but mechanically are pretty bullet proof. marine_man

That's no lie about that idle, I have the 90, my friend has the 125, they both need some coaxing to get started, even when they're warm.

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