Logo
Get instant online access to repair manuals for your Mercury / Mariner outboard. Online Manuals
MercuryMariner
Order printed Mercury / Mariner service manuals — shipped to your door! Printed Manuals
MercuryMariner
Use engine diagrams to find & order parts for your Mercury / Mariner engine. Engine Diagrams
MercuryMariner
Find parts quickly with Mercury application guides. Quick Parts Guide
MercurySierraCDI
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1

    Default Mercury 2004 Bigfoot 60hp EFI intermittent non-start, maybe cold/altitude related? Help!

    Hi folks, my mechanic is baffled by this one and we canít find the cause. We need ideas.

    Basically (and Iíll go into detail below) the motor seems to have no issues at sea level/mild temps, which is where the mechanic is at, and it runs fine for him. But when I bring it home, around 5000ft and water & air temps in the high 30ís, itíll start, I back off the trailer, it stalls (usually when shifting back to neutral from reverse) and absolutely will not start again. Itíll turn over and sound normal, but wonít start. I take it back to mechanic and it starts over and over again.

    It just had a massive service, including plugs, filters, timing belt, new flywheel and stator, impeller, all oils changed, new primer bulb and external fuel lines. Weíve checked for fault codes (none), checked fuel pressure (fine), and everything under the cowling looks more or less good condition and well maintained. Weíve checked safety cut off switch, and itís not that. Driving us crazy!

    Longer story is:

    Iíve owned the boat about 8 months. I used it constantly through the summer, put dozens or even 100 hours on it and it ran flawlessly. I had the change the starter solenoid at one point, thatís all.

    Recently I took it to Mexico for a week and ran it 8-10hrs a day, no issues. The day after I returned home I went to our local lake at 5000ft freshwater through it. It was the first time since Iíve owned the boat that Iíve used it in the cold (45 degree water, 40 degree air) which may or may not be relevant, though youíll see a pattern emerges). It started straight up, I backed off the trailer, it stalled (while shifting from reverse back to neutral) and wouldnít restart. Turned over and sounded normal but wouldnít catch. It just so happened that I had it booked in for a major service a few days later - first one since Iíd owned it, and a big list since I didnít know the boatís history and wanted to cover everything.

    So I drop it off for the big service (sea level and mild temps) and mention to them ďoh hey, and now it wonít start, if you could look at that tooĒ. The only clue I gave them was that on the last day in Mexico and had used a little Mexican gas for the first time, and maybe it was bad I said. Just a guess.

    The first thing they tell me is ďit started fine for usĒ. They did the big service listed above - and also found a damaged stator with magnets missing, and replaced that. They said the the gas seemed fine and the boat was running great. One piece of concerning news though was that the motor had 3500hrs on it!!! Wow! But seemed well maintained. Regarding the non-start issue, we figured it was a fluke - maybe bad fuel or a clogged filter or whatever.

    I was stoked to have the boat back freshly serviced. Went straight back to my local lake (at altitude, and cold) and it starts but doesnít sound very good - kinda chugging a bit - back off the trailer, itís stalls (again i think when going from reverse back to neutral) and then cranks but wonít start. I was pissed.

    I drove straight down the hill back to mechanic. As Iím standing there it starts and restarts for them over and over. They put in gear forward and back (in a trough) and it was fine. The screwed in a gauge to check fuel pressure (high pressure pump I think, with the Schroeder valve ) and it was good they said (i wanna say 30-40psi but donít recall exactly). Checked fault codes and found none. They bled a lot of fuel through primer bulb to be sure, saying maybe there was an airlock from the new fuel lines and primer bulb they installed. And sent me home. I stopped at a lake near the mechanic at similar altitude and mild temps. Boat started and restarted to all my testing. And I zoomed around the lake and it sounded beautiful! Better than before the service for sure - less vibration, maybe from the better balanced flywheel and stator. I was stoked!

    Drove home, and just to be sure I stopped at my local alpine lake and guess whatÖ boat backed off trailer and stalled and wouldnít restart. BUTÖÖ I went fishing a couple hours with the electric trolling motor. Every half hour Iíd try and restart the Bigfoot - double checking everything like cutoff switch, priming the bulb, trim up and back down, and other random things. Nothing. When I was done fishing I headed back to ramp with the trolling motor, and before I took the boat out I tried the motor one last time. IT STARTED!!!! WTF? I zoomed around the lake and it felt and sounded GREAT! I docked at the ramp, turned engine off, went to get truck and trailer, and when I went to start motor to drive boat onto trailerÖ it WOULDNíT START. Cranked like always but wouldnít start.

    ok Iím nearly at the end. I went home quite frustrated and the boat got snowed in for about a month. Last week I got it out and drove down to the lowlands to the mechanic. He is also very frustrated at this time. A few days later he called me - ďstarted for us just fine, every time, all week, and idled for hours.Ē He was out of ideas.

    I just picked the boat up today and went to my alpine lake Ö it started, backed off trailer, stalled, wouldnít restart. Same thing every time.

    The weird thing is thereís a pattern, except the one day on the alpine lake it didnít eventually restart and ran greatÖ and then minutes later wouldnít restart.

    HELP! Please! I just dropped thousands on a big service, and the motor used to run flawlessly. Itís got a lot of Horus but itís in great shape - good compression and spark the mechanic said- and I have a lot of fun with it and it kills me itís not reliable now! Any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    5,355

    Default Re: Mercury 2004 Bigfoot 60hp EFI intermittent non-start, maybe cold/altitude related? Help!

    Sounds like fuel starvation. First thing I would test when it did not start is fuel pressure. If the trailering to and fro. and the high and possible use of E15 fuels before purchase could have damaged the inlet needle on float in VST causing it to stick sometimes. This would cause engine to start, run a minute and die as it runs the VST empty
    Pappys Sales and Service
    Owner and Factory Certified Technician
    Former racer KDBA (Kentucky Drag Boat Association)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mercury 2004 Bigfoot 60hp EFI intermittent non-start, maybe cold/altitude related? Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by faztbullet View Post
    Sounds like fuel starvation. First thing I would test when it did not start is fuel pressure. If the trailering to and fro. and the high and possible use of E15 fuels before purchase could have damaged the inlet needle on float in VST causing it to stick sometimes. This would cause engine to start, run a minute and die as it runs the VST empty
    Thank you for your reply. I’m in California, and I do believe it has always been a California boat, and we don’t have E15 fuel available here. That said, I would like to test the fuel pressure when the problem appears for me, but I have no way to do it! Firstly, the problem never happens for the mechanic at lower altitude/temps (I keep mention altitude/temp, no not sure if that’s a factor) and fuel pressure is good with his gauge. When the problem happens for me I a) don’t have a gauge, and b) I’m always by myself so not sure how I’d turn it over and watch gauge. I could take a friend of course. I asked the mechanic if there was a less expensive fuel pressure gauge that I could buy, and he said not really. He’s too far away for me to borrow it (a couple hours). EDIT: I’ve since looked up fuel pressure test gauges on Amazon and they actually aren’t expensive at all - I found a Bosch model for <$40.

    When it wouldn’t start yesterday, after cranking for a long while, I did go back to the motor and remove the cap on the Schrader valve on the VST and push the valve stem in with a pair of pliers - fuel did squirt out. Suggesting there was residual pressure still there.

    The only idea I have (tho isn’t a good one) is the CDI box going bad. I had a 15hp 4 stroke Honda that had a box that was failing, and it would work fine when warm, but not when cold. You would literally have to take the box off and sit in the sun or in your pocket for a while, and it would start. But that doesn’t suit my situation that well because it did one time run fine at cold/altitude… and also it does start each time and run briefly.

    It is very consistent when the boat stalls - shifting from reverse back to neutral, after backing of the boat. Is that a clue?

    Regards
    Last edited by sierra_boater; 01-22-2022 at 11:13 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. Intermittent beeping on 1997 Mercury Bigfoot 60
    By BFoley830 in forum Mercury Mariner Outboard Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-20-2020, 07:06 PM
  2. 1997 60HP Bigfoot won't start
    By Renegade9 in forum Mercury Mariner Outboard Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-06-2017, 10:44 AM
  3. Owners of MERCURY 60hp BIGFOOT
    By Howmaster in forum Mercury Mariner Outboard Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-02-2017, 03:05 PM
  4. 2009 mercury 60Hp Bigfoot EFI will not start
    By emailnomad66 in forum Mercury Mariner Outboard Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-05-2010, 07:15 AM
  5. Start problem 60hp bigfoot
    By pontoonman in forum Mercury Mariner Outboard Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-27-2006, 07:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •