Another non starter!!!


On a roll
Mar 12, 2004
Cruising area
Boat name
Aqua Thunder, Badboy
Boat make
Bernico F2, Phantom 21
Merc 280efi, Merc 260efi
Can any one shed any light on this? My mercury has been getting harder and harder to start from cold. Turns over fine but wont fire up (I fitted a new battery at the start of the season, the plugs and leads look fine). I went to start it the other day and it just dont want to know (turns over fine though), I think I have checked all the obvious things that I can do (and yes it does have fuel!) so have booked it in for this wednesday, anyone fancy giving me a shot of what I can expect the problem to be?
My first feeling though is the spark plugs, does it have Thunderbolt ignition system ?

In the past we have had problem with Mercury´s stator not producing enough power.

What model year is your Merc ?
Presuming the engine is mechanically sound. If there's fuel and a proper spark, it will go. Find out which one is missing.
Thanks people. The engine is a late eighties. To be honest I dont know what type of ignition is it. It starts fine from warm if that makes any difference?:drink: The drink is in celebration of City losing today by the way!!
Sounds like spark plug, could be early days of Thunderbolt system, if you take one spark plug out does it have the nipple (as normal spark plug) or is it flat ?
Best check out like JW is suggestion do you get good spark on all cylinders.
Worth exchanging them


For my ignorance do you mean Manchester City FBC, anyway :cheers:
The spark plugs are flat with the nipple level with the head (does that make sense?). I have taken them to the local mecrury chap and he reckons they look fine.
As for the city bit. I meant Bristol City, they have just made my day by losing in the play off final!! Fantastic.:cheers: :drink: :cheers:
OK Thunderbolt it surely is then.
Looks then to be the stator or the rectifior.

Sorry I had only heard of Manchester City shortened for City, not to keen in football but I know there are number of Icelanders playing with English teams and one is owned by Icelanders Stoke City I think they are named.

Hope they will sort you out on Wednesday and it looks to be minor problem and should be easy to fix.

:cheers: :cheers:
Thanks for your help. I will be sure to let you know the outcome, if its simple hopfully they can fix it in on wednesday. I`ve had to wait two weeks for them to even look at it!!:cheers: :cheers:
You got to be jokin, two weeks lead time to look at this if it needs further repair. If we would have given our customer this kind of treatment we would have been called bastards.

I am speechless, is this really been common practice over there ?

Is there only one dealership in Plymouth, perhaps they should hire those ghosts to work for them, they are looking for at your nearby military station

:flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :hatchet:
Do we presume that once it's started from cold, it then runs ok?

If so, sounds like it could be the cold start enrichement (choke) which is a nobby little solenoid valve that allows extra fuel to bypass the carb, staight into the reed block, it could be this, or the wiring/choke switch, or summat else that controls said solenoid valve.
Yeh, once it has started it runs fine. It will start first time throughout the day, once it has started. It just starting from cold that causes me problems.
Be a can of easy start then. I think JF in on track with the carbs bunged up with old petrol. The petrol oil mix turn to a toffee like substance after a while then sets like varnish in the carbs. Makes a 'orrible mess.

Rather than piss about at a dealer, try the easy start to get it going then a can of carb cleaner just might do it.

You could also check the spark by taking a plug out and holding it with the pliers against the block when the engine is turning over. That would rule it out if there is a good spark.

Boggi, two weeks for a engine dealer is good at this time of year in UK.

I'm not a fan of easy start, it's the start of the end IMHO.

Yup I know, but if its just to get the thing going once then I would use it. Once its running then on to the carb cleaner to see if that will do the trick.

If it needed it every time then I would be looking for something esle wrong. Used to have an old 4 cyl mariner that was hooked on the stuff. Never left home without a can of the stuff.

Im not experienced but what happened with ours was, it was a bit if a bugger to start when cold, so stuck in some new plugs and cleaned out the fuel filter which was clogged up. After that it pops into life almost immediately.

Latest posts