150 Optimax crapped out round II

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Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2000
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Underwood Iowa
Went fishing at Pickstown SD. Motored to a favored spot when the ever reliable 150 Mercury blew yet another 20 amp fuse, this after being at Bass Pro Shops Power Pro's to fix the problem. This was Followed by my second to last 20 amp fuse cooking off. Not choosing to tempt fate I motored the twelve miles back to my launch site at North Point in 3 footers on the remaining fuse. Used the electric and 6hp to troll and drag spinners around North Point bay without a bite. The wind increasing. Called it a day at 20:00 and retired to the motel.
Friday morning I see weather building in an threatening manner on the horizon. Not wishing to temp fate with an unreliable main engine I packed it in. Before I left I crossed the highway and talked to the guys at Donlin Marine located at Pickstown SD pop 201. Ever helpful they noted that my throttle control was mounted wrong not allowing the throttle to be advanced to the full position without forcing it against the bulkhead rather strongly. Plus some other rigging problems that I have given up on having Tracker fix a long time ago. They are no strangers to Tracker's ability to rig a boat. I explained the constant fuse problem while throttling up and adding trim. Also that after I replaced the fuse I had no trim in the down direction using the throttle switch. Only after cycling the engine up and down with the rear or bow trim switch did I get the trim to work at the throttle....that is until it decided to eat the fuse and I get to repeat the whole process.
Donlin Marine said they could replace the wires in the throttle assembly as they were probably shorting out but they had to get the parts. Remember I'm 240 miles away. They said they'd have the "smoking gun" to prove their theory. I didn't want to leave the boat and make another trip to pick it up.
On the way home I contacted BPS. To quote them. They said" What do you want us to do Mike" "We can't fix it unless it ate a fuse while we are operating it". This could happen in one hour ...two......10.....20 at $70 per hour. They suggested they could start replacing harnesses ignition, and other parts etc etc. $500 on up per item using the theory that if you eventually replace everything you'll solve the problem. Right. This still doesn't give me a smoking gun that I want.
In desperation I contacted a trusted friend and now have the Mercury Customer Relations phone number to call Monday. I'm going to try and get a Regional Tech to visit BPS. Plus he's there to back me up. Should all else fail I might just resort to a four hour drive back to Donlin's Marine in Pickstown after scheduling a two hour session with them.(all the time they told me it would take to fix it.) I kick myself for now just leaving it there anyway. I might have gotten lucky and some poor bastard might have stolen it. Right now I'm tempted to solve it with a bottle of Ronsonol and my US Navy Zippo.
Tracker's rigging of the throttle may be the cause of my Merc problem. To quote myself "Tracker, Never Again".
Oh did I mention the hardware on the hatches rattled off an into the bottom of the boat ......again. Time for the red Loctite.
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Well so much for Mercury Customer Relations. My conversation with them this morning was less than enlightening. Mercury is on board with the idea of throwing new parts at it to find the problem. They even suggested I take it back to South Dakota to the Technician at Pickstown that said he might have an idea to fix it. I don't have a clue on what to do. My temper wants me to pull it into the parking lot at BPS and pour five gallons of gas into it and light it up and leave a sign on the doors as to the quality of Tracker and Mercury. This would also solve the problem of all the boat carpeting coming unglued. Unfortunately jail doesn't suit me. In actuality the shorting of the ignition was due to sloppy rigging. If and when I get this figured out this latest episode combined with the 35 or so other issues both major and minor over the last seven years will never make me like this rig.