engine saging

Hi guys.

i have a 200hp 4stroke mercury.

i have noticed over the last week or so that when i park it up i trim it up about midway. a few times by the next morning the leg is sitting on the ground. still seems to trim p and down ok, but just doesnt seem to hold the position.

any ideas? cant get it into the shop until early jan, and really want tobe using over the next few weeks for the crays.




Posts: 4283

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Sounds like an internal seal

Wed, 2020-12-02 10:36

 Sounds like an internal seal is leaking.


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 16481

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 You may need to replace the

Wed, 2020-12-02 12:53

 You may need to replace the seals in the trim rams. Worst case being replacing the ram itself. Had the same issue years back with my first boat


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Posts: 588

Date Joined: 26/03/17


Wed, 2020-12-02 12:56

ANY IDEAS WHETHER IT WOULD BE OK TO TILL USE if it is a busted seal?? I CAN PUT SOMTHING in to stop it sagging when im driving to and from the ramp...just didnt wnt to get stuck with it fully down at the ramp and not be able to retrieve....

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2702

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Ring the Merc dealer

Wed, 2020-12-02 14:12

 They'll give you the best advice. Sucks on a new motor. Are they saying they won't do an immediate warranty job on it?  From them, find out where the pressure valve is on the tilt/trim assembly. Worst case scenario, if it does actually fail to lift at the ramp, you undo this valve ( normally just a big flat-blade screwdriver required) and lift it up, then get someone to lock it back up, and put a block under it.  I've had to do this myself with a motor some years ago. In the meantime, leave a block under it at home to take the weight. HTH.

Scotte's picture

Posts: 1112

Date Joined: 07/12/06

Check that the manual relief

Wed, 2020-12-02 14:31

Check that the manual relief valve  is tightly closed.

Have seen a few outboards do what yours is doing because it was1/8th of a turn out.

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 6931

Date Joined: 07/05/12

Don't know if you have a

Thu, 2020-12-03 12:10

Don't know if you have a torque wrench capable of checking but it should have the required torque for the relief valve in the manual as mine does for my Suzuki. 


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

Posts: 87

Date Joined: 23/11/14


Thu, 2020-12-03 16:17

Put a block of thick wood between the end of the trim and tilt ram cylinders  and the  height adjustment bracket .Use pine or other softer wood to relieve strain while on the move or stationary . Will  ensure a longer life of the trim and tilt system.

Posts: 588

Date Joined: 26/03/17

awesome. thanks guys. have

Thu, 2020-12-03 17:45

awesome. thanks guys. have got a block of wood in now, and have it booked in early jan to get looked at. spoke to the dealer and in mean time will check the manual relief valve, hopefuly this sorts it out!

Posts: 87

Date Joined: 23/11/14


Thu, 2020-12-03 19:11

 Correction to my previous post. the block of wood goes between the bottom and top of the engine mounting bracket. the principle is to keep strain off the trim and tilt  mechanism. It will protect the motor and seals. You remove the block for operation of the motor in the water .All the best, i have not looked at the stern of the boat  in ages..

Posts: 776

Date Joined: 25/05/12

 This happened to my boat

Fri, 2020-12-04 06:14

 This happened to my boat when I first got it... probably leaking out the seals.. I leave my motor fully down when not using it to keep the ram fully inside the Case ... they tend to dry up  and when you move them. Straight down if a dry bit of built up salt or just dry  The seal doesn't like it causeing it to eventually fail 

also pressure on the ram and seal constantly when no in use kills them Also

it might just be a very slow leak just keep an eye on it untill fixed as long as you have some fluid and trims working. Ok  you should be good.. don't use it if the trim is straining 

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2968

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 my motor has done it since

Fri, 2020-12-04 07:35

 my motor has done it since new. it is a 2009 motor and is still operating fine.