I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

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AaronB79
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I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Thu May 22, 2014 6:22 pm

I have a Merc 500 from 1962. The previous owner said he was running it on his boat last year, then it lost spark. I'd like to rebuild it, but first I want to get it running to be sure it is worth the effort. Any advice? Are repair manuals available for this engine? Any experts, books, websites, or other sources of info you would recommend?

I'm planning to build a boat to match this motor, most likely a Zip. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Aaron
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galamb
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by galamb » Thu May 22, 2014 6:36 pm

You could get a manual and some parts from Laing's outboards (upstate NY/Buffalo area) http://www.laingsoutboards.com/

If the (distributor) magneto ignition is toast on this you have 1) a paper weight 2) a can of worms that could take you years to put the lid back on

You might be able to get ignition parts from Twin City Outboards - recycled, expensive, but sometimes the only source - http://www.twincityoutboard.com/

Personally, I would check compression and spark - if both are good then a fuel issue can be corrected. Carb kits are still available for this model (about 80 bucks a carb), but that is certainly do-able.

If you have ignition issues I would be tempted to part it out, sell what you can and search for another model.

In the world of older outboards some models can be restored without a lot of trouble, this is not one of them if you need anything more than the most basic of parts. An OMC from the same era would be a better candidate for a restore if you want a 60's motor.
Graham

Yes, Plywood is "real" wood :)

A "professional" is someone who gets paid for their work - it doesn't necessarily mean they are good at it :)

AaronB79
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Location: Raymond, NH

Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Thu May 22, 2014 6:44 pm

Graham,

Thanks for the reply. I was afraid that this may be a tough one to fix. I jumped into buying it without doing much research. I'll check the compression and spark and if the outlook is bad I'll throw it on craigslist and focus my energy on building the Zip.

Aaron

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fergal butler
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by fergal butler » Fri May 23, 2014 12:07 am

I bought one of the later blue bands and swapped over the cowling you get the classic look and the engine is easy to get parts for :D it might be another option for you to think about.



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AaronB79
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Fri May 23, 2014 1:42 am

What is a blue band? Which years? I'm interested in the newer engine, older look hybrid, thanks

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fergal butler
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by fergal butler » Fri May 23, 2014 2:01 am

The blue bands were built between 72 - 83 named after the decals, they are still getting on in the years :D but there are lots of them about.

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AaronB79
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Fri May 23, 2014 2:48 am

How easy/difficult was swapping the cowling? Does it only work with the blue band years?

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fergal butler
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by fergal butler » Fri May 23, 2014 3:01 am

It's a straight swap on any of the wrap around cowls blue,red and brown but it won't work on the clamshell cowls. The engine must also have the same number of cylinders as the one the cowling came off.

AaronB79
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Fri May 23, 2014 3:23 am

That's great. I'm going to explore this for sure if my engine turns out to be no good. Which components should I keep from the old engine? I would sell off the remaining parts.

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fergal butler
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by fergal butler » Fri May 23, 2014 3:35 am

All the shinny bits :D I think someone on here also did it with an Evinrude

AaronB79
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Fri May 23, 2014 3:37 am

Thanks again. I was disappointed that I may not get the look I wanted for my boat. You have given me new hope and I'm very excited. I can have an engine that looks the way I want and one that I can service, it's perfect!

Aaron

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fergal butler
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by fergal butler » Fri May 23, 2014 3:52 am

Mine is a 50 hp with a 400 face plate.

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I also have plans to do a few more when the right engines come up.

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It's starting to get a bit out of hand now :lol:

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gdcarpenter
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by gdcarpenter » Fri May 23, 2014 3:56 am

Compression test #1 job - if 120 psi +/- engine innards pretty good and worth further investigation, if low, the unless you want to tear down the engine, part it out.

Dropping the magneto and if not replacing, at least filing, cleaning and gaping the points, hopefully replacing the condenser, doable to try and get spark.
This is my first, last and only boat build.

http://www.gdzipbuild.blogspot.com

cusoak
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by cusoak » Fri May 23, 2014 4:09 am

Her are a couple of sites that have parts and service manuals. And a Merc. forum with a lot of information.
www.johnsoldmercurysite.com/phpBB3
http://www.johnsmcintoshvintagemercuryoutboard.com/
I used them to help me get my merc 400E 45 hp running.
Jeff

AaronB79
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Re: I need advice on rebuilding a Merc 500 from 1962

Post by AaronB79 » Sat May 24, 2014 7:35 pm

fergal butler wrote:Mine is a 50 hp with a 400 face plate.

Image

I also have plans to do a few more when the right engines come up.

Image

It's starting to get a bit out of hand now :lol:

Image
It looks like you have a few good projects in the works! I think these engines look great on a homemade Glen-l boat, I just can't wait to get started with mine!

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