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Mercury Outboard Trim and Tilt

Having power trim and tilt on your boat's outboard motor can help in a variety of situations. You can get your motor's propeller in the right position so that your boat can be more efficient at getting around, whether it's in marine or fresh water. Trim and tilt will also save you energy and time when you're taking your boat in and out of the water.

What is trim and tilt?

A trim motor can change the angle of your outboard engine so that you can put it in an optimal position. Trim motors run with electro-hydraulic power. An electric pump moves fluid when needed, and it's this movement that changes the thrust angle of the outboard.

  • Trim: You use the trim switch to tilt the engine slightly while it's running in the water. If you change the trim of a boat in certain situations, you can level it out. By adjusting the trim motor, you can smooth out the ride and help your motor's prop get more power out of each revolution.
  • Tilt: It commonly refers to using the power function when lifting the outboard out of, or into, the water. You would use power tilt when you're just setting out for a trip or are bringing your boat out.
What type of fluid does this sort of motor use?

It's important to keep the parts lubricated so they'll continue to work well. It's always a good idea to check the owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations. In general, you might use:

  • Oil: You can get oil made specifically for outboard trim motors. Alternatively, many motors can accept automotive fluid, SAE 30, or SAE 10W30.
  • Hydraulic fluid: There are marine tilt-and-trim hydraulic fluids that are optimized for boating use, especially given that a boat motor's parts can be exposed to corrosive salt water. Other types of fluid, like Dextron ATF or transmission fluid Type F, could potentially be used if the manual allows for them.
What are the different parts of Mercury trim motors?

Each unit will be different, but tilt motors typically come with:

  • A wiring assembly
  • A switch
  • A motor
  • Mounting bolts
  • A pump
  • A reservoir
How intensive is installation?

The owner's manual of your trim motor unit will contain detailed instructions for how to install everything. Most options include hardware kits, and the predrilled holes should be compatible with the jack plates you already have.

What are some engines that can use tilt and trim?

Some tilt and trim units are made for smaller engines, like those with 35 horsepower or less. Other units have been designed for more powerful, and therefore heavier, outboards with greater horsepower. Many Mercury boat outboards, like those listed below, can be fitted with trim and tilts.

  • Mercury Verado
  • Mercury Force
  • Mercury Mariner
  • Pro XS
  • FourStroke
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