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Mercury / MerCruiser Parts Buyer Guide & Shopping Tips

By July 10, 2020June 21st, 2021Shopping Tips & Advice

The Basics

  1. Confirm your part numbers
    • The number on your old part might not be the same as the most up to date part number!
    • Never order mercury parts based on a stamped/printed part number.
    • Always use your serial number to check to make sure the parts match your engine.
    • Diagram Tools: Our website (here) and Mercury has one on their website (here).
  2. Finding Your serial number 
    • Engines: If you are lucky, there will be a sticker on the engine cover. The main serial number tag is located on the side of the engine block, often near the starter.
    • Outdrive: Usually on the port side of the upper unit, but they tend to corrode off.
    • Transom Assy: Stamped on the housing right above the outdrive.
  3. Understand your serial number 
    • Mercury and MerCruiser serial numbers are structured as “(Number)(Letter)(6 more number)” Ex: 0L984563. If yours appears to start with a letter, just add a zero in front of it. Ex: L123456 = 0L123456.

Buying a MerCruiser Outdrive

  1. Identifying your outdrive: (Alpha gen 1, Alpha gen 2, Bravo 1,2, or 3)
    • There will usually be a sticker on the drive or engine that says either Alpha, or Bravo.
    • Alpha: Alpha gen 1 (about 1972-1991) Vs Alpha gen 2 (1991+) Check out this visualization – 3 Simple Ways To Identify Your Alpha Outdrive (Gen 1 vs Gen 2)
    • Bravo: Bravo 1 has one smaller prop, Bravo 2 has one large prop, Bravo 3 has 2 props.
  2. Figure out your gear ratio

Buying a propeller

  1. Identifying your current propeller
    • Search your prop for a part number, then put your part number into our website to see what comes up.
  2. Problems with pitch
    • Pitch is how far through a solid material a prop would move with one rotation.
    • Struggling to get on plane: You have too much prop. Try a little less pitch.
    • Over Revving: You need more prop. Try a little more pitch.
  3. 3 blade vs 4 blade
    • 3 blade props are usually better for top end performance, but can sometimes not be the best for hole-shot. This is not as important on lighter boats or for boaters who rarely have a lot of gear or people on their boat.
    • 4 blade props help lift the boat out of the water, but typically result in a loss of top end performance. They are great for heavier boats, pulling tubes and skiers, and boats with a lot of people or gear.
  4. Prop Finder Tools