How to Change the Starter on a Mercruiser 7.4 Liter

Written by breann kanobi
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How to Change the Starter on a Mercruiser 7.4 Liter
Replace your MerCruiser engine's starter and get back on the water. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Mercury Marine manufactures several models of their 7.4 litre MerCruiser engine. Most of the 7.4 litre models are four-cycle engines and provide between 280 and 350 horsepower and around 4,400rpm. The starter of the engine serves as an integral part of the ignition by helping to turn the flywheel. If your marine engine no longer starts and you have ruled out other problems such as a dead battery, replace the starter.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Socket wrench

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative terminal of your MerCruiser battery from the negative cable that attaches to it. This removes electricity from the engine to decrease your risk of electric shock.

  2. 2

    Slide the spring clips off the engine cover and set them aside. Lift the cover.

  3. 3

    Locate the starter of your watercraft's engine, which looks like a small silver cylinder attached to a large silver cylinder. Make a note of which cables attach to which terminals on the starter. The cables include the starter coil cable, the ground cable and the accessory wire.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the starter coil cable from the starer of your marine engine by pulling it away from the starter. Disconnect the ground cable from the starter by pulling it from the starter. Disconnect the accessory wire.

  5. 5

    Slide a socket wrench over the nuts on the starter and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the bolt. Remove the bolt from the engine. Remove any remaining nuts or bolts using an appropriately sized socket wrench. Work from top to bottom.

  6. 6

    Grasp the starter and lift it upward and away from the engine. Recycle the starter or discard it in accordance with local laws.

  7. 7

    Place the new starter in your watercraft's engine compartment.

  8. 8

    Connect the bolts to the starter, working from bottom to top. Connect the nuts to the bolts, using the socket wrench. Connect the ignition, ground and accessory cables and place the cover back onto the engine. Reattach the negative cable to the negative terminal on your battery. Secure the cover using the springs.

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