Merc 2.5 Rebuild Advice

Hello Randy,

I have a Valero YT with a stock 95 2.5 245 carb motor.  The previous owner told me it had around 100 hours on it when I bought it a few years ago.  I used the boat last season a bit (bad weather) and intend to try to get more use out of it this year.  It ran strong last year.

Based on posts on S&F I am thinking about getting it rebuilt (freshened up) at the end of this season.  Any advice on engine builders close to my area? I live in the central Ohio area.  I hear good things about JSRE and some other shops in Florida but I would prefer a builder I could just drive the entire rig to and have them work the engine, get it put back together and water test.

Any idea on the cost I should expect to pay?




Based on my experience, most 2.5's are in need of a rebuild in a lot less hours than 100. Also the carb motors have a longer life between service probably due to the washdown effect of the carbs during deceleration. Plan on replacing the pistons, rings and all bearings for a complete "real" rebuild. There are cost effective parts out there (so don't try to save money and reuse old parts) and we NEVER use old pistons over again at our shop. Too much risk and no benefit trying to re-pin them etc. Lastly find a shop that is more interested in YOUR boat/motor and less of a race engine builder. Mods are fine if that is what the goal is but a lot of shops talk about big power gains and such, missing the whole point. Your Valero YT responds to good set up and good solid power. The 2.5 you have turns 7500+ already, so turning it into a 9000 rpm temperamental monster is probably not in the best interest. Having a 2.5 that lasts for years is.

In your area I don't know of any shop that comes to mind. I do know of one in the Pittsburgh area and if that interests you, you can give me a call. I can put you in touch that way. Our shop builds and ships motors all over the world (26 this winter alone) so a good builder should be accommodating. If proper communication is established it works out pretty well as the break-in is performed before the powerhead leaves. For the most part it is a turnkey affair. Shop around and make a few calls. The guy that is interested in your boat/motor will stand out and the decision will be easy.




Please submit whatever questions you have to  All questions and answers selected will be displayed on this page as they come in.  Note: though all boaters are welcome, priority may be given to I.H.R. members.  Randy can not be held responsible for any advice given.  Though his information and expertise is second to none, he has no control over what you do with your boat.  It is up to you to boat safely and act responsibly, and his advice is only to be used as a guidance for your high performance boat/motor of which you are the one responsible for the risks involved.

Mark C.


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