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Thread: 200 Optimax reed replacement questions

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    Default 200 Optimax reed replacement questions

    I have a 2006 Mercury 200 Optimax sport jet with 210 hours on it. I have been reading forums regarding the potential of catastrophic failure of the stock steel reeds. I was considering replacing mine with some type of non-metallic reeds. I have several questions:

    1. What brand reeds should I choose? I want reeds that will be compatible with having to modify the rest of the engine systems.
    2. How hard are they for a shade tree mechanic to install? (I have the Merc manual, but it is hardly a step by step guide).
    3. Do gaskets need to be changed too?
    4. Is there anything else I need to know?

    Thanks.

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    Boyeseen reeds are the only way to go. If you can spin wrenches you can do them yourself. The stock metallic ones last forever the aftermarket ones don't last as long but offer a better idle and acceleration.

    Sobie2

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    I like the Tdr reeds, last longer than boysens, the stock as feeds do not last forever, I have replaced many failed as reeds

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    **** auto correct, ss reeds, not as

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgravelpumper View Post
    I like the Tdr reeds, last longer than boysens, the stock as feeds do not last forever, I have replaced many failed as reeds
    John what is the price for the Tdr reeds I have 154 hours on my engine now is this something I should be thinking about. Chris
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
    Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association

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    Just a heads up, as I know several guys that have made the switch to aftermarket reeds, a side effect of doing so is that your fuel consumption will go up a not insignificant amount.

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    OK, I removed the air handler from my 200 Sport Jet and discovered two reeds with chipped edges and one petal completely missing. I looked for evidence of damage in the intake to the cylinders but all looked good. Perhaps I got lucky. I installed a set of Boyesen reeds, following the directions to the letter. I surfaced all of the reed cages and torqued all screws to specifications on the reeds, reed cages, and air handler cover. I also replaced the reed plate and air handler gaskets. The first turn of the key, she roared to life and sounded good. I took her for a river trip and was shocked at my fuel consumption. I went from 6.5 to 7 gph to over 10 gph. I was running the boat between 4100-4200 RPMs with 6 souls on board. The GPS fluctuated between 27-30 mph downstream and 25-27 mph upstream. The boat seems to plane at a lower RPM than with the broken stock reeds (I'm not sure why that is) but definitely sucked down a lot more fuel and oil. As I frequently travel longer distances in my boat, I am concerned about being able to carry and afford enough gasoline.

    The Boyesen literature states that you may experience up to a 10% decrease in fuel usage. Mine was about a 50% increase! HuntinFool was right. If there is a better set of reeds in regards to fuel economy instead of the Boyesens, then I would quickly be money ahead to change to them. However, I am reluctant to go back to the stock metal reeds. I think I got lucky the first time with no serious damage inflicted when they let go. Someone please steer me in the right direction. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dimrod View Post
    ....HuntinFool was right. If there is a better set of reeds in regards to fuel economy instead of the Boyesens, then I would quickly be money ahead to change to them.
    That's what has stopped me from changing to aftermarket reeds. I am surprised we can't find aftermarket reeds that have long life and good fuel consumption.

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    So are you still running the Mercury SS reeds? I attached a photo of what one of mine looked like. To me, having one of those petals KO your engine is poor trade-off for better fuel economy. Attachment 72151Attachment 72152

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    Haven't seen the fuel consumption increases with tdr reeds, not to the extent reported with boysens.
    It would take a lot of fuel to buy a new powerhead

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    Chris, the tdr reeds are about $175 plus shipping

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    The quantity of fuel injected per event is calculated by the ecu based on rpm, and manifold pressure, the ecu deduced engine load based on manifold pressure, the lighter tension of the boysen reeds can affect manifold pressure if they don't close as fast as the stock reeds some pressure will bleed from the crankcase back into the intake manifold, increasing pressure (decreasing vacuum). The ecu sees this as increase load, hence more fuel.
    Tdr reeds are close to the same tension as stock ss reeds.

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    That's good to know. I'll give them a call on Monday. How about Chris Carson Marine reeds? Do you have any insight on them?

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    I don't have first hand experience with Chris Carson reeds so I can't help there.
    As far as fuel economy, your reeds may have an rpm range they perform better in or more similar to stock reeds, try different rpm ranges for cruise, lowest gpm is rarely best for range. Calculate mpg to find best cruise speed.

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    I don't have a Smartcraft gauge. So how would I know how much fuel I'm burning at any one moment to calculate mpg? With my stock SS reeds, generally slower speed (on step of course) equaled increased mpg and thus range. When I ran the boat with the Boyesen reeds, I went 50.6 miles per my GPS and burned about 24 gallons of gas and close to a gallon of oil. That's about 2.1 mpg. With the stock SS reeds, I would have been closer to 14 gallons of gas and a whole lot less oil (or 3.6 mpg). That's a whole lot of difference at $6.15/gal for gas and about $40/gal for oil. I've got to get back closer to the economy the SS reeds provided.

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    You would be money ahead to buy a smartcraft gauge
    Your #s don't make sense to me. 50 miles @ 27 mph avg. Is under 3 hrs running, @ 10 gph that's 20 gal. ?
    Instant gph #s and fuel consumed since reset will help get the most mileage out of your boat

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    Maybe you have other factors influencing fuel consumption ? Dirty injectors, stale fuel , worn impeller, heavy load, trim, fouled plug (common w/broken reed)

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    I had issues with my boat at the end of the 2012 boating season. It cut out on me while I was hauling a heavy load. I posted that incident elsewhere on this forum. To summarize, the boat abruptly beeped once and shut down. I could start it just fine and it would idle and rev up to just under 4,000 RPMs. But when I would increase the throttle and hit the 4,00 RPM mark, it would beep again and shut down. It did that repeatedly. So I unloaded my heavy load and ran the boat back to the launch at 3,900 RPMs. That took about an hour. After that, the engine ran fine again. I headed back down river to retrieve my load and ran it back upriver at about 4.700 RPMs w/o another problem. Fuel usage did not seem excessive, but I was carrying a heavy load so expected to use more. I then parked it for the winter. I sent in my ECM and had it tested. Besides a bunch of over revs, the results were negative.

    Before I used it this season, I pulled the air handler to check the reeds and discovered the missing and chipped reeds. So I changed them out. I went for a short maiden trip and the fuel usage seemed higher. My second trip of just a little over two hours running time confirmed the increased fuel consumption of about 24 gallons or about 12 gph @ 4,100-4,200 RPMs. Before I changed the reeds, I would have burned about 7-8 gph tops for the load that I was carrying. Perhaps I ingested the reed last fall while under high RPMs and it caused my engine to quit running for some reason at 4,000 RPMs and then finally worked itself out? Does that seem plausible? I have not pulled the spark plugs as they only have about 40 hours on them. All looked well in the crank intake. I have no idea what may be lurking under the heads and am reluctant to take an engine apart that is running, albeit at a high fuel consumption rate. Do you think just switching to TDR reeds would solve my problem? Could an ingested reed kill a plug? The engine seems to be a little rough at idle but sounds really good once the throttle is increased from idle up to cruising speed. But it has always not been the smoothest idling machine since day one. But I hate to call it rough, just not velvety smooth. Unless there is some other problem contributing to the excessive fuel consumption, the only change I have made to the engine is the switch from SS to carbon fiber reeds. Is my logic faulty to suspect that is the cause of my fuel consumption increase? HuntinFool alluded to a fuel usage increase due to carbon reeds as well. I could have accepted a gallon or two per hour, but I'm over 50%. And the oil usage is also disturbing.

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    Does your motor reach 5600 rpm at wot ?

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    Running with broken reeds will foul plugs, running an engine with fouled plugs will increase fuel consumption. 200 opti plugs are a pain to change, bad cylinders are easy to find with a ddt
    Where are you located ?
    Do a compression check when you change plugs for piece of mind.

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