“Step right up!”

A favorite of the Mercury Racing stable, our 525 EFI. Its stout components make it a tempting target for upgrades.

There are “tuners” out there that offer supercharger kits for Mercury Racing 525 EFI engines (and others). Some of these kits reportedly boost horsepower and torque as much as 50 percent. They reprogram our engine controller to override its logic and limits. Yes, there is more power to be had – for a time. We program our ECUs to keep engines within their physical limits and offer good power with reasonable reliability and durability.

Ah, the joy of performance on the water! This 525 Bravo One XR powered Nordic is a great running and reliable combination.

One tuner just offered a “price reduction.” Their claim is to make power upgrades more affordable. Beware of the sales pitch, “Step right up! It’s on sale!” Alarm bells should be ringing in your head when you hear those words. If you’re tempted by that offer (and your warranty has expired), please proceed with your eyes wide open because just the opposite is the likely result. Here’s why “affordable” may prove very expensive.

Powered within its design limits, and with proper maintenance, our Bravo One XR is a robust drive.

A 50% boost in power and torque, if true, would put a 525 between 785 and 795 hp. Our engines are tough, but they are not designed to operate at these power levels, nor at a higher RPM “red line.” And IF a modified engine survives, its torque output would be well beyond the capacity of any Bravo drive. BOOM! Instant, unhappy boater. More “Gee, I was just driving my boat at cruise and the damned Bravo…” (It seems the drive always gets the blame even when the engine is modified beyond drive capacity.) This makes me crazy. We develop engine and drive-lines as a system – matched to live together – and warranted because they do.

Our 700 SCi engines packaged with dry-sump NXT1 drives are both fast and reliable. Mercury’s extensive development and proprietary components have made this the most reliable supercharger of its type in the industry.

Racing limits the Bravo XR to 600 hp so consumers have a good experience. At 662, our engineering technicians can break Bravo XR drives almost at will. That is why 662s and 700s come with NXT drives and warranties. We believe people should know what they’re getting into and get the value they pay for. If you want more power, buy a boat or re-power with a matched engine/drive package. Then you get dependability, not frustration, embarrassment and unexpected expense. Our goal is to keep you enjoying the water. We don’t want you driven (or pulled) from it.

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11 thoughts on ““Step right up!””

  1. Hi guys. My 525 has 100 hours on it. I am looking to tune my ecu. Do you guys do this? If so what kind of hp can I gain by doing so safely? Thankyou

    1. Hi Sean. Sorry, we do not provide any tuning services for existing or NLA products. Your 525 has low hours on it. It is a strong and reliable engine. You will enjoy hundreds of hours on the water if you run it as is.

      Rick

    1. Hi Barry:

      You will want to use our Mercury Racing 25W-50 4-Stroke oil; part number 92-8M0078014. You can read he blog post I wrote regarding it here.

      Rick

  2. Which oil should I use in my 190 hp mercrusier V 6 Chevy 4.3 L engine serial #L623666? This is in 2000 Crownline 18 BR. The best I can tell the engine is between a 1998 & a 2000 vintage. The boat was used one season when I bought it. I have always used Quicksilver 25W-40 oil and Merc. Filters. Many seasons I was only able to get on the water twice for the hole summer. I live in Ohio and spent way to much time at work. Retired now and hope to catch up. I am sure there are low hours for this vintage. Have read several articles about the new semi-synthetic blend. I do not to create problems and can’t afford to replace the outfit.

  3. Just read your post about what happens when you wring more out of the 525s (I’m running a pair with ZRs, 440 hrs never been touched inside). I’m a 35 year veteran engineer in the aerospace industry and get so tired of guys crying about busting up and XR even though they’re pushing 800 hp through it. Like you said….if you want to go faster open your wallet and get the next step up in hardware rather than try to make hardware do what it was never intended to do! Good job guys.

  4. Hi Rick, Running a single 2012 Merc525 in a B&H Performance Boat. We are just shy of 600hours and have taking this thing all over the country. It has been very impressive and we have followed the suggest pm schedule exactly. Over the weekend we just replaced the rockers, (2nd set)springs, retainer & locks. Lifters were replaced at 371hrs and currently setting at 590hrs. We have exensive leak down and compression test over the life. How long can we expect our 525 to live? Any extra maint issues to seek? Thanks, Steve/Liquid Marine Performance Boats

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