Mercury 40hp battling to start and dies

by Nik
(Groote Eylandt)

I have a 2005 40 hp Mercury 2 stroke 3 cylinder. I am battling to get it started. Eventually after opening the throttle and about a hundred pulls it fires. It run fine in open throttle but dies as soon as I drop the throttle back. I have serviced the carbs, replaced the coils, stato, Cdi box and plugs but I can't get it right. I have had another exact engine side by side and adjusted the timing to exactly the same on the running engine. The only thing I haven't done are the reed valves. Could this be the problem? It also backfires whilst I'm trying to get it started. Please, any help would be much appreciated

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