MerCruiser invents a new “non-racing” big block engine

Merc only offers a 502 big block engine in 2010 calendar year boats. All 502 (8.2) marine engines require Catalytic Converters, in all 50 states. Mercruiser only offers legal engines, so all of their big block engines are only sold with CATS. Cats require added hard parts, so a 502 engine sells for a premium price. There is no legal choice about CATS on this engine, after this past date of 1/1/2010. Merc, as a company, have now dropped all 496 engines and are going with this 502 in their place. Any 496 powered boats are just old inventory. They may be legal to still sell based on the date the engine/boat was actually made. Check with your dealer to confirm the date of manufacture for the boat/engine you are considering.

3 Responses to “MerCruiser invents a new “non-racing” big block engine”

  • Mark:


    This is interesting… I’d prefer not to have a catalytic converter.. so, wouldn’t really be interested in the 8.2. I’m thinking I should be considering the tried and true 8.1. Are ther Generations? or do you have a serial number range that correspondes to the date of manufacture? I know my ’98 Merc 454 is a Gen VI and I can get parts accordindly, however I’m not up to speed with which Gen that I need to be looking for… when looking for a merc 496. Can you point me in the direction?


  • 1) If you want to stay with pure Mercury Marine, they come in two Hp ratings and internal parts. There are no “generations” in the 496, but there have been updates all along.

    2) The 8.2 was discontinued being offered to boaters long ago by Chevy, and Mercury Marine bought the tooling to make their version. Thus, I believe that Mercury does their casting of the 502 somewhat different than Chevy did. Merc Racing used both chevy’s version of the 502 and their own at different times. Merc Racing offered 502 at various power ratings, from 500 Hp and up.

    3) I hope this helps.

  • Have you seen this?

    496 MAG HO Seacore 425HP – Bravo Three XR Package – New

    Type: Product
    List Price: $29,212.00
    Our Price: $29,212.00
    Quantity: 1 in stock

    Product Overview
    Saltwater can take its toll on marine propulsion systems. This is why the SeaCore™ system from MerCruiser® offers more than just improved corrosion resistance. It’s as close as a marine propulsion system can come to being corrosion-proof.The 425 hp 496 MAG HO is the most powerful MerCruiser engine available in our standard lineup. A special camshaft profile and unique fuel and spark calibration combine to provide an additional 50 hp and a 200 RPM higher operating range compared to the 496 MAG. Its massive power is coupled to a beefy Bravo X series drive with a number of performance drive options available for faster boats. Even with the additional horsepower, the 496 MAG HO is amazingly well-mannered and reliable. Standard low-restriction exhaust with stainless steel elbows, along with our most sophisticated spark and fuel injection systems, deliver outstanding acceleration and top speed.** DTS SMARTCRAFT OPTIONAL. NEW CONTROLS & HARNESSES REQUIRED. MUST USE SMARTCRAFT GAUGES. AL RIGGING ACCESSORIES AND UPGRADE CHARGE ARE EXTRA FOR THIS APPLICATION. INSTALLATION MUST BE DONE BY A CERTIFIED DTS TECHNICIAN AS THE SOFTWARE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE DTS FUNCTIONALITY.

    Product Details
    RELIABILITY PCM 555 sequential fuel injection and high energy distributorless ignition system ensure reliable starts and outstanding performance, year after year Exclusive Engine Guardian protection senses potential problems and virtually eliminates the chance for engine damage due to overheating, low oil pressure, or low drive lube Cartridge-type water-separating fuel filter helps protect fuel system and engine against damage Proven GM cast iron big block V8 power for years of reliable operation 316 Stainless Steel dry-joint exhaust elbows better resist high temperature and corrosion and improve exhaust flow for more power Brass sea water pump housing improves life and better resists damage from running dry PERFORMANCE Long individual runner intake manifold design provides optimum torque and horsepower for demanding marine applications Tuned runner exhaust manifold lowers exhaust backpressure for best torque and power Sequential Multi-Port Fuel Injection provides easy starts, cold or hot, and automatically adjusts for changes in temperature, weather, or altitude for terrific performance in any environment High Energy distributorless ignition with knock control maximizes power and protects against low quality fuels Standard anti-feedback power steering helps reduces operator fatigue and makes boat handling a breeze Low restriction flame arrestor for added horsepower and torque EASY OWNERSHIP 3-year/300 hour maintenance interval on many periodic service items saves time and money Convenient top-mounted remote oil filter and threaded dipstick tube make oil changes cleaner and keep periodic servicing quick and simple Color-coded service points makes checking fluid levels simple and straightforward Operates on easy to find, less expensive 87 octane fuel Engine-mounted drive lube monitor for easy lube check or add from inside the boat Long-life anti-freeze only requires replacement every 5 years Single point air-actuated water drain system standard TECHNOLOGY The DTS (Digital Throttle & Shift) option eliminates push-pull cables and related maintenance while providing silky-smooth operation and unsurpassed responsiveness. DTS provides an unprecedented level of control and precision for docking and low-speed maneuvering. Available as an additional option, precision SmartTow speed control includes an easy-to-use launch control that makes pulling skiers and wakeboarders as simple as pushing a button Standard features with DTS are: Autosynch of multiple engines, SmartStart, Shift Protection, Multiple Helm capability, and Shadow Technology for triple and quad engine installations MerCathode galvanic corrosion prevention system offers unmatched active electronic corrosion protection 496 MAG and 496 MAG HO engines are designed to display engine information on your choice of analog or SmartCraft digitally-driven gauges and displays SHIPPING AND HANDLING NOT INCLUDEDCRATE CHARGE APPLICABLE $300PROPS AND ACCESSORIES NOT INCLUDED

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