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Mercury Gen 1 vs Gen 2 2024 – Is It Worth the Upgrade?

Mercury Gen 1 vs Gen 2

Between Mercury Gen 1 and Gen 2, it can be difficult to choose a control cable. That’s why we are here to clear up your confusion. Now, you’re wondering which cable should you get between Mercury gen 1 vs gen 2?

To choose between Mercury gen 1 and 2 you’ve to consider a few facts. Considering the core, both gen 1 and 2 have the stainless steel lubricated core. But in usability, gen 1 can be used for the motor boxes. While Gen 2 is for motors after 2003. However, the price range is almost the same.

But that’s not everything to choosing a correct control cable. You might need some additional info which we’ve discussed below. Just stick with us and learn in detail.

Quick Comparison

To choose between the 2 generations of throttle cables, there are few things to compare. In can be including length, control section and others. However, adjusting the throttle cable and other things might not be necessary.

Let’s take a look at the comparison table below:

Comparison point Gen 1 Gen 2
Exterior The stainless steel, brass outer cover. Stainless Steel Brass, UV, and abrasion-resistant polypropylene cover.
Length Available up to 70 feet Available up to 60 feet
Control Connection Barrel connection Notch Connection
Usability Usable for 1965 control box models to the current date. Strictly made for motors manufactured from 2003
Retainer Cotter Pin Screw
Price $40-$70 $40-$80

Looking at the table, we can tell that the 2 generations of cable have distinguished differences. However, can they substitute for each other? That is a matter we should discuss in detail. So let’s move on to the in-depth analysis.

Detailed Comparison

As stated before, this detailed comparison will tell you which gen throttle cable is for you. Before heading forward, you may need a guide to remove the throttle control to install control cables.

Let’s cut to the chase.


Gen 1: The Mercury Gen 1 cables are made of Statinless steel.

The stainless steel flat wire is swaged over a stranded cable and then burnished to smooth. Its highly flexible and can withstand incredible strength. The inner liner is a specially processed polymer to reduce friction. A lubricated inner core makes it harder to wear away. The outer jacket is made of brass and stainless steel. Although incredibly durable, Mercury gen 1 wires are not corrosion-resistant.

Gen 2: The Mercury Gen 2 stainless steel core can withstand severe compression loads while remaining flexible.

The inner liner has 22 wires that are oil-tempered that increasing compression, strength, and durability. The core liner of gen 2 is lubricated. This makes the cable stand up to the harsh marine environment. The outer jacket is made of UV and abrasion-resistance polypropylene. non-hygroscopic,a heavy-duty, high-density outer jacket provides optimal strength.

From the material specs, Mercury Gen 2 Throttle cable is a better pick.


Mercury Gen 1 cable

Gen 1: The Mercury Gen 1 cable is available from 10 feet to 70 feet.

Gen 2: You can buy the Mercury Gen 2 from 7 feet to 60 feet in length.

From length comparison, no cable is better than the other. It all boils down to your need and preference.

Control Connection

Gen 1: Mercury Gen 1 throttle cable is barrel-shaped at the control box end of the wire. The control box has nothing inside to hold the cable in place. You need a jam nut or grummet to make it sit.

Gen 2: The control box end of the Mercury gen 2 control cable has a slot retainer. So when you connect the wire, the slot retainer will keep it in place.

Also read: Mercruiser Tilt And Trim


Gen 1: Mercury Gen 1 Throttle cable is universally usable. From the 1965 models of outboards to the present, you will have no trouble with them.

Gen 2: Mercury Gen 2 cable is made for models that came out after 2003 and 4000 series. You can not use the cable for previous generations of motors and control boxes.

To summarize, The mercury Gen 1 throttle control cables are universal. Gen 2 is made for models preceding 2003.

Mercury Gen 2 cable


Gen 1:  Mercury Gen 1 Throttle cable has a plastic ball that fits with a cotter pin retainer. This stops the cable from coming out of the control box.

Gen 2: The retainer of the Mercury Gen 2 cable is screw style. You put the cable in the control box then screw the retainer on the side. This will lock the slot into place.

Comparing retainers, Gen 2 has a more convenient and guaranteed retainer. The choice depends on what you are comfortable with.


The price of both the wires really depends on the length of the wire. So the price will vary according to your preference.

Which Generation cable is for you?

If you don’t install proper throttle cables, many types of throttle control cable problems will arise. To know which throttle control cable to use, the model of the control box is important. If you use hotfoot, then look up the model of the hotfoot. The model specification will tell you which throttle cable to use.

In general, Mercury gen 1 throttle cable can be used for any model from 1965 to the present. Unless the motor box has a cable slot specially designed for Gen 2 cables. For models manufactured after 2003, Mercury Gen 2 cable is suitable.


Throttle control cable

What is the Throttle control cable?

A cable that connects the boat’s control box to the engine is the throttle control cable. The operator can manage the engine speed using the throttle control cable. A t-knob is included in the assembly for easy grip. When the control joystick is moved, it utilizes the energy to move the boat.

How to install a throttle control cable?

Remove the jam nuts and grommets from the cable. Slide the red part for the throttle cable in, and put the grommet and jam nuts back on. After that, insert the engine side of the end into the motor box. Screw the other end of the cable into the control box. A cotter pin retainer keeps the gen 1 cable in place.

What is a Mercury Gen 2?

Mercury, Mariner, Force, and US Marine type engines that employ the year 2003 and up 4000 series controls can use Teleflex Marine Mercury gen II control cables. For smooth operation and extended life, the cables use stainless steel LubriCore-type core wire. The minimum bend radius for these cables is 8 inches.

How Do I Lubricate the Mercury Gen 1 and 2 Throttle Cable?

Lubricating the throttle cable is pretty easy. Take the control end of the cable. Put the cable through a funnel. Tape the end of the funnel. Spray or pour lubricant oil over the cable. Go to the end of the cable attached to the engine. Move it back and forth until the entire cable is lubed and smooth.

Are Mercury outboards SAE or metric?

Mercury outboard engines use a combination of both SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and metric fasteners, depending on the model and the specific component.

For example, some of the larger bolts and nuts used in Mercury outboards, such as the propeller nut, may be SAE, while other smaller bolts and screws used in components like the engine cover and ignition system may be metric.

It is important to use the correct size and type of fasteners when working on a Mercury outboard engine.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s documentation, such as the owner’s manual or service manual, for specific information on fastener sizes, types, and torque specifications for your particular engine model.

Using the wrong size or type of fastener can lead to damage or failure of the component or system, and can compromise the safety and reliability of the engine.

Is Yamaha more reliable than Mercury?

Both Yamaha and Mercury are reputable manufacturers of outboard engines, and both offer a range of models with varying levels of reliability, performance, and features.

It’s difficult to say definitively whether Yamaha is more reliable than Mercury or vice versa, as the reliability of an outboard engine can be affected by a number of factors, including maintenance, usage, and environmental conditions.

Both manufacturers have a good reputation for producing high-quality and reliable outboard engines, and the overall reliability can depend on the specific model, year, and maintenance history of the engine.

In general, both Yamaha and Mercury engines are designed and built to withstand harsh marine environments and heavy usage, and both offer features like advanced fuel injection systems, power steering, and electronic control modules.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs, budget, and preferences, as well as the availability of authorized dealers and service centers in your area. Before making a decision, it’s important to do research, read reviews, and consult with experts in the boating and outboard engine industry.


That’d be all about Mercury gen 1 vs gen 2 from us. We hope the feature-based detail comparison helps you decide on the right throttle cable for you. Can we help you more with this? Don’t forget to swing by the comment section! We look forward to seeing you again!

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