Will Mercury Active Trim Work with my MerCruiser Sterndrive? - 05/08/2018
Will Mercury Active Trim Work with my MerCruiser Sterndrive
This Mercury VesselView display shows status of the Active Trim system.

One reader saw our report on Mercury’s Active Trim system and sent in a question: “Does Mercury Active Trim work with MerCruiser I/O 2008 vintage?” Since many of the features offered on engines and electronics today are delivered through updates to the software in the electronic control unit, we were curious to learn about this, and we sent off the question to Mercury.

Mercury responded right away, but the first part of their answer was a question: “Is it a catalyzed engine?” Here’s the entire response from Mercury about Active Trim: “For DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift), [Active Trim] goes back to all families, all models. It does require a newer version of command module software, version 80 or higher, which the dealer can reflash into the command module. For Mechanical products, it is all Big Blocks from 496 and up, (8.1, 8.2). For GM small blocks and V6 it means only catalyzed engines (circa 2007 is when they started), but all Mercury-designed 4.5L and 6.2L engines are compatible.”

Will Mercury Active Trim Work with my MerCruiser Sterndrive
The MerCruiser 8.2 MAG, shown here installed on a Formula 240 Bowrider, can use the Active Trim system to tune engine trim automatically.

Active Trim is an automated system that tunes boats' engine trim for optimal efficiency and performance in relation to the sea and load conditions. It establishes a baseline preset for the boat, and then creates a range of five settings, numbered 1 through 5, with number 3 being the optimal baseline. Then the user can adjust the trim setting to be automatically adjusting engine trim, but within the framework of the base. The system is used either through the Mercury VesselView control display, or through a standalone Active Trim control head.

To learn more about Mercury Active Trim, check out our test video and Captain’s Report.

To see our test of the Formula 240 Bowrider with the Mercruiser 8.2 MAG, click here.

If YOU have a question about a boat, engine, or any aspect of boating, we'll try to answer it… click here.


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