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It STILL Leaks.....

craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭

So they replaced the bellows on my Bravo 3 drives and dropped it back in the water today and its still leaking at the bottom of the transom assembly on the starboard drive side.  He is pulling the starboard drive to see if perhaps the bellow got ripped on install, but is doubtful this is the case.  In the bellows kit, they include a gimble bearing and the water pickup hose.  The mechanic told me that you have to remove the engine to replace this hose so we did not replace them.  Is this a known problem area for leaks?  Or perhaps a bigger transom assembly issue?  Thoughts?

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    jhofmannjhofmann Member Posts: 430 ✭✭✭

    On my 2000 FV 242 with a 5.7EFI Bravo 3 I did my own bellows, but broke the oil tube where it goes through the transom. I had Ocean Performance in Old Saybrook Connecticut change the oil tube, and while there, they did the water pickup hose, without pulling the motor. It was well the $400 to have them do this, as I could not see either of them between the engine and transom.

    Another issue I have heard about is the steering tiller leaking. I know there is a kit on the market where using a template you cut a hole in the top rear of the outdrive, seal the tiller, and replace the cutout with a stainless steel plate, but I am not sure if this if for alpha or bravo drives, or both.

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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin

    On my 342 the drive housing had a crack and leaked. I hope this is not your problem. Good luck and keep us posted.
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭

    The mechanic got back in there and realized the water was coming through the swivel shaft/steering pin.  So apparently I had two leaks because the bellows had a very small rip in it which he confirmed they are nice and dry now.

    So not a good scenario.  I am not going to tackle this myself mid season, so I will lean on the mechanics recommendations.  He said the approved merc repair method which involves drilling holes is a major PIA.  He also said every time you get in there the shaft is so corroded that all of the seals are wasted, further complicating this replacement.  He also was concerned about other issues with the transom assembly (torn transom seal).  SO he wants to install a whole new transom assembly for the tune of $2500.  He quoted 10 hours to do the job.  This guy has a good rep and I trust him, but I'm curious if we can get the same outcome by purchasing the $500 stainless JR Marine kit.  This kit seems to get much better reviews than the Merc approved method.  I'm unsure if this merc mechanic would even consider this as an option.  Has anyone here had to go down this road before? 

    The other option is to let it ride and deal with it end of season.  Does anyone know if this is something that could turn catastrophic, like bellows?

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    jhofmannjhofmann Member Posts: 430 ✭✭✭

    In order to warranty the work, he may only want to use a Merc approved method. If the leak is not too bad, and the bilge pump is in good working order, you may be able to wait till the end of the summer. My only concern would possible rotting of the wood in the transom from a steady trickle of water.

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    craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭

    Oh how I wish this were under warranty. I'm curious if I can blame that turtle I hit the other day and file a claim....

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    PartsManPartsMan Member Posts: 246 ✭✭✭

    i did the job myself using JR Marine. Go to his web site he has videos you can watch. I don't think you'll hurt anything if you wait until the end of the season.

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    WeberWeber Member Posts: 249 ✭✭✭

    Normally the gimbal bearing can be replaced without pulling the motor.

    Sin or Swim - Rinker 312
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    craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭

    Weber - I just installed all new bellows, shifter cables and gimble bearings. 

    I'm going to wait until the end of season pull and tackle the JR method. In the short term I'm going to install grease zirks to keep that swivel shaft lubricated and hopefully deter further leakage. 

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    PartsManPartsMan Member Posts: 246 ✭✭✭

    The current Mercruise steering pin rusts and ruins the seal. This will happen to EVERY bravo III drive. JR Marine sell a stainless steel pin to fix the problem. A lot of boater have this leak and don't even know it. Google search and you'll find plenty of info on this problem. 

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