How often should you change the outdrive boots

She CaptainShe Captain Algonac, MI.Posts: 26Member ✭✭
I was wondering how often should you change out-drive boots?

Comments

  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,364Member, Moderator mod

    The bellows should be replace at first sign of them drying out or getting brittle.  You should check them at least twice a year by getting your hand in there and squeezing them and feeling the texture for dryness.  I've seen them changed every other year and I've seen them not needed until 10 years.  I will say it will save you money if you do it when you should do other maintenance items like changing shift cables, having U-Joints and/or couplers replaced, and anything other outdrive service.

    I had all of the above mentioned on my current boat 2 years ago. So it was at the 5-6 year mark and the boat was new to me at the time so I wanted to make sure all would be good to go.  Hope that helps.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Lifes GoodLifes Good Posts: 465Member ✭✭✭
    Great question. Dream is right on the mark. However ask yourself this question... if you trailer then no more than 5 years. If in water 24/7 then 6 to 7 years. Inspect as often as possible. Bellows are under 100 coin vs water intrusion which range from 600 coin to replacing drive.
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Posts: 7,526Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mine are 12 and are still good as of last year. Was on a lift for 10 years. I plan to change next spring. 
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,634Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    These are on my list for next fall.  Still original and no issues of being dry/brittle at all, I have them checked yearly. 

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • Lifes GoodLifes Good Posts: 465Member ✭✭✭
    I have heard VP is changing the material used in their bellows. My mechanic thinks this is a mistake as the will be more plastic like vs rubber like. Hence more accessible to cracking...
  • frenchshipfrenchship Québec ,CanadaPosts: 1,079Member ✭✭✭
    Mine are going to be done this spring even with only 250 hrs because my steering shaft are leaking so I think while I will be taking everything apart I will do them at the same time and also the water pump impeller. I bought all the special tools from Mercruiser and all necessary parts which come out to 1500$ U.S. (1900$ CAD) which is lot cheaper that what a dealer was asking about 3000$ CAD. I pickup the tools and parts while I am in the U.S. And save about 600$ compare to buying the parts in Canada even with our dollar around .79cents to the U.S dollar . When I bought the boat my wife got me all the service manuals from Mercruiser for the engines and sterndrives, so it is going to be fun......
  • She CaptainShe Captain Algonac, MI.Posts: 26Member ✭✭
    Thanks for all the feedback. I guess I will put it on my fix it list for this winter. I have a professional mechanic do all my maintenance and up to last season they have looked good. I don't know when or if the previous owner had ever change them. Better to be proactive and have them replaced, I want a good cruising season. Thanks again! Mamma's gonna get a new pair of boots! 
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Posts: 7,526Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    You could always wait till they crack and flood the bilge..... nah better not. LOL
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYPosts: 2,458Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wonder if they last longer in fresh or salt water?
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,634Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would think fresh water would add to their life.

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Posts: 7,526Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rubber is not affected by any water. 
  • Lifes GoodLifes Good Posts: 465Member ✭✭✭
    24/7 Water would help them from drying out and cracking over the years.
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