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Everything posted by Wingnut

  1. Wingnut

    Drive Position

    The outdrive input shaft slips into the engine flywheel coupler so as others have said, if the engine is running, the top bearing and gear set are turning. The shift mechanism on a Volvo Dual Prop or Bravo drive is in the upper gearcase of the out drive. On a Alpha drive it's a dog clutch in the foot, just ahead of the propeller. We beat this to death but as the manual states, running the engine with the drive in or near the full up position is not recommended, and should be reserved for idle only operations in very shallow waters. The angle is not the issue, again as stated in the manual. The constant velocity dual u-joints could care less, and the gimbel bearing is slip fit designed to compensate, and the engine couple is a lubricated spline, which also could care less what the drive angle is. The problem is that as the drive reaches the upper limits of trim up, the side "ears" exit the gimbel ring and looses the required side support for high torque operation. Idling into a beach with the drive 80% up is not an issue, but if you were to hit something at that moment, severe damage is much more likely. Storing a drive in the full up induces strain to the drive shaft bellows as they take a set over time and are more likely to fail when returned to service. Again the other mechanical's could care less. W
  2. Wingnut

    What size props you running 256 ssx bravo 3?

    You are not twisting an 8.1 that tight as the rev limiter won't allow it. 5,000 is max recommended WOT rpm. What HP 496, as the HO 425 HP gets a Bravo III-x drive with a different final drive ratio. Mine is 1.8 to 1 and tops out at 5,050 at 63 mph on a perfect day. My 256 is a 2008. W
  3. Wingnut

    Drive shutter at one specific RPM

    Prop phasing is simple. No two blades should pass straight up under the cavitation plate at the same time. If the front prop has a blade at dead center 12:00, then the rear prop should have one at 6:00. Make sure the jam nuts have the machined taper toward the prop before torque is applied. I do not think that phasing will correct your apparent issue though. Oh, and don't show us a picture with your ride sitting next to the gas pump. It's depressing... Ha W
  4. Wingnut

    Dumb question #16 - How many Impellers do I have?

    Sounds pretty normal to me.
  5. Wingnut

    Dumb question #16 - How many Impellers do I have?

    Not had much luck with knock-offs like your first example, with the exception of the ones from Harden marine. Too many pre-mature seal leaks. I would go with your second example which is a genuine Mercriuser part., but shop around using that specific part number as OEM Merc pump prices vary greatly. W
  6. Wingnut

    Upper Chesapeake

    Looked good on the Eastern Shore south from Still Pond also. Water clarity was even above average, and beach report water testing show nominal bacteria levels. Sandy Point state park still shows closed as the prevailing winds pushed the "Susquehanna Lumber Yard" directly on to their shores and clean-up continues. W
  7. Wingnut

    Upper Chesapeake

    Been boating on the Chesapeake Bay since 1970 and with the exception of Hurricane Isabel, I have never seen more floating debris than I did yesterday. Due to the unrelenting rains in the upper Susquehanna Valley, the Conowingo Dam Authority had 12 flood gates open for an extended period and by early afternoon you could almost walk from Sparrows Point to Rockhall without getting your feet wet. Uprooted trees up to 2' in diameter with some over 30' long. The organic stuff I can almost understand as the river's coastline extends through Pennsylvania, and into upper New Your State, but the car fuel tank, refrigerator, plastic 55 gallon drums, and the like you have to believe are the result of irresponsible waterfront property owners. If you are out there today, keep your eyes open. W
  8. Wingnut

    2017 Signature 310 Coolant Leak

    Take a close look at the engine coolant circulation pump as those seals will drip leak at rest but seal up once underway until they are ready to fail altogether. Next step is a pressure test at elevated pressure. To do this you must isolate the plastic coolant tank as it won't take the 50# test pressure. Leaks in the tube and shell engine heat exchanger are hard to find, but they don't deposit antifreeze into the bilge. Fuel pumps, power steering cooler, engine oil cooler, risers and manifolds are all raw water cooled so your search can concentrate on engine block, heads, thermostat housing, shell side of heat exchanger, hoses, and it would seem in your case the domestic water heater. I've not worked on a potable water system with toxic antifreeze running through the water heater exchanger loop. Most use spent high temperature raw sea water before it enters the exhaust manifolds. If you have access to a black light, the anti freeze will really light up and you may be able to find the source. Best case it's a hose clamp or leaking coolant pump seal, but a head gasket or cracked head and or block are always a possibility so I'd find the source sooner rather than later. W
  9. Wingnut

    small electric current in props

    They were at anchor with no AC power source.
  10. The impact causing the drive to trim full up is all mechanical. The over pressure on the hydraulic diverter valve simply opens the spring loaded pressure relief valve allowing oil to return to the tank. It will stay there until you trim it back down. As far as the bent shaft goes, the bend usually occurs at the back of the rear bearing where the shaft exits the shaft sea as the shaft is not supported beyond that point. If you don't have a dial indicator, then set a fixed stand next to the very end of the prop shaft with the prop off, and rotate the shaft by hand using a feeler gauge to measure the air gap between the shaft and stand at several points within the 360 degrees of rotation. Run-out should be less than .005".
  11. That will work. You will find that the fuel fill looks similar, but those threads are different, likely for a good reason. The only difference from that fitting is I use a 90 degree version. Tractor Supply carries every style. W http://s526.photobucket.com/user/wingnutmfs/media/Winterization Merc 496256 SSX/9pumpoutholdingtank.jpg.html
  12. Pull the prop and dial indicate the prop shaft as a start. If it runs true, then you may be fine, but the next few outings will tell the story. Hopefully no internal damage but if there is, it will manifest itself sooner rather than later. W
  13. Most marinas have a rubber cone shaped suction adapter that gets shoved into the opening and provides a pretty good seal. The only down side is you have to hold it against the thru-hull during the entire transfer. If you get rid of the tether, then you can use a 2" NPTM cam-lock adapter which is what I do on mine. Your 246 has the small capacity Sea Land Vacu-Flush system where the storage tank doubles as the vacuum accumulator. Nice system as it holds the waste under full vacuum during storage and the tank is not vented to atmosphere. You will see a thru-hull vent line fitting, but that is from the discharge side of the vacuum pump and not the tank itself. Point here is you must remember to shut off the vacuum pump and relieve the stored vacuum from the holding tank before attempting to pump-out. Most of the Vacu-Flush heads have a hold open lever on the flush mechanism just for that purpose. Otherwise just hold the ball valve open during transfer. W
  14. Wingnut

    Replacing Bilge Pump Questions

    Chap uses a slip plate made from 3/8" thick UHMW polyurethane rather than aluminum. You can buy the plastic from Amazon in any size you need and it cuts and drills easily. I actually use it at our community launch facility for vertical rub strips on the dock piling faces as it is indestructible, non-marring, and will not support marine growth. Immune to UV rays also and I use 2" thick by 3" wide in 5' lengths and countersink in the 1/2" lag screws. Plenty of uses for that stuff, like slip pads on a trailer. OK, back into the bilge... My pump sits well under the engine oil pan, but the mounting screws are well out ahead of the engine. Float switch too mounts to the plate, and by simply removing the accessible screws, one can advance the entire pump assembly forward for servicing as long as the wiring harness and discharge hoses are long enough. W
  15. Wingnut

    Boat purchase

    And can be a very wet ride home if you get caught out in a chop. They ski and wake-board a bunch, but I never see them venture out very far from home. Expensive for a toy that will see under 25 hours a season, but they can afford it. W
  16. Wingnut

    Boat purchase

    I purchased 4 new Sea Rays between 1977 and 1988 and was a true believer. Then in 2008 I went out to buy my 5th, and could not believe how far the brand had fallen. Jumped down to the show room floor of of a 26' bow rider and I guess I made a face which came easy as I was already disappointed with my tour of the bilge spaces. Salesman asked what was wrong, and I said look down the side of this thing. Did they glue 3 hulls together to make one? He did not push back other than to say what other brands are you looking at? I said Formula, Cobalt, and Chaparral. He simply said "I can't say anything bad about those boats", and politely walked away. I ordered my new 256 SSX the following weekend and have never looked back. Sea Rays were rock solid and dead straight back in the day but it's just not the same boat anymore. The only thing I never liked was their power to weight ratio as they were heavy. Kept my 88 30' Dancer for 10 years and she showed as new and commanded top dollar when I sold her. Those days I fear are gone. W
  17. Wingnut

    Depth alarm

    Fish were setting mine off constantly so I set it to ZERO after the first time out. W
  18. Wingnut

    Boat purchase

    A neighbor just bought the Mastercraft with a big block. Man can that thing drink some fuel. W
  19. Wingnut

    Boat purchase

    In this area it's hard to find a dealer who has staff that knows how to work on the joystick models whether they are Volvo or Merc. Most of the issues I hear about are software related but it really does not matter as repairs are specialized and if you decide on that option be sure you have access to a dealer who can fix those systems. Had a guy here a couple weeks ago with 5 x 350 Merc outboards, two mounted high on the transom, and three mounted low. When he was rafting up, he was on the joystick and I was amazed at how the engines moved independently of each other and can only imagine how complicated the program was that managed the ballet and linked to his GPS for station keeping. Yamaha's new 425 HP outboard has all electronic steering which will open up even more possibilities. Good luck with your search. W
  20. Wingnut


    A soft grounding in muck may have caused the drive water intake to suck up enough debris to stall the raw water pump so I'll ask is yours belt driven or is it mounted in front of the crankshaft snout and is of direct drive design like most Volvo's. The same grounding may have trashed a cone clutch in the upper drive housing giving you the burnt smelling drive oil, or you might have failed the engine coupler. Sand groundings will scratch up a stainless prop set, but muck, not so much. Another scenario is the drive or coupler failed, and the engine went into over speed for an instant until the rev limiter could get a hold of her, and the momentary excessive RPM threw the belt off. All speculation at this point but it sounds like the drive needs to come off so coupler can be inspected, and drive integrity (or lack thereof) can be confirmed. W
  21. Wingnut

    Dumb question #16 - How many Impellers do I have?

    As it's a 1998 with no history you can rely on, I'd look at replacing the bearings and seals also. You may find that replacing the entire pump makes sense for you as the housing will show some wear also, even under the best operating conditions. Belt, and idler pulleys too need to be inspected. W
  22. Wingnut

    Towing Survey/Question

    Wow, you don't mess around. The front truck bumper will arrive at the ramp a half hour before the boat. One thing is for sure, you will barely know the boat is back there and those Isuzu Dura-Max engines are whisper quiet. W
  23. Wingnut

    H20 Fuel Vent Fix/Problem

    The thru-hull fuel tank vent fittings usually have a fine mesh screen in them also. Helps with bugs and water resistance. W
  24. Wingnut

    MerCruiser 5.0 Stalling / Not Starting

    The inline filter you see is likely not an OEM item, and was probably added by a previous owner to solve a fuel contamination issue. A picture of it would help us know for sure, but Merc does not hose clamp filters. Either take it to a place like NAPA and match it up, or think about doing away with it altogether and just rely on the OEM fuel/water filter separator. Carry a spare. W
  25. Wingnut

    Additive options for ethanol gas

    As little as 20 years ago, some fuel suppliers were still blending finished gasoline at the refineries, and then shipping it out to the regional terminals. Today raw gasoline is generic, and both the propitiatory additive packages and Ethanol get blended in just before the fuel enters the delivery truck. Go to a Mobil terminal, and you will see small additive tanks situated next to the loading rack with small injection pumps affixed to their individual skids with Chevron, Shell, and even generic for off brand labels. This is a great advantage as raw gasoline does not degrade near as fast as blended finished product and as a result consumer gas stays fresher longer. The second consideration is winter blend/summer blend as you don't want to end up with a tank full of winter blend high Reid vapor pressure (RVP) gasoline on a 98 degree day in July. The RVP seasons differ state to state, but a good rule of thumb is to wait until May first to fill up if your live in an area that sees a true cold climate in winter. Some parts of Florida for example do not even use the high butane content winter blends. Lastly if you have an older boat with an aluminum fuel tank, good luch as E-10 will really go to work on those. Drive by any gasoline terminal and look for the tank that is black around the top edge, has streaks running down the side, and appears that it was on fire a few days ago. That's the raw ethanol tank. I use Sta-Bil 360 because the fuel systems I've had to work on with failed pumps and injectors show signs of build-up that I just don't see when I've intentionally taken apart older systems that use Sta-bil religiously. Never replaced anything but filters on the handfull of Sta-bil boats I deal with. It won't fix bad gas, but it does seem to keep the injectors clean, and fuel pumps running. On the nasty ones I've had to replace and asked what additive do you use, the answer has always been the same. Nothing. Lastly, I always buy from a high volume service station, not a marina. I also drain the tank dry before winter lay-up and use what I pump out in my car and truck. Fresh gas every spring. I cut apart the old fuel filters too, but have yet to find anything in them. We don't have real gas options here, but I see no reason to stand in line for ethanol free. W