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This is for Volvo Penta owners that change their own gear lube. It might also be for owners that have their gear lube changed at a shop but it always seems to leak/weep some "oil" into the water. Maybe this is a no-brainer, but make sure you get a Volvo spec rubber O-ring to go back in that little groove around the drain plug. The OEM part from Volvo is a similar size but much thinner than a typical rubber ring, and I don't think you're likely to find a proper substitute in the trays at your local hardware store. My local marine shop uses/sells a part that is not quite right. It looks the same at first glance (and it even has the Volvo part # on the baggy) but my marina's part is a little too fat when you try to reinstall causing the housing to shave off the edge of the rubber ring when you screw it back in. The ring shreds on installation, but you can't see that because the drain hole narrows about 1/2" up inside the opening. The damaged rubber ring allows fluid to seep out and water to seep back into the drive. The outdrive case and the drain screw are very well machined, and the whole thing depends on this thin, little rubber ring/washer. There is very little tolerance (i.e. none!) for size variation. Get the right part and it's fantastic. Dry as a bone, not a leak in sight, etc., etc. Stray by a fraction of a millimeter and your outdrive turns into a mint milkshake dispenser. I ended up driving about 45 min to a Volvo parts supplier and bought ten OEM rings. They're cheap! Now I have a ten year supply. The rubber rings supplied by the marina failed twice and gave me a heart attack each time. I spent hours pressure testing the outdrive, etc. because I thought for sure replacing all of the seals would solve the problem. Nope. It was always that I was getting the wrong rubber ring for the slot around the drain plug. With the wrong part, each time I "fixed" it I broke it again, always with the added cost of new synthetic gear lube. I had been getting a light, but regular oily sheen behind the boat for two years. It all came down to the wrong ten cent part. BTW, the marina still maintains that they're using the correct part. They have a cross-reference chart that they use to show they're using an identical/equivalent part. They most certainly are not! Most boats in this market seem to be Mercruiser and apparently these guys treat Vovlos like an old V12 Jaguar engine--spooky magic! [slaps forehead]
I purchased my first boat this weekend. My family has owned boats throughout my life, but I personally never owned one. I took my time shopping, and did enough research to know that the Chaparral brand was one of my options. I looked at many boats over the past 4 weeks; however, one Chaparral stood out among the rest. I forgot to mention that my budget was modest, but I did manage to acquire a very nice 2004 Chaparral 215 SSI with 5.0 Mercruiser and Alpha 1 drive. I am very pleased with the boat's condition and how it performs on the water. However, the only thing that I noticed was a grinding noise when the drive is initiated into the forward or reverse position. After the propulsion is engaged that noise goes away. It's almost like shifting a car without using the clutch if it were manual. I've done some research and most say that it's the lower shift cable. Since I am new to boating I was wondering is this something that I can fix myself, or should I take this to a marina to ensure that the problem is the shift cable? Thank you. Jake