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SG Boater

engine alignment

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Now that spring is approaching, I'm in the process of finalizing all preparations/maintenance of our new to me '05 210 SSI.  Dropped the alpha drive to replace water pump and found water pump full of oil.  Pressure tested lower 1/2 of unit and found the drive shaft seal beneath the water pump leaking.  When I drained the oil, it looked perfect.  Question, is it possible that seal leaked oil out but didn't let water in.  I've been told shift shaft seal can do that. I trial ran the boat a 1/2 hour or so and then had it in the water 3 hours or so after I bought it and as I said drained oil looked good.  I want to make sure previous owner didn't change oil to cover a known problem.  I read removing the cap on upper 1/2 of drive to see the upper drive shaft bearings will tell whether any damage.  Due to air pocket up there, that's the first place to show damage from water contamination.  That sound right?

Then moved to engine alignment.  Marks initially heavy on underside of alignment tool.  So I raised both sides a full rotation of adjusting nut.  No change so did a couple more times of either 1/2 or full rotation with little change.  Then I got sidetracked and couldn't remember if I'd done port side, but at most was only 1 full turn off one side to the other.  Marks now on port side only.  Made many attempts sometimes one side and not the other, but could never get rid of port side marks.  Used 2/6's and eye bolt/chain to raise engine.  Snugged up adjusting nuts by finger to get new starting point.  Same result.  Tried with hoist chain vertical and skewed to both sides.  Still can't get rid of port side marks on alignment bar.  I can get it to where appears perfectly centered vertical, but can't get rid of port side marks.  Then took piece of approx 1" conduit.  It has a little wiggle room, but moving it full side to side I get 1/4" gap between conduit and gimbal bearing on port side, 1/8" gap starboard.  Appears perfect vertically.  Now I turn the engine over 180 degrees and alignment bar won't go in.  Conduit has approx 5/16 gap on Port, 1/16 gap on starboard. It appears I need to move the front of engine 1/16 - 1/8" towards starboard to get a happy medium between the marks at 180 degrees.  How?  I think there are slots in the engine mounts mounting holes, but can't tell how much slot is left beneath washer.  They are already skewed a little towards starboard.  I wanted to see if another easy way before loosening my mounts.  I think If I can move the engine starboard, i'll get it so the alignment tool will slide in fairly easily (maybe 2 fingers easy) with slight rub on port and starboard depending upon where in engine rotation I'm at.  Somehow it was centered laterally when i started so they somehow had it adjusted at the factory.  The coupler is apparently ok now with 200 hours on it.  Is the 1/16" deviation of the coupler from dead center too much?  I know in a perfect world it would be dead on, but would rather not have to pull the engine if 1/16 off-center is livable.  Would appreciate any help or thoughts.

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I have never had an engine alignment off from side to side, just up and down. I have had a shift shaft seal leak. Could smell it in the water when the boat was stopped. Never had any water in the oil. Figured it out when the impeller was being changed. 

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I know there isn't supposed to be, but my marks are all on port side of bar, and a 1" pipe slid into the coupler confirms it off to port side.  Just came in from pulling the lags in the mounts and I do have some adjustment left in the slots of the mounts.  Hopefully enough.  Will find out next time I dive into it.

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Possibly.  Suggestions as to what those may be?  I have read what seems like 1,000's of threads and have seen mention of possibly bad rear mount causing side to side movement.  I have a 210, so can barely even see the rear mount, and that only on the starboard side.  But I don't think the engine is clocked.  When I raise the engine w/a hoist, and thread up the adjusting nuts to finger tight so that they should be equally supporting the weight, they appear to be same height, as close as I can tell by counting threads that are exposed at that particular section of the bolts diameter.

 

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I looked at the parts drawings for the Alpha drive.  One thing that could be happening is that the bell housing (bolted to motor) and transom assembly are loose. Are the bolts all tightened down?  Is transom solid and not rotted under the fiberglass? The latter would cause some side to side movement between the two pieces if things are flexing.

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boat only has 20 hours and no signs of water ever really getting in or through the hull anywhere.  So, no flags that would indicate leaks or bad transom.  I'll see if I can reach the bolts to check if anything is loose.  It's a bear to get to anything on the back of the engine or farther back on the 210, so not sure how much I'll be able to tell, but I'll see what I can see.  thanks for the suggestions.

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Fantastic marinas HAVE ACCESS to tiny mechanics. No B S.  1 of our boat group is such a person. WE TIE a rope around both ankles to pull him out faster on the blankets.

He has adjusted stern engine mount bolts / nuts.  Never buys a meal / drinks. When we go as a group. Great person.    :wub:

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You're absolutely right in that the 210 SSi can be a bear for access, especially at the rear of the engine.

For the carrier seal under the impeller, quite possible issue is from frozen water that put the seals on an angle allowing gear oil to leak out the weep hole on the drive. Recommend next fall to position the drive cavitation plate horizontal with the ground, and with the lanyard switch tripped, crank the engine for 5 seconds. Should hopefully purge most of the water from that area without hurting the impeller.

On the alignment issue, what about putting and snugging the engine mounts back to where they were, and then checking alignment. Pull the alignment bar out, recording grease marks, and then lightly ticking the engine over with the key 90 degress. Repeat alignment check, remove bar, tick engine over 90 degrees, etc. until you have 4 points of the compass if you will checked. Often I find a coupler will give slightly different readings at the 4 different positions. I don't consider myself an expert on engine alignment by any means, but end game should be the alignment tool going in and out smoothly with minimal effort for all 4 points - 9 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions.

 

 

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Boat was new to me in October and I winterized this past winter, store with outdrive all the way down.  So what you're saying is possible, but not this past year.  When I removed the seal carrier, nothing but nice clean lube underneath so pretty sure no water made it's way into drive.  Replaced carrier and seals, pressure tested drive with 0 leak down so I think I'm ok in that department.  I actually watched the video you posted, and a 100 more it seems like.  I could get the vertical alignment dead on, but nowhere could I find any ideas on lateral.  After removing the lags to the engine mounts, got it to where I could slide in and out with two fingers with slight rub on port side, but when turned engine over 180 degrees couldn't even get the alignment bar started, hitting again on port side.  I still couldn't get the engine to budge starboard enough even when hanging from a chain.  And based upon the uneven alignment, appears coupler has now taken a set.  My thinking is engine was off to port, so the pressure from the driveshaft skewed the coupler back to center, ie. towards starboard.  So then when I rotate the engine 180 degrees, it's even more off to the port side.  I threw in the towel, thinking I might break something, whatever is in back that's keeping the engine from adjusting side to side.  Pulled it to a shop yesterday and they're replacing coupler and getting lateral adjustment dialed in.  Fortunately it's a small shop without all the big OH so price quoted is way less than I was fearing.  And then I won't have to worry about a coupler giving up the ghost when I'm 60 or 70 miles down a lake or river, which we do a couple times a season.  I appreciate the help.

When I dropped it off yesterday, I couldn't believe the guy said that engine would be easy to get out.  Not sure how though.  Although I have read a couple other instances where people had said removal isn't bad on the 210, just maintenance??  I do have the boat gutted for him, bench seat and all dividers out, sunpad removed, carpet out.  

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22 hours ago, SG Boater said:

When I dropped it off yesterday, I couldn't believe the guy said that engine would be easy to get out.  Not sure how though.  Although I have read a couple other instances where people had said removal isn't bad on the 210, just maintenance??  I do have the boat gutted for him, bench seat and all dividers out, sunpad removed, carpet out.  

Yeah, with the prep work you've done, they should be able to pull the engine out okay; maintenance as you say is a PITA with engine in the boat. Would recommend having them inspect the dist cap and rotor with the engine out, especially if you have a fuel injected engine. I know the hours are low, but corrosion on underside of distributor cap is what I'm thinking may be found. That entire distributor assy is essentially made out of plastic, and the ears for the dist. cap screws can break off. Best to inspect and/or replace when access is easy.

If they do install a new cap, ensure it has the brass terminals, not aluminum like automotive or Volvo Penta use.

Image result for found mercruiser distributor cap

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thanks for the heads up on the dist.  I was going to pass w/200 hours, but might as well.  i had already asked him to replace exhaust shutters since he'll be right there.

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SG, is the shop down by you? Just curious. Would like to know of a reasonable place when or if I ever have to have my gimbal bearing replaced or something big.

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Even after seeing it he said he thought total bill to be in the 600-900 range, closer to the bottom of that range.  That price is even with the coupler, I was thrilled.  If I'd stumbled across this shop i would have passed.  Small shop with outboard powerheads sitting around everywhere.  Not the nice and clean shops I'd rather use.  But an old guy that used to be the only repair shop in Ste. Genevieve recommended them, saying they were good and very particular, he'd taken some boats down to him when beyond his abilities.  He doesn't think much of the St. Louis shops, at least those on the south side towards us.  I too have heard some bad things about the marine repair shops on the south side.  It's King Marine down in Cape Girardeau.  Hopefully they live up to the recommendation.  I am definitely glad I gutted it though.  They wouldn't have had a clean spot big enough to put the sun pad.

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Hmm, good to know. There is a similar small shop in Illinois, around Freeburg I think, that a coworker recommended. I have been using Inland Marine in Barnhart lately. Had my impeller changed there, I think it was about xxx. I had them do a winterization once due to lack of time and it was slightly higher than that. I normally do that myself. I used to go to OPC in Imperial in the past. They are good mechanics but have gotten very pricey and they rubbed me the wrong way last time I was there.

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From the people I know who have used OPC, the report was "good, but very pricey".  A friend of mine had his Bravo 3 go out, something to do with the clutch that they had to have made because Merc didn't even have that part available.  I assume it was a part that's since be re-designed since his Bravo 3 is on an '07.  Bill was $3500 deer.  I've heard several complaints about Inland.

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On 3/13/2018 at 8:22 AM, SG Boater said:

Boat was new to me in October and I winterized this past winter, store with outdrive all the way down.  So what you're saying is possible, but not this past year.  When I removed the seal carrier, nothing but nice clean lube underneath so pretty sure no water made it's way into drive.  Replaced carrier and seals, pressure tested drive with 0 leak down so I think I'm ok in that department.  I actually watched the video you posted, and a 100 more it seems like.  I could get the vertical alignment dead on, but nowhere could I find any ideas on lateral.  After removing the lags to the engine mounts, got it to where I could slide in and out with two fingers with slight rub on port side, but when turned engine over 180 degrees couldn't even get the alignment bar started, hitting again on port side.  I still couldn't get the engine to budge starboard enough even when hanging from a chain.  And based upon the uneven alignment, appears coupler has now taken a set.  My thinking is engine was off to port, so the pressure from the driveshaft skewed the coupler back to center, ie. towards starboard.  So then when I rotate the engine 180 degrees, it's even more off to the port side.  I threw in the towel, thinking I might break something, whatever is in back that's keeping the engine from adjusting side to side.  Pulled it to a shop yesterday and they're replacing coupler and getting lateral adjustment dialed in.  Fortunately it's a small shop without all the big OH so price quoted is way less than I was fearing.  And then I won't have to worry about a coupler giving up the ghost when I'm 60 or 70 miles down a lake or river, which we do a couple times a season.  I appreciate the help.

When I dropped it off yesterday, I couldn't believe the guy said that engine would be easy to get out.  Not sure how though.  Although I have read a couple other instances where people had said removal isn't bad on the 210, just maintenance??  I do have the boat gutted for him, bench seat and all dividers out, sunpad removed, carpet out.  

So I am re-reading your description of the problem.  Since everything parts are mounted too seems solid, something in the rotating assembly sounds out of wack.  I am curious what the shop finds.

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The part that has me baffled is that when hanging from a chain, mounting lags backed out and mounts "retracted" so 1/4" up from stringer, I still couldn't move the engine far enough.  I couldn't see anything that was hitting.  That's when i threw in the towel, thinking it's binding on the rear mount somehow.  I think there is enough lateral adjustment in the mount, but I couldn't move the engine.  Hopefully I'll hear something in a day or two.

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I am always leery of super low hours of a boat.......... EVEN my own boat that I sold in up state N Y.  200 hours om a 2002 186.  Sick relatives cut into the hours.

Left right could have been hitting a rock ledge in a  fast evasive turn. Some shimming washers added incorrectly ? Odd big error.

Check if the alignment tool rolls PERFECTLY on a polished kitchen counter top. Stone material only !!

You may have to super clean the counter top first.

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I marked one side so I'd insert remove the tool the same each time.  Just to check tool straightness, I did insert/remove with my mark at 90 degree intervals and always same.  Tool is straight, at least close enough to tell me alignment was out.

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23 hours ago, SG Boater said:

thanks for the heads up on the dist.  I was going to pass w/200 hours, but might as well.  i had already asked him to replace exhaust shutters since he'll be right there.

Can't believe I forgot to recommend changing exhaust flappers at the same time as engine re&re. Good call sir.

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