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Bawuva

Running Mercruiser Out of Water

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All,

Second year boater (we have a 2010 196 SSI)...  My 18 year old son has recently been learning how to pilot our boat.  He's been doing great and typically is very conscientious about everything.  Well - this weekend, he was down at our lake house with my wife and others (I wasn't there) and he took the boat out for the first time without me.  He did great but after he got it back on the lift, he told me he starting the engine and ran for about 7 seconds out of the water.  Ugh!  I blame myself for not teaching him that it needs to be in the water when you start it.

So my question is:  am I looking at any damage with it running for a few seconds out of water?  I'm worried for when I get back down there next week there is going to be a headache waiting for me.

Thanks all.

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if you have an alpha outdrive it is most likely that the impeller in the water pump in the outdrive got fried. If it is a Bravo, same would be true for the impeller in the raw water pump bolted on the side of the motor. If it is a Alpha, removal of the lower unit required to repair. If Bravo, pump can be removed from the motor and a new impeller installed. I have been told 5 seconds is enough to fry either one. 

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Running the motor with out water not good, but its a 50/50 chance it might be good. Lower it back into the water and start it. Let it warm up and run for 5-10 minutes. If it stays at your normal engine temp, you should be ok. If it starts running warmer than normal, You'll need to have the impeller changed.

 

.

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2 minutes ago, Toddler said:

Running the motor with out water not good, but its a 50/50 chance it might be good. Lower it back into the water and start it. Let it warm up and run for 5-10 minutes. If it stays at your normal engine temp, you should be ok. If it starts running warmer than normal, You'll need to have the impeller changed.

 

.

Thanks!

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Can't say I agree with giving her a try. If you did smoke the pump (likely) a dislodged vane could get displaced down stream and cause a blockage. You can pull the lower half of the drive off without pulling the drive.  W

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Better to be safe than sorry. If it had be me, it would bug me to death if I did not physically look at it myself. 

And as long as you have it apart, put the new one in that you bought just encase you found it to be bad.  Denny.

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A few thoughts from me.  IF....your son ran it for only a few seconds.....AND IF it had just been in the water, in all likelihood, the pump housing was cold and wet.  Thusly, I would bet that you are fine.

would I chance it?  Yes....if I believe the those above facts to be true.

Mistakes like this happen all the dam time.  You are not alone.

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So, if you run it and it cooks a motor, WaterDr will use his malpractice insurance to replace it.... cool.

 

 

Replace it to eliminate any concerns. anything else is just guess work.

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I would run out if fingers for every time my wife ran our last motor with it out of water.  Never had an issue with an impeller.  Replaced it every three years.

BUT, take the conservative approach.  It’s worth it.  

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  Open it up.  Then you will have your confidence back about the boat.  Be greatful he confided in you about the restarting of the engine. Great son. Support him back.

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I would just keep an eye on the temp gauge the next couple trips.  If the impeller cooks off from 7 seconds of run time out of the water, it was ready to go anyway.

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We have a boat in our family with an Alpha 1 Gen 2 drive that has been started on the trailer without muffs more times than I can remember.  The pump seems to be still working. I don't know how the impeller, exhaust hump hoses, or the flappers have survived, but they seemed to have.  I don't condone such practice,  but it's not my boat.  You might be as lucky.

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You have to remember that there is NO LOAD on the engine. Low rpms. So very little heat being generated & passed thru the rubber. But there is rubbing friction on the impellor against the pump housing.      High humidity & condensation helps impellor survive.

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