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Lemon Aid

Warranty - Cone Clutch

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On my 307 SSX 2015 the dealer indicates that my cone clutch needed to be replaced.  

My premiere warranty includes “clutch dogs and cones” as parts covered...but Brunswick is declining the claim because these are wearable parts and wearable parts aren’t covered.  This is pure contradiction as the book says these parts are covered.  

Not sure that These parts failing at 250 hours is typical.  

Anyone experience something like this or have advice? 

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3 hours ago, Lemon Aid said:

On my 307 SSX 2015 the dealer indicates that my cone clutch needed to be replaced.  

My premiere warranty includes “clutch dogs and cones” as parts covered...but Brunswick is declining the claim because these are wearable parts and wearable parts aren’t covered.  This is pure contradiction as the book says these parts are covered.  

Not sure that These parts failing at 250 hours is typical.  

Anyone experience something like this or have advice? 

As long as you used OEM Marc HP lube there is no reason why a cone clutch should fail.   Low lube level or water in the lube yes, but not normal for them to fail.  

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Thank you.  The boat has been maintained professionally by Chap dealer...I suspect it should not fail, hence why they say it’s covered...but of course some Brunswick rep tries to save them money and is trying to call it a wear item. 

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Did the dealer ruin the drive by saving money on a cheaper oil ?   By pass the dealer in something like this.

The entire boat & all parts are wearoutable……….. You have never had a warranty .

Soumds like if a part fails in warranty.   Not covered

If it fails after warranty period ? Not covered.

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The paperwork says the lube was the high performance manufacturer recommendation...but yes it seems the warranty has an “out” of being wearable.  

 

However, it says the parts that are clearly covered. If I have to go to small claims I will..

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Write a letter to corporate first. They can bypass all the aggravation.

 

Edit   include a copy of that bill to verify it should be covered.  Good luck.

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 So here’s the issue and I’m going to use a hypothetical situation.

 The upper unit is disassembled and you find out that the clutch is  broken in half.

 That is a warrantable item because it is a flaw in the manufacturing of the clutch.

 If the upper unit is disassembled and it is determined that the clutch is worn then that is not a warrantable item.

 Service agreements do not cover an item that is worn.

As in most things they were gray areas.  A perfect example would be a trim sender.

A intermittent or a erratic trim sender is not a warrantable component.

A trim sender that has failed is a warrantable component.

Many times it’s the verbiage that is used to describe an incident.

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Very good post and analogy. But, understanding why it wore so quickly is relevant. 250 hours is a red flag. Could be how used, could be how maintained, but also could be a failure of another component, improper assembly, etc. These last two would be covered. Apparently in this case the dealer found evidence pointing to one or both of the first two. Dealers are typically not terribly biased one way or the other on this stuff - they get paid more or less the same and take less abuse along the way when a claim is honored. Likewise, Mercury is pretty evenhanded and does a real good job supporting their product. Granted mistakes can be made and things overlooked when trying to find root cause, it’s typically right in front of you and the parts tell a story. At the end of the day, the dealer and the OP have all the information. None of us do.

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Ok.  The warranty also covers faulty manufacturing workmanship.  

Why would a cone clutch wear within 250 hours of use if designed and assembled correctly and serviced correctly?  It’s obviously defective somewhere in the process or the design...belts wear, bearings wear...with everything I read cone clutches only wear when designed or assembled wrong.  They shouldn’t wear under normal use...Or in your professional opinion is it expected mercruiser cone clutches fail after 250 hours?

additionally, now my electronic shift by wire is banging/clunking when going into gear...

i feel these people are not root causing the issue   This boat has been taken care of as good as possible   I think it is easy to say “worn” clutch and replace it...and not really understand why ... just stick the consumer with the bill...and little assurance the issue won’t resurface, or create a new issue with the banging

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Additionally, worn is not covered only when a failure has not incurred.  This is intended to avoid parts being replaced when there is not a failure (ex a part being slightly worn but not failing).  In reality, every part wears every second after it’s produced.  In my example a failure did occur...the propellers wouldn’t spin when put into gear, which actually creates a safety liability.  It’s basically like your brakes on your car not working. 

I don’t accept the interpretation that something wearing on my cone clutch is not covered with 250 hrs.  It’s a cop-out.   This is just misleading warranty and someone trying to spin it in their financial favor.  

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Are you looking for help or a place to vent? This blog is good for both. If help, specific information is needed.

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I want help defending myself.  

I read this warranty and it is misleading, indicating coverage but then taking it away. 

Am I wrong that a cone clutch should not fail at 250 hours?  

I will push for root cause...what else can I do?

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Sorry, we can’t help you defend yourself. But, we can help educate and guide you through what to look at to hopefully narrow and find the root cause. Calm. 250 hours is a red flag. But, so is a picture in a prior post with what appears to be a date and hours written on the oil filter. Yes it could be a 2016 picture, but it’s 2018 and if the date is ‘16... Again, calm. The specific information needed is maintenance history (what exactly, hours when performed, motor(s), electronic package, original owner, etc.), exactly what the dealer said/wrote about the cone clutch, pictures of the cone clutch (and associated gears, bearings, retainers, etc.), and what were the symptoms leading up to the service appointment that found/diagnosed the cone clutch. Then there’s the new matter of how it’s shiffing now. Wingnut, Shepherd, Bt Doctur and others have tremendous Mercury experience. Me, I’m more a Volvo Penta guy but Volvo Penta is who designed the marine cone clutch and regardless of brand or application (marine, off-highway, industrial, etc.) they function the same.

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I am original owner.  Lived in Michigan for 2015, 2016 and 2017 and drove total of 200 hours, of which was serviced lastly in Michigan at end of 2016 season.  For 2017 I barely used the boat.  Kept the boat in heated rack storage 100% of the time. I followed the recommended service which I believe was at 20 hours, 100 hours, and 200 hours.  All with Mercury recommended motor oil and lubricants.  In 2018 when I moved to Florida, I decided to change oil and drive lube...I experienced the starboard motor not going into gear a couple weeks before my 2018 service.  Took it to Chap dealer...he believed it was cone clutch but didn’t have the equipment in his shop to do the work. I then took it to a mercuiser authorized dealer and they test drove it and said the port side was also starting to go...

For the claim, the technician said he drained lube and checked it for wear, found none   Then checked gears and cone...found wear on the cone - replaced cone, sea trialed and it performed  

 

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I'm a little confused on this example:  

"A intermittent or a erratic trim sender is not a warrantable component.

A trim sender that has failed is a warrantable component."

Assuming it is in the warranty period, why wouldn't an intermittent or erratic sender not be be covered?  It's not working properly.   

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Cone clutches are put to task on a momentary basis. When in neutral, enough face clearance should exist between the elements to prevent any and all wear. When transitioned, they will slip for an instant until fully engaged, and then are locked into a 1 to 1 ratio and experience zero slippage. If the neutral adjustment is not clean, they will drag slightly in neutral, but that condition would be apparent as the prop would rotate, even slightly, in neutral. The wear would be either on the forward or reverse clutch face, but not both. Mercriuser HP lube is formulated with a friction modifier which helps the clutch to lock up properly when engaged. Use of an automotive type gear lubricant in a cone clutch drive will lead to failure. Lastly, if the stack clearance was not set properly upon initial assembly, then preload could be inadequate relative to clutch face load when engaged. The thing in your case that makes no sense at all is the fact that now they are saying the sister drive is suffering the same fate. Did a servicing dealer substitute a non-OEM lubricant, or did they test run the drives forgetting to re-fill them first? The cones are in the very top section of the drive, and improper re-fill would leave them high and dry upon initial refill. It can be hard to burp the air out of a Bravo, especially if the drive is not refilled in the full trim down position. I'm having trouble understanding why Merc is not stepping up as those clutch systems are pretty bullet proof.  In any event they need to step up as I have Bravo owners here with over 1,500 hours on heavy cruisers and big block engines experiencing zero drive issues.  W

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1 hour ago, SG Boater said:

I'm a little confused on this example:  

"A intermittent or a erratic trim sender is not a warrantable component.

A trim sender that has failed is a warrantable component."

Assuming it is in the warranty period, why wouldn't an intermittent or erratic sender not be be covered?  It's not working properly.   

Agreed.  The distinction between intermittent trim sender or "a failing component" and a failed trim sender or "a failed component" is somewhat suspect.  One has already failed and the other is in the process of failing.

And failing within the warranty period should also be taken into consideration.  The only way there could be a distinction is if they failed due to "improper use."  If the OP was using the clutch incorrectly and caused it to fail, then they might have a case.  The problem is, how do you incorrectly use a digital throttle to the point where you "wear out" a cone clutch?  By sticking it into forward and then abruptly into reverse?  I don't think so.  The digital process makes the transition from forward to reverse and vice-versa automatically and smoothly even if you don't pause yourself in neutral.  A standard old cable throttle I can see this happening, but not with a DTCS.

The other reason would be improper maintenance which doesn't sound like that was the case either.  Seems like all oil change procedures were followed.  Unless the wrong lube was used?  And the fact that when it was diagnosed, the other cone clutch was on its way, leans more towards something being defective and not a wear issue.

I would check the wording on the warranty again and see if it really applies to your case.

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The digital clutch control IS NOT shifting SOLIDLY ? completely.  If it was ?   It would not have failed.  Excessive false & or repeated clutch engagements causes the cone  parts to wear out rapidly. a new clutch will fail in another 250 hours.  A clutch that is constantly being DIGITALLY SLIPPED LIGHTLY will die a quiet slow death.

I have seen that in large industrial electric clutches & BRAKES on motors up to 350 hp. The only give away is a slightly elevated oil temperature.  Checked by a white line on the 2 halves of dry  clutch parts. We installed 2 revolution counters. A noticeable count difference tipped us off to a slipping clutch / brake.

Buried in oil down there ?  Good luck proving fales / defective/ intermittent electrical signals to the clutch.  monitoring the signals to the clutch & recording weak signals is the only possibility.

In a car it is called riding / slipping the clutch too often / long.

Fat chance a company will buy what I have seen in 40 years of redesigning equipment.

Doubt the computer would catch & record all the weak signals.

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When was the outdrive oil changed from 2015 forward, hours at each change and what exact lubricant was used?

Any chance you can post pictures of the parts? They’d help us all a lot.

Surprised to hear the port side is failing/failed too. This points to something done the same to both outdrives. No way two fail at 250 hours. Are the serial numbers sequential? Could be maintenance, operation or improper assembly (if sequential serial numbers perhaps back to back assembly with same assembler).

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Thank you very much.  With the clunking/banging I’m feeling and hearing when I go into gear, I can tell it is a new issue that wasn’t ever present prior to the cone service. With the DTS, should there be a clink or bang?  I’ve only driven boat once since serviced (back to my marina).  

Im thinkinging it should be smooth and quiet but looking for confirmation pls 

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I checked records...Quick silver high performance gear lube was used for all the maintenance.  I personally never noticed an issue with the port side...the technician said he felt it and confirmed the part was slightly worn.  

The dealer has the parts...I’ll be trying to meet them today and see the parts, take pics, etc...and focus on root cause.  Part of issue is being down in Florida the technicians don’t seem to have much experience with I/Os.  None of my conversations indicate they looked at root cause...

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Cone service replaced the old worn out units ? New units are banging ?   Uesd parts ?  NO OIL .  WRONG DIRTY OIL.

 

Wrong marina ?  Idiot servicing.  Have the drive company set a tech out to find out the banging reason.

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  No real I O  training ?   The problems are explained. But what will new part do ?  250 hours again ?

 

Sad

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Wing nut & Shepherd could tell you  if these cone clutches could be dying from NONE cone clutch oil being used. Oil used in DOG CLUTCHES.

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