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 Outdrive swivel pin replacement
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Author Previous Topic: Vacuflush switch failure Topic Next Topic: Heavy Boat.>>Water in Hull?  

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - Mar 19 2008 :  22:33:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am bordering on financial suicide when confronted by a worn out Mercruiser steering swivel pin. To get the thing out requires an engine removal and $$$ replacement parts as well as labor. While kicking tires at the Miami Boat Show I learned of a company, JR Marine, which offers a stainless replacement as well as a "nifty" (if slicing up your outdrive is "nifty") way of getting to it by cutting out an access hole to obtain access to the nut and pin. The gimbal ring can then be repaired and a new pin and bushing installed without pulling the engine. Has anyone had any experience with this company and fix? I can pull the engine but don't relish the thought. Is the stainless pin any improvement over the mild steel Mercruiser replacement?

Homeport: North Palm Beach

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - Mar 20 2008 :  00:51:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The SS upper swivel pin can be bought at boatfix and cutting access holes to get at the upper nut is a well enuff known procedure.The pin can rust but most likely the gimbal ring is what egged out. There are places that can repair them but there are also used ones out there too.

Info gives you ammunition when you talk to mechanics.





Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

Riverratt

RO# 12842

Posted - Mar 20 2008 :  08:14:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Common problem with Bravo outdrives. Mercruiser has a kit for cutting the access holes. Works fine.


Homeport: St Charles, Missouri Go to Top of Page

zane

RO# 19940

Posted - Mar 20 2008 :  08:19:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i used the JR fix last year on my bravo one. i thought it worked great. its one neat rectangular hole that gets cut in the gimble.comes with a template so you cant mess up the cut. you get all the hardware in the kit to close it up as well. merc used to recommend cutting a hole on each side of the gimble to do the repair, but you were still blind. you couldnt see what you were actually doing. with this kit you can see all the nuts , the pin etc etc. i called the guy while doing the repair and he was great. talked me through the rough spots. this company does refurbish your gimble ring as well. i also bought specialty wrenches from them, that they will buy back once your done with the repair!


Homeport: long island, n.y. Go to Top of Page

SCORPIO

RO# 4810



Posted - Mar 20 2008 :  14:46:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is this only a Bravo issue or is this info pertinent to Alphas also?

Chris USPS AP

Homeport: Lewes, Delaware Go to Top of Page

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - Mar 20 2008 :  16:54:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All of 'em...'cept the splined gimbal/pin.




Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - Mar 20 2008 :  18:20:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey thanks guys! You are giving more confidence in attacking the problem. Glad to know that BoatFix can supply the pin. Outstanding website!


Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

Riverfever30

RO# 24438

Posted - May 03 2008 :  04:38:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dollelliot

Did you get your problem fixed? I am facing the same issue. I have alphas and need advice.

Ray



Homeport: Fla. and Clayton, NY Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 06 2008 :  22:37:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Ray: Engines in or out, it may be the same problems. The upper swivel pin must be driven out from below, the lower swivel pin still must have the cotter pin removed. The bellows still gotta be removed. Same thing, engine or no engine. WGE

raymond smith <rayandjoyce1rb2rb2@gr5tgr5tverizon.net> wrote: Wow!!! The more I study this the more I'm convinced to pull the engines to do this project.

Ray

Dr Wayne G Elliott <welliottrb2rb2@gr5tgr5tsbcglobal.net> wrote:
And I ain't finished! Todays news follows. With a chisel and a lot of hammering I managed to get the nut on top of the upper swivel pin to turn. It turns freely but now jams into the outdrive housing above it. I then turned my attention to the lower swivel pin. Following the directions I commenced to remove the cotter pin. How they managed to insert a three inch cotter pin into a swivel pin with only one inch of clearance on each side I do not clearly understand. The cotter pin was corroded and refused to budge. I pried, I poked, and I cried. It refused to slide out - corrosion held it tightly. In desperation I drilled a three sixteenth hole in the side of the gimble ring, inserted a small drift and managed to push the pin out. Bravo! Then I took another stouter drift and drove the lower swivel pin out. By this time I was frustrated, exhausted and the temps and humidity were climbing. Tomorrow's event will include: removing the universal joint bellows - the hose clamps are in some incredible position requires a very skinny screw driver or a univeral joint 5/16th socket and tiny fingers to loosen the clamp. Then, having access the the threaded hole on the undersurface to the swivel pin - which may either be a 3/8th or 7/16th - mine is 7/16th - I will retap the threaded hole. The threads are hopefully salvagable, having been immersed in several years of salt water. I will then either insert a slide hammer or a 7/16 bolt with a flat steel slat and try to bang the upper swivel pin downward with enough force to remove it. It looks rather corroded at this point and I am not too encouraged..
Why Mercruiser inflicted this mechanical, unfixable nightmare on the consumer is beyond me. An accredited mechanic would face the same problems. At any of a dozen points these problems could be easily avoidable. When (and if) I ever get this bunch of crap reassembled it will be with copious amount of Never-Seize and stainless bolts, nuts and easily approachable access holes.
I hope I have described this adequately. You may paste this into the web site. WGE

raymond smith <rayandjoyce1rb2rb2@gr5tgr5tverizon.net> wrote:
Thanks for the info. Best of luck with the rest of the job..

Ray

Dr Wayne G Elliott <welliottrb2rb2@gr5tgr5tsbcglobal.net> wrote:
Ray: I am in the midst of the repair as I write. I opened up the back of the gimble ring without too much problem. Getting the holes exactly in the center of each of the four tapped holes to mount the cover plate has been a bit of a problem. They must be exactly in the center of the cover plate holes to fit correctly. Rather than use the paper "jig" to find the hole centers it would be better to use the plate itself to align the holes.
When I got access to the swivel pin I had to remove firstly the bolt that holds the steering arm to the swivel pin. It took copious amounts of break-free fluid and a breaker bar to turn a socket. The nut happened to be an 11/16th and the bolt head was a 5/8th. Go figure. Anyway, after removing the nut it took a lot of turning with the socket to back out the bolt.
When I replace this nut and bolt be assured that they will be stainless with a self retaining nut! I am now trying to remove the nut at the end of the swivel pin. It is totally rusted to the pin and I am letting it soak over the weekend. My machinist guru says to rap it smartly with a drift - it may enlarge the nut somewhat and allow it to turn. Failing that I will chisel off the nut. Again, any thing that goes back on the stainless pin will be a stainless nut with Lock-tite.
I haven't even approached the lower pin but it looks like a piece of cake.
Is this any help? Wayne Elliott

RayandJoyce1rb2rb2@gr5tgr5tverizon.net wrote:
Hello dollelliott

You received the following message from: Riverfever30 (RayandJoyce1rb2rb2@gr5tgr5tverizon.net)

At: http://www.boatered.com/forum/

How did you make out with your swivel pin replacement? I have the same problem and have aplhas. Any help will be appreciated.

Ray






Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 06 2008 :  22:40:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And, Ray, this may be more than you really wanted to know about this procedure.
Today I was successful in removing the swivel pin and the gimbal ring. What I did was the following: I retaped the 7/16th threaded hole in the bottom surface of the pin. I cleaned it out well since it was corroded by the salt water. I then bored a hole in a flat slender piece of steel, inserted a 7/16 bolt through the hole and threaded it into the retaped hole in the swivel pin.. This way I had something on which to pound out the pin. It took lots of heavy pounding with a large hammer and copious amounts of "break away" fluid but I finally was able to extract it. No heat (too much gas and rubber around) The gimbal ring could not be pulled through the bell housing necessitating the removal of the shift wire from the engine and pullling it all the way out of the transom plate. Whew! Done deal. Now to send it off for remachining.
I think that any Mercruiser mechanic will be faced with the same problem even if he removes the engines. I do, however, plan to have it reassembled by a qualified mechanic as soon as the parts are returned. Then again, if I have the time I may give it at least a partial try. WGE

Dr Wayne G Elliott <welliottrb2rb2@gr5tgr5tsbcglobal.net> wrote:
Ray: Engines in or out, it may be the same problems. The upper swivel pin must be driven out from below, the lower swivel pin still must have the cotter pin removed. The bellows still gotta be removed. Same thing, engine or no engine. WGE




Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - May 07 2008 :  01:15:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Phew!!! After reading all that I am completely confused.

Some simple things. The lower swivel pin can be knocked out. Even the aluminum pin will shear the SS cotter pin. The upper pin should have grease on it from the grease fitting. I didn't have any problem removing the upper pin from the gimbal ring or gimbal housing(outer transom plate) The hardest part was access to the 11/16" nuts holding the upper pin in place. There are two pinch bolts holding the swivel pin to the gimbal ring. It's not a tight fit. If it was worn to the point that it needed replacing, it should have almost fallen out. The pin is threaded in the bottom so you can attach a puller to it need be.





Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 08 2008 :  08:32:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I cut away the housing with the "RJ Marine" directions, yes, it was a pain to remove the nut holding the swivel pin in place. I had to bang on it with a chisel atempting to either split the nut or to get it to turn. It finally turned. It cannot be removed, however, until the swivel pin is pulled down with the puller. You must loosen the stainless "U" bolt that holds the pinch joint against the pin. I put new nuts on the ends of this U bolt and smacked them with a hammer to loosen the joint. What ever I did worked. The pinch joint holding the steering arm was nearly the same event. Tough but finally turned with a socket wrench and cheater bar.


Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - May 08 2008 :  08:52:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hah! Sounds like you got it alright. That upper grease fitting on the outside of the transom assembly should have kept grease in the top cavity and since the seal doesn't hold very well, the grease usually gets around the upper threaded portion of the pin. I took the pin out with the motor out and the upper nuts were still hard to get to. It took 3 open wrenches with slightly different angles to rotate the nuts out because of the limited room to turn the nut. I know how you felt.




Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 08 2008 :  15:56:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't recall seeing an upper grease fitting on my Bravo III. Maybe this would have lightened my job if it had been regularly greased. I don't have a clue how to do this job from the inside. All I know is that I have a stainless bolt, washer and self retaining nut to grip the steering arm and a stainless self retaining nut for the upper end of the swivel. My steering arm looks to be in good shape. I have inserted a stainless bolt with washer, rubber washer and never-seize into the threaded slide hammer hole in the bottom of the new stainless swivel to preclude any corrosion if and when there is a next time around.
Question: as routine maintenance, does one just tighten up the U bolt from time to time? Is there any other maintenance maneuvers to slow down this wear process?



Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

Bt Doctur

RO# 29694

Posted - May 08 2008 :  16:42:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If your that far, install a grease fitting.not hard to do.
Modified 6 so far. Always wondered why Mercruiser would choose to elininate that fitting.



Homeport: NJ Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 08 2008 :  19:33:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not up on this maneuver. Would you email or attach a diagram of where to install an Alemite? No sinner deserves what I have been going through. Also, let me know of any periodic maintenance tips.


Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - May 08 2008 :  19:51:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The pinch 'U' bolts are the only maintenance. If it gets loose, it just starts wearing out the gimbal ring.




Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 12 2008 :  15:44:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, folks I'd like to know where and how to install the "upper grease fitting on the outside of the transom assembly". I plan to put salt water Never Seize on the swivel pin both at its attachment to the steering arm and to the gimbal ring - and hope that I can still get a good tight grip on the thing. I have ordered a SS self retaining 11/16th nut that goes on the upper swivel pin and a SS bolt to attach the steering arm. Maybe the next time around - if ever- it will be smooth.


Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - May 12 2008 :  21:04:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There's a cavity above the steering arm connection where the top of the swivel pin goes. Theres a bushing and seal. Fill the cavity with grease before you tighten everything down.




Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

dollelliott

RO# 11160

Posted - May 12 2008 :  21:30:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks. Since I have opened up the back of the transom assembly I can pack some grease into it. I might remove the plate that now covers it on a yearly basis and reexamine and repack it. I'll then also retighten the bolt around the steering arm and the U bolt around the swivel pin. I hope that this will alleviate any future problems.


Homeport: North Palm Beach Go to Top of Page

CatsMeow

RO# 33692

Posted - Jul 14 2014 :  19:47:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Confronted with this problem on a salt-water Alpha, I used a sturdy ball joint puller to push the lower pin out, hoping to shear the remains of the cotter key on the way out, as mentioned above. Although this has worked for all-steel vehicle suspensions, it did not work here -- the pin drug through the fiber lower bushing and tore out a little bit of the aluminum casting. Both of these could have been dealt with (replace bush, live with small aluminum nibble) but I broke the lower yoke in the end, and replaced the casting with a much nicer one shipped over from Minnesota (land of fresh water lakes) Although costly, this actually solved a plethora of corroded-related damage for me. In hindsight, I would recommend the tip to drill access holes in the housing to drive the pin out first, then check not to use excessive force driving the pin out.

On a related note, I made short work of the super-corroded top pivot by using a torch to heat the rusty cross-bolt and top nut and the exposed end of the pivot pin (on the bench, lots of access). Fortunately, the last did not appear to ruin the ($400 OEM) pivot pin for reuse. Various pentrants and "easy-out"-type drivers barely work for me but heating to dull red works every time.



Homeport: WA Go to Top of Page

jtybt15

RO# 3300

Posted - Jul 15 2014 :  01:25:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As an addition to the problem of the cotter key in the lower pivot pin. Simply re-drill a new hole to hold the cotter key so there's a clear path in driving the cotter key out.

Originally, the lower swivel pins were steel. Then they went to aluminum. I'm not sure if merc ever put in a new hole to make removal of the cotter pin easier but I have sheared off the cotter pin even with the new aluminum swivel pin. Just be careful to line up the drift/punch carefully before you smack it with the sledge hammer. Don't wanna crack the gimbal ring or outer transom assembly.





Charlie

There is much to be said, in a world like ours, for taking the world as you find it and fishing with a worm.-Bliss Perry, 1904



Homeport: Ca Go to Top of Page

alien1952

RO# 32487

Posted - Jul 15 2014 :  22:43:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
steering arm leakage is due to the grease fitting that was removed by Mercruiser. It can be added at any time
without much trouble. Once you locate the center of the brass bearing,drill thru the housing slowly until you see brass chips ,and then stop.Change out the 1/16th bit and use the correct bit to drill the hole to tap for the grease fitting thread. tap and install grease fitting .
I have a broken GEN II housing I have to replace and will use that for photo installation of the grease fitting and dimentions. And the new housing will have the grease fitting installed too.



Edited by - alien1952 on Jul 15 2014 22:46:00

Homeport: nj Go to Top of Page
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