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View Full Version : Impellar on I/O boat?


Ski-me
04-23-2010, 01:36 PM
We just picked up my mom's boat in Idaho and dropped it in the water. Besides the fact that I was surprised that they (Bass fishing boat dealer) "Did NOT" change the oil at winterization, they did point out that her boat may need a new impellar. This was discovered after I had to pry hard to find out the service history they had done. They said that they use to change the oil for everyone at winterization but they had a few bad apples refuse to pay because they didn't specifically ask so they dropped it unless specifically asked.....:rolleyes:

Man, you would think they would try and "upsale" this recommended service. They could bring in a lot of money if they would just ask. :confused:

Anyways, after learning no oil change, I asked about any other type of maintenance such as lower unit, tune up, etc. To their knowledge, nothing had been done in several years. I then recalled that some repair work was done at another dealer the year before so I called to find out their history. Thankfully, they were more on top of it (Nautique Dealer) and listed an oil change, lower unit change and trim adjustment 1.5 years ago. At least I had a starting point. They did point out that the impellars were expensive to replace on the Mercruiser engine ($150).

So, with a price like that, I'm thinking I can do the change for my mom but I can't seem to find any literature on where it is or how to change it.

The boat is a 1997 SeaRay 185 with a 4.3L Mercruiser Alpha 1, Gen+ (190 hp)

thanks for any help!

kawagaskier
04-23-2010, 01:50 PM
I researched this for a co-worker a year or so back... The impellar is in the lower unit on these. To get at it / replace you have to remove the lower unit. I have a PDF of the manual if you need a copy. Send me a PM with your email address and I can email it to you.

piper_chuck
04-23-2010, 01:58 PM
I've changed impellers on Mercruisers in the past. As has already been said, it does require getting inside the lower unit. Took a bit of time, but nothing terribly difficult if you're reasonably mechanically inclined. As I recall, there are a few other maintenance items that should also be done while you've got the lower unit off. I don't recall needing any special tools, but it's been a few years.

I'm really surprised a dealer would choose to not change the oil as part of winterization. Was nobody at the dealer on the ball enough to write out a winterization form listing all the work they do and having the customer sign off on it so they couldn't deny knowing about it later?

thatsmrmastercraft
04-23-2010, 02:04 PM
From the short time that I owned a Mercruiser I/O, I learned that the single most important tool is the hinge pin tool. Cost me less than $20, and is completely necessary. If you are removing the outdrive, use a small engine hoist. It will save your back. Good luck.

Ski-me
04-23-2010, 02:23 PM
I've changed impellers on Mercruisers in the past. As has already been said, it does require getting inside the lower unit. Took a bit of time, but nothing terribly difficult if you're reasonably mechanically inclined. As I recall, there are a few other maintenance items that should also be done while you've got the lower unit off. I don't recall needing any special tools, but it's been a few years.

I'm really surprised a dealer would choose to not change the oil as part of winterization. Was nobody at the dealer on the ball enough to write out a winterization form listing all the work they do and having the customer sign off on it so they couldn't deny knowing about it later?

Yea, I thought that was crazy. Just think how much potential income for their service department. :confused: There were pontoon boats and fishing boats everywhere though. Maybe they don't need to service those type of boats as often.....
:rolleyes:
Anyways, appreciate the help. I just didn't know where to look. When I go back up there in July, I will pull the boat out of the water and do an impellar change as well as try and clean the outside hull. It has been severely water stained after sitting in the water every summer for the past 13 years.

willgeorge
04-23-2010, 07:09 PM
there is a number of links if you search google for changing an impeller on an alpha 1. try looking at the link below and you'll get the idea. its really easy, I've done it a number of times on my old boat. this link is for a 2000 but same concept on the 1997. just get an impeller kit from the dealer its usually not too expensive. comes with impeller, gaskets, o-rings ect.

http://schumacher.sdsmt.edu/crownlinemods/tutorials/Bryan_Schumacher/ImpellerChanging/impeller_changing.htm

Ski-me
04-23-2010, 09:18 PM
That's great, thanks. I guess you are a better google searcher than I am....I just couldn't find anything on it. But I guess I was looking for manuals rather than step by step instructions.

Also, Kawagaskier....that was great and I do appreciate. I think I'm armed with the info I need now.

JimN
04-23-2010, 09:44 PM
We just picked up my mom's boat in Idaho and dropped it in the water. Besides the fact that I was surprised that they (Bass fishing boat dealer) "Did NOT" change the oil at winterization, they did point out that her boat may need a new impellar. This was discovered after I had to pry hard to find out the service history they had done. They said that they use to change the oil for everyone at winterization but they had a few bad apples refuse to pay because they didn't specifically ask so they dropped it unless specifically asked.....:rolleyes:

Man, you would think they would try and "upsale" this recommended service. They could bring in a lot of money if they would just ask. :confused:

Anyways, after learning no oil change, I asked about any other type of maintenance such as lower unit, tune up, etc. To their knowledge, nothing had been done in several years. I then recalled that some repair work was done at another dealer the year before so I called to find out their history. Thankfully, they were more on top of it (Nautique Dealer) and listed an oil change, lower unit change and trim adjustment 1.5 years ago. At least I had a starting point. They did point out that the impellars were expensive to replace on the Mercruiser engine ($150).

So, with a price like that, I'm thinking I can do the change for my mom but I can't seem to find any literature on where it is or how to change it.

The boat is a 1997 SeaRay 185 with a 4.3L Mercruiser Alpha 1, Gen+ (190 hp)

thanks for any help!

Here we go again, with people thinking the dealers are screwing customers. Clearly, some are but for $150, doing this particular job correctly isn't that bad. Parts will be extra, as they should be.

There are two types of Mercruiser raw water pumps- one has a metal cover and housing and the other is plastic. If the impeller has gone bad and it was run for any length of time, the whole pump assembly needs to be replaced- upper, lower, seals, gaskets and impeller. Then, the gear oil (drained properly, not just by removing the lower plug), O-ring at the upper/lower mating surface and on both drain plugs. At this point, the water tube needs to be inspected and if it melted at all, that needs to be replaced, too. It's never a good idea to remove & reinstall a lower gear case without replacing the drive shaft O-ring(s), so this should be done, too. This all needs the right lubricants and parts, or it will fail again. After all of this, the gearcase needs to be tested to find out if it holds pressure and vacuum. If the pressure drops in the tester, it needs to be checked out further, or water will get into the drive and cause all kinds of failure. If the bearing carrier has fishing line wrapped around the shaft, the seal(s) need to be replaced and this requires a bunch of special tools. I would NOT advise trying to remove the bearing carrier, shaft, pinion gear and all of this stuff without the proper tools.

This boat was abused. No offense, but a boat owner needs to find out what service is required- if the dealer won't tell them, they need to find out on their own. Otherwise, they have no one to blame for problems but themselves. This dealer is a turd. If they have problems collecting for what they do, they clearly aren't letting people know what will be done in advance and for that, they deserve to go out of business. Sooner, rather than later.

If you want to do this yourself, get the correct manual- I don't mean a generic Clymer manual, I mean the kind with all of the most current Mercruiser info. They have a long history of adding things to their parts and service manuals and they add an A and some numbers at the end to denote this. If you see a part number with A23 at the end, it means they have had problems with that part (the A23 is for the voltage regulator on the goofy stator charging system used on the old 470 motor).

Do it right, do it once and nobody will be stranded. Or, worse.

Ski-me
04-23-2010, 10:15 PM
Jim, thanks for the tips and all good stuff.

No doubt the boat has been neglected terribly and no offense taken. I don't live in my mom's state so all I can do is help when I go there. She is at the mercy of the boat dealers so it is a tough situation. She does not know anything about the boat and expects the dealer to give advice when needed.

I don't think I said $150 was out of line or the dealer was screwing us over.....I was just wondering if it was mainly a lot of labor that a basic person could perform or if it was much more in depth. Your comments have shed a little more light on the necessary items that need to be reviewed and taken into consideration.

I think based on the two dealers involved, the Nautique dealer is doing the right things and I am going to suggest that she use them instead of the fishing boat dealer.

Thanks.

JimN
04-24-2010, 01:21 AM
Jim, thanks for the tips and all good stuff.

No doubt the boat has been neglected terribly and no offense taken. I don't live in my mom's state so all I can do is help when I go there. She is at the mercy of the boat dealers so it is a tough situation. She does not know anything about the boat and expects the dealer to give advice when needed.

I don't think I said $150 was out of line or the dealer was screwing us over.....I was just wondering if it was mainly a lot of labor that a basic person could perform or if it was much more in depth. Your comments have shed a little more light on the necessary items that need to be reviewed and taken into consideration.

I think based on the two dealers involved, the Nautique dealer is doing the right things and I am going to suggest that she use them instead of the fishing boat dealer.

Thanks.

Working on stern drives isn't exactly a walk in the park, especially when the whole out drive needs to come out. It's really rough when it's a Bravo drive and the jack is sized for the Alpha.

You didn't make the comments I was reacting to but I wanted to kill two birds with one post. I definitely prefer working on inboards to anything with a stern drive, partly because of all of the necessary specialty tools. The lower gear case on the 150+HP Mercs is almost identical to the Alpha One (an unusually smart move, for Mercruiser) but if the dealer she had been going to is used to outboards and not stern drives, I'd give them about .1% of a pass on it. They sound like the typical out of the way dealer, who's the best choice because they're the only choice. It's unfortunate, really.

Ski-me
04-24-2010, 09:41 AM
Unfortunately, she is looking for convenience and who has the best storage price. The two dealers are only about 1 mile apart from each other but the outboard dealer goes to her house, picks up the boat and then brings it to their shop. I honestly think this is how she made the choice.

I'd feel much more comfortable bringing it into the Nautique dealer. They were the ones quoting $150 and also said the Merc is harder to get to than the Volvo......that's why it was more expensive. Overall, much better dealer. MC dealer is in Spokane (40 miles away) so she is not going to go there.

I don't know a ton about stern drives and the different types but I do know my dad spent a lot of money, several times, on our old OMC unit on the 79' Cobalt. That unit, for some reason, was in the shop quite a bit!

Although I would love to sell her boat and get a MC, I am terribly concerned it would live a similar life and not be taken care of.

JimN
04-24-2010, 10:55 AM
Unfortunately, she is looking for convenience and who has the best storage price. The two dealers are only about 1 mile apart from each other but the outboard dealer goes to her house, picks up the boat and then brings it to their shop. I honestly think this is how she made the choice.

I'd feel much more comfortable bringing it into the Nautique dealer. They were the ones quoting $150 and also said the Merc is harder to get to than the Volvo......that's why it was more expensive. Overall, much better dealer. MC dealer is in Spokane (40 miles away) so she is not going to go there.

I don't know a ton about stern drives and the different types but I do know my dad spent a lot of money, several times, on our old OMC unit on the 79' Cobalt. That unit, for some reason, was in the shop quite a bit!

Although I would love to sell her boat and get a MC, I am terribly concerned it would live a similar life and not be taken care of.

The Merc gear cases need to be separated to get to the impeller- on a lot of Volvo-Penta, you remove one or two bolts and remove a plastic cover just below the top of the upper case.

The vast majority of out drives that I saw with water in the oil had been neglected or had fishing line wrapped around the prop shaft. The others had hit something and either bent the prop shaft or damaged the cone at the front. The prop shaft doesn't need to be bent much before the seals go bad in the bearing carrier so, if the prop hits something hard on one of these, the best thing is to check it to make sure it's not bent immediately. It's one of the easier repairs, too.