Originally Posted by JimN
Have you checked to see if the strut wobbles? If it doesn't, with the keys in your pocket, sit on the ground or a blanket, facing the prop. Grab the prop (wear gloves to avoid cutting your hands) and rotate the prop quickly. It should move smoothly with no additional sounds.
I tested this at the end of last season. At the time I thought believed the cause had to do with the shaft, bearing, alignment, strut, loose prop etc... but I never could rule out the damper plate as a culprit.
I do regret not replacing the shaft packing while I had the floor up and all.
I still wonder if the timing is off and that putting the transmission in gear is just enough resistance on the crank shaft to miss a spark here and there. I don't have a timing light and have never used one. But, lack of experience hasn't held me back before. I figure I'm at least as smart as the guys in the shop, if they learned how so can I...as long as I have time. Plus, my wife started saying she wants to hurry up and get on the water twice a week!