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Old 03-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #1
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Unhappy I fear a Gimbal Ring replacement...

During Winterization this last October the friend helping me with the process pointed out that there was a lot of "play" in my single outdrive (without the steering wheel moving). I've noticed it before but for some reason didn't think much of it---assumed the marina I was having it winterized @ would take care of it with the semi-annual out-drive "pulls" they recommended. It's able to be moved back and forth while on the trailer about 10 inches or so. After talking to many boat shops & marinas this past few months, I fear an expensive repair on the horizon this Spring. I'm told the two bolts at the top of the Gimbal Ring need to be torqued down (50 lbs evidently) first, and if that doesn't solve it... it means the ENTIRE Gimbal RING has to be replaced. Best price I could find for that massive thing is about $750 on eBay (stainless steel models are available for $895 from Hill Marine in California). Initially I didn't know what the heck a Gimbal Ring was, then finally saw a picture of it and it's the entire, oval-shaped "ring"---about 2 feet tall and a foot WIDE!! Then on top of the Gimbal ring... there's another few hundred bucks needing to be spent on the additional pieces such as the Gimbal Bearing, steering mechanisms and so on. Obviously I'm praying for the "torque-down" to work (next to nothing cost) but all the folks I've talked to tell me it's not likely to work, especially with that much "play" in the outdrive while Endless Summer is sitting on the trailer.

One of the issues I've had is getting ACCURATE information from the various boat shops/marinas I've talked to. One guy told me the entire ENGINE had to be removed to gain access for the process. Another gent said it's 20 hours labor... minimum. Then the most reasonable guy so far said it's probably 8 hours ($70/hour), maybe more if he ran into issues... but the PARTS total well over a thousand bucks. This was Brent @ H & S Marine in North Spokane... he said the engine doesn't need to be removed, instead they drill a frickin' HOLE in the transom to gain access to parts needing to be removed---I still don't understand the entire replacement concept. The hole is repaired of course, but it's part of the process.

Expenses like that in addition to storage and moorage could very well kill the season for us in this economy (especially with gas expecting to be over $5/gallon at marinas this year!) Does anyone have any experience in getting these Gimbal Rings replaced or sloppy play in the out-drive fixed? She's a 2001 model year Maxum 2900 SCR, single 6.2L with a Mercruiser Bravo III outdrive.

Appreciate any constructive input...
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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jeff...contact Jim Garrity at 425-885-2628 and tell him what you posted here...he will give you an honest quote and description for your drive....then you will have some info worth talking about.....if you can have ART do the work...that's even better ....they are here in auburn...so...not sure where our at....

but I've known these guys for over 10 yrs now and Art is the only one I'll let mess with my boat....

give Jim a call and tell him I sent you too him...

Steve Stephens
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:02 AM   #3
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Jim Garrity... that's the same guy I called about the thickness of the foredeck. He appeared knowledgeable and eager to help, and recognized your SeaPuppy "handle". I'm in the Spokane area, actually Steve... but I'll call him for sure.

Thanks, Jeff Means
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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Okay, so I can speak with recent experience. I opted to completely replace the entire Transom assembly as it was only about 500 dollars more than it would have cost to rebuild it properly. The breakdown of the actual costs are below. I have a single engine 5.7 with Bravo III and a gear ratio of 2.20. Oh, and have the engine removed to do the work. It is not a big deal as they are easily pulled, and you wont have the holes drilled into the boat so that they can access the parts needed to remove your gimble housing. I am in Seattle and had Seattle Boat do the work for me.
GIMBAL HOUSING R&R // PULL ENGINE AND INSTALL FACTORY NEW GIMBAL HSG ASSY.
-- Part # --------- Description --
66311002NZ TRANSOM ASSY. BRAVO MAGNUM 1.00 2592.08
92877770K1 ANTIFREEZE PRE-DILUTED @4 2.00 17.19 34.38
807166A1 SHUTTER KIT-WATER C 2.00 69.50 139.00
REMOVED ENGINE AND GIMBAL HOUSING. INSTALLED NEW GIMBAL HSG AND REINSTALLED THE
ENGINE
==============
Labor Total : 1,043.00
Parts Total : 2,765.46
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for ruining my day, rg 8962! Just kidding... what's a boat again?---a hole in the water in which you pour money!

Thanks for the detail...
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:24 PM   #6
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Hey Jeff,
I hear ya! If it makes you feel any better at all, during the time I was having this work done, it was also discovered that my bravo iii drive was, well, uhmmm, trashed. Long story short, everything aft on the engine is now new.

When sh** hits the fan it splatters everywhere! I just learned yesterday that my auto is in need of major engine work now. I think I am meant to own a horse, and a kayak. If it is mechanical, it isn't for me.

Best of luck to you. If you have any specific questions feel free to message me. I have learned a great deal about this whole process and would gladly share my thoughts. I scoured the internet for parts and saved myself quite a bit of money. Harbor Marine in Everett had a Bravo III that I purchased for a very happy price. They will be my go to for any future parts needed. I would call them and see if they have a new transom assembly. Also look online. I stayed away from ebay because for the most part there is no recourse if you buy a botched part. Not saying I dont like ebay, I have purchased everything from a car to a poster. But when it comes to buying something that I want a warranty or to be backed if something goes wrong, I would prefer to use a store or supplier.
Rich

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Originally Posted by jeffmeans View Post
Thanks for ruining my day, rg 8962! Just kidding... what's a boat again?---a hole in the water in which you pour money!

Thanks for the detail...
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:43 AM   #7
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SeaPuppy; you (& Jim Garrity) may have saved my season! I called Jim, he heard me out and suggested this was instead a STEERING issue... requiring much less-expensive parts and a lot less labor I hope. Jim said the Gimbal Ring is pretty beefy and normally doesn't fail unless the outdrive has been whacked pretty hard (mine hasn't---EVER). Based on the description of the "loose" outdrive and no coresponding noise---grinding, etc...---while underway, suggested to him this is instead a steering mechanism problem. Of course he wasn't sure, and then started pricing out what he thought the parts would be to get this done. He emailed me some blow-up shots of the rear transom assembly on the Bravo III, with his annotations on it, too.

If he's correct, I promised him a small "finder's fee" for his knowledge, to which he said it wasn't necessary, this is what he does, etc... Sorry, SeaPuppy... you just get my gratitude!---just kidding, we'll see though.

R Greenwell?---tell me; when you had YOUR Gimbal Ring issue, was there a grinding noise you heard when at low idle/throttle? I'm told that's a dead-giveaway if the Gimbal Ring/Bearing is going out. Thankfully Endless Summer is quiet as can be, the only thing indicating I've got a (possible) problem with the Gimbal Ring/Bearing is the "loose" outdrive I've described while she sits on her trailer, engine off. The more I think about this, it sounds like Jim Garrity is correct; that it's a STEERING issue, because the steering wheel doesn't move AT ALL when you slop the outdrive back and forth while she's on the trailer. And I've already saved about HALF of what the Merc Dealers prices are by looking online... good idea.

Needless to say I'm hopeful on this one, but maybe I'm just too optimistic and am setting myself up for a costly let-down when she comes out of storage.

Sorry to be taking up so much time/space on this forum, gents... call me if it's more convenient; 509-991-4500, thanks!
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:50 AM   #8
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Jeff
Don't worry bout taking time or bits here....this place is here to help people talk about thier boats..help each other when they need it ...and to enjoy thier maxum boats.....so..personally I am glad to have helped out....Jim is great (don't tell him I said that..he'll get a big head )......just kidding....

anyway...I'm hopeful that this is the problem and you can get it fixed cheaply (relatively speaking) and quickly so you can enjoy the coming spring/summer on your maxum........

by the way...ordering pizza for Jim and company is a cheap thank you if he's right....

in the meantime....keep us informed when the work starts...

B=Break
O=Out
A=Another
T=Thousand

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I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

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Tap-Rack-Bang

Anyone that sez "Size doesn't matter" has never owned a boat!
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:52 AM   #9
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Good idea on the pizza lunch suggestion. I'll keep you posted come April when I know... thanks again!
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:43 AM   #10
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Jeff,

Well, mine is a long story. It all started our as a routine drive maintenance. But to answer your questions, when I would go into a hard turn it growled like mad. There were several other issues as well. Glad yours is turning out to be a less expensive fix! Best of luck to you!
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