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Old 07-28-2019, 05:23 PM   #1
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Default Sterndrive Coming Off

I'm taking my drive off to replace the lower shift cable. While I've got it off I'll grease the u-joint and drive splines, is there any other maintenance I should do while I'm in there? Is it easier to replace the exhaust bellows with the drive off? Let me know any techniques you have to make this job easier.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:24 PM   #2
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Check the engine alignment.
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:03 PM   #3
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Yup check/adjust engine alignment.

Inspect all bellows, gimbal bearing and water hose.

Lube shift mechanism.

Yes itís much easier to replace the exhaust bellows with the drive removed especially if the have the bellows tool.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:23 PM   #4
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1) Replace ALL the O-rings on the drive.

2) grease splines before reinstallation (Mercruiser 2-4-c is excellent)

3) I'd replace bellows unless they were done in the last 2 years.

When was the last time your gimbal bearing was replaced? If the answer is "I don't know" or "Never" I'd replace it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice everyone. The shift cable replacement has turned into a much bigger project, but definitely necessary. Regarding the replacement of the lower shift cable, can you give me a recommendation on what to run up through the old cable jacket to use as a guide for the new jacket? The videos show using a wire. Would it be bad plan to use the old cable? Also, is there any trick to getting the shift slide seated properly when re-installing the drive? Your techniques for shift cable install and bellows replacement are most welcome.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:37 AM   #6
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From what I remember the low cables needs to be inserted from the outside in as the threaded portion that goes into the bellhousing is to big to fit through the hole. Tie a thick string to the old cable then use it to pull the new one. Are you replace the shift bellows?
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input Mike. Yes, I am replacing the shift bellows, it comes with the kit. I think I will try weedeater trimmer cord to fish through the old cable jacket. I'm taking the drive off this afternoon and will assess what needs to be done. I'll put the shift cable in today if its delivered on schedule. I plan to replace all of the bellows, it should be easier with the drive off.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrsick View Post
Thanks for the input Mike. Yes, I am replacing the shift bellows, it comes with the kit. I think I will try weedeater trimmer cord to fish through the old cable jacket. I'm taking the drive off this afternoon and will assess what needs to be done. I'll put the shift cable in today if its delivered on schedule. I plan to replace all of the bellows, it should be easier with the drive off.
Since you are doing all the bellows this is a good time to replace the trim limit and trim position senders, their about $120 for the set.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:21 PM   #9
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Apologies jrsick. I did mine with my mechanic. WE did it from the outside in, as mike described. My mechanic was great at building specialized tools to make things easier. I recall him using a special tool to make fishing the new cable easy, but I just don't recall what it was. I think it was an old cable he had cut to length for the job.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:04 PM   #10
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Closing out this post. I finally got around to finishing this maintenance this weekend.
Some points and lessons learned:
- .065 trimmer cord makes excellent fish wire for the lower shift cable. Tie engine end off on the alternator bracket. Run the transom end through the bellows and shift cable jacket and tie it off. I used a fence post.
- Stretching the bellows before install makes it easier. New exhaust bellows was 6.5 inches long out of box. At full down trim the bellows on the drive was 7.5 inches. I put caps from spray paint cans in each end of the new bellows. Drilled a hole in the top of the caps and attached a cord. Hung one end on a nail and tied a couple of wrenches to the other end. I was able to install the bellows with a 1x1 stick with a fender washer attached at the end. For comparison, the old bellows I took off had stretched to 9.5 inches.
- Held water passage o-ring in place with RTV. Grease or bellows adhesive didn't seem secure enough.
- For re-installing drive, tie the rams just slightly above level to keep them out of the way. Raise or lower the trailer tongue jack to get the u-joint tunnel about 1/4 inch higher than the u-joint housing on the sterndrive. Drive slid right in and I barely had to lift it.
The most time consuming part for me was getting the new shift cable jacket through the new shift bellows. That was a tight fit.
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