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Old 07-16-2014, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Newbie 1999 Maxum 1800 SR 3.0l Alpha I Gen II questions

Hello all,
My name is Brian and a newbie boat owner from Nebraska. I recently purchased a 1999 Maxum 1800 SR, with the 3.0L Mercruiser, Alpha I Gen II. The previous owner used the boat for three seasons, and recently upgraded to a bigger boat. While looking at the boat, I got to test drive it on the water and everything seemed great, and the owner was upfront with any repairs/maintenance he had done since owning the boat. We bought the boat and took a 3 day weekend to get out on the water and get our sea legs.
The first and second day we spent about 4-5 hours on the water, mostly cruising along, and stopping in different spots to throw out the anchor and swim. The last day was the same as the first two, besides the water started to get rough and we decided to head to the dock and come home. I was heading to the dock at about 15mph, and the motor stalled. I started it back up and it ran for a few minutes before stalling again. Now when I went to turn the key, it would click and crank the wheel all the way to one side. I brought prop out of the water to make sure nothing had wrapped around it, and then lowered it back in the water. I tried the key again, with the same result. We ended up getting towed back to the dock, and after I got it on the trailer, I tried the key again, with the same result.
I pulled the boat back to my parents, and checked the lower unit oil. The oil was about two inches down from the vent hole. I then pulled the drain plug, and noticed a lot of metal shards on the magnet. I called the only boat place in town, and they said it could have sheared a gear off in the top unit? Or the bottom unit went out? They wouldn't be sure until they looked at it. Understandable, but the first time they have available is 3 weeks away. I found this forum while searching for possible answers to my problems, and thought this would be a good place to start.
Thanks in advance,
Brian
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:02 AM   #2
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Brian welcome aboard.

What do you mean by it would click and crank the wheel all the way to one side? What do you mean by wheel?

If you have metal in the gear lube something if toast. Being that the lube was low the upper gears were not getting proper lubricant. The metal will get into the other gears and bearings and the result is yo rebuild or replace the out drive. You can buy and replaced the unit yourself if you know how to turn a few bolts.

If the lube was low it may have been due to bad seals which can also let water into the drive making things worse.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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Brian,
What size are the metal shards on the magnet? Flakes are normal. I change my gear oil every year and the drain plug always has fuzz on it. Was there any metal in the oil that you drained from the lower unit? Also, how do you know that the lower unit oil level was 2 inches below the vent hole. You should have a gear oil reservoir bottle located on the engine. Was it empty?
I'm trying to make the connection between gear lube oil problems and a stalling engine. You may not have a gear lube problem though, depending on what you define as a "metal shard".
I'm also interested in how you answer Mike's question. Sometimes the clicking can be a weak battery or bad starter/starter solenoid. I'm not clear on what "crank the wheel" means. Some pictures would help if you are able to post them.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:46 PM   #4
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Brian,
Step one: Remove the outdrive and see if the motor spins freely and if the leg is locked up. That will point you in the direction to determine what needs to be looked at.

-JP
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
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What do you mean by it would click and crank the wheel all the way to one side? What do you mean by wheel?
mmwjr-
Thank you for your reply. When I would turn the key to start, the engine would not turn over, but hard click, and rock to one side, and the steering wheel would turn, and the out drive would swing over to the side. Much like when you turn the steering wheel when everything is operating normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwjr View Post
If you have metal in the gear lube something if toast. Being that the lube was low the upper gears were not getting proper lubricant. The metal will get into the other gears and bearings and the result is yo rebuild or replace the out drive. You can buy and replaced the unit yourself if you know how to turn a few bolts.

If the lube was low it may have been due to bad seals which can also let water into the drive making things worse.
I consider myself pretty mechanically inclined, and work on cars, motorcycles, atvs, etc..., but boats are pretty foreign to me.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:09 PM   #6
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Brian,
What size are the metal shards on the magnet? Flakes are normal. I change my gear oil every year and the drain plug always has fuzz on it. Was there any metal in the oil that you drained from the lower unit? Also, how do you know that the lower unit oil level was 2 inches below the vent hole. You should have a gear oil reservoir bottle located on the engine. Was it empty?
jrsick-
I will attempt to attach a picture of the shards I wiped off of the magnet. I did not drain all of the oil from the lower unit, so I am not sure how much or if any metal was in the oil. I pulled the plug, and then blocked it so the rest did not all drain out.

Yes, it does have a gear oil reservoir bottle located on the engine, and before we took the boat out I was pretty sure the level was fine, but I honestly can't remember. The previous owner said he had just topped it off, so I wasn't to worried. (Guess I should have been)
As far as the oil being two inches below the vent hole, I just poked a wire in the vent hole to see if there was any fluid. I had to push the wire in about 2 inches to get fluid on the wire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrsick View Post
I'm trying to make the connection between gear lube oil problems and a stalling engine. You may not have a gear lube problem though, depending on what you define as a "metal shard".
I'm also interested in how you answer Mike's question. Sometimes the clicking can be a weak battery or bad starter/starter solenoid. I'm not clear on what "crank the wheel" means. Some pictures would help if you are able to post them.
I thought it might have been the battery at first, but when I got it back to my dad's shop, I checked the connections, and tested the battery and it was fine. Everything else that the battery runs operates fine, and not like it is low on juice. I hope my response to Mike cleared up the "crank the wheel". I apologize for being such a newbie.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
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Either the drive is locked up or the engine is. Remove the drive and see it the engine will turn over.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:46 PM   #8
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Either the drive is locked up or the engine is. Remove the drive and see it the engine will turn over.
Thanks Mike.
So something like this?
Or is there another way to determine it with out removing it?
Brian
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:15 AM   #9
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Sorry on the iPad tonight and the you tube does not play.

Only 6 bolts that hold the drive onto the bell housing plus the 2 nuts to remove the rams. Try googling removal of merc out drive.

BTY was the alarm going off from the lube reservoir being empty? Should have been.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:22 AM   #10
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That is a fair amount of metal that came out.

Price new and rebuilt drives on line as well as SEI for an aftermarket.
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