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Old 11-04-2020, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default Engine Alignment

Hello all. Maybe someone can help me out with this. I pulled the outdrives off my 3300 as part of annual maintenance. My starboard outdrive came right off. My port outdrive came off about 1/2" and then required some slight prying to remove. The oring closest to the ujoints was missing. I checked both gimbal bearings and felt the port was slightly rougher than the starboard so I replaced it. Using an alignment tool I checked the port outdrive and with a little manuvering of the gimbal bearing everything lined up. When I used the tool on the starboard side it would not even start in the coupler. I took a 1" plastic rod and slid it into the port side and it slid right into the coupler. I tried the rod on the starboard side and it won't even start in. Any ideas? I'm going to the boat this weekend to investigate further.


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Old 11-05-2020, 11:32 AM   #2
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Starboard alignment is off you need to go through an engine alignment process of either raising or lowering the front engine mounts to align. See procedure in the Mercruiser engine manual.
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Old 11-05-2020, 06:12 PM   #3
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I can't get the tip of a 1" rod to even start in the coupling. The out drive slid right off. I'm going to look closer at it this weekend.


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Old 11-05-2020, 06:14 PM   #4
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Looking in through the bellows everything looks fine and inline so it can't be out far enough for a 1" rod not to go in. The rod takes the gimbal bearing right out of the equation.


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Old 11-05-2020, 07:05 PM   #5
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What Mike said.
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sph801 View Post
Looking in through the bellows everything looks fine and inline so it can't be out far enough for a 1" rod not to go in. The rod takes the gimbal bearing right out of the equation.


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Youd be surprised just how little of misalignment it takes for the tool to not engage. This is why Mercruiser lists this for regular maintenance.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:17 AM   #7
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Made it to the boat today. I recruited the help of a person who has been working on boats for 25 plus years. As I stated a 1" rod easily slipped into the port side but wouldn't even start on the Starboard side. The person working with me ended up determining there were possibly burs on the ends of the splines. He worked them off using a Mercruiser alignment tool and moving the gimbal bearing around. Both couplings are aligned now.


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Old 11-07-2020, 03:09 AM   #8
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Misalignment will wear the soft aluminum of the splines so while he may have knocked down the burs I would be concerned the splines are worn. A borescope would allow for inspection else just reinstall the drive and see if it lasts. If worn it will fail in no more than 3 years.
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