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Old 06-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #1
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Default Shift linkage boot

How hard is it to replace. Mine allegedley has a small tear in it. The boat is taking on a little water and I thought it was from the underside of the resealed rubrail, but the guy who painted it said he rechecked it and found a small tear in the shift linkage boot that opened up when the boat was in gear. Is it something that I can do at home or is it more of a mechanics job? The boat is still at the paint shop so I can't see what he is talking about just yet.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:14 AM   #2
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Ok. after getting the boat back I now see what he was talking about. It is the shift cable bellows at the transom. The rest of the bellows look ok, but are older. Question 1) can the shift cable bellows be replaced without removing the drive (I assume no)? Question2) if that is the source of the leak, then what kind of damage could be/has been done from the one time use and noticing the leak? 3)Does the shift cable bellows allow water in other areas of the drive i.e. gimble bearing and ujoints etc? And finally what kind of price am I looking at (estimation) for having a mechanic replace the gimbal bearing, and all the bellows? Seems like it would make sense to replace everything if the drive has to come off and all the bellows are the same age, even if only one has a leak. By the way, I have not noticed any overheating, or rumbling coming from drive, even when turned all the way to one side.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:22 AM   #3
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well...if it were me...I'd pay to have the whole bellows replaced...I think it would cost about 300 bucks to have it done..not counting the parts...since the shift bellows is torn...I'd say that the rest of the bellows is suspect to fail next....this is kind of a critical part to keeping the boat afloat....so..I wouldn't go chincy on it.....damage can be done to the shifter, but if it's just one dip in the lake...not an issue....salt water would need to be rinsed off and oiled real well to keep it from corrosion to the shift cable.....

just mho.....

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Old 06-03-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Cool bellows

If you have never done it don't you need the tools to do it right .I would also have the gimble bearing checked or changed at the same time you pull the leg .Do it all and be safe and worry free for a few years
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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there is a special tool used to align the engine...but installing a new bellows is pretty straight forward....

yes..I'd change it out and be worry free for some time....

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Old 06-03-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I looked into today and it seems it would be out of my league so to speak. I talked to a shop today that said they would change it all(bearing included) for around 600.00 so I am going to take it to them and let them do it. Was told the kit included all the parts to completely change the bellows and bearing and it was around 250-275. Rest is labor. Sounded fair. He also suggested changing the shift cable as it is as old as the boat (99). He said he would do it if it were him as the part is only about 75.00, and it would be no more labor involved than not changing it. I think that is a good idea as well. Hopefully there will be no issues found once it gets started.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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Got it back today from the shop. Total bill was 738.00. That included (quote from the receipt)"replace all boots, gimble bearing, shift cable, drive oil, impeller,impeller plate, and gasket." 325.00 parts, the rest was labor and sales tax. Price was ok for me, but what scared me was when I looked at the drive, the shift cable and cable bellows was obviously new, but the other boot there that I could see did not look as "new" . I couldn't tell if it was new or if they just reused the old one. The receipt says all new boots, but I don't know. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Then I asked if they put the boat in the water to check it and they said ,"no, I guess we should have done that to make sure." So now I get a little irritated because I had to take off work early to go pick it up. The guy says he just checked it on the hose and it ran fine. Long story short I took it and told him and the secretary that I would check it and if it wasn't right I would be back for sure. I made sure the receipt was clear about what had been replaced. I also found the impeller and plate sitting on the back of the boat so, no doubts they replaced that.
The owner, who I actually spoke with and got the quote frombefore I dropped it there (at recommendation from a friend), was not there when I picked it up, only the guy who did the repairs. I sure hope this thing doesn't leak!!
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:13 AM   #8
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let us know how it goes...


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Old 06-27-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
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Well, not sure if the leak is fixed because it wasn't in the water long enough. It ran about 200yards then overheated. Man I hate the mechanic selections around here. Nobody seems to know what they are doing. Anyway, I took it back today and dropped it off. I'm waiting for the call where they are trying to tell me it is something unrelated to the work they did, even though the boat ran great before I took it in. I'm sure this place will not take responsibility for whatever is wrong, even though my guess is the impeller was not done properly.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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So frustrating. And mechanics wonder why the "profession" has such a bad reputation.

I had the shop winterize mine last year - part of which was to change the oil, filter, and water sep. I finally splashed my boat yesterday for the first time this season. Pre-splash inspection found that the engine had too much oil in it - about 1.5 quarts. I had to drain some out.

Hope yours gets sorted out and that the shop takes responsibility.

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:17 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear about your problems. This is just another reason I trust no-one to work on my stuff. When the tiem comes to do the bellows, I plan on pulling the drive myself and bringing the boat to the mercriuser mechanic to do only what you need the special tools for. When you mentioned they left the impeller and plate on the back of the boat, I would have questioned if they even put a new one in.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:37 PM   #12
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I got a call a few minutes ago from the shop. I was surprised when they actually took responsibility for the mishap. They said I didn't owe anything. He said the water tube inside the lower was not properly aligned when he reassembled the drive, thus causing it to overheat. He went on to say that he ran the boat in the lake for about 45 minutes at different speeds and it was running fine now . The temp never got over 175 and no water leaks on any of the bellows or replaced parts. Hopefully it is fixed now, and will be worry free for a few summers. Glad he owned up to his mistake instead of trying to blame it on someone or something else.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:58 PM   #13
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UPDATE. So today makes the third time the boat has been in the water since the replacement of the bellows and gimble bearing. that is including the overheating trip. Literally the boat has less than 4 hours of run time since the work. Today I ran it about 35 minutes and when I pulled into a spring to meet some friends, I noticed the bilge was running. Concerned, i checked under the hood and could here water draining in. I checked the bellows and sure enough, the shift cable bellows was pulled loose and leaking like a faucet. It wasn't torn, just loose from the transom side with clamp still in place. Tomorrow it goes back to this so called mechanic.....
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:12 AM   #14
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oh man...now that's just wrong.....sorry to hear that your having problems and all....hope he fixes it quick so it won't ruin your summer...



keep us informed on how it goes..


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Old 08-05-2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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Allegedly it is fixed again. I was told the clamp was not seated correctly which caused the bellows to work itself loose. I was also told the others were inspected and were all in good shape and sealed properly. I guess I'll see this weekend......
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