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Old 04-27-2011, 02:34 PM   #1
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Unhappy Just had the bad news now I need some help!

Hi All,

I posted a couple weeks ago on how I got stranded on the lake and had to get TowBoatUS to come save the day but now the mechanic has just called me and given me the bad news.

First, let me give you a bit of background. We bought the boat back in August 2009 with 176 hours on it. First thing I did was have a complete service, all the oil, filters, impeller, etc changed. Had the coolant in the genny changed while I was at it. Last year (2010) at the beginning of the season I again had the oil changed as well as the impeller. We got approximately 40 hours of use from the boat but we did have to pause midway through the season and have the gimbal replaced.

I'd been up to the boat all winter, I'd start the engines periodically, and keep it nice and warm, etc... Forward to the beginning of this season. Two weeks before my episode I had been in touch with the marina mechanic. I had asked him to change the oil and do a thorough check of the fluids, etc. I had also asked him specifically about the outdrive oil and impeller and he said it was overkill to do it again and he only recommended changing it every two years.

Flash forward to this morning and he tells me that my outdrive is fried and I need a new one. He says he opened it up and there was NO oil in there whatsoever only water even though the reservoir on top of the engine was full. He says he has no idea how this happened because he does not see a leak, any damage, or anything around the prop that could have messed a seal up but that’s his best guess. As much as I want to scream at him, he has been in the business for over 30 years and at this Marina for close to 20 so I assume he is competent and this is just bad luck on my part.

The worse news is the pricing for a new outdrive. He says labor to put it on is $276 but a brand new one from Merc is going to run $14,000. A reman from them is going to run $8726. The hits keep coming....

I asked about the details so I could look online and its a Bravo III, 1.31 - 1 (23x30) gear ratio. Engine is a 7.4MPI is that matters.

Any idea guys where to start? Any ideas on what could have caused this? Obviously the oil was leaking from somewhere but then the oil was showing full. I'm disgusted to say the least.

Anyway, what are the crews suggestions? New, reman, what about used?

Thanks to all in advance.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:47 PM   #2
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WOW!!...that's a tough one to swallow.......I'd pull the drive and see for yourself...actually have the mech. pull the drive...the oil had to go somewhere!!..especially just sitting at the dock....it sounds like someone didn't fill the drive properly from the bottom up....

I'd give these guys a call..they have a B3 drive on the floor right now for about 3500 bucks..
contact Harbor Marine in Everett wa...they can drop ship you a drive...a few weekends ago..I was there and they had a couple of drives on pallets....they are reman's but I think the price was around 3500 bucks....(don't trust my memory...)...

Harbor Marine = 1-800-392-5774

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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Thaks SP. Will give them time to get up and then call.

Another question. In my research so far, I'm unable to find a 1.31-1 and one person has told me that they were replaced by a 1.36-1. Does this sound right? Cheers.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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I'd ask him if the prices are including a Transom assembly. That seems a little high for just a remanned drive.

Also, IT's my understanding the drive lube should be changed every year. It wouldn't be to much labor or cost to drain it and refill it as per your request, though I don't know that it would have made a difference.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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Cymru, if for any reason you need a second referral, Moss Marine only does outdrives, nothing else. Rebuilds and new from factory as part of an engine package where he sells 'em separately. Moss Marine Repairs Inc. 284 South Ketcham Avenue Amityville, NY 11701-3527 - (631) 598-0888 . He sold me my Alpha 1 gen 2 rebuild, warrantied and reasonable.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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First off, $14,000 is an absolute ripoff! I just had an entire transom assembly done for about $3808 (parts and labor).
I bought a Bravo III from Harbor freight for about $4000 including tax. Install was only a couple hundred bucks. This comes with the same one year warranty as Mercruiser gives on the drives they sell.

Listen, I am sure that your service tech knows what he is doing, or else he would not have been in the business as long as you said, BUT, dang! that is overpriced.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. I just tried Harbor Marine and they only had an Alpha there. He said he sold the BIII a while ago. I asked him to get me a quote and then he called back to say that they don’t make a 1.31 and I must have it wrong. I'll have to get up there and get the serial number off the thing... As soon as I know that for sure I'll give Harbor Marine and Tommy's recommendation a call. I'll also find out about the transom assembly too Shrew.

More to come...
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #8
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I'm struggling a little.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cymru View Post
Two weeks before my episode I had been in touch with the marina mechanic. I had asked him to change the oil and do a thorough check of the fluids, etc. I had also asked him specifically about the outdrive oil and impeller and he said it was overkill to do it again and he only recommended changing it every two years.

Flash forward to this morning and he tells me that my outdrive is fried and I need a new one. He says he opened it up and there was NO oil in there whatsoever only water even though the reservoir on top of the engine was full.
So, even though he said it was overkill to change the drive lube and impeller again, you had him do so anyway, or did you take his recommedation?

Dan
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:41 PM   #9
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I'm sorry to say I took his advice Dan and now we'll never know if that would have saved the day or not.

I did get a little more info. Mechanic again says its a 1.31-1. It has 23 pinion gear teeth and 30 drive gear teeth. I know there was a change somewhere during the 2000's but I guess I need to confirm that a 1.36 will be good enough.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:05 PM   #10
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So, I'm still confused.
1) His advice was to not bother with the drive lube or the impeller, correct?
2) And you took that advice, right?
3) And the drive lube reservoir was full, right?

If so, what possible reason would he have to even go near the drive?
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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He said to change the oil in the motor but said that the drive and impeller he recommended changing every other season.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:25 PM   #12
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I must be missing something here Cymru, could be a dense Dan day.

You asked him about changing the drive lube and impeller. He said "overkill", you had that done last year and does not need to be done this year. You agreed with him and decided to NOT have the lube and impeller changed. Additionally, the drive lube res was full.

The engine oil has zero to do with the drive lube. Meaning, one is not connected to the other in any way. You can change the engine oil without touching the drive or the drive lube res.

So again, if he was not supposed to change the drive lube, why did he mess with the drive at all?
Additionally, here are a few web sites offering B3 drives - just for price shopping:

http://www.marinepowerservice.com/BoatingStore/browse_detail3.cfm?productID=23366
http://www.mercruiserparts.com/Mercruiser_Sterndrives.asp
http://www.perfprotech.com/store/product/Sterndrive-Mercruiser-Bravo-3-181-SD-B3181,75454.aspx

Something just isn't adding up.

Dan
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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Thanks Dan. Let me recap what happened. This year about a month ago the mechanic changed the engine oil and filter on the engine only. He did not touch anything else. I broke down a couple weeks ago and had to get towed home. The mechanic just pulled the boat out of the water on Saturday and inspected the outdrive early part of this week and reported the resuts today.

I also kept a regular eye on fluids. I tend to check the levels every couple weeks before I take it out. After I broke down, one of the first things I did was check the engine oil and drive lube and they both appeared normal. That's why I didn’t think I had too much of a problem. How wrong could I be...
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:02 PM   #14
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Oooooooo, now I understand. I must have missed your other thread about the break down - which I just read.

I'm am super skepticle when it comes to this kind of thing. You mentioned in your break down thread that you couldn't pull the throttle back towards idle after the engine quite, and I just can't seem to envision why that would be. I can certainly see that if the drive lube was gone then the drive would have gotten hot and eventually seized - thus stalling the engine, but doesn't explain the throttle. I would want to know that.

What makes me question this is the exorbitant prices he quoted for a replacement drive.

Dan
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:25 PM   #15
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I was skeptical about this too at the beginning but another unrelated mechanic had said that this is not uncommon. He told me that he has had to bypass the safety in the past to start the engine in order to get it back into neutral.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:31 PM   #16
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Another quick question guys. Would the engine serial number be enough for someone to look up what outdrive originally came with the boat in order to determine exactly what I need? Somehting else I'm getting conflicting reports on.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:11 PM   #17
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I would bet you'll need engine serial number along with hull ID#. That should get you there.

Yet another guy saying "HOLY COW! $14k??" Yeah, I don't think so, even with the unusual gearing. I saw the same bravo 3 leg at Harbor Marine as Seapuppy a few weeks ago, and I recall it being around $3500 also... not to say it's the right one for you but it's a baseline at least. I searched around bit and couldn't find anything with that gearing until I got into drag boat forums. Is that a custom setup? Are you sure it isn't 1.81?

I've seen places all over the net that sell reman B3's for $3500-$5500 and new ones for only slightly more. I think I would be getting a second and third opinion on that one for sure.

In any case, sorry to hear about this.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:25 PM   #18
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Hey Nimh, I just got off the phone with a guy at Victory Marine in Houston (http://www.govictorymarine.com/drives.html). He took my engine serial number and looked it up and told me that it’s a 2.20 leg. He has what he calls a brand new, not current (old stock) BIII to replace it for $3400 + $180 shipping. That's about the best I've found so far. Problem is, with the conflicting thing between 1.31 and 2.20, I'm scared to pull the trigger and get this on its way. I'd like to be able to confirm. I sent usmboats/Bayliner an email but it might be a few days. What do you guys think about this? Can’t find anything online that's negative about Victory.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:51 PM   #19
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Yeah, Jim, you are correct. I was the guy who bought that Bravo III. It was just about 4G with taxes. There are several places across the country that sell them for about the same price, however I lucked out and found one that I could go pick up myself.

Quote:
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I would bet you'll need engine serial number along with hull ID#. That should get you there.

Yet another guy saying "HOLY COW! $14k??" Yeah, I don't think so, even with the unusual gearing. I saw the same bravo 3 leg at Harbor Marine as Seapuppy a few weeks ago, and I recall it being around $3500 also... not to say it's the right one for you but it's a baseline at least. I searched around bit and couldn't find anything with that gearing until I got into drag boat forums. Is that a custom setup? Are you sure it isn't 1.81?

I've seen places all over the net that sell reman B3's for $3500-$5500 and new ones for only slightly more. I think I would be getting a second and third opinion on that one for sure.

In any case, sorry to hear about this.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:54 PM   #20
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CYMRU,
That sounds right in regards to the prices I found calling all over the country. Have you called Brunswick? If you give them the hull id and engine serial number they will be able to tell you the correct gearing. I would also believe the mechanic should be able to tell you if he has broken down the drive. My mechanic told me the gearing after he broke it down, but being the skeptic that I am, I called just to verify it was correct. I have the 2.2 I think it is.

Good luck to you!!!!

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Originally Posted by Cymru View Post
Hey Nimh, I just got off the phone with a guy at Victory Marine in Houston (http://www.govictorymarine.com/drives.html). He took my engine serial number and looked it up and told me that it’s a 2.20 leg. He has what he calls a brand new, not current (old stock) BIII to replace it for $3400 + $180 shipping. That's about the best I've found so far. Problem is, with the conflicting thing between 1.31 and 2.20, I'm scared to pull the trigger and get this on its way. I'd like to be able to confirm. I sent usmboats/Bayliner an email but it might be a few days. What do you guys think about this? Can’t find anything online that's negative about Victory.
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