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Old 02-25-2011, 04:30 PM
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Default Side-to-Side Play on Bravo III Outdrive

I've got a 2004 I/O cruiser with a 496 Merc and Bravo III outdrive. There are about 550 hours on the boat overall. I've notice there is a side-to-side play on the outdrive. When the boat is out of the water and I'm behind the boat, I can push the outdrive in either direction about 4-6". I don't notice the steering wheel moving when I do this. Maybe I should also mention that I have power steering, and the engine is NOT running. Under power at speeds above 10 knots, I don't notice any issues with steering. When idling slow, the boat seems to yaw or not want to stay on a set path.

I've been told the engine needs to be removed and the gimble ring replaced. Seems like a pretty major repair for a boat so young. Anybody have other suggestions?
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:43 PM
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If you have no issues above 10 knts then you probably have no issue at all. Sounds like deep V wander to me, completely normal.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:23 PM
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Not familiar with Bravo's BUT with Alpha's there is a tiller arm that attaches to the gimbal ring. The old ones were splined arm splined pin, newer have square pin in square hole with pinch bolt. I have had play in both, splined I had to replace tiller arm, square I could tighten up pinch bolt.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:24 PM
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I've replaced a couple of those.....2004 with 550 hours could easily happen. Does the boat sit in the water? Is it a fairly large cruiser type (27-28 ft boat with a single engine??) Both of these factors are hard on the aluminum ring and the steel pin that holds it at the top. There is a "kit" that lets the pin/ring be replaced with the engine in place but I simply don't like the way that works. For a boat you plan on keeping I'd pull the engine.....that is, once you confirm this is the repair that is needed.

FYI: If it moves that much, it is not normal. As it wears further you will be running one day and turn the wheel, the steering/ring assemble will twist (like using a wrench that is one size too large on a nut) and now the drive will be stuck hard to one side......I hope you can stop in time for whatever you are now heading towards and getting back to land with a boat that mostly runs in circles will be interesting.

Check to see if the drive wiggles back and forth within the gimbal ring. If the ring moves tightly with the drive then your play is somewhere else.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stim View Post
Not familiar with Bravo's BUT with Alpha's there is a tiller arm that attaches to the gimbal ring. The old ones were splined arm splined pin, newer have square pin in square hole with pinch bolt. I have had play in both, splined I had to replace tiller arm, square I could tighten up pinch bolt.
Agree with the above.

On my bravo II's they would get alot of "slop" in the drive. I could also move the drive from side to side when out of the water. Considering these were work boats we would pull the motor and put a new transom assembly on. Faster, as we could pull the motor, replace the drive, and put the motor back in in one day. Time was money back then.

I have heard of a way of using a cutting torch to actually cut through the transom assembly, replace the arm and pin and then weld them up.

Also look for water to be leaking in through the area where the tiller arm passes through the transom assembly. If you have that much slop I would not be surprised.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by meii View Post
Agree with the above.

On my bravo II's they would get alot of "slop" in the drive. I could also move the drive from side to side when out of the water. Considering these were work boats we would pull the motor and put a new transom assembly on. Faster, as we could pull the motor, replace the drive, and put the motor back in in one day. Time was money back then.

I have heard of a way of using a cutting torch to actually cut through the transom assembly, replace the arm and pin and then weld them up.

Also look for water to be leaking in through the area where the tiller arm passes through the transom assembly. If you have that much slop I would not be surprised.

Ron Bender sells that kit.......and I've heard of some local boaters claiming it worked, but I don't trust it. You end up with a plastic cap to seal the hole you cut in the transom assembly that could sink your boat if it's starts leaking.
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