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Old 08-24-2005, 07:52 PM
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Default Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Hey All,
I just purchased a 1986 Four Winns 170 with a rebuilt Mercruiser 4.7 (I think thats the size) It has 90 hours on the rebuild and seems to run OK, besides a small anti freeze leak by the water pump. I can handle the leak, just drips a little. I have replaced the plugs, wires and associated parts. I noticed that the outdrive (Alpha one) was dripping oil out of a little hole on the right (Lower) side of the drive. I decided to check the outdrive oil and discovered that it was a little low. I took the screw out of the lower part of the unit and about 4 tablespoons of water came out before the oil started comming out. What the F? Does this mean the the outdrive is toast? Or can I get some run time out of it? Also I have read on a board that you should not fill the outdrive oil through the top hole, but my alpha 1 maint manual states that you must add oil through this hole, which is correct?

thanks all

Ron B
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:21 PM
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Default RE: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Cpudoc6-

Welcome to the forum.

I doubt any damage was done with the amount of water you describe. That said you need to check the lower unit to find the source of the water intrusion. Just changing the oil is a very short term idea.

Regarding the filling of oil, follow the owners manual vs internet forums.

Your water pump leak needs to be looked at too, even little leaks on marine waterpumps shouldn't be ignored.

Good luck
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

If the "weep hole" under the shaft is leaking it's a bad pump shaft seal and should be replaced. They don't heal themselves and it will likely get worse. Not a bad job. You could do it yourself. Easier on a boat than a car. Do not even think about a reman pump, new only costs a few $'s more. Good Luck!

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Old 08-24-2005, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Do I need a new water pump or is there some type of gasket/rebuild kit?
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

If it's the gasket you can replace it. Key to the job is meticulouly preparing both surfaces. I work for Fel-Pro and I'd tell you they're the best but I don't want to be called a

If it's the weep hole you have to replace the pump and they're not that expensive.

Steve
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

I had an Alpha 1 and you added oil through the bottom hole, just like any other lower unit (at least any that I've ever seen). The manual stated that as well. One season I noticed I was having to top off the lower unit lube a little bit after each day on the water (the later model Alpha 1's have a remote lower unit lube reservoir). No water was getting in though. I took the lower unit to a shop and had it re-sealed. That fixed the problem.

You need to get that lower unit to the shop to have it checked out.
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Hi. As for as the lower unit, the place the oil is dripping from is due to a bad seal around the shift rod. It really is easy to replace, just a matter of dropping the lower unit and it is right there on top. Is there any noticeable oil on the skeg, under the prop? If there is none when the engine is trimmed down the seals fo the prop shaft or good.
Now for the addition of oil to the outdrive. Check to see if there is an oil reservoir under the engine cover inside the boat that is designated for gear lube. If there IS, and it isn't empty, you can add gear lube to the reservoir and you will be taking care of the outdrive. If there IS NOT, there is no way in hell you will ever add gear lube to the outdrive through the top hole. You will ABSOLUTELY make a mess. You know how I know? Because I have tried it. At one time I knew nothing about these Alpha outdrives, but after totally rebuilding both on my boat, I can help a few people learn too. To add oil to the outdrive, you will remove the bottom screw and allow any water to drain; then, place the fitting to the tube of new lube into the bottom hole and hold it there; next thing will be to unscrew the top screw all the way out; now, start pumping the lube into the bottom of the outdrive slowly; a little will eventually start to bubble out of the top hole; once the bubbling quits on the top and a slow, steady stream of oil comes out of the top hole, insert the screw and tighten the top; finally, remove the tube from the bottome hole and quickly replace the screw and tighten. Clean up the oil that came out the top and your done.
If you are mechanically inclined and want to learn about your outdrive and save loads of money to boot, get on ebay and buy the Mercruiser Technician's Manual for the outdrive. You will be looking for Volume 6. Even if you won't be doing most of the work yourself, when you come back with other questions, the explanations that you will receive will be much better understood because you will be able to look at the manual and see exactly what we are talking about.
About your water leak at the water pump. If you have a 470 in that boat, a water pump leak is a bad thing if you don't have an alternator hanging off the side of the engine.
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Old 08-25-2005, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Quote:
stevec717 - 8/24/2005 6:52 PM

If it's the gasket you can replace it. Key to the job is meticulouly preparing both surfaces. I work for Fel-Pro and I'd tell you they're the best but I don't want to be called a

If it's the weep hole you have to replace the pump and they're not that expensive.

Steve
Well I don't work for Felpro but your right they are the best
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Thanks All,

I read the service guide again and it stated that you can "top off" the out drive from the top hole (less than 2oz) any more needs to be added from the bottom.........The engine is a 470, no altinator hanging, I read about the cam gasket on this engine anfd I am concerned. I will try "Barrs leak" for a temp solution until I can have it fixed properly. Will this work?

Thanks
Ron
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

How long will it take to replace the shift rod seal, is it just a matter of dropping the lower unit and pushing a new seal on? Do I need a press to get it on or off. I have a boating day planned on Saturday and would like to do it Friday night. Any tips to make it go smoothly would be appreciated....

Thanks
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

bump!!!!
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Quote:
cpudoc6 - 8/25/2005 5:21 AM

Thanks All,

I read the service guide again and it stated that you can "top off" the out drive from the top hole (less than 2oz) any more needs to be added from the bottom.........The engine is a 470, no altinator hanging, I read about the cam gasket on this engine anfd I am concerned. I will try "Barrs leak" for a temp solution until I can have it fixed properly. Will this work?

Thanks
Ron
is this boat a closed cooling system? if not you would have to pour the bars leak in the lake to pump it through the motor. (that wont work) as for the seal buy a OE seal kit unless someone else can recomend a quality aftermarket one.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

It is `a closed cooling system, just like a car
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

bump
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

If it's a closed system the problem with Bar's Leaks (and it does seal leaks) is that it can also seal radiator (or in this case heat exchanger) passages, gum up your thermostat and otherwise wreak havoc on your cooling system. Problem is once you finally do change out the pump, now you've got gunk through your cooling system and may have compromised it. If this leak is significant you should just bite the bullet and change it. If it's not bad, you may wait until you can do it but I wouldn't mess with a sealer except in an extreme emergency.

Steve
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

New here, but if you indeed have a merc 470, I just fixed this same coolant leak last week on my 470.
Once coolant leaks past the first seal it comes out the weep hole in the circulating pump housing. DO NOT try to block that hole or stop it from coming out. If you do the coolant will go past the second seal and into the oil. Dis no be good.

Repair requires sleeving the camshaft and replacing the two seals. I had a hard time finding the sleeves and it will require a harmonic balancer puller and an installer. (Two seperate tools)

I would suggest you google "470 coolant leak" to find exact info on the subject. It's well documented.

Also, AFAIK, there is no "pump" assembly available for this motor. It only consists of a front cover, two seals and an aluminum impeller. The timing cover is the back of the circulating pump.


Scott
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Give it to me straight, I can handle it!!!

Ya want it straight? Get the stuff fixed while it's still releatievly inexpensive to do so! Minor coolant leaks become major very quickly, and significant water in the lower unit (I don't consider 4 tbls "minor") gets real expensive to correct after it craps out on ya.

Pay him now, or pay him alot later ... your choice.
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