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New to Me Cobalt 246- Bellows and Repair Manual?

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New to Me Cobalt 246- Bellows and Repair Manual?

Old 06-11-2021, 04:02 AM
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Default New to Me Cobalt 246- Bellows and Repair Manual?

Iíve found threads on here helpful in the past but now Iím a new member!

Long story shortÖ. A family member gave us a 2004 Cobalt 246. Previously well taken care of, winterized, but the owner died and itís been on a lift for 2 years until a few month ago when it was put in the water.

Iíve done a little research on starting a boat after 2 years. Iím hoping the ethanol-free likely stabilized fuel is good and I can get the engine running so I can get it to a boat ramp. However one of the things people seem to say needs replaced as often as every 2 years are the bellows on stern-drive boats. I doubt theyíve ever been replaced since 2004. This is all new to me as my current boat is a Yamaha AR190 with very few maintenance items.

Now my question. How can I go about finding a service/repair manual for this boat?! If Iím going to do the job, I need part numbers (not just bellows but impeller, bearings, seals, etc.), torque specs, grease specs, and specific instructions on how to do it! Google has not been fruitful for me. Do consumer available service manuals even exist for boats like these as for cars?

I can say the boat is taking on water. Now, itís entirely possible the family member didnít think to put the drain plugs in, I havenít been able to investigate yet. But either way, it sounds like the bellows are a must-do item for a boat of this age. If one or more is leaking am I risking permanent engine damage with my plan to try and drive the boat to a ramp?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Kypdurron5; 06-11-2021 at 04:40 AM.
Old 06-11-2021, 04:40 AM
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So… what sterndrive do you have? A merc? A Volvo? I’m guessing it’s a merc alpha? But could be a bravo? Look on the gimbal housing for a sticker if not find the serial number.
Old 06-11-2021, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Xcomunic8d View Post
SoÖ what sterndrive do you have? A merc? A Volvo? Iím guessing itís a merc alpha? But could be a bravo? Look on the gimbal housing for a sticker if not find the serial number.
Itís a Volvo Penta 5.7L. Should I be looking for engine repair manuals rather than boat repair manuals?
Old 06-11-2021, 04:46 AM
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you would want to talk to Volvo for a engine repair manual.
Old 06-11-2021, 04:50 AM
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If the drain plug was missing you would know it very fast I think, probably bellows and hopefully not a transom seal

You could drive it to the launch ramp assuming it is not a very far distance. Do you have tow insurance? If so look into what would happen if you break down a few feet from the dock its at and if it could get towed to the launch ramp

Seloc and Clymer makes manuals. I personally like the ones from Merc or Volvo. Usually the Merc ones can be found online.

Volvo parts catalogue Volvo Penta Engine Part Catalog - volvopentastore.com


Old 06-11-2021, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kypdurron5 View Post
Itís a Volvo Penta 5.7L. Should I be looking for engine repair manuals rather than boat repair manuals?
You need the Volvo Sterndrive and Transom Shield Workshop Manual for the outdrive you have. I recently did the bellows on my Volvo SX-A drive. Mine is a 2014 and they had never been done, They were still in OK shape and probably could have made it a few more seasons but I didn't want to risk it. With light use on a trailer boat I think every 2 years is overkill and 5 years is more reasonable. Now if it sets in salt water for long periods of time, definitely every 2 years. You should be pulling the drive and inspecting everything on a yearly basis.
Old 06-11-2021, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by LSCboater View Post
If the drain plug was missing you would know it very fast I think, probably bellows and hopefully not a transom seal
Weíve only seen the boat once and all I can say is that the water intrusion filled the center storage compartment and pooled in the engine compartment as well but not above the engine mounts. However itís been in the water for about 2 months so it probably could be coming in from either unless the drain plugs would have flooded the deck as wellÖ. Maybe Iím just hoping for a simple cause. However there were no issues with the boat as of 2 years ago and itís been on a lift until recently.

So what Iím gathering is that the prop and mount come with and are manufactured by Volvo? Still learning about these boats!
Old 06-11-2021, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan05gt View Post
You need the Volvo Sterndrive and Transom Shield Workshop Manual for the outdrive you have. I recently did the bellows on my Volvo SX-A drive. Mine is a 2014 and they had never been done, They were still in OK shape and probably could have made it a few more seasons but I didn't want to risk it. With light use on a trailer boat I think every 2 years is overkill and 5 years is more reasonable. Now if it sets in salt water for long periods of time, definitely every 2 years. You should be pulling the drive and inspecting everything on a yearly basis.
Thanks, good to know! Iíll see what I can find. Weíll be keeping it trailered but itís at least been kept on a lift thus far. At least now I have some idea of what Iím in for getting it in ship shape. Until last night I had no idea about bellows and whatnot.
Old 06-11-2021, 06:51 AM
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Does the boat have a working bilge pump with an auto swtich? If not that is a must for any boat left in the water.
On any I/O boat that has an unknown maintenance history there are some points that must be looked at right away to avoid problems:
1) engine exhaust system, the manifolds and elbows should be inspected for rust, leaks etc. Even in fresh water you can get leaks around the elbow to manifold gasket and this can seen by rust stains on the outside, if you see that assume that is may be leaking inside as well and that can put water in a cylinder via an open exhaust valve with bad results.
2) outdrive/transom mount. It is normal maintenance to pull the outdrive off at the end of each season to:
Inspect the gimble bearing (check for smooth movement, no rusty grease coming out when you grease it)
Inspect u joints (make sure they move freely, but are not loose, when greased no rusty grease comes out)
check engine alignment (this requires a special tool)
check driveshaft bellows for cracks, and water intrusion
Check shift linkage adjustment
Drain and replace gear oil & check for excessive wear and water in the gear oil

normal maintenance
R+R the elbows, check for leaks every 5 seasons, if sealing surfaces are good re-assemble with new gaskets
every season R& R drive and service as above, bellows should be changed every 5 years or sooner if small cracks form in the folds. If you store the boat with the drive down I have had them last as long as 10 years, but that's only good for people like me who are always checking things.
every fall winterize, motor oil change, etc

I/Os require a lot of maintenance compared to outboards but the engines (used to be not any longer) were simpler and parts were cheaper. I keep mine because I can do all the maintenance myself, its really not hard work. Get a Volvo Penta workshop manual.
Old 06-11-2021, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Kypdurron5 View Post
Weíve only seen the boat once and all I can say is that the water intrusion filled the center storage compartment and pooled in the engine compartment as well but not above the engine mounts. However itís been in the water for about 2 months so it probably could be coming in from either unless the drain plugs would have flooded the deck as wellÖ. Maybe Iím just hoping for a simple cause. However there were no issues with the boat as of 2 years ago and itís been on a lift until recently.

So what Iím gathering is that the prop and mount come with and are manufactured by Volvo? Still learning about these boats!
I suggest you get the boat out of the water promptly and find out where the water is coming from, it could be just rain water because the covers always leak, if you have a battery operated wet vac you can vac out the water and see if it keeps leaking....
The engines are small block GM V8s, set up with marinzed igntion, fuel and exhaust systems, the transom mount, steering, tilt and trim and outdrive are all manufactured by Volvo Penta.
Old 06-11-2021, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by LouC View Post
Does the boat have a working bilge pump with an auto swtich? If not that is a must for any boat left in the water.
Thanks for the list, that really helps! My yearly jet boat maintenance is mostly just oil, spark plugs, and shooting some grease into a gear and trailer. In terms of the bilge, yeah it works. Itís just the batteries were dead and the family member isnít mechanically inclined so they were bailing the visible water by hand. I took my battery and got the bilge working and there was a ton of water but itís drained now so weíll see what kind of water accumulation happens in 2-3 weeks assuming I can find a used truck that can tow it in this market.

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