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    Exhaust replacement vs new engine

    I have a 2004 Bayliner 285 Cierra with a Mercruiser 350 Mag that requires a complete (dry joint) exhaust replacement. I also require a new power steering pump. I do not know the extent of the leaking into the engine (although plugs look dry/good so good chance the dry joint aspect worked to keep water out of engine).

    So, with a 15 year old engine (plate says Jun 2003, roughly 600 hours) has anyone got any advice on spending ~$3,000 to get all of the KNOWN issues fixed vs. taking the plunge and spending ~$8,000 getting a brand new complete engine installed?

    I absolutely would prefer spending the $5,000 less on the fix vs replace, but have concerns that "what other issues may lie in wait" AND if I start the fix, buy the replacement parts, then find out the engine has corrosion inside after all, that I would be stuck with parts...

    Perhaps my thinking is a bit radical as the differences between the two choices are rather large, but I bet everyone in here can relate to how things can escalate quickly in cost on a boat once you start down the repair rabbit hole.

    Hope that makes sense. Please forgive any protocol/posting mistakes I may have made, my searches really didn't seem to resolve this particular quandary.

    Much thanks!
    2004 Bayliner Cierra 285
    1987 Bayliner Capri 1950 (sold)
    Intercoastal Panhandle FL

    #2
    Those are good engines. 600 hours is probably 1/3 through it's life so it should run well for many years. If there was no water in the oil, compression all checks out etc... no reason not to fix it. $8K for a new engine -- plus installation might take it over 10K. The exhaust and power steering pump are general wear items. If you've not done it, the raw water pump will likely need a rebuild/replacement at some point.
    Terry
    1999 Bayliner 3388
    Twin Cummins 4BTA
    Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
    Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

    Comment


      #3
      Have a good mechanic check out the engine. Complete cooling system, compression, oil samples, all engine driven accessories, hoses, belts, fuel pump, circulation water pump, raw water pump, fuel injectors, etc. Then decide.
      Started boating 1965
      Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996

      Comment


        #4
        I assume since you need new exhaust components that you run primarily in salt? I would also have a good mechanic pull the drive and check it out as well as the gimbel housing. I ran into a badly corroded gimbal housing on my boat which was not,disclosed on the mechanical inspection and if yours is getting corroded, the engine will need to be pulled to replace it. All i’m Saying is if you have to do that anyhow, maybe you.’d be better off spending the bucks for all new everything? We were able to repair mine without pulling the engine with a new kit that’s been on the market for a while, but it wasn’t that badly corroded, but it was leaking water into the bellows and rusted the gimbal bearing, so that needed to be replaced also. Check out the drive and gimbel housing and bearing before you decide.

        mine had about 540 hours on it and had been primarily in salt. The Dry joint design is much better than the older version.
        1990 2755 - sold
        2005 275 current vessel

        Comment


          #5
          Why do you suspect something is leaking into the engine? The dry joint by design greatly reduces cooling water from entering into the exhaust flow at a point where it can get drawn back into the engine. Does the oil show signs of water? If so a compression test is in order. Power steering pump cannot leak into the engine only the bilge.
          1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

          Mike

          Comment


            #6
            Compression test the engine, if it shows good compression replace your exhaust components and go boating
            whats up with the PS pump?
            Dave
            Edmonds, WA
            "THE FIX"
            '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
            (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
            The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
            Misc. projects thread
            https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by builderdude View Post
              Compression test the engine, if it shows good compression replace your exhaust components and go boating
              whats up with the PS pump?
              I don't really "suspect" anything is wrong with the engine, again seems to be running fine and with the dry joint cooling/no apparent water in oil/plugs think it's ok so far... the dry joint system (with 6" spacers) kind of shocked me at ~$1,250 delivered, then it was suggested to also do the water pump, and the power steering pump seemed to be adding up very quickly once installed (I have the ability, but not the time so will have a mechanic install). So, just mostly wondering if I don't end up spending as much or more over the next couple of seasons as I would being more worry free with an entire new engine... my brain works weird that way.

              The steering is impossibly hard to turn, especially to the left; mechanic suspected the pump after we lubricated the cable/actuator and opened the reservoir cover with engine running and there was no "movement" of the fluid while turning the engine, pointing to there was no fluid being pushed/used, therefore pointing to the pump not working.
              2004 Bayliner Cierra 285
              1987 Bayliner Capri 1950 (sold)
              Intercoastal Panhandle FL

              Comment


                #8
                Price for those dry joints are well worth it.
                PS pump on these rarely goes out...
                Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                93 3058 sold
                92 2855 (day boat)
                91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                Longbranch WA
                Life is Good

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ruffryder View Post
                  Price for those dry joints are well worth it.
                  PS pump on these rarely goes out...
                  I through the belt last season (since repaired), steering hasn't been the same since... any ideas on checking pump (like I mentioned, the fluid was stagnant when running)?
                  2004 Bayliner Cierra 285
                  1987 Bayliner Capri 1950 (sold)
                  Intercoastal Panhandle FL

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Where did your mechanic lube at?
                    did you guys take a look at the guide tube corrosion at all?
                    a qualified Merc mechanic can perform a test on the actuator valve.
                    Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                    Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                    93 3058 sold
                    92 2855 (day boat)
                    91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                    Longbranch WA
                    Life is Good

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would not replace the engine as it should have plenty of life left. What water pump needs replacing, raw water or circulating pump?
                      the power steering pump is the old GM unit that seldom fails. Is it losing fluid? Could be an issue with the pressure regulator on the pump which can be replaced instead of the entire pump. I would first remove the power steering pressure hose at the steering assist unit to see if fluid flows out there when the engine is running. Just looking in the pump you cannot see fluid flow easily.
                      1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

                      Mike

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by afchiefw View Post

                        I don't really "suspect" anything is wrong with the engine, again seems to be running fine and with the dry joint cooling/no apparent water in oil/plugs think it's ok so far... the dry joint system (with 6" spacers) kind of shocked me at ~$1,250 delivered, then it was suggested to also do the water pump, and the power steering pump seemed to be adding up very quickly once installed (I have the ability, but not the time so will have a mechanic install). So, just mostly wondering if I don't end up spending as much or more over the next couple of seasons as I would being more worry free with an entire new engine... my brain works weird that way.

                        The steering is impossibly hard to turn, especially to the left; mechanic suspected the pump after we lubricated the cable/actuator and opened the reservoir cover with engine running and there was no "movement" of the fluid while turning the engine, pointing to there was no fluid being pushed/used, therefore pointing to the pump not working.
                        If I remember correctly, there should be splashing in the power steering pump with the cap off and engine running. I replaced mine last year because it was leaking badly. By the way, I was able to use an automotive one from NAPA that was about $40. Just had to change the hose fitting on my old pump to the new one because it comes with an automotive fitting, not a metric mercruiser fitting. Check YouTube, that’s where I found the part number for Napa.
                        Esteban
                        B-ham!
                        Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

                        Comment


                          #13
                          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rlVzAbwPpvA
                          Esteban
                          B-ham!
                          Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Depending on age and condition your raw water cooling may well be serviceable. My maintenance schedule is to keep a full new system for 5 years without touching it. Every year after that I drain and pull it apart. I check the mating surfaces to ensure that I have a flat 3/8" mating surface all around the joints. If so, it gets re-assembled with new gaskets and I am good to go for a further year. It takes me about a day to do the job. While I am there I check the flappers are in good condition. It isn't a difficult job as long as you can use a torque wrench, flat edge and a scraper (to get the surfaces nice and clean - I use oil and a Stanley blade carefully). Also, it is a good time to change or gap your plugs while they are accessible; oh, and change the oil filter. Make sure you have a really good 9/16th socket as well so that you get good purchase on the nuts. And, grease up all threads as they go back. I have in the past used aviation "make a gasket" on the joints but I suspect this is overkill.

                            Cooling system parts: again, here is my maintenance schedule/technique. I don't mess with anything that is still working other than the exhaust (because a failure can ruin a good engine). So, I keep a "beady" eye on the temperature gauge whenever I use the engine. This means I have a mental note of the "normal" running temperature of the engine. When the temperature starts to climb just a little when in cruise I make a note to watch even closer. When the temperature reaches a steady 100 C (200 ish F) at cruise, I service the outdrive and change the impeller. Normally, this returns the engine to its normal reading (80 C - sorry dumb Europeans, I know). Now, if the temperature ever climbs above 210 or flails about all over the place or the warning buzzer goes off it is time to start worrying and do some serious diagnostics. I have had overheats a while ago when a dumb engineer messed up outdrive service and kinked the rubber feeder pipe. The buzzer is an engine saver. Make sure it works.

                            Good luck.
                            Terry (Retired Diving Instructor and Part Time IT Consultant)
                            1998 Bayliner 2452. 5.7l V8 - Edelbrock 1409 4bbl - Alpha1Gen2 - Solent UK.
                            MMSI 235061726

                            Comment


                              #15
                              *UPDATE*
                              Ended up going with the Exhaust Replacement... best price I found for the manifold/6" spacers/7-degree risers with all gaskets/etc was through bpi.ebasicpower.com (~$1,250 delivered in less than a week). Engine seems to be solid still. Replaced the Power Steering pump (utilized the "Chevy" one at O'Riley auto parts and took the pulley/etc off old one ~$50 instead of ~$700 for "marine" one thanks to another thread), then also discovered the rack/pinion cable was bad... replaced that through (~$120 delivered). Snaking that was the hardest part (definitely want to remove/lift the entire gray console which wasn't hard). Then had her out for a couple hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks for all the inputs!
                              2004 Bayliner Cierra 285
                              1987 Bayliner Capri 1950 (sold)
                              Intercoastal Panhandle FL

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