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Water leaking into aft bilge/engine room.-gctid401295

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    Water leaking into aft bilge/engine room.-gctid401295

    Hey all

    My 97 2855 w 7.4L Merc Bravo III with 360 hours has developed a somewhat serious leak. When she is in the water (stored on the trailer) I have to run the rear bilge pump for about 30- 40 seconds every per 12 hour period to drain the rear bilge - not sure how much this equates to in gallons of water.. but its enough I would never leave the boat unattended for any length of time.

    The only place I can seem to find water coming in is on the steering arm where it goes through the transom. It is wet on top of the arm - it doesn't appear to be flowing or running in.. it is just wet.

    I have done some research and I guess it is common for the swivel shaft pin to corrode and cause the seal to fail and leak.

    My questions are:

    1. Do you all think this is the most likely cause of the leak?

    2. Where and how should I look / test?

    3. Is the fix I read about drilling into the outdrive a viable fix? Keep in mind, for me, cost is the most important factor.

    The boat was a repo - I have had it for 3 years. I believe it came out of St. Augustine and sat in brackish or salt water.


    Have you checked your bellows?


      Has a similar problem with my boat. It turned out to be the seal on the upper pin for the outdrive pivot needed replacement. I was told by the shop many people ignore this untill it's too late and also end-up replacing the gimbal bearing and ginbal bearing housing since the water is also dripping onto the ginbal bearing.


        Brad 3055 wrote:
        Have you checked your bellows?
        No I have not. Can you briefly explain how I would check the bellows?

        If its the shift cable or bellows would the 'stream' be on top of the steering arm?


          The bellows is what creates a flexible seal between the engine and out drive. It is tubular corrugated rubber basically about 6 inches in diameter. The drive shaft runs thru it to the gimble bearing in the out drive. If the bearing gets wet, it wont take long to make weird noise when you put pressure on it in turns. I would recommend a out drive manual which will show and explain all this better then i ever could. Best money i ever spent.


            Bet it's the drive bellows. You'll want to check the drive components when you pull it.


              It's likely your swivel shaft. It's a VERY common problem and the leak will be at the top of the steering arm. The bellows will leak directly through the gimbal bearing and then down to the bilge. In other words, no connection from the bellows and the steering arm.

              The good news is it's a pretty straightforward and well documented repair. Easiest method is the one used by the guys at JR MARINE. Easy to do... easy to get rid of.

              Make sure you get rid of the carbon steel swivel shaft and use the stainless one. Cheaper than an OEM shaft and lasts forever.

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              1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"