Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: {done} Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One G2

{done} Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One G2 07 Aug 2017 14:48 #1

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
Edit 1. I am done. Many thanks to all who helped out. I will add my follow on thoughts in this post

Original post with answers to questions in itallics....
I'm an automotive mechanic, but a first time boat owner. Working on a 1992 Arriva, 21 foot, bow rider ski boat with a Mercruiser Alpha One behind a Mercruiser 5.7L

I have watched several Youtube video and think I can handle the job - from a skills standpoint. With Youtube and Amazon, anything is possible. haha.
If you all wouldn't mind helping with the following questions, I'd appreciate it.
Outdrive Serial Number 0D757100 So it's an Alpha 1 Gen 2

1) Brands of kits. Should I order Mercruiser or is a particular off-brand just as good?
Amazon bellows kit
Answer: Mercruiser = Quicksilver = a great kit. I was told Sierra is a close 2nd, but if you are a novice and doing this yourself to safe money, youc an splurge for the Merruiser kit and still be ahead. I paid $188 and got it from Michigan Motorz.

2) With it being an alpha one should I order the impeller?
Answer: I did order the water impeller, but I did not install it. For three reasons: 1) The engine cools well. 2) If your boat's exhaust goes through the bellows and out the out-drive, then the heat from it causes short life spans for the impella. My boat has through hull exhaust. 3) The out drive oil drained out a very nice color, so I didn't want to introduce a new problem. Pulling the outdrive at a later date is an additional 15 minutes of work for me now. no biggy.

3) Gimbal bearing install. Can I smack it in with a 2x4?
Answer: I should have ordered the bearing driver with my alignment tool. The bearing center protrudes out past the collar's face. So you need a "stepped" bearing driver. I managed by using a Caster wheel. it was the perfect outter diameter. but very ghetto and hard to keep still and keep the bearing going in straight. So I had to go slow.

4) Special tools:
a) Hinge Pin Tool. No way around not buying this. but it's only $15. YES! a 1/2" Allan can work, but just buy this thing.
b) Shift Cable tool. looks like a spark plug socket and deep well will do it. Or, a ratcheting wrench. No. Use a 9/16" spark plug with the hex end on the backside and an 18mm deep well
b) Engine alignment tool. If my engine mounts are good, How do I get around buying this $130 special tool, or is there a comparable replacement so long as the outter diameter is the same? Buy the engine alignment tool. I found it for $45 bucks on Amazon.

5) bellow installation "glue". Anything better than Mercruiser bellows RTV
Quicksilver brand is what I used. reminds me of rubber cement.
Also, purchase something called "perfect seal" for the shift cable threads at the out drive. I used pipe thread sealant. hope I am ok there.


Lastly,
what else should I watch out for or plan to do while it's apart? The boat runs well, have had it out 3 times in the last month and it does great. Just has a leaking upper bellow that I'm sure has toasted the gimbal bearing.
ANSWER: Grease the double U-joint (CV joint) on the main drive shaft that hangs out of the outdrive. use marine grease. If one joint is flowing oil out, but not others, then put a zip tie around the rubber of that flowing u-joint knuckle to force greese to other knuckles. Look to see if the Trim senders have corroded wires. Mine where cracking, so I had to replace the factoy wires. They pass through the hull just above the water hose union/pass through. I have pictures I can share if someone might be in the same boat.

I found some older post on the topics, but when they rely on picture and the pictures don't load it makes it hard to follow what's going on. :/
This one was good, but for a gen 2 model. baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/forum/t...pha-1-gen-2?start=25

EDIT 2: My thoughts about the process. Sorry for the typos. my fingers hurt! :blink:

You can do this by yourself in an 8 hour day if you must. I spread it over a day and a half and went slow.
You have to trim the water hose down to 13". Measure your old one when it comes off (even if you have already cut it in two)
The bellows adhesive is no joke. You have to work fast to get it all around the transom U-joint opening and then be ready to shove the gimbal/bellow on.
I did not need the special tool for installing the gimbal side bellow into the gimbal bell housing. I did put adhesive on the aluminum ring because it slid on so easily and the U-joints could hit it on the inward, push the ring out and ruin you install!!
I sprayed PB blaster on my hinge pins a lot prior to removal. Seized bolts is the biggest complain by most, so go in expecting the worse. Mine took no more than 40 foot pounds to get loose.
My gimbal bell housing had some left to right slop. I am ordering new Fiber Washers now. For the $2ea. they cost, just order them before hand with your kit.
I did not need an exhaust bellows, so no need for that special tool.
My order of install was:
1) Gimbal bell housing on bench with bellows installed (pay attention to "Top and forward" Gen 2's have no rear hose clamp, so that was hard to F up.
2) Upper water hose on transom side installed
3) bellows adhesive on U-joint boss on transom. Install quickly, pushing until the boot "pops" into the groove. and the HOLD for a minute or two. While keeping pressure forward, tighten hose clamp.
4) Water hose on bell housing side. My hose slid on super slick after adding some oil. The clamp on this hose wants to send it's excess band material at an angle that hits the lower bellows. Best to pre-tighten each hose close the it's minimum size and still allow stuff to slide on. Then you can ben that excess to better tuck back around.
5) Shift cable. Great video here:

The shift cable was the most nonsensickle thing I have ever seen.
For the out drive side, you do NOT have to remove the set screw and safety wire and shuttle piece. leave it all together.
I did not have a "guide wire" like they used and I managed just fine. removing the spiral wound rub-protector sleeve (near exhaust or oil pan) is a good idea
Have the cable sheath/housing (black thing) as straight as possible for unscrewing and screwing in. The whole thing spins and if it is bent, that's a lot of stress on it.
For install of this cable sheath: You have to apply forward force on the plastic tip with your thumb, while you use the hex part of the socket and a wrench to start the threading. then switch to a socket.
The bellow attachment on the transom side has ridges in it. because of this I did not bother with adhesive.
I used two zip ties for the skinny end of the shift bellow. Do some trial runs before you tie down the skinny end to maximize "extension versus bottoming out when compressed". Don't want to stretch this thing too much or it will fail sooner versus later.
Then install the shift cable (long metal insert).
6) THEN I put in the hinge pins. Made for a lot more freedom with the shift cable and other stuff.

Hope that helps someone else. I would do it again for sure. and I did it all by myself.
It would have helped to have one of those springy snake like extension tool for tightening the 5/16" hose clamps. I used a "wobble" and extensions and that sucked often.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by BB_Mike.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer 07 Aug 2017 15:19 #2

  • Victoria2750
  • Victoria2750's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 52
  • Thank you received: 2
I've been through this with my Victoria 2750. If you are replacing your U-joints, you can use the drive shaft for alignment. Replace the gimbal bearing first. Then check alignment. As for bellows, I don't think there is much difference between suppliers. Mercruisers are a real pain if you are using the bellow glue. Acetone can help but it evaporates very quickly. be careful not to tear the new bellow. I used "Right Stuff" gasket/sealant. No leakage and the bellows slipped on easily. Pay attention to the hose clamp positioning. Get a Seloc manual to eliminate any guesswork. Impeller replacement is a breeze. If you don't know how long it's been in service, go ahead and replace it. very cheap insurance! Seating the Gimbal bearing: since you don't have a driver, use a socket large enough to sit on the outer race then drive it in. I used a socket for 4 wheel drive wheel bearings. It worked great. Bear in mind the inner bearing race can move a few degrees to help with alignment but no binding of the drive shaft is allowed! I hope this will help. This job will take some time. don't try to rush it!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer 07 Aug 2017 15:37 #3

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
Awesome. Thanks! If my engine needs to be tilted, how is that change made? Are there engine mount shims or are the engine mounts designed to have adjustment built in to them?

So the alignment tool I should buy. it's $40, but important and I'm bound to use it again if I stay in the boating hobby.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 07 Aug 2017 17:00 #4

  • Ruffryder
  • Ruffryder's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 7639
  • Thank you received: 1418
1/2" allen socket often works instead of a hinge pin tool,
pre lubed sealed gimbal bearing or a greaseable bearing you will need to decide,
you will need to rent a slide hammer if don't have one already,
OEM or equivalent QuickSilver would be a good choice,
most alignment bar will serve as a driver tool,
both flanges where the drive bellows sits will need to be cleaned thoroughly.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
93 3058
92 2855
91 Fourwinns 205
Longbranch WA
Life is Good

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 09 Aug 2017 13:47 #5

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
This is the kit I ordered:
www.michiganmotorz.com/mercruiser-transo...a-onegen-p-1276.html

I just talked with a local shop and they recommended two things:
1) replace the shift cable just because.
2) ditch the Exhaust Bellows and replace with an Exhaust Tube. Because the bellows will always pop off unless you let it sit for several weeks to harden.

What are your thoughts on that? Basically it means I should have gotten this kit instead:
www.michiganmotorz.com/mercruiser-transo...st-tubes-p-1277.html

While we are on the topic. What does Exhaust have to do with an outdrive? My engine exhaust exits the boat's hull. Is this exhaust hot water from the engine?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by BB_Mike.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 09 Aug 2017 15:33 #6

  • builderdude
  • builderdude's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • "THE FIX"
  • Posts: 4891
  • Thank you received: 806
Replacing the lower shift cable would be a good idea while you have things apart. I don't agree with ditching the exhaust bellow and using the tube. It'll be quieter with the exhaust bellow but if your running through hull exhaust then it's a non issue for you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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***
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ansom-repair-my-2556

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 02:26 #7

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
Bellow is a link to a picture of what my engine exhaust looks like. One per side. Because of this the transom exhaust bellow serves no purpose other than to stop water from coming in the boat. If true. Then I can simply "cap" the boat side and move on, leaving the out drive open to water.
You agree ? Does this deserve a new post versus being hidden in here?
(Note the picture below is not my actual boat)


boats-from-usa.com/sites/default/files/b...77/arriva-377593.jpg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by BB_Mike.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 02:43 #8

  • builderdude
  • builderdude's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • "THE FIX"
  • Posts: 4891
  • Thank you received: 806
Can't see your link But if your boat is fitted with through hull exhaust then there should be a block off plate bolted to where the Y pipe bolts to the inner gimbal housing and no exhaust bellow is needed.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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***
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ansom-repair-my-2556

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 05:24 #9

  • cfoss1
  • cfoss1's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 212
  • Thank you received: 39
1) Brands of kits. Should I order Mercruiser or is a particular off-brand just as good?


I've used Sierra stuff successfully.

2) With it being an alpha one should I order the impeller?

If you don't know how long it's been, replace the impeller. Then you can start the timer.

3) Gimbal bearing install. Can I smack it in with a 2x4?

First, on getting it out...that's usually the hard port. You need a high quality slide hammer, or bearing puller. I have one with forks that fit through the hole, and expand to grab the inside of the bearing. It is on a ling threaded rod. I then cut a 4x4 and drilled it so that it would span the gimbal housing sideways, with the threaded rod coming through the middle. Then I added a nut and washer and was able to pull the bearing out with no damage. It can sometimes be really stuck in there!

The gimbal bearing is convex and you will damage it with a flat 2x4. You can get the special gimbal bearing driver, or do what I did. I took a 4x4, and shaped one end like a cylinder. Then I hollowed out the end of the cylinder so that I would only be driving on the bearing carrier. Make sure to drive it in straight, and if you get the greasable model, make sure the grease port is alligned with the gimbal housing grease nipple.

4) Special tools:
a) Hinge Pin Tool. No way around not buying this. but it's only $10.
b) Shift Cable tool. looks like a spark plug socket and deep well will do it. Or, a ratcheting wrench.

I welded a couple of deep 1/2 drive sockets together. Works fine.

b) Engine alignment tool. If my engine mounts are good, How do I get around buying this $130 special tool, or is there a comparable replacement so long as the outter diameter is the same?

Get the tool.

A bellows expander tool makes this job way easier, but I've done it without successfully.

5) bellow installation "glue". Anything better than Mercruiser bellows RTV

It's not RTV, it's bellows adheisive. More like liquid rubber I'd say. Sierra makes it too. Remember to allow it to dry before assembly. It makes less of a mess, and it's way easier.


Lastly,
what else should I watch out for or plan to do while it's apart? The boat runs well, have had it out 3 times in the last month and it does great. Just has a leaking upper bellow that I'm sure has toasted the gimbal bearing.

Check the shift shaft bushings and seals very carefully. Clean the raw water entrance on the bell housing.

I found some older post on the topics, but when they rely on picture and the pictures don't load it makes it hard to follow what's going on. :/
This one was good, but for a gen 2 model. baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/forum/t...pha-1-gen-2?start=25

Look for the merc manual online. They are out there somewhere. They are really good.


Chay

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 12:42 #10

  • SomeSailor
  • SomeSailor's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 6612
  • Thank you received: 258
Great advice

+1

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 12:54 #11

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
Thanks again all! I will check for that block off to the y-exhaust merge at the transom on the engine side. I will inspect it for leaks as well.

One last question (before I start, lol). This bellows adhesive. As I read more I found where some say not to wait because when it dries the bellow is harder to push on. Sometimes stuff like this will "skin over", but drying takes days.

Can you suggest a time that I should wait after applying the bellows adhesive? 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 1 hour? To be sure, this adheisive only goes on the transom side and NOT the gimbal/outdrive side.

I am excited about getting more into this hobby and this forum. Hopefully and I can contribute back before too long.

this was my plan versus the special block off plate for the internal Y-exhaust: www.fernco.com/dimensional-drawings/qc-101

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by BB_Mike.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 14:39 #12

  • builderdude
  • builderdude's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • "THE FIX"
  • Posts: 4891
  • Thank you received: 806
You'll want to use the adhesive on both the forward and aft ends of the u- joint bellow and on both pieces (gimbal housing & bell housing) it makes contact with. Personally I install the bellow within seconds after I put it on, gets tacky quick.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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***
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ansom-repair-my-2556
Last Edit: by builderdude.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 14:43 #13

  • builderdude
  • builderdude's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • "THE FIX"
  • Posts: 4891
  • Thank you received: 806
The fernco cap would probably work fine but I'd recommend using the block off plate. If the cap(s) fail it's a large volume of water that will end up in the boat very quickly :pinch:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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***
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ansom-repair-my-2556

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 18:01 #14

  • aquaholic13
  • aquaholic13's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 258
  • Thank you received: 40
I just replaced the bellows on my alpha 1 and it was the first time I have done the job myself. Here's some quick things I learned:

1. Get the hinge pin tool. The off brand version will suffice.
2. You don't need the special tool for the shift cable if you are not replacing it. Also, if you are replacing it, get a spark plug socket that will fit and use a regular socket to turn the spark plug socket. This will give you enough depth to remove the fitting.
3. You can "rent" the alignment tool from Michigan Motorz. They will refund you $75 when you return it but you have to pay for shipping.
4. You can buy an alignment tool with various impactor attachments (for gimbal bearing) off of ebay for around $55. I bought one and it looked exactly the same as the Mercruiser tool minus the nitride coating.
5. The bellows expander tool is only used for attaching the exhaust bellows to the gimbal housing. If you don't have exhaust bellows then you won't need the tool.
6. The shift cable bellows uses a crimp ring to clamp onto the shift cable tube. It says to use crimp pliers to crimp the ring to 1/2" diameter. I couldn't find any crimping pliers that would do this so I ended up using Channel Lock pliers and carefully crimping around the ring to make it uniform.
7. The u-joint bellows connects to the gimbal housing with an inner retainer ring. That ring is inserted with a disc shaped inserter that fits on the alignment tool. You can make your own or just by it from Michigan Motorz. Some say the ring will just press in by hand and some say it takes some force. I got the tool because I didn't want to mess up the one ring they give you with the kit.
8. Have in-lb and ft-lb torque wrenches handy for reinstall.
9. Rent an expandable bearing puller from your local auto parts store. It's usually free with a deposit.
10. The extra o-rings that come in the kit are for the drive shaft on the outdrive. There was no indication in my kit that they were for the drive shaft. The ones on there will look smaller but once you put the new ones on they will look the similar to the old ones.
11. Get a wire brush attachment for your dremel tool. It makes cleaning up the transom and gimbal bellows bosses much easier because it can get into the tight areas.
12. Get the manual if you haven't already done so. I have the Clymer manual. Be aware though that the manual is for total tear down and rebuild. I was doing unnecessary steps before I caught on to what it was instructing me to do.

Good luck!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

2001 2855

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 10 Aug 2017 18:42 #15

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
Great. the only thing I am short on is the U-joint bellow ring install tool. I will wing it and hopefully not damage it.
I found some great tutorial info at:
www.sterndrives.com/replace_alphagen2_bellows.html
and then some exploded diagram pictures at:
www.perfprotech.com/mercury-marine-parts-catalog/umodel/17624


The fun begins tomorrow. I'm happy to know that the water impeller for cooling is likely to last longer if your exhaust does NOT go through the out drive. but I still plan to replace it none the less. Might even build a wooden stand like I see in so many pictures. First step is to drain the out drive oil and hopefully it does not cause my stomach to sink. Might make for an early winter for this southern boater.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 11 Aug 2017 20:10 #16

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
So far so good. My hinge pin tool is late to arrive, but I have every thing out to include the bearing and old bellows.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 12 Aug 2017 03:11 #17

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0
Progress. On the home stretch, but have a concern. My gimbal housing had some left to right slop. I think my fiber washers are worn. Anybody have a part number or a source for new ones?

I was able to simply leave off my exhaust bellows. Why it was on there is beyond me.

Oh and my drive unit bolts where very loose. Like 15 foot pounds tops. Should I order new ones or just use some blue locktite?

Biggest headache was pushing in the new gimbal bearing followed by the gimbal water hose clamp. As it tightened, the excess clamp material was contacting the exhaust bellow mount and pushing the clamp to rotate.... right off of the socket! Took a while to figure out why the damn thing kept spinning off to no man's land

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by BB_Mike.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 12 Aug 2017 13:03 #18

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Bellows and gimbal bearing replacement - first timer - Alpha One Mercruiser 12 Aug 2017 17:58 #19

  • BB_Mike
  • BB_Mike's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Thank you received: 0

builderdude wrote: The fernco cap would probably work fine but I'd recommend using the block off plate. If the cap(s) fail it's a large volume of water that will end up in the boat very quickly :pinch:


What I did not know is that the exhaust boss/hole in the transo is Oval in shape. The fernco cap might have still worked, but less guaranteed.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Jim GandeeRuffryder
Time to create page: 0.140 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum