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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Outdrive Leak - HELP

    I have a 2004 Sea Ray with a 4.3 Mercruiser and outdrive with 125 hours. The boat has never been in saltwater.

    Today, after three hours use, I noticed several gallons of water in the bilge when I pulled the drain plug after trailering it. The water was cold so I knew it wasn't coming from the engine.

    I put the plug back in and relaunched the boat and ran it similarly to the previous three hours, trying to find the leak. I found it. From the inside of the boat, facing the transom, on the left side low (about 7:00 on the clock dial) there is a small rivulet of water running down the inside of the transom. As the boat operator trimmed the engine/varied RPM, this rivulet either stopped completely, got larger, or turned into a very steady drip instead of a rivulet.

    From the leak location, amount, temperature, etc., I think there is a seal or gasket that's failed that is letting very small amounts of water in and run down between some type of housing and the transom.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Spotswood, NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    Generally speaking your most likely culprit is the main bellows, or shift cable boot,

  3. #3

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    I forgot to mention that the outdrive is an Alpha One. Thanks for any/all help you can give.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    Maybe before you go and tear anything down, check the torque on all of the bolts that go through the inner gimbal housing and outer which mate everything together. I guess you have a gen II Alpha. Also, visually inspect all bellows. Look for dry rotting and overall condition of all bellows. These guys probably know offhand what torque the mounting bolts are set at. On the Alpha One gen one the bolt at around the 7:00 position as well as the
    9:00 looking from inside toward rear. I think they are made out of aluminum so read the manual or find out what the torque values are. (Don't overtorque!) Maybe nothing to do with your problem but don't rule anything out until you thoroughly inspect everything. If the boat has original bellows it may be as suggested above and that as well could very well be the culprit. If they are original, your going on 9-10 years so yes they should be replaced. Is the drive original to the boat? Did you ever impact the drive? (Hit bottom) Sorry, but figured I would ask just to be sure. Check outer transom as well while you are at it for cracks if you did happen to hit something hard. Maybe not but alot of damage can be done so easily. I lost the whole season due to an impact. Got the boat working again about a month ago but half of the public ramps are probably gone down in Jersey and some places won't even let you on the island unless you either live there or are helping clean up. Anyway, my point is: If possible do a thorough inspection of all the bellows,mounting bolts before you go tearing into anything. The outer gimbal housing gasket is supposed to seal any leaks if installed properly. I put a light bead of 5200 around the edges of my outer gimbal housing just for reassurance but then again I built my transom from scratch and I was concerned about what kind of bite I was getting on outer transom surface. However, you aren't supposed to. The gasket should seal if installed properly. Again, might not have anything to do with your problem but figured I would throw it out there anyway. all the best, Tom

  5. #5

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    I have now examined the bellows and cooling hose that runs from the water pump into the engine. The bellows, especially the exhaust one, are all showing their age and appear to be dry rotted, although I don't see any obvious cracks. The hose is really showing it's age. I suspect all are original. Will put a new bellows kit/clamps/hose on it since even if it's not the problem, they (like me) are showing their age!

    I had though about some sealant around the gimball ring just as an additional measure. A very light bead of 5200 or some other marine/underwater approved caulk can't hurt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chaumont Bay, N.y., USA
    Posts
    4,178

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by marktaco View Post
    I have now examined the bellows and cooling hose that runs from the water pump into the engine. The bellows, especially the exhaust one, are all showing their age and appear to be dry rotted, although I don't see any obvious cracks. The hose is really showing it's age. I suspect all are original. Will put a new bellows kit/clamps/hose on it since even if it's not the problem, they (like me) are showing their age!

    I had though about some sealant around the gimball ring just as an additional measure. A very light bead of 5200 or some other marine/underwater approved caulk can't hurt.
    Ayuh,.... I like to deal with 1 issue at a time myself...

    If it's the bellows,... Fine fix 'em,...

    If the transom housing is loosenin', there's a Reason, 'n it's gotta be found, 'n fixed too...

    Chances are, if the bolts/ studs are loose, there's transom Rot,...
    Tightenin' the bolts don't Fix anything, 'n the bad is gonna get Worse....

    The caulkin' might make ya feel better, but it don't do squat.... There's a Gasket in there....
    Any Grease is Better,... Than No grease at All....

  7. #7

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    Can those bolts/studs be tightened without pulling the engine?

    Thanks.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    If indeed the transom has rot, Bondo is right on about tightening bolts. It won't do anything other than compress the rotted transom and maybe cracking outer fiberglass transom skin doing more harm than good. But, if the transom is not rotted out and by chance someone else was into the gimbal housing for whatever reason before you became the owner, maybe it was not installed properly or undertorqued or overtorqued. Also, those bolts could be seized and you may cause more problems than good messing around with them making alot of unwanted misery Can't answer that question about tightening the bolts because I cant't physically see how much room you have on each side of the bilge and inner transom area. However, you may be able to get a wrench on it if you had two guys. You may have to remove some things to get into it. It really sounds like your bellows are just dry rotted out and need to be replaced. But if the holes which were drilled out to accept the Alpha gen. II drive have rotted out material around them in the transom itself, or the transom is cracked, you have a big, dirty job ahead of you. I hope I am wrong about that. I am also not familiar with how Searay constructs their transoms and what materials are used on such a 2004 boat. Is the water coming from the inside bolt hole at 7:00? If that is what you are saying then why not try and remove bolt at 7:00, 9:00 and the rest one at a time. (depending on their condition)
    Maybe take some 5200 and coat the bolts after cleaning up real good (or replace with new) where they pass through transom that is only if the transom is not all mush and the bolts themselves are not all rotted away. Does your boat sit in the water all season at a slip? What does the outer gimbal housing look like? Is there heavy corrosion? Anyway, back to the bellows. If they are original and all dry rotted with cracks, I would start there because it has to come apart anyway. Then after all that fun maybe check into the other things I mentioned. I asked if you had hit anything only for the reason of ruling out damage to the transom itself which could occur especially if the transom is in bad shape to begin with. Anything is possible. It would be nice if you could post a few pictures of everything. all the best, Tom

  9. #9

    Default Re: Outdrive Leak - HELP

    The leak was the result of a cracked shift cable boot. The variable rate of the leak flow was because the crack was relatively small and could almost be made non-existent depending on the trim of the outdrive. After being in the hot Arizona sun for 8 years, all three bellows had some signs of dry rot, as did both hoses!

    Put in a new bellows kit and replaced all the bellows, hose clamps, both hoses, the bearing, and seal! Good as new now!

    Thanks everyone!

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