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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    Clarksville, TN
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    5

    Default 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    I recently purchased a 15 foot fiberglass boat that was in really good condition with a trailer for $125. It had an Evinrude 55HP engine on the back without a lower unit or starter; the rest of the engine was there and seems to have solid compression. Fast forward to around a month ago: I found a Evinrude 55HP engine that had a crack on the exhaust housing. I got it for $100; of course I had to drive a few hours to pick it up.

    Anyway, I tested the starter and it was in solid condition. I will more than likely need a new prop because this one is pretty knicked up, which I was not too concerned about. However, the lower unit itself seems to be locked up. It was kept empty for who knows how long, and I cannot seem to get it to shift gears or to get the drive shaft to rotate at all. I have tried various ways to get it to rotate. I have tried to rotate the prop to possibly pop it out of gear, as I read on other forums had suggested, but I am not having any luck getting it unstuck. I do not have the gear puller or a Johnson/Evinrude spline socket, so I cannot really take apart the lower unit to inspect it. I know the best case scenario would be to do that and rebuild it, but I am wondering if there are any tricks that you guys have to recommend to get it to rotate. I need any sort of hope I can get because I am fairly new to the whole boating thing. Small engines like mowers and etc. make perfect sense to me, so I wouldn't say I am a complete rookie at this, but I definitely could use some guidance.

    Thanks in advance!

    ~Rad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,149

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    If lower unit is off remove the water pump.------Remove the driveshaft thrust bearing housing.----No special tools required.---Report what you find in there.----And to take this unit apart you only need a pair of LARGE internal circlip pliers .---Perhaps rent those.
    Last edited by racerone; 03-10-2020 at 08:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    I took the water pump off because I assumed I would need a new impeller. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't too bad in there. Is there something I am supposed to see in here? It doesn't look rusted or anything.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,149

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Correct---Does not look bad.-----I assume they drained water out of this gearcase.----Then left it.-----Bearings and gears could be scrap from corrosion.----Take this lower unit apart.----Not that difficult.----Did one like it last week.----New parts are very pricy from factory if available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4,805

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Before you take it apart. Mix up some Acetone and ATF 50-50 and fill the gear case and leave it sit for a few days. Then try rotating it and see what happens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    4,805

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    What happened ??

  7. #7
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    Apr 2010
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    4,805

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Well ??????????????????????????

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Hello guys; sorry for such a long wait on responding!

    I have been exceptionally busy at work with all of the crazy panic and haven't had much time to work on this. I am going to try the ATF + Acetone trick here today and I will update you guys with my results/findings. Thanks everyone

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4,805

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Thanks, Keep us posted !!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Boobie View Post
    Thanks, Keep us posted !!
    Well gentlemen, it's soaking now. My next day I will have a chance to work on it will be Friday; I will let you guys know what I find out then

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by radryan1024 View Post
    Well gentlemen, it's soaking now. My next day I will have a chance to work on it will be Friday; I will let you guys know what I find out then

    Well everybody, it seems as if the ATF and Acetone trick may have worked. Today I put it back on the motor to be able to have a better grip to try to rotate the prop and it spins now. Not too smoothly, but tomorrow I think I will buy a battery (or use one of my old car batteries) and see if I can get it to crank and go from there.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    4,220

    Default Re: 1979 Evinrude 55HP Lower Unit Issues

    That gearcase is destined for the scrap heap..
    Pappys Sales and Service
    Owner and Factory Certified Technician
    Former racer KDBA (Kentucky Drag Boat Association)

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