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  1. #1
    Tom Keene's Avatar
    Tom Keene Guest

    Default I'm new to boating and thi

    I'm new to boating and thinking of buying a 1987 Chaparral with 260 hp engine and Alpha 1 outdrive. The owner says the bellows need to be replaced. Various people have given me estimates ranging from $150 to $1500 to do the replacement.

    Why is there such a huge price range? What is involved in the repair?

    Thank you for your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Posts
    861

    Default "The range is due to that deal

    "The range is due to that dealer being able to screw customers over the years and not have anyone call him on it. Just having a book that shows service rates with a min/max doesn't mean that they should charge full blast on every job when the time needed is less. Unless they do a lot of "we like to do these things at the same time" kind of things and are able to convince the boat owners that they're necessary, the bill is being padded. IIRC, a bellows replacement on an Alpha 1 is shown as 3-5 hours and with experience, it will definitely take less time. I was doing Alpha 1 raw water pump impellers and kits in less than an hour when I worked for the dealerships. It's just repetition that cuts down on time.

    The outdrive needs to come off, the retainers need to come off and there are a couple of specialty tools needed. If the shift cable bellows is original, replace that, too, since the drive needs to come off and there's no reason to repeat the process.

    Call around and ask what the service rate books show as the range for this job. I did a shift cable bellows in about 2 hours a couple of months ago and I haven't been working on boats much, lately."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    pensacola, fl., u.s.a.
    Posts
    1,366

    Default "for $150, You will get a bell

    "for $150, You will get a bellows. if the bellows leaked, You will also need u-joints, gimball bearing, possibly a yoke, and shift cable. anything in there that got wet will fail. yokes get rusted on seal surface, and take out seal. You get what You pay for. I would NEVER replace a bellows without replacing, inspecting these parts. the cheap job isn't always such a good deal. S."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Posts
    861

    Default Scott- good points. Tom- g

    Scott- good points.

    Tom- get a detailed description of all work that will be performed in advance. I'm going to edit my first reply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chaumont Bay, N.y., USA
    Posts
    4,154

    Default "Ayuh,...... A Bellows Job

    "Ayuh,......

    A Bellows Job is a Real PITA,.. Even when you Know What you're doing,+ Have all the Special Tools....

    Whenever I dig in that Far,.....
    I replace ALL the replaceable Parts,.....
    All the Bellows,.. The Lower Shift Cable,...
    And, If you use the Trim Limit,+ Trim Sender,.... I'd replace them as Well....."
    Any Grease is Better,... Than No grease at All....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bordentown, NJ, United States
    Posts
    27

    Default Just how many "gotcha"

    Just how many "gotcha" are there on a complete bellows Job? Do you just replace everything once the Bell Housing is off? I hear you almost have to pull the engine to replace the trim sending unit cable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chaumont Bay, N.y., USA
    Posts
    4,154

    Default "I deleted the Trim sensor,

    "I deleted the Trim sensor,+ limit right from the Start,.....I personally Value those, Right up there with Idiot Lights.....

    How Hard it is depends on the lay out of your boat.....

    I go in knowing I'm going to Replace All the Rubber Parts,+ the Lower Shift Cable,.......
    As well as Inspect Everything Else,+ Replace accordingly...........

    A Good Bellows Job only requires Band-aids,......
    A Normal Bellows Job sometimes requires Sutures........."
    Any Grease is Better,... Than No grease at All....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bordentown, NJ, United States
    Posts
    27

    Default "Great...I can't wait!<[im

    "Great...I can&#39;t wait!

    Iím glad Iím not squeamish at the sight of blood."

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