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470 engine alignment

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  • 470 engine alignment

    It looks like the Mercruiser engineers wanted us to do micro-adjustments to the engine alignment by shoving, shaking, and kicking the engine.

    I finally got the alignment tool to go all the way in and rotate.

    Since there is no specification for maximum pounds of force it should take to fully insert the tool, nor any for maximum inch-pounds of torque is should take to rotate it, one can only guess when the alignment is correct.

    So, I can fully insert the tool using only one hand and moderate force, and I can rotate the tool using only my fingertips. I know "moderate" is a completely subjective term, but does this sound about right? I can't imagine getting it any better with the crudeness of the adjusting mechanisms.

    Thanks.
    Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
    Alpha One s/n 0B754718
    '87 Four Winns Horizon 170



  • #2
    Re: 470 engine alignment

    I just read a thread that said the tool should slide in easily and bottom out on the shoulder. It sounded to me like there should not be much resistance when done properly...if any. He even went so far as to stress how critical the procedure is.

    Here's the thread; http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=358106

    There is a specific procedure for it, but I can't put my fingers on it right now. If I find it, I'll post it.
    1984 Imperial VC230
    Merc. 470 S.N. 6701134
    Alpha One S.N. OA706258

    1983 Lund Mr. Pike 16',
    Johnson 75 HP Sea Horse

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: 470 engine alignment

      Originally posted by ErieRon View Post
      I just read a thread that said the tool should slide in easily and bottom out on the shoulder. It sounded to me like there should not be much resistance when done properly...if any. He even went so far as to stress how critical the procedure is.

      Here's the thread; http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=358106

      There is a specific procedure for it, but I can't put my fingers on it right now. If I find it, I'll post it.
      Thanks for the thread.

      I spent the entire day with an inspection mirror and flashlight and my head stuck down behind the engine trying to see which way the engine should go thread the needle, so to speak. It's pretty obvious when you are way off because when you insert the tool you hit a brick wall..or a steel coupler. When you are close enough to insert the tool all the way, but not so absolutely perfect as to make it resistance-free is when the process gets subjective.

      I understand in principle what needs to be accomplished. A line is defined by two points, in this case the gimbal bearing and the grease seal. The point is to align the coupler spline co-axially with segment "gimbal bearing-grease seal." But, since you can in fact wiggle the tool around due to the slop in the gimbal bearing and grease seal, you can only hope to get the coupler spline axis inside a cone defined by the aforementioned wobbliture.

      Time for another bourbon.

      Liked the bit about putting grease on the tool, thrusting it in, then checking out the distribution of the grease. At least that is psuedo-scientific.
      Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
      Alpha One s/n 0B754718
      '87 Four Winns Horizon 170

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: 470 engine alignment

        I had the same problem after doing a gimbal bearing. Just wouldn't line up when really nothing had changed...or had it...

        I realized that it was the gimbal which needed to align to the engine a bit. gimbals can tilt, that's their job. It seems that this is to make our jobs easier, so that the alignment is not a 'get out your micrometer' deal.

        I inserted the alignment tool as far as it would go (Took some force), then tapped lightly around it with a hammer. This lines up the gimbal. Then, the insertion was smooth as silk. I fine tuned the alignment with the grease method thereafter.

        You want it to insert smooth because when you tilt the outdrive the shaft will slip fore and aft. If it binds your universals pivot and scour you soft aluminum expensive parts.


        Try it....little taps.


        Chay

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: 470 engine alignment

          Inspect the splines on the shaft for visible wear, generally if the splines
          are worn then the coupler is also worn. If wear is evident replace the parts
          as needed.


          NEVER Force the alignment tool in, you can damage the tool and the coupler.

          NOTE: If you find the tool will not slide into the gimbal simply remove the
          black coating on the largest step with fine sand paper.


          1) Once you have the engine height close enough to
          fully insert the tool without force, then you can start
          working on setting the proper alignment.

          Take your time, getting it close enough to insert the
          tool the first time can sometimes be the hardest (most
          frustrating) part.

          2) Coat the end section of the tool (the smallest diameter
          area) with a light coat of grease and then insert it fully
          into the coupler.

          3) Without turning the tool, pull it straight out and look at
          the depth of the teeth marks in the grease.

          If the teeth marks in the grease are deep on the
          top side and shallow on the bottom side of the tool then
          your motor is too high.

          If the marks in the grease are deeper on the bottom than
          on the top then your motor is too low.

          4) Adjust the engine height accordingly.

          5) Keep checking the depth of the marks in the grease until
          they are equal in depth on top and bottom.

          Sometimes as little as 1/8th of a turn on the adjusting nut can be the
          difference between being properly aligned, and just having it "close"

          Lightly Grease the splines on the shaft (and on the coupler if you can) with
          Spline grease prior to assembly.
          1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
          Volvo Penta Duo-Prop 7.4L "LK"

          2006 Sun Tracker Party Barge 21
          Mercury 90 4-Stroke FI
          "Common sense is not very common"
          "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: 470 engine alignment

            [QUOTE=bruceb58;2367880]
            If the teeth marks in the grease are deep on the
            top side and shallow on the bottom side of the tool then
            your motor is too high.

            If the marks in the grease are deeper on the bottom than
            on the top then your motor is too low.

            Didn't ya' kinda say that exactly backwards ???

            Ed in 'ol Virginny
            Eddie Petty. #3 Dirt Modified
            Courtland, Virginia
            V-20 Wellcraft
            3.7 470 Mercruiser

            Stumpnocker
            25 Yamaha, 25 Johnson, 25 Evinrude, 9.9 Evinrude, 4 Johnson, 2.5 Johnson

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: 470 engine alignment

              Thanks for posting the procedure Bruce. That's the one I was thinking of.
              1984 Imperial VC230
              Merc. 470 S.N. 6701134
              Alpha One S.N. OA706258

              1983 Lund Mr. Pike 16',
              Johnson 75 HP Sea Horse

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: 470 engine alignment

                Didn't ya' kinda say that exactly backwards ???
                Ayuh,... You're adjusting the Front mount,... Bruce is Exactly Right....
                Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: 470 engine alignment

                  as far as force goes its a by feel thing. If properly aligned, using the gimbal bearing to support the tool, you should be able to slide the tool in and out of the coupler with 2 fingers and a thumb.
                  just because you found it that way does not mean it is supposed to be that way.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: 470 engine alignment

                    Originally posted by JustJason View Post
                    as far as force goes its a by feel thing. If properly aligned, using the gimbal bearing to support the tool, you should be able to slide the tool in and out of the coupler with 2 fingers and a thumb.
                    Need to calibrate. How much can you curl?

                    Seriously, do you mean holding it with the fingertips or a full 2-finger-1-thumb grasp? Big difference there to me.
                    Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
                    Alpha One s/n 0B754718
                    '87 Four Winns Horizon 170

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: 470 engine alignment

                      Originally posted by bruceb58 View Post
                      Inspect the splines on the shaft for visible wear, generally if the splines
                      are worn then the coupler is also worn. If wear is evident replace the parts
                      as needed.


                      NEVER Force the alignment tool in, you can damage the tool and the coupler.

                      NOTE: If you find the tool will not slide into the gimbal simply remove the
                      black coating on the largest step with fine sand paper.


                      1) Once you have the engine height close enough to
                      fully insert the tool without force, then you can start
                      working on setting the proper alignment.

                      Take your time, getting it close enough to insert the
                      tool the first time can sometimes be the hardest (most
                      frustrating) part.

                      2) Coat the end section of the tool (the smallest diameter
                      area) with a light coat of grease and then insert it fully
                      into the coupler.

                      3) Without turning the tool, pull it straight out and look at
                      the depth of the teeth marks in the grease.

                      If the teeth marks in the grease are deep on the
                      top side and shallow on the bottom side of the tool then
                      your motor is too high.

                      If the marks in the grease are deeper on the bottom than
                      on the top then your motor is too low.

                      4) Adjust the engine height accordingly.

                      5) Keep checking the depth of the marks in the grease until
                      they are equal in depth on top and bottom.

                      Sometimes as little as 1/8th of a turn on the adjusting nut can be the
                      difference between being properly aligned, and just having it "close"

                      Lightly Grease the splines on the shaft (and on the coupler if you can) with
                      Spline grease prior to assembly.
                      This is what I've been trying all morning, except when I remove the tool, the spline marks are deeper on the right side, indicating to me that I need to move the engine over to the right (I've been trying to nudge it over all morning) or tap the gimbal bearing to the left as explained by Chay, however I was under the impression that the gimbal bearing could pivot, but not move laterally, or maybe he meant just to adjust the pivot.

                      I've got my work cut out for me. Not only did I replace the gimbal bearing, but I also had to replace the rotten wood under the front engine mount. Didn't think to make a template for the holes before I cut out the fiberglass and rot. However, I didn't mark and drill the front holes until after I could insert the tool with light/moderate one-handed force.

                      My adjustment options are, correct me if I'm wrong...

                      moving the aft end of the engine left or right (due to play in the rear mount),
                      moving the front mount left or right
                      moving the front mount up and down

                      It seems to me that raising or lowering the front mount only pivots the engine about the rear mounts. How do you raise or lower the rear of the engine?

                      Of course, the manual makes it sound so easy: torque down the rear bolts then move the front of the engine up or down...

                      Let's see, I'm up to about 700 trips up and down the ladder....
                      Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
                      Alpha One s/n 0B754718
                      '87 Four Winns Horizon 170

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: 470 engine alignment

                        however I was under the impression that the gimbal bearing could pivot, but not move laterally,
                        Ayuh,... It's a Gimbeled bearing,... It moves just like an Eyeball in it's socket....
                        moving the aft end of the engine left or right (due to play in the rear mount),
                        moving the front mount left or right
                        moving the front mount up and down
                        Nope,.... #1 is Not an option,... There shouldn't Be any Play.... Only #2,+ #3....
                        Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: 470 engine alignment

                          Nate,

                          Have you checked your stringers where the mounts are secured? My front one rotted and sagged over the years and caused me to spin my coupler. Might be a good time to check.

                          Also, I'm pretty sure the manual says to check the alignment at 90 degree intervals of shaft rotation. I assume that means manually rotate the engine via the front nut and check it at 12, 3, 6 & 9:00.
                          1984 Imperial VC230
                          Merc. 470 S.N. 6701134
                          Alpha One S.N. OA706258

                          1983 Lund Mr. Pike 16',
                          Johnson 75 HP Sea Horse

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: 470 engine alignment

                            Originally posted by Bond-o View Post
                            Ayuh,... It's a Gimbeled bearing,... It moves just like an Eyeball in it's socket....


                            Nope,.... #1 is Not an option,... There shouldn't Be any Play.... Only #2,+ #3....
                            Good. That explains why I've been kicking/shoving/cussing the aft end with no change in results.

                            I've torqued it down and am working on the up/down at the front end. I finally got a two-fingertip/thumbtip insertion once, but I pulled it out and tried to immediately reinsert it and had to use a five-fingered full wrap grip to insert.

                            I seem to be getting spline marks in the grease from about three o'clock to about 7 o'clock if viewing the tool from the rear, which I think calls for lowering the engine, and maybe nudging the front mount to the right.

                            My brain hurts, but nothing like my leg and butt muscles.....up to 817 trips up/down the ladder.
                            Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
                            Alpha One s/n 0B754718
                            '87 Four Winns Horizon 170

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: 470 engine alignment

                              Originally posted by ErieRon View Post
                              Nate,

                              Have you checked your stringers where the mounts are secured? My front one rotted and sagged over the years and caused me to spin my coupler. Might be a good time to check.

                              Also, I'm pretty sure the manual says to check the alignment at 90 degree intervals of shaft rotation. I assume that means manually rotate the engine via the front nut and check it at 12, 3, 6 & 9:00.
                              I recently rebuilt the motor and did inspect the coupler. It looks good. I did find rot under the front mount and replaced the factory plywood with PT plywood and re-glassed it. I'm sure having to drill new holes for the front mount is contributing to the challenge.
                              Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
                              Alpha One s/n 0B754718
                              '87 Four Winns Horizon 170

                              Comment


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