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In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

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  • In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

    Just got a 03 Alpha 1 4.3L. It was not run this year. Found a broken shift cable boot and very small amount of water in the gear lube. Pulled the drive and found water in the u-joint boot. There is rust on the yokes from soaking in an inch of water. Looks like the gimbal bearing is junk. The u-joints are GKN perma-lube and feel good.

    When I push the drive up, I don not see any cracks or other signs of degradation to the U-joint bellows. The failed shift cable bellows is full of small cracks when stretched.

    Should I replace the u-joints and the u-joint bellows?

    Thanks for the help.


  • #2
    Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

    As a rule of thumb, the ujoint bellows should be replaced after 5 years. You're over that. The only other place for water to get into the bellows is from the large quad ring in the bellhousing between the drive and the bellhousing. If it gets reused, cut or damage when the drive is installed, water will get into the bellows. If it looks good, then you can bet money there is a hole in the bellows that you can't see.
    Don S.

    sigpic

    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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    • #3
      Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

      Originally posted by skyler4321 View Post
      Just got a 03 Alpha 1 4.3L. It was not run this year. Found a broken shift cable boot and very small amount of water in the gear lube. Pulled the drive and found water in the u-joint boot. There is rust on the yokes from soaking in an inch of water. Looks like the gimbal bearing is junk. The u-joints are GKN perma-lube and feel good.

      When I push the drive up, I don not see any cracks or other signs of degradation to the U-joint bellows. The failed shift cable bellows is full of small cracks when stretched.

      Should I replace the u-joints and the u-joint bellows?

      Thanks for the help.


      Howdy,


      If the shift cable boot is rotten and you can not identify when the all bellows were replaced, you probably should do a complete transom service.

      If there's corrosion inside, U-joints, etc, you should probably replace them. Since there was water in there, I would probably do the gimbal bearing too....

      Don't put it back together without checking/adjusting the alignment...


      Regards,


      Rick
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
      This post was created with OpenSuSE x64 Linux!

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

        I am about to buy tools for this job.
        Do I need the bellows expander tools for the exhaust and u-joint bellows?
        Thanks

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

          Skyler, in my experience, if you don't replace the u-joints now, you will be replacing them next year. They feel fine when moving them by hand, but they will get rough. Your next post will be titled 'vibration when turning left and right, u-joints?'

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

            Thanks
            I would rather replace it all now.
            Thinking if going with www.amarket.com parts.
            They have the yoke and joints in a kit for the same cost as just 1 joint!!!
            The same goes for the bellows.
            Is this a case of you get what you pay for?

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

              Originally posted by skyler4321 View Post
              Thanks
              I would rather replace it all now.
              Thinking if going with www.amarket.com parts.
              They have the yoke and joints in a kit for the same cost as just 1 joint!!!
              The same goes for the bellows.
              Is this a case of you get what you pay for?
              I've ordered from amarket several times - I've had good experience with them - both on their prices and service.

              You can ask what brand the bellows are. Then report back with what you find to get opinions on the brand. Most like the OEM, but several have commented that the Sierra works well.

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                I bought my bellows and tools from AMarket. They were fine. DO buy the bellows tool. Well worth it, IMO.

                Also, when you pull the shift shaft to use the bellows tool, make sure you don't put it in reversed 180º. :-) Fortunately, I found this before I took it to the lake...

                Personally, I'd replace the joints and bellows while I had the drive out. Pretty simple while it's apart. I'd also replace the impeller if it hasn't been done in the last year. I did find that the sierra impeller kit didn't have the key or another part that slips my mind right now and I ended up with the mercruiser kit instead.

                Take a good look at the water hose and oil hose (if it has one). Great time to replace those as well...

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                  I am about to do the engine alignment. The engine was replaced in 2005.
                  I was looking at the rear mount with a fiber scope and the port side is almost touching the fiber washer and there is a lot of space on the other side. The front port mount is adjusted 5/8” lower than the other front mount. It looks like the front mounts are trying to roll the whole engine to the port side.
                  Should both rear mounts have about equal space over the fiber washers?

                  Thanks for your help

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                    Yes the rear (if properly replaced last time) have a "stack" that needs to be in the right order. Both should sit even and the front mounts compensate for any variance in the stringers.

                    But I guess if you get the alignment tool to slide in and out easy you are good to go.
                    When will people learn that impellers require regular
                    replacement and are not drive it till it pukes items?

                    1984 Regal Medallion 195
                    3.8 V-6 with the dreaded
                    OMC Stringer Drive.
                    2003 Avalanche w/Hypertech

                    If it ain't fixable - don't break it!

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                      Do I need to find a way to lift the front of the engine or can I bend the tab a little, use a wrench and then stake it back?

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                        as for the joints, they should be 7260 series. try a local driveshaft shop. i had mine replaced at driveline service of nj inc. on rt. 46 in clifton nj. took them the yokes and the installed the joints on the spot for a fraction of the joints you see from mercruiser. they used neapco high performance joints and put a small button zerk fitting in the cross instead of a plug so i can grease them next season. if your by nj call them 973-433-7900 it saved me time and money!

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                          also i made a bellows tool for approx $6.00. i bought a piece of 2" flat steel and some solid square stock at home depot. just modeled it after the ones on ebay. worked like a charm and all it took was a little welding and a little time!

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                            Originally posted by skyler4321 View Post
                            I am about to do the engine alignment. The engine was replaced in 2005.
                            I was looking at the rear mount with a fiber scope and the port side is almost touching the fiber washer and there is a lot of space on the other side. The front port mount is adjusted 5/8” lower than the other front mount. It looks like the front mounts are trying to roll the whole engine to the port side.
                            Should both rear mounts have about equal space over the fiber washers?

                            Thanks for your help
                            For one thing, to check the alignment, you need an alignment bar, looking at the mounts with that scope will only tell you something is wrong, not if it's out of alignment or not.
                            Yes, there should be equal weight on the rear mounts, and the front mounts.
                            If the threads on the front mounts are clean, and educated elbow will tell you if you have equal weight on the front mounts, plus checking the alignment as you go till you get it perfect. Then when you tighten down the front mounts and recheck your alignment and it's off. They were not equal.
                            DO NOT go by how many threads are showing. You are assuming the hole was cut perfectly square to the stringers (not going to happen) and that the stringers are exactly the same height. (also not going to happen).
                            The alignment bar tells all.
                            Here is a thread (with video's) that covers about all of the alignment procedures.

                            http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=443992
                            Don S.

                            sigpic

                            Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
                            That is what the forums are for.
                            Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Re: In Need of Alpha 1 U-Joint and Boot Advice

                              alignment tool here;http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercr...ssoriesQ5fGear

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