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Help needed - 1979 800 Stringer

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  • Help needed - 1979 800 Stringer

    Looking for some help from the collective on a new project.

    I just picked up a 1979 Glasply Cuddy with 305 V8 and 800 Stringer sterndrive (no selectrim). Before buying, I read and researched a bunch and know that these drives are a weak link, but also that they are functional when treated well and maintained. I don't have a lot of boat repair experience, but have been wrenching on my own cars for 25 years and am always up for a challenge. I don;t mind taking on a project, gives me something to work on when I need a break.

    The prior owner had only taken the boat out a few times and spent most of his energy replacing the exhaust manifolds and other tune-up stuff. On his last trip, the drive didn't go down fully, he didn't realize it and ran it for a little while, then it started stalling the engine when in gear. Engine ran fine in neutral. Says he heard some "noises".

    Before I start tearing into the drive, I wanted to ask for guidance on how to asses the current unit so I can decide on whether to focus my energy on sourcing a good used replacement to get me on the water.

    I'm guessing the clutch didn't work properly. Prior owner already opened it up as the cover was unbolted when I purchased it, so don;t know if it had water in it or not. The cover to the tilt motor shaft was also off and I can pull the gear out of the housing. Will see if I can upload some pics to show you current state. The gears seem OK, no teeth broken.

    Before I spend any $$ getting the tilt system up and running, I want to determine what else might have been damaged to cause the drive to bind. What should I look for? Are there quick tests I can run without the engine running to diagnose while it's all still together or should I pull the drive from the intermediate housing and start my work there?

    Also, I have the Seloc manual, but it's not great. I found some shop manuals on ebay that are dated 1983. Will those manuals properly cover previous models like mine? I know there was a change from hydro-mechanical to mechanical between 1979-1983, so want to make sure I get the right one.

    Thanks in advance for the help.



  • #2
    First thing to look at. Do the ball gears look flared out with razor sharp edges? If they have that appearance do not spend any $ trying to repair it. Take a picture and try to post it if you are not sure what you are looking at. Good luck
    1980 Donzi 18'. 2+3 6.2 MPI Alpha 1

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    • #3
      throw the seloc manual away, it is full of wrong information. get a factory manual.

      the tilt motor seal goes, and the tilt motor needs to be replaced every few years. you pretty much stand on your head for about an hour to replace it

      as Kenny pointed out, what is the condition of the ball gears?

      as for replacement, only an OMC stringer drive will fit the giant hole in the transom you can drive a bus thru. any other drive will require replacing the transom.
      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

      Past Boats
      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheasheads in Paradise"
      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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      • #4
        Thanks, can I see the ball gears while the drive is in place or do I need to separate the upper unit from intermediate housing?

        If they are flared like you suggest, can I just replace the ball gears with a $150 kit or is that a sign of other more serious internal issues?

        I'm willing to spend a few bucks to make the current unit work, but I should be able to source a used drive locally on CL for about $500 or less.

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        • #5
          I would recommend you get the manual as Scott suggest, and remove the drive (not too hard on the Stringers). You can see the ball gears from below when the drive is tilted full up, but it's better (IMHO) to just remove the drive and inspect. I would also separate the upper gear case from the lower (again, easy - follow the manual) and see if it's running free (should turn by hand, or perhaps a tool to help).

          On the '79s I'm not sure how to test the lower, but I would at least get a look at the lube out of the lower unit.
          [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_270443_1499813187632_202[/ATTACH]

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          • #6
            Thanks guys, will get working on the drive removal and will post what I find.

            Comment


            • #7
              use the manual when removing the drive.

              yes, the ball gear kit is $150

              while at it, get a complete water pump and inspect the split vertical driveshaft splines. you may need to replace them (a known weak spot)
              1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

              Past Boats
              1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
              2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheasheads in Paradise"
              1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

              What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

              Comment


              • #8
                All good info here . I would definately remove the drive regardless to give everything a good visual inspection and change impeller.

                To get a quick look at the ball gears you can remove the 3 bolts on the tilt quadrant gear and that will allow you to raise and lower the outdrive by hand so you can see the ball gears
                1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

                "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post
                  ..... the tilt motor needs to be replaced every few years.....

                  There are tricks. My tilt motor is now 42 years old and still operating.

                  .......as for replacement, only an OMC stringer drive will fit the giant hole in the transom you can drive a bus thru. any other drive will require replacing the transom.

                  Not only replace the transom, but totally rebuild it. Because the engine and outdrive assy was mounted to the stringers, the transoms were never built heavy enough to carry the load of a transom mount OD assy like Mercs, etc.
                  See within the quote box.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, quick update since I last posted:
                    1. I sourced a complete used stringer assembly locally, including the intermediate housing. The boat was a ford V8, so the bell housing is a little different (I have chevy 305), but otherwise everything else looks to be the same. The new drive is in much better visual shape as my current drive which has serious corrosion on the lower housing. Unfortunately, they cut the cable to make the extraction easier, really wish they had saved it.
                    2. I removed my original stringer from the boat and have it on a stand for tear down as I will need the cable for the new drive. The ball gears were trashed as expected, but I have not found any other major damage. I am planning on pulling the ball gear from the new intermediate housing and install on the unit still in the boat.
                    3. I removed the upper drive and am trying to pull the shift cable but am stuck at the point of removing the exhaust housing. I removed the trim stuff at the back of the drive and all of the bolts under there as well as the four around the perimeter. No matter what I do, I cannot get this housing off of the lower unit to access the cable bolts. Any suggestions?

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                    • #11
                      See if someone put a sealer around the exhaust housing. I've run across one that someone did that with. Once those perimeter bolts are off, the housing should come right off.
                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_270443_1499813187632_202[/ATTACH]

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                      • #12
                        That's what I was starting to think cause no matter how much banging I did, nothing would budge. Turns out it was stuck on the swivel housing. Found a post where another guy had used a puller and heat to get his off. I did the same and it walked right off.

                        Next step, water pump for the new/used drive, then test and fix the tilt system. Time to order some parts.

                        I'm planning on using the official gasket sealant and even tap threads as I go to clean them up. Besides bolts and gaskets, is there anywhere else I should make sure to use this stuff? Also, anyplace I should definitely NOT use it?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't recall ever sealant on anything besides actual gaskets and the water pump housing. One of the others will know more than me, but there's at least no real reason to try and seal the exhaust housing. As long as the upper gear case and lower gear case seal, from what I can remember right now the rest of it can flood for the most part.
                          [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_270443_1499813187632_202[/ATTACH]

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                          • #14
                            Sign up today
                            Some OMC adapter housings were drilled for Ford & Chevy. Some had a 1" spacer which was the adapter so you have to be sure to compare the driveshafts as there are 2 different lengths.
                            As said above just use the sealant where OMC requires it.
                            When you said the ball gears were trashed can you post a picture of them ?
                            1980 Donzi 18'. 2+3 6.2 MPI Alpha 1

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