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  1. #1
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Smile how to align the engine

    hello there I pull my outdrive out to check the aligment on my engine, I bought the tool but doesnt came with instructions at all, please help Im sorry if this sound dumb thanks

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander mkast's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    If you look in the adults only thread, you can download the manual, then you'll have accurate information.
    From Mercruiser:
    Anyone who uses a service procedure and/or tool, which is not recommended by the manufacturer, first must completely satisfy himself that neither his nor the product’s safety will be endangered by the service procedure selected.

  3. #3
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    Angry Re: how to align the engine

    well thanks for nothing because I try to download the manual and I dont get anything So I gave up.

  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    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.
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  5. #5
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    Smile Re: how to align the engine

    hey bruce thanks great information just what i was looking for thanks again.

  6. #6
    Master Chief Petty Officer bigskiohio's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    you beat me, those are the same that i got with my bar.some guys rotate engine 180 then recheck and i guess split the difference.
    1973 Starcraft Supersport
    120 mercruiser 153c.i.

  7. #7
    Chief Petty Officer P 0 P E Y E's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    Quote 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.
    Well put, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting.
    Farmer's Tan....year round

  8. #8
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskiohio View Post
    you beat me, those are the same that i got with my bar.some guys rotate engine 180 then recheck and i guess split the difference.
    The reason for turning the engine 180° (also 90° and 270°) is to check if your coupler is off, Many new couplers have the splines insalled in the rubber a little off. This means the coupler is not usable. This happens in both aftermarket and OEM couplers. Just the nature of the beast.
    So you must check.
    If you can put the alignment bar in easily at 0° then turn 180° and the alignment bar will not go in, YOU need a new coupler. Splitting the difference is not an option.
    Don S.


    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.

  9. #9
    Chief Petty Officer Mkos1980's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    When you say depth, do you mean the indent into the grease or the length of which the splines show on the bar?
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  10. #10
    Master Chief Petty Officer bigskiohio's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    thanx don that clears that up for me mine was good as i rotated engine but i wondered what would i do if i had to adjust. Indents are in the grease ,it will be like long keys of grease the splines in coupler leave as you bottom out and pull straight out ,you have to do it and it will make sense. height of grease marks
    is what you are looking at.
    1973 Starcraft Supersport
    120 mercruiser 153c.i.

  11. #11
    Master Chief Petty Officer bigskiohio's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    your rear mounts need to be tight when you start.
    1973 Starcraft Supersport
    120 mercruiser 153c.i.

  12. #12
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskiohio View Post
    your rear mounts need to be tight when you start.
    ALL of your mounts MUST be tight when you make your final check.
    Don't even think that when you get the front mount adjusted but still loose, that you are done. When everything is tight, and the alignment bar slips in easily, Then you put the drive on.
    Don S.


    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.

  13. #13
    Master Chief Petty Officer bigskiohio's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to align the engine

    i did it just like don says, all the little info that is left out of instructions is usually the most important. Like holding the flat on the threaded portion when you tighten it up.
    1973 Starcraft Supersport
    120 mercruiser 153c.i.

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