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Clicking noise in neutral

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  • Clicking noise in neutral

    Hello all,
    I have a 1999 four winns vista with a Volvo penta engine. I had the outdrive rebuilt last season and it ran great for last month. Today when I launched it , there was a clinging noise from the outdrive only in neutral. I would compare the sound to like a prop hitting cement. It sounded like gears were slightly touching while spinning. As u can tell, i am not a mechanic. Also after a 5 minute cruise it seems to have stopped. Should I worry, get it checked? Its under warranty for season. Thanks any advice would be great.

  • #2
    I would recommend having the shop look at it, since you had it worked on last season. I had a Four Winns '95 190 Horizon with the Volvo SX drive that I put over 2000 hours on. The upper end of the drive and driveshaft are virtually the same as your drive. I did notice a similar sound after about 1500 hours in neutral at idle. It seemed to be more likely later in the season. I did have greasable u-joints on the drive shaft, and did pull the drive and grease them when winterizing. I'm not sure the noise came from the u-joints or from bevel gear backlash in the upper outdrive. This increased backlash may be from increased clearance due to wear over hundreds of hours. Like yous, the noise disappeared when in gear.

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    • #3
      I just spoke to the mechanic and he was surprised at the sound, he thinks it may me the exhaust flapper. My boat is a 1998, would they be on this year? He advised to try and just rev the engine slightly when it is occurring, and if it goes away then it is the flappers. My next question would be is it safe to continue using boat or should i have them fixed now?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mort5029 View Post
        I just spoke to the mechanic and he was surprised at the sound, he thinks it may me the exhaust flapper. My boat is a 1998, would they be on this year? He advised to try and just rev the engine slightly when it is occurring, and if it goes away then it is the flappers. My next question would be is it safe to continue using boat or should i have them fixed now?
        They quit installing them around 1999.
        There was a service bulletin that even said they should be removed
        Might want to talk to your mechanic again as why he didn't take them out
        Assault Squadron NINE
        River Assault Division NINETY-ONE-1966

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Thalasso View Post

          They quit installing them around 1999.
          There was a service bulletin that even said they should be removed
          Might want to talk to your mechanic again as why he didn't take them out
          This guy only rebuilt the drive, he never installed it so he would never have checked that.

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          • #6
            I thought your engine wouldn’t have flappers. Was the noise made when the drive was tilted up at all ? Or in shallow water with drive tilted up ?

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            • #7
              my 1999 Bluewater Malibu had the same clicking in neutral brand new off the trailer zero hours-, is persisted and increased in sound over the years... The dealer did not want to water test it (as new), having a launch across the street ( Mossdale Boats) Owner washed his hands of it, wouldn't discuss further .

              The launch is moss dale crossing about a few miles away at best. Just a frontage road and the launch is right there.
              Mechanic said her could not hear the clicking with a water boot on the outdrive at the shop. ( he smelled of booze.) Mike I think.
              I told him he would only hear it in the water (transom noise too load on trailer to hear), with the boat warmed up. He said there is no problem.
              We lived with it until too noisy.

              Eventually the outdrive needed a rebuild, and the problem dissapeared 2K later.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by QBhoy View Post
                I thought your engine wouldn’t have flappers. Was the noise made when the drive was tilted up at all ? Or in shallow water with drive tilted up ?
                I am thinking it may have been tilted up but only half way at most, I have been to the boat three times now and have started it up , engaged forward for brief second and returned back to neutral and there is no noise anymore, still worried a little but at least I contacted the guy who rebuilt the drive and he assured me that it would be no cost to me if it is the drive..... so wait and see I guess.

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                • #9
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                  Try greasing the gimbal bearing. On a 99, there is a grease fitting on the Starboard side. However a lot of the greaseable bearings on VPs are replaced with sealed MerCrusier gimbal bearings

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