SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

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Augoose

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I'm trying to remove the drive and its pretty well stuck. I followed the service manual and I'm on the last section where it says to remove the drive- shift cable, nuts, etc are all out of the way.

I've soaked the threads in p-buster, whacked around the sides with a rubber mallet, took a metal rod and put it between the drive and gimbal housing trying to use it as a lever, but nothing works. I've noticed a small slot opening in the starboard side of the drive just above one of the studs -what is that for?
Does anyone have any other suggestions?
Thanks
 
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John2037

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

sounds like your not going to like what you see when you get this apart, sounds like the gimbal bearing is rusted to the drive shaft. Put a couple of nuts on (just a couple treads) to keep it from flying off and hitting the floor - trim it down and put a block of wood in between the top of the outdrive (right in front of the dip) to the transom bracket (the lower area - solid heavy metal) and trim up - I usually have someone keep an eye on the back. I've popped off some really bad jobs like this.
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

sounds like your not going to like what you see when you get this apart, sounds like the gimbal bearing is rusted to the drive shaft. Put a couple of nuts on (just a couple treads) to keep it from flying off and hitting the floor - trim it down and put a block of wood in between the top of the outdrive (right in front of the dip) to the transom bracket (the lower area - solid heavy metal) and trim up - I usually have someone keep an eye on the back. I've popped off some really bad jobs like this.

Thanks John, I had read some other threads about the gimbal being rusted to the drive shaft and was wondering if that may be the issue. Regarding the block of wood, is this where you are talking about putting it?
 

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John2037

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

lol, I wanted to post a pic earlier - perfect!

pen copy.jpg
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Got it- thanks for taking the time to make the illustration. I'll give it a shot tomorrow
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Well, the wood wedge hasn't worked yet. I say yet because I've left the drive trimmed up against the wood in hopes that over time it will exert enough pressure to allow the outdrive to release. I'll check it again later in the week.

The irritating thing is that I'm doing this ONLY to get at the u-joints so I can grease them as part of summerization. The boat has not been showing any symptoms or signs of any issues anywhere but since I bought it last year I don't know when the last time was that the drive was off.
 

Don S

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Ujoints are probably nongrease able if OEM, but you should be greasing the coupler splines and checking alignment yearly.

99% of the time when they are stuck on like that, it's from corrosion around the studs going through the drive from the pivot housing. and not being removed for many years. Don't be afraid to use heat, your going to need it.

Volvo recommends putting grease on the studs when installing the drive. Keeps that from happening.
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Ujoints are probably nongrease able if OEM, but you should be greasing the coupler splines and checking alignment yearly.

99% of the time when they are stuck on like that, it's from corrosion around the studs going through the drive from the pivot housing. and not being removed for many years. Don't be afraid to use heat, your going to need it.

Volvo recommends putting grease on the studs when installing the drive. Keeps that from happening.


Thanks Don. I didn't even think about the OEM joints being non-greasable. I had replaced the u-joints on my last boat (Merc Alpha 1) and just had it in my head that newer u-joints would have zerks. I'll inspect them at the least and then also grease the splines and verify alignment.

I was weary of applying heat to the studs out of fear of damaging the surrounding metal of the outdrive which is cast aluminum right?

I've got a torch so I'll give it a shot- do I need to try and use some metal flashing to keep the heat down on the aluminum?

If/when it comes off, I'll be sure to coat the studs in grease to make this easier next season.
thanks again
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Well, I've been defeated once again. So I placed a block of wood on the upper part of the drive and tried to trim up to put pressure on the outdrive while at the same time heating the 6 studs with a torch until they were glowing red - still wouldn't come off. At one point the trim motor was at full torque against the wood and the drive still wouldn't budge - I'm worried that I will damage the hydraulic system or the transom shield if I keep pushing it this way. When I trimmed back down after one of the attempts I heard something pop- making me nervous.

What about putting in the hoist eye, running a ratchet strap around the base of the upper gear unit and then around the hoist eye, and then tie off to a come-along? If I ensured the tension was equal between the hoist eye and the lower part of the upper gear unit could I pull the drive off without damage?
 

Senior B

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

When you apply heat, things expand, so heating the studs makes them expand in the housing. Heat the housing instead. As for the block of wood, there are several posts that address this and I believe they all say to trim up and place the wood between the lower part of the drive (under the bellows area) and transom housing and then trim down. Does it move at all or is it stuck solid?
 

Senior B

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

I should also add that if you're having this much trouble, you're probably going to also replace your Bellows Boot so why not turn the drive to one side, cut the boot, and spray a can of PB blaster all around the Gimbal Bearing in the housing and the shaft and let it soak a couple days and try again. Might help and it can't hurt. I would not pull from the hoist eye (upper dip stick hole). There are more resonable tricks to try yet. Good Luck.
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

When you apply heat, things expand, so heating the studs makes them expand in the housing. Heat the housing instead. As for the block of wood, there are several posts that address this and I believe they all say to trim up and place the wood between the lower part of the drive (under the bellows area) and transom housing and then trim down. Does it move at all or is it stuck solid?

I should also add that if you're having this much trouble, you're probably going to also replace your Bellows Boot so why not turn the drive to one side, cut the boot, and spray a can of PB blaster all around the Gimbal Bearing in the housing and the shaft and let it soak a couple days and try again. Might help and it can't hurt. I would not pull from the hoist eye (upper dip stick hole). There are more resonable tricks to try yet. Good Luck.

Senior B, thanks for the input. To answer your questions, I trained the heat on the studs vs the surrounding as I was worried about overheating the aluminum- I'll try anything at this point however. Regarding the wood and trim trick, I had though about other locations for the wood but it seems to me that since the rams are attached to the same section of outdrive I want to come off, if I trim down the rams would actually be "pulling" the outdrive in closer- not pushing out like trimming up and placing the wood at the top. Maybe I'm wrong and I'm certainly open to other suggestions- heck, I'm obviously not doing something right because the drives not off!

Oddly enough both the bellows are in good shape but I've already purchased replacements and so I'm no opposed to cutting them as long as it will help. However, I think Don is right in that my problem is corrosion on the studs and not the shaft rusted to the gimbal. I can see quite a bit of yellowish-white corrosion on the studs. I'll keep it in mind though.
If not using the hoist eye and lower area to pull from using a ratchet strap, what other tricks do you have?
 

John2037

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Did you have it running before this? I would assume if the gimbal bearing is this rusted than the ujoints wouldn't be very good and would for surely vibrate. If there's no vibration than I would keep @ the bolts. Have you tried the block, heat and a dead blow hammer?
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Did you have it running before this? I would assume if the gimbal bearing is this rusted than the ujoints wouldn't be very good and would for surely vibrate. If there's no vibration than I would keep @ the bolts. Have you tried the block, heat and a dead blow hammer?

Yup, it was running perfectly with no issues at all and I have tried PBlaster, heat, wooden block, and a larger rubber mallot (don't have a deadblow hammer but since the rams were not capable of pushing the outdrive off, I didn't think the hammer even stood a chance).

Any other ideas?
 

Nickypoo

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Any chance of backing the studs out?
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

I read about that- double nutting?
Does anyone know if I tighten down two nuts on top of each other can I back out the studs or at least spin them to break the corrosion?
 

Nickypoo

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

double nutting?
Does anyone know if I tighten down two nuts on top of each other can I back out the studs or at least spin them to break the corrosion?

That's what I was thinking. Your best shot would probably be an impact driver if you can fit a socket in there. I think breaking the corrosion free one by one is going to be a lot easier than trying to dead-pull against all 6.

Be careful though, you could end up shearing off the bolt if you put too much torque on it with a wrench or something.

This corrosion is nasty stuff. I finished disassembling my aluminum 270 outdrive last month after an epic 4 day battle with one of the pieces suffering from this condition.
 

Senior B

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

Brother, I must ask if you've tried to shoot any thing in the Gimbal? What about turning the motor via the starter 90 degrees and try and then 180? I ask these as it sounds like all efforts are based on your drive being stuck due to corrosion between the studs and the drive housing. There have been many a drive stuck due to a drive shaft stuck in the gimbal bearing due to rust or the coupler due to rust or gross misalignment. If you can double nut and spin the studs and the drive is still stuck then...you know where I'm going with this..Good Luck..
 

Augoose

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Re: SX-M drive stuck - suggestions

That's what I was thinking. Your best shot would probably be an impact driver if you can fit a socket in there. I think breaking the corrosion free one by one is going to be a lot easier than trying to dead-pull against all 6.

Be careful though, you could end up shearing off the bolt if you put too much torque on it with a wrench or something.

This corrosion is nasty stuff. I finished disassembling my aluminum 270 outdrive last month after an epic 4 day battle with one of the pieces suffering from this condition.

Thanks Nickypoo, I might try breaking the studs free just a bit and see if that helps- I'll be careful not to over-torque......

Brother, I must ask if you've tried to shoot any thing in the Gimbal? What about turning the motor via the starter 90 degrees and try and then 180? I ask these as it sounds like all efforts are based on your drive being stuck due to corrosion between the studs and the drive housing. There have been many a drive stuck due to a drive shaft stuck in the gimbal bearing due to rust or the coupler due to rust or gross misalignment. If you can double nut and spin the studs and the drive is still stuck then...you know where I'm going with this..Good Luck..

Thanks Senior B. No, I haven't tried spraying breakfree into the gimbal - I wanted to avoid cutting the bellows if at all possible. I suppose I can try to reach it from inside the boat? Haven't looked to see if that's possible. In looking at everything, there is a LOT of corrosion on the studs and since the gimbal was previously not giving me any signs or symptoms of having issues, I kept focus on the studs. Regarding the coupler, I haven't focused on that yet because I've read that a symptom of a rusted or seized coupler is that the drive will start to come out a bit and then be pulled back in - well, I can't even get the drive to move at all. I know that that doesn't mean in itself that its NOT the coupler, but I figured since I don't have a clue what to do if it IS the coupler, I'd focus on the studs in the meantime. The boat never sounded or ran like it was out of alignment, but I suppose its possible. I did try turning it over a couple of times as well - didn't seem to help.

I've gone out a couple of times this week and sprayed more PB blaster - the studs are clean now as a result so hopefully some of that stuff crept its way down the threads and inside the housing to clear up the corrosion. Its raining here today and tomorrow but hopefully it will clear enough at some point to try spraying the gimbal and letting it soak, trying the wood block trick with the rams to try to push it off, trying to heat the surrounding aluminum around the studs, trying to turn the studs and then if all else fails, try the hoist eye / ratchet strap / pull-the-sucker-off with a come-along.

If that doesn't work I'm going to put the darn thing back together and keep driving it this summer. I've changed the engine oil, lower gear unit oil, lubed the gimbal, checked all the other components (steering, trim, etc) and all is well. Its not time for an impeller just yet.....

Thanks all for the help! I'll post up my results tomorrow
 
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