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Ask K. Kergan Your Own Question

K. Kergan
K. Kergan, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 992
Experience:  24 yrs exp. Inboard/Outboard mechanic Mercury/ Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and OMC, Johnson/Evin.
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MY mercruiser alpha one drive will not go into gear

Resolved Question:

MY mercruiser alpha one drive will not go into gear
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  K. Kergan replied 2 years ago.

K.Kergan :

Hi, my name is Kerry


You may have broken the lower driveshaft.

K.Kergan :

If you still have the drive off, put it in gear and turn it manually


 

Customer:

How do I check that?


 

K.Kergan :

If the prop shaft doesn't turn the driveshaft is broken

K.Kergan :

The weak point in the driveshaft is just under the upper gears, there is a groove for an o-ring. They can twist off at the groove.


 

K.Kergan :

If the driveshaft is broken there will be no water being pumped through the engine.


 

K.Kergan :

If the input shaft (u-joints) is easy to turn in gear, the driveshaft is broken. It should be fairly hard to turn because of the water pump.


 

K.Kergan :

Are you clear on how to check?


 

K.Kergan :

Do you still have the drive off the boat?


 

Customer:

Hello. I can not reply??


 

Customer:

I am taking the drive off again today.

Customer:

I am not sure if the drive is pumping water but I ran it for a little while with the hose adaptor and it did not overheat.


 

Customer:

My replies to you were not going through...


 

Customer:

When I put it in gear with the engine not running it will be hard to turn the prop sometimes, but not always.


 

Customer:

If the lower drive shaft is broken will in make a noise like it is rattling around??

K.Kergan :

Hm, if you're taking it off again, the best check is to turn the input shaft and see if the prop shaft turns.


 

Customer:

Ok. It has to be in forward to take off right?


 

K.Kergan :

Right

K.Kergan :
Customer:

ok. What is under the top plate on the drive? Does that show the shaft or spider gear.


 

K.Kergan :

That's the upper gear set.

K.Kergan :
Customer:

so that has nothing to do with the lower shaft?


 

K.Kergan :

It';s just a 90 degree gear set.


 

K.Kergan :

No, the lower shaft plugs into the upper gear


 

K.Kergan :

from below


 

Customer:

ok. The lower unit comes off with the nuts on the bottom of the drive?


 

K.Kergan :

Yes, there's a bolt under the trim tab, two nuts from below, just above the prop, one nut on each side and one at the front


 

K.Kergan :

I'll get you a diagram


 

Customer:

ok.


Thanks so much!!

Customer:

I'm going to pull the drive now. I'll be back.


 

K.Kergan :

Okay

K.Kergan :
Customer:

Ok. Drive is off. There is a green colored L-shapped thing on the drive that slides into a groove on the bell housing. when I hold it straight the prop moves the exposed portion of the drive shaft. When it is turned to the side the prop spins freely. When the prop spins the shaft it does not spin the main shaft, but it does mave a grinding noise in the upper area of the housing. On a side note, I looked into the area where the shift cable goes into the drive and I can not see anything that the shift cable would move. It is just a recessed area and there is nothing sticking out or visible. Is that normal??


 

K.Kergan :

Point the L shaped thing forward and turn the u-joint shaft clockwise, the prop shaft should turn.


 

K.Kergan :

There is a slider on the end of the cable that operates a crank, there is a slot in the slider that a roller on the crank rides in.


 

K.Kergan :

The slider and the end of the crank are in the recessed area.


 

Customer:
K.Kergan :

Either the shaft or the gears in the upper are broken, you'll need to separate the upper and lower gearcases


 

Customer:

I just took off the top cap and the spider gear attached to the main drive shaft is completely ground smooth.!! I have never seen something like that.


 

K.Kergan :

It may have leaked out some oil and run dry, that will do it.

K.Kergan :
K.Kergan :

I've seen it too many times


 

K.Kergan :

You'll need a gear set and all of the bearings for the upper as well as a seal kit.


 

Customer:

Probably, I just got the boat. Ok. Thanks!! I'll order the parts and get started on it.

K.Kergan :

There may be bits of metal from the upper gearcase in the lower gearcase, it would be a good idea to check it too.


 

Customer:

Is it hard to replace or should I take it to a shop and have them do it?


 

K.Kergan :

There is an oil passage from the lower to the upper, metal bits can circulate.


 

K.Kergan :

You need spacial tools to do the job


 

K.Kergan :

the special tools are pricey to do the job only once.


Shimming is tricky too, might be an idea to have an experienced guy do the job.

Customer:

I'll flush out the entire drive. I'll take off the parts and take it to a shop to change the gears or should I take the entire drive to a shop?


 

Customer:

Sorry, do I need special tools to take it apart or to change the gears?


 

K.Kergan :

Yes


 

K.Kergan :

You could get it apart without special tools but you won't get it back together without them.


 

Customer:

ok, Thank you!!

Customer:
K.Kergan :

Tools makes the diassembly much easier.


 

K.Kergan :

You're welcome


 

Customer:
K.Kergan :

Good luck


 

K. Kergan, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 992
Experience: 24 yrs exp. Inboard/Outboard mechanic Mercury/ Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and OMC, Johnson/Evin.
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K. Kergan
K. Kergan
Marine Mechanic
992 Satisfied Customers
24 yrs exp. Inboard/Outboard mechanic Mercury/ Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and OMC, Johnson/Evin.