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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 11052
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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my 1989 Sea Ray 180 Bowrider with 4.3 Mercruiser Alpha one

Resolved Question:

my 1989 Sea Ray 180 Bowrider with 4.3 Mercruiser Alpha one was partialy swamped this past weekend (took about 1 ft of water above the floor). It was bailed out and started to get the boat to the launch and out oft he water.
What should my concerns be? what steps should I take next, wither DIY or expect from a service shop?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 6 years ago.

Hi my name isXXXXX will assist you.


Replace or clean any electrical components that were submerged. The starter should be replaced as it will fail from water intrusion. Replace all battery cable ends if corrosion appears. If this was salt water flush everything with fresh water. Change fluid in the trim pump if the pump was submerged. Run the engine and check for any problems.


Remove the drive and inspect for water intrusion in to the u-joint bellows. If signs of water clean and grease all components.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The pump was definelty submerged, the fluids milky brown. can you tell me the basics on changin out that fluid?

I've changed out car startes (worked as a auto mechanic for a bit), any tricks or differences?

I've read a few posts talking about changin out gas, pulling plugs, shoot wd-40 into the cylinders, changing out the engine oil? any thoughts are these needed?



Expert:  Tan replied 6 years ago.


If the carburetor didn't go under water there is no need to change the oil or the spark plugs as there will be no water in the engine. The starter replacement is the same as a car.


To change the fluid in the trim pump you can unbolt the pump from the bracket and dump the fluid or use an oil changer pump to suck the oil out.


There should be no water in the fuel system either unless the fuel tank vent went under water.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks Tan.
It sounds like stuff I can handle. So long as I'm in there I'm guessing changing out the bellows makes sense. Any special tools required? Any tips?
What fluid should I use in the trim. Any special grease on the u joint? Any recommendations on where to get a starter?
Expert:  Tan replied 6 years ago.

The bellows only needs replacing if torn. Locate the leak where the water came in the boat. No special tools. Take your time ask questions if you get stuck. The trim uses SAE 30 engine oil. U-joint grease nothing with teflon.


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