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#135628 - 07/26/05 04:23 PM boot / bellows????  
Joined: Jun 2005
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syrarff21 Offline
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syrarff21  Offline
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Central NY
Ok, as I've said before, I am rather new to boat repairs. I seem to have a small water leak on the back side of my Merc. 130hp Alpha I I/O. It was looked at by my local marina (where I bought it used 3 years ago) They seem to think it is a soft plug starting to leak. I plan on doing this myself as I've rebuilt auto engines a number of times. Now after talking to some friends with boats, they tell me the boot should be replaced every two years and as long as I have it off, do it now. So here's the question. What is this boot? Is it the same as the drive bellows? and does it really have to be changed every two years? I'm sure it hasn't been changed as long as I've owned it. Am I on borrowed time or is this "old school" thiking?

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#135629 - 07/26/05 06:18 PM Re: boot / bellows????  
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CJS Offline
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CJS  Offline
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Lake Geneva, WI
IMO, this is one of those things that falls into the category of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." I'm not sure how you store your boat, but you'll find that if your exhaust bellows/boot/whatever you want to call it starts to leak, you're running the risk of sinking your boat if you store it in a slip. For peace of mind, you might as well replace it. The part is a corrugated rubber tube that connects the exhaust system of the motor to the plumbing on the drive, which will vent the gasses out through the prop hub. It's exposed to all sorts of harsh conditions and it is a wear part. If it were my boat, I think I'd inspect it for small cracks and replace it if it was showing any signs of wear.


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#135630 - 07/26/05 06:37 PM Re: boot / bellows????  
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Bones Offline
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Bones  Offline
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Just how I've done it...

Up until the beginning of '04 we trailered our boat. So it always sat in an Illinois driveway even during Winter. And we've owned it now (and '88) for 11+ years.

I had always stored, and towed, with the drive just short of all the way up. Just so any precip could run out the drain plug while in the driveway and no shot skeg due to the terrible roads in this state.

All the bellows and seals were fine after all those years.... no leak problems whatsoever.

When our second tilt issue arose, one that I was not capable of fixing myself, and I asked our shop to replace all the bellows and seals. They also agreed that it was time. Coulda made it another 2 years max.***Forgot to mention that th tilt issue was because one of the exterior drive tilt hard-lines corroding...not any bellows stuff****

If someone is telling you every 2 years, they're blowing smoke up yer arse. Maybe in saltwater...

#135631 - 07/26/05 11:08 PM Re: boot / bellows????  
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syrarff21 Offline
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syrarff21  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 66
Central NY
I thank you both for the quick responce to my post. I also keep my boat (1989 Raven) on the trailer when not in the water. As long as it's apart, I am sure it will be inspected and replaced if need be. What I'm wondering about is the need to be replaced every two years? Is this mostly for slip kept boats or all. Seems excessive to me.

#135632 - 07/27/05 12:21 AM Re: boot / bellows????  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 109
allseasonsmarine Offline
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allseasonsmarine  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 109
Oak Forest ,Illinois
This is the number one service we perform on drives. Most people let it go to long. I have packaged it as a transom seal. Parts and labor are about 1200 dollars. Mercury sells it as a parts package at a very good savings. Normally you change the shift cable, gimbal bearing and all bearings. If you have waited to long your universals, and yoke corroded and cause drive to loose all oil. It is usually cheaper to do all at once than to piecemeal. You will have less downtime.

#135633 - 07/27/05 12:27 AM Re: boot / bellows????  
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Bones Offline
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Bones  Offline
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allseasons...

Not to steal yer thunder...our shop offered the same "package" on both VPs and Mercs. And our price included new hard tilt lines.

But, you made one major fault...yer price. NEVER EVER MENTION your price on fixing a boat....ON A BOAT BOARD! I'll talk via PM's if you wish.

Our boat is based in Seneca.


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