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#571694 - 09/10/18 09:25 AM Bravo 2 U-Joints  
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 130
Boatbottom Offline
Captain
Boatbottom  Offline
Captain

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 130
Great Sacandaga Lake Mayfield,...
Hi Everybody,

The end of the season is here, and my boat, a 2005 289 Bayliner, was hauled out of the water on Friday morning. Toward the end of the season my wife and I noticed a new noise eminating from the stern of the boat (not a good thing). I think it is the universal joint. Quiet in the center position, but more noise as you turn left of right. So...here is my question. If you have to replace the u-joint, is so much disassembly required that you might as well do the gimbal bearing while your in there? Just so you understand, I won't do the work, my local marina will do the work. Please weigh in on the topic.


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#571695 - 09/10/18 03:35 PM Re: Bravo 2 U-Joints [Re: Boatbottom]  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,760
Frantically Relaxing Offline
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Frantically Relaxing  Offline
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Posts: 11,760
My houseboat is 30 years old, is on all the original mechanicals save for a few water pump impellers. Total hours is in the 370 range...

The stbd gimbal bearing was making noise just before we had to pull the thing. Once I got the drives pulled, I found I could not rotate the stbd bearing at all with my fingers. The port bearing on the other hand, rolls as smooth an easy as you could ever ask for, with zero discernible play. The U-joints in both drives never made a peep, and they're 'as good as new', as far as I'm concerned. If I were putting the original drives back on, I wouldn't touch the port bearing. However, I'm going to put a pair of new SEI drives on, so since I'll be changing one, I feel a new one is worth the few bucks for the port side.

Pulling a drive is actually pretty easy, changing a gimbal bearing isn't all that hard either. In your case, I'd just check, or have your mechanic check (if you trust his opinion) on whether it should be changed or if it's okay. Thing is, if the bearing is as old as the U-joints and they're bad, probably a good idea to change the bearing. My U-joints aren't at all bad...

But then, another question to ask is: how much additional $$ to do it now, vs how much to do it later? It should be quite a bit less to do it while the drive's already off...

And it's entirely possible the gimbal is making the noise and not the U-joints.

After saying all that, I would probably have both changed out at the same time, regardless... smile


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#571699 - 09/11/18 03:27 PM Re: Bravo 2 U-Joints [Re: Boatbottom]  
Joined: Jul 2003
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Dave R Offline
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Dave R  Offline
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Posts: 6,569
Raymond NH
I'd only replace it if the new one can be greased and the old one is bad, or is "permanently lubed". I'm not impressed with the "permanently-lubed" gimbal bearings and won't install another. I think Sierra makes one with the grease hole, AFAIK, Mercruiser no longer sells greasable gimbal bearings.

I feel the same way about u-joints as well. I know the Sierra u-joints have grease fittings, not sure about Mercruiser joints.


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#571703 - 09/12/18 01:16 PM Re: Bravo 2 U-Joints [Re: Boatbottom]  
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tpenfield Offline
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tpenfield  Offline
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Cape Cod, MA

I've been meaning to replace the gimbal bearing on my starboard outdrive, but every year when I check it , , it seems fine. So, not an automatic, if it is in good condition. A shop will probably want to replace it, rather than have it fail mid-season, but no saying that it will.

So, your call if you want to spend the extra $$$


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#571708 - 09/14/18 09:20 PM Re: Bravo 2 U-Joints [Re: Boatbottom]  
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 130
Boatbottom Offline
Captain
Boatbottom  Offline
Captain

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 130
Great Sacandaga Lake Mayfield,...
So... As far as the gimbal bearing being greasable (is that a word?). There is a grease fitting on the side of the transom bracket which I thought would be for the gimbal bearing. I looked at prices for the bearing and they are all over the map. I guess I will ask him to check the bearing. If it spins smoothly I'll forgo replacing it. As far as trusting the marina, I've done business with them for 20 years and they treat me well. One of the mechanics is a personal friend of mine. Thanks for the input everybody!


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Blowers are Cheap Fires Are Expensive
#571709 - 09/15/18 01:36 PM Re: Bravo 2 U-Joints [Re: Boatbottom]  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,760
Frantically Relaxing Offline
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Frantically Relaxing  Offline
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I've had 3 gimbal bearings go bad over the years, all 3 alpha's, every one of them gave plenty of advanced notice of failure; the transom starts sounding like someone rollerskating on plywood. When other noises start up, it's time smile


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