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Signs of leaking bellow?

Posted By: Silverbullet

Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/07/19 12:12 AM


I've noticed this year I am getting more water in the bilge. Definitely more than I should and it is spraying around to some degree in the engine compartment.

I tightened all the hose clamps after last week and it is still happening. Can't feel water around any of the fittings.

I'm thinking bellows is the most likely culprit. I haven't had the drive off for a few years and the bellows are 7 years old. Planning to pull the drive unless someone wants to point me in a different direction.

I was hoping to wait until fall to pull the drive.
Posted By: tpenfield

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/08/19 03:42 PM

Have you tried looking withing the engine compartment with the boat in the water and the engine running? (with appropriate cautions of course). If not, I'd go that route first to see if you can find an active leak or 'spraying' from somewhere.
Posted By: Frantically Relaxing

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/08/19 06:01 PM

I have one of those Atomic Beam flashlights, and it has a strobe function 'to blind would-be-attackers' according to the ads- Anyway. seems to me that at night so the bilge is dark and running the engine, that strobe light function would light up any spraying water droplets like gangbusters...
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/08/19 09:04 PM

+1 to what Ted recommended. A leaking hose in the raw water system can put a lot of water in the bilge.

That said, I would pull the drive anyway if it has been more than a couple of years. Its always good to check and grease the u-joints and also inspect everything else.
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/09/19 05:48 AM

I've been in there a bit, but I had the boys. I need to go back out there by myself when I don't have to worry about a 4 year old sticking a finger in a belt. I even considered tying it to the dock (hard pillars) and putting it in gear and under power.

Good idea on the strobe light. I might have a smaller light that has the strobe function.

I did make an appointment at the mechanic for 2 weeks out, but will hopefully find it by then.

Our season effectively ends at the end of August, but I drew an early season deer tag and we have a late summer father son campout. Both of those means are season may end in 5 weeks. I hope not.

If I don't pull the drive now, it will be done this winter so I can check the alignment, change the bellows, etc.

I also need to feel the water in the bilge to see if it is warm or cold. Warm from the motor and cold from the lake. I'm thinking Thursday is the likely day.
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/09/19 08:25 PM

Why not just run it on the driveway on the hose. If there is water inside you know the leak is engine related. If no water potentially a bellows issue.
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/10/19 06:15 PM

Originally Posted by captkevin
Why not just run it on the driveway on the hose. If there is water inside you know the leak is engine related. If no water potentially a bellows issue.


Mostly because I haven't noticed anything at idle. It seems to happen at speed more so than at idle and the muffs don't allow for over 1500 rpm. . It probably wouldn't hurt to do both.
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/10/19 06:21 PM

Makes sense. Need to place a go pro camera in the engine compartment & go for a ride.
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/11/19 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by captkevin
Makes sense. Need to place a go pro camera in the engine compartment & go for a ride.



I was thinking of how to do it. Didn't think of go pro. Time to borrow one.
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/11/19 04:14 PM

Friend has one. Might delay my run to the lake.
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/13/19 05:15 AM

I.think I found it. This boat has a heater and I found the area around the heat exchanger wet. Put it up to about 2500 rpm out of gear and found it spitting water out of the heat exchanger.

I am going to bypass it to test my theory.
Posted By: Jack T

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/13/19 04:15 PM

Woo Hoo!
Isn't it interesting how we sometimes address a problem by looking first at the hardest to diagnose, and expensive? The process becomes quite chaotic. I can can say for myself, that I usually put the easiest to diagnose and easier to fix on the bottom of the list of things I have to do. I then turn to Friends and neighbors, or just think things through and I suddenly find the simple solution coming to me from the blue. When we find it, the darned thing is actually easy to diagnose and fix, and we wonder why we spent so much time trying to fix the the problem. (:-)
Posted By: Frantically Relaxing

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/13/19 08:15 PM

Glad you found your leak, did you use the GoPro? GoPro's are great for this kind of stuff, it's what found the port engine leak in the Regal-

[Linked Image]

=-=======
was kind of the same problem as yours; the water heater has a heat exchanger that uses hot engine water to warm the heater water.
-it obviously went bad wink

Now if only heat exchangers weren't such a pain to replace...
(and harbor owners mad )
Posted By: Justification

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/14/19 06:16 PM

Isn't water a love hate relationship? Gotta have it to be able to boat, but when it's in places it's not supposed to be it wrecks so much.
Been out twice this year and after our maiden voyage the Admiral said everything in the stern locker was wet, and when we pulled the gar plug lots more water than usual drained from the hull.

Having a Prop shaft that I have never adjusted the packing on, I figured maybe that was the problem so thought I'd tackle this long overdue maintenance. When trying to figure out how to access it and do the work I noticed a stray hse from the transom shower just laying there unattached. The fitting had broken and rather than the propshaft leaking more water than it's supposed to, I was dumping water from that into the aft locker. Found a new fitting and replaced it before our last outing and very little water drained after putting the boat on the trailer. Still have to tighten the propshaft, but the "trunk" was nice a dry.
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/16/19 05:15 PM

Didn’t use the GoPro as my buddy hasn’t found it yet. We both moved in the last 2 months and can’t find anything. With hunting season coming fast, I’m guessing neither of us will until the winter.

Glad it is fixed, at least temporarily. Used the boat both days last weekend with 11 on board as family in town. Kids had fun.

Need to cancel the mechanic. But, they quoted me 300 to pull the drive, replace the bellows, etc. That’s almost low enough to just have them do it and be done with it. I need to find out what that truly entails and if that price is right.
Posted By: Frantically Relaxing

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/17/19 10:55 PM

$300 the pull the drive AND change the bellows? That's not bad, I guess- back in the '90's I was paying $220 for gimbal bearing changes. I need to find someone to change 2 sets of bellows ONLY on the Skip, old drives are off and I have brand new drives waiting to go on. I can't find anyplace or anyone online that says changing bellows is easy. Was going to pay someone to do the gimbal bearings but I broke down and bought a puller and installer setup off ebay, looks pretty failsafe, no hammering involved...
Posted By: Silverbullet

Re: Signs of leaking bellow? - 07/18/19 04:55 AM

Originally Posted by Frantically Relaxing
$300 the pull the drive AND change the bellows? That's not bad, I guess- back in the '90's I was paying $220 for gimbal bearing changes. I need to find someone to change 2 sets of bellows ONLY on the Skip, old drives are off and I have brand new drives waiting to go on. I can't find anyplace or anyone online that says changing bellows is easy. Was going to pay someone to do the gimbal bearings but I broke down and bought a puller and installer setup off ebay, looks pretty failsafe, no hammering involved...


To me that seems pretty cheap. While I don't want to pay the money for someone else to do the work, it's almost at that point where it is worth it to pay someone. I need to run over and see if that is indeed the right price. If it is, I think I'll do it. One less thing to do during hunting season.
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