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Boat maintenance intervals
March 29, 2011
4:50 am
cdnordquist
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I just spent all weekend doing the PM on my boat. I was curious if people really clean/repack their bearings and change the lower unit lube annually? How about the water pump impeller every three years as suggested?

I've had the boat seven years, and this is the first time I did the impeller. It was in pretty good shape considering that it was overdue by a factor of two. But I only run in freshwater lakes; I'm sure if I ran in saltwater or in shallow rivers it would be different.

I have bearing buddies, so I feel OK repacking bearings every couple of years rather than annually. I do check to make sure that they aren't getting hot, though.

By the way, out here in NM, it's a minimum tow of 100 miles round-trip to the nearest fishing lake, and 200 miles to the nearest muskie lake. But at least we now have a muskie lake in the state.

Chris

March 29, 2011
4:03 pm
DL
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Chris,

This will be my 8th year with my boat and, while I repack the bearings every year, I have yet to replace the impellar. As soon as I stop seeing a steady stream of water, coming out of top water port, I will replace it. As to the fluid in the lower unit, I have checked it every year for consistency and have replaced it three times.
I don't know if this is adequate maintenance but so far I have not had a problem with either the performance of the engine or the trailer (knock on wood).

DL

DL

March 29, 2011
5:01 pm
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Your impellar should be replaced every two years bearings every year

March 29, 2011
5:26 pm
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STUBBORN DUTCHY
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Ive never heard of replacing the bearings unless they burn up. Just grease them twice a year and they will last a lifetime. Just make sure when greasing a bearing buddy that you only pump it till the coiled spring inside moves a hair, thats it. Otherwise you will overpack the seals and they will blow grease out and no longer be waterproof. Then your talking about replacing them.

ITS NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BOAT
ITS THE SIZE OF WHATS ON YOUR BUMPBOARD!
M.T.F

March 29, 2011
5:43 pm
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Mike D
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what's an impellar :-[ ;D

Seriously I'm still a new boat owner, owned appx 11 months.

March 29, 2011
6:04 pm
DL
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Mike,

It is basically a rubber flywheel that draws water in to cool the engine. If you are not getting a steady stream of warm/hot water, being expelled out the top water port of your engine, then you know it is not drawing water in and you better not run the engine until it is replaced.

DL

DL

March 30, 2011
12:11 am
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T_Musky
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My boat is a 2000, got it 4 years ago. I'm guessing I've towed it 4000 miles a year. Jeremy has me convinced that the bearing buddies don't have to be removed and re-packed, I just give them a little grease before towing long distances. Always keep a grease gun in the truck and feel the bearings periodically at pit stops to make sure they aren't getting hot.

Motor is due for an oil change upper and lower unit, it's been over two years since that was done.

Team MTF

March 31, 2011
3:28 am
cdnordquist
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STUBBORN DUTCHMEN wrote:
Just make sure when greasing a bearing buddy that you only pump it till the coiled spring inside moves a hair, thats it. Otherwise you will overpack the seals and they will blow grease out and no longer be waterproof. Then your talking about replacing them.

Bearing buddies can do more harm than good because they make it easy to blow out the back seal without knowing it. I still don't trust them enough to not repack every few years. I hate repacking bearings; there's alot of grease in there.

Car bearings (the few that still need to be repacked) have maintenance intervals >15k miles, but they aren't constantly dunked in water, so in theory, if you can keep the water out, they should last a long time between repacks.

For some reason, I hadn't paid any attention to the impeller interval, but just relied on checking the water stream. When I checked the manual I discovered it was way overdue. It was actually a pretty easy job to do once you know what you're doing, and not worth the $240 the shop told me they would charge. Unfortunately it's taken three trips to the store to get the right parts, and there's at least one more trip left for a backordered part.

There's a whole page of other stuff that I ignored, many of which are allegedly dealer items and would cost alot of money. I'll probably ignore them as long as it runs fine, as they are not things that would cause a wheel to fall off or destroy the motor.

Chris

April 1, 2011
3:24 am
Pineyfishmagnet
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Fresh water is Great on motors! ;D

April 1, 2011
1:50 pm
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EsoxProV
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Hey Chris,

I have Sure Lube hubs on my rig which seems like a similar concept to the bearing buddies. Every year I've always repacked, last year I installed new bearing and races. This year, I've decided not to repack as it seems to be an overkill with these hubs I have. I'll inspect them in the fall and see.

I do carry a complete spare hub set in my truck just in case. I dont want to be "that guy" on the side of the road heading up to canada so it more of a piece of mind having that spare.

Regarding the impeller, I do it every three years regardless. I'd hate to ruin a good fishing trip on a preventive maintenene item that I had put off not doing.

Last year I sold my Tracker to a guy in NM and he drove all the way out here to pick it up. I have you say you guys are determined fisherman! Good luck with your NM muskies, I've heard great things about your muskie programs!

Chad T

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