View Full Version : Serious problem today

09-25-2010, 12:26 AM
My wife was driving and I was surfing - off and on probably about 15 minutes or so. When we switched, I noticed a small growl when I pulled her up the first time. It was normal low RPM type vibration, as most of us who have upgraded props notice all the time. It stopped once we reached surfing speed and I dismissed it, although my ACME doesn't normally give me the growl. About 5 minutes later (estimate) my check engine light started blinking. Checked the gauges, and the temp was slightly over 180 (needle was on the "0" on the 180, I estimate between 180-200 but not real sure). I immediately shut it down.

First thing I checked was the impellar. It was perfect. As that's about the extent of my shade tree abilities, I sat for about 30-45 minutes trying to figure out what my next move was. (It's amazing how many boats on Lake Austin will cruise right by you when you're floating and have the engine hatch up, btw.) I decided to give it a crank, and with the hatch off and the v-drive access panel under the rear bench open I noticed what you see in the video linked below. I assume it is the dripless seal? There were white pieces of plastic all over the bilge area that looked like they were melted - had the look of wax from a candle. The thing is wobbling like crazy, as seen in the vid. The temp kept hovering around the 180 and slightly above mark. The check engine light started to blink again and I shut it down for good, and basically floated back to the dock.

I called my local dealer in Houston and I'm going to bring it to them, but I have never seen anything like this on any of the forums before, so I figured I'd give you guys a crack at it. My only guess is there was quite a bit of seaweed type stuff in the water, and I cleaned it off the prop a few times during the day, but when we got the boat out finally there was quite a bit wrapped around the shaft right before the prop. Is it possible that this caused enough vibration to cause this? And if so, wouldn't I have felt it prior to this happening? Other than the slight vibration on take off, which I didn't consider excessive, the boat ran and handled normal. The other question and probably more importantly, why did this cause the temp to rise?

If there's anything else I can add to help diagnose/guess, let me know. Hopefully this video works. I took it with my iphone just so I could show the guys at the shop.


09-25-2010, 05:20 AM
Looks like you are taking on some water, not sure what that is. As for the vibration, the seaweed for lack of a better term is probably the cause. I have gone into areas where the weeds were high and got caught on the prop/shaft. It caused a vibration until it was removed. Hope this helps and good luck!

09-25-2010, 11:13 AM
Your dripless seal is bad for sure. Looks like it overheated but you have good water flow to the seal. Normally it uses a small amount of water from the motor to cool the seal faces and then discharge it outside the hull around the shaft. Could be the bad seal is diverting too much cooling water away from the motor causing it to overheat.

09-25-2010, 12:42 PM
Do you have a strainer on your engine, weeds may have lodged in your dripless lube line causing a lack of lube and thus over heating of the seal
Is the white seal housing still connected to rubber boot? Have you been getting water in your bilge previous to now?

you da man
09-25-2010, 12:44 PM
I hope it's something as simple as the Lake Austin hydrilla clogging something.

09-25-2010, 12:45 PM
docdrs advice seems like that's where I'd start. makes sense especially with the slightly higher engine temps.

09-25-2010, 01:19 PM
What engine do you have? 340 cat ext ?

09-25-2010, 02:01 PM
It's the 325 engine. No, I haven't been getting water in the bilge before this. I can't honestly answer the strainer question - if it's not standard then chances are I don't.

So, possible fix would be replace the seal and seal housing and make sure the lines are clear? I'm almost positive the hydrilla is the culprit, I've never seen it that bad. I suppose all the other boats out there have a strainer...

Wonder what this one's going to cost me.

09-25-2010, 08:30 PM
No the water is to be expected as the engine side of the unit has broken. You can see the red sleeve is still intact and the hose clamps are in place. Obviously the plastic fitting that goes around the shaft that houses the coolant line has let go, probably as described earlier from overheating from lack of coolant which as you can see from the video has now corrected itself. This also explains the overheating and check engine light.

The shaking is nothing more than the result of the broken plastic fitting no longer running true with the shaft.

My 2 cents

09-25-2010, 08:42 PM
To replace the seal unit or seal is about a 2 hour job or less
Plus about 125 for a new dripless unit


09-25-2010, 08:58 PM
DOCDRS......once again you sweep in on your white horse. You are wealth of info.

09-25-2010, 10:03 PM
Nice job, Doc!