Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115 - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 01-31-2012, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

Any thoughts on this folks? I have never done it. I have the mechanic's book and have been told it is a pretty simple process. Any thoughts/advice are appreciated.

Also, anyone know who might stock these in Pueblo or Springs?

Thanks all.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

Easy as pie. Just take your time.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

Make sure you buy the tool for the prop nut. If it's in good condition then you won't need it and will be able to get it off with screwdriver but if it has a lot of grime and crud it will be a pain without that tool. I changed one on an ooooold 115 Merc. Changed the prop seal on my early 90's Mariner and it was identical.


Edit: It's not the prop nut it's the nut that. Holds in the guts of the prop shaft, sorry for the wrong terminalogy.

One MO time: Carrier nut, that's the nut that I had trouble with for not having the right tool.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

Piece o' cake!
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

Well, I wouldn't call it a piece of cake... but it was not too bad. We had one major f'up but other than that, it went pretty smooth... I will say this, if you are going to do it, DO NOT remove the prop shaft unless the motor is completely lowered!!! there are three little ball bearings that can ruin your world!! haha..

Thanks a ton to Boondock for puttin in a solid 8 hours helping me with the boat repairs. That's a solid bro!
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115



So what did you have to do to get those three bearings back where they belong. We could use a smilie for Snicker.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

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Originally Posted by TAL0362


So what did you have to do to get those three bearings back where they belong. We could use a smilie for Snicker.
Well I guess I should explain that when you pull the bearing carrier in my particular model, you also pull the entire prop shaft. The "front" of the prop shaft goes into the lower unit and has a metal piece that looks like a bullet at the very end. This piece rests against the shift cam and pushes back and forth as the shift cam is turned. Behind this "bullet" there are three ball bearings that are about the size of 00 buckshot.

When I removed the shaft, the bullet and three ball bearings fell out and the three bearings went straight into the lower unit where the shift cam and other gears are... this area is not easily accessed at all...and the operation would have been out of my capabilities. Needless to say, when I realized what I had done, I freaked!

We had the prop shaft out to do the seal replacement, and wanted to put it back together before we took off the lower unit to change the impeller... well, since the bearings were in the lower unit, we figured we should take off the lower unit and see if we could turn it upside down to let gravity assist!

We did just that, and it didn't work!!! Well at first... then all of a sudden, I look down and there are two ball bearings right on the blanket I am working on... TWO!!! man, you talk about frustrating to see!!! Well, long story short, with another 5-10 min of manuvering the lower unit, we managed to get the third out.

Ok, so here is where it gets a lil' dicey!!! We re-assembled the lower unit after changing the impeller, then we re-assembled the prop shaft and put it back in... no dice... would not seat properly..then when it did, it would not shift properly.

Again, to make a long story short (kinda at this point) the shift cam had moved 1/6th of a turn while we had the lower unit upside down! So we had to take the lower unit off again, put the shift cam in the proper position, and re-assemble!!!

WHEW!!! that was fun.

I am so glad we did this work... we learned SO much about the mechanics of the lower unit in a mercury outboard. Good times! And yes, we tried a magnet the to try and extract the ball bearings before the major operation!
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

thanks Jason, i feel better about taking my boat to canon marine this morning
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

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Originally Posted by walleye seeker
thanks Jason, i feel better about taking my boat to canon marine this morning
They know what they are doing but are REDIC expensive... like taking your car to a dealership... I don't like that. They quoted me $350 in labor to do the seals and impeller.. That is based on their price of $99.50/hour. After seeing what goes into it, I am certain that a semi-experienced mechanic could do the entire job in 1.5-2hrs. I feel like that is taking advantage.

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Old 02-06-2012, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Changing the main prop seal on the lower unit of a Merc 115

Glad it all worked out. There is nothing like wrenching on something that you have no real experience with. Making it all work at at the end is the most satisfying feeling, on the male ego and wallet. Makes you feel like a man ,lol. The first time I messed with my lower unit I had to take it off twice too .

Boat mechanics are worse than car dealerships on price.
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