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View Full Version : Well At Least I Got 4 Years Out Of The XR.. :)



Carl C
08-22-2013, 05:11 PM
But the Great Lakes are hard on drives!! Mine let go yesterday on a full throttle run on the St. Clair River. BANG! lol Victory Marine has new, old style XR uppers for $3,900 and one is on the way. The boat will be down for two weeks :( . The tow was covered under my TowBoatUS towing insurance but this boat had a top speed of 8 mph which made for a five hour tow! Expensive hobby..........:propeller:

dsparis
08-22-2013, 05:39 PM
Bummer

Pismo
08-22-2013, 09:23 PM
Do you specifically what went first?

silverghost
08-22-2013, 09:33 PM
Carl~
WoW~~~what a sad mess !
Put a good old MerCruiser TRS, & hydraulic transmission, in there behind that engine and the TRS will NEVER break, or let you down again .

Carl C
08-22-2013, 09:51 PM
Do you specifically what went first?

No. I recently pulled the back cover to check the gears and I put in new oil. I think the damage may have started on a run last week on Erie. Maybe a tooth broke and got jammed and broke off the case. The spanner nut had not backed out. I was not getting air on the fateful run but I did spank a Baja who came out to challenge me.

Carl C
08-22-2013, 09:56 PM
Carl~
WoW~~~what a sad mess !
Put a good old MerCruiser TRS, & hydraulic transmission, in there behind that engine and the TRS will NEVER break, or let you down again .

The money tree hasn't blossomed yet. I'll be back on the water within two weeks for under 5 grand. :) It was a little surprising to pull the drive and see the input shaft and gear still in the boat....:eek:

72Hornet
08-22-2013, 09:57 PM
No. I recently pulled the back cover to check the gears and I put in new oil. I think the damage may have started on a run last week on Erie. Maybe a tooth broke and got jammed and broke off the case. The spanner nut had not backed out. I was not getting air on the fateful run but I did spank a Baja who came out to challenge me.

Well, at least you got to show the Baja what it is all about! If it makes you feel any better, I lost a gear in my upper on my Volvo 250 this Spring when I did the St. Johns River run. That was after towing down from Iowa, but we had five good days of trouble free running up to that point. We had a ball and a lot of fun memories. Good luck on getting yours back together. It can always be worse!

Ed Donnelly
08-23-2013, 01:16 AM
It had to happen sooner than later
Now put in a 200 h.p. engine the the drive will last forever

On a serious note Sorry to hear...Ed

Greg Guimond
08-23-2013, 04:49 AM
That really stinks Carl but it sounds like there was nothing that you could have done. At least you got most of the season in before it blew. Good luck.

Conquistador_del_mar
08-23-2013, 11:33 AM
Carl,
Did you consider the IMCO Extreme upper or the newer XR sweptback? Do you know if they are worth spending the extra money? However, 4 years is pretty good for high performance!

dsparis
08-23-2013, 01:07 PM
How many hours on it ?

tmdog
08-23-2013, 02:03 PM
Sorry to hear that Carl. 4 yrs = $5K. Not good. That 5 hr. tow is upsetting, would of had to urinate at least 4 times b-4 I hit dry land.

joseph m. hahnl
08-23-2013, 05:23 PM
:shocking:DAM $5000 just like that ? I need a new friggen job:doh:

Carl C
08-23-2013, 05:38 PM
How many hours on it ?

About 250


Sorry to hear that Carl. 4 yrs = $5K. Not good. That 5 hr. tow is upsetting, would of had to urinate at least 4 times b-4 I hit dry land.

I peed in a bottle 3 times!


:shocking:DAM $5000 just like that ? I need a new friggen job:doh:

American Express! :)

RickSE
08-26-2013, 09:54 AM
That sucks. I have over 240-hours on a regular Bravo-1 behind my 500EFI and have never had a problem :crossfing: and we've run our boat pretty hard and agressive.

Carl C
08-26-2013, 11:17 AM
That sucks. I have over 240-hours on a regular Bravo-1 behind my 500EFI and have never had a problem :crossfing: and we've run our boat pretty hard and agressive.

I boat mostly on the Great Lakes and connecting waters and with the shorty the boat gets lots of air and it's not easy getting the throttle right every time. Pretty sure it's the air time that beat it up. Do you have a shorty and do you get air? I thought this drive would go the distance but we all know that any style Bravo drive is the weak link in a performance boat.

tmdog
08-26-2013, 11:33 AM
Carl, have you ever considered a foot throttle? Much quicker response which increases the safety factor.

Only owned two 18's for the past 40 yrs and installed foot pedal in both. Saved my butt numerous times.:yes:

RickSE
08-26-2013, 11:50 AM
I boat mostly on the Great Lakes and connecting waters and with the shorty the boat gets lots of air and it's not easy getting the throttle right every time. Pretty sure it's the air time that beat it up. Do you have a shorty and do you get air? I thought this drive would go the distance but we all know that any style Bravo drive is the weak link in a performance boat.

No, standard length leg with a raised X-Dim of 1.5". We'll get air with the boat but maybe not as much with the prop.

Carl C
08-26-2013, 04:38 PM
Carl, have you ever considered a foot throttle? Much quicker response which increases the safety factor.

Only owned two 18's for the past 40 yrs and installed foot pedal in both. Saved my butt numerous times.:yes:

Not on this boat. I had one in my Hydrostream but there are plenty of times that I just like to set the throttle and cruise with the Donzi.

joseph m. hahnl
08-26-2013, 05:17 PM
Not on this boat. I had one in my Hydrostream but there are plenty of times that I just like to set the throttle and cruise with the Donzi.



Amen Brother:wink:

Carl C
08-28-2013, 12:34 PM
I have been vindicated! It was not my driving or throttling skills that took out my drive. When I talked to Brian Orlandi about this on the phone he told me that the input shaft nut probably backed off. I thought he meant the big spanner nut on the front. That was still fully in and I told Brian that the nut had not come loose. When I took my lower in to Brian today to get checked out and cleaned up I also took my upper input shaft to show him. It seems that there is a design/assembly defect with both old and new style XRs. The nut in these pictures adjusts bearing preload and does not fully tighten. It's like an old style wheel bearing nut except that there is no positive lock on the nut. They rely on the nylock to hold it in place. Newer uppers are put together with loc-tite on there also. A lot of the older style uppers lacked the loc-tite and the nuts back off which screws up the gear meshing and lets the input shaft wobble around until something breaks. Brian had it nailed! Now I will probably have to take my new upper to Brian and have him loc-tite this nut. I think a small tack weld would be good insurance too. These pics show the play if you look closely. There is a good 1/8 inch play from the nut backing off that far!

CHACHI
08-28-2013, 12:41 PM
Instead of a nylock nut, would a stover lock nut work better?

Ken

Carl C
08-28-2013, 01:45 PM
Instead of a nylock nut, would a stover lock nut work better?

Ken

IDK. The factory fix is loc-tite but now I will always be wondering if that nut is moving. How about a stover nut with a tack weld? The small weld could be ground off if service were ever needed. Brian puts three extra indentations on the nylock nut plus the loc-tite.

Just Say N20
08-28-2013, 01:54 PM
I'm surprised by this. As much engineering goes into the design of an outdrive, and the closeness of tolerances required for proper gear lash, etc., I find it hard to believe that the best solution they could come up with was to rely on a nylock to hold the nut in place once the proper tightening was achieved.

And then to know about the problem, put out lock-tite as a solution, and not at least inform owners of the need to have this procedure performed seems sketchy to me. Especially when the result of NOT doing it is catastrophic (and expensive) drive failure.

fysis
08-28-2013, 02:11 PM
Sorry to here about your upper Carl. I agree with you that the one thing thatīs really hard on the drive must be air time on and off with lots of rpm. Like repeated dragracing starts almost. What would be the next upgrade from the XR (and are the latest version XR tronger than the one you have?)

Carl C
08-28-2013, 03:27 PM
Sorry to here about your upper Carl. I agree with you that the one thing thatīs really hard on the drive must be air time on and off with lots of rpm. Like repeated dragracing starts almost. What would be the next upgrade from the XR (and are the latest version XR tronger than the one you have?)

I don't do drag racing starts and I think this drive would have gone the distance had that nut not backed off.

joseph m. hahnl
08-28-2013, 05:34 PM
IDK. The factory fix is loc-tite but now I will always be wondering if that nut is moving. How about a stover nut with a tack weld? The small weld could be ground off if service were ever needed. Brian puts three extra indentations on the nylock nut plus the loc-tite. :cards: Ask Brian if it happens to the left hand drives and if they change the direction of the nut . Meaning a left hand nut and a right hand nut . :propeller:

silverghost
08-28-2013, 06:46 PM
Carl~~~
Since Mercruiser had been well aware of this nylock nut related failuure issue~~and issued a service update to their dealers to use Locktite thread locker in addition to that factory nylock nut to prevent it from backing off .
Is there any chance that Mercruiser would stand behind their product and issue you some sort of full or partial refund of your total repair parts & labor costs on this known Mercruriser factory design flaw ?
I would try to contact Mercruiser about this known issue~~to see what, if anything, they would be willing to do for you.
It never hurts to complain & ask for a refund ?

Nylock nuts are good in some applications~~~but obviously not in this one.
I suspect the constant fairly high drive temp swings, (drives do get very hot at times of high speed operation as we all know) along with the extreme rotational forces & vibration caused this nylock nut to loosen-up on the gear's proper mesh backlash resulting in the gears & ultimate drive failure.
Nylock nuts are not good around very much heat and not around lube oil.
After all the nylon ring on the nylock nut is plastic and melts at very low temps loosening it's grip..
I would use Locktite #271 Red High Strength threadlocker, instead of #242 Blue Medium strength. take your new unit , mark one flat on the nut & side of the shaft and count the exact number of turns needed to remove it.
clean off all lube inside that nut & the shaft's threads. Apply #271 thread locker to the threads as well as putting a drop inside the nut and re-install counting the exact number of turns it took to take it off.
Setting the proper gear backlash would be much more accurate however~~~it you have the proper equipment to do this job properly yourself.

Greg Guimond
08-28-2013, 07:19 PM
Not on this boat. I had one in my Hydrostream but there are plenty of times that I just like to set the throttle and cruise with the Donzi.

Nice that you figured out the problem. You might consider a "dual use" throttle. You get the benefit of the foot throttle which helps with the drive when faced with rough conditions and a lot of air, and you can just set the cruise at the hand end when you want autopilot. Best of both worlds.

Greg Guimond
08-28-2013, 07:20 PM
Carl, have you ever considered a foot throttle? Much quicker response which increases the safety factor. Only owned two 18's for the past 40 yrs and installed foot pedal in both. Saved my butt numerous times.:yes:

I'm with ya on that dog. I have one and would never go back.

Carl C
08-28-2013, 07:24 PM
Mercury won't help after 4 years. Red loc-tite is the only kind I ever use; Dis-assembly is still easy enough. How tight is the front spanner nut? I don't have a wrench for that. Maybe I should order that tool and a new nyloc nut and do this myself. I'll always be worried about this now though without a positive lock, like a tab washer or small weld.

Offset
08-28-2013, 08:38 PM
Carl,is there any way of drilling the nut and shaft and adding a safety wire? Not knowing exactly how the whole thing is assembled it may not work but I share your concerns about the nut backing off again. Just a thought.

RickSE
08-29-2013, 10:15 AM
That's so incredibly stupid, there are so many good ways to lock a bearing nut in place and they use a Nyloc nut then reccomend Loctite in a hot oil application. :mad: So they have us tabs to lock our props on but not the main bearing preload nut in our drives..... Someone needs to be fired.

Here's who we use for most of our custom bearing/spindle applications.

http://www.whittet-higgins.com/

dsparis
08-29-2013, 12:52 PM
planned obsolescence

Carl C
08-29-2013, 02:13 PM
My mechanic, Brian Orlandi @ Orlandi Performance is comfortable with the loc-tite fix along with 3 additional indentations on the nut. He did not like the safety wire idea and that would be hard to do anyway. He's not crazy about the welding idea either. He said that he has never had a problem with one that he has done his way and he works on lots of big performance boats. I might have to trust him on this. The old nut had backed off to the point that it was barely more than finger tight. :(

fysis
08-29-2013, 02:28 PM
I don't do drag racing starts and I think this drive would have gone the distance had that nut not backed off. Carl you misunderstod me or i was expressing my self bad. what i ment was that one thing that put a tremendeous amount of stress on the drives and could kill them must be air time, going from full grip to no grip and back again over and over. like engage and disengage a clutch at high RPM. I was not implying in any way that the failiure of your upper had anything to do with your handling of the boat. Iīm sure it was the nut as you say. I will check my own right away. Good luck with your new upper.

Carl C
08-29-2013, 03:46 PM
NP, fsys, I never took that the wrong way!

OK, I talked with a gentleman at Victory Marine and he informed me that they are aware of this issue and that normally you would loc-tite the nut and use an inch pound torque wrench to set the bearing pre-load. He told me that even done this way, as the bearings wear in there will be some play and the gear will keep pounding against the nut and loosen it anyway. What they do is pull the input shaft and use shims to set the pre-load so that the nut can be torqued down tight while still using loc-tite. I should be good to go when the drive arrives and it is set to be shipped tomorrow. I will be back on the water next week. :)

CHACHI
08-30-2013, 08:25 PM
Use green loctite, sleeve and bearing retainer.

Ken

MDonziM
09-02-2013, 07:39 PM
Carl,
Sorry to hear about your drive. No offence to your 525 but I would think an XR should take everything your engine can dish out, especially in such a light boat. Like FYSIS said, seems like Merc wants them to fail over time. I got my Blackhawk rebuilt before this season and it turned out to be needed ( upper gearset did not have much left) but those are regular bravo gears and I have 600+ hp. Sounds like you got good info on the proper fix. Curious, why the new/rebuilt drive? Did you damage the case? Does the price include exchanging your case? I was considering XR's for my magnum but now I have serious concerns about buying used ones...

Carl C
09-02-2013, 08:21 PM
Carl,
Sorry to hear about your drive. No offence to your 525 but I would think an XR should take everything your engine can dish out, especially in such a light boat. Like FYSIS said, seems like Merc wants them to fail over time. I got my Blackhawk rebuilt before this season and it turned out to be needed ( upper gearset did not have much left) but those are regular bravo gears and I have 600+ hp. Sounds like you got good info on the proper fix. Curious, why the new/rebuilt drive? Did you damage the case? Does the price include exchanging your case? I was considering XR's for my magnum but now I have serious concerns about buying used ones...

Yes, the case broke. Blow up pic 3 in the first post. About the only thing good is the input shaft and u-joint. A lot of rear-end pinion gears use a collapsible spacer to pre-load bearings. It sounds like the shims work though. I don't doubt Brian's fix but now the drive will come with the mod done and ready to go. :)

MDonziM
09-03-2013, 10:47 AM
Wow, that really was a blow up, $3,900 seems like a good deal then. Hope you are back and running on schedule.
And it was "dsparis"s coment of planned obsolesence I was agreeing with.

- Marshall

Carl C
09-07-2013, 09:56 AM
Has Scott B. known about this since 2004? :eek!:

Pismo
10-18-2014, 12:17 PM
So Carl, here we are a year later. What finally happened?

Carl C
10-18-2014, 12:22 PM
So Carl, here we are a year later. What finally happened?

Put on a new upper from Victory Marine. They said the input shaft bearings are hard shimmed. I'm going to pull it off when I winterize it to check for any play in the input shaft. So far no more problems though.

Lenny
10-18-2014, 11:44 PM
Time for a whipple and an SCX...

:)

Carl C
10-19-2014, 06:05 AM
Time for a whipple and an SCX...

:)

It would be nice and I've thought about it but I like the reliability of the stock 525 and I'm happy with 80s. It's rarely safe to run 100 on the Great Lakes anyway. I will leave it the way it is. I don't need to be the fastest. I would like to drive a 100 mph 22C once though! Maybe someone will let me at AOTH, or at least take me for a 100 mph ride. :)

Ranman
10-22-2014, 01:02 PM
Maybe someone will let me at AOTH, or at least take me for a 100 mph ride. :)

You'd have to make it to AOTH first... :shocking::eek::eek::eek: :):):)

Carl C
10-22-2014, 02:29 PM
You'd have to make it to AOTH first... :shocking::eek::eek::eek: :):):)

I'm closing my week-end business at the end of February. This will be my first AOTH and I will bring better weather than last year. AOTH 2015, celebrating yellow Donzi Classics. :)

Ed Donnelly
10-23-2014, 01:06 PM
I'm closing my week-end business at the end of February. This will be my first AOTH and I will bring better weather than last year. AOTH 2015, celebrating yellow Donzi Classics. :)

Leave the weather alone. Just bring your yellow 22
And I will bring a 7' shorter version in yellow
Sure would be nice to see that rare Criterion SS with steering on the left..Ed

gold-n-rod
11-17-2014, 02:00 PM
I'm closing my week-end business at the end of February. This will be my first AOTH and I will bring better weather than last year. AOTH 2015, celebrating yellow Donzi Classics. :)

I can't remember, Carl. Are you at the marketplace that's re-locating? And you aren't going? I hear there are many not making the move.

Carl C
11-17-2014, 04:07 PM
I can't remember, Carl. Are you at the marketplace that's re-locating? And you aren't going? I hear there are many not making the move.

No. That was the Gibraltar Trade Center downriver that closed. I am in the Dixieland Flea Market. It is not closing; At least not that we know of. My financial situation has changed and other business ventures are paying off and I can get SS in just over a year so I am retiring.

gold-n-rod
11-21-2014, 10:29 AM
No. That was the Gibraltar Trade Center downriver that closed. I am in the Dixieland Flea Market. It is not closing; At least not that we know of. My financial situation has changed and other business ventures are paying off and I can get SS in just over a year so I am retiring.

Good for you. Enjoy retirement!

Pismo
11-21-2014, 11:46 AM
What was your business Carl?

Carl C
11-21-2014, 08:33 PM
Good for you. Enjoy retirement!


What was your business Carl?

When I was 39 years old I walked away from a bad career choice of auto technician. I have a rental unit and I breed German Shepherds and I did some car repairs and I started selling CDs at the flea market. Well I built that store up to where I was making $1,200 a day on sat & sun & $400 on fri. I had a good run but it has declined the last 5 years and other things have changed for me too that will let me "retire" by March. Now I sell mostly DVDs and video games. I still breed German Shepherds & have an Amazon store.