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  #1   IP: 128.220.159.8
Old 09-25-2019, 01:23 PM
ernst ernst is online now
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Can I remove one motor mount temporarily?

There is crack in the fiberglass under one of my motor mounts. The fiberglass is pretty thin, I think it is there to protect the encased wood stringer, and for cosmetic reasons (was probably easier for the factory to slap on a layer of fiberglass and spray on gelcoat than to paint the engine compartment). The wood is, fortunately, rock-solid, at least as far as I can tell after trying to poke into it with a screwdriver. There is absolutely no rot, nor movement of the motor when running. So, I think I can repair this satisfactorily by grinding in a bevel and laying some glass in epoxy.

Only issue is, the motor mount is in the way. Obviously, I don't want to remove the motor for this job. Can I remove the motor mount, fix the problem, and put it back? Would I need to support the motor during the process?

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:31 PM
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Probably. The other three should hold it. Don't RUN IT that way though
Many mounts cannot be removed that way though, the motor would trap them.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
Probably. The other three should hold it. Don't RUN IT that way though
Many mounts cannot be removed that way though, the motor would trap them.
Thank you! I do not plan to run the motor three-legged

I am concerned about the second point you raise, too. I don't know if I can tilt the mount a little to get it out from under the motor, once I remove the two mounting bolts at the base and the nut on top. It would only need maybe 3/8".

If not: Is it possible to tilt the motor instead, using the elasticity in the remaining three mounts? Or should I loosen up the mount on the other side and jack up the motor a little with a bottle jack? I would much prefer not to touch the other two mounts since they are really hard to access...
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:31 PM
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Loosen all 4. If you don't, you are trying to bend the bolts and mounts. Also if is like mine you really want to lift straight up, not just jack one end up. Don't forget to disconnect the prop shaft first!
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  #5   IP: 68.33.43.122
Old 09-29-2019, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
Loosen all 4. If you don't, you are trying to bend the bolts and mounts. Also if is like mine you really want to lift straight up, not just jack one end up. Don't forget to disconnect the prop shaft first!
That means doing a full realignment procedure, correct?
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernst View Post
That means doing a full realignment procedure, correct?
Yes and it's a good skill to learn anyway. I think after you've done it you'll wonder what all the fuss was about much like replacing the stuffing box flax with the boat in the water. There's a bunch of anxiety leading up to it but once done it was no big deal.
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:30 PM
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I have done it before and would like to avoid it if I can. I found it pretty tedious and did not think I really learned anything interesting in the process. If it is necessary, I will do it but if I can avoid it I would prefer it.

Maybe I will skip the fiberglass and just use epoxy to keep things together. That should be doable without taking off the motor mount (and thus the whole motor!). It is hard to tell but I think there is at most one layer of 'glass, or perhaps it was all gelcoat to begin with? This one layer can not make a lot of difference as far as strength goes.

(yeah, maybe I am rationalizing but the idea of spending an afternoon moving the motor around to get to the magical 0.003" is just not too appealing to me...)

In any case, whatever I do I am VERY glad I gave this a closer look: It turns out that one of the hose clamps holding the big hose around the shaft (don't know what the correct name for this is) is loose! I replaced the hose when I replaced the shaft, over 10 years ago and I don't know if it somehow came loose or if I did not tighten it to begin with. The attached image shows the situation, there is 'daylight' between the clamp and the hose (see red arrow) as I could verify by getting my hand in there. BTW, to orient you, this is under the oil pan looking aft; I have a V-drive. The bulbous thing center right is a zinc on the shaft that I keep there to make sure the shaft will not back out if for some reason the shaft coupling gets loose.

It will not be easy to get in there (I don't really know how I did that when I replaced the hose). The only tool I can think of is a very stubby screw driver but I it will be tough!

Any tricks?
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:42 AM
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If it were my boat that loose clamp would be even more reason to get the engine out of there and get all of this stuff fixed right including T-bolt clamps on the stuffing box hose.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
If it were my boat that loose clamp would be even more reason to get the engine out of there and get all of this stuff fixed right including T-bolt clamps on the stuffing box hose.
Yes, you are right, something needs to be done about this clamp!

But I am afraid moving this 400# beast, within the very limited space where it resides. I have never done this and I am afraid it will create all sorts of problems. I have read how people lift the motor out using the boom etc and I have pondered such an adventure in case it dies and I have to replace it. But just for tightening a loose screw?? Is there really no contraption that could be use to tighten it?

Again, I am not saying you are wrong, this is a pretty important screw and I have been lucky that I have escaped very grave consequences so far...
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:53 PM
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It's not a matter of right or wrong. We all approach repairs from different perspectives with different goals and budgets in terms of both cost and time. My suggestions come from an "if it were my boat" perspective but of course it's not my boat. What you decide to do has to be right for you, not me or anyone else.

What I want for you is the same as I would want for me, a reliable repair that doesn't have to be done again. It's bad enough having to fix the cracked mount and stuffing box clamp on a V drive but worse if it has to be done again in the not too distant future.
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Last edited by ndutton; 10-01-2019 at 08:36 AM.
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  #11   IP: 70.185.132.167
Old 10-01-2019, 02:22 AM
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ernst

You can replace the clamp in situ.
Some types of clamp can be re thread by gently pushing the free end into where it belongs and turning the screw. Take the clamp off and see if you can get this to work.

This is easier to do if the clamp is a tad longer than it needs to be. The clamp(s) you have now are probably a bit to short and one sprung open because there is not enough clamp material being held by the screw. It looks that way in the picture to me.

TRUE GRIT
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  #12   IP: 137.200.32.54
Old 10-01-2019, 09:31 AM
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Every boat is different as far as engine removal goes. My boat is easy, I can have the engine out and in the cockpit in about 45 minutes.
You do not have to lift 400 pounds either - you take the alternator and starter off for sure and some people will take the manifold and flywheel off. You'll be down to 200-something pounds. I use a come-along on the main halyard with two horizontal lines going for and aft to move the engine forward and back. Some people use the boom, which is also fine as long as the halyard is tied around the boom at the lift point. Some boats are a lot harder to do with no easy access and interior disassembly required.
The reason we seem to be encouraging this is we already know of two potentially serious issues that are under the engine. I totally get trying to do enough to keep going with minimal disruption. I have probably done 100 such repairs and ended up redoing about 99 of them later I would really think about moving the engine, renewing the stuffing box and mounts, and putting it back together done right the first time.
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  #13   IP: 128.220.159.8
Old 10-07-2019, 05:44 PM
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Thank you for your constructive replies!

Yes, I agree, in a perfect world I would like to do nothing more than moving the motor out, fix the clamps properly (and replacing with T-bolt clamps), clean out the gunk of 45 years, and give all a fresh coat of paint! This would be a very satisfying job.

In my not-so-perfect world, I am trying to scrape by with what I can do, with all the other constraints I have. As you can tell, among these is that I am intimidated by the thought of removing the motor, and I am afraid of the can of worms I might release.

Now, the good news: It turns out the loose clamp was a false alarm! When I thought I had felt it being loose, I had not realized that was I was wiggling (and what is visible in the picture I posted) is actually the (very) long tail of the clamp. It is kind of stuck under the hose which is why I did not realize it is really the tail. I found this after I pretzeled myself under the engine and really got to work. I could then put a very short ratcheting wrench in place and while I was there, tightened all clamps a little bit. All work, there is no corrosion and all seems very secure (T-bolt clamps were better, admittedly, but see above). The last two (the most aft) clamps do overlap a little bit but I hope that this is OK. Phew!

I then decided that the crack in the fiberglass that started all this just needs to be stabilized. I poured slightly thickened epoxy into it until it was full. Now the wood should be protected from water intrusion which is all I really need.

There is one more thing that I may want to do but it should not be urgent, and may not be necessary at all. The motor mount in question is at a slight angle, see attached photo (which is turned 90 degrees for some reason, sorry). I haven't measured it precisely but I estimate the outboard side is maybe 1/10" higher than the inboard side. Very roughly, the mount is approx. 2" wide so the angle is atan(1/20) = approx 3 degrees. I found that this source https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/motor-mounts says the angle should not exceed 4 degrees 'if possible.' So I feel that I am within specs. Am I wrong?

Again, thanks again for the tips!

(my next stop on the A-4 journey is the water pump but that is a different chapter...)
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:11 AM
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I would not be inclined to worry about a few degrees of "heel" in the mount like that. The metal rail on which the mount is attached was not likely installed in the first place with anything resembling a micrometer - and I had to replace mine a long time ago due to rust, which was truly not a precision process.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:08 AM
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Sounds like you are good for now. I was nervous too the first time I took an A4 out. Counting friends boats I am probably up to 5 or 6 removals and/or installs. It is just nuts and bolts.
We went through the marina with an old rusty engine on the dock float about noon and 20 minutes later went by the other direction with the "new" engine here. We got a lot of comments on how fast we managed to get it rebuilt and painted It was pretty easy to swing the boom out over the float to get the engines on and off the dock float.
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Last edited by joe_db; 10-08-2019 at 09:10 AM.
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