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Old     (billybobfl2001)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-13-2008, 12:50 PM Reply   
This summer my 03 Malibu VLX developed a problem. I noticed what seemed like an unusual amount of water in my bilge. No problem, the bilge pump would circulate on a little more frequently, but seemed to take care of the issue. Well, the bilge pump went out recently and it has became a little more of a problem. After a few sessions on the lake, I noticed a lot of water in the bilge and began to investigate.

The problem seems to be comming from the drive shaft. More directly, my packing gland seems to be less effective and a steady stream of water comes in the boat whether running or not around the drive shaft.

I have learned to adjust my sessions a little to compensate for the problem by running a couple of hours and then putting the boat back on the lift and pulling the drain plug. This method is not optimal, but keeps me from having to take the boat out of the lake and haul it 2 hours to the dealer. I am trying to postpone the service call until the winter.

Here's my question. Are either of these items something that could easily be done by me while the boat is on the lift? As far as I can tell, the bilge pump is behind the engine below the exhaust baffles. This doesn't sound very inviting of a job, so maybe it should just wait for the shop. Any idea on what the costs in labor are to get to that "inexpensive" part replaced?

At least I haven't sunk her yet!
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-13-2008, 1:12 PM Reply   
packing gland. yes, you can do it but it is a PAIN to get that huge nut off!! check and do a search for packing gland (i think that is what they call it)
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-13-2008, 1:49 PM Reply   
The bilge pump is a twist & lock mechanism. The base is glued down to the bottom of the boat. And the pump twists & locks into it. So all you need to do is get one hand under there, twist it counterclockwise maybe 1/8 of a turn, and then lift it up. The pump will come out & have two wires to it. Cut them (with the batteries disconnected of course) & splice in the new pump.

The packing gland probably doesn't need to be replaced on such a new boat, just tightened down a bit. There are two nuts on it. Loosen the first one, tighten the 2nd one (closest to the packing) & test it out. It's supposed to drip like 10 times per minute. Then tighten the 2nd nut again & re-test it out. It took me a couple tries but is pretty easy overall.
Old     (bob_l)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-13-2008, 3:21 PM Reply   
I keep one of these and a small bucket on board at all times: rimary%20Search&Ntx=mode%20matchallpartial&Nao=0&N s=0&keyword=manual%20bilge%20pump&isLTokenURL=true &storeNum=11&subdeptNum=75&classNum=168

Not solving your problem but keeps you from having to lift and pull the plug.
Old     (02launchssv)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-13-2008, 5:29 PM Reply   
Shaft pack log not gland? Right?-where drive shaft and transmission meet? Can be easily adjusted in or out of water with wrenches. My Supra sux and have this thing adjusted about every 30 hours or so!
Old     (02launchssv)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-13-2008, 5:30 PM Reply   
Shaft Pack log not gland and can be easily adjusted in or out of water. I go thru this every 30 hours or so and takes about 5 minutes of my time.
Old     (02launchssv)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-13-2008, 5:31 PM Reply   
Great now a triple post-SORRY, damn wireless internet can be a bi*ch
Old     (loonytik)      Join Date: Apr 2008       08-14-2008, 10:43 AM Reply   
The shaft pack will leak after using it for awhile. I think most dealers recommend having it re-packed every 50 hours or so. The bilge pump should be easy to replace though and fairly inexpensive.
Old     (showmedonttellme)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-14-2008, 10:50 AM Reply   
Really 50 hours? I have 600+ hours on my boat and I've never replaced it. Maybe thats why I take on a 100 gallons in 6 hours. It helps the wake though!!
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-18-2008, 6:04 AM Reply   
I keep having bad dreams where my bilge is full and my starter/engine parts are underwater!@

Time to get this corrected.
Old     (billybobfl2001)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-18-2008, 6:32 AM Reply   
I didn't have a wrench big enough to get on either of the packing nuts, so I will have to ask around. It seems to be like Airjunky said, as both nuts seem to be pretty far up the shaft. Not much room to work, but I think I can get it with the right wrench.

I still can't get a grip on the bilge pump to twist it off. The one time I thought I had a good grip I thought I was going to break the base. I may have twisted it the wrong way. I assume it is lefty loosy.

Thanks for your help so far.
Old     (insuranceman)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-18-2008, 6:37 AM Reply   
bill, i bought a packing wrench at boaters world. might check there.
Old     (loonytik)      Join Date: Apr 2008       08-18-2008, 6:52 AM Reply   
Jarrod--- 50 hours is a recommendation from the manufacturer usually. If you haven't replaced it in 600 hours, this winter might be the time bro.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-18-2008, 7:39 AM Reply   
I just used a two big pair of channel lock pliers ($10 at Harbor Freight). The nut against the packing doesn't need to be very tight. Just enough so it leaks the right amount & not too much. The 2nd nut is a lock nut to keep the first one from moving. So hold the first one & lock down the 2nd against it. Then recheck the leak rate.

A better option is to go with one of the new leakless packings. I haven't used one yet but will if it ever comes down to replacing one.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-21-2008, 8:09 AM Reply   
Ok checked mine out and it is a dripless packing. Looked further and my rudder is the culprit! Looks like it can be greased but no idea!
Old     (billybobfl2001)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-21-2008, 10:46 AM Reply   

How do you know if it is dripless?
Old     (number55)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-21-2008, 1:15 PM Reply   
a water-cooled shaft packing will have a small hose running to the shaft. if you dont have a hose present in that location, it is not a drip-less system.

Mike-there's a zert fitting on the rudder port, squeeze some greese in it, just not to much.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-22-2008, 5:50 AM Reply   
Thanks for replies all! Well when I look at the shaft packing I do not see any brass at all. No set of two packing nuts. What I do see are hose clamps around a rubber boot. From what I have read I think this should be dripless.

I called Supra and they recommended I get a new rudder seal from NAPA auto. It is a sleeve with o-rings at top and bottom. They also recommended I try and grease it first. The zerk fittings (grease gun port for filling) may be anywhere on rudder, rudder arm or even steering cable.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-22-2008, 9:42 AM Reply   
Part# 11060 Oil Seal Joint Radius $6. We'll see if it works..


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