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 a little over 180 (needle was on the "0" on the 180, I estimate about 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 it 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 a little above the 180 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 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.