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Name:   Just Chillin - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/23/2012 9:30:15 PM

Any thoughts on the suggested timeframes between replacement of bellows and impeller on a Bravo 3 Mercruiser?



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/24/2012 9:02:50 AM

Usually want to change an impeller begining of every season, the impeller is a maintence item that can cause serious heartache if it fails. Bellows on the other are more of a visual check, if they appear to be cracking or dry rotten then its time. Merc offers a complete kit to handle this problem including gaskets and a gimbal bearing. Will be glad to help you if needed.   Jeff



Name:   Just Chillin - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/24/2012 6:16:30 PM

Can you give me an Approximate cost for each to be replaced. Thx.



Name:   Osms - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/24/2012 6:39:07 PM

Impeller on Bravo 3 is engine mounted and much easier to change than foot mounted.  Failure of an impeller is more related to trash, ice bag wrapped around foot, etc., than it is to a mechanic's need for business.  Mine is going on 4 years and works fine.  It IS an inconvenience when the impeller goes, but it can be fixed from inside the boat (Bravo outdrives).  Key to bellows life is to keep the outdrive down as much as possible...on or off the trailer.  When the outdrive is up it stretches the bellows which leads to premature failure...if it's cracked badly have it replaced...it keeps water off the gimbal bearings and universal joint.



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/24/2012 11:21:39 PM

At my shop I charge an hour for impeller, which is 80 labor and depending on the impeller syle the impeller is 25 or 32. The bellows job including a permalube sealed gimbal bearing is 5 hours for 400 and the bellows kit is 230, of course the items include sales tax. I agree with a few item OSMs says but impellers are not an item us mechanics use to make money, they are an item to assure that you enjoy your day and summer on the water. A failed impeller can be very severe and my biggest bill to date on a fried impeller was over 4500, the boat almost burnt to the water line. Impellers can be damaged by dirt, starved of water by a bag, but the common failure is age and rot. As my prices show, the cost is easily justified as preventitive and just simply not worth the risk. If I can help I will be glad to.  Jeff



Name:   houseboat - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 9:07:42 AM

Can you give the name and location of your shop? Do you advertise on this Webb site?



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 10:07:04 AM


Harris Performance, HWY 280 Dadeville. I am not an advertiser on this site, but spoke with Bruce about this. I am probably gonna do it this year, as I am finally getting responses from the poeple on this site, where as before I just took a beating!  Thanks  Jeff



Name:   houseboat - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 10:23:15 AM

I have a business called Cole BoatWorks located just west of Wetumpka. As far as I know I have not received any business from this site but it is great to have an internet connection since I do not have a webb site of my own. I had the privilege of meeting Bruce this weekend at the Boat Show and at first he did not connect "Houseboat" with Cole BoatWorks. Maybe I should change my alias.



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 10:35:54 AM

If you are like me, you spend your time working on boats and dont really have the time to do all the detail work.I do have a website, harrisperformanceonline.com its very primitive and is under contruction. I am in the process of relocating to a much larger,much nicer faucility, and will have a nicer website to match here in the next month or so. I have gotten a little business off this site, but I believe that there are a bunch of people who surf this site and never post, so you might not know if you get the customer from here or not. If its a new customer I like to ask where they heard about me, I mark  it down and try to figure which avenue brings the most business for the buck. Keep your nose to the grind stone, try to gain new customers and never loose exsiting ones and you will be just fine.



Name:   CAT BOAT - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 1:04:43 PM

I had rather change 10 Impellers located in the lower unit than I had 1 on the engine.  Most of the time you can barely get to the pump, and have to stand on your head. Also, on many I/O engines the engine mounted Raw water pump is connected to fuel pumps and fuel cooling systems and is somewhat difficult to change.   Failure of impeller is (as Jeff said) from rot and some cases lack of use.  I personally suggest changing every year.  Agree with Jeff also that a little mantainance can save big dollars.  Have you watched "Swamp People"?  If trash was a big issue to an impeller, they would have to change impellers everyday.  I especially don't like the "Mechanics need for business" statement either.  Of course we need business.  Thats why we build relationships with the people/members of this sight.   But not from deceptive false or otherwise adverse means.  (Vent off now).   My suggestion is to follow the advice of whomever is your service facility. 





Name:   CAT BOAT - Email Member
Subject:   I'm with Jeff on this one.
Date:   1/25/2012 1:06:20 PM

Except for the Labor rate.





Name:   houseboat - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 1:12:16 PM

I mainly rebuild floors and transoms in fiberglass boats (mostly bass boats) and have had a couple of customers from the Lake Martin area but they came from other sources. Have been at it part time for the last 4 years and can say it has been a great experience meeting people and continuely learning. I have a good facilily and hope to go full time soon. Hope your new location works well for you.



Name:   Osms - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/25/2012 1:49:48 PM

My preference for engine mounted water pumps is you can change the impeller while in the water.  May be a little cumbersome, depending on the boat, but I've done it a few times over the years.  Impeller longevity has increased tremendously since impellers are now made of a neoprene material.  Impeller may last a week or ten years and a lot depends on boater luck.  At least you guys got some good free advertising.  BTW, I'm hardheaded, I'll stick with my advice, and BTW, I don't change my auto oil and filter every 3K miles either.



Name:   widgethater - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 2:04:41 PM

I would suggest, that if you are concerned about the maint time on an impeller, read your owners manual,change it as
suggested and you will be on the safe side.



Name:   houseboat - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 3:10:52 PM

I use to take my impeller out of my Volvo in the winter and coat it with vaseline and leave it on the floor under the engine.



Name:   Osms - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 3:28:46 PM

Now that's a good way to prevent memory of the vanes. Lot of trouble, though.



Name:   houseboat - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 3:43:07 PM

Yes it keeps them like new. It wasn't any trouble on an old AQ130 Volvo, just 5 or 6 bronze screws on front of the engine.



Name:   Osms - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 4:07:13 PM

Yeah, I like the way Volvo mounts the pump to run off the drive shaft w/o a belt. Merc does mount their pump low so that it self primes and is probably hard to get to in some of the go fast boats.



Name:   Tall Cotton - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 4:09:27 PM

I have twin Volvo 5.0L's in the houseboat. Their impellers are easy to change there since there is plenty of room in front. I keep my spare in the vegetable bin of the fridge. Almost burned an engine down because of an impeller and not paying attention to the temp guage. Luck and synthetic oil saved my rear on that one. Changing impellers is a good, cheap insurance policy in my opinion.



Name:   CAT BOAT - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/25/2012 4:13:07 PM


I'm with ya on the auto engine oil.  Read my article a few months back concerning engine oil and chemical make up.  My Tahoe has 234,000 miles on its original engine, with no problems on the horizen. I know oil.  And my truck engine runs around at 1500rpms.  Check your boat tach next time you ride around.   And, although you may know something about changing YOUR Impleller, I don't suggest just anyone changing their own, especially IN the water.  What ya think will happen if you drop that 1 1/4" intake hose in the bilge, and can't get to it?  Maybe it falls in the bilge, under the engine below the water line?  Be very careful when doing that.  Again, you may be happy with 4 year impellers, and changing it in the water, but as a repair shop, I don't advise it.  Also, it is a good time to change gear oil, etc. when it is out on the trailer.  My. .02 worth. 



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Maint timeframes
Date:   1/25/2012 6:10:41 PM

I dont know if it is differant materials, or the design of the water pumps, but most outboards and IOs with the impeller in the lower have the water housing with the ports either above, below, or both, on the impeller, so the face of the blade never runs over a hole.These style pumps tend to not wear or tear impellers as bad as engine pumps. The engine mounted pumps have water holes on the running surface of the housing and I believe this helps with the failures in these style pumps. I also have people on a regular basis ask to check the impeller, and I advise that if we pull if, we replace it, no matter what it looks like. Its to inexpensive of a part to risk.



Name:   Osms - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/25/2012 11:01:35 PM

You mentioned an important factor in the useful life of an impeller...RPM.  While my average rpms is about 2700-3000 (29-35mph) your boat may average 5-6000 and may hit 8000 which probably will sling the blades off an impeller in no time.  You didn't tell the folks why you have to maintain control of the intake hose...because the hose is below the water line it will put a whole bunch of water in your bilge in no time...tie that hose UP.  Live and learn.



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/25/2012 11:51:04 PM

I hate peeing contest, that's why I normally keep my mouth shut! It collects no foot, foreign or domestic! We scatter motors at 8k, but that's not the real issue here I don't believe?



Name:   Osms - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/25/2012 11:56:18 PM

You are right. I don't run fast boats and don't know their red lines and it really is not a factor here.



Name:   HP HQ - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/26/2012 12:24:16 AM

Correct sir, and it doesn't matter what they ride in, my business is to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time on the lake, slow, fast, gas, diesel, or sweat. Impeller life is a great unknown, and I choose for me and my customer's to not find the life expectancy.



Name:   spyke420 - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/27/2012 4:00:37 PM

I dont remember changing my impeller on my boat.so maybe this is the year.are there impellers made of different matierials such as teflon or steel?



Name:   spyke420 - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/28/2012 3:25:08 PM

When I first went thru this thread my first thaughts were - how silly and a waste of space.while I respect those with higher knowlage and capablities, I don't do peeing shows either-I always win(billet crankshaft)It did make me think. Of course I'm talking about performance motors.Couldn't we free up a couple of ponys by drilling holes or shaving the thickness off the blades-hence reducing drag?With a huge modified race engine the water flow thru the system @95k rpm is probably overkill as these engines don't idle much in the never ending search of pristene waters and triple digit speeds.also for my money putting any petrolium based product on ruber can't be good.ask anyone who has quit using armorall or put the wrong fluid in a hydrolic brake system.



Name:   spyke420 - Email Member
Subject:   P.S.
Date:   1/28/2012 3:29:52 PM

I'm just saying !



Name:   spyke420 - Email Member
Subject:   P.S. and L.m.f.a.o.f!
Date:   1/28/2012 3:31:36 PM





Name:   spyke420 - Email Member
Subject:   P.S. and L.m.f.a.o.f!
Date:   1/29/2012 11:33:15 AM

Hey Cat Whats wrong with the rate ?



Name:   houseboat - Email Member
Subject:   Impellers and advertising
Date:   1/29/2012 3:09:19 PM

I think that giving out information about an available service is good. Some of us are not as well known as others and if you don't tell that you perform a particular service people would not know it was available.  Just Say-in!!!
I am really enjoying this great weather this weekend.
Houseboat





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