Pensacola Fishing Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 18 month old Alpha one lower unit started making bad noises on my last trip out, so I took it in to a mechanic. The first thing he did was drain the oil. When he took the bottom plug out, some oil drained out, along with lots of little pieces of metal. The quantity that came out was less than it should have been. Upon further investigation, he discovered a lot of very severe wear on the bearings, gears etc... which indicates it was not getting enough oil.

I was confused by this because I very regularly check the reservoir mounted in the engine compartment (as per the owner's manual) and there is an alarm system that is supposed to sound if the oil quantity gets too low. The mechanic says the line from the reservoir to the lower unit has a rise in it that is level with the "fill" line of the reservoir. This prevents the oil in the reservoir from getting to the lower unit if the oil level drops to the fill line, and apparently the alarm is set to go off when the oil level goes below that line also, meaning it will never go off. He says it is a design flaw. I asked him if I should try to get some relief from the company, even though my warranty expired 6 months ago. He said that it would be a waste of effort.

I tend to agree with the mechanic. I don't believe that the company has any obligation to offset my repair costs, even if I assume I can really document a valid design flaw, but on the other hand, i feel like I kinda got screwed.

Any opinions or advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,079 Posts
At the very least you should bring it to thier attention. If this has happened on other boats, they may see that it is easier to fix/replace yours than get sued. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
What motor do you have and how old is the boat? In my experience this would be a rigging flaw not a design flaw. From the factory the resivoir hose is mounted below the resivoir. I have never seen one that had a rise in it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,243 Posts
Like sos said, it is a rigging flaw... for it to have the bottle at all makes it a gen II, the hose is mounted under the bottle, runs along the intake on the starboard side and down to the transom.. the hose would have had to been run up on the riser for this to happen. and i dont think there is enough slack in the hose,,, now i have seen kinks or pinches in these lines. and this can occur. I would still bring it to the manufactures attention they are really good at making it right... as far as the mechanic saying its a watse of time... not true... you will never get anything if you dont ask.... just my .02:usaflag
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes, it is a gen II, original to the boat, which is 18 months old, with 220 hours.

Would it be sufficient to document the routing of the line with pictures and send it to the company, along with the repair bills and maybe the pictures of the damage to the lower unit? I have yet to actually see the line routing myself. I really would like to get the boat back in the water, so i don't want to hold off on repairs until the company gets a chance to see the evidence and make their decision. The new drive is available today and he says it will be ready today.

By the way, who do you think is responsible? Is it Tahoe, the boat manufacturer, or mercury?

Thanks for the responses!
 

·
Praedator
Joined
·
10,006 Posts
Who soldyou the boat? Did you buy it used or new?

Document everything you can and send the information about the repair and damage etc... to both the boat and engine manufacturer and see what their response is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
The bottle is part of the engine package that comes from Mercruiser, but it has to connected by the boat manufacture, Tahoe. Then it should get a final look by the rigger at the Dealer. I think the key question is, why did the lube leak from the O/D. Bad seal, fishing line or was it properly servicedthe last time you had it in. When was it service last?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I bought it new from Tracker marine, who operates from the bass pro shops. I have to take partial responsibility. I do my own minor servicing, and I put off changing the lower unit oil. I should have done it this summer and didn't. I was really kicking myself for procrastinating, but I don't believe the fact that the oil was old should have caused such massive damage. What servicing would have done was filled the lower unit again, which might have prevented the damage, assuming there was no major leak. I might have also noticed some metal in the oil at that point, and realized something was wrong. As to where the oil was going, it must have been leaking a very small amount from somewhere, unless the original quantity was low when it came from the dealer. There was no evidence of water in the oil.

The fact that I was partially responsible and the unit is out of warranty makes me hesitant to really raise a big stink. I think documenting the problem and notifying the company is fine. It's a costly lesson for me, but it could have been worse.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top