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Tao of Wake

Shout Out to Tommy's Walloon Lake MI

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Tao of Wake

I wanted to share my excellent experience with Tommy's service at the Walloon Lake, MI location.

I've got my yearly brofest this week (9 guys total), and on Tuesday, my prop shaft disconnected from the v-drive after putting it in reverse for a minute. We were only about 1/2 mile away from the lift, so we just put on flippers and kicked it back to the dock. I called Tommy's in the morning, and they advised that I needed to pull the boat and bring it to them. We towed it to the launch, got it on the trailer and got it to them by noon. The tech (Zack) immediately came out to review the issue. He said it should be about 3-1/2 hour job but he would likely not be able to get to it until Thursday. I got a call Wed evening saying he worked on it until 7:30 and got most of it done and would be ready in the morning! I picked it back up and had it in the water by noon on Thursday. Unbelievable! Zack and the service team at Tommy's are my heroes.

He found that the engine/shaft was out of alignment by as much as 1/2 inch. He had to replace the dripless shaft seal as it was unevenly worn due to the misalignment. He also had to move the engine to get everything aligned properly. He figures the wobble also caused the shaft nut to come off and then it sheared the spline key and set screw. Needless to say, I need to have a conversation with my dealer (Skier's Pier). They were the only dealer to service my boat before this. The last time they had it was at the 20-hour checkup in 2008. Isn't part of the checkup to make sure the engine/shaft are properly aligned?

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Sixball

Good to see feedback on Tommy's ! And even better to get very good feedback!

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JasonK

Wish I was closer, I'd go there. Time for me to get the alignment checked by someone other than me.

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malibu2004

Didn't you have a massive vibration? Did you hit something? 

Skiers Pier check it in 2008 at the 20 hour mark. How many hours is on it now? I think your suppose to check it yearly?

 

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Steve B.
1 hour ago, Tao of Wake said:

Isn't part of the checkup to make sure the engine/shaft are properly aligned?

After this long, no way.  Their first question would be, how many things have you hit in the last 7 years, and, didn't you feel some kind of vibration in 7 years?

Steve B.

 

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DAC

Ditto on great service from Tommy's Walloon.  Was up there for a week on the lake last year.  Blew a hose up there one morning, had a tech on our boat up the lake from them check it out in about 2 hours, flew the part in from Malibu that night and got it installed the next day (had to remove the back seat, about an 8 hour job) and back on the water that afternoon.  

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Tao of Wake
3 hours ago, malibu2004 said:

Didn't you have a massive vibration? Did you hit something? 

Skiers Pier check it in 2008 at the 20 hour mark. How many hours is on it now? I think your suppose to check it yearly?

 

No noticeable vibration at all. 290 hours on it now. How would I go about checking it?

3 hours ago, Steve B. said:

After this long, no way.  Their first question would be, how many things have you hit in the last 7 years, and, didn't you feel some kind of vibration in 7 years?

Steve B.

 

I am on a lake with no debris. I have never hit anything. Even if I did, how would that either shift the shaft or the engine 1/2 an inch? The tech was confident it was this way from the day I received the boat. He indicated that this is not something that could develop over time or from any trauma to the boat.

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Steve B.

"I am on a lake with no debris."  Sounds awesome. I've never been on any body of water with zero debris. Private man made lake ?

Steve B.

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malibu2004

You are 100% at fault in this one. Read your manual it tells you how often to inspect it. I check mine every year when I pull it out and winterize it. 

Absolutely no way you didn't have a vibration. Mine was barley out and I could tell I had a vibration. 

You check the coupling where the shaft attaches to the the v-drive of .003 or less gap. 

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Tao of Wake
On 7/15/2016 at 4:17 PM, Steve B. said:

"I am on a lake with no debris."  Sounds awesome. I've never been on any body of water with zero debris. Private man made lake ?

Steve B.

Thanks for taking it so literally. I'll dumb it down: "The lake where I boat has very little debris. So much so that I have never had the issue of hitting anything."

On 7/15/2016 at 4:18 PM, malibu2004 said:

You are 100% at fault in this one. Read your manual it tells you how often to inspect it. I check mine every year when I pull it out and winterize it. 

Absolutely no way you didn't have a vibration. Mine was barley out and I could tell I had a vibration. 

You check the coupling where the shaft attaches to the the v-drive of .003 or less gap. 

I absolutely disagree that I am at 100% fault. How am I supposed to check that gap when it is under the vdrive? What other tolerances am I expected to check? Once again, the technician was pretty adamant that this would not be something that would develop over time or from trauma, so I would like to see absolute proof that the dealer tested alignment at the 20-hour checkup and found no issues. Because I am not a mechanic, that is why I had the dealer perform a checkup at 20 hours to make sure all tolerances were within limits. The data puts serious doubt that the dealer performed this.

You are saying that your situation is EXACTLY the same as mine or that you know every particular of my situation? Could it be within the realm of possibility that the misalignment I had was such that it did not cause significant vibration? Or that because it was misaligned from day 1 that the vibration could have been construed as "normal"?

You seem to be implying that I disregarded some indication that something was wrong. I am quite particular about taking care of my things. If I had thought there was anything wrong, I would have taken it to my dealer. Also, if anyone else riding in my boat had thought anything was wrong (MANY are seasoned boaters and at least one is a mechanic), they would have mentioned it.

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NWBU
16 minutes ago, Tao of Wake said:

Thanks for taking it so literally. I'll dumb it down: "The lake where I boat has very little debris. So much so that I have never had the issue of hitting anything."

I absolutely disagree that I am at 100% fault. How am I supposed to check that gap when it is under the vdrive? What other tolerances am I expected to check? Once again, the technician was pretty adamant that this would not be something that would develop over time or from trauma, so I would like to see absolute proof that the dealer tested alignment at the 20-hour checkup and found no issues. Because I am not a mechanic, that is why I had the dealer perform a checkup at 20 hours to make sure all tolerances were within limits. The data puts serious doubt that the dealer performed this.

You are saying that your situation is EXACTLY the same as mine or that you know every particular of my situation? Could it be within the realm of possibility that the misalignment I had was such that it did not cause significant vibration? Or that because it was misaligned from day 1 that the vibration could have been construed as "normal"?

You seem to be implying that I disregarded some indication that something was wrong. I am quite particular about taking care of my things. If I had thought there was anything wrong, I would have taken it to my dealer. Also, if anyone else riding in my boat had thought anything was wrong (MANY are seasoned boaters and at least one is a mechanic), they would have mentioned it.

Yet you want to blame a guy who last looked at your boat a year before the term great recession was even coined? Not sure you'll get much out of the effort you're putting into this.

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oldjeep

ridiculous. If the shaft couldn't come out of alignment they wouldn't tell you to check it every year.  8 years ago it probably was in alignment. 

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Tao of Wake
14 hours ago, NWBU said:

Yet you want to blame a guy who last looked at your boat a year before the term great recession was even coined? Not sure you'll get much out of the effort you're putting into this.

The term "great recession" was used back in the 1920s. It was either coined then or before.

If something was done incorrectly to the boat before I purchased it, 8 years should not matter.

13 hours ago, oldjeep said:

ridiculous. If the shaft couldn't come out of alignment they wouldn't tell you to check it every year.  8 years ago it probably was in alignment. 

I did not find anything in either the Malibu or Indmar manual indicating this is to be checked every year. Where in the manual does it state this? Who on this forum takes their boat to the dealer every year to have this checked? My claim is that it was out of alignment from the day I purchased it, and the dealer should have known this before selling it to me. At the very least, they should have known when they checked the alignment 8 years ago. Your claim is that it went out of alignment some time over the past 8 years, yet I have never hit anything. Who on this forum has had their shaft get out of alignment in very little hours of use (290 in my case) on it's own with no trauma? I have never heard of anyone having this issue (with any inboard boat).

Also, the tech found that the four bolts holding the shaft coupling together had been cut. He guessed that it was because it is very difficult to get a wrench in that area, so when the bolts were removed at one time (they weren't removed while I owned the boat!), the tech cut them short so that he didn't have to turn the nut as many times. Now that is ridiculous!

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oldjeep

From the 2012 Malibu Manual

Prop Shaft/Engine Alignment

As per Indmar’s recommended routine service maintenance, it is necessary to regularly

evaluate the prop shaft coupler bolts that attach the prop shaft to the engine. See Indmar

Owner’s Manual for proper prop shaft alignment. If the prop shaft bolts loosen

prematurely, major damage to your boat structure and driveline could result. It is

recommended that only a trained service technician perform this maintenance due to the

complications that can arise from an improperly balanced prop shaft engine alignment.

From the 2012 Indmar manual

Shaft alignment - check every 300 hours or annually

 

Either you check it yourself, pay to have someone else do it or live with the consequences.  If that shaft had been misaligned that much for 8 years you would have noticed vibration, had strut bushing wear and possibly a broken shaft.

 

FWIW - the 2007 Indmar manual says the same thing - Maint schedule on Page 6-3.  Page 7-9 shows how to check it

http://www.themalibucrew.com/_files/engines/indmar_2005_2009.pdf

 

Edited by oldjeep

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malibu2004
15 hours ago, Tao of Wake said:

Thanks for taking it so literally. I'll dumb it down: "The lake where I boat has very little debris. So much so that I have never had the issue of hitting anything."

I absolutely disagree that I am at 100% fault. How am I supposed to check that gap when it is under the vdrive? What other tolerances am I expected to check? Once again, the technician was pretty adamant that this would not be something that would develop over time or from trauma, so I would like to see absolute proof that the dealer tested alignment at the 20-hour checkup and found no issues. Because I am not a mechanic, that is why I had the dealer perform a checkup at 20 hours to make sure all tolerances were within limits. The data puts serious doubt that the dealer performed this.

You are saying that your situation is EXACTLY the same as mine or that you know every particular of my situation? Could it be within the realm of possibility that the misalignment I had was such that it did not cause significant vibration? Or that because it was misaligned from day 1 that the vibration could have been construed as "normal"?

You seem to be implying that I disregarded some indication that something was wrong. I am quite particular about taking care of my things. If I had thought there was anything wrong, I would have taken it to my dealer. Also, if anyone else riding in my boat had thought anything was wrong (MANY are seasoned boaters and at least one is a mechanic), they would have mentioned it.

I have a VLX also and I don't have any issues checking the gap. If you don't know how to do it pay for it or have one of your seasoned boaters or mechanical friends look at it. You really need to read your manual and become educated on what the boat requires. Guess what when you fix it you still need to maintain it per the book. It's not a one time put it in and never worry about it again.

The book says 300 hours or annually. Have you ever changed the impeller, fuel filter, vdrive oil, transmission oil? Just wondering. 

Have you looked at your trailer because it also requires service. 

8 years on something that should be yearly and your mad at the dealership. Let's think about for a minute. 

 

 

Edited by malibu2004

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Tao of Wake
16 hours ago, NWBU said:

Yet you want to blame a guy who last looked at your boat a year before the term great recession was even coined? Not sure you'll get much out of the effort you're putting into this.

The term "great recession" was used back in the 1920s. It was either coined then or before.

If something was done incorrectly to the boat before I purchased it, 8 years should not matter.

15 hours ago, oldjeep said:

ridiculous. If the shaft couldn't come out of alignment they wouldn't tell you to check it every year.  8 years ago it probably was in alignment. 

I did not find anything in either the Malibu or Indmar manual indicating this is to be checked every year. Where in the manual does it state this? Who on this forum takes their boat to the dealer every year to have this checked? My claim is that it was out of alignment from the day I purchased it, and the dealer should have known this before selling it to me. At the very least, they should have known when they checked the alignment 8 years ago. Your claim is that it went out of alignment some time over the past 8 years, yet I have never hit anything. Who on this forum has had their shaft get out of alignment in very little hours of use (290 in my case) on it's own with no trauma? I have never heard of anyone having this issue (with any inboard boat).

Also, the tech found that the four bolts holding the shaft coupling together had been cut. He guessed that it was because it is very difficult to get a wrench in that area, so when the bolts were removed at one time (they weren't removed while I owned the boat!), the tech cut them short so that he didn't have to turn the nut as many times. Now that is ridiculous!

1 hour ago, oldjeep said:

If that shaft had been misaligned that much for 8 years you would have noticed vibration, had strut bushing wear and possibly a broken shaft.

Then there must have been something else going on that caused this because there was no noticeable vibration. That is enough to warrant some investigation into what caused this. I am not contending 100% that I know the dealer did something wrong. I would like all of the facts to try to figure it out. You seem bent on assuming I am either lying about the lack of vibration, or I and many others were unable to detect it. If you were reasonable, you would also want to know all of the facts before making final conclusions.

He also had to replace the dripless shaft seal because one side of the rubber seal was worn down. Could it be that the engine/transmission/shaft were in alignment but everything was shifted over by 1/2"? That would explain the wear but no vibration because everything was in alignment. They did say that the nut holding the shaft in the coupler had come off which none of the techs had ever seen happen. Based on what I was told, this seems like a very unique situation that warrants further investigation. It's not as cut and dry as you all seem to think. Even if I had checked the alignment, it may have been fine.

Edited by Tao of Wake

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oldjeep
25 minutes ago, Tao of Wake said:

 

Then there must have been something else going on that caused this because there was no noticeable vibration. That is enough to warrant some investigation into what caused this. I am not contending 100% that I know the dealer did something wrong. I would like all of the facts to try to figure it out. You seem bent on assuming I am either lying about the lack of vibration, or I and many others were unable to detect it. If you were reasonable, you would also want to know all of the facts before making final conclusions.

He also had to replace the dripless shaft seal because one side of the rubber seal was worn down. Could it be that the engine/transmission/shaft were in alignment but everything was shifted over by 1/2"? That would explain the wear but no vibration because everything was in alignment. They did say that the nut holding the shaft in the coupler had come off which none of the techs had ever seen happen. Based on what I was told, this seems like a very unique situation that warrants further investigation. It's not as cut and dry as you all seem to think. Even if I had checked the alignment, it may have been fine.

Well, you said that the engine was 1/2" out of alignment - the engine alignment is how you set the shaft alignment.  You also said that the tech said "The wobble" caused the shaft nut to come off - the wobble is vibration (which you say you never felt).  You also said that you don't do the recommended annual maintenance of checking shaft alignment.  We're working with all the facts you provided.

Ultimately whatever caused it - you need to look at the maintenance section of your manual since you claimed that nowhere in the manual did it say that shaft alignment needed to be checked yearly.  Make sure you have been doing the rest of your maintenance before something expensive happens.

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Tao of Wake
26 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Well, you said that the engine was 1/2" out of alignment - the engine alignment is how you set the shaft alignment.  You also said that the tech said "The wobble" caused the shaft nut to come off - the wobble is vibration (which you say you never felt).  You also said that you don't do the recommended annual maintenance of checking shaft alignment.  We're working with all the facts you provided.

Ultimately whatever caused it - you need to look at the maintenance section of your manual since you claimed that nowhere in the manual did it say that shaft alignment needed to be checked yearly.  Make sure you have been doing the rest of your maintenance before something expensive happens.

I also said I don't have all of the facts. I could have misunderstood the tech's statement about alignment and it was the entire engine/drivetrain that was out of alignment with the thru-hull. It was another tech that speculated about the wobble being the cause, but I never reported there was a wobble.

I said that I didn't find where it indicated annual. I never claimed it wasn't there. I asked for direction to find it. Thank you for providing that.

I will discontinue this conversation until I do have more information such as the service logs.

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Steve B.

I wonder if marine shops keep records going back 8 years?

Steve B.

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Tao of Wake
On 7/18/2016 at 4:39 PM, Steve B. said:

I wonder if marine shops keep records going back 8 years?

Steve B.

I am concerned that they will not have this.

I talked to the mechanic who just worked on my boat again, and he did confirm that the entire engine was 1/2" to port. Due to the fact the coupler bolts had all been cut provides evidence that something was done to the boat after it was shipped from the factory. He also believes that the engine/transmission/shaft were all in alignment since I did not experience any vibration and he did not see any evidence of this on the shaft. He did give me the old shaft packing seal, and the rubber seal is worn down on the port side which is more evidence that the engine was moved over by 1/2" but that everything was in alignment except where the shaft passed through the seal and the thru hull. He can't explain why the nut came off the end of the shaft which caused the spline key to get snapped and the shaft to fall out of the coupler except that there was undue stress on the coupler due to the engine misalignment. He restated that the engine misalignment would not have just developed over time. The mounting bolts for the engine were tight. The engine had to either been installed that way at the factory or the engine was moved. Either way, I believe I have a case.

Again, this is not all of the information. I would like to know from my original dealer if any work was done to the engine before I purchased it. If they no longer have the service records or are unwilling to share them, then I will pursue based on the information provided by the mechanic.

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Raimie

I think there is a pretty good chance it came that way from the factory (engine 1/2" off and bolts cut to make it work).

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Michigan boarder

Here's a little more shout-out to Tommy's.  They provide the boat for our show ski team, a sweet 2016 Reponse Lxi.  Took this pic last night at practice:

 

2016 Tommy's Response resized.jpg

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oldjeep
Just now, Michigan boarder said:

Here's a little more shout-out to Tommy's.  They provide the boat for our show ski team, a sweet 2016 Reponse Lxi.  Took this pic last night at practice:

 

2016 Tommy's Response resized.jpg

Thumbs up for providing the boat, head slap for that awful looking wrap (and a 2016 would be a TXI)

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Michigan boarder
Just now, oldjeep said:

Thumbs up for providing the boat, head slap for that awful looking wrap (and a 2016 would be a TXI)

TXI - I knew that!!

Actually I like the wrap - remember this is for a show ski team, with music going, costumes, heavy makeup on the girls, it's all flashy stuff and they want the boat to get noticed.

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ahopkinsVTX
2 hours ago, Michigan boarder said:

TXI - I knew that!!

Actually I like the wrap - remember this is for a show ski team, with music going, costumes, heavy makeup on the girls, it's all flashy stuff and they want the boat to get noticed.

Yeah I agree on the wrap for the way you guys are using it too! Did you drive it at all? I still grin ear to ear when I drive mine :) 

Edited by ahopkinsTXi

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