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Chauncemaster

Leaky Prop Shaft + Broken Bilge Pump

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Chauncemaster

For a while now my bilge pump hasn't worked. At least when I flip the switch on the dash for it the light doesn't come on and the pump doesn't start. Im not sure if it would come on automatically or not but it certainly can't be turned on manually.

To make matters worse, my Prop shaft leaks water faster than it should and I haven't gotten around to tightening the packing. The best way to describe how fast the water leaks in is that it is as fast as if you turn a faucet down to the point where it is a steady stream of drips instead of one continous line of water.

None of this has been a problem for me so far because my boat lives on its trailer and isn't i nthe water long enough to collect mroe than a few gallons of water. My concern is that I am planning a houseboating trip down to Smith Mountain Lake in virginia and my boat could be in the water for 3 days straight so I'd prefer if it not sink or fill up with water.

I've never tightened the packing on my VLX before, how hard is it to get at the packing and what kind of tools will I need? I've read I should Adjust it so I am getting one drip every 7-10 seconds. Right now I probably get a few drips per second.

Also, Im planning to whip out the old multimeter to try to track down the source of the bilge pump issues. If it turns out to be the pump itself, what kind of pump do I need to buy to replace it?

Thanks in advance for any help or info you can provide. If it weren't for this site, my boat would already either be broken, wrecked, or at the bottom of a lake somewhere.

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LS-One

Before you whip out the meter, visually inspect the pump sometimes hair, carpet fibers and general crap gets caught in the little impeller locking it up, usually the top of the pump pops off for inspection

Sorry I just re read your post about the dashlight does not come on

my above comment could still be the problem when it locks up it would cause the breaker to pop.

I had a fat sack pump do the same thing, evrytime I plugged it in the auxillary breaker would pop.

Edited by LS-One

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jgouveia3

i personally wouldn't go out on the water without a working bilge bump. i have seen things happen really fast where the bilge pump has saved a boat, whether it is trailered or not.

Edited by jgouveia3

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jklein

I'm with jg. Fix the bilge pump issue. You can pick up a new on on skidim.com for about 30 bucks. Good insurance if you ask me.

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WakeAndSno

FWIW, I'm pretty sure you can get one at Wally World for really cheap as well!

JZ

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Chauncemaster
i personally wouldn't go out on the water without a working bilge bump.  i have seen things happen really fast where the bilge pump has saved a boat, whether it is trailered or not.

My excuse to myself has always been that if I needed to pump the bilge I would just unscrew the drain pump in the ski locker and it would pump out any water in there. You are right though, I really should fix it. It is pretty ironic that I have 8 pumps on my boat (3 MLS fill, 3 MLS drain, bilge, and an extra fat sac pump) and all but the one designed for safety work Crazy.gif

Anybody have any tips for tightening the packing on my VLX?

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jgouveia3

i never thought about all those pumps.

sorry i can't help with the VLX, i'm an old school DD guy.

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Jimmy Buffett

Just find a wrench big enough and tighten a little at a time until the dripping is where you need it to be. Don't get it too tight. IIRC it took two wrenches but I don't remember the size.

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Lakenut

The packing nut on a DD is pretty easy. I can't imagine it being that much more difficult on a Vdrive. I used a plumbers wrench to losen the lock nut, then tighten the packing nut just a bit and then tighten the locking nut back again. A SS channel lock type tool would be great to just keep in the boat.

Get the bilge pump fixed ASAP. A ballast pump would be useless in a bind due to the fact that the pump has to be lower than water level to work.

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LS-One
The packing nut on a DD is pretty easy.  I can't imagine it being that much more difficult on a Vdrive.  I used a plumbers wrench to losen the lock nut, then tighten the packing nut just a bit and then tighten the locking nut back again.  A SS channel lock type tool would be great to just keep in the boat.

Get the bilge pump fixed ASAP.  A ballast pump would be useless in a bind due to the fact that the pump has to be lower than water level to work.

The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

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Chauncemaster
The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

It definetly looks like it is going to be a tight fit getting to the nut.

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Malibudude
The packing nut on a DD is pretty easy.  I can't imagine it being that much more difficult on a Vdrive.  I used a plumbers wrench to losen the lock nut, then tighten the packing nut just a bit and then tighten the locking nut back again.  A SS channel lock type tool would be great to just keep in the boat.

Get the bilge pump fixed ASAP.  A ballast pump would be useless in a bind due to the fact that the pump has to be lower than water level to work.

The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

Benefit to the DD's Tongue.gif

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Chauncemaster
The packing nut on a DD is pretty easy.  I can't imagine it being that much more difficult on a Vdrive.  I used a plumbers wrench to losen the lock nut, then tighten the packing nut just a bit and then tighten the locking nut back again.  A SS channel lock type tool would be great to just keep in the boat.

Get the bilge pump fixed ASAP.  A ballast pump would be useless in a bind due to the fact that the pump has to be lower than water level to work.

The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

Benefit to the DD's Tongue.gif

Saw that one coming Biggrin.gif

You could also probably brag about how much easier it is to change the impeller

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Sunsetter95

The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

It definetly looks like it is going to be a tight fit getting to the nut.

I'm sure Zoolander could get it! ROFL.gif

Check the breaker and the wires as said before.

Replace the pump as needed.

Tighten the nut. I helped a friend do his VD Nautique. Not fun, but doable. We used one plumbers wrench and one channel lock.

Remember, if your bilge pump doesn't work and your taking on water, pull a fat sac pump off of a bag and put it in the water.

I went on a Tige' test drive and the "T" split filling the bilge with water. Of course, we didn't know this at the time, we were admiring how big the wake was with their TAPS system. Then we saw the water coming out from under the seats. The poor sales guy about had a cow. We called for help, the bilge couldn't keep up of course, so the guy was ready to put the boat on the rocks. He hit the throttle and headed for shore. I asked him "what are you nuts?". Thats when I told him to pull the pumps off of the sacs and stick them in the bilge. We survived with some wet shoes.

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Faceplant409

The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

It definetly looks like it is going to be a tight fit getting to the nut.

I'm sure Zoolander could get it! ROFL.gif

Check the breaker and the wires as said before.

Replace the pump as needed.

Tighten the nut. I helped a friend do his VD Nautique. Not fun, but doable. We used one plumbers wrench and one channel lock.

Remember, if your bilge pump doesn't work and your taking on water, pull a fat sac pump off of a bag and put it in the water.

I went on a Tige' test drive and the "T" split filling the bilge with water. Of course, we didn't know this at the time, we were admiring how big the wake was with their TAPS system. Then we saw the water coming out from under the seats. The poor sales guy about had a cow. We called for help, the bilge couldn't keep up of course, so the guy was ready to put the boat on the rocks. He hit the throttle and headed for shore. I asked him "what are you nuts?". Thats when I told him to pull the pumps off of the sacs and stick them in the bilge. We survived with some wet shoes.

Ain't it great when ya can show up a "pro."

(glad no damage was done....)

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Sunsetter95

The problem is getting to it and then having enough movement in the confined space to turn a wrench

It definetly looks like it is going to be a tight fit getting to the nut.

I'm sure Zoolander could get it! ROFL.gif

Check the breaker and the wires as said before.

Replace the pump as needed.

Tighten the nut. I helped a friend do his VD Nautique. Not fun, but doable. We used one plumbers wrench and one channel lock.

Remember, if your bilge pump doesn't work and your taking on water, pull a fat sac pump off of a bag and put it in the water.

I went on a Tige' test drive and the "T" split filling the bilge with water. Of course, we didn't know this at the time, we were admiring how big the wake was with their TAPS system. Then we saw the water coming out from under the seats. The poor sales guy about had a cow. We called for help, the bilge couldn't keep up of course, so the guy was ready to put the boat on the rocks. He hit the throttle and headed for shore. I asked him "what are you nuts?". Thats when I told him to pull the pumps off of the sacs and stick them in the bilge. We survived with some wet shoes.

Ain't it great when ya can show up a "pro."

(glad no damage was done....)

They keep sending me e-mail to test drive another Tige'.

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whiteVLX

Well I just happened to have my 2001 owners manual handy and while ittells me how to grease my pylon, it does not tell you how or when to adjust your nut.

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Lakenut

Remember to hand......

Wait, I better not go there. Innocent.gif

By the way....These smilies are way better than the old MBOs.

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Sunsetter95

It seems there are allot more of them too. :salute:

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Chauncemaster
Well I just happened to have my 2001 owners manual handy and while ittells me how to grease my pylon, it does not tell you how or when to adjust your nut.

:lol:

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Chauncemaster

Here's the update in case anyone is interested. I whipped out the old multimeter and traced the problem with the bilge pump to a faulty switch on the dashboard. I swapped the bilge pump switch with one of the unused accessory switches and it works like a champ now. Easiest fix I could have hoped for.

Tightening the packing was another story though. I tried with a friend for almost an hour and we couldn't get 2 wrenches into position because the space is so tight on the v-drive. I guess I will be living with a leaky prop shaft for a while.

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