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Flywheel ring gear replacement


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I have a "94 Echelon with the 5.7L 350 Mercruiser EFI, direct drive.  Bought the boat last year and had trouble starting from the get-go.  Of course no issues during dealer test drive.  The flywheel has about a 2 inch section where it's slightly worn down.  I am usually able to manually turn the crank to move it past that section and starts fine.  Well not now; starter just spins.  My mechanic can't get to it for a few weeks (should have done this during the winter) so I'm considering tackling myself but need to know what all is involved.  I have read where there is 2-3 inches of room to unbolt and slide the transmission back to gain access without removing the motor.  I would need something to set the trans on and/or lift it up; can I do this myself is the question?  Once I get the housing off I think I can tackle removing the damper plate and flywheel (will purchase ring gear and new damper plate from Skidim).  I'll of course remove the starter and have it evaluated by a shop.  Last year O'Reilly's check it and it was fine; I want to make sure the teeth are fine and it's in proper working order for the new ring gear.  I have basic tools and socket sets.  Does it require special tools?  

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You might try a new starter 1st before doing the other work, it may be all you need - and if not, would be nice to have a new starter to go with the new ring gear.

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@ChattanoogaEchelon:  One member @tvano did a pivot off the front engine mounts then pulled the trans away from the engine, check with him on details, there is also a post on that in this section.  With a helper and a cherry picker, pulling the engine and trans together is actually very easy, then you can split the unit on the ground.  Thread on that here also @Michigan boarder.  Your comments imply the ring gear may be just past useful life.  FYI - engine trans combo is 888 lbs., trans is 135 lbs.

Edited by Woodski
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I have a couple of photos showing the engine and transmission being pulled linked below in an oil pan change thread.  Pulling the engine and transmission together in a direct drive is pretty easy.  Finding time to do it was more difficult.  



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