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  1. #1
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    1985 200hp swivel bracket is loose

    Hi Guys,

    I just bought a 1985 Charger DL, with a 200hp Mercury BlackMax of the same year. All seems fine with the motor, except for a little slack in the bottom of the swivel bracket. It would appear that I may have purchased a massive project, if I have to lift the motor off the boat, remove the power-head, and replace the swivel tube bushings.
    Is this slack from a worn bushing a hazard, or will it just make the engine shimmy at higher speeds? I plan to take it out for the first time next weekend.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    fresh water or salt? it will make a hugh difference in the project. A motor that old that has been in salt is probably not going to come apart (as in - be taken apart on purpose)
    The power head to mid-section studs are often frozen into the mid-section on stuff that is a LOT newer than that.
    The slack is probably shot lower mounts. If these are salted- the bolts that hold the cover plates over the mounts will not come out - they will snap off- period.
    If powerhead is good pull it and lower off- locate a better mid section. If PH is frozen to mid You can get the power head off by drilling or cutting thur the mid section to the power head studs- cutting them but leaving enough to get them out once PH is off.

    In the end - you have a 30 year old motor ...
    Last edited by CircleHook; 07-08-2015 at 04:36 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the feedback circlehook. It is in fresh water, and always has been, and is quite clean, and corrosion free. So perhaps this is a winter project, if I can track down a mid section.
    I was just curious about what effect this is going to have, like a shake, or bad vibration, or danger.
    Indeed, it's 30 years old, so I'm trying to judge how much effort to put into it. If it's not dangerous, then maybe I'll put up with it.

  4. #4
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    There is a thin plastic sleeve bushing top and bottom. I have not seen these wear out. Usually the problem right there is a build up of corrosion that "grips" the steer arm shaft and makes it hard to turn. That is why I expect it is the lower mounts- they fail. Dangerous- probably not. Vibration - no because the torque from the prop will pull it to one side and hold it there.
    How much movement is there? Based on your post - you think the steering arm shaft is wobbling back and forth inside the mid section? I have not seen that- it is pretty snug at the top also so I am not sure how much it could move. Suggest you check where movement is coming from again.

  5. #5
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    like said, check all connections first,, don't be afraid of grabin', shakin', twistin' any part on it... easiest thing ta do is check tha lower mounts... if its still a clean unit it may come apart just fine.. a little PB blaster on tha bolts n nuts a day or two before will give ya a little extra courage.. ya don't know till ya try it.. you can check tha lower mounts easy enough by pulling tha covers.. worn out mounts are usually pretty obvious.. if tha covers come off ok then tha rest should be ok ta tear down at a later date if you decide.... ya never know 'bout fresh water motors till ya actually put your hand on it.. some of tha easiest tear downs I've seen has been 30 year old motors never touched..........jus saying, don't get all depressed till tha time comes!

  6. #6
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    That's great guys, thanks again.
    The slack is in the bottom end of the tube for sure. The mounts have what seems like a normal amount of 'flex' in them, and are definitely snug to the mid. The amount that I'm talking about when I yank back on the motor is about an 1/8th". Maybe this just needs a good packing with some thick grease?

  7. #7
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    When and if you disassemble the bottom yoke area, and if the plastic bushing is actually worn out I have some of the older race bushing sets that are made from bronze and metal. These won't ever wobble out. Let me know if you ever need a set.

    Best wishes, Carter Powell

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    Just thought I'd let you guys know that I've had the boat out on the water doing 70mph, and it was snug as could be. No shakes, jerks or shimmys. In fact, I think I need to lube the rack and pinion, because it's way too stiff. Thanks again for all your help, as I may still take on this bushing project. And Carter, I just might contact you about those race bushings...

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