Coupler Failure 100 Miles from home

Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
when you take a long trip you imagine the worst case from a boat issue standpoint and we got hit with it yesterday 100 water miles north of home port. we came out of MacRay harbor with 4 other boats to head south to dock in Detroit for a few nights on our way back to Lake Erie. I throttled up and heard it. Ziiiiippppp and no thrust. Back to neutral. Put port in gear and had power, the stbd and heard the noise. Popped the lid to look but I knew it, almost no movement in stbd shaft. Called @Stodge, thankfully I had his number, and he gave me the cell to his mechanic who looked at it when we hit the dock and confirmed coupler. So we are now driving home in a rental car. They will haul the boat Monday and replace the coupler. Drive off, engine moved forward (I have a couple of feet in front of my engines. As always this forum has been a great help as thanks @Stodge had a mechanic on the boat within a couple hours of failure and thanks to @wm61356 for coming by the boat last night and offering his car and any help he can provide. Was very comforting to have these guys local support. Hope to be back up to the boat Thursday. We are just doing the one side as the mechanic is swamped and we need to get home. Likely this winter we will do the other side. Major bummer during a vaca but everyone is safe so it can always be worse.
Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

Comments

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison Twp,MIPosts: 689Member ✭✭✭
    Agreed n stodge is a good dude 
  • WildboatingWildboating Cleveland, OHPosts: 750Member ✭✭✭
    Really sorry to hear this.   What a bummer, we had a slightly different but similar coupler failure a few years back.  Glad everyone was able to offer you assistance while out of town.   I have been thinking it may be time to do mine as well.
    2003 Rinker 342 Fiesta Vee, 350 Mag MPI, Bravo 3 2.20:1 w/ 22p 4 x4 props

  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 3,594Member ✭✭✭✭
    That's a no warming, just nothing you can do to prevent. Glad it all seems to be working out...
  • StodgeStodge Lake St. ClairPosts: 1,295Member ✭✭✭
    Just hope it all works out.  

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks gang, will keep you posted. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
    Question on this- After the failure on the water I came in on one engine but I left the other on. While docking with one engine of course I had to use a lot of steering wheeel to dock. I noticed that when turning left or right the engine with the failed coupler made some lighter ticking noises from the back of the engine or drive area. Would that be normal with a failed coupler? When they remove the drive will it be easy to check and replace the gimbal bearing or U joint if they are the problem?
    like I said when I look down the transom inside the shaft is turning maybe 3 rpm so the coupler has to be bad but now worried about u joint and gimbal due to that noise when turning the wheel.
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 3,798Member, Moderator mod

    I would advise to definitely check the gimbal bearing.  The biggest thing is you are moving your engine forward.  Gimbal bearing and u-joint can be replaced a bit easier with only removing outdrive. 

    Sorry to hear it happen, but it is REALLY GREAT to hear about fellow Rinker members on hear helping out!  (I'm leaving soon for 17 days out on the boat and as anyone would, have the same concerns - I do have contacts as well for two Rinker members)

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • TrashmanTrashman New Jersey/ philaPosts: 358Member ✭✭✭
    Ugh.  That was my biggest fear on my recent 180 mile round trip.  Glad you had twin engines.  That's pretty awesome to get ahold of a few forum members to give you a hand. Cheers to them.  A breakdown far from home can be confusing and stressful.  Glad it's working out. 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
    So far so good. They pulled the boat yesterday, removed the drive and moved the engine forward. Awesome to have @wm61356 on site working on his boat as he jumped in last night and sent me some pics of the progress. They will finish, launch and sea trial today. They said that the alignment was off my a mile! Very frustrated by this as I was told that the alignment was good when my mechanic did bellows this past March. How can alignment go that far off in 4 months and 30 hours? They checked alignment today on the other side and said it is good. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 5,923Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Liberty44140 want to know how many times I have checked a friend's boat for alignment only to find it of alignment waay too much or how many times I have checked an alignment after a winterization maintenance/service to find it too far out to accept the alignment tool properly? BTW a mechanic friend was at a factory tour a number of years ago. He saw the installers driving an alignment tool into place using a rubber mallet. with a LOT of force. He spoke-up and was sent off. All of my Rinkers have been great from the factory but over time stringers can deflect and engine mounts and transom assemblies can shift. I have personally checked the engine alignment EVERY year for every one of my stern drive boats. NEVER had damages caused by misalignment. :-)
  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 1,778Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well how was the alignment checked and verified once the coupler has spun??   They are feeding you a bunch of bull.   They could not honestly say the alignment was off with a known spun coupler.  Just making an excuse to make themselves look good and your other mechanism look bad.   
  • WildboatingWildboating Cleveland, OHPosts: 750Member ✭✭✭
    Good to know AL!
    2003 Rinker 342 Fiesta Vee, 350 Mag MPI, Bravo 3 2.20:1 w/ 22p 4 x4 props

  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,379Member ✭✭✭✭
    If they were able to install the new coupler without removing the engine and adjusting the alignment, then they can make that statement. 
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison Twp,MIPosts: 689Member ✭✭✭
    They had to shift the engine forward 
    which means removing engine mount bolts 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
    Right. Engine was moved forward. The rubber on the coupler was fine, the splines in the coupler were stripped. So if they used the alignment tool prior to moving the engine couldnt they make that statement?  They said that the mounts, stringers, everything was fine. Dont know why alignment was off and of course if you guys are right and they cant make that statement then we really dont know why the coupler splines stripped out. My struggle now is what kind of preventative maintenance to do this winter to make sure I can take long trips next year without issue. Appreciate any thoughts. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison Twp,MIPosts: 689Member ✭✭✭
    To check true alignment you need splines to be there

  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 3,594Member ✭✭✭✭

    When that core goes, does it not usually take the rubber with it? Sure did on mine. As far as maintenance, there are two grease zerts (sorry for the misspelling ) that should get a shot each year. It will go when you hit something as well- I'm told to have the engine alignment checked although I don't see how it would move once in place....guess the mounts are that solid...

  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 12
    Thanks for the replies. So given that my mounts were good/solid and my stringers are good and dry I'm wondering about the alignment going out. The comments that the mechanic could not tell that it is out of alignment after the coupler went makes sense. So what are the possible reasons for the failure? Could it have been just slightly off and it coughr up over time? Or could the teeth have just failed and it was not alignment but a bad coupler? Trying to determine the root cause. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,379Member ✭✭✭✭
    If it hasn't been lubed in a long time the splines can wear out.
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 1,263Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks. I don't think it was lubed for 5 years under the previous owner but I greased the zerks last spring and this past spring the tech who did my bellows greased them. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 1,778Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some couplers have aluminum splines.  These wear out fairly fast 500 -750 hrs.  We always replace the coupler with a HD unit that has hardened steel splines.  These when properly greased will past upwards of 2-3000 hrs 
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 3,594Member ✭✭✭✭
    Mine went out at less than 300 hours? I think I had hit something prior and then it eventually went. I was at idle speed after coming across the lake...and right by the dock! I know when I first got my boat it looked like one of the engine mounting bolts was not straight so alignment possibly an issue as well. Finishing my bellows and have a great tool that goes through the bearing and into the coupler so I know its good going forward!
Sign In or Register to comment.