I'm replacing the seals in my 1946 WD3 lower unit. I'm trying to figure which direction the upper seal should go in. The lower seal on the prop shaft was easy as the old one was still intact. For reference purposes, I'd say the lip of the prop shaft seal is facing towards the propeller. Which way should the lip of the upper seal face? Up or down? Seems like it would face down to allow the drive shaft to be inserted easily, but I'm a novice at this.
Also, I have two lower units for this motor. The original lower unit has a slotted aluminum sleeve that is driven in the drive shaft hole to hold the upper seal down. The second lower unit uses a coiled spring to do the same. Which is the better keeper for the upper seal? seems the lower unit with the spring had lots more wear on the drive shaft, but this could be due to lack of lubrication.
If seal surfaces on drive and prop shafts are rusted
or grooved new seals will not seal any better than
the old seals. Sometimes it is possible to offset
seal so lip will ride on a different part of shaft...not always.
That said the seal lips on prop shaft face the
water pump chamber to keep water from passing
into gear case. By same logic seal on drive shaft
should face up to seal water and exhaust out from
coming in that way. I believe the original drive
shaft seal was a piece of formed raw hide held
in place by a spring and the coupling between
lower unit assembly and leg...NLA
Rawhide would make sense. when removing the original seal,it just crumbled into unrecognizable pieces.
On mine, the original was held in by an aluminum tube with a slit up the side.
What is NLA ?
Bryan - Those dreaded three letters stand for No Longer Available.
Thanks JP and Louis...I can understand "No Longer Available", I work on Antique clocks for a living.
Consider the bottle cap High speed fuel adjustment knob on my WD3.
I was drinking a Bud lite trying to figure where I was going to find a knob when.......Eureka!
That's fantastic, Bryan! Thanks for sharing the pic and the idea.
Thanks, The knob works surprisingly well. It has a small nut soldered on the back and a jam nut on the front. If an original knob comes along, I can switch it with no harm done.
I fired up the old girl today for the first time in over 30 years. It cranked on the second pull!
I had to put the seal in facing down in order to slip the drive shaft in. This is opposite of what Louis advised and I hope it doesn't come back to bite me on the butt.
I went to the local Mercury guy to buy an old screw for the Lower unit out of his junk box. He told me he didn't "have the time to look for a 10 cent screw".
I asked what he thought about the direction the seal should go in and he told me that I "should go buy a manual". as I was leaving he turned to his buddy and resumed his conversation about fishing........My last time to "Fathom That Marine" in Summerville, SC. and I have 8 other motors at home that are going to need some parts. I guess I'll use the internet to get them.
Ace Hardware had a usable screw for 50 cents.
Some pics of the motor now:
It's a shame, but my experience has been similar at the local marine stores. Even though parts are readily available for most of my motors, they don't even want to bother ordering them for me if I tell them what the motor is. I find it is best just to give them a part number, if the part is still available, and don't even tell 'em what motor you are working on. I do most of my shopping online. There are a few good parts resources out there.
Hope you have fun with the WD3. Let us know how it goes when you get it out on the water. Since your LU is filled with grease, after you run it, open the lower drain and see if you get much water out. The grease isn't going anywhere, and so if the seals aren't perfect, check it for water regularly and add more grease from time to time.
From the business owner's perspective he was being
generous to allow access to his old parts stock
and advice to get a manual while abrupt was sound.
Let's face it...the cost of running a business can
not be met by selling ten cent screws one at a time
nor will giving out free advice meet the monthly
bills associated with keeping the doors open.
Internet suppliers minumum charge and Shipping
and Handling surcharge are a different business
model than local retailer. I respect anyone who
invests their time and resources to engage in
a business. How they conduct their business is
their business and where I take my business
is my business. I have found some parts at
local NAPA and Gil Roy's Hardware. Internet
sites (webvertize, ebay, craigslist,Old Mercs
and a Florida bearing/seal supplier) are
able to meet much of rest. Not everything is
available unless you get real lucky. Some
projects get set aside until the right parts
turn up (or I give up and take it to a meet)
An old outboard that is complete needing only
a tune up is not near the fun of something
incomplete with some assembly required...
I have enough of those to keep me laughing
all the time.
In my opinion I think he exhibited poor business practice.
I was not being a nuisance. He was not busy, I had money to spend and would have rewarded him with much repeat business. I would have paid $5 for that one screw if it was a match to the other. I would have been buying trailer parts and fuel fittings from him too. Did I mention I have 9 other motors that will need parts? I'll admit, I wouldn't make him a rich man, but I have a big mouth and I talk to lots of people. I like to help people out and will drum up business for them if I think they are good people.
The old business adage applies.
If you do a good thing for someone they might tell 2 people, do them wrong and they will tell 20.
I think you're on to something as the thrill of these motors is more the search for solutions to keep them running. The looks from the others at the boat landing is a plus too.
You're right about the looks from others. Although I think most of us are in this for the self-satisfaction, it is nice to get a compliment on the work or a thumbs up while out on the water. Where I live, everyone has a new, shiny four-stroke. But the last time I was out fishing and trolling back to the marina, I lost track of how many guys marveled as they trolled by and asked "how old is that one?" Like any task, a few words of encouragement help keep you going.