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  1. #1

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    Mar 2015
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    2003 XLT1200 Drive shaft Seal

    I have a 2003 XLT 1200 with 340 hours. The drive shaft seal is leaking water into the hull. Not bad, but I also have a new vibration that i figure is the bearing going out (so seal and bearing are shot). I have verified this is the leak by tilting ski up and filling hull with water until the bearing housing was covered. Got a steady drip out the bottom at the intake grate from the driveshaft.

    I am looking for advice from anyone who has replaced this bearing and seal. Does the engine have to come out? Can I remove the exhaust, disconnect the motor mounts and move the engine a bit forward to get the bearing/seal housing out? I have had the exhaust off before but never taken the engine loose. I have the Yamaha repair repair manual and the first step says "Engine Unit- Refer to Chapter 5". Does the motor need to be moved at all once I get the exhaust out of the way?


  2. #2
    leave the mounts bolted to the engine and unbolt the 2 screws on each mount that attach to the stringer and slide the whole thing fwd.

  3. #3

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    scittb,
    Thanks for that advice. It makes sense. It appears the shims (if there are some), are between the mount and the motor. By removing as you describe, I don't have to mess with the shims and hopefully motor will be aligned when bolted back down. Any advice on the seal itself? Should I replace the housing as a whole or get a machine shot to press new bearings and seals in the old housing?

  4. #4
    boudin's Avatar
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    Be warned, it can be rather challenging to realign the bolts using this method, so be patient.

    As far as the mid-shaft housing, yes they can start leaking due to corrosion over time. You'll need to replace the housing itself as it's not serviceable. I've replaced with used housings, and also the SBT replacement with success. Check your shaft splines while you have it out--they tend to wear and strip as well. Very common.

    The shaft will need to be pressed out of the old housing and then pressed in to the new one. Pay attention/note/mark how far it's pressed in so you can repeat. Your favorite auto garage can do this for you if you don't have a press. (Don't try to hammer it out/in, you'll just mess up the shaft seals.)

    -Greg

  5. #5

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    Mar 2015
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    greg, Thanks for taking the time to respond. Your note made me skeptical about even taking on this job. I know nothing about what it takes to align these machines from the motor to the drive shaft housing. If I screw this up, all the work and money for the new bearing, seal and now housing (from your info) would be wasted. I started thinking about what a PITA it would be to move the motor back into position while sliding the motor output into the housing connector.
    I'm sure to get a pro to do this (Yamaha dealer or indy) would be cost prohibitive for a ski this old and with this many hours on it. Time to move on to a newer ski, sell this one cheap to someone who can align the motor to the housing.

  6. #6
    boudin's Avatar
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    You can do it, I'm just giving a heads-up around the challenge areas. I definitely don't want to discourage you!

    When removing the motor, you pull off the top motor mount bolts (4 in all), then pull the motor out. Using the other technique you are unbolting the motor mounts themselves and then sliding the whole motor forward... I've never done it this way, but it should work.

    Alignment is making sure the top/bottom of the PTO couplers are aligned with each other. The good news is that your motor should be aligned because you not re-shimming.

    All this being said, I have personally never done it this way, but it should work fine on an XLT, so long as you pull the stinger pipe off, and maybe the U-pipe too. Otherwise I don't know how you'd get to the motor mount bolts. There just isn't enough space on an XLT to maneuver a wrench in there.

    -Greg

  7. #7
    You can pull front 2 motor mounts with u pipe in. Extension and swivel on the end u can reach them. Can't pull motor with u pipe on though.

  8. #8

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    Mar 2015
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    I pulled the u pipe today. Done that before. Scittb, I have been second guessing about remove the two bolts for each mount that mount to the hull. I'm sure they are thread locked like the ride plate bolts and remember the issues I had with the inserts spinning in the hull while trying to remove the ride plate. I'll probably just remove the single bolt for each mount that I hope is metal to metal thread. I plan on leaving the exhaust manifold on and carb box on. Will have to remove intake duct box in front of engine.
    For everyones info, this seal/bearing failed at 340 hours. There have been two instances of my teenage kids wrapping a tow rope around the driveshaft which stopped the motor. Ski had to be towed to landing, and rope cut away from drive shaft. This may have contributed to the failure of the seal/bearing. Just a reminder to to remember to grease this bearing every season, if not more.

  9. #9

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    Update, after removing section of the exhaust containing the D plate, I was able to access the motor mount bolts fairly easily. These came out and I was able to slide the motor forward about an 1.5 inches out of the coupling by hand. I still had to remove the jet pump to allow the midshaft to be removed. That is when I found the real problem. The jet pump bearing is shot. So bad the impeller was rubbing the impeller housing. Took the plastic cone off and got water out. The rear most jet pump bearing you can see and the inner race is gouged. So I need jet pump seals and bearings and midshaft seals and bearing. The midshaft bearing feels smooth but the vibration from the jet pump bearing failure must have messed up the seals. It was definitely the source of water leaking in. I might possibly need an impeller housing which may make this job cost prohibitive. Hope I don't need a drive shaft. I could have caught this sooner if I had done better troubleshooting (pulled the jet pump) at the first sign of vibration (or at least removed the plastic cone and seen the bearing damage).

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