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  1. #1

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    Question 2014 FX SHO - PTO rattle/knocking noise?

    Hi all,

    I'm lookin for some help after fixing a very poor coupler alignment from the dealer (over 3mm out after a warranty transom sealing job to fix a leak), as I've come across a new knocking noise from the PTO area.

    I'm not sure if the sound is the rubber coupler is slightly worn and bouncing around as normal, or whether the main bearings are on the way out.

    Video of the noise (more obvious at around 20s when I place the phone down in the foot well):


    The couplers were out of alignment to the point where they were binding together on the rubber spider (whereas post alignment, the midshaft can now be wiggled slightly and has some rotational slack). This leads me to worry there's bearing damage from the 20-30 hours of use before I discovered the issue. Unfortunately the vibration didn't tip me off, and I only thought to check the alignment when I had trouble replacing a swollen pump liner (and having to really struggle when re-inserting the spline into the midshaft).

    It ended up needing 4mm of shims in the front and 3mm in the rear to get the union within spec (manual states 3mm axial and 0.5mm concentric). I've considered redoing the whole transom job, but since it's been sealed with 5200 I'd decided it would be easier to just shim the engine instead of spending countless weekends trying to pull the damn thing apart.

    Opened up the previous oil filter and didn't find any metal dust or shavings, though there's a bit of oil leaking past the main seal which leaves a light coating on the coupler cover. Tried revving it but can't tell if the noise persists as it just gets drowned out by the other engine sounds. Pretty much hoping someone else has encountered the same noise before and can provide an opinion.

    Any help would be much much appreciated!
    Last edited by ryllz; 01-07-2019 at 05:02 AM.


  2. #2
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    The IB mid-shaft “floats” inside a rubber molded housing, so if the engine is moved away from the coupler side AND you pull the pump shaft, the IB coupler should flex, yet not too greatly. It is only when the pump shaft mates with the mid-shaft splines, that the IB coupler then becomes rigid.

    Yes, poor alignment can wear away the rubber coupler grommet – you should replace it. I regularly lube mine externally. Also, hope your IB has been greased well.

    Hard time with reinstall the pump-shaft (splines)?? The rattle could also be the splines now – re-inspect them. Hard time reinstall also might mean after your transom job, alignment may have altered. Alignment is set/dictated by the pump shaft, so everything “up-stream” will have to re-comply. i.e., lets say you have everything out of the hull, the order of installation would be: pump shaft, THEN install the IB by sliding it on to the shaft so that the IB can settles onto the mid-wall. At this point STOP, look at the IB housing, does the 3 bolts to the wall naturally line-up? If yes, does the housing rest flush to the wall? If yes, bolt the IB tight. Finally, position the engine, shim as needed. But if the IB did not line up well on the mid wall, then yes I reconsider the transom job.

  3. #3

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    Hey TimeBandit, thanks for the response!

    What I meant by it being difficult to install was precisely due to the reasons you mentioned - the IB flexed once the pump was pulled to align itself to the engine, and so re-inserting was a nightmare.

    As for re-doing the job, I'm aware the transom is likely not aligned, but would prefer to just leave it be for now as I've aligned the motor to suit.
    If I ever need to do any major work in the pump area (hopefully not for a few years), I'll probably bite the bullet and pull it all apart at that stage.

    I noticed the dealer also used some sort of sealant on the IB itself to the midwall - it's semi-translucent so I'm hoping it's just silicone and not 5200 also. Not sure if there's a way to tell? Safe to say it's a bit of a shit situation.

    Had a look at the rubber coupler insert and it didn't look too chewed up (which is good news I suppose?) and the IB itself also lubed with 2 pumps of yamalube marine grease a year.

    Currently I'm leaning towards it being a normal sound as you're suggesting, but if there's any simple way to make sure it's not the main bearings (short of pulling the engine apart) it would be a major relief.
    Last edited by ryllz; 01-06-2019 at 07:21 PM.

  4. #4
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    I just wanted to add, not to fall into the trap of over-analysing. Granted, it is tempting to do.
    The possibility of your bearing being bad is low. Mostly, it takes saltwater intrusion and bad seals.

    I was out on my ski today... home flushing, I stuck my ear down in the footwell. Low and behold, I swear I hear a similar noise. FWIW, my bearing is good, alignment good, pump bearing good.... so I if I had to guess, that so-call sound is the free-spining pump shaft bouncing off the engine coupler pulses likely, aka driveline slop/slack due to not being under load.

  5. #5

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    Cheers mate, thanks for the help - gonna just roll with it and not overthink the issue.
    Gotta admit it's an easy trap to fall into, as I've always taken care of the ski so well. Mostly just irks me big time to think about running it unaware for so long after the dealer messed it up. Was an expensive place too (they charge over 400 USD for a service) so I'd figured they'd do it right.

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