Today was a bad news day for Party of Five. Not only was it a bad news day, but I have to eat crow to the old grey beards sitting at the dock. Its official, saildrives suck camel ass when things go wrong. I might even upgrade that to sucking Elephant ass.
So as you may remember from a previous blog post, we are resealing my saildrives as a measure of precaution. That job was on hold due to missing parts, which is a whole story in itself (they got shipped to Canada). Well after that disaster we decided to visit the local Volvo shop and see if he could get them quicker. SONOFABITCH, he could get the parts in 1 day at….. wait for it……… $8 over the cost of what I ordered them online for. FACK.. Why didn’t we go to him in the first place?
Well the parts arrived here today (Saturday) and Teddy(my father for anyone that might have missed that) began assembling the saildrives. The starboard drive went swimmingly and I was already planning out the next job for him. Right then, he said “T, can you come look at this bearing race, I don’t like the looks of it”. Upon close inspection the race appeared to have some very find pitting or scratching. Now for those who don’t know, a bearing race is a very hard ring of metal that either ball bearings or in this case roller bears (little rods) run against. The metal is so hard that few things can actually scratch it, usually only the same type of metal. After seeing the pits, we decided to inspect all the other parts closely. Sure enough, one of the gears was missing a tooth and another gear had a large chip out of it. Not good, not good, not good.
It was now 4:15pm so we rushed over to the local Volvo shop to see if we could ascertain the extent of the wallet impact we just found. The news wasn’t good. Mark over at Make’s Diesel took one look at the gear and said, “You will need to replace at very least, the 2 lower gears and bearings which cost about $1500 for the parts alone”. He then said that it could be a can of worms and other parts will probably need replacing once we inspect things more closely. Apparently it can be such a big can of worms that many owners choose a complete replacement. That’s when the nard kick came. A complete replacement would run around $5000 plus labor. I’m pretty sure I didn’t breath for 5 minutes after hearing that. Completely stunned.
The look on my face must have been very clear as Mark quickly began listing options. First, the complete drive must be removed from the boat before anything can be done. No matter what, that job is required so if we can do it ourselves, we can save money. After that, we can inspect everything and determine the best course of action. He even suggested that he might have a complete used unit in stock but wasn’t sure until we got everything out.
So as it stands today (Sunday morning) dad and I will be removing that saildrive from the boat. Although it doesn’t look too difficult, it does involve dismounting the diesel motor, separating the motor from the saildrive, and pulling the whole unit out of the boat (leaving HUGE hole in the boat).
Lets hope we don’t find any surprises while dismantling things! Pics below for those interested.