Reasonable Bravo-3 maintenance schedule for fresh water

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mobocracy, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. mobocracy

    mobocracy Member

    233
    Jun 29, 2014
    United States
    310 Sundancer
    350 Mag & Bravo III
    This is going to be year 2 for my 2007 310 DA with 350 Mags & Bravo III outdrives.

    I had the outdrives inspected last year when I bought the boat and didn't hear about any work that needed to be done. This was at MarineMax, and I expect if they could have made a dollar recommending something, they would have. Boat ran fine and I didn't experience any mechanical problems.

    Because I'm starting out the 2nd year on the water with this boat and will be using a different vendor than MarineMax for service, I'm thinking I should have the drives/bellows inspected by the likely mechanic who will service the boat at my location. But what should I ask for, and what's reasonable? I am only a seasonal boater who boats in fresh water on a lake.

    I have spoken to all manner of presumed experts, including mechanics, and I get a different riff from all of them. I just smart enough to know I need to do something, but not smart

    What I have distilled is:
    1) Change gear oil (my marina does this when winterizing)
    2) Every year -- pull drives, grease shafts, replace seals, inspect bellows
    3) Bellows changes? The most intelligent sounding mechanic I spoke to said "every 10 years unless cracked/damaged" along with some other things that make sense because of access while the bellows get changed (unfortunately I didn't write this part down). I had one place tell me to replace them outright every 3 years, which struck me as a lot.
    4) Any other "major" services I should consider given my boat is 11 years old with an unknown service history?

    It's not practical for me to do this myself, so part of this is sanity checking what's good PM vs. what's reasonable to spend money on. I know some of you talented DIYers with time and facilities probably do everything every year, but that's probably not viable cost wise for me to pay to have done.
     
  2. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw

    That's a pretty good list. For #2, add check engine alignment to that list. I pull our alphas every year and take them home to do the maintenance so I also pressure test them while I have the lube drained, but it's not really necessary unless you had a problem like gear lube loss or water in the lube.

    Check your anodes and if you don't know what they are (kind of metal) I'd replace them. Magnesium is best for our fresh water lake, but ask around and you'll get some first hand experience.

    You'll get all kinds of opinions on the bellows. Definitely inspect them yearly for cracks and wear. I plan on replaced around 5 years in fresh water just as PM but I do it myself over the winter so it's not a huge deal. I would think 6-7 years would be pushing it though, a leaking bellow = sunk boat in many cases.

    How about engine oil? It should be changed before layup in the fall, but if you didn't do it last year change it and the filters early in the spring. Same with fuel filters.

    Being a new to you boat, also worth taking a look at impellers.
     
  3. mobocracy

    mobocracy Member

    233
    Jun 29, 2014
    United States
    310 Sundancer
    350 Mag & Bravo III
    Yes, I had a full set of magnesium anodes installed during post-service maintenance. I should have had listed that to avoid confusion. They didn't look like they "dissolved" much last season so they should be good for another year.

    Yeah, that's what I'm trying to avoid, along with any other major issues. I'd even be game to do them this year if my so-called expert thinks they're at all questionable.

    Yeah, engine oil and filters was done. Is replacing the fuel filters relatively "neat" (ie, I'm not gonna dump a pint of gasoline during change if I'm careful)? I've figured those would be relatively easy to change myself. I'm not a total mechanical failure, I rebuilt my vacu-flush head (duckbills, bellows assembly, new pump out hose) last season.

    I'd *love* to be able to do more myself, but it pretty much has to be limited to what I can do in-slip unless I made a major storage changed and moved the boat to a heated storage site with access, and I think that would be extremely expensive. Can you change raw water pumps/impellers in-water, or is it a flood/sink risk? I seem to remember that there are some valves that let you shut off the supply water from looking at pictures.
     
  4. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    The bravo guys will have to chime in to confirm but your through hull for the seawater intake should close off any chance of flooding the boat and you can change or inspect those impellers right in the slip.

    Fuel filters are also easy as you mentioned. I believe your model will have the canister that you replace just the filter element. I have the screw on type so I put a rag under them to remove just in case. That being said if you drip any fuel just allow it to evaporate and run the blowers for a while before trying to fire them up, no harm there.
     
  5. KevinC

    KevinC Active Member

    925
    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    Don't forget to check/replace as necessary the gimbal bearings when the drive are off.

    The raw water impeller can be changed in the water. I used to do this on my 260DA. When you pull the hose off some water will come in. Jam in something like a screw driver handle to plug the leak. A little will still leak in but nothing to worry about. You can vacuum out the remain when reinstalled. (I would not leave the boat unattended though).

    Oh - make sure you put the serpentine belt back on correctly after reinstalling the pump.

    -Kevin
     
  6. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    Duh, I don’t know why I had it in my head that he would have through hulls.
     
  7. KevinC

    KevinC Active Member

    925
    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    Yep - but they probably all should through hull pickups for the bravoitis ;)

    -Kevin
     
    Strecker25 likes this.
  8. GCHOG

    GCHOG Member GOLD Sponsor

    85
    Mar 25, 2016
    Bass River, Viking Marina, South Jersey
    2006 Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
    6.2 Bravo III
    one more little tip, as KevinC said, you can change the raw water pump in water, to save some confusion , take a picture of the serpentine belt before removing it, makes it a little easier. With all tools ready to go, it takes about 45 minutes to change the impeller.
     
  9. mobocracy

    mobocracy Member

    233
    Jun 29, 2014
    United States
    310 Sundancer
    350 Mag & Bravo III
    Does it make sense to buy a complete third water pump? I think I might have even read that here, the logic behind it being you take one pump completely off and can immediately replace it with a complete pump and then rebuild that one at a more leisurely pace, use it to replace the other pump, then rebuild that one for the next go-round next season.

    That way if you pull a pump off with a badly worn housing or some other problem you're not in immediate need of a part you don't have with the pump off, less likely to lose parts, forget how it goes back on, etc, etc.
     
  10. GCHOG

    GCHOG Member GOLD Sponsor

    85
    Mar 25, 2016
    Bass River, Viking Marina, South Jersey
    2006 Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
    6.2 Bravo III
    that's not a bad idea. I have no idea what a pump might cost, anybody ? You may be able to find a used one, then rebuild that one and keep as a spare. I change the impeller every year as I am getting the boat ready for the season just because its an easy job and I don't have to worry throughout the season. I also keep a spare impeller on-board "just in case".
    As far as bellow's, just did mine last spring (11 yrs old), and they were just at the end of what I would say was their life.
     

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