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Author Topic:   warning-Yamaha shift rod bad results in big repair bill
skibis88 posted 09-02-2002 09:02 AM ET (US)   Profile for skibis88   Send Email to skibis88  
Have a 1990 225hp Yamaha on my 22' Revenge that wouldn't shift into reverse gear. Called my Whaler dealer and he said it sounds like the shift rod is bad. The shift rod part is $75. and the power head gasket is $25. I was going to do the job myself but the mechanic at the Whaler shop assured me the job takes alot of hot wrench work (aka torch) and can get ugly. They quoted me $500-$700 to do the job. I got a call an hour later and Tony asked me to come back to the shop. Four out of six powerhead mounting bolts snapped and the job would now require using a used lower power head and would be $1000. to complete.

I pulled the plug to consider a repower. Found a left over 2001 Yamaha 225 Saltwater series for $10k at a different dealer so I am jumping at it.

I would caution anyone with a big Yamaha to have their shift rod inspected and replaced before the 5" powerhead mounting bolts are too galled up. The sin is that powerhead still has great compression and still has a lot of life left. The trade-in value went from $1500 down too $500 because of (4) seized mounting bolts.

John from Madison CT posted 09-02-2002 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     
The one true "Achilles Heel" of the late 80's - early 90's Yamaha's are the steel Shift Shafts.

They are a cheap part but as you learned are expensive to fix, even with a powerhead that comes off easily.

If the motor runs well, I would pay the $1000 to have it repaired. After all, not repaired it's worthless (sans the lower unit).

If you go with the Yamaha 225 EFI Saltwater series you WILL be happy with it. Great motor.

Good Luck,

John from Madison, CT

skibis88 posted 09-02-2002 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for skibis88  Send Email to skibis88     
It was not an easy decision putting the old girl down, but after 12 years in saltwater use, its time. I use the boat offshore quite a bit and need reliability.

My wife and I just came back from Block Island, RI last weekend and hit very heavy fog half way in. An hour trip to the mainland took three. I am glad that I sprung for the $75. to upgraded my maping GPS with software of Block Island Sound or I know I would have hit a rock or buoy.

My wife said if we back in one piece, maybe you should get a new motor.

Bigshot posted 09-03-2002 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Common problem in pre 91 yamahas I believe. When I buy a new engine I pull the powerhead bolts and install never seize so I never have to worry about that in the future. Head bolts too. If you do 1 at a time it is no biggie and gasket is not compromised.
Bigshot posted 09-03-2002 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
PS I would have kept the engine and sold it on e-bay. You can get those bolts out and lower unit is worth more than $500 alone.
jimithing posted 09-03-2002 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     
Is the shift rod not stainless on that year yamaha?

I beleive the ones on my 1994 225 is stainless...or at least I hope it is after reading this.

skibis88 posted 09-03-2002 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for skibis88  Send Email to skibis88     

The motor isn't traded yet. After sleeping on it I am going to give it a shot. I will spray the heck out of the galled bolts and apply heat to aluminum and cool the bolts and remaining snapped studs with ice (or dry ice).

I can afford to spend more time then a shop, (that has to charge by the hour). They were planning to cut the lower power unit. Maybe with a little luck I can free everything up.

Thanks for the advise guys, its worth a least and extra $1000. bucks.

Good idea on the never seize. The mechanic said the same thing. He said thye factory should have at least put some grease on the bolts during assembly. Grease would harden over time but would liquify when heat is applied.

I will apply never seize to the new engine bolts.

skibis88 posted 09-03-2002 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for skibis88  Send Email to skibis88     
The Yamaha mechanic said the original rod is stainless, just a cheaper grade. As the name implies "stainless". He said the replacement is thicker and a better grade of stainless,or I hope this is the case....
Bigshot posted 09-03-2002 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Use heat and get hot, then spray some liquid wrench, etc on it and let cool. Do this a few times. When loosening the nuts, also tighten them. this will allow them to loosen more. Even if you snap all 8 bolts or whatever, somebody can get them out and helicoil the block. There is no need to buy a different block, etc.
skibis88 posted 09-03-2002 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for skibis88  Send Email to skibis88     
I worked on the bolts tonight and got one totally out with the help of a vise grip and tapping down with ball peen hammer. The threads where totally filled with salt. Ran some hot water over the bolt and most of the theads cleaned right up.

I am wondering if spraying hot water up into the spots where the bolt heads broke off will help free the power head. Two bolts are out and only (4)broken studs remaining holding the power head on. I suspect that only salt and corrosion are keeping the power head from freeing up.

At least something is going right. An old lifting rig I fabbed up for an old 150 Johnson actually had the same 3 bolt pattern. All I needed was to replace the bolts with metric 8m 125 $0.49ea at Pep Boys.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Bigshot posted 09-04-2002 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
The broken bolts are not holding the head on, it is the gasket. You need to break it loose and it is not gonna be easy on a 13 year old engine. Anything short of a sledgehammer will do. Once you break it loose, getting the studs out is cake. That white stuff is not salt, it is corrosion. What is known as dissimilar metals. The bolts are SS and the block aluminum. They make a reaction together. This is aided by a salt water environment. basically, even in fresh water the same white residue would be there, just not as much. Rock the block back and forth to break it loose. Make sure all the bolts are out or broken off. My 90 had a couple bolts hidden that were a real bear to get out, not sure about the v6.
skibis88 posted 09-05-2002 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for skibis88  Send Email to skibis88     
Im spraying and shaken the bush...I mean block boss...

Im committed to repair and tweek as many years as I can out of this old Yammy.

Just cancelled the new engine because of a reorg announcement at work yesterday...

raygun posted 09-05-2002 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
PB Blaster might help get them loose, that stuff really penetrates.
bigshot- should i do the antiseize on the headbolts on my new johnson? Or did Bombardier do it?
Bigshot posted 09-06-2002 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Good wintertime project. Newer engines i would not worry about too much. i have not done my new 70, plus I have no idea where the bolts are:)
skibis88 posted 03-31-2003 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for skibis88  Send Email to skibis88     
The shift rod is replaced and the motor is running great.
Worked on the motor all winter as weather permitted in NJ. Bottom line is I had to drill through the bolts as close to the powerhead as possible. This left 1/2" studs remaining. As Bigshot suggested I shook the hell out the powerhead and it finally popped off.

The Boston Whaler/ Yamaha shop that started the work and cracked the mid section, cut me a break on the parts.

It cost me about $800 with all new midsection parts (including internals).

Lesson learned is to work on old outboards yourself. Heat the hell out of the aluminum housing with a torch and don't use air tools. Take you time with heat and penetrating oil. When all else fails don't be afraid to cut though the bolts and upper casing because it only costs $300 to buy a new one. Some mechanics say you can even patch the holes with marnine tex but I went for new.

Thanks for the coaching! I am now ready to hit Barnegat bay.

John from Madison CT posted 04-01-2003 06:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     
Congrats. on tackling the project. I re-read the whole post before I got to your last one and the suspense of wondering how things would come out was fun.

Without question, there is a certain satisfaction in doing things yourself.

I tackled the removal of the 25 screw water jacket gasket/cover on my '97 Yamaha 250. 2 Bolts broke off and I got real nervous, but I called in a friend who used heat, heat heat and PB Blaster, along with patience.

One bolt finally came out, but the other we had to carefully drill and managed to save the internal threads.

So..enjoy the season. Other than those rusty shift shafts, you still see alot of late 80's/early 90's big block Yamaha's around. They are great motors.

John from Madison, CT

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