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Author Topic:   Power Trim Tilt
rmart posted 05-29-2006 10:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for rmart   Send Email to rmart  
I have a 1987 115hp Yamaha that continues to run so good I can't even think about replacing it.

However, my tilt/trim system is now making a terrible squeal (almost like a ripping sound) that I have never heard before.

While the tilt/trim continues to work I know that something must be wrong and I assumed this noise was caused by either air in the system or low oil.

When I operate the tilt button on the engine and place my fingers on the tilt ram, I can almost feel the vibration on the ram itself as it goes up and down.

So far, I have done the following:

1. Cycled the tilt all the way up and down at least 25x hoping to bleed any air in the system, but no change;

2. Checked the tilt/trim fluid and it was filled to appropriate height;

3. Clean and grease the tilt tube and the 3 tilt rams, still no change.

While eveything continues to work, I want to solve this problem before a larger problem or failure occurs.

Any ideas? Thanks.

lorin posted 05-30-2006 01:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for lorin  Send Email to lorin     
I would guess that if there's no problem with the trim tilt motor then theres a problem with the pump or a hydraulic valve is chattering open and closed. If I recall the only valve accessible without removing the trim tilt unit is the manual release valve. You might try removing, inspecting, and reinstalling it. To do any other sort of inspection of the hydraulic parts of the system requires removing the entire unit-bummer.
rmart posted 05-30-2006 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for rmart  Send Email to rmart     
The only valve that appears accessible to me is the manual release valve. I fully loosened this screw this morning and will leave it open for a while in the hopes that any air in the system is released.

To be clear, the squeal (or ripping) sound as I described only happens when the engine is being raised and only when the tilt ram takes over when the engine has been raised higher than the trim rams.

When the middle ram (the tilt ram) begins to lift the engine the squeal/ripping sound begins though it is not present when the engine is lowered (even from full tilt position by the same tilt ram).

Hard to complain when the original 19 year old tilt/trim and the engine continues to run so well.

lorin posted 05-30-2006 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lorin  Send Email to lorin     
Some of the valves are under the tilt motor and some are under the resevoir and require removing the motor and resevoir to access. Others are located on the back of the unit up against the transom and of course require the removal of the entire unit to access. There might be one on the front just under the tilt motor that you can get to. You might be able to remove that one without much trouble. These valves that are accessible without removing the tilt motor or resevoir look like plugs and are removed using a large flat bladed screwdriver. It's unusual for these valves to mess up but you said yours is 19 years old so like you said cant complain.I guess you have the choice of removing the unit and checking things out or keep going until theres a major break down.
rmart posted 05-30-2006 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for rmart  Send Email to rmart     
Tonight I checked the fluid in the reservoir and bled the system of any air as outlined in the owner's manual....but the sound continues.

The best way to describe the sound is that it sounds like a sqeaky door hinge.

While my manual doesn't mention the tilt or trim pin that attachs the unit to the engine, I though that this might be causing the sound since it sounds so much like a squeaky hing. Inspecting the tilt pin did reveal that it is showing its' age with visible rust. But I could not confirm if this is the cause.

I am curious should the tilt pin rotate when the engine is being tilted (the pin I am referring to is the pin which attaches the tilt ram to the engine)?

lorin posted 05-30-2006 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lorin  Send Email to lorin     
No, the tilt pin does not rotate. The tilt pin passes through 2 plastic bushing in the tilt ram. There's no metal on metal movement here so there would be no squeaking coming from the pin and the plastic tilt bushings. If you unscrew the manual release valve a couple of turns and raise and lower the motor by hand you can see if there is any binding or squeaking unrelated to the operation of the tilt unit, but it is very doubtful.
knothead posted 05-31-2006 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     


The noise that you describe might possibly be caused by the large pin that the motor rotates on when it is tilted up. This pin can get corroded and start to bind. If this is the case, you need to tilt the motor up, support the outdrive unit,and knock the pin part way out, clean and lubricate, and knock back in.

Sorry, I don't know the name of this pin, but if you look carefully at the side of the motor mount, it will be obvious that this pin is the center of rotation in the up/down mode between the motor and the motor mount.

You don't need to completely remove it to clean and lube it

Good luck


MyOutrage posted 05-31-2006 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
Rmart, having just replaced the trim assembly on my 1989 Yamaha 130, I can shed a little light on this subject. For starters, Lorin is right... there are plastic bushings on either side of the big tilt pin which prevent any metal-on-metal contact at that point. Is there a possibility that one (or both) of those plastic bushings failed after 19 years... could be. Check to see if there is "play" in the area of the tilt pin. If there is, there's a good likelyhood that one of the bushings failed.

If you have to replace the trim unit, be prepared to have to separate the engine mounting bracket. On some engines you can just remove the trim unit bolts and lift it out... on my engines (both the 130 on the boat and the 115 parts engine I have). I had to separate the mounting brackets to remove the trim assembly.

rmart posted 05-31-2006 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for rmart  Send Email to rmart     
Knothead and MyOtrage,
Thanks for your input. The "tilt pin" as I will call it seemed like it could be causing the problem since rust and corrosion are clearly visible upon inspection. I haven't checked to see if there is any play in the tilt ram at or near the pin but I will check that this weekend.

Also, I may try to remove the tilt pin and clean it and the hole surrounding it to be sure that this area is not the cause of the problem (I will obviously check the plastic bushings after I remove the pin).

I am not certain if there is any trick to removing this pin (I know I have to support the engine). Is there any retaining device or clip on the tilt pin?

Thanks all for the helpful comments and information.

MyOutrage posted 05-31-2006 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
No secret in removing the pin... There's one of those circular clips that will fly across the garage when you pry it off (unless then again you have the right tool). Once you get that off the pin will slide (with persuasion) right out. You'll spend more time looking for the clip then you will removing the pin.

As for the rust... as lorin indicated, that shouldn't be an issue unless the plastic bushings are failing. My pin was very rusted but no squeek. Before removing the pin I'd recommend opening the manual release valve as outlined in lorin's post. You can then manually raise and lower the engine to see if you can localize the squeek.

lorin posted 05-31-2006 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for lorin  Send Email to lorin     
There is probably a snap ring requiring snap ring pliers or some other holding type of pin that needs to be removed before you can remove the tilt pin. After removing the snap ring or whatever, the tilt pin is removed by tapping it with a punch and hammer. Of course the motor is being supported by the trailering support or some other device at this time. One other thing, being so old the plastic bushings may break during this process. No big deal-they're not expensive and can be bought a dealer. Actually, I would expect them to break as they become very brittle with old age.
rmart posted 06-02-2006 11:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for rmart  Send Email to rmart     
The tilt trim squeal was resolved this afternoon and was in fact caused by the corrosion on and around the tilt pin.

After removing the metal snap ring on the starboard side of the pin and several strikes with a punch and hammer I was able to back the pin out of the hole and clear away the corrosion from the pin and the hole itself. Then after applying a Mercury marine lubricant (2-4-c) to the pin, bushings and the hole I was back in business without the noise. Thank you all for the info.

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