We have an 8 year old 90 hp E-tec engine that has worked perfectly up until recently when we hit a submerged rock in a channel a few days ago and bent the prop badly. Vacation nearly at end so we had a quick fix with a new Prop and went back in the water.
Boat yard mechanic says the prop shaft to the lower unit shows some damage to the low profile flukes as well. Boat is running fine to my ear now. Question is should I submit an insurance claim for the bent propeller and mechanics repair time only. Or should I assume that the lower unit should be replaced too because its only a matter of time before it starts to wobble or before seals could be compromised?
The mechanic says he's seen some engines go 10 years with this kind of damage. But should I gamble? He's noncommital on whether to replace now or keep fingers crossed. What's the advice from more experienced users?
Ask the mechanic to check the prop splines to see if they are straight or twisted and to check the propshaft for runout. A bent shaft or twisted splines are signs that the gearcase should be replaced as that impact often cracks or weakens a gear tooth and the gears and bearings could fail after a time.
Be sure the powerhead and motor mount bolts are retorqued after an impact.
"There is never just one thing wrong with a boat";
-- Travis McGee, main character in a book series by John D. McDonald
The factory recommends that a properly trained technician service your Johnson or Evinrude outboard motor. Should you elect to perform repairs yourself, use caution, common sense, and observe safety procedures in the vicinity of flammable liquids, around moving parts, near high-temperature components, and working with electrical or ignition systems.
The information offered here is only general in nature and should not be construed as complete factory approved procedures, techniques, or specifications. Always use the proper service manual for your motor, up-to-date service literature, the correct tools, and have an understanding of how to proceed with troubleshooting and repair methods. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with a procedure, a situation, or a technique, enlist the services of a factory trained technician.