HOW TO FIX YOUR BROKEN GIMBAL BEARING YOURSELF

IN THE TRANSOM PLATE OF MOST MERCRUISERS THERE IS A GIMBAL BEARING (LEFT) IT CONSISTS OF A TOLLARENCE RING AND CORREGATED RING TO HOLD A GIMBAL BEARING CENTER,  THE LIVE CENTER OF THE BEARING (RIGHT) IS THE PART THAT FAILS AND CAUSES A LOUD RUMBLE NOISE ESPECIALLY ON TURNS.  THE ENTIRE BEARING IS AVAILABLE INSTALLED AT MOST DEALERS INSTALLED IN THE $150.00 UP RANGE.  THE CENTER OF THE BEARING IS VERY VULNERABLE TO WATER DAMAGE WITH NO SEALS TO PROTECT IT AND ONCE WET IT IS DOOMED TO FAILURE.  THE OUTER TOLLERANCE RING HAS TWO NOTCHES EASILY VISIBLE IN THE PICTURE (UPPER LEFT) AND IT IS THESE TWO NOTCHES WHICH ARE USED TO ASSEMBLE THE BEARING ASSEMBLY.  IF THE BEARING IS ROTATED TO ALLIGN SIDEWAYS WITH THESE NOTCHES IT FALLS OUT OF THE RING AND A NEW BEARING, PREFERABLY ONE WITH SEALS, CAN BE PLACED IN THE NOTCHES AND FLATTENED OUT TO ALLIGN WITH THE TOLLARENCE RING. THE RULES OF REPLACEMENT ARE ONLY TWO, IT MUST BE MOOVABLE WITH AN ALLIGNMENT BAR AND IT MUST BE SNUG ENOUGH TO HOLD THE OUTER BEARING FROM TURNING IN THE RING.  ANOTHER RULE IS TO NOT ATTEMPT TO REUSE THE RING MORE THAN 29 TIMES.  SOME PEOPLE SAY ALWAYS CHANGE THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY, THESE PEOPLE WOULD ALSO TELL YOU TO CHANGE THE RIMS ON YOUR CAR EVERY TIME YOU NEED TIRES.  IF YOU LOOK INTO THE U-J BELLOWS YOU SAN SEE THE GIMBAL BEARING.  IF YOU ARE  VERY UNLUCKY THE FACTORY HAS INSTALLED THE BEARING BACKWARDS WITH THE NOTCHES TOWARD THE BOW OF YOUR BOAT. IF AFTER INSPECTION YOU FIND THIS IS THE CASE THE ENTIRE BEARING MUST BE PULLED.  THIS FACTORY TRICK WAS DONE BECAUSE THEY ONLY SELL WHOLE BEARINGS AND HOPE YOU ARE STUPID AND CANNOT FIGURE OUT THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU REMOVED THE ENTIRE BEARING FROM YOUR TRANSOM PLATE YOU COULD REPLACE IT FACEING REARWARD BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO CHANGE THE BEARING CENTER. IF YOU EITHER WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE THE NOTCHES ON YOUR SIDE , OR YOU FLIPPED THE BEARING ASSY OVER AND REINSTALLED IT, THIS IS THE NEXT STEP.

TAKE A LONG LARGE SCREWDRIVER AND PLACE IT ON THE OUTER RING OF THE INNER BEARING, AND IT MUST BE PLACED 1/2 WAY BETWEEN THE NOTCHES AND TAP THE BEARING UNTIL IT ROTATES ON EDGE WITH THE SIDE OF THE BEARING TOWARD YOU. IF YOU DID THIS CORRECTLY THE GIMBAL BEARING EDGES WILL BE IN THE NOTCHES.  GRAB THE GIMBAL BEARING CENTER AND PULL.. IT WILL FALL RIGHT IN YOUR HAND AND MAY BE DISCARDED. TAKE THE NEW GIMBAL BEARING INSERT AND PLACE IT BETWEEN THE NOTCHES AND LASTLY ROTATE IT FLAT WITH THE TRANSON PLATE. THERE ARE ONLY TWO CAUTIONS: THE TINY LUBE HOLE IN THE SIDE OF THE BEARING MUST FALL INTO THE FORWARD SIDE SO LOOK AT THE INSERT AND SEE WHICH WAY TO FLIP IT,  AND SECOND PLACE AN ALLIGNMENT BAR THROUGH THE BEARING AND INTO THE COUPLER TO ASSURE THE BEARING IS LINED UP WITH THE ENGINE.

OUR GIMBAL BEARING CENTER IS IMPROVED IN TWO WAYS, FIRST IT IS SEALED FOR LONGER LIFE AND SECOND IT IS DOUBLE DRILLED SO YOU CANNOT FLIP IT THE WRONG WAY.  THIS JOB ALSO REQUIRES AN OUTDRIVE MOUNTING SET  TIME TO COMPLETE 2 HOURS, IF THE BEARING IS FACEING THE REAR 20 MIN.

GOOD LUCK SPENDING THE $100.00 YOU SAVED