Water Pump & Impeller Replacement.

  • avatar jon_jordan 
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    Posts: 10,936
    #1233322

    Finally got around to doing one job that I wanted to get taken care of last fall. Change out the water pump and impeller on my 2000 Mercury 150HP XR-6. I see the question pop up here every once in a while asking how hard of a job is it to do. My reply is – if you can change out the front brakes on your car, you can do a water pump/impeller. My owners manual recommends changing the impeller every 100 hours or once a year. I have been doing mine every other season of use and don’t feel I’m stretching my luck.

    Here is a before shot:

    First thing to do is go to you dealer and purchase a water pump – impeller kit. Make sure to get the entire kit with all of the gaskets, not just a new impeller. It’s my opinion that you may as well change out all of the parts rather than just swapping out the impeller. Why not do it right since you have the lower unit torn down anyway? My kit cost about $40.

    Once you have the kit which contains the pump housing, gaskets, pilot tube and impeller gather the necessary tools. All you need is basic tools such as a socket set, screw driver, rubber mallet and of course a cold one! It’s also a huge plus to have an extra set of hands. In my case I had Gary Wellman over to tackle this 6-pack job.

    First and most important – Put the motor in FORWARD gear.

    Next, remove the zinc alloy disk and expose one of the retaining bolts under the cavitation plate. Working around the lower unit, remove all of the bolds being careful not to let the lower unit drop to the floor. (This is where a second set of hands help out) Once all of the bolts are removed, a few taps with the rubber mallet will separate the lower unit. You may need to separate the water line that operates your speedometer at this point too.

    A bench vice is very helpful to hold the lower unit in place while you remove and replace the parts.

    Start out by removing the 4 nuts that hold the pump housing in place.

    Apply firm upward pressure until the pump housing separates. Slide the pump housing and impeller up and off of the drive shaft.

    Here is a look at the old pump housing and impeller.

    Old and New impeller.

    Next, remove the gaskets and keep them in order so you can use them as a guide when replacing the new gaskets. My pump has 3 gaskets.

    Replace the new gaskets in the exact order and configuration as the old one’s were removed.

    Note the location of the retaining key for the impeller. Slide the new impeller on to the drive shaft and over the retaining key. This will prevent the impeller from spinning on the drive shaft.

    Next, slide the new pump housing down the drive shaft and while turning the drive shaft in a CLOCKWISE direction, press the pump housing over the new impeller.

    Replace the 4 nuts securing the pump housing in place.

    Next, place the new pilot tube in the pump housing, and slide the new “Slinger” gasket down the drive shaft sealing up the water pump.

    Now, with your extra set of hands, line everything up and slide the lower unit back onto the motor. You may find that you will need to turn the drive shaft slightly in a clockwise direction to line up the splines to the power head. Make sure your shift linkages are in place and reconnect the speedometer line.

    Replace all of the bolts and tighten everything up. Drop the motor out of gear. This will tell you if you have the shift linkages hooked up correctly. The prop should spin freely at this point.

    A final touch up of new paint and she is good as new.

    When you first run the motor, check for water flow out of the pee hole. You are done! Now finish off that beer!

    avatar big water 
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    Posts: 291
    #354247

    jon great pic’s and info thanks .
    steveo you might want to send this to briank for the next time he helps you

    Avatar of chico-diablo chico-diablo 
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    Posts: 571
    #354249


    Thanks for the reminder, I need to get that done myself and usually a six pack is not enough

    Avatar of suzuki suzuki 
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    Posts: 10,655
    #354251

    When we doing my Suzuki John? I think it will take a 12-pack though.

    Avatar of chuckles chuckles 
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    Posts: 416
    #354264

    Jon – how much time did it take you start to finish? Curious – if it doesn’t take too long I may attempt it on my 25 horse soon. Chuckles

    avatar Castaway 
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    Posts: 1,574
    #354295

    I just did my 115 and 9.9 yamy last night also.I was really pushing my luck as they are both 1994 and had the original equiptment.I was realy surprised that the 115 impeller although stiff and a little wear wasnt that bad and the 9.9 looked like it didnt even need to be changed.One reason for this is I absolutly never start the engine out of water.I only changed the impellars as the other parts of the housing were fine.A couple things will ruin the housing overheating and sucking up sand threw the impeller.You will be able to tell if they need to be replaced.Some motors like my 9.9 require disconecting the shift linkage also.Each motor took about an hour.Now I should be good till 2015.

    avatar robstenger 
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    Posts: 11,403
    #351105

    Great Post John. I was wondering if I could tackle the job, now I think I can! At least that is half the battle. I like all the pics, you know us guys, we like the visuals !

    avatar Terry 
    Participant
    Posts: 24
    #354326

    Excellent post. Really like the part comparing it to a brake job – I paid to have mine done and thanks to you taking the time for pictures and step by step instructions I know I can do it next time. I probably won’t wait as long to change it either. Thanks again Jon.

    Avatar of gianni Gianni 
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    Posts: 2,051
    #354350

    It took me about an hour on my merc 50. To be honest, it was probably a lot easier than Jon’s 150 just due to the weight of the lower end on his.

    For the most part, I used the same tools as he did – Leinies longnecks.

    Avatar of Mike W Mike W 
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    Posts: 9,823
    #354351

    So what does a worn impellor look like. Took mine apart last year just for the heck of it and didnt see any nicks, gouges or wear on the impellor so just put it back in. On my 25hp honda this was about a 30 minute job. Pretty simple.

    Putting the motor in Forward is a very important from what I have seen. Not much to worry about with the honda since it is exposed and there is just a rod coupling and a back up nut holding it together. Tightening up the bolts with out the linkage allined can be bad. Broken housings, linkage pushed up in the motor. Uck. It gets bad when a simple job goes wrong.

    Avatar of sliderfishn sliderfishn 
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    Posts: 5,118
    #354398

    Quote:


    So what does a worn impellor look like. Took mine apart last year just for the heck of it and didnt see any nicks, gouges or wear on the impellor so just put it back in.


    I look for nicks, gouges and wear also but the main two things that I look for is:

    1: amount of time since last change

    2: The impeller will get dry, hard and brittle

    I change my little motor impeller every other year. Just to be on the safe side since it is fast and cheap. Usually when they get as curved as Jons I think that it is time.

    Great job Jon

    Ron

    Avatar of sgt._rock sgt._rock 
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    Posts: 2,477
    #354401

    For those of you who paid a shop to have it done what was the cost?? That will give us DYI guys a better feel for savings. Great series of pics and description Jon.

    avatar Dave G 
    Participant
    Posts: 633
    #354459

    What happens if I don’t change the impeller and it goes bad? I would expect the heat sensor to send a signal to the engine electronics which would in turn put the motor into “slow mode” so it would not over heat. So I slowly limp home. If no harm is done to the motor, then why not wait until it goes bad? I guess if you have a big trip planned then it may be nice to have it done as preventative maintenance. For the local fishing that I typically do, I guess I would just lose a day of fishing. Am I missing something here?

    Avatar of sliderfishn sliderfishn 
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    Posts: 5,118
    #354464

    Some older models do not have a temp sensor and if you are not looking at the water flow from the motor then you can blow or burn up the motor. Plus I would rather change it now then when I am supposed to be fishing.
    I do know alot of people that wait till it goes out and then fix or take it in, personal choice.
    Ron

    Avatar of wade_kuehl wade_kuehl 
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    Posts: 6,175
    #354465

    Nice job Jon! We’ll keep this one up top for a while to give folks a chance to benefit from your efforts.

    avatar jon_jordan 
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    Posts: 10,936
    #354490

    Hey guys, thanks!

    To answer a few of the questions.

    A dealer will usually charge an hour of labor plus parts. Labor is going at $80 and hour. (Some place more, some less)

    Dave, as mentioned, the impeller will become cracked, worn or brittle. Also, if you suck sand up in the impeller, you will see scratches and gouges in the pump housing. Also, in one of the top shots, you will see one of the gaskets had a section worn out. I think we all know someone with a motor 4, 5, or even 10 years old who has never had it serviced. I guess for me it’s just cheap insurance!

    -J.

    Avatar of mwal mwal 
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    Posts: 495
    #354926

    Jon,

    Thanks for the informative posts. The pictures help a great deal. I may try it myself next time.

    Mwal

    Avatar of crossin_eyes crossin_eyes 
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    Posts: 1,084
    #354981

    If anyone in the Eau Claire, WI area would like to be my “extra set of hands” I’ll be glad to supply the sockets, screwdrivers and longnecks. Heck, bring your boat down and we’ll do them both! Send me a PM if interested.

    Mike

    Avatar of suzuki suzuki 
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    Posts: 10,655
    #355194

    Mike,
    I would be glad to help you. I did mine last night and an extra set of hands would have been nice.

    avatar smokercraft 
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    Posts: 40
    #355199

    very informative and nicely done, I’m sure you saved quite a few people alot of money!
    Thanks

    Avatar of crossin_eyes crossin_eyes 
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    Posts: 1,084
    #355265

    I’ll take you up on that Mike. Name the time and place and I’ll be there!
    Thanks for your assistance.

    Avatar of suzuki suzuki 
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    Posts: 10,655
    #355272

    I should mention that my 3-year old impeller was in fine condition but it’s one of those things you might as well replace if your going to take the time to look at it.

    Avatar of 3way 3way 
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    Posts: 186
    #355324

    i think you are a life saver guy. you sure got my attention, i don’t remember mine being changed ever, course maybe i forgot too. i have 400 hours on my efi 150 merc, bought in the fall of 94. i called starks right away which is where i bought it, the parts guy told me my manual says every 300hours, which still seems way too many. i told him i am 100 over that, so i ordered the kit monday and it was here tues before noon. i can’t get it changed out until after the 14th. now i’m afraid to use it till i get it replaced. though i have never seen any circumstances saying to change me. i do know my luck though i personally owe you one , thankyou

    avatar DeeZee 
    Participant
    Posts: 2,130
    #355645

    Excellent post Jon!
    I have tackled several of these in the past years and must say that its a good project for someone that has never done one before. Save yourself some monay from a dealer doing, especially when they charge $60-$90/hr?

    Jon,
    We should take that “How To” post and put it into its own forum and start a library of these kind of boat maintenance projects! I could see it being real useful for everyone here!

    avatar joshbjork 
    Participant
    Posts: 723
    #355922

    Quote:


    What happens if I don’t change the impeller and it goes bad? I would expect the heat sensor to send a signal to the engine electronics which would in turn put the motor into “slow mode” so it would not over heat. So I slowly limp home. If no harm is done to the motor, then why not wait until it goes bad? I guess if you have a big trip planned then it may be nice to have it done as preventative maintenance. For the local fishing that I typically do, I guess I would just lose a day of fishing. Am I missing something here?


    Dave, there is no “limping home” when the pump goes out. It will overheat at idle or revved up. I don’t know how long it takes them to overheat. But in one minute they get pretty hot. Two minutes? Five? Something will start to give.

    avatar Terry 
    Participant
    Posts: 24
    #356006

    I paid $100 to have it changed on my 60 hp Merc 2 stroke in early December 2003. It would have cost more if it was done during a more busy time of year.

    Avatar of wade_kuehl wade_kuehl 
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    Posts: 6,175
    #380414

    Thought I’d break this one out again in case anyone plans to do a little wrench work this fall…

    Thanks again for the effort here Jon!

    avatar clintm 
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    Posts: 177
    #380535

    Great post you should be writing manuals you can actually under stand yours

    Avatar of big_dog_ia big_dog_ia 
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    Posts: 189
    #384623

    Man that was a great play by play, nice thread Jon! I need to do that to my 175 rude. Gotta love pics with instructions!! My boss let his pump go too long… now he is headed to Okoboji next week as a non boater!

    avatar jon_jordan 
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    Posts: 10,936
    #423687

    TTT for Lip Ripper

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