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Old 10-14-2019, 08:37 PM   #1
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Toasted impeller

Today we went to the boat to winterize the engine. I started the engine and began to pour the antifreeze in the raw water strainer... 2 minutes later the strainer was not emptying anymore while the engine was running?????
Stopped the engine and decided to check the pump impeller and found this:

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Quite happy to have found this on the ground and not in the middle of a cruise!
Today has been my first impeller replacement, quite a PIA and more if I have to do this in the water so I will replace it every spring from now on!

L
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:46 PM   #2
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Make sure find all the pieces
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:14 PM   #3
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One of my engines has the impeller hidden very well. You almost canít even see the pump. I found a tool that is an aluminum funnel that you insert the impeller into and then slide the tool into the pump with the impeller inside it. Hold the impeller in place and pull the tool or sleeve out. I got it at impellertool.com. No affiliation but a great idea. Makes my bad impeller fairly easy to change.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:16 PM   #4
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Make sure find all the pieces
One piece of the impeller was stuck in the outlet and kept the junk in the pump housing, but I will check in the oil cooler and heat exchanger just to be sure.

L
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:23 PM   #5
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Thought about glueing humpty back together again to see if I found all the pieces. Quickly moved on to simply checking all the coolers. Note to self: Open Seacock BEFORE starting engine.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
One of my engines has the impeller hidden very well. You almost canít even see the pump. I found a tool that is an aluminum funnel that you insert the impeller into and then slide the tool into the pump with the impeller inside it. Hold the impeller in place and pull the tool or sleeve out. I got it at impellertool.com. No affiliation but a great idea. Makes my bad impeller fairly easy to change.
As it was my first replacement I was not sure how to fit the impeller in the housing. I ended using a hose clamp, this was quite an easy and cheap trick. Gradually tight the clamp, push the impeller blades on the side and continue to tight the clamp, push the impeller in the housing up to the clamp, remove the clamp, a last push and done.

L
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:47 PM   #7
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Plastic wire ties work great too. Some dish soap on the impeller and it slides right through them and into the pump housing.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:54 PM   #8
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The hose clamp works really well. Good thinking. Over time I just got comfortable enough to grease the first two thirds with superlube and push it in while simultaneously twisting until you feel the splines meet and match. Doesnít matter if you twist the right direction. Once they start, you can clamp, tap or usually just push them the rest of the way. First time, it seems hard, after awhile you get the feel for it.

Buy a stainless removal tool for the next time instead of using two screwdrivers to make this an easy job. I replace mine every 1.5 years. They can usually go longer, but I avoid the duct tape the pieces back together routine as much as possible.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:03 PM   #9
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Interestingly, a good portion of the impeller failures I've seen on my engines have been at winterizing time. Seems like it usually happens as the impeller starting to go, but still pushing plenty of water, so no symptoms are noticed. At winterizing time it pulls an air bubble through, loses prime and that's that.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:12 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. L. Well, it's all good. You learned something AND you got to work on your boat in a non critical place when YOU wanted (not that you really wanted to but it had to be done sometime).


I've used the gear clamp technique before and it does work. I have also cut a plastic "sleeve" the width of the impeller out of a water bottle and put that between the clamp and the impeller. I've greased it well before tightening the clamp. The greased impeller slides much more easily on the greased sleeve than on a single or even double gear clamp. Sort of like a poor man's piston ring compressor.





One advantage of using clear plastic is you can see where the impeller is with relation to the housing AND it's cheap.


EDIT: Mr. rs. interesting you should say that. I started to winterize our "northern" boat (Mercruiser 350) and blew up the water pump just this past weekend. I think I'm going to change over from a belt driven water pump to a crank driven pump.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:12 PM   #11
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I bought a Jabsco impeller puller. It came with a T handle screw. On my engines I canít get the T handle to turn so I bought some all thread (metric of course) and cut a short piece, put double nuts on it and now it works great getting the old impeller out. Then I use the impeller tool to insert the new impeller and it is pretty easy to change the impeller.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:58 PM   #12
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Lou, you lucked out.

I found chunks in the downstream side of my raw water strainer, from previous owner.
All good now, change those things at least every other year.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:14 PM   #13
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Definitely a good idea to have an impellor removal tool.
It is easy to damage the face of the pump body when prying with screwdrivers.
Annual replacement is cheap insurance, and it keeps you familiar with the process so that when you loose an impeller in the middle of the night on a rough passage, you know the drill, and have everything you’ll need on hand.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:03 AM   #14
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Tony Athens (on his forum at sbmar.com) suggested a method to help with impeller removal. He suggests: taking off the pump cover (to access the impeller); spraying WD40 into the open pump; then bump the engine (short push of start button); spray pump again; bump again; then remove impeller. Apparently this will break any "bond" that might exist (rubber vanes sticking to the pump body) and should make impeller removal easier.
Confession: I haven't tried this yet, removing mine this coming spring. Two seasons ago, I just put a new pump on instead.

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Old 10-15-2019, 05:40 AM   #15
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""Make sure find all the pieces"

With any impeller pump the practice of installing a Y strainer AFTER the pump is the only way to solve this problem with ease.

Finding and installing the parts might be a great winter project.

The OP wrote " I started the engine and began to pour the antifreeze in the raw water strainer.".

Draining the water , stating the engine dry and adding anifreeze could be the cause of the impeller failure.?
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
""Make sure find all the pieces"

With any impeller pump the practice of installing a Y strainer AFTER the pump is the only way to solve this problem with ease.

Finding and installing the parts might be a great winter project.

The OP wrote " I started the engine and began to pour the antifreeze in the raw water strainer.".

Draining the water , stating the engine dry and adding anifreeze could be the cause of the impeller failure.?
In m case I guess the impeller started to break apart a while ago. When starting the engine to pour the antifreeze the pump ran dry no more than 5 seconds.

L
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:48 AM   #17
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I found wet /dry shop vac very helpful at removing pieces.
Suck at pump discharge... blow at outlet of cooler...
Repeat until no pieces are found.
You can back flush with a hose but it's a lot messier.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:36 AM   #18
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I've tried zip ties and hose clamps... latter works sorta kinda, but still awkward... and I had to use at least 2, preferably 3, on each impeller... gradually removing one at a time as the thing moved inward.

There's an impeller installation tool: Impeller Installation Tool

I was a bit skeptical, but used it last time, and it really does work like a champ. No relation, just satisfied customer.

Our impellers are threaded in the center, so screwing a bolt inward pushes against the hub and draws the impeller out. Sherwood sells a threaded T-handle removal tool, but I don't have room for the T-handle ends to swing past hoses and so forth, so... I got the right bolts from McMaster-Carr, and use a battery operated ratchet. Easy.

-Chris
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:09 AM   #19
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When you try to remove the old impeller don't use pliers on the blades, they will just pull apart. Easiest and most simple removal is to use two screwdrivers on opposing sides, pry with both at the same time and off it comes.

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Old 10-15-2019, 09:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I've tried zip ties and hose clamps... latter works sorta kinda, but still awkward... and I had to use at least 2, preferably 3, on each impeller... gradually removing one at a time as the thing moved inward.

There's an impeller installation tool: Impeller Installation Tool

I was a bit skeptical, but used it last time, and it really does work like a champ. No relation, just satisfied customer.

Our impellers are threaded in the center, so screwing a bolt inward pushes against the hub and draws the impeller out. Sherwood sells a threaded T-handle removal tool, but I don't have room for the T-handle ends to swing past hoses and so forth, so... I got the right bolts from McMaster-Carr, and use a battery operated ratchet. Easy.





-Chris

That installation tool looks pretty slick, about how much do they cost?
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