I put the dinghy in the water for the first time of the season. It started right up but no water flowing out of the pee hole. I put it in gear and ran it for a while, and still no water. So, I figured I'd check the water pump and impeller. Lower unit came right off and the impeller turns out fine. In talking with some people on the dock they said sometimes insects or other blockage can block the water passages over the winter, and just stick a paper clip or pipe cleaner up the hole to ensure it is clear. Too late, I've already removed the lower unit.
The problem is I cannot get it back on. It goes all the way in but just stops a few inches short. I've tried everything I can think of except hitting it with a hammer to get it back on.
Pictured here is the lower unit off and the other picture shows how far it goes before stopping. It seems like the shaft spline isn't fitting into the female connection. Turning the shaft doesn't help. I'm pretty sure this should be simple since the impeller is a regular service item. Any ideas are appreciated.