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Old 08-19-2020, 09:46 AM   #1
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X-Chang-R impeller woes

I have finally had it with the flexible impeller used in the X-Chang-R oil change system. I have put up with the fragile impellers for over a quarter of a century, having to clean out the broken up pieces of "nitrile" or whatever other marvelous plastic they make them from at least every other oil change. I recently took the advice of my local marine parts supplier, a fellow I have know to be in the marine maintenance game for at least thirty years, and ran soapy water through the pump after the last oil change to prevent the impeller's early demise. Yesterday I tried to run the oil out of the main engine and found the pump stuck. I ran through a couple of fuses before I finally broke it free, but it was obvious from the lack of pumping action that the impeller was shredded. Rather than continuing to throw 35-dollar impellers at this thing, I have taken steps to use the good advice I got here sometime back about installing a gear pump. I had initially rejected the idea based on the perception I had of the cost, but after a conversation with Depco Pump's expert, I have a 0.8 GPM Marco model M164-220-12 gear pump on order to replace the X-Chang-R impeller pump. It looks to be about the same size as the original pump and thus will not add bulk to my small engine compartment. Based on the fact that I was about to buy two 35-dollar impellers for the OEM pump in order to have a spare on hand for the inevitable impeller breakdown, I am saving about 40% of the cost of the Marco and a lot of effort to change the sort of inaccessible impeller every year or so for a permanent fix to this mess.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:02 AM   #2
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Probably doesn't help much, but I think the impellers on our 950 model were metal...

-Chris
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Probably doesn't help much, but I think the impellers on our 950 model were metal...

-Chris
That sounds like a vane pump, Chris.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:36 PM   #4
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Gee, I've had an x chang r pump for 20 years and it's fine, still pumps like crazy. But it's a stand alone pump that I store in a bucket after I drain it.
Hmmmmm
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
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A gear pump should definitely fix your problem but I haven’t heard of this being an issue. Good luck with the new pump.
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:48 PM   #6
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I know! I have had the absolute WORST luck with both mine, and I use their expensive impellers too.
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:53 PM   #7
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This gives me an idea. Bulkhead mount an oil burner pump end (they are gear pumps). When it is time for an oil change just put a battery drill on the drive shaft and pump away.

Back when fuel oil was very expensive I burned waste vegetable oil to heat the house. Used a day tank and heat exchanger and pumped many thousands of gallons of the stuff at 160 degrees f. using an oil burner pump.

I currently just pull a vacuum on an old 50 lb refrigerant recovery tank and suck the oil out that way. They have a dip tube so you can just pressurize the tank to push the oil out.
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:03 PM   #8
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Reverse oil pump system

Rich, I think the new pump you ordered will work well. The Reverso system that came on our boat has a bronze gear pump. It is 12+ years old and works well, drains/fills the main engine, trans and gen. We also had a Reverso on the last boat that was trouble free. Hope the Marco is “plug & play” !
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:08 PM   #9
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With all the plumbing already in place to drain the main engine, the generator and the transmission, there are a ton of ways to skin this cat. Although I am headed down one path, ingenious ideas are welcomed for posterity to search out and find here.
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:29 PM   #10
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Wow, I was about to say something, but decided not to jinx myself. Didn't know the impellers failed.

Ted
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:03 PM   #11
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Wow, I was about to say something, but decided not to jinx myself. Didn't know the impellers failed.

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Old 08-20-2020, 07:00 AM   #12
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That sounds like a vane pump, Chris.
It was an Oil-X-Changr 950; dunno much more about the internal mechanism, other than that the manual said it was one of their models with metal impellers.

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Old 08-20-2020, 08:36 AM   #13
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It was an Oil-X-Changr 950; dunno much more about the internal mechanism, other than that the manual said it was one of their models with metal impellers.

-Chris
Wish mine had been that model. After tonight, mine will be a Rich-mod version.
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Old 08-20-2020, 11:15 AM   #14
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Good one Rich!

A lot of the stuff we buy is cost-compromised: a trap-puller with galvanized hardware? A dinghy anchor system with galvanized shackles and polypropylene rope? Plastic shelves on a barbecue that are so slippery you need to hold anything on them with vide-grips?

Innovation and improvement can be one of the real pleasures of boating.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:43 PM   #15
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Good one Rich!

A lot of the stuff we buy is cost-compromised: a trap-puller with galvanized hardware? A dinghy anchor system with galvanized shackles and polypropylene rope? Plastic shelves on a barbecue that are so slippery you need to hold anything on them with vice-grips?

Innovation and improvement can be one of the real pleasures of boating.
With sixty improvement/mod projects completed on this boat since I bought it five years back, I'd say the whole boat qualifies as one gigantic "pleasure."
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Old 08-22-2020, 07:45 AM   #16
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So here are the two pumps side by side with the smaller one being the new Marco gear pump. The threads inside the ports of both pumps are for female 3/8" NPT while the old X-Chang-R pump also had male hose threads. My three-way valve (engine, generator, and transmission) and pump out plumbing matched up; so installation was a snap. Interestingly, there was no input or output marked on the Marco, and all I needed to do was to determine the orientation of the reversing switch (Drain or Fill) on the X-Chang-R plastic housing covering the pump to make everything right. I found a 15-Amp fuse in the system when I bought the boat, but the Marco documentation says to use a 3-Amp fuse. I have a 5-Amp in there now and will replace with a 3 today. After installation I ran down the bay to fuel up in case Hurricane Laura decided to pay us a visit and changed oil (it was five hours from being due) upon returning home. The little Marco gear pump performed in a most charming manner with a bit less flow than the X-Chang-R impeller pump making it easier to fill the tiny sample bottle. All in all, I feel this was an excellent modification which I expect to give no more doubt as to the dependability of the system.
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:56 AM   #17
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Very cool modification Rich.


I'm jinxing myself here, but my X-changer is still on the original impeller, which seems odd given your issues. I wonder if Mainship used different models of the X-changer? Isn't your boat an '05?
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:15 PM   #18
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Very cool modification Rich.


I'm jinxing myself here, but my X-changer is still on the original impeller, which seems odd given your issues. I wonder if Mainship used different models of the X-changer? Isn't your boat an '05?
Yes, 05 model.
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:42 AM   #19
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Yes, 05 model.
My pump was older than that, probably around 2000 or 2001 I think.
Maybe that why mine worked so well for so long.
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Old 08-23-2020, 10:10 AM   #20
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This is not my first oil change pump with the problem of constantly shredding rubber impellers, but that's all gone now. Bye, bye rubber impeelers (misspelling intended), forever!
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