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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to replace the trim switches because the wire insulation has disintegrated. I've seen some people have done this without pulling the bellows. I was thinking of routing the wires up the outside of the transom and into the hole with the depth sound wiring. (Or into a similar hole.) These wires don't seem to last very long and this would make it easier to replace them in the future. What do you guys think?
 

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I'm no expert, but I have worked on that on my 79 Nova, and can tell you to forget about replacing the wires in the stock location without taking it all apart. Even if you could get at the bolts (doubtful), chances are you'll need to heat them up to get them out. I had to on both my outdrives.

In my option, you could do as you suggest, and run the wires outside. The challenge is, of course, routing it in such a way as to not get pinched. I have not done this, but I'm sure it's at least possible. Not ideal, and not as long lasting as stock, but possible.

I'm not sure why the original wires always fail on those older ones, but I suspect it has to do with electrolysis. Newer models have an additional ground wire between the outdrive and the boat. It's my guess that the sender wires end up corroding/expanding, breaking the insulation off in the process.

While I like your thinking on not making a new hole in the hull by sharing the transducer wire hole, I would say there is a good chance the caulking that's there may be difficult to remove without damaging the transducer wire.

Probably not helpful, but food for thought. Good luck!
 

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Yes, it is possible (on an Alpha one outdrive - I presume you have a MR-1? - which should be the same). It is also an incredibly frustrating PITA to do.

If you decide to do this, you will need one special tool - an extremely shallow-well 1/4" drive 7/16" u-joint socket, and a long 1/4" drive extension bar (I use a 12") - don't try to "get-by" with a 3/8" bar - it just won't fit.

The shallow well socket is to remove and re-install the 1/4" bolt (verify yours is the same) that holds the wire retainer in place up inside the transom bracket. This is what it looks like:

Composite material Auto part Cylinder Fashion accessory Metal
Ruler Household hardware Font Cylinder Office ruler


It began life as a craftsman part #43245. The socket must be cut-down until the "working" hex surface inside is about 1/8" deep. That's about the minimum that will still bite the bolt head. Overall length is 1 3/8" (for reference). I started by cutting with a saw - then grinding until it was the right depth and square. Don't try to use a "standard" socket and a u-joint adapter either - it just won't fit (yes, I tried it). This will allow you to reach in between the gimbal ring and the transom bracket to remove the bolt.

This is one of my "keep it under your pillow" Merc tools - let me know if you need instructions for a homemade "bellows puller" (if you go ahead and change yours).
 

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