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Old 10-12-2011, 11:46   #1
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Mercruiser Stern Drive Tilt Stuck in the Up Position

OK. My dirty little secret. I have a power boat that's not a dinghy and need some help.

This is a 1994 Mercruiser with an Alpha One stern-drive. It has been sitting on the trailer for about 8 months with the drive tilted all the way up. Went out to crank and run it and the stern-drive will not tilt down.

1. The batteries are fine.

2. Switches are operating correctly.

3. Motor sounds strong and sounds like full rpm in up and down but the drive doesn't budge.

4. Fluid reservoir is full.

5. Jumped up and down on the drive and tried the power tilt again, still no movement.

6. If I hold the switch up the motor runs for a second and bogs down like normal when the drive reaches max up or max down position.

From the symptoms I am guessing it is something in the pump or valve section of the trim/tilt unit. Anyone familiar with these and any quick checks I can do without total disassembly?
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:19   #2
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Re: Mercruiser Stern Drive Tilt Stuck in the Up Position

Fixed, if anyone is interested.

Got a 250 lb mercruiser mechanic to jump on the outdrive while I hit the down trim switch. Of course this would not have worked if he had not been a Mercruiser mechanic.

Without disassembly his best guess was a stuck valve in the hydraulic system. Suggested tilting it down slightly while the boat is laid up.

At least I now have a way to get on the water while the sailboat is still in overhaul mode.
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:14   #3
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Re: Mercruiser Stern Drive Tilt Stuck in the Up Position

Leaving your drive stored in the up position isn't the best, especially in cold temps and with bellows of age. Your u-joint bellows takes set, being stretched out on the bottom side. Best if you can store with drive in full down position for periods of time.

Have also heard of stuck drives and a good jouncing will free it up. Most suggests it's the rams that are stuck. Also when your drive is stored up, leaves all of the trim rams rods exposed to elements.
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