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How to keep bellows from cracking during storage

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How to keep bellows from cracking during storage

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Old 10-09-2018, 05:55 PM
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Default How to keep bellows from cracking during storage

Hi as per title, my Nova will pass 8 months in winter storage in a dry warm wearhouse. The rubber bellows look good, how do I protect them from drying out....armorall? Or......? Thanks
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:53 PM
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Armoral actually dries out the rubber. Just lower the drive all the way down so they’re not stressed and call it good.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:49 PM
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Always store the drive all the way down except for trailering. This puts the bellows in its natural state plus when outdoors blocks UV rays and the sun beating on the bellows.

Also greaseless gimbal bearing can add life to U joint bellows. Over greasing the GB puts that grease all inside the bellows. The grease attacks the rubber compounds of the bellows making it mushy from the inside out. I see this all the time.

Also the greasable GB s fling grease around as well.. I am fan of the greaseless GB s by far. They actually hold up better in the long run. Volvo been using them for 12 years now and Merc for 10 years now.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BUP View Post
Always store the drive all the way down except for trailering. This puts the bellows in its natural state plus when outdoors blocks UV rays and the sun beating on the bellows.

Also greaseless gimbal bearing can add life to U joint bellows. Over greasing the GB puts that grease all inside the bellows. The grease attacks the rubber compounds of the bellows making it mushy from the inside out. I see this all the time.

Also the greasable GB s fling grease around as well.. I am fan of the greaseless GB s by far. They actually hold up better in the long run. Volvo been using them for 12 years now and Merc for 10 years now.
What if you can't store it with the drive all the way down?
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:36 AM
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How often should they be changed?
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:09 PM
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pulling your drive at the start of boating season is the best for yearly maintenance and checking. One can check the GB, the bellows from the inside out, engine alignment, U joints, clean splines and regrease with proper couple spline grease. Also a good way to check any swivel shaft / gimbel ring wear as well. Clean out transom inlet water cavity of any deposits. In my area that cavity builds up ALOT of mineral deposits that causes restrictions for water volume to the impeller.

As mention its best to check bellows with the drive off from the inside out. You have 360 access that way.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:21 PM
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Pull the drive at the end of the season. If water got in there you don't want it sitting there for 8 months. You'll also have 8 months to fix stuff if need be. I also change engine oil at the end of season. I feel fresh oil is less corrosive, and better, than slightly oxidized? oil from sitting.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:05 PM
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Also with drive up all winter, corrosion can make it stick there. That pump has a lot of balls pushing up as it has to fight 260 on up hp trying to push it down. Doesn't need much to lower it since engine us helping push it down. If it is stuck up in the spring, switch hoses at the pump and hit up.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:47 PM
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Tech speaking --- one is best to pull the outdrive off and store it in their garage or climate control until the weather completely breaks. This will put all bellows in the relax state completely --- plus no weight on the trim system thru out plus other benys.

In my area we get prop shaft seal leaks alot very common -- one of the causes is because of the way people store their boats. Under car port storage is so common here and many have lake houses with the boats on hydro hoists.

The open fronts & backs of the storage sees alot of weather day in and day out. Our temps are odd here -- we can be really cold for weeks on end in the winter then out of the blue it can be 80 even 90 degrees for weeks. This actually builds condensation inside the outdrive / gear oil - Temps swings all the time thru out the winter. That is very common in my area as well. Next is the summer is blistering for min 4.5 months inwhich is very hard on stuff.

I understand about if you have water in the bellows deal. 8 months down the road or how ever long winter is but what about gear oil leaking in the bellows after that 8 month of storage ? --

its wise to check bellows however just before you get after boating season also pressure test your outdrive for leaks - also check engine alignment, grease the splines and so forth. If you are going to pull off your drive anyways - pull it during the winterization service and store inside however for the complete winter. Then bag or close up your open hole in the transom assembly for the complete winter as well. Anyways rambling on here for whomever.

Last edited by BUP; 10-11-2018 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Apexwarrior View Post
How often should they be changed?
Mine lasted 13 seasons. Always store drive down and like BUP said, I always kept inside of driveshaft bellows clear of any grease that the gimbal bearing tossed around. Key is to not over-grease the bearing or go greaseless. Both my driveshaft and shift cable bellows showed signs of cracking this summer so had them replaced. No exhaust bellows, just an exhaust tube.
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