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Bravo 3 maintenance question

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Old 01-13-2011, 04:41 PM
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Default Bravo 3 maintenance question

I am looking to buy a used Formula with twin 496's and Bravo 3's. The boat is a late 2005 put in water possibly in spring of 2006. I am still checking on that. It is a NJ salt water boat. It has 217 hrs, lift kept, no bottom paint. looks very clean with minimal if any pitting on drives. Can't survey till warms up! Have to buy before loan expires. Do you have to remove these drives every fall to clean and inspect? Every two years? What is proper upkeep for these drives? Thanks for advice.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:57 PM
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I'll go ahead and warn you that Bravo 3's were notorious for escessive corrosion. Too many dis similar metel parts cause it to corrode faster. I think they may have changed some things after the early models so you may be OK.

Every year I usually have the drives pulled to inspect U-joints and bellows, so far we have only had to change the oil annually. We don't have a trailer and keep it on the lift so we usually have it all checked out anytime its hauled out. 500hrs so far so good on a 24ft sea ray. On a high performance application I'd recommend servicing the outdrive every 25-50 hours depending on abuse. Might want to look at Merc's recommended service.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:40 PM
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As Texoma said, lots of corrosion issues, generally when the drives were kept in the water. The mercathode system was to counteract this, but sometimes did not, and they did some redesigns. Also, some folks disconnected the mercathode to prevent dead batteries (a very bad idea on a BIII).

That said, if it's been kept on a lift, you may have no issue - the corrosion on BIIIs was galvanic corrosion due to the large amounts of stainless in the props & shafts. Glavanic corrosion requires the drive being wet. Once it dries the galvanic corrosion stops almost completely. I have an early model BIII (1994, ~220 hrs) that was lift kept and shows no signs of any issues.

I change oil every season (about 30 hours for me), and pull the drive to inspect everything at the same time.

Last edited by apollard; 01-13-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:54 PM
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Please take your time and dont rush into this....have the engine/drives looked at very carefully by a local marine dealer(spend the extra money now) otherwise this could really be a mistake longterm.... usually problems occur after youve purchased the boat....so take a day or two and inspect the boat like a hawk... good luck !
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:24 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Yesterday afternoon I found another boat that is a repo. an 06 with only 64 hours. Same set up with 496's and B3's and also lift kept. Going to look at it today. How much could someone mess up a boat in only 64 hours? Could be a good one.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by shekmark View Post
How much could someone mess up a boat in only 64 hours?
It could be somewhere between perfect and completely trashed.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by seafordguy View Post
It could be somewhere between perfect and completely trashed.
Isn't that the truth! Especially since it is a repo. I have never looked at a repo boat, but have checked out plenty of other vehicles to know that they can be trashed in a heartbeat! No matter what, get a survey!
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:32 AM
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A late '05 Bravo III will have the second zinc under the cavitation plate and will also have the bullet zinc on the prop shaft. This makes them a little more resistant to galvanic corrosion than the earlier model year Bravo III's.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:13 PM
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So the 2006 may be the safer bet. The repo boat needs the interior cleaned but otherwise looks very good. No missing parts eccept the window clear plastic. What is that called?
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:18 PM
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So the 2006 may be the safer bet. The repo boat needs the interior cleaned but otherwise looks very good. No missing parts eccept the window clear plastic. What is that called?
Isinglass. The extra zincs were added to the Bravo III around 2003 - 2004. I have a 2004 model boat with a late 2003 engine/drive combo in it and it has the extra zincs.
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