: drive shaft bearings shot, can I repair on outdrive side?

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01-09-2006, 05:55 PM
I have a Volvo Penta 5.7 mid 80's with a 280 outdrive.

Yesterday I was coming in from fishing and the outdrive made grinding noise.

Long story short. I removed the upper drive assembly today and looked into the flywheel cover and the balls for the bearings were everywhere. It got dark so I stopped.

These are the bearings that ride around the drive shaft or gimbal shaft whatever you call it before it get to the outdrive.

My repair manual does not help much, it does not even mention the flywheel cover in the V8 section???

My main question here guys is do you have to remove the engine to do this?

If you do, does anyone know how I can get a hold to a A frame or something to remove it?

Any help or advice will be appreciated


PS didn't we have a maintenance section on tidal fish before?

01-09-2006, 06:02 PM
Here's a good website to go to for maintenance issues.


01-09-2006, 08:30 PM
It sounds like your shaft with the U-joints went bad. They are sealed bearings in a Volvo drive unlike the Mercruiser that you pull off every 100 hours of operation, inspect, grease, and re-install.

With that said I helped a friend repair his a few years back. You're going to either have to pull the outdrive or with the proper manuals, you can pull the top end and slide the shaft out. I'd probably pull the drive off if you got all the ball bearings scattered all over the place.

The yoke and bearings were about $400 then. There was of course no labor charge as we did them ourselves. Never want to do that again. I'll stay with the Mercruiser.

01-09-2006, 08:46 PM
the top end is off and the shaft is slid out. That is how i found the bearing bad.

Iboats forum guys said motor has to be pulled, and with that model year its called an intermediate shaft bearing not a gimble bearing on that model year.

Another forum says no motor pull, and its called a gimble bearing.

I guess Im still gathering info here.

alby man
01-10-2006, 06:29 AM
had mine replaced last year my boat is a 93 model . mech pulled drive & replaced both universals and the gimbel bearing . universals are about 110$ each and the bearing is about 15$ . while you have her apart you need to replace your bellows also .

01-10-2006, 06:36 AM
I cut the bellow to make it easier to remove.

So the bellow will be replaced.

On iboats.com a guy told me that the engine needed to be pulled to do this on my model year. I hope he is wrong.

Right Angle-r
01-10-2006, 06:48 AM
On the early model 280 outdrive you do have to remove the bell housing to replace the interm bearing.On the latter models it could be done from the outside.Check to see if there is any play in the bearing.Also make sure it is well lubed at all times.I lube mine every 80-100 hrs.If its the universals ,its an easy fix and should only take about an hour.Don't go with the after market bearings.They dont hold up.Also dont let anyone tell you that the bravo3 set will work.They will for about 50-100 hrs then they let go.If you have any questions on this ,shoot me a b-mail with your ph# and I'll try to help you.My boat has 2 280's and I've had both of them apart.I'd go to a local bpat yard to have it pulled out.They charg around 50.bucks each way.

steve b

01-10-2006, 07:17 AM
One of the bearings is totally destroyed.

I wish i knew what year the outdrive is. it could be parts from various model years.

I call it a 280 because the lower unit looks to be a 280 DP.

Im going to look at it today.

When I got the upper drive off yesterday it was dark, so i did not get a good look at it.

Thanks for the help.


01-10-2006, 07:22 AM
I've got an 84 and mine has the 280 drive w/a swapped in duo-prop lower. After reading all this I'm still trying to determine which bearing you're speaking of. If it's the gimbal bearing, I was told by my mechanic that the engine has to come out to remove it. Does anyone know if this is true? Also, mine has no grease fitting. The universals are obviously on the drive shaft itself and are no biggy. I was told to have my bellows and universals replaced every 3 years. Sound right?

01-10-2006, 07:48 AM
I have removed the upper drive off of the outdrive.

The UV joints and part of the shaft came off with that.

The rest of the shaft is still in the tube of which I think is called the flywheel cover. I actually mounts around the flywheel, it bolts on one end to the engine block, the other side to the collar on the transom.

Inside that tube is 2 bearings that ride arount the shaft. One of those bearings is shot.

I do not know as of yet if I need to have the engine out to replace these bearings.

I get conflicting info, so I think it all depends on the model year.