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Mercruiser Alpha One, R and MR Serial Numbers 6225577 THRU 0D469858

    Insist on ONLY Original Factory Parts

What is a Gimbal Housing Assembly?

The Gimbal Housing Assembly is the section between the engine and the sterndrive unit.
It is designed to allow the drive to steer left and right and to tilt up and down.
Below is a photo of an Alpha Generation II Gimbal Housing Assembly.

Mercruiser Gimbal Housing Assembly

The Alpha Gen II Gimbal Housing (shown above) is a little different than the R, MR, MCI or Alpha One units.
An Alpha Gen II drive will NOT fit an Alpha One Gimbal Housing Assembly nor will an
r Alpha One drive fit a newer Alpha Gen II Gimbal Housing Assembly.
They look almost the same but most of the parts are NOT interchangeable.

For more complete Gimbal Housing Assembly Information and Pricing go here.

The photo below of the Gen II shows the oil reservoir passage fitting and the aluminum
Ujoint Bellows retainer sleeve. The Alpha One does not have these features.

Mercruiser Bell Housing

The Gimbal Housing Assembly must be checked and serviced every season.
Some common items to check and/or service while the drive is removed are:
1. Check for water in the ujoint bellows.
2. Check the gimbal bearing.
3. Check the shift cable pocket area and lever.
4. Check all the rubber components.
5. Check for play or looseness in the steering.
6. Check for play or looseness at the side hinge pins.
7. Check your engine alignment.

1. Water in your bellows can cause severe damage.
The ujoint bellows should be dry and clean.
There should be no rips, barnacles or stress/age cracks in the rubber.
Spread the folds of the rubber apart and inspect the outside of the bellows for damage and/or wear.
Leaks can be difficult to detect so if you have water in the bellows, just replace them.
For more information on replacing your Alpha One Ujoint Bellows go here.
For more information on replacing your Alpha Gen II Ujoint Bellows go here.
For more information on replacing your Bravo Ujoint Bellows go here. Once water enters the ujoint bellows it usually ruins the gimbal bearing.
Read more about the gimbal bearing and how to service it at The Mercruiser Gimbal Bearing

2. The Gimbal Bearing supports the driveshaft from the drive as it passes through the Gimbal Housing Assembly to the Drive Coupler.
As mentioned above, water can ruin the bearing. It can also fail from lack of grease or wear.

Mercruiser Gimbal bearing

The image above shows the Gimbal Bearing.
Notice the black do on the outer shell/race of the bearing.
This dot is put there by the installer before the bearing was installed.
It was placed where the grease passage opening goes into the shell of the bearing race.
There is a grease passage in the starboard side of the Gimbal Housing and the installed lines this
black dot up with the grease passage while installing the bearing.

The Bellows retainer sleeve is only used on Alpha Gen II and Bravo Ujoint Bellows.
The Alpha One does not use this retainer sleeve. It uses an external hose clamp to clamp the bellows into place.

3. Inspect the Shift Lever and Shift Slide Pocket Area for evidence of water intrusion and corrosion.
There is a Shift Shaft Seal located between the Shift Lever and the Exhaust Passage.
The newer Alpha Gen II units have a good dual lip seal system to keep water out of the Shift Cable Pocket area.
Older Alpha units had a poor seal set-up and the seals would fail from the hot exhaust passing by it.
Mercruiser came up with a new style Shift Shaft Bushing and Lever Kit which improves the Shift Shaft Seal.
If you are replace your shift cable on an Alpha One, make sure you have the new style Shift Shaft Busing and Lever Kit installed.
The Kit helps save your shift cable. If you replace the cable without replacing the seal it will go bad in just a short time.

45518T1 Bushing Lever Kit
45518T1 Shift Shaft Bushing and Lever Kit
(for Alpha One, R & MR) $55.00

4. Check all your transom rubber components.
By the way... techs often refer to a Gimbal Housing Assembly as a "transom assembly".

Don't take a chance on old word parts.
A leaking ujoint bellow or shift cable bellow can SINK YOUR BOAT.
A broken water intake hose can OVERHEAT YOUR ENGINE.
Consider buying a Transom Seal Kit if your rubber looks questionable.
The Kits include everything you need except the Special Tools.

5. You need to check for any excessive "play" in the steering and/or Gimbal.
Grab the tail end of your drive and rock the drive back and forth.
There will be some play (about 1") in the whole system BUT there must be NO PLAY between the upper gimbal ring and steering shaft.
Read more about this problem at Steering Play.

6. There must be no play in the hinge pins.
The hinge pins are located on either side of the Gimbal Ring under the Trim Sender Units.
Any up and down play in this area is unacceptable and may require the replacment of the Bell Housing and/or Gimbal Ring.

7. Engine alignment can only be checked when the drive is removed.
Don't "skimp" on checking your alignment, it will cost you later.
Read more about Engine Alignment Procedures here.

Whatever parts, tools or information you need to service your gimbal we have.
We like to help and we can often save you a lot of time, money and aggravation.

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