Tilting at Yamahas
01 January 2017 | Fort Du France, Martinique
Ken / pissing down rain (no snow in sight!)
We love our 2009 Yamaha 15 two stroke outboard mitor but it's becoming more and more difficult to tilt the motor up and down. Theres a plain (not stainless) steel 1 inch? tube which connects the motor to its dinghy clamp brackets. This steel tube been rusting pretty badly, and we considered removal and replacement of this "Tilt tube," but several UTube videos showing unsuccessful dissassembly methods have convinced me to look for another solution.
WD40? Parts Blaster? Tried that. Didnt work.
Yamaha 9.9 and 15 motor brackets have a metric M10-1 aluminum screw on each aluminum clamp bracket; with a tiny 1/8" hole beside them. It's a grease port to inject lubricant into the plastic sleeve bearings which allow the motor to tilt easily. Easy right? Unscrew the M10-1 screw, swab grease into the hole and reinsert the screw. Excess grease comes out of the 1/8" weep holes, thus lubricating the two sleeve bearings, easy tilting now? Nope! Not enough grease gets to the sleeve bearing surfaces, the motor tilt is still super stiff!
If only we could use a high pressure grease gun!
Thus began a two year search for two metric grease nipples. English-speaking islands? No luck.
Martinique? Peut-etre. What's the French term for grease nipple, or Zerk fitting as the British would say?
Since we couldn't fiind the Yamaha Marine dealer in FF, we looked elsewhere. In every Fort du France garage, hardware store and marine supply store....."Bonjour. Avez vous un GREASE NIPPLE?" Tweaking the front of my tee-shirt to illustrate my request was.....well......embarrassing! Lynn absolutely refused to ask for a grease nipple. "This one's all yours!"
It reminded me of when we were looking for a lead-acid battery hydrometer in Guadeloupe last year. They're known as a "Pez-Batterie" to French speakers. Who knew?
Finally, the nice lady in the marine diesel shop in Le Marin said in French; " GRASSEUR?"
Finally found them in a metal supply shop near the airport in FF in the Zone Industrial Lezarde called TCHALIAN!
"Avez vous un grasseur metric?"
'Sure! How many?' the clerk answered in English, without tweaking his chest.
We bought four of these metric M10-1 grease nipples, just in case.
These metric grasseurs fit the existing tilt tube grease ports perfectly. I loaded up my grease gun with waterproof wheel bearing grease and injected grease into both grasseur, Zerk, or nipple fittings. A bit seeped out of the plastic sleeve bearings, but the tilt was still tight. The grease kept squirting out of those two 1/8" vent holes.
"Plug 'em up" Lynn suggested.
I tapped both small vent or weep holes for a half inch long #6 machine screw to plug the holes; my attempt at hammering in wooden toothpicks didn't work.
Added plenty of grease pressure until it began to overflow from both tilt tube sleeve bearings.
Worked the tilt up and down a dozen times, then added more grease.
Very happy to report that the idea works and although still rusty, the Yamaha tilt tube functionality has now been completely restored!
I should paint that tube to help prolong its life.
"Bonjour madame. Vendez-vous du rustoleum?"