Sportjet 200 blown base gasket repair
I read the thread from Compeaus on their PAPD Optimax drain kit on the Alaska Power Boating Forum over the winter and had that thread in the back of my mind when I fired up my boat about a month ago. My boat is a 2008 so it doesn't have the drain kit and I'd never had any issues, but sure enough it was leaking on both sides at the rear of the powerhead when I fired it up (see pics). Clearly the powerhead self-drain was plugged and it had frozen over the winter and blown out the gasket. As a general rule I don't like people touching my stuff and I also didn't like the idea of waiting for an unknown amount of time for my boat to be fixed by someone else so I decided to tackle the job myself. I bought the powerhead lifting eye, two O-rings, and the gasket for $78.50. I also have the Mercury Service Manual that fairly adequately described how to remove the powerhead from the pump unit. The manual actually doesn't cover all the steps necessary (e.g., disconnecting exhaust pipes, several hoses, an oil line, and draining the drive housing) to fully remove the powerhead, but it was pretty obvious what needed done. It took about 5 hours to change the gasket and the whole operation went fairly smooth. There was one piece of sand that was just a bit too big to go out the drain hole and a bunch of other fines had built up as a result. One issue I encountered was that the new gasket leaked slightly at the rear once everything was put back together and torqued. The only nuts you can get a torque wrench on are the three rear ones (where it was leaking) the rest you have to use a wrench. I resolved the leak by slightly over-torqueing all of them which reduced the leak to minor dripping. The first time I ran the boat in the river is sealed up and is dry now. The gasket is installed dry, but perhaps some install it with a bit of gasket sealing compound to avoid the drips, but I'd probably do it dry again if I ever need to change it again and then run it in the river before deciding if it is truly leaking. With some modest mechanical skill and a way to lift the engine this job wasn't too bad to do by yourself. The only step you really need help with is the actual engine lift and resetting it so it goes on straight and level.
I had an 05 175 sport jet i had to change the power head to pump gaskets on twice, little easier then the 200. not a hard job. i dont think think the vibrating the sport jets do help out the cause.