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Leaky tilt cylinder?

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I have a 1986 90hp Merc that I believe has a small leak in the tilt cylinder. The motor will slowly (imperceptible actually) lower itself. I've topped off the fluid and searched up and down for repair kits or procedures. I'm coming up with nothing though.

I figure I could pull the tilt/trim assembly off and take it into a hydraulic place to fix, but now that the season is upon us, and I have wasted the last month or so piddling around with it, that doesnt seem like a good option. I know I could also put a new tilt/trim assembly on as well, but that is too expensive.

Anyone have any advice/experience? I can't find repair kits for the hydraulic cylinder. Can anyone recommend a hydraulic shop in the cities that I can take it to when I'm willing to be without my boat for a while?

It isnt a big issue, more of an annoyance. It has been this way since I have had the boat (5 years now) and hasnt gotten worse. My worry is that it will get worse, and then I'll be hosed.

Thanks in advance,


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Is there a catapiller shop near you? here is one i found, not sure if they are close to you but calling might be the best way. good luck

Heavy Equipment Repair, Inc

Vadnais Heights, MN

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here is another place, they have a few locations in mn

Catco parts Roseville

One thing that i have found when dealing with older cylinders, they may be able to match the cylinder with an aftermarket much cheaper than rebuilding it. Most big shops can make a kit out of parts on the self. Hope this helps, let me know if they can do it. Jeff

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Thanks guys. I will check those places jeffreyd - I didnt want to tear it apart without having a plan to get it back together. Not the right time of year to be without a boat!

marine man - where is the manual bypass screw? I did not run across that in my manual or things that I checked.

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I did not even think about a bypass, but if it were open would you not have some type of oil seepage? I am thinking of a regular hyd cylinder so you could bleed it down if you had to. It almost sounds like the internal seal is leaking by allowing the fluid to push back. Marine man, is there some type of safety device in the system that would include a holding valve etc?

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No you wouldn't have seepage.. it's a internal bypass valve.

It's a big flat head screw, usually found on the lh side of the motor, with a cutout in the engine mount (that mounts the boat to the transom). Make sure it's tight.


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