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When you order new seals, order a spare rebuild kit!

I've replaced the seals on my Johnson pump twice. The first time was from general wear and tear and I was able to ignore the slight "drip-drip" until I was in a position to live without the engine for a few days. When I ordered the rebuild kit, I ordered two and put one in the spares inventory.

The second opportunity to rebuild the pump presented itself last summer on cruise when, after completing the daily engine checks, I started the engine. After a few minutes of warm up, we were cast off the rental mooring and proceed slowly out of the harbor. It was about this time when I began to wonder what the new "chrip" sound was coming from the engine. Opening the engine compartment to check the belt I was struck by the smell of burning rubber and then it dawned on me.... I'd forgotten to open the seacock after cleaning the raw water strainers. No water, burning impeller, not good!

Replacing the impeller went quickly. It took a little longer to round up all the rubber bits downstream of the pump. Repairing the substantial leak around the pump shaft caused by burned up seals would have been impossible without the rebuild kit I'd put in inventory years before. Without a raw water pump we were going nowhere, but with the replacement parts aboard, the pump rebuild took less than a hour and we were on our way again.

That day I called Hamilton Marine to get a new rebuild kit shipped to our next stop. They told me it was out of stock and would take at least a week to get one. With out the spare kit in inventory, our summer cruise would have been over.
 
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