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217 SD Engine accessibility

Dave Member Posts: 30 ✭✭

I have a SD 217 I/O with the 5.0 Mercruiser and the access to the engine bay is really limited. I would like to hear from someone that has the same engine/deck configuration that does some of their own service work. It looks like the SD 237 has about the same engine access. I have serviced and done most all repairs on my vehicles but when I look at the access on the boat I panic. The spark plugs, starter and or starter cable would really be challenge. Might have to separate the deck from the hull.

Love the boat and it has been trouble free for the most part. I usually have a marine service guy do the winterizing at which time they change the oil and filter. The boat is in the water all year but I pull it out in the spring to clean and service the lower unit. I know the time will come when I will have to deal with some issues other than the regular service.



  • cjjjdeck
    cjjjdeck Member, Moderator Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭
    Finally saw some  clear pictures of your model in the engine area of the boat.  I added them to your post so others can see what you're up against.  Because the SD217 is so similar to my SD237, I originally thought the I/O in your model would be accessed the same.  But NO!  I noticed the housing covering the engine by your swim platform (if you have one) is molded into the upper deck and gives no access to the engine compartment.  The SD237 has a hinged access cover in that location.  That leaves you with only the bench seat access (which the SD237 also has).  That pretty much only gives you clear access to the front of the engine, so now I understand your issue. Hopefully some other owners can give you some pointers (besides finding someone with long skinny arms like the outboard owners try to find!).

    2012 SD237 I/O Mercruiser 5.0L MPI ECT/ Bravo 3
    2012 Load Rite Elite Tandem axle trailer

  • mcan3
    mcan3 Member Posts: 9
    Dave. Did you get any advice on accessing the oil filter?  I just got a 2002 gs 201 fun deck and filter is in back on port. I can see it from the battery compartment but can't reach it even though I've got long arms. It's crazy! 
  • KLA5
    KLA5 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 GS 201 with the Volvo/Penta 5.0 engine but it looks very a very similar set up to your 5.7 engine.   I too have searched for information to access the oil filter without success.  I was able to finally change the oil filter by removing the 3 bolts on power steering pump bracket and letting the pump and bracket gently drop.  With the power steering pump dropped out of the way (hoses still attached) I could lay on my right side across the front of the engine and place my right shoulder and head in the space where the power steering pump was.  I also placed a couple of life jackets on the engine compartment floor (in front of the belts and pulley) to cushion my right side and upper chest).  I'm 5'10' and could barely just reach the oil filter.   I used a ratchet wrench and a socket style oil filter wrench to loosen the filter.   Once it was loose, I used a one gallon plastic freezer bag to enclose the filter and catch most of the oil spill as the filter is removed.
         I decided against installing the remote oil filter kit after hearing stories of a couple of boat owners who had their engine destroyed after an oil line blew off the remote oil filter kit.  If I find a kit that has reenforced lines with secure screw in connections (compared to line clamps) I might reconsider.

        I also changed the starter which is located on the opposite side of the engine.  I removed the brackets holding the fuel filter to provide enough space to squeeze your upper body thru the opening to reach the starter bolts.