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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Lower Unit #13222172 07/22/19 05:41 PM
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Just wanted to ask if anyone has heard of this happening or had it happen. I have a 2018 skeeter fx21 le with a 250 SHO on it. When I took it in for its first engine maintenance at around 25 hours I then ran it for a few weeks before one day out on the water I noticed I had lost rpm and speed. Then half way through the day, I started the motor to move to a new spot and heard a noticeable rythmic thump. I thought for sure I had thrown a piston or something.

Took it to the dealer and when they went to the motor to see if they could see anything noticeable, they pointed it out to me right away. Nothing was wrong with the motor, it was the prop. The prop was being pulled into the hub of the lower unit and the rythmic thump I heard was the prop turning and eating into the hub. When you put the big brass washer on after the propeller, the piece that fits into the front hub of the prop and is put on right before the nut, it is typically flush with the front part of the prop hub. The prop had been pulled so far into the lower unit that the big brass washer was completely visible now.

At first they thought that the prop had been put back on without the thrust washer, because when they took it off the thrust washer was not there. So of course it then became a figner pointing contest for blame as to whoever took the prop off last because obviously they did not put the proper parts back on and caused this damage. I did not do it and the dealership at first said that it was possible that the tech forgot, but vary rare. Insurance got involved and went ahead and covered a new lower unit to be put on asap to get me back out on the water and then subrogated against the dealership.

Long story short, between the dealership, yamaha, and the adjuster, it was determined that the thrust washer was likely put on but being brass it isn't made very strong/durable and if I happened to get one that was weak, the amount of pressure the prop put on it could have simply dissenigrated it and then that allowed the prop to start being pulled into the hub.


Fast forward to this past weekend. I haven't changed anything since the new lower unit was installed and the prop put on, in front of me while at the dealer to show that they did in fact put the thrust washer on (basically it is the brass piece that stays in place at the base of the prop shaft, then the thrust washer, then the prop, then the big brass washer, then the small/thin flat washer, then the nut, then cotter pin). This was about 5 months ago and I fish almost every weekend. After every trip I now go look at the prop to see if the distance between the back of the prop and the lower unit hub is closing out of fear of what happened the first time. I noticed Saturday that I was not reaching top speed any longer and lost about 75-100 rpm. I put the boat on the trailer and go take a look, sure enough, the blades of the prop are almost touching the lower unit hub and there is some space between the big brass washer and the prop hub. I am not touching anything and will be taking it straight to the dealer again and asking what the hell is the issue here.

Has anyone else experienced this or anything like it? I called Mark Croxton from Marks High Performance Props because I sent my prop to him and he added some cup to it. He said that yamaha using cheap material to forge/make their thrust washer and while the situation I am having isn't the norm, it isn't the aboration either. He said I needed to get a metal thrust washer because the brass one will just keep causing me issues.

Last edited by JC Skeeter; 07/22/19 06:04 PM.

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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13222196 07/22/19 06:04 PM
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Never heard of this issue before. However, I have had some issues getting Yamaha to stand behind their warranty on lower units. I hope you get this easily worked out, but I fear you may have a fight on your hands when dealing with Yamaha. Best of luck. Let us know how this works out.

Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: Tx Tree Grower] #13222205 07/22/19 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tx Tree Grower
Never heard of this issue before. However, I have had some issues getting Yamaha to stand behind their warranty on lower units. I hope you get this easily worked out, but I fear you may have a fight on your hands when dealing with Yamaha. Best of luck. Let us know how this works out.


Thank you for the reply, I figured this isn't something that is common. Thankfully at this point I know I caught it early enough to show what is happening and the dealership knows that they put the washer on. So with it already happening once and Yamaha being involved, I am hoping it isn't as big of a deal this time and they resolve the issue. But the problem is, what exactly is the issue? Because even if they replace the lower unit again, what says I won't be in this same situation in a few months like I am now?


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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13222218 07/22/19 06:19 PM
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That is strange! But since the lower unit was changed and new thrust washer installed the only common piece is the prop. I would try a different prop with a new thrust washer and see what happens.


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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: bronco71] #13222236 07/22/19 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bronco71
That is strange! But since the lower unit was changed and new thrust washer installed the only common piece is the prop. I would try a different prop with a new thrust washer and see what happens.


Good point, I didn't think of that but will definitely tell the dealership and see if that is the issue.


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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13222301 07/22/19 08:01 PM
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I saw it happen to a friends boat at the SETX high school championship on a SHO motor.
He said it was losing speed and during the day and knew something was wrong.
We found the prop had done eat into the lower unit a bunch and was obviously binding up.
Someone else had a thrust washer with a spare prop that would go on there and cause the prop to set farther back and it worked well and to allow him to use it the next day with no issues.
Best I can remember the tapered bore was larger in the one that allowed the prop to eat the lower unit, which allowed the prop to set farther forward.
The borrowed washer left a good size gap between prop and lower unit due to all the wear that was already done.
I thought that the thrust washer might have actually stretched out enough to let it move forward on the taper, but it didn't look bad, it looked brand new really. I haven't talked to him since to know what happened when he took it back to the dealer.

Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13222337 07/22/19 08:41 PM
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There are some posts about the issue on www.bassboatcentral.com in the Yamaha forum. Seen a couple on the Skeeter FB page too. Yamaha has great CS and will make it right.

Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: Mark Perry] #13222909 07/23/19 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Perry
There are some posts about the issue on www.bassboatcentral.com in the Yamaha forum. Seen a couple on the Skeeter FB page too. Yamaha has great CS and will make it right.


Mark, thank you for the reply and info. However I wanted to ask a favor, is there any way you could provide a link? Ive searched all 4 pages in the Yamaha forum but cant find anything.

http://www.bbcboards.net/forumdisplay.php?f=10


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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13222934 07/23/19 01:32 PM
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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13223016 07/23/19 02:35 PM
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Had that exact same thing happen many years ago with a Merc. We figured it was a faulty thrust washer, replaced it, and never had another issue.


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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13223389 07/23/19 06:38 PM
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Thank you Mark, I am printing those threads out to give to my dealer and possibly Yamaha, but I am sure Yamaha has heard about this issue.

The issue for me is, I have already replaced my thrust washer twice, this is the 3rd time it has worn and caused the problem I am having. I wish they made a better made thrust washer, something out of steel instead of brass.


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Re: Yamaha 250 SHO Thrust Washer & Pulling Prop Into the Hub [Re: JC Skeeter] #13223608 07/23/19 09:25 PM
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Had it happen on my HPDI.

Steve's Custom props had a replacement that wasn't brass. Put it on and never had another issue.

luckily I caught it before it got into the housing.


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