New Family Member – TD20 – Aluminum Shavings?

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  • John Gragg

    US Member - 1 Year (includes $3 online payment fee)
    Replies: 71
    Topics: 20


    Sorry, never mind. As I studied it (and after pulling the power head). I realized that there is no aluminum wear items in the vicinity of the water tube or drive shaft. So I texted the guy I purchased the motor from. I didn’t give him any details, just asked if they did anything that would create aluminum shavings. He got right back to me and told me he chased all the threads, in the lower but had not run the motor since. I found additional shavings in the gear case grease, but all new and shiny, no evidence any had gotten mixed with the grease. So mystery solved. I found the one that left the shavings, it’s the screw that is 1/2 way up from the gear case split to the 1st collar on the way up to the powerhead. Plain as day, the hole had been tapped/chased.



    I was finally able to schedule going out to look at this TD 20 (’49 I’m guessing). Compression checked out at 72 and 75 psi, and it appeared to be in good shape. Gas tank was very clean with no smell of or residue from lacquer.  He was an old motorcycle mechanic, with a few of his projects on racks. Seemed to be legit.

    I just pulled the lower to inspect the pump rotor and lower gears when I found a lot of aluminum shavings clinging to the grease on the water tube. Closer inspection shows that the aluminum appears to be coming from the water tube side only. (I did test with a magnet, it is aluminum).

    The gears look good, no unusual wear. Only issue I see so far is that the driveshaft bushing just above where the gear case separates from the lower is wallowed out. Lots of rust on the driveshaft in that area, and water in the gear case, so I’m gonna blame sitting and lack of use.

    I don’t want to get into tearing this apart more than necessary, so I’m asking what I need to do to get inside the driveshaft housing and up to the powerhead. I’m looking for the source of the shavings, obviously, so I can determine next steps.

    Eventually I think I will be tearing this down fairly far, but I haven’t even heard it run yet. I don’t want to run it (assuming it will run) until I fix whatever is causing the shavings.

    Any guidance on what to do and where to look would be appreciated.

    Best Regards,


    John Gragg
    RIverside, CA

    Just starting in the hobby, please be patient.

    49 Sea King GG9014A
    49 Johnson 5hp Sea Horse


    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1469
    Topics: 52


    One thing you can do that is easy is pull the spark plugs, rotate by the flywheel holding  a screwdriveron the top  of the piston & after finding top dead center rock the piston back & forth to see how much slop you have from top to a few degrees either way to check how much wear the rod has. the piston will show wear by not moving after top & reversing. A friend of mine takes rusted, pitted driveshafts & gets them hot enough to fill the pits with brass& sands them smooth. Holes & pits wlll destroy new seals. Yes it’s a soft metal & wears fast but a guy can get a few hundred hours out of the fix if you can’t find a replacement Support the drive shaft on a piece of angle metal to keep the shaft straight while  heating & use flux to get it clean.

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