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Ilmor Water Pump Impeller - A game of chance or skill?

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  • Ilmor Water Pump Impeller - A game of chance or skill?

    OK, I give. Is it just me or is the location and design of the water pump just plain stupid?

    I don't want to go on a rant here but I spent the better part of 3 hour screwing around doing something on a 2012 Ilmor that I could have done on any Indmar in 20 minutes. Now I know a good part of this was just me refusing to (at first) remove the entire water pump to change the impeller but this is supposed to be a somewhat serviceable part right? You know, the kind of thing that if you're on the water and the impeller takes a dump for whatever reason you should be able to service. Right?

    Now I'm not saying changing an impeller on a Indmar installed in a vDrive can't be challenging on the water but doing so on an Ilmor would be all but impossible. The issue comes down to some non-boater genius picking a pump that used a key way instead of a spline shaft. As if this wouldn't be challenging enough, let's add a little more challenge to the job by locating it so that it sits at the lowest part of the motor, then attach 3 hoses to it and just for extra points let's put a plastic threaded elbow in there that will be easy to cross thread and I'm sure will stay flexible and won't crack over time. The level of stupid here is off the charts. I mean let's take something simple and totally screw it up for sport.

    So after playing with this mess trying to get the impeller on without the key falling out then playing "in search of" for nearly an hour I finally bit the bullet and just removed the 3 hoses, 2 bolts and the accessory belt while standing on my head to pull the water pump out. I will say after the pump was out it only took 2 tries to get the impeller in without the key falling out. Then just another 45 minutes of standing on my head to reassemble everything and I was done. What a joke.

    So whenever I do something like this I like to see if I can make it a learning experience for myself. Someone please school me and tell me the secret of how to do this the simple way? My dealer told me the simple way was to not "f" with it until the pump is removed from the boat and change the impeller on the bench. Wanted to see if any of you came up with a better method as pulling the pump is no peach either.

    BTW - when I changed it 2 years ago I was able to just pull the impeller and slap the new one in. My dealer told me I missed my chance to get a winning lottery number that day as the odds of the key way staying in place were about the same.

    I stand here before you humble awaiting to hear the error of my ways.

  • #2
    Ilmor Water Pump Impeller - A game of chance or skill?

    Ouch that sucks. I pull mine every winter.

    Threadjack - where is best place to get Ilmor impeller? Don’t see on skidim.

    Edit: I don’t have Ilmore, but just got one so I need to learn ....
    Last edited by MIskiboat; 05-04-2019, 08:55 PM.


    • #3
      I have a direct drive and I wouldn’t leave the pump in place while removing or installing the impeller
      Kamloops Waterski Club


      • #4

        PREACH brother!!! That has to be the most ridiculous design ever. First time I changed mine I came to TT for advice. It sounded like a 30-minute project - tops. Wrong! After experience what you went through I decided to walk away overnight. Came back the next day and pulled the assembly. Impeller went in second try and back together in about 30 minutes.

        It should not have to be so difficult. God forbid the impeller goes while on the water.



        • #5
          Somehow I just feel so much better.....


          • #6
            Man o man that was a fun one and he wasn’t even allowed to have a beer!

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            • #7
              I had difficulty (this year) getting my impeller pulled. The issue with the Ilmore 5000 is the engine mount is too close and made it impossible to use my puller. Decided to cut the puller short (and file it down). Worked awesome!

              The impeller key on my '18 seems solidly in place.

              Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
              2002 MasterCraft X10
              2004 MasterCraft Prostar 205v 'Wakeboard Edition'
              2018 MasterCraft XT20 50th Anny


              • #8
                Thanks phat - worked perfect. I did the same thing.


                • #9
                  For the 2015 MV8 6.0 I had to make my own puller as space is very limited to do in place replacement.
                  Tip: try to oriantate the shaft and key between 10 and 2 so the key does not fall down while inserting the impeller. This can be done by pulling the safety lanyard and giving the engine a quick crank until you’re happy with the orientation. See my post on self made impeller puller.

                  DIY raw water impeller puller $5

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                  • #10
                    The 2018's and up are amazingly easy for my 6'2" 245 lb frame to get at and get out and in under 5 Minutes with 2 plyers. Or at least on the 2 GDI motors they have.