Skip to main content

The All-Purpose Impeller Puller

My brother was hanging upside down, peering through a 9-inch square cutout in a bulkhead at the raw-water pump housing on his 3-cylinder Yanmar marine diesel. “How the heck do you get the impeller out of there?” he asked me.This is a very good question. Removing an impeller is something that should be done on a regular basis; Yanmar recommends replacing the impeller on this particular

My brother was hanging upside down, peering through a 9-inch square cutout in a bulkhead at the raw-water pump housing on his 3-cylinder Yanmar marine diesel. “How the heck do you get the impeller out of there?” he asked me.

This is a very good question. Removing an impeller is something that should be done on a regular basis; Yanmar recommends replacing the impeller on this particular model at least every 600 hours. The problem is that its raw-water pump is mounted in such a way that the clearance between it and the starter motor isn’t quite big enough to get an impeller puller onto the impeller. Given the considerable number of years this engine has been in production, in one model or another, and given the large number of units Yanmar has sold, you’d think they would have modified the access to the impeller to make the job easier. But that hasn’t happened. Yanmar, of course, isn’t the only offender when it comes to awkward-to-access water-pump impellers and other items that need regular maintenance.

I called my local Yanmar dealer, thinking he would have some special tools or tricks he could pass along. That didn’t happen. “It isn’t easy, I know” is all he would say. My brother and I worked our way through every tool in our respective toolboxes, fruitlessly trying to find something that would allow us to get a grip on the impeller and pull it out. Nothing worked. Next I went to the local automotive stores, hoping for inspiration. Although I found dozens of different pullers and other oddball tools, I came up empty-handed. My next stop was at the hardware store, and that’s where I hit the jackpot. My prize? A large pair of right-angled needle-nose pliers.

Related

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Barcelona Venue Shaping Up

The decision to host the next America’s Cup in Barcelona ruffled the feathers of some fans, but the Defender is happy with how the venue is shaping up. The process of allocating team bases, spectator zones and the race village is underway. “I cannot speak highly enough of the ...read more

ELAN-GT6---273

Boat Review: Elan GT6

Elan’s first sporty “Grand Turismo” yacht, the 43ft GT5, launched in 2017, and was actually a bit of a mash-up. It combined an existing go-fast hull from Elan’s sexy E5 racer with a new deck and interior optimized for cruising comfort, and a somewhat detuned rig to create a ...read more