Recommendation for Saving Joints, long-term

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by Avatar ddoyle 4 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
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    johnyrude200
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 755
    Topics: 177
    #1223

    There’s two things behind this post.

    1. I am working on 5-8 motors/week on any given week, both salt and fresh.

    2. I have 2 degrees in physiology/kinesiology.

    There is what happens in the books, then there’s what really happens. I am ALL EARS to all the veteran mechanics with infinitely more experience than me to help me know how to better take care of my hands, elbows, and shoulders.

    I am putting in 40-80 hrs/wk working on OMC’s 2-35hp, and breaking free all these fasteners, flywheels, gearcase screws, and cowel latches is taking it’s toll. What did you folks find helps to take care of your body? It’s almost to the point that turning a screwdriver feels like knives in my wrists and elbows. Aleve only goes so far…

    I am using simple screwdrivers, wrenches, and ratchets. I recently acquired a mid-level compressor and a couple of air tools, but found the air ratchet would really just beat the ‘you-know-what’ out of threads, so I have been sticking with vicegrips on screwdrivers and impact drivers for those stubborn, stuck screws/nuts. I do use a simple propane blowtorch and PB-Blaster where necessary. But with work, time is money, so I generally don’t let bolts sit overnight to loosen up with pentrating oil. The most I give PB-blaster is 10-15mins to do it’s magic, and usually just for motors a customer has visually seen and put a priority on.

    I am trying to respect the motors and pay mind to the ‘feel’ of when something is loosening up or being over-tightened. Forget when I have to pull a cylinder head and I am the first person to ever do it to a 40-year old motor.

    Thanks again everyone!

    Avatar
    retiredoz
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 471
    Topics: 46
    #14040

    I use an 18-volt cordless Dewalt electric impact driver outfitted with socket adapters. Enough poop to unzip flywheel nuts and unscrew most nuts and screws found on outboards, even salty ones, but generally not enough to snap a 1/4-20. The slot screwdriver bits are getting harder to come by (Harbor Fright may be a source), I got mine when Sears used to sell them.

    Avatar
    billw
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1028
    Topics: 35
    #14046

    I believe met you at Freezingham, so I know you’re not that old. I’ve been doing it for a pay check for forty years now, and I’m just now starting to have a little trouble with pain in one finger, plus my back is pretty much shot, from arthritis and an "extruded" disc. But these are recent things and degenerative. It seems like you shouldn’t be having these problems yet. Do you possibly have a carpel tunnel thing going on, with your hand problem? I never had it but my girl friend did; and there is an easy fix for that, surgically. The other thing is that, since you haven’t been doing it very long, you may just need to work into it more slowly. It does take certain muscle group combinations that need to develop over time. Mechanics seem to have big forearms, for gripping screw drivers, for instance. Thus the knuckle dragging monkey stigma. Yo, Adriane.

    I rarely use power tools because they can get you into trouble pretty fast. I will sometimes use air if I have a lot of corroded bolts that I KNOW will come out but are just a fight. Rusty trailer lug nuts, that kind of thing. You develop a feel for that, after awhile, but it’s still a little risky. My tool of choice is a small, 3/8" drive air-powered impact gun, that you hold in the palm of one hand. I find air ratchets to be totally useless, myself. I personally feel like penetrating oils are only ceremonial until the fasteners start to move. Then they help a LOT. Heat is mostly what gets stuck stuff started; and I use that a lot. I like the slotted screw driver, 3/8" drive bits from Snap-On. Big money but they stand up fairly well. I dunno. Hope this helps.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-DRIVE-BUTTE … 98&vxp=mtr

    phil
    phil
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 98
    Topics: 14
    #14047

    Are the joint problems due to arthritis? At 69, I have some arthritic joints but almost no pain from them. I’ve been a beekeeper since I was 28, sometimes I would get quite severe arthritic pain in winter when I wasn’t working with the bees. I would go to a wintering hive and catch a few bees to sting myself with, right on the painful joint, 3 stings would usually do it for the rest of the winter.
    Something I found out about 20 years ago also helps, eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, shad etc. about 3 times a week. The fish also make my good cholesterol reading higher than the bad cholesterol which happens to be just below the border for treatment, since the good cholesterol is higher, my doctor says don’t worry about it.
    Hope you are not standing on concrete as you work on the motors, that will just amplify the pain. If you have to work on concrete at least buy a high quality mat to stand on. Expect to pay about $125 for 2’x3′ size I got mine at Lee Valley.

    Hope this helps, get a couple of beehives, or get friendly with a nearby beekeeper.

    http://www.omc-boats.org
    http://www.aerocraft-boats.org

    Avatar
    jerry-ahrens
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1016
    Topics: 70
    #14050

    Get yourself a good 3/8 impact wrench for taking things apart. It’s a time and shoulder saver. After being a mechanic for nearly 30 yrs now, I can’t stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself! Being a tire and wheel man in my late teens, I suffered a back injury very young, that put me down for months. To much bending and lifting. In 2008 I suffered another back injury. 18 yrs as a Mercruiser mechanic had taken its toll! Now I though I knew what severe pain was until last year when I suffered a torn rotator cuffon the right shoulder. After the surgery the pain was almost unbearable. Please take care of your shoulders. Even cranking a Big twin at the wrong angle can take you out. And let me tell you, rotator cuff surgery is not something that you want to experience!
    Bottom line is, think before you begin a task. #1. How can I lift or move an object easier? Get help vs. getting in a hurry and doing it alone. #2. Protect your shoulders! Don’t reach way out and try to bear a load. Think about what you can do to reposition it or get a helper. Believe me, you will be glad you did!
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    frankr
    frankr
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 4385
    Topics: 43
    #14051

    Well in my youth, we lifted Fat-Fiftys onto the transom by hand. That and other such foolishment resulted in a ruptured disk that required surgery and still hurts today, 50 years later. All I can say is work smart.

    Oh yeah, standing on concrete floors for 45 years resulted in my now having total knee replacements. And I give thanks to the Good Lord that I don’t have lung disease from all the crap I used to breathe.

    Avatar
    johnyrude200
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 755
    Topics: 177
    #14053

    What jumps out at me from these replies is that I am standing on cement all the time, and I have had a couple of shoulder ‘dings’ from holding onto a running motor when it coughs or the neutral lockout sometimes gets in the way when cranking.

    I am very careful with my back because Ive had some very bad injuries in my early 20’s, and now again in my mid 30’s. Sciatica sucks, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

    I do a lot of manual starting as most motors ai deal with are 35hp and below. Generally if I cant lift it myself I dont work on it (so no more than 150-160lbs…maybe 170 for those newer 3-cylinder 25/35hp.

    Ive been learning to pull them over with my left hand recently because my right arm has been really wearing down. Some of this has to do aith 30 years of sports too, but figured Id ask all you wy-lee vets what worked for you.

    Avatar
    fleetwin
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 2713
    Topics: 33
    #14054

    Well, admittedly I failed to take care of myself during all my years working on outboards/lawnmowers. I need to be real careful cranking larger engines or I will drop. I think that the continual twisting of wrenches/ratchets/screwdrivers has caused the arthritis that makes it hard to grip anything with my right hand. My biggest mistake was breathing in all the paint and torch fumes, I’m thinking these fumes may have something to do with my jittery hands and scattered brain syndrome. Relying on my ears to troubleshoot V6 engine problems might have something to do with not being able to hear a darn thing. I consider myself lucky when it comes to back problems, I seem to have only normal back problems in spite of violating every safe practice when it comes to lifting and twisting.
    I surely should have taken advantage of air tools when appropriate, and some sort of mask might have offered me some fume protection, even these items were available "years ago". In short, take the time and spend the money to take care of yourself!

    Buccaneer
    Buccaneer
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 3082
    Topics: 861
    #14061

    Every time I hit my thumb with a hammer it hurts.
    What should I do? lol

    Prepare to be boarded!

    Tom
    Tom
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 369
    Topics: 37
    #14062

    Two pieces of advice, based on personal experience.

    Don’t try to start any Caille or Lockwood with the mag lever past 6:00.

    Don’t try to start a motor in your sleep with your wife close to your starting arm.

    Tom

    Avatar
    johnyrude200
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 755
    Topics: 177
    #14069

    Tom: LOL!!!!!!!!! I think I may have actually done that!

    Tom
    Tom
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 369
    Topics: 37
    #14071

    Yeah, that story comes up a lot at parties.

    T

    Avatar
    49hiawatha

    Replies: 267
    Topics: 25
    #14072

    All good advice that us older guys have learned the hard way , even when trying to do it the right way. I find my little 24# motors a heck of alot better than messing w/my 4,000# Hudsons. The Hudsons are gone and the Hiawathas live on.

    Avatar
    crosbyman
    Canada Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1227
    Topics: 161
    #14073

    Every time I hit my thumb with a hammer it hurts.
    What should I do? lol

    have you tried a rubber hammer ?

    Avatar
    jeff-register
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1121
    Topics: 47
    #14077

    I have beat up my body, back, rotator cuff, broke ribs, bilateral hernias & broke toes not to bring up three pages of damaged discs not counting a double liver & kidney transplant from wiring sewer pumping plants, hava big wiff to catch Hep C not using a mask.
    Yes I believe not many can match my injurys from not being careful around heavy work.
    Just remember once in your 60’s it comes back, ALL of them to cause more pain then get addicted to pain meds to be sick for months to stop, YEA, full circle with all of it from Motor cycles, boats, cars & too much voltage not safe for anything BUT my house is paid off
    Yes be careful & remember what we told you to take care.

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