How to Remove a Stuck Flywheel on an Outboard

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Some maintenance tasks, like removing the powerhead from your motor, may require you to remove the flywheel as a first step. If the flywheel doesn't respond to your polite attempts to remove it, you have a problem known as a "stuck flywheel." Removing a stuck flywheel calls for certain tools, most of which are readily available and most of which are equivalent to the proprietary tools manufacturers recommend. Once you have those tools, its all in how you use them.

Items you will need

  • Pry bar

  • Torx screwdriver

  • Flywheel holder

  • Crankshaft protector cap

  • Flywheel puller

  • Box-end wrench

Remove the flywheel cover. If the cover is secured by rubber grommets, lift the cover at one or both ends to pull the cover off the grommets. If the plastic flywheel cover does not coming off easily, check closely for any fasteners. Use a pry bar to move the automatic tensioner out of contact with the drive belt. Slide the belt off the tensioner pulley and allow the tensioner to return slowly to its spring-loaded position.

Remove the timing pointer if it will interfere with flywheel removal. Use a match-line to ease re-installation. Loosen the bolt, remove the timing pointer and tighten the bolt snugly with a Torx screwdriver. Remove the flywheel nut cover.

While holding the flywheel steady with a flywheel holder, loosen and remove the flywheel nut with an adjustable wrench. In this situation, the flywheel holder is like a pry bar with a pivoting arm that is used to lock into the teeth of the ring gear. Whatever flywheel holder is used, it has to be particularly strong, as the flywheel nuts on these models are tightened to between 120 foot-pounds and 125 foot-pounds.

Place the crankshaft protector cap over the end of the crankshaft and set the flywheel puller's center screw on the crankshaft protector cap and the arms on the flywheel. Take a strain on the puller with a pipe wrench, turning the puller's center drive counterclockwise until the flywheel is free from the crankshaft.

Lift the flywheel from the crankshaft and remove the Woodruff key from the recess in the crankshaft. Stash the Woodruff key for the re-installation of the flywheel.


  • Use a flywheel puller that does not work on the perimeter of the flywheel. Never attempt to use a jawed puller -- jawed pullers put stress on the outside edge of the flywheel.


  • While your motor's manufacturer would rather have you buy its proprietary equipment, the same equipment, without the name, is available at most marine supply stores and even some auto supply houses.
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