Berkeley Jet Pump 101

What a surprise. It turned out to be more work than I thought.

I figured it was time to get the manual, so I bought a SELOC manual off eBay for various jet pumps, including the Berkeley. According to the manual you pull the transom plate off the back of the boat, pull the bowl off, then remove the impeller. The first two were pretty simple, and soon we had the shaft and impeller exposed. Next you remove the large nut on the end of the shaft. To keep the shaft from turning I put a breaker bar on the cranshaft pulley nut, and then put a big pipe wrench and cheater pipe on the impeller nut. When I put my weight into it, I was able to loosen the cranshaft pulley nut. Darn.

I decided to try an impact wrench. I borrowed one from Dean. Of course, the shaft sticks out too far to put a regular socket on. So I cut my socket in half with the chopsaw, then cut a 3" long piece of 2" schedule 40 pipe, and welded the pipe betweent the two ends of the socket. It looked pretty cool. I wish I had taken some pictures of it. I put it on the nut, hit the trigger, and rounded off the nut. It was in really bad shape already, and the only socket I had been able to find large enough was a 12 point socket, so it quickly rounded off. Darn.

Okay, time to pull the pump out of the boat so I can work on it on the bench, and so I can get my carport back. Removal wasn't too hard. Then I used my 4 1/2" angle grinder to carefully (carefully) cut away one point of the nut. I used a chisel to finish splitting the nut, and popped it off without damaging the threads at all. Finally, some success. Linda used her new pocket cam to get a picture of the shaft.


With the pump out I was able to stick Linda's tiny pocket cam down into the hand-hole and take some pictures of the leading edges of the impeller. It doesn't have a flash, and the quality is pretty bad, so I can't really tell what shape the impeller is in. I guess good lighting and a good camera might make this a worthwhile technique.

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Next, the book said to remove the impeller from the shaft. It didn't slide off easily. It didn't slide off at all. So I tried my two-jaw puller. It just took a couple chunks of aluminum out of the impeller when it ripped out. I posted my problem to the Jet Boat Board and Riverjet502 pointed me at these great photos of a puller he made. I had a couple pieces of 3/16" plate left over from making the engine lift, so I took them to my friend Allen's house, and he cut 2" and 2 1/2" holes into them with his lathe. I copied Riverjet502's pictures here in case something happens to them on the yahoo site.

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I had to do some grinding on the outside of the rings to get them to fit. Also, we cut the puller pretty much by eye, so I only had room for 3/8" allthread, rather than the 1/2" allthread boatparts2002 used. Guess what? It broke right away.

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Fine. I had semi-planned on canabalizing my three-jaw puller in case this happened. So I fired up the welder and put some brackets on the ring to attach the puller. We assembled it and cranked it down, and the ring began to bend. Pull it off, and beef up the ring. Put it back on, crank it down, and the ring only bent a little, but enough for one bracket to pop loose. Pull it apart, grind it down and weld on more reinforcing. Now the puller is starting to bend. Pull it apart, start to beef it up, and run out of argon on a Sunday afternoon. Darn. I tried a few more welds with the CO2 from the mig, but as I expected that gave bubbly, pourous welds with no strength at all.

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Oh, and here'a picture of my assistant.


I was scheduled to go out of town the next day, for four weeks, so I just put everything away. While I was out of town I talked with some engineers and some car guys, and they all said the same thing: heat. Lots of heat. So the plan was to repair the puller, tighten it way down, and heat the heck out of the impeller hub with a big torch, until it popped off. Unfortunately when I got home, one of the first things Linda handed me was the soap dish off the shower wall, which meant that a lengthy bathroom project took priority over the boat. Then, as the bathroom was winding down, some well-meaning friend gave me an old jetski, so I now have a jet ski project that eats up as much time as this boat. So the boat has been on hold for three months now, and I expect another month before I get back on it. Soon it will be the one-year anniversary. Hard to believe. But it will run again!