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Milky Outdrive Oil

If you drain your outdrive oil and it appears to have water in it, here are a few things you can check for before having to reseal the entire drive.

  1. oilfill.jpg (131931 bytes)Inspect your drain and vent screw gaskets. If they are torn or even worse missing, replacing the 2 gaskets may be all you need to do to keep the water from getting into the oil. Use a screw driver and clean all of the old gasket material from inside of the 2 holes and also from the backside of the screws. Replace with 2 new gaskets ( we use crazy glue to hold the new gaskets inside of the hole ).
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  2. pressuregage.jpg (134121 bytes)One option you do have now is, with the drive completely drained, you could replace the lower drain screw and use a pressure gauge in the top hole to fill the drive with 20 pounds of air and look for any leaks.
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  3. prop.jpg (41186 bytes)If the gaskets are ok, remove your propeller and check for fishline behind the large propeller thrust washer. Fishline will actually get behind this washer and pull the rubber seals completely out of the lower gear housing carrier. It may be necessary to remove the carrier to replace these 2 seals, or you can use our prop seal driver kit.
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  4. If there is no fishline behind the prop, it may be necessary to remove the outdrive from the boat to inspect inside of the big boot for presence of water. On Pre-Alpha and Alpha, place the gear shift in full forward and remove the drive.
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  5. upperspannerwrench.jpg (11358 bytes)Inspect the big boot on the back of the boat looking for cracks in the boot, water in the boot or rusty u-joints. There is only 1 oil seal behind the u-joints and it is only designed to keep the oil in the drive, it will not keep water from flowing backwards into the outdrive oil. If water does appear present in the big boot, replace the boot and the oil seal behind the u-joints ( an upper retainer wrench  will be required ). Also inspect the gimbal bearing and u-joints, replace if necessary.
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  6. If there are no traces of water in the big boot, you have worn seals inside of the drive. 
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  7. Another option you have now is to separate the upper outdrive housing from the lower housing. Once this is done, you can plug the 1/4 diameter hole ( item "b" in photo ) which connects the upper & lower oil passage, and again use the pressure gauge to pressurize the upper and lower housings separately to determine if the leak is in the upper or lower housing. Resealing half of a drive is easier than doing the whole thing. If you can now determine which seals are bad, replace as needed.
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  8. If you cannot determine which seals are bad, it may be necessary to replace all of the seals
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  Last modified: January 28, 2005 
 

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