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  #1  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:58 PM
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Matt G Matt G is offline
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Default Lower Unit Help

I'm in the process of changing my lower unit oil. There was an abundance of metal shavings on the plug magnet, but only one metal chunk. It has probably been 2 years since the oil has been changed. Should this one piece concern me? Also, if the oil wasn't milky, is that a sign that all of my seals are in good shape? Also would Academy or West Marine have new plug gaskets?

The oil:
Oil.jpg

The magnet on the plug with all of the shavings:
Drain Plug.jpg

The metal chunk next to the magnet for comparison:
Metal Shard.jpg
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2014, 01:38 PM
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yep the seals are ok but that doesn't matter now because you definitely have gear box issues to deal with, some metal flakes are bad but that much metal and finding a chunk of metal is REALLY BAD.

the seals will get replaced after the lower unit is torn apart and rebuilt, which is what you need to do before something major takes out the whole lower unit.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:01 PM
jmarine jmarine is offline
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that one chunk of metal is a chip off of one of your gears if your lucky it might have just damaged that one gear but with your oil have not been changed in a while your gear bdearings could be locking up
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:20 PM
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Put some new oil, run it, change oil, repeat..... It will buy you some time and give you a chance to see how bad it is wearing, but it's only a matter of time.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluechip View Post
Put some new oil, run it, change oil, repeat..... It will buy you some time and give you a chance to see how bad it is wearing, but it's only a matter of time.
I could see doing this in a pinch such as a planned trip you cant or wont cancel but why risk a seizure of the gearbox or total destruction if the rest of a gear comes apart in there.

I just don't see its worth taking the risk when he already knows there are issues going on in there. lower units aren't cheap to get rebuilt but they are a whole lot more expensive to replace.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keakar View Post
I could see doing this in a pinch such as a planned trip you cant or wont cancel but why risk a seizure of the gearbox or total destruction if the rest of a gear comes apart in there.

I just don't see its worth taking the risk when he already knows there are issues going on in there. lower units aren't cheap to get rebuilt but they are a whole lot more expensive to replace.
Whatever...... I have worked on lower units and gear boxes for over 20 years. From working on outboards in the backyard to overhauling gear boxes in nuclear power plants.

I gave my opinion to the gentleman's post. I did not give it for you to try and critique..... But you have problems always critiquing everyone's post.

Happy Easter!!! Carry on....
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2014, 03:48 PM
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Well this don't sound cheap. I may make 1 or two trips with it, but my intentions are getting it ready to sell. What is a round about cost of having it rebuilt? I'm not looking to put $2,000 into it and not recoup the expense. I'll just adjust the price accordingly if that's the case.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2014, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt G View Post
Well this don't sound cheap. I may make 1 or two trips with it, but my intentions are getting it ready to sell. What is a round about cost of having it rebuilt? I'm not looking to put $2,000 into it and not recoup the expense. I'll just adjust the price accordingly if that's the case.
Just adjust the price.... Don't dump any money into it. You will never recover the cost.

I would rather buy one that I knew had wear versus buying one just rebuilt. I think a person always feel more secure if they know the people that work on their boat vs someone they don't know.

Just my $.02....
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2014, 07:29 PM
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I sold a 18ft Kenner with a blown motor. Somebody will buy it. Just figure out what it's worth and knock the price of the rebuild off the blue book
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2014, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluechip View Post
Whatever...... I have worked on lower units and gear boxes for over 20 years. From working on outboards in the backyard to overhauling gear boxes in nuclear power plants.

I gave my opinion to the gentleman's post. I did not give it for you to try and critique..... But you have problems always critiquing everyone's post.

Happy Easter!!! Carry on....
I ask questions to learn things I may not know or be aware of to find out new information.

rest assured I will never ask you another question about anything seeing as how you find it insulting and I don't want you to feel insulted by me.

still not sure why you felt the need to take a personal shot at me over it.

my posting history clearly shows I dont have "problems always critiquing everyone's post"

Happy Easter to you as well and god bless
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  #11  
Old 04-19-2014, 09:45 PM
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Usually rebuilding a lower unit is just as much or more than a new one. I have used aftermarket one's before and had good luck so far. Like mentioned put some fresh oil in it and go run it some and drain it again.

http://www.sterndrive.cc/Mercury-Mar...ower-Unit.html
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  #12  
Old 04-19-2014, 09:50 PM
SuperDave SuperDave is offline
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What engine is this?

I had a Chinese unit pop a shaft 3 weeks ago. It has a Merc lower unit on it now.
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  #13  
Old 04-19-2014, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
What engine is this?

I had a Chinese unit pop a shaft 3 weeks ago. It has a Merc lower unit on it now.
Early 90's 135 Black Max

image.jpg
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2014, 10:06 AM
SuperDave SuperDave is offline
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You should be be to find a used one for fairly cheap.

I know a dealer that won't use SEI units any more unless the customer tells him too. You might be ok with a Chinese unit but from all I've read it's hit or miss. Personally I would look for a used one from a reputable seller/dealer.

Good luck! I know exactly how the lower unit blues feel!
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2014, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montauk17 View Post
Usually rebuilding a lower unit is just as much or more than a new one. I have used aftermarket one's before and had good luck so far. Like mentioned put some fresh oil in it and go run it some and drain it again.

http://www.sterndrive.cc/Mercury-Mar...ower-Unit.html
On a 40 Hp Force engine I use to have...... The parts to completely rebuild the lower unit were ~$850. I found a used lower unit [in like new condition] for $ 600 delivered.

Ran the boat for 2 years before selling it.

Here are couple pictures of the lower unit gears. I guess I hit a few too many logs and stumps.


.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Reverse gear & Pinion gear.jpg (102.0 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg Farward gear.JPG (234.5 KB, 70 views)
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2014, 01:45 PM
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so pretty much from what I think you guys are sayin is:

the gearbox is something that's so expensive to work on that its not worth trying to fix it unless its just leaky seals, so if you see metal in the oil then just flushing it out and refilling with oil is the best solution and just leave it alone till it stops working however long that may be?

does that sum it up about right?
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2014, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keakar View Post
so pretty much from what I think you guys are sayin is:

the gearbox is something that's so expensive to work on that its not worth trying to fix it unless its just leaky seals, so if you see metal in the oil then just flushing it out and refilling with oil is the best solution and just leave it alone till it stops working however long that may be?

does that sum it up about right?
Correct!
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2014, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMyers View Post
Correct!
thanks, im from an engine background and this is a little different about when you see metal in the oil so im always trying to learn about things im not that familiar with whenever I can.

I don't always ask questions about stuff the right way though
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2014, 05:32 PM
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With labor rates at dealerships running $100 per hour, you can get close to the price of a new SEI lower unit or a good used one from a mechanic in a hurry.
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  #20  
Old 04-20-2014, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMyers View Post
With labor rates at dealerships running $100 per hour, you can get close to the price of a new SEI lower unit or a good used one from a mechanic in a hurry.
SEI - I assume that is the Chinese lower units talked about earlier?

lets say I wanted to stay with OEM stuff, would the best thing be to get a used working unit somewhere as a replacement and if need be maybe stick everything into my housing if that ones housing was all messed up? (corroded or broken skeg)

because, again, I'm assuming the new OEM lower units would be like $1,500-$1,600 or so right?

just trying to learn and educate myself on the most cost effective and logical way to deal with lower unit problems and repairs
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