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How to change gearbox oil on a outboard engine  Rate Topic 
 
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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 03:37 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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Guys
I thought I would share the follow DIY with you.
Seeing that I am standing on my 3rd boat, servicing my outboard engines became much easier then the initial vessel.
Yes the boat shops and mechanics do need to make a living, but it should also be reasonably priced!!

The other aspects is, that when I do service my outboards I do know that it was properly done and in the correct way!!!

So this post is how to change the gearbox oil of your out board engine.
Obviously you should be well acquainted with your out board engine to successfully service the motor.
Lets get to it!
Firstly find the gearbox oil drain screws.
Not all engine have 3 screws like this mercury 60 hp outboard.
A Yamaha 50 hp has only two screws.
So first of all, loosen the top screw first, a simple reason is that if you cant loosen the top screw, you will not be able to fill the gearbox with new oil.
I took a milk container, 2l and cut it open.
Loosen the screws and drain the oil from the gearbox into the milk container, check the colour of the gearbox oil. If it is grey it is a indication that water is getting into the gearbox.
I had a 2 lieter coke bottle also present and emptied the milk container into the coke bottle and secured the coke bottle cap screw.
So while draining the gearbox oil, inspect the bottom screw. Some have magnets in, and all small shavings of the gears will attached to the screw, if your have shavings on, remove with a towel!
Clean the screw and make sure the feldt washer is not damaged and that the washer is present when you replace the screw.

So with the gearbox oil drained, you need to decide on what you have seen to what you would like to do.
“What I mean here is that my gearbox oil was black, and normal gearbox is not black at all. So I decided to fill the gearboxes with oil and ran both motors in gear forward and in reverse. I wanted to clean the gearboxes out completely and drained the oil again”.
So yes, I did it twice.
now use 2 x 50ml syringes, it makes life much easier!
Fill both syringes
Stick one syringe in the bottom gear box drain hole. Empty the syringe, now quickly replace the empty syringe with a full one. Some oil will drain out the hole, so depending on how fast you are, that will determine how much oil will drain from the hole between syringes swapping over.
Keep on rotating the syringes until oil is coming out of the top vent hole.
The nice thing I saw was that one could leave a syringe in the gearbox hole without it falling out on its own, thus this whole exercise could be done with you alone. Two people is a bonus.

So with the oil coming from the top vent hole, get the bottom screw and washer ready. Now, as quickly as possible, swap the syringe for the screw.
Some oil might drain again from the hole.
Fit the screw and secure it properly.
Now with the bottom screw fitted, one can still put some oil in the gearbox from the top vent hole.
“the same amount of oil that was lost with the screw replacement.

After filling the top hole with oil, again as quick as possible, replace the top screw and washer.
Now, all you need to do, is secure all the screws and wipe the gearbox motor clean with a cloth!!

Over time, and usage, inspect the screw holes for oil leaking from them. If oil is leaking it means that the feldt washers are not sealing properly and needs to be replaced.

It is recommended that gearbox oil be replaced once a year, but also depending on the usage of the engine.
If you have a seal problem “grey oil” one could drain the oil every 6 months and inspect the oil.
It is best to replace the leaking oil seal “this I would deal with later as I have found that it seems like I have a leaking oil seal”
The reason why the oil is squirted from the bottom hole into the gearbox, is that there is a needle bearing near the top vent hole. Now to get oil past the needle bearing and the excess air can only be done over time………. And one could think the gearbox is full of oil as the oil was coming from the vent hole, instead it was the air forcing the oil out and not that the gearbox was completely full of oil!!

So here are some pictures showing how I did it.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 03:39 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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firstly, locate the gearbox oil drain screw and vent hole screw

Attachment: mercury gearbox oil drain and vent screws.jpg (Downloaded 269 times)

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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 03:43 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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drain the gearbox oil. and check the colour of the oil.
one can see this oil is black so have never been changed!!!

Attachment: draining gearbox oil.jpg (Downloaded 270 times)

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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 03:47 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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one can see the syringe is hanging by itself

Attachment: fill oil from the bottom.jpg (Downloaded 270 times)

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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 03:51 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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Mana: 
fill oil from the bottom until oil squirts out of the top vent holes

Attachment: fill oil from the bottom until oil comes out of vent holes.jpg (Downloaded 269 times)

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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 03:55 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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Mana: 
wipe clean and check for oil leaks

especially over time when the outboard is just standing

Attachment: wipe clean and check for oil leaks.jpg (Downloaded 268 times)

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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 10:21 pm
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BigLes
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This method works great... We did it on my 2 yammies and works like a charm! Easier than you can imagine!

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 Posted: Fri Sep 19th, 2014 12:30 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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BigLes wrote:
This method works great... We did it on my 2 yammies and works like a charm! Easier than you can imagine!

yes, thanks for the compliment!!

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 Posted: Fri Sep 19th, 2014 02:19 pm
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Richard M
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Great option if you don't have an oil pump or the right threaded fittings. Quicksilver used to sell (maybe they still do)a hand pump that screwed directly onto your oil bottle. It then had a 2ft length of clear tubing coming from it with a fitting threaded for Mercury motors that screwed directly into the gearbox drain/filling hole. All you did then was pump the hand pump until oil ran out the top hole. It was a really simple device and made changing gearbox oil simple. When I had a Yamaha 50, I used this quicksilver pump which I bought from Linex and it worked well. Since I now own ETEC's (thread on the drain holes is different from Yamaha), I ordered the Evinrude gearbox oil hand pump for this from the USA (Our SA Evinrude agents wont sell it to you). Cost about R60 at the time and makes oil changes an absolute breeze. The pump looks like the ones found on top of liquid hand soap dispensing bottles, really simple device and I am pretty sure you could clean out and modify a soap dispenser pump for this purpose pretty cheaply. you would just need to sort out the drain hole thread fitting. Thanks Willem, Nice to see practical posts like this.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 19th, 2014 03:56 pm
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Snack
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Great tutorial.

 

When we change the gearbox oil, we change the washers at the same time. You can also buy the gearbox oil from quiksilver in a tube ( like a toothpaste tube but bigger) - cant remember the volume of the tube. But basically stick the nozzle into the lower drain hole and squeeze the greabox oil in

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 Posted: Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 03:14 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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great stuff
now we all know!

at nigel they do it with a pump from the bottom

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 Posted: Thu Oct 30th, 2014 10:08 am
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Neville
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For information. What grade of oil should you use in a Yamaha gearbox?

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 Posted: Thu Oct 30th, 2014 10:17 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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any 80w-90 oil will do.
one can also get 75w -90.

gearbox oil is thicker then normal oil.
as it needs to lubricate gear well in order for then to last!

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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 10:38 pm
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Neville
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Thanks, I had thought it was a special grade for marine use.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 01:49 pm
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MichaelK
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Mana: 
Old thread, but i have a question for you WWS.

After having completely drained the gearbox, why not fill it up from the 2 upper screws?

I ask because i have 2 x 90 yammies and want to change the gearbox oil this weekend. I havent done it before, i've always had the service agents do it for me.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 02:23 pm
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Snack
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my take is:
If you fill from the top, it will drain out the bottom. If you put the bottom screw in, the risk is air bubbles and not filling it sufficiently

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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 07:30 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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Mana: 
there is a needle bearing which prevents all air from escaping.
when you fill from the bottom all air will rise, so at least you will know that the gearbox is filled to the top when it leaks out.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 07:55 pm
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benniejordaan
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Cool post, very helpful. Thanks brother

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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 07:57 pm
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willem wikkel spies
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plesier manne.

also did it on my bigger 60hp motors.
works like a charm.

it is quite messy, but there is no worries afterwards.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2019 06:32 am
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plugger
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Mana: 
Nice tut. Can anybody do one on servicing the trim and tilt on a Yamaha 115 ? What oil or transmission fluid to use etc.

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