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Milky grease in lower unit


Dan Thiem

Question

Hi guys,

I have a 1984 Johnson 25 H.P. outboard. I changed the grease in the lower unit and it came out like runny butterscotch. It looked like it was a milky caramel color. I assume that means water, right?

So I changed it out and after one day on the river it's milky again.

I wonder whats leaking and where. I checked to see if I had some line wrapped around behind the prop and it looks great. The seal or bearing that's behind the prop looks nice.

Any ideas?....

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Dan,

it doesn't matter what it looks, it is definitely bad.

It is not the only seal that can cause that, under water pump (on driveshaft) there is another seal that can go bad.

Also check your filler and top vent screws, if plastic washer is gone, it's a good (and cheap) way to fix it.

Best of all is buying a seal kit, but takes a little knowledge to install (beware you will have many leftovers...).

If you are in a bind, go to Walmart, buy a gallon of 80W90 gear oil (Walmart brand, $ 6.00), and change it frequently (every 2 or 3 outings), it will give you few weeks (or days) of fishing while waiting to have it fixed.

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Thanks Val!

I really appreciate your quick response. I knew you would have an answer. My drain and fill screw with washers are new so I guess I'll have to get an area mechanic to take that apart and put in a new seal. That rack and pinion business makes a guy with two left hands a bit nervous.

Maybe with a little internet searching I could find some sort of instruction sheet detailing step by step.

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To make you feel happier (maybe).

I have my Lund with a OMC Cobra outdrive started doing same, I am debating if taking it to Cass Lake for a week next weekend or try to have it fixed it before.

Same problem, milky oil....

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Valv, milky gear oil, how can you sleep at night. grin.gif

I have one too that I have to get after.

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Quote:

Valv, milky gear oil, how can you sleep at night.
grin.gif


I know, isn't that awful ? After all the suggestions and help on repairs, WE are the ones that actually need some work....

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When I change my lower unit lube at the end of the season I will have 4 tablespoons that is milky with the rest looking good. (on a Johnson 115)Is this enough to worry about?

thanks in advance.

Mg

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I have several smaller outboards that are always milky at the end of the year. They get extensive use, and I haven't "fixed" them ever before, and motors are 10-20 years old. I'm not in the least saying it's a good thing (or that I'm proud of), but I would say running them like this is not the worst thing you can do to an outboard. I look for metal shavings on the magnet of the bottom screw and have never found more that just a few shavings.

I hope this helps, or at least confuses you a little more. confused.gifgrin.gif

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Holy cow, now all the "skeletons" are coming out of the closets.......

Ok, everybody here, who has milky oil in lower unit and neglects it...let's confess

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I confess, it's always slightly milky at the end of the year. It has been going for 24 years with no problems though. I just make sure to change it out before winter in case any water in there decided to freeze up and break something.

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That is very important, thanks jwhjr.

Regardless of our "negligence" on lower unit oil DO NOT, and I repeat D O N O T leave in it during winter months. Water will expand freezing and will crack lower unit, which is very, very expensive to replace.

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