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White Streaks in your Gear Lube
White streaks are an indication that you have water in your gear lube. This is a VERY serious condition which will eventually lead to serious damage.
Water can get into the drive from a bad seal or a bad oring. Seals go bad after a few years and need to be replaced. Usually drives are resealed every 5 years, less if you have overheated your engine.
Water can also leak into the drive if the Ujoint Bellows are leaking. The front main seal of the drive is not really designed to hold water out as much as it is to hold oil in. If you develope a water leak into the bellows it can let water into the drive itself.
When water gets in the drive it tends to condensate on the top bearing. That's because drives have an air pocket in the top. The moisture rusts the race and bearing needles. The water also rusts the shaft races and gears. When the drive is then used the rust "pits" the metal surfaces and bits of metal shave off with each revolution. The metal bits add to the process and soon the gears, bearings and shafts fail.
If you find water in the drive... damage may have already happened. Simply changing the drive lube will not fix or stop the damage. Once a bearing, gear or shaft is rusted, it must be replaced.
Removing the top cover from the drive will usually reveal the level of damage. If the top bearing looks PERFECT (bo brown water stains, rust, pitting or streaks) you should be OK. If you see brown stains, the hardness of the metal has been ruined. Don't run the drive with a damaged part(s). You might turn an expensive repair into a much more expensive repair.
If you find water and/or damage, take your boat to an experienced Mercruiser tech right away for repair. Waiting will make the damage worse.
Do-it-yourselfers can usually reseal a drive with the proper shop, manuals and special tools. Rarely does one just replace one seal. Usually the entire drive is disassembled, cleaned, inspected and resealed.
IF you have found water in your drive lube.... Email us and let us know about it.
Types of Drive Lube
There are two types of drive lube. Premium and High Performance.
Older drives, such as the ones listed below use Mercruiser Premium Gear Lube.
R, MR, Alpha One, II, IITR, TR, TRS All used Premium although they can also use Mercruiser High Performance Gear Lube. The Mercruiser Premium Gear Lube looks translucent caramel in color.
Bravo One, Bravo Two and Bravo III's all MUST use High Performance Gear Lube. Alpha One Gen II drives also use High Performance Gear Lube.
High Performance Gear Lube has a Blueish-Green green color. It is specially formulated to work well with the Bravo style cone clutch system.
Drive Lube Capacity
You will always use more lube than the factory specified capacity.
R, MR, Alpha One and Alpha One Gen II's all use about one quart.
Bravo Ones use about 3 quarts and a Bravo II or Bravo III will use a little over 3 quarts.
A TRS will use 1 Gallon.
Always buy a little more in case you spill some or need to top off a reservoir.
This great little pump works great and it's cheap.
802891K2 Gear Lube Pump Kit (quart size) $13.00
Lubes, greases and oils can be bad for your health. Use rubber gloves. Always wear safety glasses. Be smart.
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