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Old 09-30-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default Drive lube in bilge

Hi all,

I have had an ongoing issue with drive lube leaking into the bilge since purchasing our '02 2900 SCR in April. Paperwork from the marina I purchased it from showed that the upper shaft and seal had been replaced due to a groove in the yoke. It has continued to leak since I dropped her in the water.

This last weekend, we took the boat to Put In Bay. Idled from Catawba Island to the bay which is about 6 nautical miles and reservoir was empty by the time we got there. Topped it off and took a trip to Cedar Point which is about 16 nautical miles at about 4k RPM. Alarm went off just as we were pulling into the Cedar Point harbor. Floated outside while topping the reservoir off, continued at idle speed into the harbor and alarm went off AGAIN. Couldn't have been more than 1/8th mile at idle and it was empty!

My thoughts at this point are either the barb fitting for the reservoir hose or the upper shaft seal again. The thing that baffled me was when it emptied the reservoir the last time in such a short amount of time but then on the return trip it purged at the same rate as before.

Anybody with any experience with this issue or suggested "checks" would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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Sounds like a bad leak either way. Was there any warranty from the marina on the upper seal?

Can you see all of the lube that leaked in the bilge?

While I have never had an issue with this yet I have heard of leaks with the transom lube connection leaking. The solution was to replace the fitting.

Have you had the drive pressure tested to ensure the seals are good?
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
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Are you actually getting drive lube in the bilge, or is it simply disappearing in the overflow reservoir? Are you seeing lube on the outside of the reservoir bottle?

One thing to keep in mind, the outdrives are filled from the bottom of the drive, not the reservoir on the top. If the drive is low, it won't drain easily from the reservoir to the drive. If some idiot tried to fill the resevior, it would appear full, but would keep dropping down as more fluid was added. The other thought is the resevior overlows and purges out the top if the drive is overfilled from the bottom. The technic to fill a drive is to pump up from the bottom until you begin to see fluid in the bottom of the reservoir. Then stop. It typically continues filling to about 1/2 way. Then you can top of the rest in the reservoir. When you pump from the drive up until the reservoir is full, then once you start running, it continues filling the reservoir and it overflows.

You might be dealing with one of these two conditions.

I think we need slightly more information.
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:27 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses. I have degreased and cleaned out the bilge and there is another quart or so in the bilge after last weekend. There is no sign of leaks around the reservoir or hose leading to the transom so my next steps are to attempt to determine if the barb fitting is cracked and then drive removal to see if there is any gear oil in the bellows. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:31 AM   #5
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Another member has a thread under engines with the same issue but has not resolved the problem.
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