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View Full Version : Drive Lube - umm, what do I need to add?



KeithD
08-30-2007, 08:41 PM
Hi - apologies for the newbie question here.
Have a 2000 260DA (5.7 engine) - picked it up 5 weeks ago.
So far so good on everything, except the Drive Lube Monitor has the level dwindling, and now it's below the "fill" line.
I've read a lot of posts about this kind of stuff - there's no oil in the bilge (bilge stays fairly dry), so the lube fluid is either settling (we've been using the boat on the weekends - but heavily), or there's a leak somewhere.
Before I determine which one it is, I need to fill the lube resevoir back up to the top.
Here's my s.q.o.t.d.:
What kind of fluid am I buying to put into this? Is there a quart of "Drive Lube" I'm looking for in West Marine?
Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
-KeithD

Morpheus
08-30-2007, 09:25 PM
Mercruiser products are called Quicksilver, you want some quicksilver drive lube. You might be able to find it at your Local Walmart or Super Walmart

comsnark
08-30-2007, 09:48 PM
Heh. I remember that panic.

Two weeks after I bought the boat. O-MI-GOSH-WHERE-DO-I-GET-DRIVE-LUBE-ON-SUNDAY. You can buy it at any marine store. Time to make friends with the guys at WestMarine. You will get to know them.

estebanj
08-30-2007, 10:03 PM
Does it matter which one you use from Quiksilver? They have Premium and High Performance, and it says not to mix the two.

Do people use generic or other brands?

One thing that isn't clear... is gear lube supposed to be consumed and adding weekly/monthly to the reservoir is normal?

Esteban

comsnark
08-31-2007, 07:01 AM
Adding is NOT normal. But if you are only adding a "little" each week, I wouldn't worry about it. Last year, I added about 3/4 of a bottle from July to November, with 40 hours put on the boat.

But I would expect to see an OBVIOUS problem when you pull off the drive for winterization. If you don't see it then, your mechanic will see it when he pressure tests the system as normal part of winterization, maintenance procedures. Expect to spend an extra $300 over the winter to fix it.

wish2fish
08-31-2007, 07:21 AM
Adding is NOT normal. But if you are only adding a "little" each week, I wouldn't worry about it. Last year, I added about 3/4 of a bottle from July to November, with 40 hours put on the boat.

I thought adding was fairly normal on drives such as the Bravo III if you tend to do prolonged cruising which seems to cause oil consumption.

KeithD
08-31-2007, 08:39 AM
Drive lube = gear lube? Same thing?
Also, it says not to mix high performance with premium - how am I supposed to know what's already in there...

KeithD
08-31-2007, 08:40 AM
Drive lube = gear lube? Same thing?
Also, it says not to mix high performance with premium - how am I supposed to know what's already in there...

tphinney
08-31-2007, 08:57 AM
keith;

do you know if the boat/drive has been serviced recently?

after my 100hr service was the only time I have ever had to add any drive oil to mine. it's not uncommon to have some air bubbles in the line that will work them selves out during use afterwards.

just top it off and keep an eye on it. if you keep having to refill it. I would have it checked out.

jellyfish
09-04-2007, 01:10 PM
Drive lube = gear lube? Same thing?
Also, it says not to mix high performance with premium - how am I supposed to know what's already in there...


If you trailer the boat or keep it out of the water, I would suggest changing the lube oil. Very easy and its take no more than 15 minutes.

Good Luck!

skolbe
09-04-2007, 01:56 PM
High Performance - which is what is what is used on Bravo III's is a blue/black color. The other is Greenish. You don't want non-high performance. You shouldn't really use any gear lube. Except at the beginning of the season when the level drops from being freshly changed. Maybe adding a tad over time. Your drive may have a seal starting to leak a bit.

daileyinterest
09-07-2007, 12:44 PM
keith;

do you know if the boat/drive has been serviced recently?

after my 100hr service was the only time I have ever had to add any drive oil to mine. it's not uncommon to have some air bubbles in the line that will work them selves out during use afterwards.

just top it off and keep an eye on it. if you keep having to refill it. I would have it checked out.

I was going to mention the same. The only time I had to add lube (so far) was a few weeks after some service was performed. I figured there was air trapped in the line as well. Hope your problems are no more then that.

On a side note. When I purchased H.P. lube last year it was green in color. This year when I purchased some it was blue/black as stated above in a prior post. Did they change the color?

wickeral
09-08-2007, 10:07 PM
Depending on the year of your Drive, you may find that adding small amounts of High Performance Gear Lubricant is normal. The Seals on some B-III drives, maybe all, are designed to keep water out, not oil in. Also, I believe all B-III owners should equip thier drives with Drive Showers. Al W.

skibum
09-09-2007, 06:45 AM
Very timely thread for me to come across.

I'm embarrassed to say that I've owned my 260DA (8.1 BIII) for about 6 weeks now, and the other night I finally "found" the drive lube reservoir. I had been checking all of them (including the drive lube), but the one that I thought was for the drive lube was actually the trim reservoir. The reservoir is pretty small, and the level is just at the "add" line now. it looks like I just need a fairly small amount to top her off.

I stopped at MarineMax and picked up some "Mercury High Performance Drive Lube" (http://www.mercurymarine.com/otherproducts/maintenance/gearlubehp.php) (the label on the quart I bought looks just like the gallon jug shown in the link). It says "for Mercruiser sterndrives" right on the label. It does not say "Quicksilver" anwhere at all on the label. It looked like the correct stuff, and the guy at MM said that it was what I needed. When I get to the boat I opened up the bottle of lube and put a drop on a clean paper towel. Definately light blue in color. I dipped a clean corner of the paper towel in the reservoir, and the lube currently in there looks more like a greenish grey color.

So, I have 2 questions. Are there 2 different types of Mercruiser drive lube - "Quicksilver" and non "Quicksilver" (or "regular")? Does the bluish drive lube start taking on a greeninsh tint when it gets dirty?

Do I need to go shopping this morning?

As to the drive shower... only the top 2-3" of my drive is visible above the water line. How is a "shower" going to help? Seems like it's getting a bath all the time.

Thank you,
Michael

jhild
09-10-2007, 11:36 AM
Hi Michael,

The good news is you bought the right product. Mercury Marine also sells lubricants under the Quicksilver name. Same stuff.

The potentially bad news is that grey streaks or a "milky" appearance in your lube can be an indication that water is leaking into your drive somewhere. A "blue-green" color wouldn't make me nervous, but a "greenish-grey" might. Obviously, I have no idea what color your drive lube really is, but if you have additional concerns, you might want to seek out a mechanic or at least ask a few more questions here. Certainly not trying to scare you, but it might be worth a second look.

I can't help you with the drive shower question.

jrcinnh
09-10-2007, 12:44 PM
The drive shower is supposed to wet and cool your drive while you are up on plane. During that time only the bottom of the drive is in the water. I'm not saying you need one, I don't have any.

My lube alarm always beeps after a few trips after the spring launch. I fill it then and it's stays full all season. I remember it's dark green but don't if it's High Performance or Premium.

skibum
09-10-2007, 11:16 PM
Thanks for the help guys. The bad news is that I went and bought a bottle of the Quicksilver HP lube just to be sure. They look, smell, and feel the same.

The existing fluid is not milky, or showing any signs of contamination by water. I looked at the existing fluid again in the daylight. It looks more like green than blue to me, but the long time backyard mechanic in me says that it looks as it should after being used for a while. It smells and feels fine.

Should be fine for a couple more weeks, then I'll change it.

Michael