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Author Topic:   Tilt leaking down
BIGSTICK posted 04-14-2004 05:00 PM ET (US)   Profile for BIGSTICK   Send Email to BIGSTICK  
Ok folks, you seem to have a plethora of knowledge. The tilt on my 1997 250 hp Johnson V8 bleeds down. I raise the motor and lowers itself. Does the hydraulic system have a check valve or something that keeps the fluid from bleeding back? How do I fix this? The trim works fine and it don't sound like there is air in the line.

Thanks again,


Legobusier posted 04-14-2004 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
Sounds like you've got a leak somewhere. First thing I would check is the manual relief valve - make sure it's tight.
hanksaper posted 04-14-2004 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for hanksaper  Send Email to hanksaper     
Try tilting engine up, then open the relief valve or screw so the engine returns to down position, then tighten the relief valve or screw. That gets rid of any particles causing air leak. Worked on my 1997 evinrude when it was less than 1 season old.


jimh posted 04-15-2004 01:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think Hank is on to something. A couple of years ago the trim cylinders on one of my Yamaha engines started to drift down, but now it seems to have cured itself! I think some air must have gotten into the system, and it appears to have worked itself out without any intervention from me.

Next time I see that problem I will try Hank's method.

Bigshot posted 04-15-2004 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Yes there is a check valve.

Yes there can be air in the system. This is usually due to low fluid level. If fluid level is fine, check the manual relief valve. If that is tight then your check valve is bad internally.

ALL trim systems will bleed themselves of any air after a FEW ups & downs.

jimh posted 04-15-2004 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Generally the owner's manual of an outboard will recommend you purchase the OEM branded hydraulic fluid for any tilt/trim system refills. You can buy generic marine hydraulic fluid at places like WALMART for $2/tube.

Have any ill-effects been attributed to using a generic hydraulic fluid in a particular brand of engine tilt cylinder? I'd like to check and fill mine, but I can't even find the OEM brand of hydraulic fluid recommended in my owner's manual, and I am sure it will be four times the cost of the generic.

Bigshot posted 04-15-2004 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Most newer systems use ATF fluid. The older Mercs used 30W oil. Yamaha might use something different but OMC uses ATF.
Legobusier posted 04-15-2004 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
For what it's worth, my '98 Honda take Automatic Transmission Fluid as Bigshot mentioned. Dextron II I believe.

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