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Author Topic:   Procedure For Adding Gear Lube
Legobusier posted 04-14-2004 09:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for Legobusier   Send Email to Legobusier  
Hi all,

My Clymer's manual for my '98 Honda 90 gives me contradictory information. The text says to fill from the drain hole (at the bottom) until the fluid comes out the vent hole (at the top); however the diagram has the drain and vent holes mislabeled (vent is labeled drain and vice-versa).

I know this is a novice question, but I've never done it before and would like to do it right.

Additionally, I have the following 3 ports on my engine:

1. Drain (bottom)
2. Vent (top)
3. Level (top, next to drain)

Should I fill the bottom (drain) hole up to the vent port?
Should I fill the vent hole until I see fluid in the level port?
Should I fill the Level hole until I see fluid in the vent port?

I'm confused.

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-14-2004 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Fill from the bottom until it comes out the top. Plug the
top. Then, quickly with confidence, remove the filler from
the bottom and put the plug in. It wil leak a little, don't
worry about it.

Clymer's mislabeling is no surprise. Clymer manuals suck.
One size fits none. I had a Clymer for my late wife's Firebird.
Most of it was the same as the Clymer for her 'vette.

Get the real Honda manual. It might be in pidgin, but it will
be in accurate pidgin. (Actually the Japanese manufacturers
got much better with their manuals in the mid-70s. My 1972
240-Z factory manual WAS in pidgin. The '74 260Z manual was
essentially the same, but in American english, and most of
the photos converted to line drawings, which were much better
because they could leave out the irrelevant detail.)


Legobusier posted 04-14-2004 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
Thanks Chuck.

I sort of figured that was the way it was done based on the description, but just wanted to be sure.

I've noticed more than a few errors in the Clymer's manual and I have only gotten into just a few sections (lower unit as most of you guys know). Having said that, it's better than nothing - but I do think the "real" Honda manual is in order.

jimh posted 04-15-2004 07:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Among outboard owners adding gear lube, there appears to be two schools: those who use a pump to inject the lubricant, and those who use a squeeze tube to inject the lubricant.

So far my experience has been among the group that uses the pump method. This technique works well, but there is always a bit of a mess when done. Some lubricant remains in the pump and hose following their use. No amount of coaxing can persuade the last ounce of lubricant to flow from the confines of the pump mechanism or its hose. Eventually, however, the thick oil does flow out of these, but only after a few days in your tool box.

As a result, I have developed the technique of removing the pump and its hose from the filler bottle, cleaning them as best I can, wrapping them in paper towels, and putting them into a large zip-lock bag. Then I store the zip-lock bag in a plastic container lined with paper towels. It seems the viscosity of the gear lube decreases as soon as you put it in a dark place, where it then flows like water and seeks the lowest level of your tool box.

I have been eyeing the folks that buy their gear lube in a squeeze tube. I presume they just cut the top of the applicator off, screw the tube right into the lower unit threaded access hole, and squeeze away. Is this right?

Does the squeeze tube applicator thread match the lower unit hole thread? The threads on my Asian-built engine are different from the threads on my American-built engines. Do the squeeze tubes come in different threads?

Or am I mislead, and the threads never match. One just holds the applicator in place against the bore of the fill hole?

Samars posted 04-15-2004 07:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Samars  Send Email to Samars     

Jim, I have always used the squeeze tube method. Unfortunately you are correct on both counts...I have had engines (Evinrude) that either I got lucky or bought the correct gear lube tube. I have also had to press hard against the hole and perhaps half of what I squeeze made it into the engine.

Currently, I use a bottle with the tube that does screw into the hole, and as you do...keep everything sealed tightly away from everything else in a zip lock bag.

Legobusier posted 04-15-2004 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
Well, since i already have the pump (the one I stole the bottom fitting from for my home brew pressure tester), I'll use it.

My method for cleaning it out has been to loop it over the edge of my trashcan handle with the pump inlet and outlet both in the trash can and leave it for a few days. Everything slowly drips out and it looks good as new. The ziplock for storage is a good idea though...I may do that just to keep it free of sawdust and the like.

Bthom posted 04-15-2004 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bthom  Send Email to Bthom     
I use the pump and tubing assembly, and when I remove the threaded connector from the drain hole in the lower unit, I drain it as much as possible and tie a half hitch in the plastic tubing and put the bottle back on the shelf.This keeps any oil left in the tubing in the bottom of the knot,and away from everything else.
Regards, Brian
Buckda posted 04-15-2004 11:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I just use the squeeze bottle. I have not experienced a problem with "wastage" using this method.

I simply cut off the very end of the applicator tip and insert it firmly into the drain hole. There is very little "backflow" or leakage, but I do keep a plastic oil collection resevoir under the skeg (to catch the old oil, and to catch any additional leakage in the filling process, of which there is very little).

The nice thing about this method is that you don't need to worry about the mess in the toolbox that JimH describes.

I do, however, have a similar "messy" problem with my grease gun for the trailer axle bearings.


Chuck Tribolet posted 04-15-2004 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Same paper towels and double freezer grade ziplocks solution
for my grease guns too.


andygere posted 04-15-2004 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My little plastic pump lasted for exactly one oil change. The lube changes I just recently did reqired me to use the hose and fitting from the pump on the standard 1 quart bottle to squeeze the lube in. A big C clamp helped to squeeze the plastic bottle after my hand got tired.
andygere posted 04-15-2004 12:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The shop manual for my 200 hp Mercury says to allow about 1 oz. of lube to leak out the fill hole after the vent hole overflows. That's just about how much leaks out when removing the little fill tube and screwing in the plug.

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