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  Transmission Fluid Has Milky White Color

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Author Topic:   Transmission Fluid Has Milky White Color
cbass posted 06-09-2006 12:27 PM ET (US)   Profile for cbass   Send Email to cbass  
I have a 1984 V6 150-HP Johnson outboard. The tranmission fluid is now a milky white color. Why is the transmission fluid white in color?

When I try to raise or lower the motor, I hear [some sound], but [the engine] doesn't move. I took the motor to a repair shop who told me the release valve was busted on the trim and tilt, and I had to get it replaced. That part alone is $65.00, and labor is $65-per-hour. They won't be able to find the problem with the boat until the valve is replaced.

lorin posted 06-09-2006 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lorin  Send Email to lorin     
It's white because there's water in it. If the release valve is broken, that's probably where the water is entering, but it could be entering from other areas also.
jimh posted 06-10-2006 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The term "transmission" is not generally used with outboard motors; "gear case" is more common. Transmission fluid is generally a very low viscosity fluid designed to be used in hydraulic systems to transmit power. In the engine gear case there is a very high viscosity lubricant, more or less the exact opposite of transmission fluid, which is designed to provide lubrication and reduction of friction for the gears. It is not clear precisely to which fluid you are referring.

If "transmission fluid" means the lubricant in the gear case, then the white color is generally a sign of contamination with water. This is a common problem. There can be several causes, all involving poor seals:

--the filler or vent screws are poorly sealed

--the propeller shaft is poorly sealed

--the drive shaft is poorly sealed

--the shift shaft is poorly sealed

The usual remedy is replace the leaking seal. A pressure test of the gear case can confirm the problem, although milky coffee colored lubricant is a definite sign of water contamination. You can generally have the gear case re-sealed for about $300.

Repair of the hydraulic trim and tilt system is another common problem on older outboard motors. This can be quite expensive. Depending on the condition of other components in the system, there could be expenses of over $1,000 involved.

PeteB88 posted 06-10-2006 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Not being sure about your motor, but one of my older Johnsons had milky gear lube ultimately traced to improper seal on the gear lube plugs. Someone (me) used an o-ring, correct diameter instead of a proper Johnson gasket - (thin, nylon or similar material). I replaced w/ Johnson gaskets from Van's Sport Center, Grand Rapids MI - problem gone.

If this is same issue pls advise.

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