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Author Topic:   Is this normal for an outboard?
WantaWhale posted 09-09-2001 02:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for WantaWhale   Send Email to WantaWhale  
Ok I have had my 11 supersport for almost 2 weeks now and have a question about outboards, specifically the foot. The first time I ran the boat, i noticed some oil around the foot where the prop meets it. It was black and thick. The owner mentioned when I picked up the boat that he had just changed it. After that I never noticed it again until yesterday. I went out in the bay for a few hours and when I returned a flushed the motor in a garbage can (per suggestions here). A few mins ago I am gettting ready to go out and noticed some of that black oil again. Not nearly as much as the first time I saw it. This motor is a 94 or 95 johnson 20hp electric with about 50 hours on it. I checked the upper oil inspection hole and there is plenty of oil there as just a soon as I removed the plug it started to shoot out (got it back in quickly) This oil was very clean and not black . The only other thing I can think of is premix. Previous owner had mixture very rich so I have pretty much left it that way.
So is this sound normal or does this sound like a defect in the foot?

Thanks, Fletch

Clark Roberts posted 09-09-2001 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Fletch, there is an "O-ring" oil seal at each of three locations on your lower unit; the drive shaft (under the water pump housing), the shift shaft, and the prop shaft (behind the propeller... sounds like a seal leak and most likely the prop shaft although the drive shaft is a likely candidate also... check these seals and you may find the source of the messy oil. In addition to the mess and polution, there is the chance of getting water in the lower unit which is not good!!! A pressure test will reveal if there is a leak (s). The oil is getting out somewhere.. soooo???????? Happy Whalin'.. Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
JBCornwell posted 09-09-2001 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hi, Wanta-. It is normal for a small amount of unburned lubricant to show up around the foot when an engine has been run in place. It will be black, leaking gearcase oil will be gray and milky.

If the fuel mixture is richer than OMC recommendations there will be more, and your plug and powerhead life will be shortened. The excess oil will greatly increase the formation of carbon in the cylinders and exhaust ports, and the fouling of your plugs.

I suggest that you go to the recommended 50:1 mix: 1 pint (16oz.) of TC-W3 rated outboard oil to 6 gallons of fresh, 87 octane, lead and alcohol free regular gasoline. You can pay up to $30 a gallon for premium oils, but I have found that Wal-Mart's Super Tech brand looks, smells and feels just like Quicksilver. It makes less smoke and carbon than most and doesn't smell as bad. I believe it is re-branded quicksilver.

Enjoy your 11SS! It sure is a sweet li'l vessel.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

JBCornwell posted 09-09-2001 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
OOOPS!! Forgot something. If you pulled the upper gearcase plug and oil came out, you need to pull the lower one (with the upper one IN) to see if you get any water out, or if the oil has a gray, milky appearance. Either would be a sign of fluid exchange with the sea. . . bad news.

Any doubts, have the pressure test that Clark suggests done.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

WantaWhale posted 09-09-2001 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
Ok thanks guys. I went ahead and took her out today to see If I could find any problems with the foot. I cannot find anymore leakage. I am going to ask around and find out who is the best OMC shop in my area and have them check it out anyway since I just purchased the boat/motor . I just went outside and checked the lower oil fill. The oil that came out looked and smelled like new oil ( well like 10-30 does when its new). It was not black or milky, so does this mean I am probably ok? Speaking of oil
does walmart offer oils equivent to omc gearcase,pinion oil, fogger , etc? The manual says to use OMC stuff and I wonder if other brands are availble and ok to sub?

As far as mixing it rich, I didn't mean like 25:1. The previous owner had her
all gassed up and ready to go for me. I noticed that the engine was pretty smokey at idle. Well it seems like every time since then I have put in a bit too much oil. For example , I thought I needed 5 gallons, but ended up needing only 4.5 and had already added the oil for 5 gallons. Is this really a bad thing to do? I have been using 89 octane (chevron) with exxon TC-W3 .

Anyway thanks for the help!,Fletch

acseatsri posted 09-09-2001 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Better to err on the side of too much oil than not enough. Too much may foul plugs, but too little could toast your engine. I think regular 87 octane is fine, no need to run the higher "plus" octane. Oils have been discussed here in detail- after reading the thread, I'm using Walmart $6/gal TC-W3 oil. As long as it meets all the manufacturers specs, it's fine by me. Also note that the older motors used a "lesser" oil, probably not because it needed less protection, but rather that the "better" oils on the market today weren't available.
Bigshot posted 09-10-2001 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Fletch, calm down. It is just unburnt gas. EVERY engine(2stroke) will leave that when run on muffs or can. Smell it, smells like gas! If you were leaking that bad from the front seal, you would not have ANY oil left in the foot. Just gas, just normal.
WantaWhale posted 09-10-2001 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
Just wanted to safe than sorry, bigshot. I had visions of being 8 miles offshore and the motor dieing on me. Plus I was told that even a tiny motor such as this is about two grand to replace :) I have co-owned boats before with my dad but this one is all mine and I have never had to deal with maintiance on the engine I am trying to learn all the ropes...


Bigshot posted 09-10-2001 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Do yourself a favor then, drain and refill the lower. Takes 20 mins and $6 worth of fluid. Then you will know it is clean and if next time you check and it is milky, you do have a seal problem. They will suck in water WAAAY before they leak it out. Have fun and good luck. You ARE always better safe than sorry.
WantaWhale posted 09-10-2001 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
Picked the oil and filler tonight so I will go ahead and change it to be sure.

Thanks Fletch

beby138 posted 09-18-2001 07:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for beby138  Send Email to beby138     
Check this link
Question # 8,I had same problem w/ my brand new Johnson
andygere posted 09-18-2001 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My '79 Johnson 15 has the same syptoms. After checking quantity/quality of lower unit oil, I concluded that it was just a bit of un burned oil from the exhaust. Now, I'm trying to remember if this was happening before I had the water pump impeller changed by a really lousy OMC repair shop......
lhg posted 09-18-2001 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The black thick oil dripping at the prop is the result of carb low speed jets being adjusted too rich. Lean up the mixture adjustment and it will disappear.
WantaWhale posted 09-30-2001 11:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
Thanks for all the replies. Everything has checked out ok. I just wanted to be safe as I just bought the rig a few weeks ago. LHG, I think you hit it on the nail as the motor seems extra rich and smokey at idle. But I think I will leave well enough alone as the motor always starts at the first turn of the key and is getting great mileage. I ran her last weekend for 5 hours on 5 gallons of fuel
Drisney posted 10-09-2001 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Drisney  Send Email to Drisney     
Eight miles out in your eleven footer.....I'll keep an eye out for you.....Dave

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