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Author Topic:   Splines and propeller interchange
raygun posted 09-04-2003 08:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for raygun   Send Email to raygun  
I've been trying to pick up a stainless prop on ebay for my 2003 Johnson 90 2S following some advice recieved from some of our most knowledgable members. Does anyone know if a prop that has 15 splines(that's what mine takes) but is a Mercury prop will fit? Are the diameters of the shafts standard and I just have to worry about the number of splines or is it a different beast altogether? I've been trying to find a 13.5 x 18 omc raker or a 13.25 x 19 stilleto, but no luck yet. I know that Mercury props have an excellent reputation and would like to know if I'd have to have one with the correct number of splines rehubbed anyway.
lhg posted 09-04-2003 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
All Mercury props are now made with a "hollow" hub, into which you fit the hub kit (called Flo Torque II) for your brand of engine. The older style "rubber hub" prop is now basically obsolete. The new hub kit includes a plastic sleeve that "rounds out" if an object is hit. Replacememnt sleeves are easy to carry and can be installed by the boat owner for an instant repair if needed. This system also makes props interchangeable between engines brands, aiding the resale value and functionality to the owner. See for more information.

Michigan Wheel has also been licensed by Mercury to provide this system on some of it's lines.

raygun posted 09-04-2003 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
Is this a recent development? I'm shopping on ebay remember, so most of the props I'm looking at are probably about a year or more old. Will a 15 spline mercury propeller fit on a 15 spline johnson/evinrude shaft?
Gene in NC posted 09-04-2003 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gene in NC  Send Email to Gene in NC     
See West Marine catalog for excellent tutorial and available options on props.
jimh posted 09-04-2003 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Another advantage to the Mercury Torque Flow II system is that it has reduced the cost of the propellers. You buy the proper hub, which is about $40, and it works with any of their propellers.

In the previous system, getting a propeller hub replaced was about a $40 repair. Now you can just replace the plastic link in the hub yourself if you hit something hard enough to break it. Since the whole hub kit is only $40, the plastic insert must be less, probably about $10 (I would guess).

The universal nature of the propellers is also handy in some situations. For example, while cruising together recently, LHG observed that either of us could use either of the spare propellers we were each carrying, since we had the proper Torque Flow hubs to fit our motors (Mercury and Yamaha brands). The propellers would fit the hubs, and could be made to work on either engine in a pinch.

raygun posted 09-04-2003 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
While this info is very enlightening, I am still left with the question of whether or not a 15 spline merc shaft and a 15 spline bombardier shaft use the same propeller hub. Is anyone familiar with this?
Peter posted 09-04-2003 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Does the plastic sleeve act in the same sense as the good old shear pin? What I mean is that once its rounded out after striking an object is the propeller substantially decoupled from the propeller shaft as it would be in the case of breaking a shear pin? Should spare sleeves be kept on board?
Dick posted 09-04-2003 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Prop repair is not eliminated with the Merc Torque Flow II system. The plastic insert is designed to blow before prop shaft damage happens, as was the rubber hub. The prop can be pretty well wiped out before this happens.
If you hit something hard enough to blow that insert you had better have a spare prop handy.

We have 13 boats in our rental fleet and send many props to the shop for repair, never have we had to replace a Torque Flow insert or rehubbed one of the older props from impact damage.

The reason for the development of this system was interchanging a prop between brands of motors not less expensive repairs.


raygun posted 09-04-2003 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
Moe posted 09-05-2003 12:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
From the Mercury Parts Express website:

There are 3 primary Flo-Torq II/III hubs for Mercurys, but the primary hub kit for most is 835257K 1 consisting of 12-835467 1 Forward thrust washer 835290A1 Plastic drive sleeve 826074Q1 Aft adaptor 14-816629 Tab washer 11-827614 Prop nut

The Flo-Torq II hub kit for V-4 Evinrude/Johnson is 835266Q 1 consisting of 859915 Thrust washer 835290A 1 Plastic drive sleeve 834839Q Aft adaptor 859929 Nut 18-89961 Cotter pin

However, it can only be used with Quicksilver Propellers (QS5136H, QS5138H, QS5140H, QS5142H, QS5144H propellers have a small diameter labyrinth seal)

The Flo-Torq II hub kit for V-4 Suzuki is different but has the same limitation.

The aft adapter is the part that fits on the prop shaft, so I'd infer yours is different from the Mercury's, and you have a limited selection of Quicksilver props.


kglinz posted 09-05-2003 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Here's the Mercury chart showing kit componets...[delete dead link--jimh]
Sal DiMercurio posted 09-05-2003 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Raygun, no a merc prop wont fit on an omc or bomb engine unless it is one of the new versions with the universal hub.
You can get a s/s Stiletto prop [ bombardier hubbed ] from Aftermarket for $249.00.
raygun posted 09-05-2003 01:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
thanks sal.
Moe posted 09-05-2003 08:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
You can't do a link down into Mercury Parts Express. They expire. You have to start at the home page, then give the list of things to click on to get to what you want the person to see.
jimh posted 09-05-2003 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Deleted dead hyperlink, which was absurdly long.
lhg posted 09-05-2003 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Raygun. To answer your question, the Mercury interchangeable hub system came out in 1998, I believe. So the used market should have some listed. Mercury props using the old "permanent hub design" are not useable on OMC/Bombardier engines, but can be used on Yamaha engines, and the 75-90 Honda's, which use the Mercury mid-size lower unit. I recently ran into a fellow with twin Yamaha 250 EFI's on his Grady, and he said he greatly improved performance by switching from the Yamaha SS props that came on it to Mercury Mirage Plus props. No alterations were necessary to make that swap.

All Mercury props are now marketed as "Mercury" branded. But they also have another lower cost line of props branded "Quicksilver", their older name. These are the older designs, and are meant to compete in the catalog and aftermarket categories. They are ONLY for Mercury engines, with fixed rubber hubs, and are the predecessor designs to Mercury's current designs.

Peter - Although I have not yet had the experience of "shearing/spinning" one of the new plastic hub sleeves, I would assume it gives the same characteristics of a "spun" rubber hub, with considerable slippage. I would think that, as with a rubber hub design, the prop will still get you home at idle speed. Mercury props have never used cotter pins to hold the prop on, but rather a "tab" washer detail.

I recently "spun" a rubber hub on one my 25's Laser II props by driving the boat up the trailer rollers at a steep ramp. Mercury's new prop system saved the next boating trip for me, (not knowing the hub was spun) since the repair guy was able to punch out the sheared hub assembly and drop in the new plastic hub kit. Total time to fix the prop was about 5 minutes, on the spot. It's a real innovation in propeller technology if you ask me, and can really save a boating outing if a sheared hub is your only problem. As Dick says, none of this means that you can't trash a prop itself, because all of these prop hubs, rubber or plastic drop-in, are designed to save the engine, and basically sacrifice the prop on a severe impact.

I have noticed that Michigan Wheel has evidently licenced this system from Mercury (I assume it's patented) for their basic aluminum prop line and also for their V-6 4-3/4" Rapture line. From what I can tell, the various brand drop-in hub kits appear to be manufactured by Mercury. As a big player in the after market prop business, I assume they had to get into this technology, as it's a good development and money saver for any brand of engine.

where2 posted 09-05-2003 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Alternately, if you get an older Merc SS prop cheap enough (dirt cheap) off Ebay, you can send it to a Prop Shop and have them swap out the inner spline and re-hub it for under $100. (guessing on price, but rehubs are $50 usually, see
raygun posted 09-06-2003 12:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
I found out today that the tech support from Stilleto, who told me that the shaft is 15 splines, IS WRONG. I spoke to Bombardier tech, who told me that 2003 90 HP shafts are the same same same as they have been for years. 13 SPLINES. He also advised me against the 13 1/2 x 18 Raker prop, which was one of the props I'd been searching for on ebay. He said to go with the SST or Viper 13 7/8 x 19. (and he winked at the Stilleto that Sal recommends) So I'm going to stick with the Viper or Stilleto in my search. I'm too much of a bargain hunter to shell out the 249 + shipping for the new one without a good few weeks of ebay searching. Thanks all.

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