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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Milky White Oil - Lower Unit #13572828 05/27/20 03:25 PM
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harge57 Offline OP
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I have a new to me 16 ft jon boat with a 2017 Mercury 20HP 4 stroke.

I changed the lower unit oil yesterday and it was milky white/ assuming from water getting in.

I am going to replace the seals on the drain plugs, as they were not there and see if that fixes the issue.

1. What is a good place to find these seals? Can you find generic seals that will fit the plug, or is there a place in DFW that may have them in stock? I have found them online, but they take like 2 weeks to get in and charge $10 for shipping. The part is 12-895146.

2. If I am still getting water in the lower unit I will just take it to somebody. Any recommendations on where to take it? I am in Dallas at 75/635.

Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: harge57] #13572846 05/27/20 03:56 PM
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bronco71 Online Content
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Try Mercury at Bass Pro Shops


1999 Triton TX21/225 Mercury Optimax
Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: harge57] #13573018 05/27/20 06:11 PM
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PlanoPaul Offline
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Seals should fix it. Bass Pro or Cabelas will have them. If it doesn’t fix it, you might consider taking it to Brent over at Larry’s Marine in Plano.

Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: harge57] #13573186 05/27/20 08:01 PM
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I would get the proper size and type O Ring from a Mercury dealer, but you can get a good quality O ring from a plumbing supply for a lot less.
Tighten the drain plug screws to the recommended torque, Under tighten will leak, over tightened will easily strip.

Last edited by Pappybear; 05/27/20 08:02 PM.
Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: harge57] #13574645 05/29/20 12:49 AM
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Stump jumper Offline
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Are you sure they are missing? A lot of times they stick to the housing.


2200 Bay Champ/200 Mercury Optimax
2017 Tundra TSS 4x4 Crewmax 5.7L
Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: Stump jumper] #13574752 05/29/20 02:37 AM
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harge57 Offline OP
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Spot on. They were just stuck to the drain screw and in good shape. Unfortunately I think that means a larger issue. Do I need a lower unit seal kit? Is that DIY job? I'm pretty handy, but a newbie on outboards.

Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: harge57] #13574885 05/29/20 05:45 AM
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You could be optimistic and still blame it on the plug o-ring. I would replace it, torque the screw correctly, and run it a couple of trips, then check again. If you see that water has made it back into the gearcase, it's time for professional help. I'm a fairly decent DIY guy, but my buddy who is an outboard tech told me not to try that myself. There are a number of specialty tools involved, and quite a bit of know-how. If you end up getting a seal job done, do the water pump at the same time, of course.

Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: harge57] #13575234 05/29/20 02:40 PM
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Go watch this and decide if you have the skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGIHFmjd0Vo


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Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: Flippin-Out] #13575512 05/29/20 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
You could be optimistic and still blame it on the plug o-ring. I would replace it, torque the screw correctly, and run it a couple of trips, then check again. If you see that water has made it back into the gearcase, it's time for professional help. I'm a fairly decent DIY guy, but my buddy who is an outboard tech told me not to try that myself. There are a number of specialty tools involved, and quite a bit of know-how. If you end up getting a seal job done, do the water pump at the same time, of course.

From what my mechanic told me the crank and shift shift seals are the tough ones. The prop shift seals are not bad and most likely the culprits.


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Re: Milky White Oil - Lower Unit [Re: Stump jumper] #13582131 06/04/20 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Stump jumper
Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
You could be optimistic and still blame it on the plug o-ring. I would replace it, torque the screw correctly, and run it a couple of trips, then check again. If you see that water has made it back into the gearcase, it's time for professional help. I'm a fairly decent DIY guy, but my buddy who is an outboard tech told me not to try that myself. There are a number of specialty tools involved, and quite a bit of know-how. If you end up getting a seal job done, do the water pump at the same time, of course.

From what my mechanic told me the crank and shift shift seals are the tough ones. The prop shift seals are not bad and most likely the culprits.

That's the one I suspect. Hook up a vacuum or pressure pump, take it to spec (10-15psi I believe), and you'll see if it's the prop seals or other seals.
Tim


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