Outdrive oil

Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭

I've mentioned that I changed over my Bravo-III oil from the Mercury stuff to a Neo-Synthetic gear oil 75W-90MRHD (Editied to correct oil ID) (www.neosyntheticoil.com) (http://www.bravoshop.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=182&zenid=nba5aetfvt6vns7rr8d4ssnvs6) based on the guy who rebuilt my outdrives (www.allamericandriveservice.com) recommendations.  He uses / recommends it for all his high HP / heavy usage applications.  I have about 80 hours on the oil  (2 seasons) and just pulled samples to be analyzed to see how I was doing, all in all, excellent and no degradation of the lubricant. 

The guy who did the results had extremely high praise for the Neo-Synthetic products and thought this stuff was out of the box thinking (in a good way).  Attached is an analysis of the unused oil: key items: Phosphorous, lead, potassium, all anti-wear additives.  The oil peforms at the 90w level and no breakdown at temp.

I have zero personal interest in the overhauler, oil supplier or testing house.  Just people I have worked with that are unbiased on this stuff and my personal results so far.  Stuff is not cheap, but compared to an outdrive, it is cheap and getting 2+ seasons out of it is even better savings.  Something to consider if you are looking to upgrade your outdrive lubricant.

Note I corrected the oil ID info and a source for it too!!
Post edited by Black_Diamond on
neo Oil.jpg 770.6K

Comments

  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 214Member ✭✭✭
    BD - interesting, thanks for sharing. Maybe I am misreading the report, but it looks like none of the oil measurements changed at all -- zero change after two seasons, but that can't be right.  What are typical changes you would expect to see with conventional oil?
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    LaRae: that report is the unused oil, I'll post up the used oil later to compare. Sorry I was not clear.
  • rinker312rinker312 Lake Wheeler, ALPosts: 113Member
    I've been using AMSOIL in my drives since I bought the boat and so far no issues. Although I do change it every year. How long do you expect to get out of this oil prior to changing it? What is the cost of the analysis?

    2004 Rinker 312, 5.0 Merc's, Bravo III, Lake Wheeler, AL

  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 365Member ✭✭✭
    I've heard the Merc stuff called "blue death", not sure why though. I just worry about them denying a warranty claim if I didnt use their stuff (have 4 years left). Once I'm past that though, I'd probably switch.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 16
    I have never had a problem with Mercury's drive oil in 25 years of alpha l, Bravo l High Performance, or B lll. that said, I do drain and change my drive oil EVERY season - always have. Play hard - pay for it - look after the mechanicals - is my motto. If you use an oil other than Mercruiser in your NEW drives without the expressed written and detailed agreement by mercruiser you will 100% VOID any and all warranty. I know, as I have asked in the past. If you have warranty you are protected. A list member who I know just had his drive replaced under warranty. Mercruiser, to all my knowledge, is VERY good at honoring their warranties as long as there have not been changes or modifications. my 2 cents. MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    The guy who rebuilt my drives calls it 'blue death' too. He recommended the Neo oil and has a 2 yr warranty on the drives, so I'm done with the Merc outdrive oil.
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 16
    Hey BD, I don't dispute your tech's or your comments and I have heard the term "blue death" before but - as the owner of brand new Merc B lll X drives I couldn't risk losing my warranty by swapping oil. Once the warranties are over, well that may be another matter! :-) MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would not dare run non-Merc oil with warranty in effect either, that would be a 'gotcha'.
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 880Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    well, another topic that well, I've been dealing with.  I had one of my Bravo 2 drives go up on me on Easter.  Hoping I'm finally back on the water this weekend!!  I claimed it on insurance, not sure if I had hit something or??  The surveyor thinks the drive at some point got hot.  I've always changed my gear lube oil every year with each boat I've owned (now, I only bought the boat two years ago). I just don't know what to think, but I'm ready to get back on the water. The drive will be new and under warranty, so I'll use the blue stuff for now.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    DI, If I had a boat the size of yours I'd have dual ss tube/hose showers spraying on each drive cap and upper body. The 400 is a LOT of weight for the 496 B ll combo to move. I'd do anything to protect those drives from the #1 drive killer - HEAT :-) MT
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 880Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    MT, I'm looking at the halo showers. My boat is ready today, gonna enjoy it tomorrow morning. Feels like a very long time!!! I can add the showers on very easily at my dock since I have the lift.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just a follow up: please see the OP as I corrected the oil name and added a place to get it.  I ran 2 seasons on it and will flush just because they were overhauled at the time and you still get some break-in wear.  I would fully expect to get several seasons out of it.  I'll get it re-analyzed after this season to see if the iron and AL drop off the analysis as expected.    I had zero degradatoin due to heat..so a plus on the oil and maybe those drive showers actually do something after all.  lol
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 17
    DI: those pictures you showed of the gears definately had indications of lubrication failure. The pitting and spalling (looks like areas of popped out metal) are textbook. Both my B-III drives had gears like that aside from the ones ground up. Lol.
    Post edited by Black_Diamond on
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    Make no mistake about the results of drive showers. One of my buddies who used to rig high performance boats ran thermostst tests ot the oil of drives while they were "underway" in Bravo l and Black Hawk surface piercing. Some of the drive showers were SO efficient that they lowered the temperature of the oil too low in his opinion. Mine worked very well. My drive tops used to get caked with mineral deposits (water spray being cooked onto the drive cap and top area) that I had to remove at the snd of the season with CLR or acid .....and I HATE putting acid anywhere on a boat. Anyway, after I installed my first drive shower and waxed my drive, with Meguiars Flagship wax I NEVER had a mineral stain on it again. Wether you control the temperature in your drive with oil, a drive shower or both - there is  NO ARGUMENT AT ALL - HEAT KILLS  DRIVES and must be controlled. :-) MT
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 1,794Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Heat can break down the oil, which then loses the ability to lubricate properly and then you get the mechanical wear/damage. Synthetics handle heat way better than traditional oil stocks thus resist breakdown. If you look around, there are published charts that relate oil life to operating temperature, traditional oils at over 200F have severely reduced life. Industrial gearboxes try to stay below 140F (AGMA std) and use fans or heat exchangers to make this happen. So a drive shower makes sense in that respect.
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    My uncle used to work for Shell Oil research. BD is 100% on in his comments. My uncle and his colleagues tested mineral versus synthetic oils from all over to compare to theirs. ALL mineral oils broke down under high heating intervals but worse yet they never fully recovered their original viscosity. In fact they lost a little viscosity each time they were run hot. Synthetic oils never lost their ability to "return" to their original viscosity specifications in what would be considered their normal time between changes. Of greater importance, synthetic oils did not break down during the super temperature spikes that engines can ( nd often do) encounter. At those spikes mineral oils did not lubricate as they vaporized, whereas synthetic oils did lubricate - their long chain polymers protected the oils. I will definately run high quality FULLY synthetic oils in my engines and drives and install drive showers on the drives too. All of it is cheap insurance! MT
  • frenchshipfrenchship Québec ,CanadaPosts: 264Member ✭✭✭
    BD. I don't understand what you meant by : Just a follow up: please see the OP as I corrected the oil name and added a place to get it. I would like to see that info Thanks Paul
  • frenchshipfrenchship Québec ,CanadaPosts: 264Member ✭✭✭
    Ok I did not look at the right place..." Paul
  • Robs_232Robs_232 Posts: 25Member

    Guys this is great information. I have a Bravo 3 drive on my 2004 232 Captiva BR so after reading this discussion I looked at my drive. It had the white chalky film on the upper half of the drive. I used Lime-away to get it off, then I immediately ordered a drive shower yesterday, that you guys recommended. I plan to change the drive oil to synthetic oil also. I know this post is for outdrive oil but I have used Mobil 1 full synthetic in all my auto engines (5 with kids cars) for the last 10 years for the same reasons you mentioned above. Any recommendations on this? I see Mercury makes a full synthetic engine oil, but I didn't specify this when I had it winterized last fall.

  • rinker312rinker312 Lake Wheeler, ALPosts: 113Member
    On my boat 312 FV, I believe that my drive is submerged. I think part if the transom assembly sticks out but that is it. It's under the swim platform so I never really take notice. So a drive shower would do me no good correct?

    2004 Rinker 312, 5.0 Merc's, Bravo III, Lake Wheeler, AL

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    R312 your drive is 50% out of the water when the boat is on plane. At that time it is under load and that is when the water that gets sprayed up onto it "cooks" onto it, Water could also get "cooked" onto the top areas of your drive if you were "lugging" the engine(s) by having the boat half on plane which would put a lot of stress on the engines and drives (like too many people do) but I'm sure you're too smart to do that! MT
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYPosts: 330Member ✭✭✭
    I think that when you are on plane your drive will be out of the water, maybe less than half of it will be in the water.
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,262Member ✭✭✭✭
    Rob, I love Mobil 1 and have run it in everything from home generator, to lawn mower to all our cars but I have never used it for marine. I have  used Amsoil in some of my marine engines and it worked well. In my past few Mercruiser engines I have stayed with Mercruiser FULLY synthetic. I would always use Mercruiser oil while under warranty but after that I'd do my research if I wanted to change. For engine lubrication I like the Mercruiser fully synthetic, even if it is a bit pricey. I change it every season and would have no worries using it up to 150 hours. MT
  • BruceBruce KansasPosts: 167Member ✭✭
    Does anyone know who is producing Mercruiser oil? 
    2004 250 FV 
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,139Member ✭✭✭✭
    Amsoil synthetic marine in my '04 350 Mercruiser engine and Merc synthetic gear oil in my OD. Not an oil war advocate just keeping it slick and cool.

    It's not JUST 2 right angles of gear pressure and counter rotating prop gears (as if that's not enough) that heats that upper outdrive when it's up on plane and pushing hard, it's the frikken HOT a$$ exhaust running back > down and out that gets 'er SUPER piping hot. Not an ideal mechanical combination. Best bet for any OD is to take it off plane every 15-20mins when cruising and let that sweetheart cool down a bit at trolling/trawler speed.

    I know they've done torture testing for days on end but, as has been seen by anyone who has a chaulky film on the OD after a long day, these rascals run HOT. Give 'em a break now and then.....but put the best oil in them too. A stern shower is also a good bet, but it's still a hostile work enviroment back there.

    Just sayin' Mike  Have a great season.
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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