Frequently Asked Questions

Re-power on a vintage boat

How often should manifolds and exhaust be checked and or replaced on sterndrives?

On average, 5 years for replacement in salt water.  It is always good decision to check your gasket joints for rust or signs of leaking.  Also check your sparkplugs for signs of rust, this may be a sign that water is leaking past the gasket surfaces. 

How do I determine which prop gives me the best performance?

In order to determine which prop best fits your application, we need to know what size of prop and the pitch you are currently running.  Also, we would need to know what your RPM's are at WOT (wide open throttle) with an average load (full tank of fuel, passengers and gear).  Also, we will need to know what you primarily do with your boat, skiing, fishing, etc.  Once we have this information we can do our best to find the prop that fits best in your application.

How can I prevent the propeller from sticking onto the shaft?

We recommend a liberal coat of  lubricant on the propeller shaft.  Mercury Precision, Quicksilver Marine Lubricants, Special Lubricant 101, 2-4-C Marine Lubricant, or Anti Corrosion Grease are just a few of lubricants that would work.

I have an inboard engine, why can't I use auto parts on it? They are less expensive.

There are several areas that a sterndrive and/or inboard marine engine and the auto engine are different.  You must use Coast Guard Required/Approved marine parts in the below areas:

The flame arrestor prevents flames from exiting the intake if the engine backfires.

The distributor, starter and alternator have spark suppression features to prevent an ignition source if fuel vapors are present.

The carburetor has vents and an overflow fitting that allows fuel to go into the intake and not leak on the intake manifold to prevent fire.

Mechanical fuel pumps are vented the same way as above, and fuel lines must be Coast Guard Approved, and no plastic fuel filters are allowed in engine compartment

What is the purpose of using Storage Seal or Fogging Oil in my outboard engine?

Storage Seal Rust Inhibitor or Fogging Oil is a blend of corrosion-inhibiting additives designed to coat engine components during engine storage to reduce the formation of surface rust.  Use Storage Seal or Fogging Oil as directed in your Operation, Maintenance and Warranty Manual , and follow the directions on the container.

Can I leave my lower unit empty of lubricant over the winter?

We do not recommend leaving a lower unit empty during storage periods.  An empty oil cavity may allow moisture to collect on the gears, bearings, and shafts.  Rust will form when the moisture reacts with the air, damaging the internal components.


Note:  If water was present when draining the gear oil, the lower unit should be inspected by an authorized dealer.