What a great fishing season we had in 2012 and now we are doing much needed winter/off-season services and repairs to get ready for 2013.
Servicing your outboards lower-unit should be part of your regular Preventive Maintenance Plan, especially at the start of a new season. Shown here is a photo made recently that indicates very clearly the need for annual services and why pulling the prop regularly on your outboard is also so vitally important and can be a real money saver in the long run.
Notice the bottom portion of the seal area that has degraded due to corrosion over the years. Pulling the prop on a regular basis would have caught this early. There is a large aluminum ring with teeth, this is the locking ring and allows us to remove the bearing carrier that has sustained the damage. This ring is critical to remove every year to lubricate and reinstall so when the seals or seal area is damaged and this piece has to be removed, the salt or mineral buildup will not require excess force or heat to remove the bearing carrier without the possibility of warping the gearcase. In this case saltwater has already entered the unit and the oil was pushed out causing bearing and gear failure.
From the first year of ownership to the last, an inspection of this area is simple for an owner to perform and should be part of the annual service by your provider.
Take a sample of the fluid every few fishing weeks; remove the prop to check for fishing line that might be wrapped there, and change the gear lube twice a year.
Need help? We have started posting how-to videos on our Facebook and Coastal Bend Marine website.
Thank you and have a great 2013 season!