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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always replace the washers on the lower unit drain plugs when changing the oil to minimize the chance of water intrusion but still had water in the lower unit a few years ago with new washers.

Has anyone tried using teflon tape on the threads as an additional measure to prevent water intrusion? If so, any problems? The only potential problem that I envision would be loss of torque on the plug due to the increased lubricity of the teflon.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Kirk
 

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There are three other places where water can enter the lower unit, the shift rod seal, the prop seal and the drive shaft seal umder the water pump. The most likely leak is the shaft seal under the water pump. Teflon won't help.
 

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Get a manual if you don't already have one, or view one of the hundred Youtube videos on replacing the water pump assembly. Just figure it out and get it fixed before you are forced to replace the LU.
 

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If you have water in the lower unit, the way to determine where it's coming in is to pressure and vacuum test the LU. If you don't have the skills and knowledge to do this, take it to a dealer and have them test it. Water doesn't leak by good vent/drain seals if the seals are in good condition. The threads are not the leak point and changing the water pump has zero effect on this issue. Start by pulling the prop and inspect the shaft in the seal area, looking for mono which may have wrapped around the shaft and damaged the prop shaft seal(s) (typically two, back to back). The mono often will not even look like line, but more like a translucent washer, caused by heat, and gets 'welded' into a washer shape.

The leak point were correctly described above:drive shaft, prop shaft and shift rod seals.

But the vacuum/pressure test will tell exactly where the water is getting in. An OEM shop manual (not the third party junk) will describe the procedure if you want to do it yourself.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I guess my question was confusing. I realize there are multiple potential leak paths into the lower unit and agree the dynamic seals are more likely but there's a chance water could also enter thru the drain plugs. I view the drain plugs as low hanging fruit and was looking for an easy way to completely eliminate these from the possibilities. Except for the prop shaft, the other seals and not readily accessible. I usually have the drive and shift shaft seals changed when replacing the water pump (every 2 years).
 

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I had a leak this fall. I discovered that I had 2 washers under the drain plug, they are inexpensive to replace and solved my leak fortunately. You are correct, tey are the low hanging fruit.
 

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The most vulnerable seals are the prop shaft ones. They usually get damaged by mono fishing line, which wraps itself around the shaft and into the seal area. Very common failure, especially if the prop is not removed at the end of the boating season and the shaft carefully inspected in the seal area. The mono usually forms a translucent, washer looking thing caused by heat, that looks like it belongs (and wrecks the seal if not cut away.)

Jim
 
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