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Lower unit

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I've got issues with my '99 Johnson 115 lower unit. From what I found I believe I blew the seal on the shifter rod. I'll find out the true leak with a pressure test.

I have a question for you fellow FM'ers who have done their own maintanance to the lower unit of your motor. I found a bunch of microscopic metal flakes stuck to the magnetic drain plugs. This is much more metal shavings than normal. No major "chunks", sounds, performance, etc or anything like that. Never hit anything with the motor, no excessive abuse.

Two mechanics I have talked to said it is likely no big deal. One mechanic said it needed a 7 hour labor job to tear it all apart @ $60/hour. Another mechanic (highly respected and very well trained) 1.5 hour to fix the seal, inspect, and that's it (and not worry about the shavings, unless I find chunks of gears in the casing.)

Do we have any mechanics online to give an opinion? I know mechanics, but I'm not going to touch this job with the tools I own.

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CD,
I own the same motor as you and have also found a small amount of metal shavings when changing the lower end unit oil. Newer engines have very tight tolerances and the small metal flakes are not uncommon. I would not be overly concerned. I have experienced this with other motors as well and I am very meticulous with my maintenance.

I can confirm the tear-down on the lower unit alone is time consuming. I had the misfortune of needing to repair a damaged prop, seal and bent shaft caused by an unforeseen rock formation.

One note on these motors:
The prop shaft is relativley small in proportion to the prop size. If you ever hit anything and damage the blades, inspect the shaft by giving it a spin to confirm if it remains true. It does not take much for that large propeller to bend the small shaft, damage seals, shread gears ect. Furthermore, as a result of this disproportionate prop & shaft sizing, it is not advisable to install a stainless steel prop, they are far less forgiving than the aluminum, OMC prop.

Good luck,
<;))))><

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Thanks Johnny B.
Unfortunately, the metal shavings have plugged up my magnetic tips on the drain plugs three lube changes in a row this season alone. Last season there was a small amount, but no big deal.

The motor is now going into the shop next week for a pressure test to find the leak(s)and repairs.

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