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Thread: Lower unit drain/check plug

  1. #1

    Default Lower unit drain/check plug

    Ok, so we've got a 90's or so era 48 SPL Johnson; lower prop seal is damaged and we're losing a little oil out of the bottom unit. The drain/check plug is really stuck and since the housing is all aluminum, we're being careful with it.

    What's the best way to get it loose? Was gonna take the biggest flat blade screwdriver I got and put a wrench on it (Snap On screwdriver) for extra torque. What about heating it up with a propane torch or mapp gas? Any other ideas?

    Thanks, Jim

  2. #2

    Default

    I wouldnt use heat accept as a last resort.
    Soak it with some good penetrating oil & let it sit overnight. Then try turning it with tightest fitting screw driver you have.

    If it does come to applying I would go slow with it.
    Also if you are replacing your prop seal why not attack this plug while replacing your seal. The oil will drain out the back when you replace it. That way you wont have the issue of possibly boiling the oil with heat if needed?

  3. #3
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Default

    Use a hand operated impact driver,

    http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000723.php


    essentially its a spring loaded device about 6"-8" long with interchangable tips, find the right tip and smack the end with a hammer, relieves the tension on the thread and rotates the screw at the same time, the one in the picture is a snap-on, but Sears or Napa would have them as well.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  4. #4
    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Tap,Tap,Tap With the big screw driver in the slot. Go to right first,then off, that might brake it free. If you heat it, Theres a washer under neath there would need to replaced.

  5. #5
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    Default The hammer impact driver is by far the best tool

    some washers are plactic some are paper, Be nice there's a magnet on that plug, A steddy load is very effective as well. Before I had the impact driver, I used a square shafted screw driver and a crescent wrench close to the business and it worked well.

  6. #6

    Default Thanks! Now...

    Okay, got the drain & check plugs removed; did the combo penetrating oil, huge Snap On screwdriver w/1/2 wrench cheater, worked great.

    Only thing is that when I pulled the lower plug, which is magnetic, it was totally covered in metal shavings and worse, had 3 small pieces of what looked like needle bearings. Oh oh.

    So, buttoned it all back up to await my buddy's return from Anchorage; it's his boat and he gave me the go ahead to use it, but stopped touching it right there! My dad always told us to never borrow stuff cause if it's gonna break, that'll be the time! Maybe I should've listened more to him growing up!

    thanks for the tips, Jim

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Okay, got the drain & check plugs removed; did the combo penetrating oil, huge Snap On screwdriver w/1/2 wrench cheater, worked great.

    Only thing is that when I pulled the lower plug, which is magnetic, it was totally covered in metal shavings and worse, had 3 small pieces of what looked like needle bearings. Oh oh.

    So, buttoned it all back up to await my buddy's return from Anchorage; it's his boat and he gave me the go ahead to use it, but stopped touching it right there! My dad always told us to never borrow stuff cause if it's gonna break, that'll be the time! Maybe I should've listened more to him growing up!

    thanks for the tips, Jim
    Dont sweat this just yet. The "needle bearings" you describe on the magnetic catch on the drain plug could come from only one thing.

    You have two roller bearings on the prop shaft both front & rear. Dont think we are dealing with the front one. These are caged bearings but look like needle bearings when they come apart.

    First question:
    Can you tell if the prop shaft has has got into the metel portion of the rear seal?

    Second:
    Can you grab the shaft & make it wiggle much?
    If niether of these show up this should be an easy cheap fix. Both front & rear bearing can be had for less than $15.00 a piece.

    Forward bearing, "large case" pt# 22940
    Rear pt#22870

    Forward "small case" forword pt#22900
    Rear pt# 22890

  8. #8

    Default Thanks Kaw,

    for the info. This motor is pretty suspect and I'm pretty disappointed in my buddy's investment into this. There's a local marine shop that sold him this used 48 (supposedly my buddy's buddy) and they really took it to him badly. The 48 has lots of surface corrosion, the tilt/trim doesn't work and has leaking seals, and the jokers at the boat shop who mounted the motor on the skiff did such a crappy job that the motor pivoted on the transom, mounted only with 2 bolts thru the transom, no bolts lower to steady/stabilize the motor, not to mention the leaking lower unit. Also they were supposed to tune up the other 40 on the boat so it would run at low speeds, still runs crappy at low speeds.

    I'm not touching this thing till he gets back and either gets all this stuff fixed asap or returns the 48 and we go back to the single 40 & 6 hp kicker. It's my friend's boat but we've worked and invested some $$$ into it together and pooled all our tackle, lures, etc. to make a complete fishing machine.

    We'll hope for the best, Jim

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