Checking the gear lube level of the lower unit of your outboard or sterndrive, changing the gear lube or even topping it usually means you're in for messy job. But the new Lower Unit Fill/Drain Kit from Sierra might change all of that. .
This kit features two fittings that permanently replace the upper vent plug and lower drain plug in your Mercury or Evinrude/Johnson outboard or stern drive lower unit. They are machined from marine-grade 304 stainless steel for corrosion resistance in salt water. Each features a ball check valve that prevents any outward flow of lubricant, and the lower drain plug fitting comes with a debris cap for protection. In addition, the lower fitting contains a small magnet that attracts and holds metal particles suspended in the gear lube.
Service adapters are provided for each of the lower unit fittings. These adapters, also 304 stainless steel, are threaded on one end and barbed on the other to accept a hose or tube. When screwed into the fittings the service adapters disengage the check valves, allowing for fluid to flow in and out of the lower unit into a drain pan.
A stainless steel key-ring tool is included to make it easy to install the fittings, remove the debris cap and to depress the check valve of the lower drain plug. Depressing the check valve releases a few drops of lubricant for a quick, no-mess inspection.
The Sierra Lower Unit Fill/Drain Kit received the IBEX Innovation Award at the 2013 IBEX Show held in Louisville, Kentucky. Judges agreed that this new product takes the mess out of changing the gear lube in an outboard or sterndrive lower unit. In addition, it makes inspection easy and neat, encouraging more frequent checks – and longer gear life.
Kits to match the metric threads on lower-unit drains and vents of brands such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha outboards and Volvo Penta sterndrives will be coming soon, Sierra tells us.
For more information on lubricants for your boat, check out Sportfishingmag.com/Better Boating/Choosing Oil for Your Boat.