Tips to Maintain Your Mercruiser Sterndrive Engine
For fishing, boating, boat racing and watersports activities, the Mercruiser sterndrive handles it all capably. Maintaining your MerCruiser sterndrive well, however, is key to its performance and your continued boating pleasure. Keeping your Mercruiser sterndrive trouble free is easy when you know where to go for the right replacement parts. Wholesale Marine carries everything marine mechanics require to perform routine maintenance or make simple or complex repairs to almost any Mercruiser sterndrive model. For boat owners and boat mechanics, when you need replacement Mercruiser engine parts, come to us!
Since the 1950s, the Mercruiser by Mercury has been one of the most popular sterndrive manufacturers. Known for their performance and reliability, it is easy to take your Mercruiser sterndrive, made by one of the industry leaders for granted. Here are some basics to understand, even if you do not plan on performing maintenance and/or repairs yourself.
Mercruiser Engine Parts That Require Routine Maintenance
Routine maintenance is key to extending the life of your sterndrive. It’s best to refer to your Mercruiser Service Manual for guidance. We discourage boat owners from performing the actual work themselves; this is not a job for amateurs. But troubleshooting after every voyage will help to find possible problems before these become major expenses.
Most sterndrive engines are constructed from parts that include metal alloys. These can corrode through a process called galvanization. Regardless of its name, corrosion must be avoided. One way to accomplish this is to apply a superior antifouling product. Wholesale Marine stocks a full line of these products and we’ll be glad to advise you on the product that is best for your sterndrive.
Drives have bearings that permit rotations. The drives are usually made from a steel/aluminum alloy that requires frequent lubrication to prevent corrosion. We recommend Mercury 2-4-C Marine Lubricant with Teflon for superior protection.
Gear oil must also be checked regularly. Located just below the round gear housing you can access it by using a slotted screwdriver. Back out the plug until it loosens and some oil starts to run out. Translucent = good; milky means water has compromised your oil. Then it is time to have your seals replaced.
Next, check your propeller shafts by rotating them. If these are not rotating perfectly straight, a bent shaft which requires immediate replacement could be the culprit. Lastly, check the bellows hoses for the drive shaft and shifting controls. These must have water-tight seals as well. Raise the drive and inspect them looking for signs of cracking and fouling. Rout any sign of algae or barnacles which can easily destroy the bellows. Check their clamps for rust and replace if necessary.
Find something amiss? Want to know what parts to order? First you’ll need to identify the engine and drive. For this you’ll need the serial number. You’ll find the drive serial number stamped into the drive on either side. The good news is that for newer engines the serial number is key to obtaining the proper parts quickly. Older engines will just take a longer time to look up but we can help you get there.
There are many other maintenance procedures to follow routinely to ensure the maximum output from your MerCruiser sterndrive. Again, your owner’s manual and a certified outboard technician can advise you. Marine Mechanics and DIYers know that Wholesale Marine is your one-stop MerCruiser engine parts shop! Use our convenient engine parts locator form to locate just what you need. If you have a question or are ready to order, give us a call at (877) 388-2628. We’re here from 9AM to 6PM Monday through Friday and welcome your call!