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Old    beagle            05-07-2006, 1:58 AM Reply   
I have a '98 4.3L Merc Cruiser (205hp) engine. It is a used boat and I don't think the oil got changed last year (first full summer with her). I am not an engine guy, and all the engine/oil change talk is nonsense to me.

What I am looking for is a link, or for someone to post pics of what I need to do (a link with words wont work, since I am not familiar with all the engine verbiage). Treat me like a 5 y.o. with pictures of the appropriate parts that need to removed/change etc. I want to learn, and I was hoping someone here could help me. I know I need to change the filter and remove the old oil either via the dipstick, or (harder from what I understand) removing a plug and draining to a pan. I would also like to learn how to do the lower unit as well.

Had it winterized by a "pro" this winter (in MI) and put the plugs in, connected the battery and ran the boat in the water for about 5 minutes to hopefully run the "fogging" agent out. After I learn the oil change, what else should I look towards learning.

PLEASE SPEAK IN Idiot Language, as I am not very engine savvy. Thanks!
Old     (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-07-2006, 4:38 AM Reply   
Its been sometimge since I watched any of these so I cant comment on the quality or details but you might learn some basics.

Old     (dkjbama92mariah)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-07-2006, 4:53 AM Reply   
Sounds like you have a pretty firm grasp on what you need to do, but i'll throw a few pointers your way.
1. Change the oil with the engine warm. It flows alot better that way.

2. Get yourself an oil change pump. It has a tube that goes down the dipstick and sucks the oil out of theh sump. West marine has a good selection:
I would get either an electric one or the one that runs off a drill. I have the topsider vacuum pump and it sucks. I'm assuming you know where the dipstick is.

3. You'll need an oil filter wrench. You can pick one up at any auto parts store. While you're at the parts store, go ahead and get your new oil and filter. I use the Mobil 1 filter, but I also hear good things about the K&N oil filters.

4. Pour some fresh oil into the new filter before you put it on and coat the rubber o-ring on the new filter with oil (just use your finger).

5. When you put the new filter on, it doesnt have to be REALLY tight. Get it hand tight, and then tighten it 3/4 to one full turn with the wrench.

6. When you pour in the fresh oil, put in 1 quart less than the engine's oil capacity and then check the level on the dipstick. Then add oil 1/4 quart at a time, checking the dipstick each time, until you reach the full mark on the dipstick.

7.To check the level, remove the dipstick, wipe it with a rag, reinsert it, pull it back out and read the level on the dipstick.

OK, here's a non-detailed list of the steps:
1. Suck the old oil out with your pump
2. Remove the old filter
3. Fill the new filter with oil, coat the o-ring, and install.
4. Refill the engine with fresh oil.
5. Check the oil level
6. Run the engine and check for leaks.
7. Check the oil level again and top-up as necessary.

Changing the lube in your lower unit is even easier. Here's a page with pretty good instructions:

Good luck,
Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-07-2006, 10:20 AM Reply   
Check your dipstick tube. Most Mercruisers have threads around the end. If yours does, get a Tempo oil change pump. It comes with three tubes, and one has the same threads as the dipstick tube. Just screw that tube onto the threads, connect the other end with the tube that connects to the pump, and start pumping. This is much faster and surer than sticking a hose down the dipstick tube.

Two points:

- Do this when the oil is hot.

- Pump 4 to 6 times to create a vacuum and get the oil flowing. After that, it drains itself.

Change the filter, add new oil, and you're done.


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