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04 sunscape v-drive oil won’t drain


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I bought an 04 LSV that didn’t have any service history so I am changing all the fluids. Oil went well, trans came out quickly with a pump, but the v-drive oil doesn’t seem to want to come out at all. The oil on the dipstick looks good and is right at the high mark. 
 

im using a 12v pump off Amazon. 
 

I tried the v-drive, no luck, moved to trans, fluid flew out. Went back to v drive and not a drop of oil would pump out. 
 

2 questions. Is the SAE30 too thick for the pump? There looks to be a drain (square head plug/bolt) near the bottom of the V drive, port side. Is that a drain that can be used? Thanks! 

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Yeah, there is a proper drain but I found it very difficult to get to.  I just used a 12v pump and you'll have to play with the tube to "find" the fluid, as there is a cooling passage inside that you'll need to negotiate.

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The v-drive oil is typically difficult to pump out on our 04 VLX unless it is warm. I use a fluid extractor (vacuum pump) to remove the oil (1 quart). I typically change the oil the last day on the water each fall. I am not aware of an oil drain on my v-drive, but there is likely a drain plug on the bottom side of the housing. There are two drain plugs for the water jacket located high and low on the casing. I will look at the v-drive manual to see if there are oil change instructions within.

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FWIW, the pump that I use to drain the transmission fluid (Dexron/Mercon ATF in both on my '06) has two different diameter suction hoses.  I use the smaller one and snake it as deep as I can before beginning to suction.  I invariably have to reposition it several times to eek out the majority of the fluid from the v-drive.  I then decant all of that ATF into an empty plastic soda bottle (2L size works well), let it settle, and then mark that level with a Sharpie pen.  I then dump the old stuff and fill the bottle up to that mark with the new.  Then, using an appropriate funnel, I pour in that new ATF.  Works for me.  Almost always, the level on the dipstick is spot on after I'm done doing it this way.  YMMV.

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So on to my next rookie mistake... oil change went well, trans easy. Popped the drain tube in the same jug as the motor oil. Pumped till the oil was out of the v drive. Crap... can’t really measure how much I pumped out. I start adding 1/4 of a Q at a time, check the dipstick. Get almost the whole Q in there and realize that the oil is so clear it is hard to see where it is on the dipstick. Get a flashlight and go in and out of the well slowly and realize the level is well above the H mark. 
 

Slowly start pumping a little out at a time, and slowly get to the point where it seems to be empty again. You would think I would have gotten a new jug to measure how much I got out... oh no, I had my dummy hat on again.
 

I filled in the dipstick hole, yes I realize there is a fill hole. I tried to get the plug out with an adjustable wrench and I was afraid to really push on it at the beginning of the season, so I filled in the dipstick hole. I ended up getting a 19mm wrench and got the fill plug out. im going to let it sit to see if there was some residual oil in the dipstick well and check it again in the morning.   

im going to fill in the fill hole tomorrow and hope for a better reading. 

Thoughts? 

thanks again!!!
 

 

Edited by rakr
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I thought I read somewhere that it is bad to over fill the v-drive, but can’t find that. It also sounds like there is a vent. I might put another 1/2 Q in there and check it on the water this afternoon and see if I can get a good reading after running it a bit.

in RTFM, it looks like there should be 1/2 Q, but it sounds like most people are putting in almost a full Q? 

Edited by rakr
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One quart is the capacity of the v-drive gearbox in our boat. The new fluid is also difficult to detect on the dipstick for me. I touch the dipstick against a clean paper towel in order to verify the level. Overfilling the gearbox may cause your oil to foam and inhibit proper lubrication of the gears.

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Oil drained. 10mm square plug in the back. Required my “baby” wrench. 
 

drained until it was just a drop every few seconds, now I know it is empty. 
 

pretty sure I’m only going to put an ounce of SAE30 in at a time. Oh yeah... my arm hurts a bit. It’s a bit awkward, but it broke free pretty easily. 
 

stupid tax paid in full  

AEDFB841-A516-4926-A32D-82107E997A90.jpeg

Edited by rakr
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Final thoughts. I’m glad I drained it from the bottom. It was super dark. I’ll probably pull the magnetic plugs and possibly the strainer in the fall and clean them. 800ml went in and was about 2/3 up the usable range. I’m going to run it and top it off. 

Edited by rakr
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1 minute ago, Murphys said:

That is the location I use to add the oil via a small funnel. For me, bleeding (and cursing engineers) is a routine part of working on the boat.:biggrin:

10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag! The new ones are 10x worse. 

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My ‘19 uses the gear oil which is thicker, and a little harder to suck out. But the VD dip stick has about 1” hole so it vacuums out really easy and fills real easy as well, at $25 quart. :Doh: Going to get max hours out of this oil. My other Walters and other Hurth was so cheap to change I didn’t mind doing it once a season just to be able to be in the boat in the middle of winter.

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5 hours ago, rakr said:

Final thoughts. I’m glad I drained it from the bottom. It was super dark. I’ll probably pull the magnetic plugs and possibly the strainer in the fall and clean them. 800ml went in and was about 2/3 up the usable range. I’m going to run it and top it off. 

Having had one apart to replace the gasket, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to check the screen/strainer which is secured to the bottom of the sump pan. It will stop some big crud, but nothing in a micron range. Point being is if you drained it and don’t see any floaters, I wouldn’t mess with the aggravation and the high probability of having it leak on you for the rest of your ownership.

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