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Old 14-05-2009, 15:47   #1
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Sail Drive Oil Change - Yanmar w/ SD20 Leg

Has anyone worked out how to change the sail drive oil without lifting the boat.Can get only half out with vacuum pump.Cheers Geoff.
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Old 15-05-2009, 04:32   #2
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I'd also be very interested to hear of any effective methods for in-water oil changes.
Yanmar SD20 Operation Manual (Ch 6):
www.ekstrom.fi/index.php?doc_id=38.pdf
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Old 15-05-2009, 08:42   #3
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I read a thread on how to do that over a year ago. I don't know if it was here, or someplace else. Hopefully someone will come along with the answer.......i2f
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Old 15-05-2009, 09:19   #4
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I didnít see anything here:

sail drive - Google Search

There were these threads:

Sail Drive Maintenance

doing sail drive seals underwater

Yanmar SD20 Sail Drive Caution
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Old 19-05-2009, 06:02   #5
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Why only half?

I don't understand why you can only pull half the oil with a vac pump. Is it because the tube won't touch the bottom of the tank?
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Old 19-05-2009, 07:29   #6
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Getting thje hose past the gears is the problem......i2f
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Old 19-05-2009, 21:52   #7
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When I got some water in one SD20, I had no alternative but to suck it out the top. I felt I was able to remove only about 1/3 of the oil.

So I would draw out as much as i could, replace it, run the engine lightly loaded for a few minutes, and then repeat for a total of 9 times. Cleaned up the oil nicely.

The SD20 is not vented. Changing temps, operating and ambient, cause higher or lower pressures inside. It's the lower pressure that causes problems. Also, even with no added air pressure inside, the oil level is much below the level of the water outside, as well as oil being lighter than water. So we are really asking a lot of the shaft seal.

So out of desperation, I made a header tank for the oil and mounted it a foot or two above the waterline. The connecting tubing connects to a ss tube stuck in a hole drilled through the fill cap after removing the dip stick. Now there is always a slightly increased pressure inside.

I've had no problem w/ water intrusion since. Plus, checking oil level only takes a glance at the translucent tank. Any oil needed is just poured into the tank.
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Old 03-06-2009, 17:12   #8
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Thanks for the info.guess the header tank is the way to go ,am also thinking of drilling a breather hole in the dipstick cap this would stop pressure build up from the oil heating ,expanding then contracting , which would force a small amount of water through the seal.As the units dont use any oil and the pressure is minimal do you see any problems with this.Thanks Geoff.
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Old 03-06-2009, 19:10   #9
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This would help, but it might also result in oil squirting out the hole. I see my oil level in the tank go up quite a bit when it gets hot. Also, comtaminants could get in.

But the oil level in the SD20 is much lower than the waterline. Oil is lighter than water. So if you don't raise the oil level a good bit higher than the waterline, the water pressure on the seal will be higher than the oil pressure inside. If the seal leaks, you will get water inside.

But why stop here ? It is very easy to make a tank. I had ordered 2 from Mercruiser (kind of expensive, but the only smallish ones I could find), but when they weren't shipped as promised, in my desperation I looked around my shop for an alternative. I found a small, tall and skinny plastic bottle (Lucas gas additive, for cleaning injectors, I think). I cleaned it, cut the bottom off and glued into the bottle mouth a plastic fitting with a 1/4 iThis would help, but it might also result in oil squirting out the hole. I see my oil level in the tank go up quite a bit when it gets hot. Also, comtaminants could get in.

But the oil level in the SD20 is much lower than the waterline. Oil is lighter than water. So if you don't raise the oil level a good bit higher than the waterline, the water pressure on the seal will be higher than the oil pressure inside. If the seal leaks, you will get water inside.

But why stop here ? It is very easy to make a tank. I had ordered 2 from Mercruiser (kind of expensive, but the only smallish ones I could find), but when they weren't shipped as promised, in my desperation I looked around my shop for an alternative. I found a small, tall and skinny plastic bottle nch barb for the tubing. The tubing connects to the 1/4 inch ss tube inserted into the SD20 fill cap. I threaded one of those plastic pinch "valves" on the tube near the cap so the cap could be removed when the tank is full. Last, I made a tank cap out of the outer portion of the "child proof" cap on a 1 gallon marine anti freeze jug. Mounted the tank with wire ties and wire tie pads.

If these products aren't available in Australia, you should be able to find something similar.

I should add that this probably is not Yanmar approved. While I adjusted the length of the ss tube in the fill cap to be at the correct "full" level, I would not be surprised if the air space hasn't disappeared and now full of oil. I can't see where this could cause problems though. I'm guessing that the air space above the "full" level is to absorb the expansion of the oil, because as built, the saildrive is not vented. My expansion tanks now take care of this. I've had these in use for 5 years now.
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Old 03-06-2009, 19:13   #10
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Sorry about the duplication there !
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