Outdrive oil level sensor

by Bruce Rogers
(Ferris,tx. USA)

I am losing outdrive oil in my sensor that is attached to my motor. There is never an oil slick on the water or any wet spots when I run the motor on a flush. There is no oil leaking inside the boat and collecting in the bilge. I am thinking it must be leaking inside the Bellows.

Can that be dangerous for the gimbal bearing? I have done a bit of reading on this subject and I am told the outdrive oil will wash the grease out of the gimbal bearing and destroy it.
I understand how to take the tilt trim cylinders off and hang them up by a wire so they do not dangle. I know how to disconnect the speedometer cable on the outdrive. Oh by the way, this is an alpha one generation two outdrive. The Marina took my outdrive apart and examined it and found nothing wrong with the outdrive so they put it back together. But months down the road and 50 hours or so breaking in the motor I have noticed I'm losing oil in my outdrive sensor but can never find a leak. Initially I thought the oil loss was air escaping from the outdrive and being replaced with oil at least that is what it looked like to a rookie. But as time went on I begin to realize that much air could not have been trapped in the outdrive. I changed the gear oil after the break-in and personally Filled the outdrive from the bottom drain with the top vent screw removed to allow air to escape. I filled the out drive extra slow to minimize air that could be trapped.
I understand there are six nuts I need to take off to remove the drive also there is a pin that needs to be removed well actually a large pin that needs to be taken out before I can remove the drive.
Now that the outdrive is off how do I check to see where the oil is leaking from? I think it's either going to be a leaking hose or a fitting that is causing the leak or does the outdrive need to be running but I don't see how that would be possible. I only lose gear oil when the outdrive it's running.
Is the outdrive oil causing damage inside the Bellows? Will this gear oil cause damage to seals and leak other places and cause more damage? I know motor oil Or gear oil in contact with rubber is not good so would I need to buy another Bellows?
Will I need special tools to reattach the bellows when I reattach the outdrive to the boat?
I can save $200 from just removing the drive and putting it back on myself but to pay that money for someone to just tinker with a hose or a fitting, I just can't see myself putting that kind of money out for that simple of a job.
I can remove the lower unit from the outdrive to make things a little bit lighter when the outdrive is removed from the transom.
How heavy would the outdrive be then?
Have you heard of anyone putting molybdenum disulfide in their outdrive gear oil? From what I read it is actually a better lubricant than oil.
I'm all about trying to pamper this outdrive and make it last.
I start the boat on land once a week whether it needs it or not and engage the outdrive just long enough to splash oil around.

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