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#4567549 - 11/08/17 09:14 AM "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil?
Hot_Ajax Offline


Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 139
Loc: Bucks County, PA
Is it critical to use gear oil designated as marine gear lube instead of using gear lube that has no such designation? I am indeed puzzled and inquiring minds want to know. Thanks in advance. Hot Ajax

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#4567556 - 11/08/17 09:21 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
MotoTribologist Offline


Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 562
Loc: NJ, USA
The main difference between them should be their interaction with moisture/water. A marine gear oil should be designed to handle water contamination quite well with little or no effect on overall performance for at least a short time. A general automotive gear oil will nto likely have those same characteristics.

The general performance will not likely be all that different, but that water handling ability of a marine gear oil can certainly be crucial in the right conditions.

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#4567589 - 11/08/17 09:45 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20455
Loc: Upstate NY
Since they carry marine gear oil at Walmart and typically you use 1 to 2 QTs, it would seem a no brainier.
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#4567600 - 11/08/17 09:56 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: MotoTribologist]
Hot_Ajax Offline


Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 139
Loc: Bucks County, PA


Edited by Hot_Ajax (11/08/17 09:59 AM)

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#4567605 - 11/08/17 09:57 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: MotoTribologist]
Hot_Ajax Offline


Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 139
Loc: Bucks County, PA
Originally Posted By: MotoTribologist
The main difference between them should be their interaction with moisture/water. A marine gear oil should be designed to handle water contamination quite well with little or no effect on overall performance for at least a short time. A general automotive gear oil will nto likely have those same characteristics.

The general performance will not likely be all that different, but that water handling ability of a marine gear oil can certainly be crucial in the right conditions.


Thanks, MotoTribologist. Good explanation. Much appreciated. Exactly the type of explanation I was looking for, not whether I can save 25 Cents at Walmart


Edited by Hot_Ajax (11/08/17 10:10 AM)

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#4567669 - 11/08/17 10:51 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Moto nailed it on the head.
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#4568102 - 11/08/17 05:20 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: DoubleWasp]
Hot_Ajax Offline


Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 139
Loc: Bucks County, PA
Moto sure did. Loved his response.

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#4588873 - 11/29/17 01:12 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: MotoTribologist]
doyall Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 493
Loc: LA (Lower Alabama)
What different constituents would be used in a gear oil designed to handle water contamination?

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#4588949 - 11/29/17 02:24 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6368
Loc: Texas
I have seen “milky” marine gear oil in the past, Pennzoil, Evinrude, etc … but my last drain started with very clean water (maybe 4 Oz) followed by very clean oil. This oil was Merc. Gear Lube+
So did it “resist” invasion or what?

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#4589697 - 11/30/17 09:46 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
Skier Offline


Registered: 11/22/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Ohio
If your lower unit doesn't take in water, the Pennzoil Marine gear lube is fine. It's easier to get in there with that tapered spout.

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#4591373 - 12/01/17 06:47 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: MotoTribologist]
irv Offline


Registered: 10/08/06
Posts: 1059
Loc: Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: MotoTribologist
The main difference between them should be their interaction with moisture/water. A marine gear oil should be designed to handle water contamination quite well with little or no effect on overall performance for at least a short time. A general automotive gear oil will nto likely have those same characteristics.

The general performance will not likely be all that different, but that water handling ability of a marine gear oil can certainly be crucial in the right conditions.

https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/gear-lube/universal-synthetic-marine-gear-lube/?code=AGMTB-EA
True marine gear performance. Provides superior protection from shock loading. Resists foam and retains extreme-pressure qualities even when subjected to 10% water contamination. For use in outboard lower units, sterndrives, V-drives, bow and tunnel thrusters and marine transmissions Excellent for use in ATVs.[i][/i]
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#4592087 - 12/02/17 01:28 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
Silverado12 Offline


Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 3114
Loc: Central Virginia
FWIW I used Amsoil gear oil in my lower unit one season and it came out black. I went back to Mercury oil (the blue stuff) and never had another problem.
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#4592270 - 12/02/17 05:25 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Silverado12]
irv Offline


Registered: 10/08/06
Posts: 1059
Loc: Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: Silverado12
FWIW I used Amsoil gear oil in my lower unit one season and it came out black. I went back to Mercury oil (the blue stuff) and never had another problem.


What do you think caused the oil to turn black? I have no clue myself, but could it be it was dirty in there due to the Merc oil and the Amsoil just cleaned it up or do you think it was an inferior product?

I have used Amsoil in my old ATV, but that's about as far as it goes today with it's use, other than using their grease for my snowmobiles.
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#4594103 - 12/04/17 03:00 PM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: doyall]
MotoTribologist Offline


Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 562
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: doyall
What different constituents would be used in a gear oil designed to handle water contamination?

Emulsifiers for the most part.

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#4611804 - 12/23/17 05:11 AM Re: "Marine" Gear Oil vs. Regular Gear Oil? [Re: Hot_Ajax]
supercity Offline


Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 1156
Loc: Australia
Most consumer grade products wouldn't be anything special. Stern tube lubes are historically very basic, cost wins. There is a movement towards biodegradable lubes more than water tolerant ones. Water tolerance may sound like a good idea to the enthusiast however it's rarely a feature.

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