Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

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M-Sea
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Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby M-Sea » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:20 pm

I am currently working on a Champion Model 2L-HD and need to put some fluid in the lower unit. The Instructions say to use Champion Lower Unit Oil, but does not mention what can be used in place of the Champion oil. Does anyone know what oil/fluid I can use in this hydro-drive lower unit?

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Buccaneer
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby Buccaneer » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:02 pm

The manual for the Champion 4L-HD says "outboard motor oil" for the gear lube.
Not sure if there is any difference is in the 2L.
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FrankR
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby FrankR » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:25 pm

The 2L-HD book has the same paragraph as shown above.

M-Sea
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby M-Sea » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:47 pm

Thanks, I missed that.

outbdnut2
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby outbdnut2 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 pm

Remember that SAE 30 is higher viscosity than today's TCW3 oil.

These hydrostatic lower units are cool when they are working right - when idling at minimum hydro setting, old Champion repair and parts guy, Lyle Swanson, told me you can stop the prop with your finger, but I never had the guts to try it. They don't like water getting in. If the propshaft seal is bad, that is a custom Champion part. Lyle told me back in the 1980s that he had the molding house make up more occasionally until the mold broke. (when Champion folded and he got all the Champion factory parts, he got some molds too!). He had a new mold made - I don't know if that mold still exists or if anyone has access to it anymore. Back in the early 1960s when I was 14, I bought a 4LHD for $35, got it running and ran it on a homemade hydroplane. That motor is long gone, but I bought another one a year ago that is seized. Haven't gotten around to seeing if I can make it run yet. When running the 1st one on the hydro, due to the higher RPM it revved to, Lyle told me to run gas/oil mix at around 10 to 1, (note the CHampion HotRod racing motors ran on a 4 to 1 mix) and I had to go two heat ranges colder on the spark plugs. I dunked it several times.
Dave

BillW
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby BillW » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:55 am

What is it that makes the prop shaft seal so special? I have one of these motors, too, that I keep swearing that I will get to, soon. I thought my biggest problem was going to be the impeller.....

outbdnut2
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby outbdnut2 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:09 pm

BillW wrote:What is it that makes the prop shaft seal so special? I have one of these motors, too, that I keep swearing that I will get to, soon. I thought my biggest problem was going to be the impeller.....


It is the shape of the propshaft seal that is different from anything else out there. The rubber conforms to the surrounding surface to hold it in place - It is not an O-ring and does not have a metal collar to press in place. I don't remember the exact shape because it was in the early 1980s that I bought one from Lyle when he was still in business with his Swanson outboard shop that was nicely located about 15 miles from me. When I get around to the motor I bought last year, if the seal is bad, I'm wondering if an automotive chemical exists that will soften it up and swell it a bit, like automotive power steering stop leak or transmission stop leak? Worth a try!
Dave

M-Sea
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby M-Sea » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:10 am

I have decided to clean/rebuild the hydro-drive unit in my model 2L-HD. I have the Champion instructions date June 1, 1953. The instructions seem complete but I was wondering if anyone that has previously rebuilt one have any helpful hints.
Mike

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Garry in Tampa
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby Garry in Tampa » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:46 am

I saw a service bulletin menny years ago that said to send them back to the factory if they needed to be rebuilt. . . 8-)

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outbdnut2
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Re: Champion Hydro-drive Lower Unit

Postby outbdnut2 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:53 am

I redid a lower from a 4LHD (probably the same lower as your 2LHD) back in the early 1980s. From what I remember, other than replacing the seal I already mentioned, all it needed was disassembly and cleaning which was pretty straightforward. You need a spanner wrench to unscrew the bushing around the propshaft. Just keep track of how the rest comes apart. Mine looked like someone had put heavier grease in it and there had been water in there too, but it all cleaned up well. You will see a small screw holding the impeller housing at the rear of the lower unit housing - the impeller runs off the rear of the propshaft. Lyle Swanson told me the #1 problem is people not changing oil to get traces of water out, and using the proper oil in them.
Dave


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