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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 04:15 

Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 04:59
Posts: 875
I have a 1993 20hp 2stroke mercury in pristine condition.It has i believe an original exhaust manifold gasket and the one behind it that i'm not to sure the name of it,sorry.

My question is everything looks great,motor runs perfect but do i need to replace that as routine maintenance because i don't think it ever has been.I just have read stories about the bolts breaking off,etc..I can tell you the motor has never seen saltwater if that helps and has extremely low hrs on it.I did most of the other maintenance stuff on it but have never changed one of these,doesn't look to hard but i know the old saying is leave good enough alone.Amy help on this would be great,thanks.


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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 04:54 

Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 04:59
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I guess this would be a much easier question to ask,besides the impeller and lower unit oil and plugs what other gaskets need changed if any like the exhaust manifold gasket I'm asking about or the gasket that sits over the cylinders to the power head. Does any of that need changing or should it last until any issues occur or the life of the engine as long as it's cared for propel as in completely flushed every time,and engine cleaned up good . I just want to know if anyone changes the manifold gaskets, etc.... thanks.


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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 09:17 
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Scoob - do you have a service/parts manual for your motor ??



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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 09:41 
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Location: Leesville, SC
At times like this, I like to ask the most basic question of all:
"What does the manufacturer recommend?"

I'm anything but an expert, but I doubt the exhaust manifold gasket is considered an element of routine maintenance.

In fact, just taking things apart because you can presents its own problems. Unless you suspect a leak or other failure of the gasket, or need the manifold exposed to make repairs or clear it of some obstruction, the gasket is probably left well enough alone.

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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 10:44 

Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 07:44
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Location: Northeast Arkansas
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm no professional either, but I've never heard of replacing a gasket at certain intervals or as a maint item. And I've never replaced a gasket that wasn't disturbed (disassembly doing repairs etc) or has not failed. I'm not saying that there isn't a situation where you would, but I've never heard of one.



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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 16:06 

Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 16:54
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Location: North Charleston S.C.
I would not change the gasket unless you think it is leaking or you remove the exhaust manifold for some reason. It can become more work than you expect if you accidentally break a stud or bolt. Then you will have a much harder time getting it back together. Exhaust studs and bolts are very prone to breaking when trying to remove them. Case in point, I was removing my exhaust manifold on my personal vehicle and broke a couple of studs. As I tried removing the broken studs I ended up having to drill them out. As I was drilling one out I accidentally drilled too far into the head and hit the water jacket. I ended up reinstalling the manifold and using a bolt in that hole and with the bolt torqued down it does not leak. I got lucky there. That was 10 years ago and it still has no coolant leaks as I can see. Just remember be prepared for the worst if removing an exhaust manifold.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 19:38 

Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 04:59
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According to what i have read it says to do it every 8yrs or so but i believe it's the original of 24yrs old and no leaks.The lower unit when i took it off was flawless with no corrosion and also the thermostat cover came off easy.I would suspect that the bolts would come off easy but i guess i will leave it alone since no leaks.The bolts look like they have never been taken off.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 19:46 
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Location: Dearborn, Manton Michigan
just leave it be

didnt you learn anything from your last broken bolt episode? lol



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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2016, 06:30 

Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 07:44
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Location: Northeast Arkansas
perchjerker wrote:
just leave it be

didnt you learn anything from your last broken bolt episode? lol

I wasn't gonna go that far, but since you said it.........Ditto! :mrgreen:



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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2016, 21:51 

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JMichael wrote:
perchjerker wrote:
just leave it be

didnt you learn anything from your last broken bolt episode? lol

I wasn't gonna go that far, but since you said it.........Ditto! :mrgreen:

That was a fluke accident and yes I shouldn't of messed with it,but this is a maintenance part or gasket from what I have read and actually waiting for it to leak is not the brightest idea. It says from all the research I have read it usually should be changed every 8-10 yrs just as a maintenance thing but most people don't do it. If it does leak by chance it says it can be catastrophic. So now you still think after 24yr it shouldn't be replaced even if it's not leaking ???? I want your serious answer to on that,24yr it hasn't been done,maybe this is a gasket that lasts the life of the motor if their is such thing. That last episode was a fluke accident and partially my fault for forcing the bolt in sideways and cross threading it. Maybe I will just leave it but I just hope it never leaks because bad things can happen,that's all I'm saying. Also the bolt that I screwed up was on a totally different outboard, every bolt ,screw or anything I have loosened on the 93 merc has come out like butter,I mean easy,including the thermostat housing which is usually another bad area for broken bolts. I understand your logic, if it ain't broke then don't fix it. Has anyone changed that gasket here even know it's never leaked or do you guys just leave it???


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2016, 10:38 

Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 07:44
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Location: Northeast Arkansas
Keeping in mind that I'm not a professional (although I was employed as a professional auto mechanic for a period and I've worked on all sorts of engines in my life), as far as I can remember, I've never replaced a gasket that didn't leak or has not been disturbed/disassembled. Maybe things are different for outboard motors. They might replace it while in there working in the area maybe, but I've never heard of opening up a motor for the explicit purpose of replacing a gasket. Now, Pappy is here and it would probably be considered careless not to seek his opinion since he is a professional, if you really want the correct answer.



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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2016, 11:21 
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Location: Dearborn, Manton Michigan
if your research says change it, and you think you should change it, and if it makes you feel better change it, if it makes you sleep well at night...

then change it!!!

you dont need us to tell you what to do.



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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2016, 12:07 

Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 04:59
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Not once did i ask you to tell me what to do,i asked for opinions and only opinions only.I just wanted to know what everyone did or does on this matter. i wanted to see if anyone changes them which it seems they don't.That is good enough for me.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2016, 07:38 

Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 04:59
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Well after some more serious reading i'm still contemplating on doing this or not.I was hoping for someone with a ton of experience with these outboards can chime in on this.I know of the 2 different blocks as i have mentioned in another thread,there is a post 94 Mercosil block that seemed to be the powerhead more prone to water intrusion in the number 2 cylinder from manifold gasket breakdown then there is the pre 94 Nikasil block which seems to have very little issues on this which i have but it still makes me weary.How long could a exhaust manifold gasket hold out?Some people say to 100% change it and some say to leave it alone if it's not broke but i still have to keep in mind it is a 24yr old outboard.It looks to have extremely low hrs but i don't know exactly how many and it has no corrosion whatsoever so that also tells me it hasn't been ran in saltwater.Should i just leave it alone if it's not leaking water at all or in the cylinders?

Please,i'm looking for some facts here not just estimated guesses.I'm hoping some people with many yrs experience or that has ran these type of 20/25hp mercs can chime in with their thoughts or experiences,thanks.I'm just not sure if this is a maintenance thing or a fix by issue thing that is my biggest concern.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2016, 08:36 

Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 16:54
Posts: 2025
Location: North Charleston S.C.
Apparently you are not going to be happy until you change the gasket. If it lets you sleep better change it.


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