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SEI or rebuild lower unit

Old 10-13-2016, 07:01 PM
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Default SEI or rebuild lower unit

Yamaha 250ox 66 2002
Lower unit had water & metal shaving
Maybe just bearing but could be more.
Heard good & bad on SEI units.
Any info would help make decesion
Old 10-13-2016, 07:05 PM
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From what I have read you get questionable quality with a pretty solid warranty with SEI. Do a search here.
Old 10-13-2016, 07:31 PM
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The SEI I had was junk.
Old 10-14-2016, 04:27 AM
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replaced a stolen unit with an SEI. the main shaft dissolved its prop nut threads within 2 months such that the nut could not be removed. They replaced with a new lower unit which I had no problems with. So, hit and miss. But since then, I have had two other lower units go on other motors. One I had rebuilt, the other with a factory replacement. Expensive, but worth it to me.
Old 10-14-2016, 06:34 AM
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Default Lower Unit replace or rebuild?

Might be nothing wrong with it. I got a used Merc with the symptoms you describe for a steep discount; turned out the drain plug fiber washer was used multiple times and had split. That lower unit still works well 15 years later.

A few fine/small metal particles on a LU magnetic drain plug is not unusual and water can collect in a lower unit from condensation (or an old fiber washer) over time. If LU has milky oil and a few small particles and you can't pressure test the seals you can replace oil and drain and vent plugs washers, do a water operation test and check the oil again.

If it doesn't function correctly, has a lot of large metal pieces in the oil or makes unusual noise (keep in mind low rpm "prop chatter" is not unusual for Yamahas) and the housing is in decent shape I would rebuild or trade in for a used or rebuilt. You will most likely only get a 30-90 day warranty from a repair shop but a few hours of testing is all you should need to know if was done correctly or not and a OEM rebuild should last as long(er) than SEI.

Last edited by LeakinLena; 10-14-2016 at 10:20 AM.
Old 10-14-2016, 06:47 AM
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I am a dealer for SEI and have never had a warranty, but my sells have been mostly Alpha 1 mercruisers
Old 10-14-2016, 07:15 AM
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Have an SEI lower. It is going on year 4. Would not hesitate to buy another. Highly recommended.
Old 10-14-2016, 08:27 AM
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Have an SEI on my counter f250, 3 years old over 300 hours no problems. Has had quite a few trips across and back to the Bahamas so it gets used not just trolling and sand bar use. I was skeptical but I would now get another one. I think break in is the key, you would be amazed at how much material comes out of the thing after the first few oil changes. I didn't even put my boat on a plane for 10 plus hours after I installed yesterday unit and then didn't run over slowest planing speed for at least another 5. Basically I doubled the break in procedure after reading about them on this site.
Old 10-14-2016, 08:46 AM
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I had an SEI lower unit and it was garbage. My neighbor has an SEI lower unit on his Merc 225 Optimax and he has not had an issue at all for several years.
Seems like there are more good ones out there than bad ones, but I ended up with a bad one.
Old 10-14-2016, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Shift Work View Post
Have an SEI on my counter f250, 3 years old over 300 hours no problems. Has had quite a few trips across and back to the Bahamas so it gets used not just trolling and sand bar use. I was skeptical but I would now get another one. I think break in is the key, you would be amazed at how much material comes out of the thing after the first few oil changes. I didn't even put my boat on a plane for 10 plus hours after I installed yesterday unit and then didn't run over slowest planing speed for at least another 5. Basically I doubled the break in procedure after reading about them on this site.
As I understand, they will not warranty the SEI lowers on F250s, but the same lower they sell for the F225 will work on the F250. Was this your experience?

My father in law has a SEI unit on his LF225 in The Bahamas. 25 hours so far so good. We also adhered strictly to the break in period and 20 hr lube change.
Old 10-14-2016, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TCBDawg View Post
As I understand, they will not warranty the SEI lowers on F250s, but the same lower they sell for the F225 will work on the F250. Was this your experience?

My father in law has a SEI unit on his LF225 in The Bahamas. 25 hours so far so good. We also adhered strictly to the break in period and 20 hr lube change.
I had to grind down the shift shaft about 1/8of an inch height wise other han that it bolted rite on. As far as warranty I ordered it for and f225, dishonest but it's out of warranty now and hasn't broken all the same.
Old 10-14-2016, 11:51 AM
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Take this for what its worth. I had to replace/rebuild a lower unit a few months ago. I was given an estimate of $500 to disassemble and evaluate my current LU. I figured at least another $500 for reassembly and $800 for parts so $1800+. Dealers I spoke with discouraged SEI for counter rotating or over 150hp. New was $2300. I went new.
Old 10-14-2016, 11:51 AM
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Mercury has better metallurgy and higher tolerance on their machining. SEI will be hit or miss, there is a reason for the protracted breakin that is not the case with Mercury. In the end you get what you pay for...
Old 10-14-2016, 12:24 PM
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I bought a SEI Lower Unit 4 years ago and haven't had a single issue with it. Proper break in time I believe is what helped me. The boat does not stay in the water and I clean it after every use. Now, they are not made if you were running 1000 horse power stern drives, or racing outboards. But your normal outboard or I/O will be fine. In addition you get three years of warranty. I couldn't see spending 4500 bucks for a lower unit from Mercury that only came with a 1 year warranty. But to each their own. Good kuck.
Old 10-14-2016, 07:13 PM
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I had an SEI on a boat that I have since sold, but had no problems with it. Key is to follow the break-in instructions to the letter.
Old 10-24-2016, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Shift Work View Post
I had to grind down the shift shaft about 1/8of an inch height wise other han that it bolted rite on. As far as warranty I ordered it for and f225, dishonest but it's out of warranty now and hasn't broken all the same.
What year was your F250
Old 10-24-2016, 11:48 AM
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2002 0x 66 250
Old 10-24-2016, 12:37 PM
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Had one on a Johnson 200 for 10 years pushing a Vector 20', never had an issue, my guess it's still running around Sarasota bay somewhere.
Old 10-24-2016, 01:03 PM
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Had one on my last boat, followed the break in and never had an issue with it.
Old 10-24-2016, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by trex232 View Post
What year was your F250
Mine are 2005's, build date of 12-2004

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