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The Truth About Gearcase Replacement #2

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The Truth About Gearcase Replacement #2

Table of Contents

The Case for Non-OEM Gearcases

In my first article we reviewed the basic components of a gearcase to give us a good understanding of what goes into your unit. So in this article, we start with a look at one of the gearcase replacement choices – the Non-OEM Gearcase.

Aftermarket Lower Unit

You may have been through this already, but if you haven’t, beware,  there are new, replacement, aftermarket lower units on the market selling for very cheap prices.  I’m sure you know the saying – “you get what you pay for” and that may be true in this case.  On the plus side, some of these non-oem, aftermarket products offer excellent warranties that are designed to give you confidence in their product. But you have to ask why do they need to offer this warranty in the first place? While the fault free warranty sounds like a win, let’s look at what they don’t cover, time & money.

What is your time worth? These warranties can’t replace your missed outings on the boat while you fix or replace the cheap one you purchased.  They can’t replace your time towing the boat back to shore, time taking the boat to your repair shop and time waiting for your shop to get to boat during the busy summer months, which lately can be 4+ weeks.  

What about the money? Most of these warranties do not cover labor to have your repair shop diagnose and re-install a new unit. You might find that you have to pay for shipping your unit back to the manufacturer so they can inspect your drive and determine if they will cover it under warranty. 

So again, buyer beware that while inexpensive, these units are not very reliable. At a price point of under $1000, the non-OEM unit is attractive for the budget conscious boater.


In my next article, we’ll be diving into the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) gearcase unit. To read article #3, click here.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please hit the reply button and drop me a line. I will respond personally to every email and am happy to talk to you on the phone.

Talk Soon!

Mike Tracy