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Lubricating the Mirage Drive
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Author:  Roadrunner [ Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Note: This is the second of three parts dealing with the Mirage Drive. Part I is a lubrication comparison: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... d946df1ffc . Part III discusses Drive adjustment and maintenance: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... 9602#29602

Once you've selected your favorite lubricant, you're ready to lube your drive. But first, it's a good idea to rinse your equipment thoroughly, flushing any sand or debris and salt water:
When done, operate the drive and listen for any evidence of residual sand in or around the sprocket shaft. If appropriate, flush again.
Shake and dry when done.

Lubrication points, starting from the bottom, are shown in the following picture:

1. sprocket shaft, forward, middle and aft
2. chains, front and rear, both sides
3. inside of drum-shaft, both sides (I don't do the outside)
4. idler pulley, front and rear bearing surfaces
5. pedals (not shown) where they connect to the crank arms

When finished, operate the drive and spin the pedals to work in the lubricant; wipe off excess.

With regard to the rest of the boat, I like to rinse it and wipe it down. Make sure the bottom is clean if you don't want to go slow. Occasionally apply silicon spray to the Twist and Stow rudder as you rotate it, to keep it limber. Rinse and disassemble the paddle, or it may turn into a one piece paddle, especially in the salt water.

Now you're ready for your next outing! 8)

PS: Hobie has not approved or endorsed any of this information. If anybody has other tips, recommendations or opinions, feel free to chime in.

Author:  Kauaiguy [ Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Having just purchased a new Hobie Outback with a spare Mirage Drive, I was concerned about the lubrication used to lubricate the Drive.

Another forum suggests that the WD40 that Hobie recommends is good but has a tendency to gunk up after a while. The suggested alternatives are: "Strike Hold" and "Break Free" which are used to lubricate guns.


Not cheap, but if it can make the drives last that much longer, it may be worth the investment.

Maybe you folks already know about this stuff, but I'm just trying to contribute what little I know.

Author:  roadog [ Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

I have used Break Free and WD 40 on my drive, and agree Break Free is better than WD40. I am currently using a product called Boeshield T-9, that is formulated for marine use. I have found it better than Break Free. I will try Strike Hold when I get a chance.

Author:  RickM46 [ Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Hi Roadrunner,
When it does become time to do a tear down, what grease is recommended to restore the factory grease on the various shafts??

Author:  Roadrunner [ Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

The factory uses a marine grease but I don't know the details. I use a marine axle grease by McKay, probably similar but a different brand. Works great! 8)

Author:  RickM46 [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Thanks Roadrunner!
I have been at a Mercury Marine store and they sell a variety of greases that I have used on my Merc outboards - Merc 2-4-C and Merc Gimbal Bearing grease.
When it comes time, I will consider those and the one you mentioned - McKay Marine axle grease.
Where did you buy your McKay grease??

Author:  Roadrunner [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

I don't remember -- have had it for years. I looked into this -- McKay was bought out by Airosol. I talked with the sales rep who says it's not made any more due to lack of demand. He said it may still be stocked at some of the small auto parts stores though. He said if you can find the McKay marine boat trailer grease it is very resistant to water wash out.

As an alternative, he suggested any marine grease that claims it's waterproof (apparently not all greases are) and said an auto parts source will be less expensive than a marine shop. He said StaLube (sp?) (owned by CRC) carries a full line of greases.

For our low tech applications, whatever you have is probably just fine! 8)

Author:  RickM46 [ Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Thanks Roadrunner!

Author:  Yakaholic [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

I've drilled a small hole in the plastic V2 sprockets prior to installing to grease them. see new thread



Author:  RPB [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Roadrunner, Thank you for all your posts, I've learned more than I could have imagined.

You may want to look into Eezox and Gunbutter (alone or used in combination) next time you do a lubrication comparison

Eezox is what L.W. Seecamp uses on all guns instead of the other products now (meaning BreakFree previously used); it is meant to soak in/dry. It is a lubricant, but it's strong point is corrosion protection as it soaks into /coats metal.



Some use Eezox to clean and coat to prevent corrosion, then gunbutter, after Eezox dries, for even more lubrication and as a dirt repellant Used in combination, these should be great.



Gun Butter is not a grease, it is an oil that resists change from below -20 degrees to over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Our complete all-weather lubricant will not burn up or evaporate in summer’s heat, it acts normally in freezing weather, stays intact during pouring rain, and repels debris, it not only stays put, but it also repels dust and dirt for extended reliably against contamination.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with either company; just passing along info on products.

Author:  Roadrunner [ Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

RPB, thanks for the good info. I'm no expert on lubricants -- have only tried what I have lying around -- there's bound to be lots better. There have been some other excellent suggestions as well here on the forum.

Have you tried these products? That long needle on the Gun Butter looks like it would dispense better than an aerosol. Additionally, as much as I like Breakfree, it does tend to wash out easily. Ideally, it would stick around a little longer. It would be nice to get a user report on the products you mentioned -- performance, price, availability.

Here's a couple of other lube tips:

1. Whenever removing the fins I clean the shaft and mast, then spray a little silicone into the shaft. This helps the fins rotate easier on the mast. It seems to stay in place reasonably well. Not only do the fins flip side to side with each stroke, but they also wind up and down the mast if the clew is properly set loose.

2. When regreasing the drumshaft on my "performance" Drive, I like to lace the grease with a dry graphite/moly blend. I think this acts as micro ball-bearings and helps reduce friction under load.

I'll take all the help I can get! :wink:

Author:  JimL [ Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Just a thought about lubing the plastic parts. Some sprays have solvents that will cause rapid shrinkage of plastic parts. I damaged the centerboard locking mechanism on a Mistral SuperLight, years ago, with a quick shot of silicone spray. Minutes later, some of the plastic parts, containing springs, flew apart in small pieces! Yes...it really did happen that fast!!

This micro-cracking is a serious deal in the car world....spraying around the injectors (with certain chemicals) can cause the seals to shrink. Because they are around a metal component, when they shrink...they split. After you start the engine, fuel begins leaking.

Also, any solvent that contains phosphoric acid (used to "convert" corrosion and in gun bluing), or any other kind of acid, will absolutely begin cracking most hard plastics. This is, again, a shrinkage type of cracking (de-plasticizing). If you find parts tightening up, after using a particular lube for a while, you may be experiencing this phenomenon. There are also some pretty dangerous marine cleaners, for us plastic boat people, that carry phosphoric acid....used to clean the waterline stains (especially good around diesel exhaust outlets).

There are lubricants that contain small amounts of acid, for the purpose of breaking down or converting corrosion. They'll often have a slightly sweet and tangy odor, particularly if you spray them onto a piece of bare steel.

If you can spray your lubricant on a rusty piece of metal, and it turns the rust black or purple (alter letting it set for a few hours and wiping off), don't put it on plastic. If the rust area is still noticeably red it probably doesn't contain acid.

Overall....I'm doing fine with WD40 and pretty much afraid of some of the stuff I don't know.

I'm no chemist...just an old mechanic who's been down these roads (the ones at the intersection of "didn't know that'd happen!" and "dang....not again?!")

Regards, JimL

Author:  seraulu1 [ Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

That's good thanks

Author:  Roaddog [ Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lubricating the Mirage Drive

Roadrunner thanks for you posts. I have been using Boeing Boeshield T9 lubricant for a couple of years and have been very happy with it. It is a teflon based marine lubricant. To me, it seems to be the tool for the job. Keep yakkin.

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