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#565280 - 07/14/16 12:35 AM VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There  
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Jack T Offline
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If you have a Volvo Penta SX-A drive or an earlier model built after 2005, would you please tell me if you have excessive corrosion on your drive, what you think is causing it, what you have done to rectify it, and if you think what you did is working?

Thanks

Last edited by Jack T; 07/14/16 03:00 AM. Reason: Made all model # SX-A

Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

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#565281 - 07/14/16 10:23 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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WaterWing Offline
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I don't have a VP but corrosion usually happens when there isn't enough anodes on the drive or you have the incorrect kind for the water you are in (salt vs. Fresh).


2001 Larson SEi-230 5.7 Merc/Alpha1
2013 Ford Explorer
#565282 - 07/14/16 10:39 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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captkevin Online content
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Our last boat had a 1999 Volvo Sx drive. There was not corrosion when we sold it.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#565286 - 07/14/16 04:17 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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From what I've seen corrosion is certainly less of a problem on the Volvos than Merc.

#565287 - 07/14/16 05:19 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Dave R Offline
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I repaired some corrosion on a 2004 SX. It was pretty bad. Had worn out aluminum anodes and was slipped in fresh water. I put magnesium on it and it is holding up well so far this season.


"Mischief Managed"
2000 Regal 2550 LSC
7.4 MPI Bravo 3
#565291 - 07/14/16 10:02 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Frantically Relaxing Offline
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I can relate to excess corrosion

You may have the same problem with stray current corrosion that I have. In researching this issue, the pro's say that bilge pumps are the #1 reason outdrives corrode excessively on glass boats. It's because they have 12 volt hot wires in the water. If you have any grounded metal thru-hull fittings, exposed ground wires, or grounded metal ANYthing that's in any contact with the the bilge water, you're at risk for corrosion, and the drive is going to take a hit. I read that 1 volt of DC current can eat an aluminum drive badly in only a month.

When I pulled the SkipperLiner and put it on blocks, I hammered about 2' of copper ground rod into the ground by the port stern. Using a cheap HF volt meter I was measuring over 400mV between my aluminum ladder and the ground rod. I'm assuming that figure should be pretty much zero.

I still haven't found the source of my issue....

#565297 - 07/15/16 10:50 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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That is what the Anode system is there for.
They dissolve away from corrosion before the Aluminum drive housing starts to.

You do not have to have power leakage from some powered circuit.

Water (pure, distilled, water) is a crap lousy conductor.

Real water has minerals dissolved in it.

The well water in my pool pegs the Total Calcium Content testing.
This isn't bad for a pool, but it makes the water quite conductive to electricity.
There is no shortage of dissolved minerals (it does not need to be Sodium Chloride (salt)).


At absolute minimum, most boats today have an Aluminum drive with a Stainless Steel propshaft both immersed in the same water.
That's a battery (or, more accurately, a "corrosion cell").

Some people have more stainless (propeller), or they also have brass/bronze (valves, water fittings, lining in Aluminum intake manifolds, or propellers (the impeller in my jet pump)), cast iron engine blocks (and sometimes exhaust manifolds), Aluminum exhaust manifolds, all immersed in, or in contact with, the same water.

This just makes for a bigger battery.



ANODIC (Least Noble)
Magnesium
Zinc
Aluminium
Carbon steel or cast iron
Copper alloys (brass, bronze )
Lead
STAINLESS STEEL
Nickel alloys (Incoloy 825,Hastelloy B)
Titanium
Graphite
CATHODIC (Most Noble)


The most noble metals will last the longest, the least noble corrode away first.

You can imagine the corrosion I see at work where we have Magnesium wheels (Learjet Nose Wheel) held together (airplane wheels are 2 halves, the tires DO NOT stretch around like car tires do, far too thick) by Cadmium-plated Carbon Steel bolts.

The Mag. is LOUSY about corroding. These are mostly from older models, the newer wheels are Aluminum and, while bad about corrosion pitting eating them away where the bolts are, they are 100 times better than the Magnesiums are.
This is just from water encountered outside in weather (water and de-icing chemicals, which don't help a bit), splashing and raining, no immersion/soaking.


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#565298 - 07/15/16 11:09 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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Newton Ks
Funny,,, people will tell you (websites too) that "relative nobility of metals varies by the fluid medium (as in salt or fresh water) and by temperature.

Not seeing much variation..............

The above list did not say it's "fluid".




The below list is specifically a seawater list:
Now, it is upside down from the above list, but it is laid out that way (cathode-top instead of anode-top). It is not from a "nobility change".
Noble, cathodic end
Platinum
Gold
Graphite
Titanium
Silver
Hastelloy C
18-8 austenitic stainless steels (passive condition)
Iron-chromium alloys (passive condition)
Inconel (passive)
Nickel
Monel
Cupronickel alloys
Bronzes
Copper
Brasses
Inconel (active)
Nickel (active)
Tin
Lead
18-8 Austenitic stainless steels (active)
13% Chromium stainless steel (active)
Cast iron
Mild steel and iron
Cadmium
Aluminum alloys
Zinc
Magnesium and magnesium alloys

Active, anodic end



This list is from a roofing website, fresh water would be standard (rain): Most noble-bottom.

1. Aluminum
2. Zinc
3. Steel
4. Iron
5. Stainless Steel - Active
6. Tin
7. Lead
8. Copper
9. Stainless Steel - Passive



As a final thing............ you want as much of the "active" anodic material as possible, and a little of the noble Cathodic material as possible.

For instance, attaching a large Aluminum plate to something and using Stainless fasteners is usually OK (but marine environs can be hard on this.) The corrosive effect is spread over the huge area of the plate.

Attaching stainless sheet with Aluminum fasteners is a big no-no (unless you can insure the materials remain DRY, such as Indoors). The corrosive effect is concentrated in the small fasteners.

This is also why you want to replace your boat's anodes long before they are nearly gone. Most places IIRC say "down by about half".


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#565300 - 07/16/16 01:39 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Frantically Relaxing Offline
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Yeah, but... wink

Galvanic corrosion requires 2 dissimilar metals to form 'a battery'. Stray current corrosion only requires some
DC voltage and any metal that's energized by it.

I only know from what I've read, and what I've seen on my boat. I won't pretend to know the exact dynamics of it all, but it seems stray current could care less about what metal is around or how noble it is, all it cares about is the path of least resistance for an electron to leave and find a ground. And when it finds that spot, a current electron leaves the metal, and takes a metal electron with it. In the case of my boat, there was a $#!pload of electrons that left! More anodes may have helped, but not likely. Most of the anodes that WERE there are still there. My props and the rams took a bigger corrosion hit than the anodes did. The worst corrosion happened to the tracking fins(?) created at the steel seams in the hull; those nice sharp edges make for easy electron getaways...





--and so did the sharp edge of the hull proper...





My rams are half gone--





and this kills me, the edge of the prop has been eaten up, but the trim tab anode hardly took a hit...





--I'm assuming the reason for both the excess prop and ram damage is the close proximity of stainess steel to each, which created an easy electrical path. No stainless near the tab anode, so it didn't suffer.

Which I guess proves my point that more anodes may not have helped-- unless they were attached to some stainless wink

Here's an excerpt from a Boatus webpage on corrosion, explains it much better than I can, and may provide some insight into Jack's problem:

Quote:
Stray current corrosion occurs when metal with an electrical current flowing into it is immersed in water that is grounded (such as in any lake, river, or ocean). The current can leave the metal and flow through the water to ground. This will cause rapid corrosion of the metal at the point where the current leaves. Stray direct current (or battery current) is particularly destructive. Stray current corrosion can cause rapid deterioration of the metal. If the metal in question happens to be an aluminum part like your drive unit, it can be destroyed in a matter of days.

Stray current corrosion is different from galvanic corrosion in that galvanic corrosion is caused by connections between dissimilar metals of your boat’s drive components, and utilizes the electrical potential of those dissimilar metals. Electrons flow from one dissimilar metal (the anode) to another dissimilar metal (the cathode). In stray current corrosion, electricity from an outside source flows into your boat's metal components and out through the water for a ground.

For example, your boat may be sitting between a boat leaking DC current and the best ground for that current. Rather than the DC current moving through the water to ground, your boat could provide a path of lower resistance. The DC current could enter a throughhull fitting, travel through the bonding system, and leave via your drive to the ground. Remember that corrosion occurs at the locations where DC current leaves metal and enters water.

Stray current can come from an outside source either internal or external to your boat. Internal sources involve a short in your boat’s wiring system, such as a poorly insulated wire in the bilge, an electrical accessory that may be improperly wired, or a wire with a weak or broken insulation that is intermittently wet.

External sources are almost always related to shorepower connections. A boat with internal stray current problems can cause accelerated corrosion to other boats plugged into the same shorepower line if they provide better ground. The stray current would be transmitted to other boats through the common ground wire, but can and should be blocked by installing a galvanic isolator.


So Jack, your problem MAY be stray current corrosion, but not necessarily from YOUR boat, IF you're plugged into shore power... are you?

#565306 - 07/16/16 05:17 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Jack T Offline
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Jack T  Offline
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No shore power around the dock.

I did talk to a VP technical specialist. As some of you have found out, VP doesn't allow consumers to talk the their technical specialist. They are reserved for dealers only. However, I figured out a way to talk to one. He aksed me questions and told me a couple of things.

1. What kind of anodes do you have installed? Be sure to have the right ones on for the type of water you have. All I know is that the dealer provided the current anodes.

2. The owner manual says that storing a boat out of water for an extended time makes the anodes inactive, that each year, each of the anodes should be cleaned up following the directions there. I have a pdf of my owner manual and there is no statement about storing out of water. There is a very unclear statement about what the anodes should look like after dry storage. If they would say "shiny" or able to see bare aluminum, I think that would make a difference in my understanding.

3. Have you had a corrosion survey of the water around the boat done by a marine surveyor? He said they use something called a "silver chloride 1/2 cell" and a good digital voltmeter. West Marine has an incomplete YouTube on the subject, but they do sell the device for about $60. It comes with instruction with max/min readings. The surveyor can even locate where things are not working right, like the grounding strap, wrong anode, worn out anode, etc.

My intention is to see if someone at one of the service shops has such a thing and would do the job. Might be more cost-effective. If anyone out there has one, would it be possible to borrow it?


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#565309 - 07/17/16 07:17 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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lg260ss Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jack T
No shore power around the dock.

I did talk to a VP technical specialist. As some of you have found out, VP doesn't allow consumers to talk the their technical specialist. They are reserved for dealers only. However, I figured out a way to talk to one. He aksed me questions and told me a couple of things.

1. What kind of anodes do you have installed? Be sure to have the right ones on for the type of water you have. All I know is that the dealer provided the current anodes.

2. The owner manual says that storing a boat out of water for an extended time makes the anodes inactive, that each year, each of the anodes should be cleaned up following the directions there. I have a pdf of my owner manual and there is no statement about storing out of water. There is a very unclear statement about what the anodes should look like after dry storage. If they would say "shiny" or able to see bare aluminum, I think that would make a difference in my understanding.

3. Have you had a corrosion survey of the water around the boat done by a marine surveyor? He said they use something called a "silver chloride 1/2 cell" and a good digital voltmeter. West Marine has an incomplete YouTube on the subject, but they do sell the device for about $60. It comes with instruction with max/min readings. The surveyor can even locate where things are not working right, like the grounding strap, wrong anode, worn out anode, etc.

My intention is to see if someone at one of the service shops has such a thing and would do the job. Might be more cost-effective. If anyone out there has one, would it be possible to borrow it?


1) all boats built in the last 10-12 years come from the factory with aluminum anodes, whether vp or merc. Dealers don't change them to magnesium unless they are specifically requested by the buyer. You need magnesium anodes if you leave your boat in the water for extended periods in freshwater.

2) have never done this and haven't needed to with the proper anodes installed. I have bought 4 new boats in my past and 3 of them had aluminum anodes on them the first year, all 3(vp,vp, merc) experienced some corrosion that first season, made the change to magnesium and all was well. My newest boat I made sure the dealer replaced the stock anodes with magnesium before the boat ever hit the water.

3) shouldn't be necessary if there is no shore power at your dock.


2013 Regal 28 Express, Volvo Penta V8 380 DPS
2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD
#565316 - 07/17/16 11:03 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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Aluminum, when left bare and exposed to air for any decent length of time (really, a week or 2 is plenty), the surface of the Aluminum oxidizes (yes, "corrodes"), that Aluminum Oxide grey coating seals the metal away from further corrosion.
It is a "self-preservation" function of Aluminum.

Yes, Aluminum anodes on a boat kept mostly dry will do this and this reduces their ability to be "sacrificial" even more than just being the same metal as the drive.

To really protect an aluminum drive housing, you need magnesium anodes.


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#565317 - 07/17/16 11:11 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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Lowrider78  Offline
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Newton Ks


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#565379 - 07/21/16 03:02 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
Joined: Jan 2003
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Jack T Offline
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Jack T  Offline
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Southern California
Checked out some silver silver-chloride half cells today. For this purpose, there are very few on the market. But Boatzincs.com has this one with what the lady said is a good manual. Also, the guy who wrote the book gives free technical support. I have to call tomorrow to find out more.

Have any of you had the opportunity to use one of these? I have called local marinas and service shops around and none have one--most have never heard of it. The nearest marine surveyor is a minimum of 2 hours drive from the lake, so one of these is probably a bargain.



http://www.boatzincs.com/corrosion-reference-electrode-specs.html


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#565380 - 07/21/16 03:09 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Jack T Offline
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Southern California
I also checked out "zincs" and found that most of the ones for sale are of the Martyr brand. My local service dealer told me today that that the Canadian company that makes them most likely manufacturers the anodes for Mercury and VP, and other engine manufacturers. They have kits, as well.

Here is their website and their catalog for your reference. Good prices are available all over the internet.

Here is their website link
http://www.martyranodes.com/

Here is their very comprehensive catalog:
http://www.martyranodes.com/sites/default/files/martyr-catalog-web-2015.pdf


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#565385 - 07/21/16 11:15 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Lowrider78]  
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WayWeGo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lowrider78
To really protect an aluminum drive housing, you need magnesium anodes.

I don't think this is entirely correct -- I believe that aluminum anodes are a less noble alloy than the outdrive. From BoatUS Seaworthy at http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2012/December/seaworthy-how-to-prevent-outdrive-corrosion.asp :

Anodes are made of three kinds of metals and each has a specific use. Zinc is used in saltwater only, aluminum is used in salt or fresh water, and magnesium is only used in fresh water. Zinc won't be effective in fresh water, and magnesium won't be effective in saltwater. If that sounds confusing, don't worry; in the end, aluminum anodes are effective in the vast majority of both, and even in brackish water. (Aluminum anodes are a different alloy, which is why they can protect aluminum outdrives.)

More info can be found at http://www.martyranodes.com/content/martyr-resources/Aluminum%20Anodes.pdf.

And some interesting comments by an employee of an anode manufacturer: http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-forum/594998-anodes-zinc-vs-aluminum-vs-magnesium.html#b.

On our boat in brackish water, we have anodes in the engine and heat exchangers. Even though I would prefer using aluminum anodes, I have not had much luck finding aluminum anodes for these applications, so have stuck with zinc because you should not mix anode types.



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#565391 - 07/21/16 04:15 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Jack T Offline
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Jack T  Offline
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Another link that some of you might be interested in is Boatzincs.com 3-question quiz. Take the quiz to find out a lot about the causes of corrosion.
http://www.boatzincs.com/corrosion-reference-electrode.html

My interest yesterday in their reference electrode was their instruction manual. Well, today, I talked to Bob, the author of that instruction book. He said it is very complete and covers all the bases. I determined while talking to him that he is interested in giving correct, scientific information. He is down-to-earth, knowledgeable and one can learn a lot from him in a short period of time. He mentioned that there is so much junk on the internet about corrosion, and that preventing corrosion is a science, not an art.

My final resolve is his recommendation to not purchase the electrode, but just buy some magnesium anodes and put them on. At the end of the season, wire brush the bad spots in the drive, fill with epoxy like JB Weld, sand and use the proper paint process (zinc chromate, VP drive color from spray cans) and I will never have a problem again as long as the boat is used on the lake. Magnesium anodes do not decrease their passivity as aluminum does, even as it is in the water, and you don't have to wire brush at the beginning of the season. Magnesium will not last as long as aluminum, but it will protect the drive.

He also said that the stainless steel propeller will become dull because it will take on some of the sacrificed magnesium. CLR should make it shiny again. Come to think of it, when I see a VP duo-prop drive, the stainless props are dull, even though they were polished at one time. Could it be that is from a magnesium anode?

As I closed the conversation, I asked if I could put his name in this message string, and he approved. So, now you have an extremely knowledgeable person you can talk to in person for answers to your corrosion questions.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#565407 - 07/22/16 07:03 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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According to another website I ran across (several days ago, no time right now), Anodes, especially aluminum ones need to meet a certain mil-spec (I had no idea, but it figures there'd be a military specification) for them to work properly.

I would bet this assures a certain alloy mixture so as to assure certain properties of the anode to be less noble than the alloy of the drive housings.

Zinc: MIL-A-18001K
Aluminum: MIL-A-24779(SH)
Magnesium: MIL-A-21412

The above I just pulled from a .pdf from Martyr, who does seem to be "the big gorilla" in anodes.


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#565419 - 07/22/16 07:35 PM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Jack T Offline
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Jack T  Offline
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Southern California
Yes, the metals used to make anodes do meet certain Mil-stds. However, VP owner's manual only gives the standard for zinc. Makes it hard to compare other products.

Yesterday, I checked a bunch of sites for the Martyr mag anodes for my SX-A drive. BoatStoreUSA was by far the best price, including shipping, on the internet

https://www.boatstoreusa.com/

I don't remember seeing much about them on BoatingABC, so I encourage you to seek them out when you need something and feed back how the experience was.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#565422 - 07/23/16 06:19 AM Re: VP SX-A Drive Corrosion--Question For All Out There [Re: Jack T]  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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Lowrider78  Offline
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Newton Ks
BTW.......... for folks who go to looking up anodes with those mil-specs............

I have no idea if it has hit anodes yet, but virtually all the mil-spec's that I deal with at work, greases (Mil-G-XXXXX) and hydraulic fluids (Mil-H-XXXX) are turning into "Mil-PERFORMANCE" (Mil-PRF-XXXX).

The XXXX's are the same numbers as before, it is just basically a "name change", so if anyone goes to looking for Mil-Anode- (Mil-A-XXX) and finds Mil-PRF-xxxx, don't be confused, it's the same thing.

I believe it is being phased in mil-spec-wide, so I'd expect to see it sooner or later.


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
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