The official Marine Parts Express newsletter

For help with any issue discussed in our newsletter, either e-mail us
or call us toll free between 8 am and 5 pm EST at 1-877-621-2628 from the US and Canada.
You may call us at (207) 882-6165 from anywhere in the world.

Articles in this Issue:

A Message from our President

What a great season!    We are pleased so many of you continue to rely on Marine Parts Express for your maintenance and repair needs.  We handle all types of of marine engines, outdrives, and props and have just become a higher level Cummins dealer . We conducted a consumer satisfaction survey this summer and found out some of what we expected:  people love our schematics parts diagrams, love our prices, and are thrilled with our service!   We were also delighted to find that over 92% of our customers would recommend our business to a friend or fellow boater who needed parts.   Some of the nice comments our customers have sent us on their own are on our atta-boy page.   

While 99% of what we sell is new, original equipment obtained directly from the manufacturer, we also have a flourishing refurbishing business. You may remember from a previous e-mail we sent you that we had a prop return program this year. This program was quite successful, buying back a large number of props, recycling them by refurbishing them, and then reselling them at a significant discount to you. It's a great idea and we're proud to offer this kind of quality product to you.    We continue to rebuild diesel and gas engines and have rebuilt a large number of outdrives and transmissions.  We know everyone's mind is on the economy now, and so it makes sense to save every penny you can with online purchases. You know we already offer some of the deepest discounts in the  industry and are always happy to help you find the parts you need.

We're also reorganizing our spares and take-out yard here at Marine Parts Express. We have access to several hundred retired marine engines and we pick parts from them to help customers who are looking for hard-to-find engine parts. Since we are in Maine, the snow flies soon and we're putting them into new buildings to allow access to these parts year-round. Just let us know if you need an expired or rare part, we might just have it in our "bone-yard".

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Please be sure to check your e-mail (and approve our e-mail address in your spam filter!) around Thanksgiving for a special offer we are working on now that should be ready just in time for Turkey Day.

I look forward to hearing from you either by e-mail or on the phone when you have questions. As you know, I'm not the only one here who mans a phone. Feel free to talk to any of our sales people when you call: Fred, Bob, Mike, Noreen, Alice or our newest pro, Brodie.

J. D. Neeson
President, Marine Parts Express
My email: jdneeson "at"
(yes, just put the @ in place of "at", don't you just hate those spammers?)


By Fred Sidelinger, Sales Representative
Marine Parts Express

   It’s that time of year when many boaters are performing their last oil change of the season.  One of the biggest challenges is removing the old oil from the engine.

Three options for this are: draining, hand pumps, and electric pumps.Picture   A permanent oil drain hose and fitting can be used to facilitate draining.  A ½” drain plug adapter is installed in the oil pan, and a hose w/ end cap is then used to drain the oil.   When not in use the hose is supported by a clamp holder.   These are normally used when the boat is out of the water, and the hose can be led out the bilge drain.   Part # is 18080-0000 for the permanent oil drain hose w/ fittings.   

Picture  Hand pumps are self priming and can be used to draw oil up through the dipstick tube.   These are supplied w/ two ½” x 3’ hoses and two sizes of dipstick probes ¼” x 40 “and 5/16” x 40”.  Adapters and connectors are included.  Part # is 33799-0000

   We have two types of electric pumps.  One of them is the Pictureelectric drill pump.  The pump body fits a ¼” drill chuck for a cordless drill,   and can be used in conjunction w/ the permanent oil drain hose set up, or a dipstick probe can be used through the dipstick tube.  It includes the pump, hose adapters, ¼ “ x 40” probes and connections. This pump has a flow rate of 3.5 GPM.    Part # is 17215-0000

    The other is a 12v DC electric pump and motor that would connect to you battery terminals through an 8’ cable. The pump connections are ¾” ips (garden hose) fittings and could be used w/ the permanent oil drain hose kit as well.  The part # is 8050-305-626 (Picture not available)


By Brodie MacDearmid, Sales Representative
Marine Parts Express

Here at Marine Parts Express we often receive questions from customers who want to make sure they have identified the correct part numbers before they place an order.  This can be a valid concern, as part numbers don’t always match the original part number.

The concern over the right part stems from the source people reference when initially looking up their part. Often workshop manuals, shop manuals, or schematics, will have out-dated part numbers. This can be remedied by purchasing updated manuals and workshop bulletins.

However, when Marine Parts Express receives an order with these outdated part numbers we automatically correct the part numbers for you.  On your invoice there will be a note showing the older number and the new up-dated or “superseded” number.  These updated numbers supplied to us by Volvo Penta or Mercruiser and other companies are often referred to by us and on our website as: SUPERCEEDED, REPLACEMENT, or RPL numbers. Marine Parts Express receives updates when a number changes.  

In addition, some parts or kits are listed as one number and sometimes supersede to multiple numbers or a direct replacement. This happens when a part is replaced by multiple parts to make up the complete part which originally was sold as one number. An example of this would be PART # 873350 (Cable Harness). This harness has (2) components which was originally sold by Volvo Penta as one part. This one part included the Cable Harness and the Relay. If you were to order Part # 873350, it would come up as RPL which means it has multiple replacement numbers or a single, direct replacement. Now, #873550 is replaced by part #’s 873744 (Cable Harness) and part # 8737470 (Relay) which are the updated parts.

In short, here at Marine Parts Express, whether you have a Mercruiser, Volvo Penta or any other type of engine, we will always check for part supersession history and will update you of any changes that have taken place or any other change that might affect your boat being out on the water. Most manufactures offer remanufactured parts for the more common and expensive parts.  Sometimes these parts are actually rebuilt parts, but at times they are new parts sold as rebuilt.
Volvo Penta is unique in that it offers "exchange" parts on bigger parts like Turbochargers and heat exchangers. These parts are called “exchange” parts and are actually, almost always, new parts. Volvo Penta determined it was less expensive and easier to sell new parts instead of doing the remanufacturing.
All “exchange” or remanufactured parts have core charges associated with them.  With the manufacturers that actually do reman their parts, the core charges are to encourage customers to return the old parts to keep the remanufacturing process line filled.  With Volvo Penta the cores are returned to Volvo Penta for tariff purposes. 
These core charges are refundable when we receive your exchange item back at our facility. If for some reason you would like to buy an exchange part and cannot provide a core. We can still sell you the exchange part, plus the price of ½ the core charge.

Mercruiser and Quicksilver also can be confusing when it comes to part numbers. Often, in Mercruiser schematics, two different part numbers are listed for both Quicksilver Parts and Mercruiser Parts. Mercruiser and Quicksilver are identical parts which are packaged differently for dealers and customers. They are the SAME parts and both parts are OEM from Mercruiser.

Sierra and GLM manufacture aftermarket parts for a number of different company’s products.  Often Sierra parts have an “SIE” in front of the number or start with an “18-“ While GLM parts are often completely different numbers than the OEM parts.  Marine Parts Express only supplies OEM parts unless a customer specifically asks for an aftermarket part. If the part is only available in an aftermarket form (which is relatively rare) we will then offer those alternatives.

For all brands, many customers sometimes mistake a parts casting number for its part number. Although some part numbers are indeed physically casted onto a part. This is not always accurate and cannot be trusted for part identification.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions regarding part identification. All of us here Marine Parts Express are happy to help you with any question you might have. You can also visit our PART FAQ page at for additional information.


Volvo PentaEngine Tag
Typical Volvo Penta Engine ID Plate

By Mike Halligan, Sales Representative
Marine Parts Express

All Volvo engines come from the factory with a metal tag riveted on the engine or outdrive which has the serial number and the engine identification. 

From the late eighties and up, the serial number should be ten digits in length.  If you can provide us with this number, most of the time we can tell you exactly what the engine or outdrive is along with the year of production. 

Routine engine maintenance, including the timely replacement of gas and oil filters on your boat is the key to a long marine engine service life.  One challenge that people often face is how to correctly identify what they have for an engine.

Volvo Penta has over the years had several different methods of identification.  Engines built before 1993 are painted red in color.  Until the late eighties, the engines had a prefix which told you what type of application it was: inboard (MB or BB) or inboard out board (AQ), followed by a displacement or horsepower rating number, depending on the year.  A letter on the end indicated the production version.  So if you have an engine that says AQ131B on it, we know:

  • it is an inboard/out board (AQ131B)
  • it has approximately 131 shaft hp (aq131B)
  • it was produced in 1986 or 87 (aq131B)

The later models in this series (early nineties) changed to a system based on displacement.  Engine models had a three-digit number followed by a letter.  For example, the 43 in 430 signifies that the displacement is 4.3 liters and the third digit is for model control.   A 434 and a 432 are both 4.3 litter engines but the different third digits indicates a difference between the two engines.  Volvo manufactured this family of engines until 1993.
Incidentally, from 1993 to 1998 or so Volvo supplied both engines and sterndrives to OMC. The drives were branded OMC Cobras but were really manufactured by Volvo. These engine models had a two-digit number and followed by a string of letters to identify the year and model.  For example a 4.3GLPNCA is 4.3 litters, and the:
G identifies that it is a General Motors block,
L tells you that it is limited output.  L= limited, S= Superior, X= exceptional i = stands for fuel injection (the lack of and “i” means that it is carbureted)
P tells you that it has power steering,
NC identifies that it is a 1996 model year and
A is the service code for version control.    
The fourth and fifth (or fifth and sixth) letters always identify the year of the particular engine in question.  The year codes for different years is as follows:

MD = 1993-1994
HU = 1994-1995
NC = 1996-1997
BY = 1997-1998
WT = 1998-1999
EF = 1999-2000

From model year 2000 and up, engines were again painted red in color, and the identification methods changed.  The first two numbers is now the displacement followed by a letter, which indicates the supplier of the engine block.  For Ocean Series, this letter is replaced with OS and indicates it can be used with Ocean Series outdrives.  One or two letters identifying the fuel system and the output (lower case i stands for fuel injection) follow the supplier ID.  It should also be noted that the 3.0 will also have a letter that identifies the steering method M for manual and P for power.  For example, we have a 5.7GXi-A.  We know that this engine has a 5.7 liter displacement, that GM supplies it, and that is has an exceptional out put with fuel injection (Xi).  We also know that this is the A version which is the first version for this engine which would come before the gxi-b or –c, but is not indicative of a specific year of production. 

by Alice Gray, Shipping Manager

Can we ship it?  Below is a chart which may help decide if we can ship these items to you.


(United Parcel Service)

(United States Postal Service)



















by J.D. Neeson, President
Marine Parts Express

Click here for the QL Propellers Catalog

Volvo Penta in cooperation with QL Marine Accessories (Owned mostly by Volvo Penta) have developed a series of propellers for other manufacturers – Evinrude, Johnson, OMC, Honda, Mercury, Mariner, Suzuki, Tohatsu, Nissan, and Yamaha.

They are less expensive and appear to perform at least as well if not better than the OEM versions.   Not only have many of our customers have had good luck using them, but the hub seems to protect the drive and the engine better when an uncharted underwater obstruction is discovered.

Instead of manufacturing the propellers with built in hubs, they provide interchangeable hubs.  These hubs assure perfect shaft alignment and balance and are very easy to remove and install.  They are built to fit on the specific outboard or outdrive shaft and then the correct propeller slides onto the hub.  The hub kits include the washers, spacers and nuts you need

QL also states the larger exhaust area in the center of the propeller allows for improved engine performance and while it is difficult for us to quantitatively prove this, it does have a certain logic.

When ordering these propellers you will need to order the hub kit for your outboard or drive model and the propeller size (there is a nice cross reference between the OEM propeller part number and the QL propeller on our site).  On some applications you do need to reuse (or purchase) your thrust washer or nut so it is important not to throw any part out until you receive the hub kit and the propeller.   Again on our web site there is a description of what you may need to keep.

One of the biggest advantages is that if you do hit something, you can often just replace the propeller itself and reuse the hub.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions for topics in our next newsletter? Send them to Marine Parts Express is a division of Water Resouces, Inc., a privately held Maine Corporation.