How to Fill a Jack Plate With Oil

by Jay Angel
Many bass boats have jack plates.

Many bass boats have jack plates.

A jack plate is a hydraulic device that lifts and lowers a boat's main outboard motor. Raising the motor actually lifts the boat out of the water, enabling it to move faster. Most professional tournament anglers use jack plates to move faster than their competitors and get to the best fishing areas first. Filling the jack plate with oil is not difficult, but it does require some knowledge.

1. Remove the 1/8-inch socket filler plug. A 3/16-inch hex wrench will fit this plug. The filler plug is located on the plate.

2. Move the jack plate all the way down to allow the air bubbles to escape from the oil reservoir.

3. Run the jack plate up three inches. Remove the level plug, which is located directly below the filler plug, with the wrench.

4. Pour oil into the filler hole until it begins to run out of the level hole. Use 20 weight oil (20W-20).

5. Screw the level plug back into its hole, move the jack plate all the way up and replace the filler plug.

Items you will need

  • 3/16-inch hex wrench
  • 20 weight non-detergent oil

About the Author

Jay Angel has been a writer since 1998, specializing in scientific writing, as well as articles about fishing and hunting. He worked as a columnist for the Illinois newspapers, "Daily Chronicle" and "News Tribune." Angel has a Master of Science in fluvial geomorphology from Northern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

  • bass boat repair 01 image by Joyce Wilkes from