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Dripless shaft logs are basically mechanical seals used in pumps. There`s one, the BERKELEY DRY-RUN Seal, has an external oil reservoir like you describe. The idea is that oil on one side keeps the seal lubricated in case it`s being run dry on the other side, i.e., dry-run.

Normally water provides the lubrication on these things. Any oil is a far better lubricant than water. Oil and water would still be better than water alone.

The seal might have a bushing riding on the prop shaft to keep it centered. If so this bushing needs lubrication. Even in that case, any oil would be fine. Gear oil has extreme pressure additives that motor oil doesn`t, but nothing in there should be in high pressure physical contact.

If gear oil has worked for 15 years, it obviously works fine.

If the time comes that the seal wears enough to start leaking, pull it apart and take the mechanical seal parts to an industrial pump repair shop. They should be able to match up a replacement pretty easily.

Tim
 
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