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brclark82

Should I Winterize

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I know similar questions have been asked in the past so I have done some searching but haven't come across the info I am looking for. I thought I would ask since eveyone seems to be extra helpful around here. This will be my second winter with my '17 H2O with 4.5L Merc 

My dealer is 3 hours away and last year it was worth the trip because they offered to cover winterization and storage costs as part of the original sale.

The only 2 local dealers/shops I don't trust from previous experience. 

Normally I would just pay to have this work done, especially during the 5 year warranty period, but this could be an ongoing problem so learning now will save me lots of time in addition to money in the next few years.

 

The 4.5L merc I have is the new generation that advertises "Easy Drain Season Extender" and easy winterization. 

Here is what I know of that needs to be done, and in this order.  Let me know what I've missed.

1) Fuel stabilizer and run the engine for a few mins and then top of with fuel.

2) Fog the cylinders

3) Drain the engine.  I have noticed the easy drain before and it seems like it drains all the water out, but is this truly all there is to it or is there another drain somewhere and this one is just designed to remove most of the water in case of temporary low temps.

4) Change the oil.  I know there are different thoughts on when (winter/spring) to do this, but it seems winter is best i believe.

5) Possibly drain/change the gear case lube? Not sure if this needs to be done every year.

 

 

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Ok, here is a different opinion from someone who has winterized my own boats for 30 years.

Add fuel stabilizer, run on muffs for 10-15 minutes to circulate in engine.

change lower unit oil and engine oil. Preventing potential water in lower unit from cracking the case, getting the acidic engine oil out of the engine for layup.

no fogging- you have catalytic converters. You can run on the Merc approved cocktail if you want but not necessary for a short layup.

use your drain system and drain the engine. Release the drain system. Then, either pull the hoses and fill everything with pink antifreeze, or use a pressurize sump pump in a 5 gallon bucket connected to your muffs and run the engine that way on 5 gallons antifreeze.

I then use the engine drain and drain it again (air doesn’t freeze). This is preventative Incase some residual water mixed with antifreeze and diluted it.

 

 

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change the oil now dirty oil does turn acidic I leave my block full of the pink -100 freeze ban it prevents corrosion and the 100 is better than the -50 I also lube the coupler wash the flame arrester and the iac filter change the fuel water separator change the lower unit oil and replace the washers on the drain screws remember the screws on the lower unit are plugs they dont hold the boat together so dont get crazy tightening them up  and stabilize the fuel I like the merc quick store I also always use the marine stabil every fill up its good for the injectors 

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Going through the same process here.  New 4.5L Mercruiser and need to winterize.  We can't fog the engine like we used to with the old carbs.  Don't want the fogging oil in the intake.  Merc manual recommends making up a mix of gas, two cycle oil and fuel stabilizer in a separate tank and feeding it to the engine.  You would need to disconnect the fuel line from the tank etc.  The idea seems to be to run this mix through the fuel system and the cylinders.   There must be an easier way.

How about putting fuel stabilizer in the tank, running the engine for awhile and then changing the fuel filter and placing a little two cycle oil and stabilizer in the filter housing and then running the engine for a few minutes?

What do others with the MPI system do to "fog the engine" 

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I would go with the above... On my 265 it is easy to just pop the hose from the fuel filter and connect a separate take with a priming pump (like you have on an outboard) and run it on a mix of Gas (petrol here in the UK) with some 2 stroke oil and a dash of fogging oil mix in for good measure....

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Yes, winterize.  Don't know anybody who has complained that they spent the money to winterize come spring,  No shortage of the opposite.  

I don't trust auto drains, easy drain, etc.  Too many opportunities to leave water and sediment in the block causing other problems.

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7 hours ago, Dennis A said:

Yes, winterize.  Don't know anybody who has complained that they spent the money to winterize come spring,  No shortage of the opposite.  

I don't trust auto drains, easy drain, etc.  Too many opportunities to leave water and sediment in the block causing other problems.

Yep!

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Dennis and Iggy said it all. Winterize.

We do all that’s been discussed, including changing all fluids and filters and using antifreeze, and also the next hourly service. We’re usually short hours, but why wait and have to do it mid next season.

We don’t fog the cylinders or run the cocktail. A few weeks before winterizing we add SeaFoam or Sta-Bil to the tank (whichever is on sale). Invariably we take a few Fall runs totaling 5 or so hours. It’s throughly mixed and is pulled through. The “few weeks” before is determined by a few consecutive nights in the 50’s. If you will, a trigger that says it’s getting time.

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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

The “few weeks” before is determined by a few consecutive nights in the 50’s. If you will, a trigger that says it’s getting time.

Sadly,  that is now for me.

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Here's a story for ya......my slip neighbor was very late getting his boat into the water. I asked him why. He told me he cracked the engine due to winterizing problem. The whole engine needed to be replaced. As for insurance....wouldn't pay for any of it because HE did the winterizing and not a repair shop. $8K.

So, the question is...…...are we all covered for a self-winterization screw up?

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Hey Clark, your title is a bit deceiving there, ma man.  That's why the last 4 fellas are telling you yes, go ahead and winterize but you're asking if you should do it or bite the bullet and drive the 3 hours to have the dealer do it.  And if you do it, you're asking about the steps.  I think there's a bit of confusion but nonetheless, @SST brings up a good point about the warranty and liability.  So I would consider that point carefully considering this would be your first time doing it yourself and how confident you are that you'll do it right.  

Maybe it's worth biting the bullet this year and have the dealer do it again while you learn more about the process so that next year you can tackle it with better odds?  Just a suggestion. 

On 10/2/2018 at 7:05 PM, paulswagelock said:

Ok, here is a different opinion from someone who has winterized my own boats for 30 years.

Add fuel stabilizer, run on muffs for 10-15 minutes to circulate in engine.

change lower unit oil and engine oil. Preventing potential water in lower unit from cracking the case, getting the acidic engine oil out of the engine for layup.

no fogging- you have catalytic converters. You can run on the Merc approved cocktail if you want but not necessary for a short layup.

use your drain system and drain the engine. Release the drain system. Then, either pull the hoses and fill everything with pink antifreeze, or use a pressurize sump pump in a 5 gallon bucket connected to your muffs and run the engine that way on 5 gallons antifreeze.

I then use the engine drain and drain it again (air doesn’t freeze). This is preventative Incase some residual water mixed with antifreeze and diluted it.

That about nails it.  Only thing different that I would do is keep the antifreeze in the engine instead of leaving it dry but that's just me.  Can't really argue with someone who's been doing it for 30 years with success.  Have you ever ran into rust issues of any kind by leaving the engine dry?  That seems to be most people's concern and why they fill it with AF.

And another point on the a quick - drain fittings on these newer engines even with closed cooling systems, they still have a separate impeller for the raw water cooling network, don't they?  So once that's drained, there might be a following procedure to fill either antifreeze or water (depending on season) prior to starting the engine so fluid reaches and primes the impeller quicker than by muffs etc.  Maybe through the flushport if equipped?  Unless it's just ok to run the fluids from the outdrive intakes.  

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13 hours ago, SST said:

Here's a story for ya......my slip neighbor was very late getting his boat into the water. I asked him why. He told me he cracked the engine due to winterizing problem. The whole engine needed to be replaced. As for insurance....wouldn't pay for any of it because HE did the winterizing and not a repair shop. $8K.

So, the question is...…...are we all covered for a self-winterization screw up?

I self insure.  I repair everything I break and even the stuff others break:)  When you have a house full of kids with baseball bats...things get broken.

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2 hours ago, Hatem said:

 

That about nails it.  Only thing different that I would do is keep the antifreeze in the engine instead of leaving it dry but that's just me.  Can't really argue with someone who's been doing it for 30 years with success.  Have you ever ran into rust issues of any kind by leaving the engine dry?  That seems to be most people's concern and why they fill it with AF.

 

I have not had rust issues, but we are fresh water boaters. To be fair, none of my boats ever reached more than 8-9 years old before I sell/trade for a new one. 

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Winterizing is part of life here in MN where it gets to -40F where the lakes are.  Talking about the marina doing it and being protected, years ago before I owned lake homes and I had to trailer my then boat, I would use a local marine max for winterizing and you'd have to sign a liability waver each year.  It protected them in the even they screwed up and their screw up caused damage which of course seems crazy.  

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I would never use a marina that wants me to pay them for a engine they destroyed.   

The freezing damage occurs RIGHT AT 5  DEGREES before reaching 32 degrees F. That is when the ice expands the greatest amount. Ice going back and forth between 27 F & 32 F expands a LOT. Maximum damage area.

This is why some southerners get into unexpected freezing problems. 

No ice long enough to damage anything...…… Never went below 30 F all winter. 

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I have had boats for just about 49 years.  Always winterized them myself with no issues.   However the past 2 years started having the dealer do it and store the boat.  I found I was losing interest in doing it myself as I always had something else going on.   I decided that I was opening myself up to the possibility of missing something and causing damage, so I decided to let the dealer do it all.   Can only speak for myself, but as I get older I find myself not wanting to be working on the boat but doing other things.   Just ranting and everyone is different but if you feel comfortable and confident in doing it, go for doing it yourself.   It is not rocket science,

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14 hours ago, Lestat said:

I have had boats for just about 49 years.

Hey @paulswagelock, I think Lestat has your 30 years beat lol! :haha-7383:

14 hours ago, Lestat said:

Can only speak for myself, but as I get older I find myself not wanting to be working on the boat but doing other things.

I would think so after 50 years!  Amen to everything you said.

20 hours ago, paulswagelock said:

I have not had rust issues, but we are fresh water boaters. To be fair, none of my boats ever reached more than 8-9 years old before I sell/trade for a new one. 

That's amazing that you remove the outdrive every year!  Just to show you the hypocrisy of the fellowship of the miserable on this forum; not a single peep when you  mentioned you remove the outdrive to store it indoors every winter (which is no small feat and I think that's awesome) but watch the buzzing clownship royale that was triggered with a full blown nutty when I mentioned I remove my stink tank every year to clean the crap instead of just pumping LOL!  #$%$&$% clowns. :lol:

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18 hours ago, Lestat said:

I have had boats for just about 49 years.  Always winterized them myself with no issues.   However the past 2 years started having the dealer do it and store the boat.  I found I was losing interest in doing it myself as I always had something else going on.   I decided that I was opening myself up to the possibility of missing something and causing damage, so I decided to let the dealer do it all.   Can only speak for myself, but as I get older I find myself not wanting to be working on the boat but doing other things.   Just ranting and everyone is different but if you feel comfortable and confident in doing it, go for doing it yourself.   It is not rocket science,

Two things for us, when the weekend comes when it's time to pull the boats and equipment from the lake, its only a two day weekend since school will have started and I have no time to winterize myself given the rest of the stuff I am also doing.  The other is that I don't want to when I can drop it off at the marina and have them do the labor for me.  I have the same marina pull my big boat lift and dock as well.  Time is my most valuable asset and I much prefer to pay someone to do these things.  

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