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johnmullaly

Yet another winterize question

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Have been doing my winterizing this way for 20 years with no problems and we do get to minus 20 here. Boat on hose ran up to operating temp. Drain water out of block and manifolds. Connect bucket with 5 gallons antifreeze to the muffs and run engine until anti freeze comes out exhaust. Now my question a friend asked me,  His boat, not a Chap, has no room to get to where the drain plugs should be. So can you run the boat to temp, then hook up the antifreeze and run and push the water out? In theory it sounds like it would work but just didnt want to take a chance. He didnt know how his marina did it in previous years. Anyone ever do it this way? Its a volvo 8.1l non closed system

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12 minutes ago, johnmullaly said:

Have been doing my winterizing this way for 20 years with no problems and we do get to minus 20 here. Boat on hose ran up to operating temp. Drain water out of block and manifolds. Connect bucket with 5 gallons antifreeze to the muffs and run engine until anti freeze comes out exhaust. Now my question a friend asked me,  His boat, not a Chap, has no room to get to where the drain plugs should be. So can you run the boat to temp, then hook up the antifreeze and run and push the water out? In theory it sounds like it would work but just didnt want to take a chance. He didnt know how his marina did it in previous years. Anyone ever do it this way? Its a volvo 8.1l non closed system

That's how I've been doing it for the last 4 winters up here in MA.  I never drain anything out but once you start running the antifreeze through it in the beginning, I rev it for about 10 seconds @1500 RPM, (don't forget to push the center disconnect button when pushing the throttle!) then keep the antifreeze running through it and then bring it to neutral and then rev it again @ 2500 RPM for about 5 -10 seconds and he should see pink stuff only coming out of the outdrive and exhaust which means every bit of water has been pushed out with by the antifreeze and then you shut her down.  Mine is also an 8.1VP and this was how I was taught to do it by a Sea Ray Mechanic who did winterizations for over 20 years. 

I only use the -50 since I don't live in Antarctica.  So I find the -100 a waste of money to be frank.

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I also have the same basic set up. I do initially drain the block and manifolds to remove any sand or grit. If there is a measurable amount I use the flushing connection (motor off) to get all of it out. I then set the 5 gallon bucket of anti freeze with a  Y connection. Run the motor on the ears on the hose until it reaches temperature then just swap two valves and suck the anti freeze into the motor making sure I see a complete change of color coming out where it should.

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I just open  all 5 of  the Mercruiser drainplugs. Been fine for decades on the V8s. Put the plugs back in next spring. That is what most marinas do in the Clayton , N Y area.  The engines …..are designed ............to drain correctly if the plugs / valves are opened.

If the antifreeze liquid was needed ? They would not waste time & parts for a drain system  ?

EDIT

I do try to remember how fast and for how long the water comes out of each plug hole.

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well if you run the boat until the temp reaches 165 and stays there Im sure the thermostat is open the thermostat is open

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53 minutes ago, johnmullaly said:

well if you run the boat until the temp reaches 165 and stays there Im sure the thermostat is open the thermostat is open

And as soon as the cold antifreeze hits it, the thing slams shut. Better to drain the block dry and be sure, then install the anti-freeze. W

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1 hour ago, Wingnut said:

And as soon as the cold antifreeze hits it, the thing slams shut.

Yeah that's not true at all!  Never happened and has never happened when I've done it 4 (maybe even 5) winters in a row. 

20 hours ago, johnmullaly said:

Anyone ever do it this way? Its a volvo 8.1l non closed system

By the time I've warmed the engine and changed the oil, fuel filter the engine has run for a while and it's been warm for quite some time.  After that and when you start it for the antifreeze, run it for a few more minutes (it's usually only a few degrees below that by then and shouldn't take long at all) then with a special set of muffs hooked to a short hose that drops to a 5-gallon bucket which you can keep filling with antifreeze as it's being sucked in, it'll run through the whole engine and by revving it, it'll push every single drop of water out of every single passage and replace it with AF. 

It's much easier to do all this if you have a helper who can work the throttle for you.  Usually it's my son and by the time I've used up about 7 gallons, there's nothing but pink spitting out the back and outdrive.  Motor starts right up in the spring time.

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To all of you who use the "muff method" without draining everyhing first let us know how you made out next spring.

Coolant MUST always exit the motor to cool the rubber parts no matter  what the thermostat is up to . Seeing pink from the exaust means only that it went thru the exaust manifold and out the motor .

So do you feel lucky. well do you ?

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I should have a drain plug for all the fingers on 1 hand.  Works for me. Even with the brain dying off slowly.  :clapsmiley:

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Air doesnt freeze. It's not complicated. 

Heating it up to temp then switching to antifreeze should and does work. It's possible the $5 thermostat doesnt work right and you end up needing a new motor. Pretty much depends on your comfort level. If I had a 5.0 which is about $2500 maybe I would roll the dice. If i had a 496 or something really expensive I'd sleep better covering my but. 

I'd at least pull the stat imo.

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I winterize mine by using it.....  

 

A couple years ago I had to travel a lot from Dec to Jan so I had the storage people (indoor but not heated) winterize it. Not sure what method they used but it worked. 

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17 hours ago, Wingnut said:

And as soon as the cold antifreeze hits it, the thing slams shut. Better to drain the block dry and be sure, then install the anti-freeze. W

TRUE

16 hours ago, Hatem said:

Yeah that's not true at all!  Never happened and has never happened when I've done it 4 (maybe even 5) winters in a row.

FALSE

16 hours ago, Bt Doctur said:

To all of you who use the "muff method" without draining everything first let us know how you made out next spring.

Coolant MUST always exit the motor to cool the rubber parts no matter  what the thermostat is up to . Seeing pink from the exhaust means only that it went thru the exhaust manifold and out the motor .

So do you feel lucky, well do you ?

Yes, and yes. We use "muff method" BUT our toys are stored in a "cave" where temperature stays usually steady 45 degree during winter, and never have fallen below 40 degree. The cave is our first line of defense, the AF is secondary, just in case, and used primarily to inhibit the corrosion.

One year we had to store the toys outside in a fabric building, and had to used the muff method only to winterize them. We had no means to research and do it the right way. That was preceded by experimentation and careful observation of engine temperature changes at different RPM sequences until we were reasonably sure when the falling temp gauge indicates open t-stat and not just increased cooling flow, and knew how much time it stays open at given RPM. It took more like 8-9 gallons of AF per big block engine to get the feeling that all resident water got flushed out. Another helpful factor is that our deep well water is always cold, much colder than AF which was stored at room temperature, actually in the warm boiler/storage room. Yes, we were mindful and still we were lucky.

 

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All too often it's easy to look at a single example and determine that his or her situation is uniform across the fleet. Raw water cooled engines simply have more obscure places for water to hide than do closed loop engines that remain filled with antifreeze. In-line engines have a single jacketed cooling cavity and head spaces sit directly above the block and typically a single plug drains them dry. V-engine configurations have two distinct cavities on 45 or 60 degree opposing angles to each other, and must be evacuated separately. Been doing this for over 40 years now, and the only thing I know for sure is draining a raw water cooled engine is best as it is a perfect opportunity to get rid of the sand sediment and iron scale from the lowest point of the water jackets where it tends to accumulate. Leban is so right, air does not freeze and that's part of the story. Thermostats do close when hit with cold antifreeze and anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand how a raw water cooled engine operates and as the OP's example 8.1 does not have a closed loop system and no one has x-ray eyes, the most prudent here actually remove the thermostat during winterization. I don't subscribe to that extreme, but I do drain the block, manifolds, and domestic potable water heating loops if so equipped. On a Merc closed loop 8.1, most of the raw water side is self draining upon shutdown and the single point air actuated drain system only needs to deal with the actual sea water pump housing and the port side low point and when you pump up the drain valves with the supplied bicycle pump, you only get about 2 cups of remaining liquid water. That said, it still takes just over 4 gallons of RV/Marine antifreeze into the pump inlet before you are re-filled and begin to see discharge out the exhaust. Nice to get all that raw manifold iron coated for winter, and last spring I pull the manifolds and risers for re-gasketing and they show as new. I also added a flush fitting into the raw water pump suction line to eliminate the need to use muffs, and I ran a hose to an easy to reach remote location. It has an internal spring-loaded check that prevents your antifreeze from running backwards out the drive.   I have installed several of these and finally decided I'd treat my ride to one. If you decide to do the same, be sure to measure your raw water pump inlet hose diameter, likely the 1-1/4" offering with the stainless steel clamp around the mid section. This version is more robust than their initial offering and is internally serviceable. Great addition for Merc's used in salt water for daily after use engine flush. W

https://www.hodgesmarine.com/Perko-Flush-Pro-Valve-1-1-4-p/per0456dp7.htm

 

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My 80 year old mechanic DOES remove the thermostat during the drain & flush procedure. Then puts the T stat right back in.  I just drain my engines. Fine for me.

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On ‎10‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 9:36 AM, Bt Doctur said:

To all of you who use the "muff method" without draining everyhing first let us know how you made out next spring.

Coolant MUST always exit the motor to cool the rubber parts no matter  what the thermostat is up to . Seeing pink from the exaust means only that it went thru the exaust manifold and out the motor .

So do you feel lucky. well do you ?

Come on up, you're only in NJ, right?  I'll treat you to some lobster and give you the royal red carpet treatment and you can inspect my block at your pleasure.  The only hose I remove is the hose bellow the water pump to empty the exhaust manifolds, that's it.  I don't mess with all those blue plugs or anything like that as a matter of fact, my boat stayed under a tent for 2 winters with the same antifreeze in it (because of surgery)  using the same method and last years was the first time taking it out after those two winters and this year I hit 47 mph on the GPS which I never thought would happened in my widest dreams in a 276ssx with a Volvo Penta 8.1.  Wouldn't you say that pretty much settles the case?

I'd much rather do that than just empty and drain whatever and leave it.  Air might not freeze but what about all the parts rusting and drying out?  See, there's another side to the debate you can always pull out.

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9 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Thermostats do close when hit with cold antifreeze and anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand how a raw water cooled engine operates and as the OP's example 8.1 does not have a closed loop system and no one has x-ray eyes, the most prudent here actually remove the thermostat during winterization.

 

7 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

My 80 year old mechanic DOES remove the thermostat during the drain & flush procedure. Then puts the T stat right back in.

I wish we thought about it then. Good idea when not familiar with all the drain points.

Do you need to cover or seal the t-stat port when engine is running during AF flush procedure?

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He just takes it out.  Bolts the parts together. Not worried about a few drops. IF THAT much.       Then removes old gasket pieces cleans surfaces. use a new gasket.  Reinstall the T stat.

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I drain all water from the block and manifolds by pulling the plugs. Then I disconnect the Tstat hoses to the circulating pump and manifolds and pour the antifreeze directly into the block and manifold fill hoses until full. This is the only way that you know that all water has been removed and replaced with 100% antifreeze. Easy peazy.

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1 minute ago, Chap243 said:

I drain all water from the block and manifolds by pulling the plugs. Then I disconnect the Tstat hoses to the circulating pump and manifolds and pour the antifreeze directly into the block until full. This is the only way that you know that all water has been removed and replaced with 100% antifreeze. Easy peazy.

This certainly will cover the block.  Not sure about the nooks and crannies of the other castings such as the heads and manifolds.

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On 10/13/2019 at 8:15 AM, Wingnut said:

And as soon as the cold antifreeze hits it, the thing slams shut. Better to drain the block dry and be sure, then install the anti-freeze. W

  I respect @Wingnut tremendously, but I'm also an engineer who has spent the last few years really digging into understanding these systems.  Here is my thoughts, and let me clarify that this is based on my experience with 5.7l raw water system (open) from both a early 90s vintage and 2000 vintage.   

Can't see this happening.  First of all, the antifreeze isn't any colder than the supply water to the cooling system. So I cant see it slamming shut.  If the supply water is colder than thermostat should never open.  Now, if I follow the flow (and its tough up at the thermostat housing), there are two circuits.  First circuit is the circulating system.  This is the front of engine water pump (the normal Chevy pump) that circulates water from the housing head assembly through the engine.  When the engine is cold, the thermostat sensor side is seeing cold water, so the flow is just closed loop (I see there is actually a small bleed passage in the housing casting, but lets call it full circulation).  When engine gets warm, the thermostat opens and allows some flow from the raw water system to go into the block circuit, and then flow out to the manifolds.  If I understand the system further, there is a distribution block that splits some flow to the manifolds and out the risers at all times. So eventually all water will come out of the exhaust.  Its just what path does it take.

So back to the comment that it'll slam shut, if,lets say my antifreeze was 32 degrees when introduced to the system, the thermostat would still be open since its sensing the warm water from the block.  Yes, its possible that super cold antifreeze could shut the thermostat some once it went through, but as I said, if you are using a hose, you are running 45 degree water through the system (at least up here in northeast).  My antifreeze was in the back of my truck baking in the sun this weekend, so it was much warmer than the hose water I was using. I will say, it is very important that the engine is totally up to operating temperature, where the water supply to the block is necessary to cool the engine.  This required that I run it for almost half hour and varying engine speeds up to 2500 rpm to get some heat into the engine.   Once totally warmed up, I have a diverter valve and just switch from water to antifreeze.  Usually take about four gallons before totally pink fluid comes out of exhaust.  I'll run another two gallons through.  Any water pockets will also get mixed with antifreeze from simple diffusion.  The polypropylene glycol is usually mixed with alcohol which makes a mixture that has a high affinity for water.  So any pur water pockets will diffuse with antifreeze once sitting for a little bit.  I've run this method of winterization on our old boat for 7 years and never had an issue.  The marina does the same thing, but they use a large tank to drop out drives into instead of muffs.  Of course, I use sea water pumps so that resulted in wiped sea water pump, but I digress (see other post I have for that fiasco). 

Or, I am completely wrong and will need new blocks in the spring. 

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Looks to me the both points of view are valid and open to interpretation. What does the "slams shut" mean?

Another aspect is the raw water pump efficiency at different RPM values. I would say that with incoming raw water temperature being constant, the raw water pump efficiency at user selected RPM is the only variable and has more impact on success (or not) of "muffs method" that the t-stat itself which only reacts to the user created conditions.

Based on our experimentation that one year, we've got fairly consistent results across six VP 8.1L engines of different model years. I do not have notes on me and will try to describe the findings using approximate RPM values. All test were done using well water at around 50F.

The engines tend to achieve the thermal equilibrium at any RPM where the t-stat opens to various degrees and keeps the thermal status quo. Things get interesting when the RPM change is significant.

Our findings were that after running the engine at 2500 or higher RPM to warm it up, the change to 2000 RPM created rapid temperature fall from 165-170F to 125F in 12 seconds, in other words the t-stat slammed shut in 12 seconds, and then the temp started to raise again after a brief rest. That was too short period of time for AF treatment, and this 12 second short cooling period did not feel as a good thing for the engine either.

Reducing RPM to 1200 after the warmup extended the cooling period to 45+ seconds. Going down to idle 650 RPM after warmup gave us a couple of minutes before the temp went down to 125F again. Worth noting here is that the temperature started raising at first reaching the uncomfortable level before it leveled off and started to crawl down slowly.

We settled for around 800-900 as the optimum RPM for the AF flush after engine warmup. The AF being warmer than water gave us some extra time to orderly dump 8 plus gallons of AF per engine.

All engines, pumps, and impellers are different, the individual experimentation to establish optimum operating RPM is necessary.

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1 hour ago, Roady68 said:

  I respect @Wingnut tremendously, but I'm also an engineer who has spent the last few years really digging into understanding these systems.  Here is my thoughts, and let me clarify that this is based on my experience with 5.7l raw water system (open) from both a early 90s vintage and 2000 vintage.   

Can't see this happening.  First of all, the antifreeze isn't any colder than the supply water to the cooling system. So I cant see it slamming shut.  If the supply water is colder than thermostat should never open.  Now, if I follow the flow (and its tough up at the thermostat housing), there are two circuits.  First circuit is the circulating system.  This is the front of engine water pump (the normal Chevy pump) that circulates water from the housing head assembly through the engine.  When the engine is cold, the thermostat sensor side is seeing cold water, so the flow is just closed loop (I see there is actually a small bleed passage in the housing casting, but lets call it full circulation).  When engine gets warm, the thermostat opens and allows some flow from the raw water system to go into the block circuit, and then flow out to the manifolds.  If I understand the system further, there is a distribution block that splits some flow to the manifolds and out the risers at all times. So eventually all water will come out of the exhaust.  Its just what path does it take.

So back to the comment that it'll slam shut, if,lets say my antifreeze was 32 degrees when introduced to the system, the thermostat would still be open since its sensing the warm water from the block.  Yes, its possible that super cold antifreeze could shut the thermostat some once it went through, but as I said, if you are using a hose, you are running 45 degree water through the system (at least up here in northeast).  My antifreeze was in the back of my truck baking in the sun this weekend, so it was much warmer than the hose water I was using. I will say, it is very important that the engine is totally up to operating temperature, where the water supply to the block is necessary to cool the engine.  This required that I run it for almost half hour and varying engine speeds up to 2500 rpm to get some heat into the engine.   Once totally warmed up, I have a diverter valve and just switch from water to antifreeze.  Usually take about four gallons before totally pink fluid comes out of exhaust.  I'll run another two gallons through.  Any water pockets will also get mixed with antifreeze from simple diffusion.  The polypropylene glycol is usually mixed with alcohol which makes a mixture that has a high affinity for water.  So any pur water pockets will diffuse with antifreeze once sitting for a little bit.  I've run this method of winterization on our old boat for 7 years and never had an issue.  The marina does the same thing, but they use a large tank to drop out drives into instead of muffs.  Of course, I use sea water pumps so that resulted in wiped sea water pump, but I digress (see other post I have for that fiasco). 

Or, I am completely wrong and will need new blocks in the spring. 

As another geeky engineer, I never leave my outcome up to chance. Did the thermostat stay open, did some or all divert to the block, did it mix with water and now has a lower freeze point...... all chance. Many times based on the comments here it is just fine. I like certainty.

Draining the block and entire system first means for sure the block fills with antifreeze, and only once it is full will it make it to the exhaust section - no chance, just certainty. Whether I pour the AF in or run it up through the lower leg makes no difference at that point, when I see it exit it is because FOR CERTAIN everything is full of AF.

i am not discounting everyone’s success without draining first, just factual that you have left it up to chance, maybe good chance, but chance.

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Two engineering students were crossing campus when one asked the other, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

"The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

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