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johnmullaly

Yet another winterize question

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Roady, I agree with everything you said, and I think where we diverge is a function of timing. Hooking up the hose/muffs and flushing with fresh water until up to temperature is a no-brainer, and on that it would seem we all agree. (that's a wonder in itself). Then the engine gets shut down, and the upper half of the risers, manifolds, heads, and block experience some level of gravity draining. The engine goes through a short period of heat soak, and then begins to lose heat. Thermostat likely is still open at this point. Now the hose water gets shut off but not before the thermostat housing continues to be flooded with cold water, with no hot water circulation as engine is not running. We switch the muff feed from potable water to our antifreeze bucket, and/or supply pump and restart the engine. Cold antifreeze refills the thermostat housing and if the thermostat is not already closed, it is now. The vast majority of the valuable antifreeze is by-passing the engine block and heads and flowing directly to the manifolds, and risers, and out on to the ground. Sure, the power steering cooler, fuel module, engine oil cooler, and raw water pump are being purged, but at this moment the only antifreeze that is entering the block and heads  to displace standing water is what is flowing through the thermostat by-pass passage which is extremely small. The engine coolant circulation pump is of little help at this point as it is of centrifugal design, is not self priming, and will not move liquid until it is fully wetted, which takes time. I'll stand by my comments that the only way to know for sure is to remove the drain plugs, visually confirm that you have a viable drain passage that is not plugged by sediment, replace all the plugs after a comprehensive flush, and then add the antifreeze. I've replaced far too many cracked blocks in spring, and seen several dozen more. Boat yards are loaded with them. The owners question is always the same. "Why did this happen". And that is always answered with another question. "Did you drain the system". Ever notice that the engine builders refer to the block and head inserts as core plugs and/or casting plugs, and we call them freeze plugs? I've seen dozens of these push in wonders pushed back out, but I've never seen one displaced without subsequent casting damage. Some got welded, some replaced. In the late 80's, Merc had a raw water cooled 260 HP 350 that had a nasty habit of freezing when the block was not drained and the owner simply poured in some anti-freeze into the thermo housing. I concluded in one case it was caused by an owners desire to store his boat an a severe bow up angle to prevent rain water  pooling on the cockpit cover. Lesson there is do your winterization on level ground before you elevate the bow for storage. I got really accomplished at welding cast iron in that decade. In the end, I'll remind everyone that the OEM service manuals all recommend draining the castings followed by a disclaimer that reads "failure to do so could result in severe engine damage, voiding your warranty". They then go on to recommend adding Marine non-toxic antifreeze as a SECONDARY level of protection. W

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13 hours ago, paulswagelock said:

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.

"and only once it is full will it make it to the exhaust section"   Actually, if the thermostat is closed, the majority of the raw water pump discharge delivered volume is heading directly to the manifolds and risers, as the thermostat by-pass hole is quite small, intended to fill the block and displace air while still building engine heat as quickly as possible. The system must maintain a constant flow to the manifolds and risers any time the engine is running as the hot exhaust must be quenched before passing through the transom cavity and rubber exhaust hoses. You are absolutely correct as you never know when the thermostat actually opens. If it opens 15 seconds into the antifreeze injection process, chances are the remainder of your supply bucket is enough to dilute the remaining raw water. But what if there is less than a gallon in that bucket when the stat diverts a large percentage of the in-feed flow to the block. I'm closed loop and like you I will still continue to drain the raw water circuit as the individual system components are too expensive and too hard to get to. My biggest issue this season has been finding Prestone Marine/RV antifreeze at a reasonable price. Their part number AF-222 is hard to find this year and I usually buy at least 10 cases. Sta-bil is another brand I use, but can't find that either. Perhaps a propylene glycol shortage? W

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2 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Roady, I agree with everything you said, and I think where we diverge is a function of timing. Hooking up the hose/muffs and flushing with fresh water until up to temperature is a no-brainer, and on that it would seem we all agree. (that's a wonder in itself). Then the engine gets shut down, and the upper half of the risers, manifolds, heads, and block experience some level of gravity draining. The engine goes through a short period of heat soak, and then begins to lose heat. Thermostat likely is still open at this point. Now the hose water gets shut off but not before the thermostat housing continues to be flooded with cold water, with no hot water circulation as engine is not running. We switch the muff feed from potable water to our antifreeze bucket, and/or supply pump and restart the engine. Cold antifreeze refills the thermostat housing and if the thermostat is not already closed, it is now. The vast majority of the valuable antifreeze is by-passing the engine block and heads and flowing directly to the manifolds, and risers, and out on to the ground. Sure, the power steering cooler, fuel module, engine oil cooler, and raw water pump are being purged, but at this moment the only antifreeze that is entering the block and heads  to displace standing water is what is flowing through the thermostat by-pass passage which is extremely small. The engine coolant circulation pump is of little help at this point as it is of centrifugal design, is not self priming, and will not move liquid until it is fully wetted, which takes time. I'll stand by my comments that the only way to know for sure is to remove the drain plugs, visually confirm that you have a viable drain passage that is not plugged by sediment, replace all the plugs after a comprehensive flush, and then add the antifreeze. I've replaced far too many cracked blocks in spring, and seen several dozen more. Boat yards are loaded with them. The owners question is always the same. "Why did this happen". And that is always answered with another question. "Did you drain the system". Ever notice that the engine builders refer to the block and head inserts as core plugs and/or casting plugs, and we call them freeze plugs? I've seen dozens of these push in wonders pushed back out, but I've never seen one displaced without subsequent casting damage. Some got welded, some replaced. In the late 80's, Merc had a raw water cooled 260 HP 350 that had a nasty habit of freezing when the block was not drained and the owner simply poured in some anti-freeze into the thermo housing. I concluded in one case it was caused by an owners desire to store his boat an a severe bow up angle to prevent rain water  pooling on the cockpit cover. Lesson there is do your winterization on level ground before you elevate the bow for storage. I got really accomplished at welding cast iron in that decade. In the end, I'll remind everyone that the OEM service manuals all recommend draining the castings followed by a disclaimer that reads "failure to do so could result in severe engine damage, voiding your warranty". They then go on to recommend adding Marine non-toxic antifreeze as a SECONDARY level of protection. W

You mention in this posting that you warm the engine and then shut it off and switch to AF and restart. This confuses me a bit. For the past two years I've used the West Marine winterizing kit. It allows me to connect the garden hose and the 5 gallon tank of AF to the same line that goes to the muffs. When the engine is warmed up, all I have to do is "turn the knob."  This cuts off the garden hose and opens up the AF without shutting the engine off.  Does this keep the T-stat open?

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53 minutes ago, SST said:

You mention in this posting that you warm the engine and then shut it off and switch to AF and restart. This confuses me a bit. For the past two years I've used the West Marine winterizing kit. It allows me to connect the garden hose and the 5 gallon tank of AF to the same line that goes to the muffs. When the engine is warmed up, all I have to do is "turn the knob."  This cuts off the garden hose and opens up the AF without shutting the engine off.  Does this keep the T-stat open?

I think that's the whole point of the discussion. No one really knows when and how much the thermostat is open. Does not matter to me as I get them up to temperature, shut down, drain engine oil, raw water, and drive oil while hot, then re-fill fluids and run her just long enough to re-establish oil pressure and suck in 4 gals (min) Marine/RV antifreeze. Every situation is different and as the manufacturer's prescribe, there is only one way to be 100% sure. Drain it.  W

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19 hours ago, Roady68 said:

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

The manifolds are filled with antifreeze by the hoses that feed them. As long as the hoses are held higher than the risers, the water will fill. I usually pour until it comes out the drive.

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18 hours ago, Roady68 said:

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.

Glad to see someone else step up.

16 hours ago, paulswagelock said:

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.

Exactly.  I even empty the exhaust manifolds right after engine is brought up to steady temperature using muffs and not my flushport.  I do that just because I'm always using the flushport connection to flush the engine in the slip and even in the driveway.  But before starting to run antifreeze through the engine, I just want to be sure the muffs are working and it is circulating and keeping the engine at 160 degrees and maintaining it that way for at least 10 minutes.

16 hours ago, paulswagelock said:

I've run this method of winterization on our old boat for 7 years and never had an issue.

5 years on an 8.1 Doing it next week.  The only drawback I see in not pulling the plugs is that if there is any sedimentation or crap or whatever (someone mentioned sand) but wouldn't you see that when changing your impeller?  I don't see any sand or any foreign material in the impeller housing and let's also not forget that VPs might be different than Merurys.  OP is talking about a VP 8.1.

19 hours ago, Roady68 said:

The marina does the same thing, but they use a large tank to drop out drives into instead of muffs.

Yep.  Same thing I said when I mentioned a former Sea Ray mechanic who taught me this method said they did the same exact thing when he was working for a rather large, Boston dealership. Yeah you use up a lot of antifreeze and you never keep it low in the bucket.  As a matter of fact, when I end up using about 7 gallons of antifreeze before it's shooting nothing but pure pink out the exhaust, I have at least half the 5-gallon bucket still filled with AF. 

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so my boat is on the VA/NC border.

I do the muffs, but do not drain first. I run the boat to temp, then run 6 gallons of Antifreeze through. In 9 years I haven't had any issues. 

I wouldn't mind doing the plug drain method, but there is 1 plug that I cannot get to, nor see. I have Merc 5.0, and ny understanding is there is a plug right under the middle of the engine in the back. With the engine cool, I put my left hand on the serpentine belt, and reach under and around for it and have never found it. I am 6ft tall with long arms so I should be able to reach it. Even if I found it and unscrewed it, I'd be afraid I wouldn't be able to get it back in. With the engine hot, and the oil pan hot, I'd be afraid of burning myself. 

Is there a trick to finding this mythical blue plug, not burning yourself,  and how to put it back in ? 

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Hmm, interesting reads and theories here. I have the same set up as SST. Warm the engine, shut down, change oil and filter. Fire engine back up on new oil til it gets to temp on the muffs then use my valve to go immediately from water to antifreeze, then wait for said antifreeze to exit exhaust. The switch from water to antifreeze is pretty seamless. The only thing different I do after that is open the single point drain on my 5.0 and let all of the antifreeze drain out, leaving the block dry. I also subscribe to the "air don't freeze" theory and I hope that if there is anything still trapped inside, it is antifreeze. 

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Seems like a lot of theses winterization questions could be resolved with a antifreeze concentrate much like a car but not toxic, that gets stronger when mixed with up to 50% mix of water.  Surely in this day and age someone can invent and market such a product and not make us  reliant on "RV" antifreeze.

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14 minutes ago, Chap243 said:

Seems like a lot of theses winterization questions could be resolved with a antifreeze concentrate much like a car but not toxic, that gets stronger when mixed with up to 50% mix of water.  Surely in this day and age someone can invent and market such a product and not make us  reliant on "RV" antifreeze.

Would save alot of engines. The engine rebuilders would not like it. Maybe the stuff is out there and they are the ones keeping it from hitting the market. More money in engine replacements than anti freeze.  (Just tongue in cheek here, saving Cyclops from making a post.  :D)

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Why are you reliant on "RV" antifreeze? Can't you use regular automobile products? It is after all basically and automobile engine you are servicing.....  I'm cornfused in the desert. 

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RV antifreeze is nontoxic so come spring you can just stick boat in water and start pumping the nontoxic TV antifreeze into the lake.  Shouldn't do that with automotive.  

I use automotive but start in my driveway in spring.   Antifreeze soaks into the gravel driveway. 

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Environmentally safe. Can be discharged into a lake or on the ground.

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On 10/14/2019 at 2:54 PM, 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. 

I've been reading al of this back and forth and I do it this way, too. The only thing I additionally do is to drain the system through my single point drain when I'm done, leaving it dry. I have my valve switching system right at my muffs. I purge the antifreeze from my bucket down to the valve. I open the antifreeze valve and then gradually turn off the water valve. Not real slow, between 5 and 10 seconds. The antifreeze isn't any colder than the hose water for sure, probably warmer. Here's my set up...y4mkHlC_a0VqV-9FgWB9hWILZKFFElsBk0-91GW-

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Here is a great example, watch it on you tube, I have used this method for years (referenced above by Chap243) and I have never had an issue.  Go to you tube, www.LIboatersclub.com.  this is taking off the hose and filling.  I bring to temp, remove plugs to drain, replace plugs, then remove each side of T stat hose and fill until it comes out of housing, (the T stat will not close, otherwise the AF wouldn't come out) then I do the same for the risers.  easy and I know everything is filled, you will see it come out of the drives as well.      For me I need to research on how to winterize the AC unit.  

 

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For all the reasons stated above, i have come up with my own way to do this, and i personally believe this is the best way, although: warning: TOTAL PITA TO DO AND LIKELY AN OVERKILL.

but boy can i sleep well at night at -50!!! I also recapture the AF from the block in the spring so i reuse 60-70% of the AF every year. I buy three new bottles every fall to winterize and that gives me 8 gallons to work with. Water is drained prior to doing this. Engine runs for 5-7 minutes on this stuff while carefully watching the temp, as soon as it drops and the tstat has opened, i get ready to shut off the motor. Why? Because by that time the AF which is recirculated and goes back into the muffs is 70 Deg C (compared to cold lake water at 20 C!) so the engine would get hot VERY quickly.

BUT IIRC the OP was asking about a Penta setup. I have a friend with Penta and he says he also does not have drainplugs but rather his shop has always disconnected his water hoses. Sounds like a PITA as well, and a terrible design but that is what he said.

 

 

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Pull the props off.  Get a big plastic pail. Bigger than a 5 gallon one.  Put in straight antifreeze based on gallons of water in the engine.  MAKE SURE the antifreeze level is higher than the PUMP in the lower unit. REMOVE THE THERMOSTAT. Bolt the T stat cover back on the housing.  Start the engine.  The water pump SHOULD START pushing anti freeze thru out the engine  instantly.  Run for 30 seconds. All should be mixed. Weaker anti freeze color. Check coolant freeze reading on a gauge. Adjust antifreeze ratio as needed. Run long enough to fully mix water & antifreeze.  

Only experienced  DIY people should do this.

I can not believe Volvo has no drain system................. New marina people WILL screw up a few engines  with a attitude of.  Screw this pretzel position work.

Other 1/2 of the spring hose team says.  This is  B S position work. Hose clamp drops off. I can not see it.  More BS. Leave it off. Just push the hose on. Good enough.  Been to boat people where these things happen.

Oh well

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