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Thread: Winterizing an outdrive easy and cheap

  1. #1

    Default Winterizing an outdrive easy and cheap

    Does anyone have a good method to winterize an inboard? This way got the job done but it was the first thing that came to mind. Starting with 4 gallons of RV antifreeze I was able to salvage 3 gallons after running the engine for about 1 minute and seeing pink come out the exhaust / water outdrive drain. I then used another gallon Winterizing the sink pump, wash down pump and fish box pump.

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  2. #2
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    i used to disconnect the raw water line on the inside, then just mixed up antifreeze in a 5 gal pail, stuck the end of the hose in the bucket and started her up ran it till the bucket was empty and was done.

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    My question is do you have raw water cooling or fresh water cooling? If your engine is raw water cooled you won't get any antifreeze into the block until the thermostat opens up and only running 3 gallons through it won't be enough to get the engine to operating temperature. This is exactly how I do mine. I also drain my manifolds after I get done.

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  4. #4

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    I have a closed loop cooling system. Raw sea water is picked up and circulated through a heat exchanger then out the exhaust. The glycol on the other side of the exchanger circulates through the block and T-stat. So I think I'm covered since I saw pink fluid coming out the exhaust. My engine is harder to access so I prefer to winterize the boat from the outside if I can. I probably should have run some fuel stabilizer through the engine before I did all this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Predator Control View Post
    I have a closed loop cooling system. Raw sea water is picked up and circulated through a heat exchanger then out the exhaust. The glycol on the other side of the exchanger circulates through the block and T-stat. So I think I'm covered since I saw pink fluid coming out the exhaust. My engine is harder to access so I prefer to winterize the boat from the outside if I can. I probably should have run some fuel stabilizer through the engine before I did all this.
    Yep that's the same system I have and what you did has worked fine for me for the last 6 years. Quick and easy to do, only other thing I do is drain the manifolds if you can.

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  6. #6

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    but wouldn't the exhaust manifolds have the RV antifreeze in them? seems like it would be good to keep it in there because it has rust inhibitor properties in it. The manifolds do have drain plugs thou

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I am not sure what kind of manifolds you have, I have an omc cobra and mine hold quite a bit of water in them. I have left the rv antifreeze in there over the winter but I drained them before I ran the rv antifreeze through it just to make sure it wasnt watered down by the water left in there. I am not sure if RV antifreeze has the same rust inhibitor properties that regular antifreeze has in it since its made to more of less protect plastic rv type stuff from freezing up, but I could be completely wrong about that. I have a 1" drain on each side that has a rubber boot over it and I usually pull those off and leave it open all winter. I just put the boots on the captain seat so I dont forget to put them back on when I use it again. I havnt had any problems though doing it the way you have. Sure is a quick easy way to do it and if I use my boat in the middle of winter I just bring some of the pink stuff with me and do this in the parking lot before towing it home so it dosnt freeze on the way home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Predator Control View Post
    but wouldn't the exhaust manifolds have the RV antifreeze in them? seems like it would be good to keep it in there because it has rust inhibitor properties in it. The manifolds do have drain plugs thou

  8. #8

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    I talked to a marine mechanic who told me RV Ntifreeze does have the rust inhibitors in it and he has used it for years to winterize hundreds of boats. I thought I would buy a larger (1500 gpm) bilge pump and set it up to plug into my Scotty down rigger power outlet, and use that to pump the antifreeze to my outdrive muffs. That way when I take a winter trip and winterize in the harbor parking lot I don't need to find AC power.

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I was curious about the rust inhibitors so I looked it up and I did see that it does have rust inhibitors in it, hey I learned something. They are a different type of rust inhibitor because they are not meant for long term storage or use like regular antifreeze so they will break down sooner than standard coolant. Also learned that rv antifreeze is a purer form of glycol because it's food grade. Don't really know what the big difference is I'm not going to drink either one. Unfortunately I couldn't edit my post after I looked it up.
    I use a collapsible cheap Colman water jug with a hose attached and put that on the swim step and it will gravity feed in. I have also used a bucket with a spigot in the bottom and gravity fed that, once the pump gets primed it sucks pretty hard as long as the ears fit good, so there's not really a need for a bilge pump just one more hassle to deal with.

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    I'd love to have your outdrive BTW, when mine finally gives it up I will probably be putting that one on.

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  11. #11

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    Thank you for confirming what I was told because I really only knew what the mechanic told me. Having a pump force that liquid into the impeller just seems like the right thing to do. I don't know how long the rubber impeller flippers will last running dry and I don't want to find out. I need to buy a pump anyway, that pump in the photo was a borrowed one from my neighbor so I thought it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a spare bilge pump around anyway. I just got this boat operational in July so I only have about 50 hours on but the outdrive seems pretty good. Heavy duty. reminds me of an old tractor gear case. It has a screw in oil dip stick at the top. and just slides in and out of gear smooth. And the linkage is real simple and heavy duty. But I'm use to working on a merc. pre-alpha outdrive so anything on the market is an upgrade from that.20160721_085044-resized-1400.jpg

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    Impellers are cheap and I replace mine about every two years they only take about 10 minutes to change out and it always looks as good as it did when I put it in. I make sure the hose is full to the ears and it sucks it in almost immediately. Might be different if I was doing it more but I only need to do it 3 or so times a year. I thought about the bilge pump thing but I don't think my outdrive could keep up with even a small bilge pump and since I'm buying that stuff by the gallon I didn't want to waste it by pumping it out past the ears.
    I was stressing all winter the first time I did this hoping I had made the correct decision. I was very relieved the next spring when all was well.

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  13. #13

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    I talked to a guy who said they make a gravity fed set up like you describe that you can buy in Anchorage. So probably don't need a pump after all. I will buy a spare impeller to have on the boat. Thanks!

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Gravity feed off a 5 gallon jug is what I have used many times, set it on the transom and start the engine once the line is full to the ears. Also drained the manifold's, never any issues.
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    Brian, so do you run the RV antifreeze through AND drain the manifolds? or if no antifreeze only drain manifolds is ok?

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    one of these might be a good add on, sucks in antifreeze, engine flush and also can be used as a emergency bilge pump.
    http://www.groco.net/00-scks-valves/ssc.htm

    https://fisheriessupply.com/groco-safety-seacock-engine-flush-kits-ssc-series

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    Quote Originally Posted by Predator Control View Post
    Brian, so do you run the RV antifreeze through AND drain the manifolds? or if no antifreeze only drain manifolds is ok?

    I would run antifreeze through it sucking down a few gallons till pink fluid was coming out the exhaust. Then drain the exhaust manifolds of excess fluid. Just figured it was good insurance and it always worked out well. Whether it was right or not.

    Also made a habit to run salt away after every trip to flush out the motor and still do with the outboards.
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