Winterizing a motor

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by sal_jr, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Bobpaul,

    In areas where engines are concerned (cars and boats) I am totally lost. I have a 1994 Merc 25hp. I know it will get to -20 or colder this winter and I also know there is no way in heck my wife will give up her spot in the garage this winter like I convincred her to do last winter.

    SO WITH THAT SAID,

    How do I properly winterize this motor and shore it up for the season?

    I got the idea of fuel stabilizer- thats fine. I can add that.

    My question is this- what else must be done, step by step, annd as simple as you possible can put it?

    I ask this cause I sure dont want to screw it up- I have a 7.5 merc as well and I tried to wing it a few years back by so-called winterizing it myself. That cost me 300 dollars and a new lower unit cause i musta done something wrong.
    I dont have the big bucks to pay someone else to do it this year.

    Please help a guy out.

    I can read and write my a$$ off, but ask me to do more than change a spark plug and you may as well be asking a pig how to be pretty. lol

    Thanks a ton.

    Sal
     
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    If you don't have one already, a service manual would be a good investment of $30 or so. Your local Mercury parts dealer will have them in stock. The manual gives the specific details for preparing your engine for winter storage.

    Bottom line is that you need to stabilize the fuel, change the oil in the lower unit, treat the internals of the engine with an anti-rust treatment (commonly called "fogging oil") and make sure all the water is drained from the engine. You should also consider removing the prop and greasing the splines on the output shaft so they don't sieze up over the winter, as well as spraying an anti-corrosion spray on the entire engine head and mid/lower external section just for added protection.

    Fogging the engine is the most difficult I suppose but even then isn't much. Start the engine (with a good water supply) then spray the fogging oil into the carbs until the engine dies. Remove the plugs and spray more fogging oil into each cylinder, then crank it over by hand a few times. Replace the plugs and you're done.

    Note that if you haven't already been running the engine with stabilizer in the fuel, you need to let it run long enough to circulate stabilized fuel throughout the engine.
     

  3. misterwhiskers

    misterwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    273
    State:
    Trenton
    The best place for your boat to be during the winter is out of the water, under cover, in a climate-controlled boat storage area. This, however, can be expensive. If don't have this option perhaps you should consider shrink-wrapping your boat. This, too, is a little expensive but provides a very protective cover. Short of these two items,be sure that your boat is well covered with a tarp or some other sturdy cover.A good boat cover is probaly one of the best investments you can make to protect your boat.

    Your first step in winterizing should be to make a checklist of all items that need to be accomplished. Check the owner's manual of your boat and motor(s) for manufacturer's recommendations on winterization. If you are a new boat owner, perhaps you should employ the assistance of a friend with experience in winterizing or hire a professional to do the job. The following is a generic outline of areas which should be of concern to you, however, there are many resources on the Internet with more detailed and specific information.

    Inboard Engine(s) - You should run the engine(s) to warm it up and change the oil while it is warm. This tends to allow impurities to be drained away with the oil. You should also change the oil filter(s). Flush the engine(s) with fresh water. You should circulate antifreeze through the manifold by using a pickup hose from the waterpump to a bucket of antifreeze. Start the engine and allow the antifreeze to circulate until water starts to exit the exhaust. This process will vary slightly depending on whether you have a "Raw Water" cooling system or an "Enclosed Fresh Water" cooling system. While you're in the engine room you should also change the fluid in your transmission. Remove spark plugs and use "fogging oil" to spray into each cylinder. Wipe down the engine with a shop towel sprayed with a little fogging oil or WD-40.

    Stern Drive(s) - You should thoroughly inspect the stern drive and remove any plant life or barnacles from the lower unit. Drain the gear case and check for excessive moisture in the oil. This could indicate leaking seals and should be repaired. Clean the lower unit with soap and water. If your stern drive has a rubber boot, check it for cracks or pinholes. Grease all fittings and check fluid levels in hydraulic steering or lift pumps. Check with your owner's manual for additional recommendations by the manufacturer.

    Outboard Engine(s) - Flush engine with fresh water using flush muffs or similar device attached to the raw water pickup. Let all water drain from the engine. Wash engine down with soap and water and rinse thoroughly. Disconnect fuel hose and run engine until it stops. It is important to follow a step by step process to make sure that all fuel is drained from the carburetor to prevent build-up of deposits from evaporated fuel. Use fogging oil in the cylinders to lubricate the cylinder walls and pistons. Apply water resistant grease to propeller shaft and threads. Change the gear oil in the lower unit. Lightly lubricate the exterior of the engine or polish with a good wax.

    Fuel - Fill your fuel tank(s) to avoid a build up of condensation over the winter months. Add a fuel stabilizer by following the instructions on the product. Change the fuel filter(s) and water separator(s).

    Bilges - Make sure the bilges are clean and dry. Use soap, hot water and a stiff brush to clean up any oil spills. Once the bilges are clean, spray with a moisture displacing lubricant and add a little antifreeze to prevent any water from freezing.

    Interior - Once you have taken care of the system you should remove any valuables, electronics, lines, PFD, fire extinguishers, flares, fenders, etc. Over the winter these items can be cleaned, checked and replaced as necessary. Open all drawers and lockers and clean thoroughly. Turn cushions up on edge so that air is able to circulate around them or, better yet, bring them home to a climate controlled area. Open and clean the refrigerator and freezer. To keep your boat dry and mildew-free you might want to install a dehumidifier or use some of the commercially available odor and moisture absorber products such as "No Damp," "Damp Away" or "Sportsman's Mate."

    Out of Water Storage - pressure wash hull, clean barnacles off props and shafts, rudders, struts and trim tabs. Clean all thru-hulls and strainers. Open seacocks to allow any water to drain. Check the hull for blisters and if you find any that should be attended to you might want to open them to drain over the winter. While you're at it, why not give the hull a good wax job? It is probably best to take the batteries out of the boat and take them home and either put them on a trickle charger or charge them every 30-60 days.

    In Water Storage - Close all seacocks and check rudder shafts and stuffing boxes for leaks, tighten or repack as necessary. Check your battery to make sure it is fully charged, clean terminals, add water if necessary and make sure your charging system is working. Check bilge pumps to ensure they are working and that float switches properly activate the pumps and that they are not hindered by debris. Make sure either to check your boat periodically or have the marina check it and report to you. If in an area where the water you are docked or moored in actually freezes, you should have a de-icing device or bubbling system around your boat.

    By following some of the above suggestions, you should be in good shape for the winter. Do not, however, neglect to consult your owner's manuals for manufacture's recommendations on winterizing your boat and other systems. If you have not done a winterization job before or don't have an experienced friend to rely on seek out a professional to do the job for you.
     
  4. misterwhiskers

    misterwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    273
    State:
    Trenton
  5. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Boy you fellas really relly came to my rescue and FAST!

    Thank you so much.

    I will print and use this stuff in 2 weeks when I finish my last boat trip for the year.


    You both got big reps from me on that one. I can understand it as you wrote it and that was all I was looking for- simple instructions. And I will take the advice on the repair manual. I figure I need one anyhow.


    Again- Much thanks.

    Sal