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Dewinterizing

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Old 03-02-2003, 01:46 PM
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Post Dewinterizing

This was orginially posted by Paul Kermis of Simrek Drive Showers on another forum. It is good information, so I posted it here...

I posted this stuff last year, and I thought that it was worth saying it again: With spring on the way, (about time!!) I wanted to share something that you long time boaters might already know, but here goes anywise: When you start up your boat for the first time this spring, make sure that you use water cups and a garden hose, to supply water to the engine. Don't just stick the lower unit into water, ( I've seem marinas do this a lot). Your sea pump impeller is nothing more that a paddle wheel made of a rubber like substance. They count on the water going through them to be a lubricant and to keep them moist and pliable. After sitting all winter, they like to take a set. At start up, the paddles, one by one, are forced to be compressed, which is basically how the pump works. If they are started dry (no lubricant and no added moisture) they can shatter or crack. Using the cups and a garden hose forces the water into the sea pump and acts like a primer. If you don't use the cups and simply submerge the lower unit, the pump ( if it survives the initial start up) has to draw the water in by itself. This takes too much time and will damage the impeller or at least cause premature wear. To take this a step further, your best bet is to fog the impeller chamber while you have the hoses off during the winterization process. A lot of people overlook this step, and it is so simple. Everyone should know by now, but I will say it anyway: NEVER start your motor, at ANY time, without a water supply to that pump. Not even for just a second "to see if it will start". You MAY get away with it once on twice, but you will be seriously reducing the life expectancy of the impeller if you do. Resist the temptation long enough to hook up the water cups and turn on the hose.

Another thing that many seasoned boaters know, but not everyone, is that you should never start the engine with the drive trimmed up in trailer mode. This forces the universal joint between the engine and the drive (which is spinning even when the drive is in neutral) to rotate at an angle that is beyond the design limits. You may even hear a growling sound coming from it. This is a result of the increased vibrations caused by the asymmetrical spinning of the two shafts. Not only will this vibration cause premature wear on the u-joint, but it can oblong or open the oil seals around the shafts. It's easy to forget to lower the drive after you launched the boat ---- so don't forget. Also, don't count on using the trailer mode in shallow water, and NEVER use it to lift the bow further for more speed. If you trim the drive past the support dogs, you could torque the drive out of the gimble housing and get into BIG trouble steering wise at high speed. Not a good thing. If your in the habit of doing this, might I suggest some propeller tuning to correct the situation. You could be flirting with disaster.

Happy boating, Springs a commin,

Da Drive Shower Guy
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Old 03-02-2003, 02:21 PM
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Clay, that is good info,probrably a good thing to do,but Paul may have overstated the case.Our local marina here has 200+boats,they winterize them every fall and put them in the water in the spring,start the engines and everybody is happy. Don't recall any situations of fried impellers. In theory,the idea makes sense, but actually,maybe not needed. I wouldn't worry if it's not done, but if you do it yourself and have access to a hose and flush muffs,sure can't hurt.
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Old 03-02-2003, 04:04 PM
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The water pump should be full of coolant, a good lubricant, and not dry anyway.
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:30 PM
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I've got a question.... when I take off the flame arrester, I spray about half a can of fogger into it.... the engine never stalls though... it's a 7.4 efi....... it sputters a bit... What is your experience????

I also agree the water should reach the pump when the boat is in the water......BUT....... Most people start the engines when the boat is on the trailer, only backed in partially... the pump then may not get the water.... I antifreeze it every winter.
Another good tip is to pull each of the plugs and shoot oil or lubricant in each cylinder and then crank it just a few times.... then you know it's lubed......

And something so simple that most people don't do.... as I see when looking at used boats..... is to use wd40 or CRC on the entire motor, keeps it looking clean and new.... all that moisture and heat in the engine compartment causes rust to form quickly....
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:57 PM
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Your efi has a "stall saver mode", if it can, it won't let it stall. Sputtering is a good enough indication its getting enough oil in the cylinders.
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