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My EZ Winterization Procedure


skiatook_bu

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I just did my winterization yesterday. This is my method, I thought I would share.

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I have a short PVC adapter that is threaded for a hose on one end and 1-1/4 on the other end. The braided line is a washing machine hose.

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On the other end of the washing machine hose I have a valve to turn the water flow on/off from inside the boat.

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I use 6 gallons of RV antifreeze. If you buy this "after" season, it is usually on clearance and it is ready for next year.

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I have a 5 gallon bucket ready for the antifreeze.

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I fill the bucket with 5 gallons of antifreeze and have the extra gallon ready.

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I completely fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer.

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I remove the water intake hose from the inlet in the bottom of the boat and hook up the PVC adapter in it's place. Hook a garden hose to the valve and have the water ON at faucet and OFF at the valve. Put the fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and start the boat. Open the water valve and IMMEDIATELY start the boat. (The water pressure can blow off the hose if you leave it on too long) You should have water running out the exhaust shortly after starting the boat. Run the engine until it reaches operating temperature (160 degress) and the thermostat is OPEN. Shut the engine OFF and immediately turn the water valve OFF and unhook the hose from the valve.

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Place the open end of the hose in the bucket of antifreeze and start the boat again.

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The water pump impeller will syphon the antifreeze from the bucket. As the antifreeze is syphoned into the engine, add the additional gallon to the bucket.

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Tilt the bucket and keep the hose in the antifreeze. Run the boat until ALMOST everything is gone and shut the key OFF when you get to this point.

I usually leave the hose attached and the middle seat off for the "unwinterize", when I again run everything to temperature in the spring, change oil, cap, rotor, impeller, oil filter, vdrive, trans fluid, fuel filter, spark plugs. I use an oil extractor (vacuum pump) to get out the oils after warming up the engine.

This has worked for me for years, including my heater core, and has been "field tested" down to -14, which it doesn't normally get that cold here.

Edited by skiatook_bu
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With the block still full of water, a good portion of the antifreeze will pass to the exhaust and exit. I am also a fan of changing the oil in the fall as used out is caustic. Its nice to have clean fresh oil circulated through the passages before a long winters nap. I would also recommend the green Stabil for those that have to use ethanol blended fuel.

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You don't drain the water from the block before adding RV antifreeze? I wouldn't trust diluted antifreeze here in Minnesota or anywhere it gets real cold.

I concur. Should drain your block and risers at a minimum.

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Either drain the block first or at least ensure the engine is up to 160degs or more, or all that antifreeze may not even make it in to the engine, flushes right out, because the thermostat won't open till 160 or more. Else, your block could still be full of 100% water, thermostat closed the whole time.

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Drain first, takes 10 minutes...I'm in Dallas and I wouldn't risk it with diluted antifreeze but I also dont have money to throw around to buy a brand new engine worst case scenario. I only drain, no antifreeze, can't freeze if nothing's there. If it wasn't for changing fluids, would literally take less than 10 minutes to drain all water out. For changing fluids I usually have a couple beers ready and stereo goin. I did have a headache getting my oil filter off this year tho. Literally tore the thing to pieces and yes I did put oil on the lip last year...

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I used to do something similar to this. Then I got thinking about it and drained the antifreeze one time and took samples from the manifolds and block and put them in the freezer. I was surprised some of the samples froze! I now drain and don't even mess around with the antifreeze.

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With the block still full of water, a good portion of the antifreeze will pass to the exhaust and exit. I am also a fan of changing the oil in the fall as used out is caustic. Its nice to have clean fresh oil circulated through the passages before a long winters nap. I would also recommend the green Stabil for those that have to use ethanol blended fuel.

Regarding the green Marine Formula Stabil...I emailed the company to ask if it has the same long-term storage benefits as the regular Stabil and they said no. If you are storing for longer than 30 days, you should use the regular Stabil.

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Regarding the green Marine Formula Stabil...I emailed the company to ask if it has the same long-term storage benefits as the regular Stabil and they said no. If you are storing for longer than 30 days, you should use the regular Stabil.

Was that in regards to slowing the rate at which the fuel spoils or to the degree that it prevents phase separation and rate of moisture absorption of ethanol blended fuels. What did they recommend for those forced to use ethanol fuel and store their boats for more then 30 days?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't drain the water first, but I am also pretty far south - Oklahoma.

I'm really far south, coldest it gets here may be one night of 27F. I usually dont winterize, only add a lamp. Been reading the forums a lot lately and now im torn between draining the block or running antifreeze. I am assuming since it dosent get TOO cold her the antifreeze option might be the best.

Here, we can have one weekend where lows are in the 30s and the next weekend highs are close to 70. I hate to do a full winterization then want to hit the water the following weekend.

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Nothing wrong with this method but what's so hard about just pulling one of the cooling hoses off and pouring the anti-freeze directly into the engine block? Save some $$'s on all the fittings, hoses, buckets etc. (not to mention the time it takes to siphon the anti-freeze into the engine).

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Nothing wrong with this method but what's so hard about just pulling one of the cooling hoses off and pouring the anti-freeze directly into the engine block? Save some $$'s on all the fittings, hoses, buckets etc. (not to mention the time it takes to siphon the anti-freeze into the engine).

I *think* that the "just run antifreeze through it" solution has appeal to folks who are intimidated by the winterization process, and don't really understand how raw water engine cooling works. I know it appealed to me before I understood how to winterize properly.

Once you sit down and figure out how it works, draining (a) isn't that hard and (b) is the safest method. Antifreeze is just a little extra insurance as a finishing touch.

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