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Am I going over the top on maintenance?


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2000 Sportster LX.  At the end of each season I have changed the oil, drained the engine, run RV anti-freeze through, and then drained that. Removed the impeller.  This is the minimum.

This summer we've put only 5 hours on the engine. I am feeling rather lazy (actually have a ton of other demands on time) so I'm thinking of skipping the oil change and skipping the anti-freeze flush (although I will drain all water from the engine).  I should add, in MN, US so winters are somewhat cold.

Finally, here's my maintenance checklist so far...

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 Interested in folks opinion here... ?

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If it has worked well to this point why change it?  What you are doing is considered standard practice for most.  A boat is a toy that is a hole in the water, if you don't do the simple things now later they will not be so simple 

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I would probably skip on the oil change as it’s just a waste of oil with only 5hrs. 
 

I would still run the anti-freeze though; as even a small amount of water could cause a huge headache next season. 

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Agree on the oil change with that few hours. I did that the previous season. As far as long term maintenance though I have swapped items when not needed, simply because the engine has been absolutely trouble free for close to 20 years. Slowly I've changed throttle position sensor, knock sensor, idle air controller, thermostat, plugs, wires, cap, coil, etc. Never had any issue with any of them. But I replaced them for peace of mind and yes fun. I like tinkering.

Steve B.

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1 hour ago, phinz said:

What program are you using to track your boat maintenance?

It's simply 'Numbers' - the spreadsheet app that comes with an Apple Mac.

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I look at RV antifreeze as cheap insurance.  I always flush with antifreeze after first draining the engine.  I never drain the antifreeze though, IMO, no reason to do that last step if you have already drained the water before you flush with antifreeze, just leave the antifreeze in there for the winter.  Simply flush the antifreeze out on the hose (w/ fake-a-lake or such) next spring before you put it in.  I'd agree no reason to change the oil from a usage standpoint, but I'd carefully examine the oil via dip stick to make sure there isn't any sign of water egress in the oil.

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Thanks for your opinions. I think I'm skipping the oil change, but will do the anti-freeze flush (although that's quite time consuming). I'd feel pretty silly to bust the block, lose even more time, as well lake time.

@lake4life : I've always flushed the antifreeze too.  Thought there is it could be there's a dark corner of the block where water persisted and antifreeze isn't full strength. With an empty or almost empty block there's room for any freeze to expand without breaking anything (hopefully). That's my logic anyway.

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1 hour ago, Dampsquid said:

Thanks for your opinions. I think I'm skipping the oil change, but will do the anti-freeze flush (although that's quite time consuming). I'd feel pretty silly to bust the block, lose even more time, as well lake time.

@lake4life : I've always flushed the antifreeze too.  Thought there is it could be there's a dark corner of the block where water persisted and antifreeze isn't full strength. With an empty or almost empty block there's room for any freeze to expand without breaking anything (hopefully). That's my logic anyway.

Won't get any argument for me, to be fair, those of us that go beyond just simply draining the block mostly becomes less about logic and more about peace of mind - and I'd say do what it takes to get that. :)

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I like your list.  Pretty much what I do every season.  I'd skip the oil change, you'll be fine.  I am a firm believer in pulling the impeller every year as well.  It lasts a lot longer that way and forces you to inspect it for cracks/damage.

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On 10/3/2022 at 12:27 PM, solorex said:

I like your list.  Pretty much what I do every season.  I'd skip the oil change, you'll be fine.  I am a firm believer in pulling the impeller every year as well.  It lasts a lot longer that way and forces you to inspect it for cracks/damage.

Do you leave the impeller out over the winter, or replace/reinstall? 
 

Thanks!

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No reason to leave the impeller installed with half the impeller vanes smushed up over the winter. Pull it out and bring it in the house to allow the impeller to relax over the winter before re-installing. Or just put a new one in in the spring and keep your old one in the glovebox as a spare. Cheap insurance IMHO.

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16 hours ago, DRAGON88 said:

No reason to leave the impeller installed with half the impeller vanes smushed up over the winter. Pull it out and bring it in the house to allow the impeller to relax over the winter before re-installing. Or just put a new one in in the spring and keep your old one in the glovebox as a spare. Cheap insurance IMHO.

Yes exactly.

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17 hours ago, Joshuntnd said:

Do you leave the impeller out over the winter, or replace/reinstall? 
 

Thanks!

Leave it out.  I put it in an open ziplock bag, leave it on the dash in a cupholder, so I see it in the spring.  I actually just leave the serpentine belt on the engine un tensioned etc... pulling the impeller on my boat at least is a super simple affair.

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