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View Full Version : Winterization: Anti Freeze or Drain?



Venom93corba
09-08-2009, 09:40 PM
We only have a few weeks left to actually use the boat and I'm starting to think about the winterization. I've read the acticle that Cab wrote on how to drain everything but I was thinking it might be easier just to fill it with AF. This is my first boat so I'm not sure what hell I'm doin.

BensonWdby
09-08-2009, 11:04 PM
I have a professional do it and they use anti-freeze. I try to convince myself that if I have block freeze after they do it - they pay. Not sure how that would actually play out...

Venom93corba
09-09-2009, 08:12 AM
How much do they charge?

c.rix
09-09-2009, 11:05 AM
I just drain mine and leave plugs out

After snowmobiling in northren minnesota we stopped at the cabin. In the garage we had a few bottles of rv&marine antifreeze which wasnt froze but was solid slush and the bottles were bloated. It was 0 for a high that day about 15-20 below 0 at night. Not sure if you topped off your boat with anitfreeze if it could blow the freeze plugs or split the block at those temps, but I dont want to chance it. especially since we can have temps that will stay well below 0 for days sometimes.

venom93 - after searching around last fall for prices to winterize here in minnesota it was ~300 so I did it myself using a step by step post another member put in the service section here

After doing the winterization myself I cant believe they charge 300+ for it cause it took me 1 hour my first time!!!

c.rix
09-09-2009, 11:15 AM
http://moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?t=6925&highlight=winterization

Here is the link to the directions I used last year !!!

freyse
09-09-2009, 11:20 AM
So you don't bother with antifreeze , should i be worried about rusting the inside of the blocks . Do you leave plugs out thru out the winter. I am up in Canada so we get cold as winters here as well boat is in insulated garage without heat though so temps get well below 0 degrees celcius. Reason doing my own winterizing is sevice prices jumped to the moon this year went up by 200 dollars so for complete winterizing and oil change looking at around 450$ . I have put a post up in service and repair was asking about using a fake a lake to install antifreeze so torn as to what to do antifreeze or no antifreeze.

sandm
09-09-2009, 11:21 AM
our dealer charges us $180 for a winterization that includes antifreeze, and more importantly the engine fog.
I keep mine in an insulated garage that stays around 58-60 all winter, so no issues.

c.rix
09-09-2009, 11:32 AM
I did my boat last year this way because engine nut recommend to do it that way
the same day we also did my buddys malibu and mastercraft all done the same way all kept in cold storage

As far as I am concerned the water jackets are have build up in them anyway Like
was posted by sandm Its important to fog the motor pulling spark plugs spraying fogging oil in each then install plugs again also spraying fogging oil down the intake keeps everything lubed for the winter

The ballast on the malibu and craft have hard tanks not bags so we pumped in some antifreeze then pumped out till we saw pink coming out... they wanted the peice of mine I just blew out my manifold like you would for a sprinkler system

wow sandm thats cheap I may have gone that route if I found it that cheap here

Mikey
09-09-2009, 06:40 PM
I do a combination of both. I flush engine. Add antifreeze and then pull all plugs/hoses and leave undone untill spring with remainder in motor being antifreeze. All plugs left out. three winters up to minus 40 celcious and no problems. Do the fogging and change oil as well and don't forget impeller as well.

_sT_
09-10-2009, 12:15 AM
You're crazy if you don't use anti-freeze. Well, let me rephrase - if the temps get below freezing, you're crazy if you don't use anti-freeze. Flush it all, leave the plugs out, best of both worlds. No pockets of water to cause expensive problems.

c.rix
09-10-2009, 11:01 AM
a pocket of water isnt going to do damage because with the plugs out the ice has room to expand which would be little to none cause all the water is drained

Ice expands about 10% when frozen over water If you never pulled plugs yes you will have a problem with all that trapped water

I have seen what happens to a block when it isnt winterized It blew the plugs out and made a small crack where the plug blew out not as bad as you would think not block splitting or anything like that

Venom93corba
09-10-2009, 11:20 AM
Great now I don't know what the hell to do, haha. IF I do use anti freeze what will i need? Any type of flush kit? I kind of like the idea of doing both. . . maybe not, wtf! If you drain it there is no way of knowing if you got it ALL out. With my luck there would be some pocket that didn't empty and it would end up cracking something. What is the process if I use anti freeze?

Venom93corba
09-10-2009, 11:21 AM
Sorry c.rix I didnt see your last post when I made the "pocket" comment.

c.rix
09-10-2009, 01:02 PM
Its all good you can flush it if you like, but like I said we have done our 3 boats like has been described no anitfreeze and had no issues what so ever.

TSC
09-10-2009, 02:10 PM
Flyer from my dealer describes basic winterization as add fuel stabilizer, run engine and flush with fresh water, fog engine, drain and fill block with anti-freeze, spray engine with anti corrosion spray. A little over 200 bones. Extra 90 to winterize the ballast system.

Talking to them about it they said they've had some trouble in the spring with somes boats with had the engine fogged so they may skip this.

Now I'm completely confused as well. :confused:

Thinking I should just follow the previous post on the site and do it myself. Although having an authorized mechanic do it this first time should protect me warranty wise if something goes wrong.

mcdye
09-10-2009, 02:26 PM
Talking to them about it they said they've had some trouble in the spring with somes boats with had the engine fogged so they may skip this.



More details please, I plan to spray in the throttle body while running, then removing the plugs and squirting each cyclinder.

TSC
09-10-2009, 02:40 PM
More details please, I plan to spray in the throttle body while running, then removing the plugs and squirting each cyclinder.

They spray the TB but don't do the plug removal and spray each cylinder.

Has everyone else heard of troubles with fogging the TB come the spring?

eseebeck
09-10-2009, 04:09 PM
For the last 20 years I have winterized my variious inboards by myself and never had an issue. I put the boat in the water with stabil gas stabilizer in the tank, run the engine 5 minutes after it reaches normal operating temp 160 -180 degrees.

next I put the boat on the trailer, while still in the water I run the engine and pour 30 wt or 10w - 30wt oil down the throat of the carb or throttle body, until smoke comes out of the exhaust. While it is smoking, i shut the engine off.

next i take the boat out of the water,pull the drain plug and tow it home.

In my garage or driveway, I perform an oil and filter change.

next, I pull the engine block plugs, the trans cooler plugs, the fuel cooler plugs and the hoses of the water pump as well as remove the impeller from the water pickup pump. I put everything back together except the impeller in the pump.

next I remove the thermostat cover and pour in RV antifreeze, two gallons ussually does the trick.

Then a complete cleaning of interior and exterior followed by a wax job and remove the battery to be stored in a heated closet.

In the spring, vacuum the interior, was the exterior. replace the water pump impeller, and battery. As well as make sure that all hoses and plugs are installed and tight.

Then it's off to the lake for a summer of pure entertainment.

This does the trick for me and the winterization takes about 30 minutes and an hour or so for the cleanning and waxing. As I stated, never had a problem and my boats always look showroom new.

_sT_
09-10-2009, 04:18 PM
a pocket of water isnt going to do damage because with the plugs out the ice has room to expand which would be little to none cause all the water is drained

Ice expands about 10% when frozen over water If you never pulled plugs yes you will have a problem with all that trapped water

I have seen what happens to a block when it isnt winterized It blew the plugs out and made a small crack where the plug blew out not as bad as you would think not block splitting or anything like that

I'm simply not willing to risk engine damage in -40C/F winters if my garage heater failed. That's just me though, I'm glad you have a system worked out.

Has anyone here actually found a marine mechanic that winterizes without antifreeze?

_sT_
09-10-2009, 04:20 PM
Talking to them about it they said they've had some trouble in the spring with somes boats with had the engine fogged so they may skip this.

Dunno if this is because of newer engines or climate where I live, but none of the mechanics I've talked to fog their engines anymore. Makes it hard to start in the spring.

freyse
09-10-2009, 05:07 PM
I am starting to regret asking questions about winterizing , simply put I am going to :

#1 top up fuel install sta-bil
HAVE ALREADY DONE OIL CHANGE
1st drain block removing plugs
2nd going to remove hoses from water pump (impellar)
3rd going to install antifreeze
4th going to fog spark plugs ,not carb (mine is fuel injected )
5th going to replace old impellar with new vaselined one
6th going clean up spills and mess
7th give boat final clean and vacum

Mikey
09-10-2009, 09:09 PM
Using antifreeze or not is your choice. My buddy does his winterization at the boat ramp including oil change and fogging then undoes all hoses and plugs and lets the water shake out of the pockets on the drive home.Add stabil to a full tank of gas and take out impeller. Good to go ,also remove battery and store in warm dry place.

Razzman
09-10-2009, 09:53 PM
I've been reading all of this and i can understand the issues you new guys are having.

Anti-freeze, it does not fill the entire block and heads as it is an open system. If the waters out it will dry out and no/little rust will occur. Rust occurs more when we are using our boats as they are constantly in the water! It only is needed if you have a closed loop system. Anti-freeze has one purpose only in this instance to keep water from freezing. No water, no freeze.

Fogging oil, if done correctly and not overdone, it does not prevent the engine from starting. It's purpose is to prevent your internal combustion parts from sticking and to help water condensation/rust from occuring. DO NOT put it in the throttle body and the spark plug holes! Throttle body only for you 325 Assault guys and spark plug holes only for you 340 CAT guys. If you skip fogging, especially in the long winter areas you risk the possibility of bad things.

Heater guys, pull your heater hoses off the block and lay them in the bilge to drain, try and do this on the ramp or a steep hill. If you have a compressor then blow them out afterwards.

Same with your ballast bags. I prefer to remove mine from the boat and make sure they are empty and dry and store them in my garage. I disconnect the hoses, lay them in the bilge also on the ramp.

Don't forget that spongy mesh mat under your front ballast bag, get that nasty thing out and clean it, leave it in the garage also.

The biggest mistake i see is when everything is done right but you've failed to make sure all the water is out of the bilge area! This is a big no-no in some areas as it is a moisture source and if not all out can lead to mold and mildew, especially when the boat is covered!

smokedog2
09-10-2009, 09:57 PM
Well,

I pulled the plugs. All 7 or so. I thought they were a pain to get to and a real pain to put back in the spring after everything rusted all winter.

The plugs do not (did not for me) go all the way back in the next year. I suggest a paint mark for depth on the plug before you pull it. I never got an answer whether the holes were tapered.

I ran Antifreeze first. I'll probably have the dealer do it this year, he does antifreeze which is probably fine in Ohio.

Don't forget the heater ( I never did get the hose off that). Drain the srtrainer if you have one.

I believe antifreeze with a little water has a lower freeze point that antifreeze alone.

Use the non-toxic RV stuff.

Razzman
09-11-2009, 12:13 AM
Anytime you pull or replace spark plugs put a very light coat of anti-sieze compound on the threads. This prevents them from galling when removing or installing.

zabooda
09-11-2009, 01:07 AM
I have always drained my engine and hoses. Replacing 10% of the water with air is all that is needed. I drain all my gas and replace it with one gallon of non-ethanol with stabilizer and run that through the engine and in the spring I will drain that out. You have a higher risk of screwing up an engine (cost wise) with old ethanol based gas next year than improperly draining an engine and Stabil won't help you there. I fog the engine, remove the battery and do everything else next year.

Razzman
09-11-2009, 10:50 AM
Well said Zabooda. In Cali we don't have to worry about ethanol so i fill the tank, add Stabil and run it. As he said you don't want that ethanol in there though long term. And as also said don't forget to pull those batteries guys and trickle charge them over the winter. Not only does it keep them charged but trickle charging helps extend the life of your batteries! You can buy cheap trickle chargers at Harbor Freight that do the job for under $10 if you don't have any.

dtlaine
09-12-2009, 03:10 PM
I do a combination of both. I flush engine. Add antifreeze and then pull all plugs/hoses and leave undone untill spring with remainder in motor being antifreeze. All plugs left out. three winters up to minus 40 celcious and no problems. Do the fogging and change oil as well and don't forget impeller as well.

Did you know that -40 C is the same as -40 F?

Mikey
09-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Yes i did. All i know is thats COLD,plus we often get a wind to go with that which add wind chill which makes it DAMN cold.

Sled491
09-12-2009, 09:01 PM
The one thing every one keeps missing is that in order to drain your block effectively is the engine needs to be at operating temperature and the thermostat open. If not rmoving all hoses does nothing to realease the water from the block. Have done mine the last 2 winters, not one problem. This year my buddy with an 06 Outback will be coming over so we can do both our boats at the same time. Never used anti freeze, can't see why.

_sT_
09-13-2009, 12:29 AM
Question: Anyone in Canada (particularly northern) _NOT_ use anti freeze when winterizing?

Sled491
09-14-2009, 11:39 AM
Ii don't live there anymore, but I used to live in Thunder Bay Ontario. We never used it on our Nautique

Jon J
09-14-2009, 03:45 PM
_ST_ -

I live in Calgary and have a place in Sylvan. I have done my own winterization for as long as I can remember. Only the last three years with an inboard motor which is a little more work. I decided to NOT fill with anti-freeze after a bunch or 'research' on this forumn and in talking to a number of marine mechanics. I have done my own boat and a bunch of others in Sylvan this way without any problems. The best info I read was on this forumn from someone with Indimar (I think) that indicated they do not fill their blocks with AntiFreeze after the engines are tested and sent out. I think is was a post by Engine Nut???

I have the 325 Assult Engine and simply drain the block, exhaust manifolds, all hoses, and the ballast system. If you have a heater MAKE SURE you remove one of your heater lines and pour a pile of RV AntiFreeze in the line and blow on the line until it starts to drain out the block. The heater is the easiest thing to forget and likely the first to crack if full of water. Make sure to get all the water out of the ballast system too. That sprinkler manifold is all threaded unions and tends to trap water in it. To comment on the other issue.....I just fog the thottle body. Works for me!