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Question about Winterizing


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I winterized my 4.3 I/O Alpha one last fall.  While in the garage I took the thermostat out and put the "cap" back on so that I was positive that it was open.  Next I connected the ears to my outdrive with a hose to a funnel.  I had my buddy start the boat and I poured two gallons of antifreeze down the funnel until it was pouring red out the exhaust so I figured it made it through the whole system.  I then pulled the plugs on my exhaust manifolds "expecting to see antifreeze" but pure lake water poured out NOTHING with a red or pink tint whatsoever.   Is this normal or does it sound like that impeller in the outdrive needs attention?  I thought that the antifreeze should have pumped through the whole system.

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First off its a little late to be asking this question . If you have a open cooling system which it sounds like, I would say you did not put enough anti freeze into the  block. The block alone , if a V-8 will hold at least 2 gallons , your is a V-6 , not sure of its capacity ,then however much is held in the hoses comes into play. You are "probably " cracked block free " if you drained the manifolds , including the elbows and better yet if you drained the block ,which does have either a petcock or brass bolt on each side. Sounds like your outdrive impeller is working if you got some anti freeze out the exhaust . Always best in a open system to open all the brass plugs , manifold ,elbows and block before purging . Some people like to keep it in after that for rust inhibition . Me , I open everything up ,blow some air into every outlet and don't bother with any anti freeze. , air doesn't freeze. Do you have a manual , they usually tell the procedure for there block/

Edited by Bozeman Bob
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It wasn't a question of if I winterized it correctly.  I know I did that.  Thinking about putting the boat back in the garage "heated" and getting prepared for the season.  My question was after 2 (actually I think it was 3) gallons of antifreeze I would have thought there would have been some sort of sign of it in my manifolds (heat exchangers) when I drained them.  Again, I pulled the thermostat out so I was sure it would be an "open" system.  My only guess is that my impeller is getting weak and didn't pump it up through the whole block.  Even though it came out the exhaust isn't there a bypass at low RPM that allows water to circulate from the intake on the outdrive right back out the center of the propeller without actually being pumped up through the engine?  Never had any overheating issues on the water last year.  I was just expecting to have antifreeze in my manifolds when I drained them.

Edited by wicked walleye
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Not sure how you winterized it correctly if you had raw water in your exhaust manifolds. There is no low RPM bypass valve that allows coolant water to skip the block. That's what your thermostat is for. Would have to see the schematic for your cooling system to see why you did not get anti freeze in the manifolds like you hoped for. I highly doubt your impeller is the reason , I used to put new ones in every couple years when I had I/Os. So replace it and see how it works out for you next fall ,doubt that will affect the outcome. You should have a separate water pump on the block ,just like a car ,that circulates the water through the block .Generally the outdrive pumps water through a heat exchanger,[ which should have a drain plug as well, for your power steering,] then to the actual water pump , which circulates the water through the block , manifolds and out the exhaust.    Again the easiest thing to do is pull the block , exhaust manifold and elbow manifold bronze plugs , then take a zip tie and clear the holes out of rust .

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I think we're on the wrong page.  I drained the entire engine when I winterized it. I drained the manifolds (heat exchanger) directly after I ran antifreeze through the out drive.  I was expecting to see antifreeze come out of the heat exchangers after I ran antifreeze through the outdrive. That's where the heat exchangers and manifolds get there cold water from the lake from right?  

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Sounds like maybe the antifreeze didn't make it through the entire system to me. I have a V8 and I know that it took more than 2 gallons (I wanna say it was between 3-4 gallons) when I ran antifreeze through it. I did mine winterization a little differently than you, I drained all the water out first. Then I ran antifreeze through the whole empty system until it started coming out the exhaust. I didn't want to run the risk of having a mix of anti-freeze and water in the system. Impeller is a routine maintenance item so it honestly can't hurt to replace it, but my guess is you just didn't use enough anti-freeze to circulate the whole system.

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I'm kinda hoping the same thing.  Normally I'd do what you did and drain first then fill.  This is the first winter with this boat and I just wanted to see how much made it up through the engine with just pouring in through the outdrive.  Got my answer.  I was just surprised which made me think something was wrong.

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2 hours ago, FishingFool34 said:

Sounds like maybe the antifreeze didn't make it through the entire system to me. I have a V8 and I know that it took more than 2 gallons (I wanna say it was between 3-4 gallons) when I ran antifreeze through it. I did mine winterization a little differently than you, I drained all the water out first. Then I ran antifreeze through the whole empty system until it started coming out the exhaust. I didn't want to run the risk of having a mix of anti-freeze and water in the system. Impeller is a routine maintenance item so it honestly can't hurt to replace it, but my guess is you just didn't use enough anti-freeze to circulate the whole system.

I do it exactly like you do FF34...Drain all lake water out 1st then pull the manifold side hose and engine block side hose and fill until I see antifreeze coming out of the exhaust through the hub of the prop, and the brass plug hole on the side of the block and under the exh manifold..  This way I am sure that even if there's a little bit of water left in the block, its 95% antifreeze.  

 

Wicked Walleye I have never trusted using muffs to fill my engine block and exh manifold with AF, because a boat moving through the water forces raw water up through the leg with much more pressure than sitting still with muffs on.  If I had to do it using antifreeze going up from the leg, I would definitely pull the thermostat as you did, but use a large bucket full of AF and run the prop in forward gear just above idle to stir up the AF.  I would  also fill from the top hoses into the exhaust manifold as a double check to make sure the system is full.

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I have a 4.3 and watched my mechanic winterize it a couple years before i started doing it on my own. I pull the plugs on both sides of the block. Stick a stiff piece of wire in the holes to dislodge any silt or crude let all the water drain. Put the plugs back in and run 5 gallons of antifreeze through the muffs. I use a 5 gallon fuel can modified with a hose attached to the muffs. Very similar to the kit my mechanic used. At about 4.5 gallons the antifreeze will be start to come out of the exhaust ports and I'm done. My .mechanic sprayed anti fog into the carb until it killed the engine. I normally skip that step.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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11 hours ago, 1lastweekend said:

 

 

Wicked Walleye I have never trusted using muffs to fill my engine block and exh manifold with AF, because a boat moving through the water forces raw water up through the leg with much more pressure than sitting still with muffs on.  

   The impeller controls how much water goes through the leg , not " moving through the water ". You could tow a boat at 60 mph and if the boat/engine being towed was  idling no more water would go through the system than if it was docked and idling. The drive shaft which the impeller is connected to dictates how much and how fast water is pumped towards the block.You cannot push water past the blades of the impeller unless they are missing. Even then it would be minimal at best . Most ,if not all motors that overheat with rotted out impellers start to overheat when a load ,as in getting on a plane ,is put on them ,not when idling at the dock.

Edited by Bozeman Bob
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Best to change impeller every year or 2. I change mine every spring. When winterizing my engine I drain block and manifolds. put muffs on with a hose to a 6 gallon jug of antifreeze and run through the engine. My 351 take almost all 6 gallons until color comes out exhaust.

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11 hours ago, Bozeman Bob said:

   The impeller controls how much water goes through the leg , not " moving through the water ". You could tow a boat at 60 mph and if the boat/engine being towed was  idling no more water would go through the system than if it was docked and idling. The drive shaft which the impeller is connected to dictates how much and how fast water is pumped towards the block.You cannot push water past the blades of the impeller unless they are missing. Even then it would be minimal at best . Most ,if not all motors that overheat with rotted out impellers start to overheat when a load ,as in getting on a plane ,is put on them ,not when idling at the dock.

So if I would have revved the boat up it would have perhaps pumped it through the system better or would it also have to be in gear and revved up?  Again, it's definately NOT how I'm going to rely on winterizing I was just basically curious as to if that impeller was working properly.  I already ordered a new kit to install here pretty soon.

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2 hours ago, wicked walleye said:

So if I would have revved the boat up it would have perhaps pumped it through the system better or would it also have to be in gear and revved up?  Again, it's definately NOT how I'm going to rely on winterizing I was just basically curious as to if that impeller was working properly.  I already ordered a new kit to install here pretty soon.

 Yes [ to answer your question ]. you can rev it up in neutral , the impeller runs off the vertical shaft , which spins about the same speed as the motor ,depending on the upper gear reduction . The "bullet " or lower leg is where it engages in F N R , so the drive/impeller shaft is always moving in conjunction with your throttle regardless if your in gear or not. I would not go crazy reving it up, maybe in the 2,000 rpm range ,don't want to grenade the motor by redlining it.

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Here is how I do it. I use a big tank filled with anti freeze that holds like 6 gallons maybe its more I'd have to look at it.  I put the muffs on the out drive and start it up in neutral of course.  I wait till it comes to temp.which will take a few minutes.  Then I hook the muffs up to the tank with the antifreeze tank sitting on top of the stern and restart the motor.  Takes about a minute maybe a bit more and the temp will climb to half way up the guage and then the pink anti freeze comes out of the exhaust manifolds.  I run the tank till darn near 0 so I know it goes through the block.  Has worked so far.  I should note that I usually use -50 RV anti freeze.  The reason I run nearly out is so I know for a fact its getting through the whole engine.  If you don't warm you engine up first it seems to me the thermostat would prevent the antifreeze from going completely through the engine.  I have a 305 V8 in my PY. 

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