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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Gas > Atomic 4
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Scratchee,
Don't sweat it. You have the manuals with their winterization procedures laid out. The main thing for you to address is the raw water side of the engine so you don't freeze your HX. Oil change can be done in the spring.

My first winterization of the A4 was incomplete at best and ours survived despite my shoddy work. I believe that our impeller got frozen and lost a few vanes the first winter. I now like to remove the impeller so this does not reoccur.

Learned from the school of hard knocks and dirty socks: DO NOT run your engine on the hard in anything but neutral! Finding neutral on the A4 can take some patience and fine tuning.

Good luck.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Oil change!

If you didn't do that, then I highly suggest doing one before you fire up for the anti-freeze. You will have to draw cold oil, which may take longer, but will work. When you fire up for the antifreeze, you will circulate the new oil over that minute or two. Old oil will have lost its protective qualities and have contaminants that allow corrosion. You want fresh oil when sitting over the winter. Again, it will lose its protective qualities just sitting there, so change it again when you relaunch. Some have trouble with changing oil that has not been run, but it does not last just sitting in your crankcase. Its very cheap preventative maintenance.

Many will pull their impeller after winterizing, which is a good idea. However, I never use mine more than one season, so I leave it in for the winter and change it when I launch.
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Alrighty then. My raw water circuit is full of anti-freeze, my oil is drained, and my boat did not fall off the blocks. So not a bad afternoon at the yard.

I did think about the starting in neutral thing. What's the concern there? Vibration? Dry packing? Being alone, I considered parking my truck so I could see the prop in the mirror, but finally I just did it with the stick in "SBN" (Should Be Neutral) and hoped for the best. Total run time was probably less than two minutes.

I drained the oil--very VERY slowly--but did not refill per Moyer. On the other hand, I didn't run it with the Marvel Mystery Oil after draining, like he said. Over the next few weeks I'll spend some more time on things like draining the carb, etc, and can run some MMO. Primarily I was interested in protection from freezing, so I wouldn't have to sit at work when the temp hit 28, wondering what was happening to my engine.

Thanks for all the advice. It was not only appreciated, but helpful.

Cheers,
Scratch
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchee View Post

I did think about the starting in neutral thing. What's the concern there? Vibration? Dry packing? Being alone, I considered parking my truck so I could see the prop in the mirror, but finally I just did it with the stick in "SBN" (Should Be Neutral) and hoped for the best. Total run time was probably less than two minutes.
The concern of running the engine in gear on the hard is much as you have laid out. The packing gland is designed to have water present to lubricate the shaft. No water = no lube. Same goes for the Cutless bearing. Vibrating the drive train for no good reason is also not a good idea. I know what you mean about the "SBN" shifter setting. Neutral is a very elusive spot with most A4 trannies.

I'd suggest that you at least dump a quart of Marvel Mystery oil in the engine. If you have a hand crank for your engine you could use that to move the gears around inside to distribute the oil. MMO has rust inhibiting qualities which is why I use it to lube the cylinders before putting the engine up for a rest.

Good work.
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Quote:
The sure fire way to get the job done is to pull the hose off the raw water seacock and stick it in a bucket of antifreeze. If there isn't enough slack, then just get another couple of feet of hose and a coupler. If your strainer is above the motor, as mine is, you can just pour the antifreeze into it with a funnel or large hose. Gravity should remove the raw water from the strainer to the thru hull in that case.
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Quote:
If you have a seawater strainer on your engine thru hull, all you need to do is open it up, have a buddy start the engine while you pour a couple of gallons of AF into it. Shut off the engine and you're done. No strainer, then stick the hose into a bucket as suggested above.
Not recomended because usually the strainer is located close to the engine in a tight place and you will either spill or not get the antifreeze in fast enough into the stainer basket. Plus you arent getting the water out and replacing with antifrezze oin the hoze leading up to the strainer which could turn to ice and then crack the hose.

Caveat- One of the sure fired ways to destroy an impeller is to run it dry for any length of time. In the spring one of my yearly maintainence checklist items is to always replace the raw water impeller. Peace of mind
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Chef, that's pretty much exactly what I experienced. My strainer was mounted in a tight spot, while the through-hull was right there and easily reachable. I just undid the hose and stuck it into a jug of antifreeze. Didn't even need a bucket!

Thanks again Caleb. I'll definitely head back out with some MMO.
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

You're welcome Scratchee.
I know that you will be better prepared the next time around. It took me some time to learn about my A4 too. The Moyer forum and store has made owning an A4 an overall positive experience for me and taught me a lot more about engines than I had originally intended. The high cost of 'professional' help to do the work was another incentive to learn how to do it myself. The right tools, curses, luck and you can keep your A4 running smoothly without paying someone else to do it.
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Old 12-07-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

You really should drain the raw water OUT of the block from the tube on the starboard side of the motor

AND THEN run antifreeze through it as the several gallons of water in the block may dilute the antifreeze to much to work
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Old 12-07-2012
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

"The sure fire way to get the job done is to pull the hose off the raw water seacock and stick it in a bucket "
Actually, for the lazy sailor with a small hose...you can install a t or y valve, put a screw cap on the unused side of it to make sure it can't leak, and add six feet of garden hose (unscrew cap, screw on garden hose) when you want to suck antifreeze from the bucket. Less than twenty bucks and that way, you don't have to pull any hose off any fittings every winter.

A lot of home plumbers used air compressors to winterize home plumbing. The air won't blow everything out of every trap right away but if you le it run for a while, it gets most of the raw water out, and after a while the "breeze" will suck more out, leaving a system with enough room for freeze expansion, etc. if it isn't totally dry. $100-200 for a cheapie compressor or $25 to rent one for the day.
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Re: Winterizing on the hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
You really should drain the raw water OUT of the block from the tube on the starboard side of the motor

AND THEN run antifreeze through it as the several gallons of water in the block may dilute the antifreeze to much to work
I don't drain first, but this is the reason I use only -100 deg antifreeze for the motors.
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