Engine winterization - what am I missing? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Engine winterization - what am I missing?

OK, obviously I'm doing something dumb because I cannot get my diesel to suck up the anti-freeze.

Last year the PO walked me through the process of winterizing the engine.

1. Close seacock.
2. Remove screw-in plug from fitting in raw water supply hose between seacock and strainer.
3. Attach short hose to fitting described above and put other end of hose in jug of anti-freeze
4. Start engine--pump then sucks up anti-freeze. Continue until water from exhaust is pink.


Last year...piece of cake. This year? Suck up some anti-freeze, then stops...looks like air in line.

Yet, with seacock open and plug in fitting (normal mode), the engine runs fine and spashes come out exhaust.

So, how can it NOT be picking up the anti-freeze?? As I said, I must be missing something incredibly obvious. Any ideas?


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post #2 of 8 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

I close the seacock, remove hose from seacock, put hose in bucket (2 gals does the job), start motor.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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post #3 of 8 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
I close the seacock, remove hose from seacock, put hose in bucket (2 gals does the job), start motor.
Ditto

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post #4 of 8 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiminri View Post
OK, obviously I'm doing something dumb because I cannot get my diesel to suck up the anti-freeze.

Last year the PO walked me through the process of winterizing the engine.

1. Close seacock.
2. Remove screw-in plug from fitting in raw water supply hose between seacock and strainer.
3. Attach short hose to fitting described above and put other end of hose in jug of anti-freeze
4. Start engine--pump then sucks up anti-freeze. Continue until water from exhaust is pink.


Last year...piece of cake. This year? Suck up some anti-freeze, then stops...looks like air in line.

Yet, with seacock open and plug in fitting (normal mode), the engine runs fine and spashes come out exhaust.

So, how can it NOT be picking up the anti-freeze?? As I said, I must be missing something incredibly obvious. Any ideas?
You....

#1 Have a bad impeller missing a vane or two..

#2 Have an air leak in your intake set up..

#3 Have a worn pump body that does not prime well. (This could also be mixed with #1)



Accelerating the motor can sometimes help to overcome the air lock..

Caution: I have seen numerous HX's, water heaters, fittings, Sea Frost heat exchangers, etc. cracked and frozen when folks suck in too little AF..

I just did a Ford Lehman 6 cylinder on a Grand Banks two weeks ago that took 16 gallons confirmed with actual concentration measurements using a sight refractometer.

What folks often fail to recognize is that the antifreeze IN to water OUT ratio is NOT a 1:1 displacement ratio....!!!!

The new AF mixes with the existing water already in the RW system and it takes far more AF than the volume of the system to get to adequate freeze protection.

Here in Maine I want to be burst protected for about -40F (it's been a while since that happened but we do see -10F to -20F)... PG AF should not be diluted any more than it already is by the manufacturer. Thin walled copper tube heat exchangers are quite fragile and it takes very little frozen water to cause a failure.

I have a Universal M-25 HX kicking around that froze and split caused by the owner only sucking in two gallons.

Either get a sight refractometer, to test what is coming out of the exhaust, or suck in more AF than you think you need. Merely "seeing pink" can result in a split HX.... Most small aux engines take four or more gallons to be adequately protected.. If the boat has Sea Frost engine driven refrigeration this can push the AF to 5-8 gallons.

Draining off some RW first can cut down on the amount of AF needed but your time is probably work more than the additional $12.00 in AF...

Every winter we have winterizing ooopses that could have been avoided by a few more dollars in AF...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-24-2013 at 05:38 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

Taking my intake hose off is a pain. All I do is close the thru hull, open the strainer and have my wife start the engine while I pour AF into the strainer. Much easier than fooling around with the hose.

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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
You....

#1 Have a bad impeller missing a vane or two..

#2 Have an air leak in your intake set up..

#3 Have a worn pump body that does not prime well. (This could also be mixed with #1)

Accelerating the motor can sometimes help to overcome the air lock..
Thanks Main Sail. I had suspected #2, so earlier today I went out with a brand new hose, added a hose clamp, made sure everything was tight, etc. I'm certain that can be ruled out now. Impeller was checked recently, so #3 may be more likely. (Although I hope it's #1 since that sounds a whole lot cheaper.)

I did not try accelerating the motor, so will give that a go.

Really appreciate the advice.

Jim


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post #7 of 8 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

Hi,

To minimize the amount of air the water pump has to suck up I pour some antifreeze into the hose before I place the hose in the bucket. This helps prime the pump so it draws the coolant up from the bucket better.

Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Engine winterization - what am I missing?

I close the seacock, then drain the sea strainer and fill it with PG. I then invert a fresh gallon of PG - AF into the sea-strainer. Then I start the engine. As the PG is drawn down in the sea-strainer, more is released from the inverted gallon jug.

After the jug is dry, I shut down. I then drain the system by removing the HX Zinc, I open the HX, then remove the raw water impeller. [EDIT] I also remove the drain plug from the waterlift muffler, and vacuum out any liquid. I vacuum out any liquid from the HX through the zinc fitting, and finally drain the sea strainer, now full of PG, into the bilge.

The system is therefore treated with AF, then drained, so if it does get ridiculously cold where the boat is, there is plenty of room for frozen liquid expansion.


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Last edited by eherlihy; 11-25-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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