don't let the motor freeze.... - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-16-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

Note there are two basic types of the antifreeze sold for winterizing boat and RV systems. The cheaper stuff (mainly for water systems) is ethanol based and the more expensive stuff (for engines) is polypropylene glycol based. Read the labels.

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post #12 of 20 Old 01-16-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

Mike :
I think that perhaps your motor is heat-exchanger cooled.
That old Volvo motor is raw-water cooled.
I would be concerned that the AF was not getting in to the cylinder liners.
I will drain it each time it looks like freezing.
It is taking quite a while to find another one but some Swede has agreed to sell me one.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-17-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

My previous engine was raw water cooled. Had it for years in our minus 30 winters up in the fresh water of Lake Superior, in northern Ontario, Canada.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-17-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

I stand corrected.
Was it a Volvo MD series?
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-17-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
I stand corrected.
Was it a Volvo MD series?
No, an Atomic 4. Direct (raw) water cooled.

I donít know your engine and Iím not saying youíre wrong. Just providing my experience dealing with pretty serious cold. I donít consider -11C to be very cold .

Draining all the water out is a fine approach, just so long as you get it all out. I prefer to push antifreeze through the system, but youíre right that it may not reach everywhere. Either way, there is a risk. I think the antifreeze approach is less risky. Iíd follow the manufactureís instructions if in doubt (the manuals should describe how to winterize).

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-17-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

Unless we're talking how diluted the antifreeze ,not very cold, pretty cold ,maybe freezing doesn't mean much.Hydrometer is helpful. A couple of degrees below and maybe replace the engine or sink the boat.Feeling lucky? A shallow learning curve can be troblesome
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-18-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

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Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
A lesson, a simple one, but don't learn it the way I did.
When you have a raw-water-cooled engine like the (cast-iron) Volvo MD17C that you normally kept in salt-water and then moved to freshwater, do not make the assumption that the motor will not freeze when full of freshwater just like it didn't freeze when in salt water.
Canals have freshwater.
Mine froze in a sustained cold spell - not cold in USA terms, but cold for the UK.
When I arrived back after things had warmed up again, all of the freeze plugs had blown.
I tapped them all back and they held, but one modest cylinder crack remained to remind me.
It was stable for more than a decade but now has decided to leak more aggressively.
I will fix it.
.
Be warned though.
Drain a raw water engine at the first of the autumn frosts.
Some say put anti-freeze in there, but the coolant entry ports (4 of them per cylinder) look too small to me, so i drain the 3 cylinders.
Not sure about this particular engine, but most water cooled inboards have at least one and sometimes more, seawater system drains. Check the manual. Normally, all one has to do is open the drains, and maybe pull the seawater pump cover off. In any event, after following manufacturers instructions to drain, I stick the seawater intake hose into a bucket and run the engine until the exhaust shows pure prop glycol good for -50C.

Last edited by boatsurgeon; 01-18-2019 at 07:41 PM.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-18-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
Note there are two basic types of the antifreeze sold for winterizing boat and RV systems. The cheaper stuff (mainly for water systems) is ethanol based and the more expensive stuff (for engines) is polypropylene glycol based. Read the labels.
Ethylene glycol (like used in an engine closed cooling system) aka "Prestone" is toxic and not to be used in potable water, sanitation, or seawater cooling systems.

Most ethylene glycols are good to -50C in a 50/50 mix.

Propylene glycol is non-toxic and safe to use in potable, sanitation, and engine seawater cooling systems.

Most propylene glycols are good to -50C undiluted.

Get caught using ethylene glycol in the seawater cooling system, and you could be in for a world of hurt.

Some manufacturers are producing a non-toxic glycol that is good for -100C undiluted, that we use for seawater cooling systems, but it is not ethylene glycol (though it may be green and look like it, e.g. Starbrite).
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-18-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

Well, the replacement cylinder barrel arrived yesterday, after quite a search for one.
I will pull off the old barrel (cracked), swop the liners, paint up the outside of the barrel to improve the cosmetics, and rebuild.
I have to swop the liners as the original liners are using oversize pistons.
With the same liner in there, I should not have much trouble getting the bumping clearance right.
It is not the most difficult job as the USC Polaris 36 has good access to the motor.
I cannot face a new engine right now - some other time perhaps.
.
Of all the things the designer got right - and he got plenty right - the 35 hp Volvo MD17C motor and the 18x12 twin blade prop move the ship's 11 tons (laden) well.
The cast iron motor is very well built indeed, but you'd better pray that nothing serious goes wrong.
At 1700 rpm, it pulls well, and tops-out at 2250 rpm (max stated power is at 2500 rpm).
I would rather be a little bit over-propped than (food-whisk) under-propped.
.
One fault of the Volvo scene though, is that the spare parts have always been terribly expensive, even when my 40 year old motor was half that age.
Next motor will not be a Volvo, and that for me is a pity, as all they would have to be is more reasonable with the cost of their spare parts.
.
Next motor will be the Japanese Kubota, probably the 38 or 42 hp OHV, mechanical-injected motor.
It must be OHV... no OHC for me, boys, and no CPU controlled common rail stuff either.... if the CPU goes down, that motor stops dead. I had it happen with a car. heaven help us if it happens with the boat.

.
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-23-2019
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Re: don't let the motor freeze....

We have been using prestone (the yellow toxic stuff) to winterize all our engines, including the sailboat. HOLD UP A SEC... We winterize the engine after she's been hauled for the winter and is in the cradle, a bucket is hung from the exhaust pipe and the coolant is fed through the inlet hose once disconnected from the seacock. Prestone has corrosion inhibitors in it and it stays liquid down to the temps we see where I live so that's why we do it that way.

The pink stuff (RV "potable system" AF) as far as I know is useable, I'm not sure it's corrosion inhibiting qualities but it may have some. The big thing to remember IF you use the RV stuff: Keep a bottle of it beside whatever you treated it with so you remember what's in there and can see if it's solid. The pink RV stuff WILL freeze once cold enough (I have a 1gal jug of it frozen solid in my garage right now). If you try and force open a seacock or start an engine while that stuff is frozen in it there could be problems. Now before anyone asks why antifreeze would freeze, the chemical makeup of the RV stuff ensures that although yes it does freeze it will not expand like water does (hence no damage).

We RV antifreeze all drain lines, tanks, and the bilge once up on the rack for the winter. I leave all seacocks open to prevent any chance of a small amount of water being trapped and fracturing them (which may not show it's head until launch day!). We aren't exactly worried about bugs moving in with the climate we have here .

PS: The RV antifreeze I have frozen in my garage is an unopened jug bought from Homehardware, it's rated to -50, but it did it's freezing act over the weekend at -36 (all these temps are in Celsius for the record). It may have frozen sooner than that, but I didn't notice it until I was out there doing some work and tripped on it.

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