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View Full Version : antifreeze vs. draining block


carlsonwa
09-27-2011, 08:40 AM
Hey all,

I am going to winterize my 99' sportstar this year by myself. Trying to determine whether I should run antifreeze into the block with the bucket method or attempt to drain all the water out while following the different write ups circulating the site here.

Any input would be great! I have the Vortec Predator 310 hp.

Thanks.

willyt
09-27-2011, 09:20 AM
and so begins the great winterization debate...

i dry-blocked last year. Will probably go antifreeze this year because of thermostat issues first ride out in the spring and having a heater this year. if you dry-block, just make sure you drag her over a few hills to shake all that water out of the engine

east tx skier
09-27-2011, 09:48 AM
I have drained and driven over hills and been just fine, but my climate is a bit different from yours.

Nowadays, I drain and refill the block with antifreeze for whatever corrosion protection it might offer. But this decision has nothing to do with my being worried about freeze protection from just draining.

If you decide to use antifreeze, drain first, then refill. Propylene Glycol should not be diluted.

JimN
09-27-2011, 10:14 AM
Hey all,

I am going to winterize my 99' sportstar this year by myself. Trying to determine whether I should run antifreeze into the block with the bucket method or attempt to drain all the water out while following the different write ups circulating the site here.

Any input would be great! I have the Vortec Predator 310 hp.

Thanks.

Do you have a lot of friends who have boats and would winterize them without going to a dealer?

stx22
09-27-2011, 10:31 AM
What kind of oil are you going to use when you change the oil?

airdrew99
09-27-2011, 10:44 AM
I tried the "draining only" on my '91 Prostar. I pulled every hose off, opened all plugs and drains. We had a night where it got down to 15-20*F (which was really cold for Arkansas). It pushed a freeze plug out of the block. It is amazing how fast a boat will fill with water when a freeze plug is missing from the engine (and the engine is running). Luckily, I was able to reinstall the freeze plug with no other issues at all.

Drew

carlsonwa
09-27-2011, 11:33 AM
What kind of oil are you going to use when you change the oil?

I am going to use exactly what they reccommend in the manual, 15W-40 oil, and Dexron/Mercon tansmission fluid.

carlsonwa
09-27-2011, 11:36 AM
Do you have a lot of friends who have boats and would winterize them without going to a dealer?

Not necessarily, but I have done quite a bit of reading on here as far as the steps involved. I figure I am going to own boat for a long time, no reason not to just do it myself.

Going to make a supply bucket with a 5 gallon bucket to feed the raw water intake. Plus I do not have anything extra on my engine, no ballast, heater, or shower.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-27-2011, 12:05 PM
The only way to get all the water out of the block is to get it hot enough to boil it out. Any water left, especially here in MN, is going to freeze and expand. Running RV Antifreeze through is so simple I would do it virtually wherever I lived in the U.S.

Where are you in MN? I would be happy yo give you a hand in properly winterizing your boat.

wtrskr
09-27-2011, 12:19 PM
I did it last year without the antifreeze (WI). I ran it at the lake for a while to made sure it was good and warm before I trailered and finished the winterizing process. I figured the heat from the engine might help evaporate any of the remaining moisture. Between that and hills on the drive home I felt pretty safe.

If you do decide to go without antifreeze, don't forget the step of turning the engine over after draining the block. I was suprised that a decent amount of extra water drained when I did that step.

I may still do antifreeze this year. I talked to another person that said his dealer didn't do antifreeze in the past but now does. Not sure why the change.

vision
09-27-2011, 12:31 PM
FWIW. I drain, crank the engine a few times, and leave all drain plugs/connections open. No AF.

But, I do blow out and run AF through my heater core. So some of that does get to the block.

CantRepeat
09-27-2011, 12:57 PM
I tried the "draining only" on my '91 Prostar. I pulled every hose off, opened all plugs and drains. We had a night where it got down to 15-20*F (which was really cold for Arkansas). It pushed a freeze plug out of the block. It is amazing how fast a boat will fill with water when a freeze plug is missing from the engine (and the engine is running). Luckily, I was able to reinstall the freeze plug with no other issues at all.

Drew

Happened to me on my 92. Now I always anti freeze and put a 40 watt drop light in the engine bay when it gets into the 10s.

wakescene
09-27-2011, 01:44 PM
If you have closed cooling, don't forget to check the quality of the AntiFreeze in the system. You can buy the gauge at nearly any auto parts store for under $10. Change or top-off the fluid as needed.
Draining the raw-water components of a closed cooling system is almost no work at all, and any residual water should evaporate before a deep freeze. Just remove all the hoses and leave them until spring.

jamisonsbrodie
09-27-2011, 01:53 PM
I have always dry blocked here in MN and have always been fine. I pull all the plugs/hoses and I use my leaf blower to blow out the water. Knock on wood, but I have never had an issue.

east tx skier
09-27-2011, 02:11 PM
If you drain only, you also will want to pull the kill switch and crank the engine for a few seconds to eject whatever water is in the pump housing. Easier to freeze the pump than it is the block.

Kevin 89MC
09-27-2011, 02:50 PM
I have always just drained my block, and then put a gallon of anti-freeze in. That has worked for the 13 years I've owned it, no problems so far (surely now I've cursed it). I figure the trailer ride to the storage facility allows any remaining water to mix in with the anti-freeze. I do know of people around here that just drain and no AF added as well. Rumor has it the local Malibu dealer did just that a number of years ago, not sure if they still do. I've known some folks who have damaged their blocks by not getting all the water out, water can do nasty things when it freezes. I would agree that siphoning the anti-freeze in is probably safer, and some year I may switch to that. But out of habit I usually pull the impeller first thing home from the last lake trip, when it is good and hot so it comes out easy, but it makes it pretty hard to suction the AF back in.
Winterizing is not hard, if you know what you are doing.
Good luck,
Kevin

93Prostar190
09-27-2011, 02:50 PM
Alway been a dry block guy, but boat is always in the garage ... Maybe 28 is the coldest it ever sees ... I second all the advice to turn the motor over after drainage.

Hate this topic ... Prefer to be planning a slalom run, but the leaves are turning here in Ohio. :(

gts-20
09-27-2011, 03:29 PM
I drained our block last year, but only because our dealer is 3 hours away and a cold snap snuck up on us. Texas Ski Ranch walked me through how to do it, but the first chance I had I took it in to have them winterize the whole boat including the ballast tanks. They usually offer a discount for the year end or scheduled service/winterization combined with a complete detail. Considering the investment we made in the boat, the cost of the service is justified and give me peace of mind.

I have drained the block on my previous boats without a problem, but it never gets much colder than low 20's here in south east Texas.

stx22
09-27-2011, 06:14 PM
I am going to use exactly what they reccommend in the manual, 15W-40 oil, and Dexron/Mercon tansmission fluid.

I'm sorry, I was kidding based on the post above. Thought it might start a debate.

liledgy
09-27-2011, 06:21 PM
Since i bought my first MC in 1984 I've always sucked antifreeze using the strainer hose and a bucket. Some times I've drained the block and manifolds but usually not. I've replaced one( I've had a few boats over the years) impeller (I always have had a spare, just in case) in all those years, and never removed it over the winter. I think antifreeze can only help the engine and other rubber parts. Always put the hose and plugs back in so boat was ready to start in the spring.

Yellow X9
09-27-2011, 06:22 PM
I drian and fill mine with Anti-freeze- $40 and 30 mins- 4 yrs running, nice having a DD, so easy to work on. pull dog house and everything I need to get to is right there

thatsmrmastercraft
09-27-2011, 06:43 PM
I drian and fill mine with Anti-freeze- $40 and 30 mins- 4 yrs running, nice having a DD, so easy to work on. pull dog house and everything I need to get to is right there

RV Antifreeze is $3 per gallon. That is what you should be using.

JimN
09-27-2011, 07:44 PM
Not necessarily, but I have done quite a bit of reading on here as far as the steps involved. I figure I am going to own boat for a long time, no reason not to just do it myself.

Going to make a supply bucket with a 5 gallon bucket to feed the raw water intake. Plus I do not have anything extra on my engine, no ballast, heater, or shower.

The reason I asked is that a group can split the cost of a large container, like a Rubbermaid watering trough, anti-freeze, oil booms, oil, filters, etc. The large container will hold a lot more anti-freeze- instead of running it on water and having to scramble to get the anti-freeze in fast (this matters when it's cold out), you would actually run it on anti-freeze until the thermostat opens, then fog it and shut it down. You would drain the block before running it. Any gas, oil or petroleum-based "goodness" that's added to the water while it's running will be grabbed by the oil booms. This way, as long as all of the boats have had the block drained before running on anti-freeze, there's no chance of the engine freezing because there's no water pockets. Add more as it's removed.

The last time I set up a shop, I paid less than $65 for the tub. For stern-drives, I used a high volume bilge pump but the beauty of this kind of tub is that it's shallow enough to back an inboard/direct drive up to it and also deep enough that a stern-drive will pick up the coolant directly. An added benefit is that you can see how soon the liquid comes out the exhaust after starting, so you'll have an idea of the impeller's condition.

If someone has a large enough yard or if it can be scheduled for one day, you could winterize a lot of boats for a low cost for each. Buy oil in gallons and cases, a case of filters (divvy up the extras after you're done) and decide who stores the tub-

1) tub $75
2) cases oil, qts- $50
10 gallons of oil- $150-$200
1) pack, oil booms- $30
1) box of blue shop rags towels- $12
10) oil filters, various- $50 (as long as they're nothing exotic)
30) gallons of anti-freeze- $65-$80
3) gallons/12qts transmission oil- $50

Total-$547, divided by 10 people. Plus some time. Add any impellers that are needed but I would do that in spring so a new one doesn't sit in one position all winter. Add trailer service, but that can be done at home.

mikeg205
09-27-2011, 09:05 PM
my 1995 PS has been dry blocked for 16 years - no issues...but stored indoors in a insulated garage...I do crank it over a frew times get water out of both water pumps... No one mentioned its illegal to put your boat in the water with Ethylene Glycol antifreeze if it will get in the water...correct me if I am wrong...un less your motor hits 160...the antifreeze will not circulate into the engine block past the thermostat. I keep a spare thermostat and impeller in my boat...the coldest my garage ever got was 29 degrees...live in chicago...I love the light bulb idea will do it this year....

Jorski
09-27-2011, 10:44 PM
8 years...drain, no antifreeze..no problems. Canadian winter.

dietdewboy
09-27-2011, 11:19 PM
I use 50/50 Mixture of Dexcool antifreeze (the orange stuff) and water in my LT-1. I read some where long ago that aluminum heads work best with the dexcool. Drain the block and exhaust manifolds, then fill the block and heads only, leave the exhaust plugs out.

CantRepeat
09-28-2011, 07:39 AM
8 years...drain, no antifreeze..no problems. Canadian winter.

Had my 92 for 8 years before it pushed a freeze plug in -9 weather on just a drain.

east tx skier
09-28-2011, 09:38 AM
my 1995 PS has been dry blocked for 16 years - no issues...but stored indoors in a insulated garage...I do crank it over a frew times get water out of both water pumps... No one mentioned its illegal to put your boat in the water with Ethylene Glycol antifreeze if it will get in the water...correct me if I am wrong...un less your motor hits 160...the antifreeze will not circulate into the engine block past the thermostat. I keep a spare thermostat and impeller in my boat...the coldest my garage ever got was 29 degrees...live in chicago...I love the light bulb idea will do it this year....

On having to heat it up, I know there is a bypass on the PCM marinizations and that, according to the recommendations in the Ccorrect Craft manual, you can just pour the antifreeze into the disconnected raw water hose raised above the level of the thermostat housing. So I would presume that would be fine for older MC with PCM marinizations. I have used this method for years with no problems and get close to 3 gallons of antifreeze into the block.

As far as I know, that is not the case for Indmar, but I do not know for sure.

DemolitionMan
09-28-2011, 09:54 AM
Had my 92 for 8 years before it pushed a freeze plug in -9 weather on just a drain.

I hope that was not in Alabama.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-28-2011, 10:17 AM
With the price of a new engine, why not spend $10 and an hour of your time (if you are really slow) and do it right and not have to worry?:confused:

CantRepeat
09-28-2011, 10:24 AM
I hope that was not in Alabama.

It was, one of the worst winters I can remember here. :(

DemolitionMan
09-28-2011, 10:55 AM
It was, one of the worst winters I can remember here. :(

I know the last two here in Augusta have been cold but not that bad.

Kevin 89MC
09-28-2011, 01:39 PM
On having to heat it up, I know there is a bypass on the PCM marinizations and that, according to the recommendations in the Ccorrect Craft manual, you can just pour the antifreeze into the disconnected raw water hose raised above the level of the thermostat housing. So I would presume that would be fine for older MC with PCM marinizations. I have used this method for years with no problems and get close to 3 gallons of antifreeze into the block.

As far as I know, that is not the case for Indmar, but I do not know for sure.

I do something similar to that on my '89 Indmar engine. After I drain my block, I pull the hose off the outlet side of the t-stat and pour antifreeze in until it starts running out the engine drain plugs. Then I close the plugs and fill it up some more.