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BrianS
10-13-2004, 06:08 PM
How cold does it need to be and for how long before the block will freeze??

I'm still skiing on a regular basis and want to wait a few more weeks before winterizing. It isn't too cold yet here in Dayton but I don't want to take any chances.

The boat is stored outside under a carport, protected from the wind. It is supposed to get down to 28* Saturday night. Can the block freeze from 1 cold night or does it take longer than 8 or so hours below freezing? I'm thinking I'll drain the block or stick a light under the motor box just to be safe.

Thoughts?

tex
10-13-2004, 06:12 PM
How cold does it need to be and for how long before the block will freeze??

I'm still skiing on a regular basis and want to wait a few more weeks before winterizing. It isn't too cold yet here in Dayton but I don't want to take any chances.

The boat is stored outside under a carport, protected from the wind. It is supposed to get down to 28* Saturday night. Can the block freeze from 1 cold night or does it take longer than 8 or so hours below freezing? I'm thinking I'll drain the block or stick a light under the motor box just to be safe.

Thoughts?
Yes it can! Use a light! Don't roll the dice!

Mag_Red
10-13-2004, 06:46 PM
My dealer in Cincinnati told me it has to be below freezing for almost an entire day before you have to worry. :wavey:

BrianS
10-13-2004, 07:00 PM
Yes it can! Use a light! Don't roll the dice!

My dealer in Cincinnati told me it has to be below freezing for almost an entire day before you have to worry.

Haha, just what I expected. I've also heard the 24 hour rule. But I also don't want to gamble.

So, is it safe to stick a light under the motor box while the cover is on. I'm not going to blow the whole thing up am I?!? (from the fuel fumes)

Mag_Red
10-13-2004, 07:07 PM
Haha, just what I expected. I've also heard the 24 hour rule. But I also don't want to gamble.

So, is it safe to stick a light under the motor box while the cover is on. I'm not going to blow the whole thing up am I?!? (from the fuel fumes)Well if you do....would you at least post some pics to warn the rest of us??? :D

JimN
10-13-2004, 09:00 PM
Considering how little time it takes to drain the block, I would do that. Even if you take the bottom of the hoses off, it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. How much money do you want to give the utility for keeping the motor from freezing?

jimmer2880
10-14-2004, 06:50 AM
I would keep a clear water bottle on your porch. Check it in the mornings. The first morning it starts to get a small layer of ice, start draining.

BTW - I have also done the light under the dog box trick. It is kind of dangerous so if you smell fumes - DON'T DO IT! But - since the boat isn't being ran with the light under it (hence no gas actually moving) if you don't smell vapors, you're PROBABLY safe. Of course, only you can decide how much risk to take.

BriEOD
10-14-2004, 09:33 AM
I remember someone posted on the site "previously known as the MC owners site" an article about setting a light. Apparently this light fell in the middle of the night and caught the carpet on fire and then the entire boat caught fire. :eek:

I'm w/ ol' JimN just drain her...

tex
10-14-2004, 10:00 AM
My dealer in Cincinnati told me it has to be below freezing for almost an entire day before you have to worry. :wavey:
will he guarantee that in writing? didn't think so!

bcampbe7
10-14-2004, 10:26 AM
The guy I bought my boat from was telling me a story about his previous boat. He sold it to a guy that went out on a New Years Eve ski. He got in that night and was planning on re-winterizing the next day. It was too late. :eek:
Draining the block takes all of 5 minutes. Even if it took an hour it would be worth it.

NeilM
10-14-2004, 04:05 PM
If you understood all of the variables at play, I'm sure some of the engineers here could calculate out just exactly how long, at 28 degrees, it'd take before you had a problem.. Trouble is, it could get colder than 28 (I'm not aware of too many weathermen that are 100% accurate!), and all the calcs would be out the window.

A trouble light is a low risk way of adding heat, as long as it's suspended properly away from flammable material (per Brieod). But, do you have a heater in your boat? That heater core can freeze real fast - it is designed to transfer heat (or its absence) in an efficient manner.

If you've got a Direct Drive, getting at the hoses and frost plugs should be pretty easy -- it's a bit more time consuming on a V-Drive, and a real PITA if you have a v-drive with both a heater and shower. The real advantage to the 'drain it' approach is that if the light bulb burns out or the power goes off, you're still damage-free...

paulphillipson
10-14-2004, 06:03 PM
Brian, with a ProStar, it's not that big a deal to drain the block and hoses. I it takes 15 minutes or so, and the peace of mind is priceless. The little bit of extra time is the price you pay to extend your season.

Leroy
10-14-2004, 09:03 PM
Remember the life of a light bulb is not too long or predictable and sparks are certainly possible from anything electric as you have power surge or outage. Guy that installed my lift knew of several people with fires from lights. Electric blanket or one of the oil heaters might be better and more reliable. There are also dipstick heaters.

I remember an old thread that went through this. Quick drain of engine seemed to be the only safe position. I'm in Thailand and been watching the WX this week and it was as low as 28, but now low is 32, but if it changed and went to 22 or so I would be in trouble.

stevo137
10-14-2004, 09:35 PM
Leroy,
Indy temps are not that bad. You'll be ok.
Safe travels.

Hoosier Bob
10-14-2004, 10:30 PM
Are you getting any skiing in? Ha Ha! I'm with Stevo, the weather has not been that bad. If it does get bad I will help any way I can. Local calls or what have you. I just returned from South Bend and could have been on the water today. S B was nice. Here it is cold and wet. Have a safe trip.
Bob

j2nh
10-14-2004, 10:50 PM
Be very careful if you use a "trouble light" especially the ones with a metal cover. The cover gets so hot it can melt/burn the carpet if it comes in contact with it. An old desk lamp with a 60 watt will do the job at 28 degrees.

Better yet get a magnetic block heater from NAPA and plug it in. Take it off when your done and store it in a box till next year.

Best of all...Drain the block.

BrianS
10-14-2004, 11:13 PM
I drained the block this evening, didn't feel like risking it. I opened the petcock on the port side, took the hot water shower hose off the fitting on the starboard side and removed the drain plugs on the back of both exhaust manifolds. A good bit of water came from each drain, I assume I got most of it out. I didn't miss anything did I??

I assume it is impossible to get all of the water out. But now the little bit left in there has plenty of room to expand should it freeze. Is that right?

JimN
10-14-2004, 11:40 PM
I recommend removing the whole valve, not just the petcock. If there's any sand or silt in the cavity, it can be drawn to the petcock and clog it. Since you saw a good flow from both holes, it sounds like it's clear but I think I would remove the whole thing from now on. If it was my boat, I would get rid of the petcock(s) and replace them with plugs. That way, there's no way to have anything other than good flow out of the block. Petcocks are fine for cars and trucks, with their fancy radiators and all, but when you have a boat using raw water for cooling, a big hole is much better than a tiny one.

PeteS
10-15-2004, 09:31 AM
I tried removing the entire petcock assembly last night, and was having trouble getting to the bolt properly without damaging the petcock mechanism. Any suggestions? Vice Grips maybe?

Jim has a good idea with replacing the petcocks with plugs. Do you think I'd be able to pick up brass pulgs at any hardware store? Any idea what the diameter is on the hole?

JimN
10-15-2004, 10:36 AM
Get brass plugs, if you do replace them. That way, it won't corrode into the hole. It's 1/2" and you should be able to get them at any auto parts store. Once you get the petcock body (that's the piece the petcock goes into) out, you can take it in with you for reference. You want to take out the

east tx skier
10-15-2004, 11:24 AM
I drained my block last night just to make sure I could find everything for when it got cold enough for me to have to winterize. I pulled the whole plug on the block rather than messing with the petcock and it flowed like rain. There was some rust around the plug threading. Would you guys recommend a squirt of PB blaster when I do it for real next time (not into the block but onto the threading of the plugs before they're ultimately reinstalled. The manifold plugs are big and brass and required channel locks to get them to turn initially.

When I do it f

PeteS
10-15-2004, 11:35 AM
How the heck do I get my manifold plugs off on my 88'? I've heard a 3/8" socket, or a 1/2" socket, but that just didn't seem to work for me last night! Do I go ahead and use a pair of Vice Grips and damage the exposed threads? Then just replace with a different plug?

Footin
10-15-2004, 11:43 AM
When I had my 87 PS 190 a 1/2 drive socket did not fit either, I bought the correct allen wrench. Now that you have them out, replace them with the ones that accept a 1/2 rachet.

JimN
10-15-2004, 11:53 AM
If the hole is square, use a 1/2" ratchet or breaker bar. If it's hex, use an Allen wrench. Squirt it with PB Blaster first. I haven't found anything better for breaking things free. I have used Channel Locks before, but the key is to use teflon tape (or something to keep it from rusting into the manifold). Also, tighten them till they don't leak, not till they can't possibly turn. If you do use pliers of some kind, don't squeeze too hard. You don't want to break off the exposed part and leave the rest in the manifold.

phecksel
10-15-2004, 01:38 PM
How cold does it need to be and for how long before the block will freeze??

I'm still skiing on a regular basis and want to wait a few more weeks before winterizing. It isn't too cold yet here in Dayton but I don't want to take any chances.

The boat is stored outside under a carport, protected from the wind. It is supposed to get down to 28* Saturday night. Can the block freeze from 1 cold night or does it take longer than 8 or so hours below freezing? I'm thinking I'll drain the block or stick a light under the motor box just to be safe.

Thoughts?
Do both! Takes a whole ten minutes to drain a block? How much to replace the engine?

east tx skier
10-15-2004, 02:26 PM
I must have replacement plugs on my manifolds. Huge brass plug nuts, which is why I had to use channel locks. I'm assuming that it's not going to hurt things to give 'em a squirt with pb blaster before I reinstall them in the spring. There's no teflon tape on them.

NeilM
10-15-2004, 08:36 PM
Doug, I'm not convinced (but I could be wrong) that PB Blaster will last in the threads all summer. Won't it evaporate / dissipate? I'd go with the Teflon Tape.

TalleyHo
10-16-2004, 01:42 PM
OK - for those of us not so techinically inclined, what is the difference between a petcock and a brass plug? On my old runabout, I had little blue plastic petcocks. On the X, I have something similar in size, but they appear to be brass or some other alloy.

Or is the discussion more about removing the hoses to the manifolds vs simply removing the 'plugs'?

Given I'm in Texas and usually don't have the hard freezes, I pull the front hose, and remove the two brass plugs/petcocks and make sure it flows well. Then, I poke around in the hole w/ a screwdriver to make sure it didn't get clogged. So far, so good.

JimN
10-16-2004, 08:01 PM
Your old runabout was a Mercruiser, right? Those were plugs, with an O ring. A petcock is like what's on the lower corner of a radiator for draining it. Like I said before, when a motor is cooled by raw water which may have sand, silt and other stuff in it, the chance of something clogging a petcock is pretty good. If the plug is removed, you can see how well it drains and it's not a trickle, like a petcock.

jimmer2880
10-18-2004, 07:45 AM
I must have replacement plugs on my manifolds. Huge brass plug nuts, which is why I had to use channel locks. I'm assuming that it's not going to hurt things to give 'em a squirt with pb blaster before I reinstall them in the spring. There's no teflon tape on them.
Brass? :confused:

I've only ever seen/had steel and never had a problem (of course, I remove mine once a year). However I don't use anything on the thread (although I should).