Originally Posted by Chicago190
Frank covered most of the bases.
I think it is a pain to crawl around in the bilge to disconnect the raw water intake hose from the through-hull fitting on the hull. I bought a ~4 ft. section of clear plastic hose with the same inner diameter as the raw water intake hose and connect it to the cold side of the transmission cooler. As I recall it says on the hose what the size is, but I do not know off the top of my head. I then stick the plastic hose in a 5 gallon bucket and keep it filled with water. The other nice thing about the plastic hose it is more flexible so it is easier to get into the bucket.
As for finding the raw water intake hose, transmission cooler, and through hull fitting, look at the last picture you posted. The hose at the very bottom, connected to the raw water pump - which if you look at the brass housing is also the place to replace the raw water pump impeller - will run along the bottom of the port-side of the engine, it will be connected to the transmission cooler, which is a black oval thing with lines running to the transmission. If you continue following the hose from the transmission cooler it will run down to the through hull fitting at the bottom of the bilge. On the underside of the boat at this point will be the brass plate where you would connect the Fake-A-Lake (plunger device Frank mentioned).
While I'm at it I will mention the transmission cooler has a screen on it to gather debris. Make sure to regularly check the cooler for clogs to prevent your engine from overheating.
Edit: It is safe to start the engine when it is connected to a water source, but you cannot put the boat into gear. The strut bushing is cooled and lubricated by water and will burn up if the prop shaft turns out of the water.
Thank you very much this is very helpful, you are all saving me money, time, and heart ache!!!! Especially the last sentence!