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Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Anything related to the operation of your boat. Steering, Bilge Pumps, thru-hulls, bottom paint, etc.

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby Viper » October 22nd, 2018, 7:34 pm

The pumps don't prime themselves, it's just the design. I find the red Dometic ones to be worse at this. Usually loosening the screws on the face of the pump is enough to get it going. Guys up here that go through lift locks regularly eventually tee into the line and install a ball valve to help prime. Of course simply closing the seacock before coming out of the water would prevent the problem but you'd have to remember to do that before getting into the lock!

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby vineyardgray » October 23rd, 2018, 7:57 pm

All,



I'd be interested in the details of a vacuum system as well, Viper.

I do understand the sage advise about making (damn) sure the water is out before introducing antifreeze, thereby eliminating any dilution that might render the block(and everything else) susceptible to freezing. I think I will drain everywhere I can and then for extra precaution, pump in a bunch of high-test antifreeze.

My mufflers are fibreglass, pretty sure there are no drains there.

I find the Mercruiser 454 maintenance manual very cryptic about draining and winterization as if this whole thing is a black art. No descriptions or pictures of where the drains are. The maintenance manual is for multiple power packages and it is very nondescript. I finally found (elsewhere) some pictures showing the locations of the drain plugs on the exhaust risers (?) not sure the name. And I have also found blue plugs where I'm pretty sure water drains. Also this new document shows some hoses that should be disconnected to relieve the heat exchanger and water pump.

being able to throw a few petcocks open and drain away and/or vacuum or blow out with compressed air would be a much much better system.
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby bud37 » October 23rd, 2018, 8:09 pm

What you are saying right there is the reason I get the main engines done by the techs at the marina.....spreads the work around and they do it all the time. There really is no reason not to considering the replacement costs of these things nowadays....... :beergood:

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby Viper » October 23rd, 2018, 9:07 pm

vineyardgray wrote:Source of the post ....My mufflers are fibreglass, pretty sure there are no drains there..... I have also found blue plugs where I'm pretty sure water drains....Also this new document shows some hoses that should be disconnected to relieve the heat exchanger and water pump....

Unless you're absolutely sure of what you're doing, you may want to get someone in the know do it for you the first time while you watch. You may be in for a huge expense if you don't do it correctly, not to mention miss most of the next boating season.

You mention blue plugs which are typically water drain points. You shouldn't have any on your block if it is closed cooled as you mentioned in your first post and the latest one where you mentioned a heat exchanger. Closed cooled means you have engine coolant in the block. If this is the case, you don't drain the block unless the coolant doesn't test to an acceptable level of protection. Some also have closed cooled exhaust manifolds which don't get drained either. If you are indeed closed cooled, it makes it way easier to winterize. All you have to do is drain the raw water circuit.

I see you have Merc 454 engines in a 1988 Santego. I'm actually surprised you have blue plugs on that vintage. I don't recall those going that far back.
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby vineyardgray » October 25th, 2018, 7:25 pm

Yes, it is most certainly a closed cooled system. I will check the coolant to make sure it will do it's job.

I will take a pic of the blue plugs on the engine but I believe they are under the exhaust manifolds? That's the only place I recall seeing them.

Maybe it is better to just drain it given it is closed cooling rather than muck about with pumping antifreeze through the raw water system...

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby Viper » October 25th, 2018, 8:48 pm

vineyardgray wrote:Source of the post Yes, it is most certainly a closed cooled system. I will check the coolant to make sure it will do it's job.

I will take a pic of the blue plugs on the engine but I believe they are under the exhaust manifolds? That's the only place I recall seeing them.

Maybe it is better to just drain it given it is closed cooling rather than muck about with pumping antifreeze through the raw water system...

If there are blue plugs in the exhaust manifolds then they are raw water cooled and must be drained. Not everyone uses the antifreeze to winterize but you better make sure you get ALL the water out of the system which isn't always easy to do and usually impossible to confirm. That means removing all the water out of the manifolds, heat exchanger, removing hoses and draining them, oil coolers, etc. It's safer if you run antifreeze through the system in case you don't get all the water. Just a little water in one of the exchanger or oil cooler tubes will split the tube. The caution with exchangers is that it's not always easy to get all the water out of the tubes. Simply pulling a drain plug or removing an end cover doesn't guaranty all the tubes empty. The boat listing to the wrong side can prevent that. Running antifreeze through helps displace any water left behind.
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby km1125 » October 25th, 2018, 10:06 pm

You also want to make sure you either get all the water out of the raw water pump or have it full of antifreeze.

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby Viper » October 25th, 2018, 10:54 pm

km1125 wrote:Source of the post You also want to make sure you either get all the water out of the raw water pump or have it full of antifreeze.
++1
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby vineyardgray » December 10th, 2018, 4:41 pm

Thanks for the pointers guys - you made me nervous and I paid a guy to do it lol.

One thing I did check myself was the condition of the closed cooling antifreeze with the antifreeze tester bulb gizmo. All good there :)

One of the blue plugs was leaking the closed cooling (green) antifreeze at the thread connection so I suspect someone has used the wrong drain plugs but no matter, as long as I know it.

I bought some nice Perko strainers from eBay that I will rebuild over the winter. 1-1/4" models. I had no idea how HUGE an 1-1/4" Perko is!!! To be honest, it is going to be a challenge to get them to fit beside the Walter V-Drives. I might have to run the water intake line _over_ the v-drive to another cubby (there is a central cubby between both v-drives where the water for the AC unit and the AC water pump exists) where there is space.

Stay tuned!!

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