September 29, 2008
RIB Winterizing: The Engine
When it comes to preparing your RIB for the winter, the most important thing you can do is to take care of the engine and insure that it is properly winterized. The following is a generic recommended list of things that should be done to the engine, however, I always recommend referring to your engine's owners manual. The list below is intended only as a guide and some steps might not apply to your particular engine.
Inspect steering systems, including tiller steering friction fittings on outboards. Tighten them if they're loose. Lubricate steering cable and steering arm
Run the engine use a flushing attachment, or run the outboard in a tank filled with fresh water.
Change Engine Oil
With the engine warm change oil and oil filter. Be sure to dispose of the used oil at an authorized recycling center
Drain and Refill Gearcase
Change the lower unit gearcase lubricant on outboards. Even a little water trapped in the gearcase can cause damage, especially if allowed to freeze. Use lubricant specified in your owner's manual.
Empty Fuel Lines and Carburetors on Engine
While the engine is still running, disconnect the fuel line from the engine. When the engine dies, the fuel delivery components will be empty, preventing gums from forming in the stagnant gasoline and clogging lines and jets or injectors.
Fog the Carburetor Intake(s)
Before the engine runs out of fuel, spray fogging oil into the carburetor(s). Fogging oil is an anticorrosive that will protect the internal surfaces of the carburetor and the cylinders. Typically the engine will run rough just before it runs out of fuel. As that happens, give the carburetor(s) a heavier shot of fogging oil to make sure internal surfaces are fully coated.
Drain Fuel Tank and Supply Lines
Starting your engine in the spring with old gasoline is an invitation to problems. Manage the last few weeks of your boating season to leave your fuel tank(s) close to empty, then drain the fuel that remains. Use it in your snow blower or burn it in your car, but leave gasoline tanks and lines empty. Some boaters prefer to store the tanks full to minimize the potential for condensation. I find a cupful of water in the tank in the spring a lot smaller problem than 50 gallons of bad gasoline, but if you want to leave the tank full, pour in an appropriate amount of gasoline stabilizer to combat the formation of passage-clogging gums.
Drain Cooling Passages
Disconnect the flush attachment or remove the motor from the flush tank. With the motor upright, let all water drain out of the pick-up. Open drain plugs (if any--see your owner's manual) to empty the powerhead and intermediate housing. Crank the motor a couple of times by hand or "bump" it with the starter to empty the water pump. If the motor will be exposed to freezing conditions, it is essential that no water remains inside. Consider having the water pump impeller replaced every two or three years. The rubber legs can get stiff, reducing water circulation, or they may break off, eliminating coolant flow completely.
For the Cylinders
Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into the holes to coat the interior surfaces of the cylinders. Rotate the flywheel a few turns to spread the oil on the cylinder walls. While the plugs are out is the time to check them and regap or replace as required. Reinstall the spark plugs.
Lubricate Linkages and the Electric Starter Drive Mechanism
Clean all pivots and visible gears and protect them for the winter with oil or grease, as specified in your owner's manual.
Grease Control Cables
Lubricate control cables and all linkages and pivots.
Protecting the Powerhead and Engine Components
Mist-coat powerhead with an anticorrosion spray. Coat unpainted parts with an anticorrosion spray Spray a moisture displacing lubricant such as a silicone product onto electrical terminals and the fuse panel. Read the label to make sure the spray is safe for use on electrical components.
Degrease, Derust, Touch-Up
Maintain all painted surfaces to keep corrosion at bay.
Clean and Liberally Lubricate Propeller Shaft
Check the props for nicks. Even slight damage can hinder performance. Worse yet, blade damage can cause vibration, damaging other engine parts and the drive system. Some damaged props can be repaired by marine dealers for a fraction of the cost of a new one. The off season is the perfect time to have your prop(s) serviced. If the engine will be stored on the boat, take the prop(s) home to discourage theft.
Store outboards in an upright position.
** Some of the above information was furnished by Don Casey.
Posted by ribcraftusa at September 29, 2008 03:49 PMBack To Index