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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Keep from Freezing

    I have heard many ways to keep my engine from freezing over the winter (I keep the boat in the water year round and use her) I have the 100 watt light bulb in the bulge and it seems to work. vents covered.What I would like to know if anyone has tried block heaters? They are held to the oil pan with a magnet. My concern is as there is only about 6 inches of clearence from the bottom of the pan to the bottom of the boat will I risk cooking the glass bottom? or is there an alternate location to put it where it will be just as effective.I own a 1977 Chevy 5/7L (mercriser 250)

  2. #2
    Fleet Admiral WillyBWright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Those don't get terribly hot. It can be mounted on the side of the oil pan rather than the bottom. That's about the only alternative. I like that better than the lightbulb. But if you're in the water and that's above 40 degrees, it can get awfully cold outside and not freeze the block. Pull it out of the water and all bets are off.
    Hey, Have you seen? They make Really Cool life preservers nowadays.
    So "Looking Dorky" is no longer an excuse for not wearing one.

  3. #3
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    It Seems it would do more good if it was mounted to the Block........You need to heat the Block,+ Manifolds..... Not the Oil......How about Under the manifolds, next to the engine block,...?????How many Watts is it rated ???Will it be alright when it gets Wet in the bilge ??????
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Had a customer do all those things and he froze the water inlet line from the seacock to the pump.
    NO PERSONAL QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHAT THE FORUM IS FOR.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Go here WWW.bensaco.com Marine engine heaters designed specifically for this application.

  6. #6
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Click here this ought to cure your problem.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  7. #7
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Hmmmmmmm, same link, same time, you owe me a beer Merc
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Now that was weired! nice timing Don S! I have one in my carpet cleaning truck. 750 watt model keeps extended Chevy Van above freezing SAFELY. I have a truckmounted machine powered by a gas engine in there so I'm concerned about FIRES and EXPLOSIONS.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    You'd do good to drain the water from the engine after every use in the winter. All it would take would be for the power to go out in a storm and your engine would be junk.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    I love living in Florida

  12. #12
    Lieutenant Junior Grade jlinder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    I remember oil dipstick heaters. You replaced the existing dipstick with this heater and it kept the oil warm.Anyone tried them?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    wife pulled her car into our detached, uninsulated garage. Its 15 degrees here and has been for 3 days. Snow melted off her car. That 750 watt marine heater is heating the truck which is heating the garage.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    so far I have lost 2 motors. actually not me but my customers, they brought them in today for winterizing a few days to late. no my problem now. we sent them all letters in october. we will repower come spring. the last 3 days have been very nice. if I winterize below 35 degrees I charge 150 an hour I did 5 in the last 3 days all below 29 degrees 3 have sat since august.
    no tech questions by PM, they wont get answered.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Nothing like waiting till the last minute, Rodbolt, eh? "3 have sat since august" ???? Glad to see these people have money to throw around for new engines! (And it's job security for you marine mechanics!) I always try and get my boat winterized around the same time each year(end of october). My mechanic told me that when he starts getting a real large back log into the end of december, he'll tell the people to swing by with the boat if they are nervous of freezing and he'll at least pull the drain plugs off the block.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    It's sad when they swing by and we pull the plugs and nothing comes out because it's already ice.DHP

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Originally posted by MH9371B: I love living in Florida
    ditto

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Lucky, just out of curiosity, how cold does the water your boat is sitting in get? Someone mentioned the risk of power failure. I live out in the sticks, chances of power failure are greater when it gets cold, cause snow or ice can take down trees or limbs near power lines. But I'd be even more concerned using a lightbulb instead of something like a marine heater (or even a something like a heating pad). Light bulb just doesn't seem reliable enough to trust regularly if an engine is at risk.One question, does, say, a mechanics light spark at all when you turn it on? Would one need to be particularly careful about how to use a light bulb (or something else not designed for a marine engine, like a heating pad) to heat a marine engine? e.g., turn it on BEFORE putting it in the bilge as compared to leaving it in the bilge & plugging it in from outside? Or are fumes not an issue if boat has been sitting unused for awhile in cold weather? Just curious as to whether HOW you heat the bilge could present a bigger problem than just freezing the block...

  19. #19
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Originally posted by wvit100: You'd do good to drain the water from the engine after every use in the winter. All it would take would be for the power to go out in a storm and your engine would be junk.
    I like this Answer,.......... Even Better than My Own............... This is what I do, every year from Sept. thru Dec....... Even though Mine is sitting on the Trailer......6 drains,+ I'm Safe....
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Ok...had a thought...Anybody ever try using the water pipe heaters on there boat engine? Water Pipe Heater Do you think it would be effective?-JustMrWill
    ****ANY OF MY POSTS THAT I HAD PICTURES IN WILL NO LONGER HAVE THE PICTURES. I CHANGED ISPs AND DON'T HAVE TIME TO RE-LINK THEM ALL - SORRY****

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Is it coast guard approved for a marine engine? The marine environment is an explosive environment. A half a tea cup of gas, 3ounces, ignited in vapor form will completely wreck a 50 ft boat. Or a 21 footer and a boat on each side. Or my carpet cleaning truck, my new two car garage, and my wifes brand new car. I have a radio shack remote thermometer in the truck and a boat safe heater. Its 14F out side and the truck has been a steady 41F. I check it before I go to bed. The thermometer also has a low temp alarm. That truck hits 32F and I'm outa bed to take care of it. Heater costs $400 plus tax, Carpet Cleaning machine is $25,000 installed, Thermometer is $50. I sleep well with no worries.

  22. #22
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Ok...had a thought...Anybody ever try using the water pipe heaters on there boat engine?
    Nope,.... I'd Never Thought of it............But,I've Seen Way Too Many Housetrailers Burnt to the Ground..........And Blamed on Heat Tapes.......
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  23. #23
    Supreme Mariner
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    I use a 40W heating pad under the oil pan. All the electrics are sealed in the plastic pad. I like to think it keeps the oil warm so I have lubrication upon cold start, for those late season fishing trips. However, I only use it until it gets really cold (bay gets close to icing up), then I pull the boat and winterize it.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Originally posted by Chris1956: I use a 40W heating pad under the oil pan. All the electrics are sealed in the plastic pad. ...
    What about the on/ off switch? That would be my worry, initially switching an electrical device on, whether it be a heating pad or, say, a mechanics light. Wonder if turning one of these on could provide a spark?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Keep from Freezing

    Lakelivin, The length of the cord allows the switch to be out of the bilge. I also keep the switch in the high(on) position, and plug the extension cord on the dock into the electrical receptacle. There should not be any sparks this way.

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