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  1. #1
    Cadet
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    Default Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    I recently purchased my first I/O. It is a 5.0 Mercruiser 220HP with an Alpha One Drive. I am getting ready to go get it winterized. The Marina told me that during the winterization process, they drain all the water from the motor, fog the carb and cylinders, and drain the lower unit.

    They told me that they usually don't put antifreeze in the motor because it can cause what ever water is remaining to not have anywhere to expand to during the cold spells and it and can crack the block.

    Is it better to fill the motor with antifreeze or is it better to leave it totally drained with nothing in it? Is winterizing the motor a difficult thing to do by myself. They are looking to charge $170 to do it.

    They are also telling me that I should have my boat shrink wrapped at $10/ft. Is that necessary and what are the downfalls to just covering it with a tarp and tying it down?

    Thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    Before Shrinkwrap, Canvas was all we used and it worked fine. If you get a lot of snow then you will have to build a frame under the canvas for the snow to slide off.
    One thing about the Marina doing the enging for you, it's also an insurance policy, if anything breaks they have to fix it. That being said I winterized my engines for many years and never had a problem ( in Michigan ) I just followed the Mfg. Manual.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    170 isnt a bad price, you are looking at 15/litre just for leg oil alone...the only other thing i would suggest is get them to change the engine oil too! I personally just drain all the water and flush with antifreeze to make sure i see antifreeze coming out of my drain plugs, and leave it dry...my tghoughts are air cant freeze, and if any moisture is in there it wiil only be antifreeze...just my 2 cents

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Commander fat fanny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    This ? get's asked alot this time of year do a search on the subject and you'll see. But in my opinion I like to refill the block with anti freeze for the piece of mind that is after I blow the block and all passages out with compressed air. Think of it this way if you leave it dry with nothing in it what can freeze but corrosion starts to take place in a cavity that spends 99% of it's life w/water in it. or you can fill it with a/f have that little bit of protection from freeze and corrosion your choice allot of different opinions out there especially when it comes to climate,where your storing it, experience and what has worked in the past. Just remember if you do it yourself just make sure you get all the water out of all the passages. All the above has worked great for me the last 6 years. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!
    1996 Searay 175 Five Series
    3.0LX ser #F553706
    Alpha1Gen2 ser #OF530668
    1998 Chevy1/2 tonW/T
    "faster dad faster" my baby girl in the tube

  5. #5
    Petty Officer 1st Class truckermatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    i recently bought my first I/O boat this year also, and my dealer is winterizing it, (because its free for me cause that was part of the deal) They just drain the water from the block, no anti-freeze added...

    But the normal price for winterization is $190... Engine oil change, fog engine, stabilize fuel, remove drive, check alignment, grease.check bearings and such... change drive oil....

    About the "corrosion" factor. Any little water in the manifolds, is not going to corrode anything more that it would if it were summer time..... All summer long the exhaust manifolds sit with water in them....

    They will need replacing when they need it.... cast iron in FRESH water will last a long time.
    1990 Wellcraft Eclipse 186XL
    4.3L Mercrusier / EZ-Loader Trailer
    Tow Vehicle: 1998 Chevy K1500 5.7L

  6. #6
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    Ayuh,.... Air just Don't Freeze....

    As long as you get ALL the water drained,... It'll Never freeze Crack....
    And,.. as noted, Sweetwater,+ cast iron get along Just Fine, for a Long Time....

    myanni74,... The Drive should be refilled, not just drained....
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Commander fat fanny's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    I do not wish to get into a push and pull over anything especially about an object that we all here obviously own and love but the simple fact is I was trying to state is that if something metalic is submersd in water and then removed and let set to dry will corrode allot faster than something that is just submersed in water and or any other fluid period. Case in point have you seen any photos of the Titanic lately? now that thing has been under water for over 100 yrs, and is exspected to last about that much longer before becoming unrecognizable. And as far as cast iron goes just look at a water pump after you replace it on your vehicle if you don't paint it cast is very pouris and allows moisture to penitrate it's surfaces thus causing corrosion. We could go on and on and on but why I was just stating my point and opinion and my method of block winterization of which I'm very comfortable with and thought the OP would like the option to make his own decision. I always say get all the water out because before I became an Iboats member I made the mistake of just draining the water and it cost me 500.00 the following spring and I don't wish that on any fellow Iboater or boater DIY is easy once you learn and take your time in fact I have been using the same A/F for 3 yrs, give or take a qrt or 2 and it's just as clean as it was when I poured it out of the bottle so that's telling me something good about the water jackets of my block and manifold. But enough about winterization because all that means is boating seasons over and that my friends means we are all just going to be talking about is what were gonna do to our boats during the down time and when the season starts back up and that's not the best part of boating is it?
    1996 Searay 175 Five Series
    3.0LX ser #F553706
    Alpha1Gen2 ser #OF530668
    1998 Chevy1/2 tonW/T
    "faster dad faster" my baby girl in the tube

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you very much for your reply. It's definatley a hotly debated topic. I have done a lot of research and called several marine mechanics to get their opinions. They vary just as much as we do here on Iboats. I do have to tell you though, Iboats has taught me a lot and saved me a ton of money. I was able to repair my 1974 Force on my Salt water boat because of these forums and the great people on Iboats.

    I think that just for my piece of mind, I am going to put it in. I have heard that we are expecting a pretty cold and wet winter here in the northeast, so I think any extra layer of protection just can't hurt.

    Sad to say though, I think all this talk about winterizing has left me a bit bummed. Fat Fanny is right. I know that this means that season is over and it's time to start trying to prepare for next year's adventures.

    Thanks All,

    Mark

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander fat fanny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercruiser Winterization (Antifreeze or Not)

    myanni74 since your relatively new here over the winter I have found much enjoyment in the resto forum and hearing what some of the guys do to thier rigs in the winter months man I think you'll get a kick out of it I know I did if your got a extra month to spare read ooops post on hull expansion believe me you'll need a month to finish it but wow is all I can say.
    1996 Searay 175 Five Series
    3.0LX ser #F553706
    Alpha1Gen2 ser #OF530668
    1998 Chevy1/2 tonW/T
    "faster dad faster" my baby girl in the tube

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