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  1. #1
    Lieutenant Junior Grade Evinrude Boater's Avatar
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    Default Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I've read various posts about using RV antifreeze to winterize the engine but I also read it doesn't contain corrosion inhibitors. Wouldn't it be better to use automotive antifreeze then drain and flush in the spring?
    1987 Doral Classic 200 Bowrider, 4.3 Mercruiser/Alpha One, 1970 Evinrude 9.5hp Sportwin, 1965 Johnson 5hp, 1964 Evinrude Speedifour, 1963 Evinrude Starflite and 1960 Evinrude Lark and when all else fails, Upper Canada Paddle Company paddles

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    If your boat is stored near a body of water, non-toxic is the legal one to use.
    Anywhere else regular is fine.,but don`t just flush it out in the spring, drain it and save it for next winter.Dosent go bad.

  3. #3
    Rear Admiral JustJason's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    i've litterally winterized 1000's of engines with RV antifreeze. Works fine. Plus you can bring it to the lake and not worry about killing fishies or start it in your driveway and not worry about killing the neighbors dog.
    just because you found it that way... doesn't mean it's supposed to be that way.

    Part of diagnostics is spending time figuring out not only what the problem is, but also sorting through what it isn't.

    The older the engine is, the chances of it having more than 1 problem goes up exponentially

    Boating has always been a rich mans hobby. Buying a new boat gets cheaper every year, but the maintenance, the repairs, and the overall cost of ownership of a boat has never gotten any cheaper.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I use prestone, then drain it back into a clean container for use the next year. And as we never get below the high teens I only use a 25% mixture.
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.-2 Timothy 4:3-4:

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    cheapest is best, LOL. Used automotive but this year tempted to switch to RV/plumbing. This is a throw away stuff anyway. What good is Prestone if half the year your boat eats lake water. Is Prestone going to restore the engine?

  6. #6
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    cheapest is best,
    Ayuh,... I Agree,.. That's why I store all mine Dry..... Air don't Freeze...
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I purchased 2 gal of Ban Frost 2000, a few years ago, and keep reusing as stated above. It does have a rust prevenative package.

    http://www.camco.net/Menu.cfm?SupCat...ProductId=2280


    But, as Bondo states, drained correctly, air works fine.

  8. #8
    Rear Admiral Maclin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    For my raw water cooled stuff I use the gas/vapor mix described by Bond-o. It flows into the block and manifolds easily and automatically (in fact you would have to really work at keeping it out). It has a pretty specific formula, but even so it is cheap (free) and readily available everywhere.

    The trick in winterizing a raw water cooled engine and manifolds is to drain ALL water first, poking wire thu the drain holes, a lot of water should come out. And then realize it will not corrode much just sitting there with air in it, so skip the antifreeze and bypass any heartburn over the environment (pun intended). As proxy mentioned, nothing will actually help restore the block.

  9. #9
    Master Chief Petty Officer superpop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I have a Volvo 5.0L V8 with the SX leg and when I am done with mine for the summer I just drain it to prevent freeze damage. I installed 4 ball valves on my block and manifolds so now it is very simple to drain the block, just turn the 4 handles a 1/4 turn and it drains. I also pull the hoses off the raw water pump to let that drain but that is it. Battery comes inside and covers go on it for the winter. In the spring I do a full tune up and service. Course I have Fuel Injection so I just add some stabil on my last trip out.
    There is no replacement for displacement

    2006 Chaparral 204SSi
    VP 5.0L GXi-F with SX Drive

  10. #10
    Rear Admiral Maclin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    Just watch the build up behind those valves. Nothing works as good as removing a plug at the block or manifold and rodding it out. I'm just sayin'...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    it amazing how much more water comes out when you put the shop vac to the drain hole.
    rob
    home is where we drop anchor

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I always drain mine first, but I run a bit of RV antifreeze through just to take care of any small amounts of water laying in places I can't completely drain. For me, its cheap peace of mind. We used the same process when I worked at the marina, and I never replaced an engine we winterized. I did replace several that people though they did properly, but never one that was totally drained dry and left that way, and never one that was drained and filled with RV antifreeze.

    I don't use the green stuff though. Our boat is winter stored very near the water. So close in fact, a large part of the yard floods at a high tide, and most of it floods at a moon high tide.
    1993 Rinker FiestaVee 300
    twin 5.7L/Bravo
    newly appointed with Bravo III lower units

  13. #13
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I installed 4 ball valves on my block and manifolds so now it is very simple to drain the block, just turn the 4 handles a 1/4 turn and it drains.
    Ayuh,.... As noted by Maclin,.... That could lead to a very Nasty Surprise some Spring,....
    You've Gotta be able to rod/ dig the Crap,+ Crud out of the block....
    The drains are at the Bottom of the water cavities,+ That's where the Crap settles......
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    Quote Originally Posted by Bond-o View Post
    Ayuh,.... As noted by Maclin,.... That could lead to a very Nasty Surprise some Spring,....
    You've Gotta be able to rod/ dig the Crap,+ Crud out of the block....
    The drains are at the Bottom of the water cavities,+ That's where the Crap settles......
    .... and blocks the water's exit! Anyone else 'been there, done that'?
    Do I hear an AMEN!
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.-2 Timothy 4:3-4:

  15. #15
    Commander bifflefan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    So basicly what all of you are saying is that there is more than one way to skin a cat....

    But then it begs the question...Who wants to skin a cat anyway???
    2011 Triton 190 Escape SE 150 Mercury Pro XS

    I never learned much from winning, but always learn from failure.
    Semper Fi

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    Quote Originally Posted by WizeOne View Post
    .... and blocks the water's exit! Anyone else 'been there, done that'?
    Do I hear an AMEN!
    yeah, the block drains on mine have never done squat for me. I always just pull the whole petcock out of the engine block and dig it out. OPening the drain valve just gets me a few drips most of the time.
    1993 Rinker FiestaVee 300
    twin 5.7L/Bravo
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I know it's a personal thing, but I prefer to fill it with antifreeze. I pull the plugs and dig everything out too, but I'm always afraid of that little bit of water hiding somewhere. When it's zero outside and I'm stoking the wood stove I know my boat is safe.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    Quote Originally Posted by meesh View Post
    I know it's a personal thing, but I prefer to fill it with antifreeze. I pull the plugs and dig everything out too, but I'm always afraid of that little bit of water hiding somewhere. When it's zero outside and I'm stoking the wood stove I know my boat is safe.
    My feeling too. Better safe then sorry.

  19. #19
    Master Chief Petty Officer bigskiohio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    i drain then i remove thermostat and fill motor with rv , i will be removing outdrive this year,plugging water port with a expandable rubber plug and draining outdrive a little to check for water. The vac sounds like a good idea, i could put it on the exhaust and engine.
    1973 Starcraft Supersport
    120 mercruiser 153c.i.

  20. #20
    Rear Admiral Maclin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    This is my version of "nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" method:

    I remove the thermostat housing and drain the block rodding out the holes. Then I pour 2 or 3 gallons of water into the block until almost no more junk comes out and the water is clear. I do the same thing with each exhaust manifold by removing the hose at the thermo housing and funneling water thru them.

    Then on mine I remove the impeller (and store in the house in a baggie), this drains the power steering cooler and other lines (Volvo engine mounted raw water pump). I leave all the plugs out and the raw water pump open then tow it around a bit to shake water loose. Then I park and jack the trailer up using blocks as far as I can and move it around as much as I can to get water moving around. I then lower the jack as far as it can go down. A little bit more comes out of the drain holes during each step. I try to leave the engine housing off and boat uncovered for a day or so to dry out before putting it away for the season.

    I put in a new thermostat during spring commissioning, and a new impeller every other time, as I button it all back up.


    disclaimer: Some engine designs may have sneaky bad hiding places in the water jackets, but for the boating world's SmallBlockChevy this method will avoid a freeze related cracked casting in the worst of winters.

  21. #21
    Lieutenant Junior Grade Evinrude Boater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    Too bad they don't have an air valve somewhere so one could blow air through the system like plumbing at the cottage.
    1987 Doral Classic 200 Bowrider, 4.3 Mercruiser/Alpha One, 1970 Evinrude 9.5hp Sportwin, 1965 Johnson 5hp, 1964 Evinrude Speedifour, 1963 Evinrude Starflite and 1960 Evinrude Lark and when all else fails, Upper Canada Paddle Company paddles

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    My usual procedure on the 4.3 litre Mercruiser is to pull the plugs on each side of the block, undo all the hoses on the block and manifolds and drain everything well. I also make sure that the leg is vertical, to allow it to drain. Then I put the plugs back in, reconnect the hoses, and pour in a couple of gallons of pink RV antifreeze until it starts to come out of the leg. Then I hit the key and turn over the water pump for a few seconds. This has worked well for nearly two decades.

    In the last year or two, I became aware that there are two types of RV anti-freeze. Someone told me not to use the cheap stuff that people pour down the drains of their RVs - that there is a special anti-freeze that is better to use in boats. Does anyone know anything about this? Or is the cheap stuff OK to use?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    the cheap stuff is propylene glycol (plumbing or RV antifreeze) mixed with some alcohol, thickens in low temp and does not solidify, doesn't change volume (won't burst), non toxic as opposed to ethylene glycol (automotive AF)

    "Winterizes boats, recreational vehicles, seasonal homes, septic tanks, swimming pools filtration and heating systems

    Burst protection to -50C"
    ... what is probably more then -1000F, haha

  24. #24
    Commander Lou C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    I do the rod it out...drain...back fill with the best -100 AF with corrosion inhibitor method...I do think that filling the engine with AF with corrosion inhibitors helps reduce the formation of rust over the winter because rust...is iron oxide....iron+oxygen in the air helped along by moisture.....you eliminate the air...and the oxygen...and you slow down the rusting process...the same reasoning behind spraying trailer springs and ubolts with Corrosion X....you put a barrier between the iron and the oxygen...and you get a LOT less rust...

    My trailer springs and ubolts were all replaced 4-5 seasons ago...none has any rust still...corrosion prevention and reduction is about keeping oxygen away from iron...whether you use paint...Corrosxion X or antifreeze....

    If AF wasn't good for engines....you could still run alcohol based solutions like they did in the old days....and for sure any engine manufacturer would tell you their cast iron engines were really designed to be full of antifreeze not just water as is done with a raw water cooled engine...so I think that using AF does slow down the process.....
    I replaced a thermo housing in 2003 and have been storing this engine this way since then...and there is just surface rust inside...no large flaking corrosion which is what cast iron looks like after running salt water through it for a while....
    1988 Four Winns 200 Horizon
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Winterizing: Prestone vs RV antifreeze

    For 20 years I run RV antifreeze through my seawater inlet until it runs out exhaust. Fog it down and maybe drain block, not always just accordding how I feel. I let fresh water run through for about 15 mins before I do this. I live in SC, not harsh winters but does get down to single digits sometimes, but boat is in enclosed garage. never had any problems.

    The funny thing, I ask the boat dealership about 15 years agao about doing it this way and they laughed and said thats ludicrious. The next year they had a vat and backed the foot into it and did the same thing. As long as you maintain our boat properly, you can save money doing it your self.

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