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    Should I drain antifeeze?

    Hi All

    A question regarding the pink anti-freeze you put in the cooling system when winterising. Once you have flushed through the cooling system with antifreeze do you leave it in there or do you empty the antifreeze out leaving the cooling system empty? I've watched every youtube video I can find, some miss out this point out, only one showed they empty it out. What do you guys do?

    #2
    If the boat is exposed to freezing temperatures then YES . Start from raw water pick-up till it comes out exhaust DO NOT drain it.
    Brad & Sharon
    Lady Jake
    1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
    LaConner,Wa. (summer)
    2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
    kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

    Comment


      #3
      This topic has a lot of depth.....more than you may realize.

      Others may join in this discussion.

      Do you have the one handle block drainage system or do you just have the blue plugs? ….or both?

      How are you introducing the antifreeze into the engine? Pouring it in from the top of the motor? Using muffs on the lower unit?

      How cold does it get during your winter? (this impacts which level of protection you need)

      I assume you have raw water cooling......is this correct?
      Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
      Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by SeaWeavers View Post
        Hi All

        A question regarding the pink anti-freeze you put in the cooling system when winterising. Once you have flushed through the cooling system with antifreeze do you leave it in there or do you empty the antifreeze out leaving the cooling system empty?
        once the anti freeze has completely displaced all the water, it is no longer needed, but can be kept in there if desired which is what people normally do for some reason.... like a completely empty and dry cooling system, if there isnt any water to freeze, then you dont need the antifreeze.... no matter what color it is or what formulation it is



        NU LIBERTE'
        Salem, OR

        1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
        5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
        N2K equipped throughout..
        2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
        2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
        '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
        Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

        Comment


          #5
          I read a posts way in the the past, one member was re commissioning at spring time only to find his TV type anti freeze had turned to gelatin throughout the cooling system🤢
          Personally I drain the raw water side of it and leave it.
          Dave
          Edmonds, WA
          "THE FIX"
          '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
          (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
          The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
          Misc. projects thread
          https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by vr5200 View Post
            This topic has a lot of depth.....more than you may realize.

            Others may join in this discussion.

            Do you have the one handle block drainage system or do you just have the blue plugs? ….or both?

            How are you introducing the antifreeze into the engine? Pouring it in from the top of the motor? Using muffs on the lower unit?

            How cold does it get during your winter? (this impacts which level of protection you need)

            I assume you have raw water cooling......is this correct?
            I have the mercrusier 3.0 TKS engine with the blue drainage pipes. I'm very new to boating so can only go off what I've see on youtube so far! After draining the engine I'm planning on flushing the cooling system with anti freeze by taking off the two pipes pipes either side of the engine and flushing the water out of both (like second vid)

            These are the best vids I've seen on it so far.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fY3zVTXI88

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhGSWJ70Nws

            First vid doesn't add anti-freeze due to local climate, second vid empties the block after anti freeze. I'm in the UK, winters in the south get down to -1 to -3 degrees centigrade max.

            So far opinions seem to be mixed as to leave it in and drain it out!

            Comment


              #7
              Here is a thorough approach that should pass most reviews here.

              Note: I personally don't like the idea of pulling and installing coolant hoses each year.

              These comments are just for the antifreeze/engine portion of the process.

              It involves using the external tank/muff method but you must be careful doing it to ensure the thermostat opens up.....make sure the motor is fully warmed up.

              1. Run the motor on water until it is up to temp.

              2. Drain the water out of the engine/manifold. Close all fittings/valves

              3. Run the engine on antifreeze. It will take several gallons.

              4. Drain the antifreeze out of the engine...….be patient and let it completely drain. Close all valves/fittings

              5. Wipe down your bilge when done.

              Hopefully this method passes muster with others here. If not.....I'm sure they will speak up!

              Note: some people do the final drain step. Others do not. This is a source of many discussions here.
              Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
              Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser

              Comment


                #8
                The pink RV antifreeze is more than sufficient in my area as it never drops to below 20 degrees here. It really depends on where you are and temps you experience. I assume since you are winterizing now it get colder than brass nipples there.

                I drain all water from block and manifolds and then remove lower hoses at large hose to circulating pump and both hoses on my water impeller pump ( I have a volvo penta so my impeller is at front of motor so this doesnt apply to merc). I then get a funnel and fill up the block and manifolds with the pink rv antifreeze.

                From research and experience using the easy method of sucking antifreeze with muff attachments isnt a good idea. You have to ensure the thermostat is fully opened and it's hard to tell how much water is mixed in with it. The draining and filling by hose is absolutely the way to go and strongly recommended.

                As with anything in life...the simple shortcut way basically is half ass. Not trying to offend those who use this method but research cracked blocks after using muff antifreeze winterizing method and you will see why in my this.

                draining the hoses, block and manifolds is really simple and only takes 15 minutes at most. Plus doing this each year keeps the hose connections free...It may be over kill but i use a dab of vaseline on at the hose bin connections. My water pump and manifold hose connection nips are corrosion free and remove easily.

                I've read the rv antifreeze will gel in extreme low temps so is that's what you experience you may want to go with more expensive antifreeze option.....if all water is out then you are safe, so going with no antifreeze is option if you drain all hoses, block and manifolds.

                There's differing opinions on antifreeze vs just leaving all empty....but I prefer having it full of antifreeze to prevent corrosion as there's always moisture inside regardless how you drain.

                My best advice is to manually drain the block, manifolds and lower hoses. This is advice I've gotten from marine mechanics and those on this and other forums who I know have high level of marine knowledge....I do this even though I'm in southeast Texas and boat is inside a shop....I personally feel adding antifreeze manually via the hoses is best but professional opinions vary on this issue.

                Definitely do this while temps are still comfy...a simple draining job can be miserable in freezing temps as fingers stop working.

                When draining have a piece of small wire handy to probe into holes of block and manifold drain holes...this will ensure you clear any debris and get all water removed.

                Be lazy and pay big time....I've seen expensive brand new boats at the mechanics house needing a motor replaced here in south Texas due to cracked blocks simply out of laziness. I've said it before....if you do not enjoy maintenance then boat ownership doesnt suit ya.
                2008 H210SS Four Winns
                Volvo Penta 5.7 GISX
                Prior: 1997 2050SS Bayliner
                Brad / Texas Gulf Coast

                Comment


                  #9
                  I was on the phone with Mercury this morning asking about another topic, and while I had him on the phone asked about winterizing and what should be done. He confirmed that with the Single Point drain does not drain all the water out and some may be left in the behind. What he said they recommend is to run the engine on muffs and warm it up while using the "Special Blend fuel"(Two stroke oil mixed with gas). Once warmed add anti-freeze via the muff until it come out pink from the exhaust. Then he ended with have a Dealer do it so they are responsible if something happens.
                  Anyway I have never used Anti freeze.I somethings think I should, but I don't trust it yet. So for now I drain the block with the Single Point drain and use an air hose and Shop vac to suck out the remaining water. I don't know if I get it all but I do get more out. The temps have dropped by me to -10 to -15 and so far so good. Every year I think about using antifreeze, but I keep going back back to the notion that Air does not freeze.
                  2016 Bayliner 215 Deck Boat
                  Mercruiser 4.3 220 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                  2003 SeaRay 176 SRX Bowrider
                  Mercruiser 3.0 135 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                  1988 Sunbird 170 Bowrider
                  Evinrude 88 Special

                  1970 Salem Skiff 13.5 foot
                  1992 Johnson 40HP.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Waterdowg View Post
                    I was on the phone with Mercury this morning asking about another topic, and while I had him on the phone asked about winterizing and what should be done. He confirmed that with the Single Point drain does not drain all the water out and some may be left in the behind. What he said they recommend is to run the engine on muffs and warm it up while using the "Special Blend fuel"(Two stroke oil mixed with gas). Once warmed add anti-freeze via the muff until it come out pink from the exhaust. Then he ended with have a Dealer do it so they are responsible if something happens.
                    Anyway I have never used Anti freeze.I somethings think I should, but I don't trust it yet. So for now I drain the block with the Single Point drain and use an air hose and Shop vac to suck out the remaining water. I don't know if I get it all but I do get more out. The temps have dropped by me to -10 to -15 and so far so good. Every year I think about using antifreeze, but I keep going back back to the notion that Air does not freeze.
                    The only reason I don't do the "plain water- drain/vac approach" is I am scared of puddles of pure water sitting somewhere.
                    I figure if my puddles have a decent mix (or 90-100 percent) of antifreeze, there is a diminished chance of a frozen puddle causing a problem.

                    But I am not willing to move to a place that never goes below freezing......I can't stand the heat and that is why we always go out early and come back around lunchtime on many days.....even if at a rental house or a friend's place. Our summers in Georgia are Hot!
                    Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
                    Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser

                    Comment


                      #11
                      To prevent freeze damage you drain all the water.
                      To reduce corrosion you add antifreeze.

                      Mercrusier recommends you manually drain (and poke holes, etc) and then add antifreeze manually. The problem with using the suck up AF kits via the muffs is this:
                      If you do not drain the engine block first, the thermostat has to stay open for all that raw water to exit the engine via the exhaust system. Many engines do not build enough heat running on the water hose on a cool fall day to keep the thermostat open. So you are really gambling. And sucking up the AF, then draining is a waste of money and time. Soooo.....
                      remember the 2 points above.....drain to prevent freeze damage.....add AF (the right kind ie, -75 or -100, and the right way....)
                      the suck the AF up the drive kits...are best used with a closed cooling system....NOT WITH RAW WATER COOLING! If you do not drain the block first, or drain out the AF second...you can wind up with a cracked block, heads and intake manifold simply because the thermostat did not stay open long enough to let all the raw water to get out of the engine to be displaced by the AF. You can wind up with the exhaust system full of AF and the engine full of raw water, or a weak AF/water mix. Do not take shortcuts....too bad a lot of misinformation is spread around...by people who clearly do not understand how raw water cooling works...
                      88 Four Winns 200 Horizon 4.3 OMC
                      98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0/Selectrac
                      07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi/Quadradrive II

                      Long Island Sound Region

                      Comment


                      • TX H210 SS
                        TX H210 SS commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Good explanation....ie..you can run AF with the muffs and see it coming out exhaust as its constantly running thru the exhaust manifolds and evacuated from boat. That can all happen while the thermostat stays closed and allows zero AF into block.

                        You see the AF and think you are set only to be very disappointed in a hard freeze. Honestly, after draining the four plugs you can remove the hoses on therm housing and pour AF into block thru those hoses in less time than jacking with muffs. It's cheaper too as you aren't paying for AF that's pouring out back of boat waiting on therm to open.

                      #12
                      Speaking of pink stuff. There is the good stuff and the not so good stuff. Unfortunately most use the not so good stuff because it is cheap. Problem is it contains alcohol which will dry out rubber such as hoses and impellers. A simple rule of thumb is if the containers says it's flammable, then it has alcohol in it, stay away! Here is an excellent video on the matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0stpOvoMhSY
                      Cheers, Hans
                      2007 Carver 41 CMY
                      Twin Volvo D6-370
                      Montreal, Canada
                      Midnight Sun I Photos

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Originally posted by 88fourwinns View Post
                        To prevent freeze damage you drain all the water.
                        To reduce corrosion you add antifreeze.

                        Mercrusier recommends you manually drain (and poke holes, etc) and then add antifreeze manually. The problem with using the suck up AF kits via the muffs is this:
                        If you do not drain the engine block first, the thermostat has to stay open for all that raw water to exit the engine via the exhaust system. Many engines do not build enough heat running on the water hose on a cool fall day to keep the thermostat open. So you are really gambling. And sucking up the AF, then draining is a waste of money and time. Soooo.....
                        remember the 2 points above.....drain to prevent freeze damage.....add AF (the right kind ie, -75 or -100, and the right way....)
                        the suck the AF up the drive kits...are best used with a closed cooling system....NOT WITH RAW WATER COOLING! If you do not drain the block first, or drain out the AF second...you can wind up with a cracked block, heads and intake manifold simply because the thermostat did not stay open long enough to let all the raw water to get out of the engine to be displaced by the AF. You can wind up with the exhaust system full of AF and the engine full of raw water, or a weak AF/water mix. Do not take shortcuts....too bad a lot of misinformation is spread around...by people who clearly do not understand how raw water cooling works...
                        Just to point out its not always misinformation that gets out there. Mercury Support told me to use muffs and wait to see it come out the exhaust. So if someone were to speak to Mercury and than read on the web to pour anti freeze down the hoses and not use the muffs, which would one would they think is misinformation? Mercury or Web? This were someone really needs to do there homework. I agree there is a lot information out there and some steps work for others but some do not get as cold of temps as others. This is a very important thing to take note when winterizing a boat. I have spoken to dealers in my area and it's 50/50 on which use anti freeze and those that don't. My other boat was easy, the dealer showed me how to drain the block. All they did was remove the lower water pump hose and let it drain and drop the 2 small block drains in the bilge. That was it other than fogging the engine.So its best to do your homework.
                        2016 Bayliner 215 Deck Boat
                        Mercruiser 4.3 220 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                        2003 SeaRay 176 SRX Bowrider
                        Mercruiser 3.0 135 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                        1988 Sunbird 170 Bowrider
                        Evinrude 88 Special

                        1970 Salem Skiff 13.5 foot
                        1992 Johnson 40HP.

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Originally posted by Waterdowg View Post

                          Just to point out its not always misinformation that gets out there. Mercury Support told me to use muffs and wait to see it come out the exhaust. So if someone were to speak to Mercury and than read on the web to pour anti freeze down the hoses and not use the muffs, which would one would they think is misinformation? Mercury or Web? This were someone really needs to do there homework. I agree there is a lot information out there and some steps work for others but some do not get as cold of temps as others. This is a very important thing to take note when winterizing a boat. I have spoken to dealers in my area and it's 50/50 on which use anti freeze and those that don't. My other boat was easy, the dealer showed me how to drain the block. All they did was remove the lower water pump hose and let it drain and drop the 2 small block drains in the bilge. That was it other than fogging the engine.So its best to do your homework.
                          If someone from Mercury support told you that is OK to do on a raw water cooled engine they should be ashamed and get fired. So you see AF come out the exhaust and what does that tell you? Does it tell you the thermostat opened? No it doesn't!
                          88 Four Winns 200 Horizon 4.3 OMC
                          98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0/Selectrac
                          07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi/Quadradrive II

                          Long Island Sound Region

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Originally posted by 88fourwinns View Post

                            If someone from Mercury support told you that is OK to do on a raw water cooled engine they should be ashamed and get fired. So you see AF come out the exhaust and what does that tell you? Does it tell you the thermostat opened? No it doesn't!
                            Yep those were his words. The directions were:
                            Run the engine on the muffs to warm up and the special blend of fuel though the system. Once done drain the block and introduce anti-freeze though the muffs until it is seen coming out of the exhaust. Then followed by the disclaimer to have the dealer do it so if something is done wrong you can blame them.
                            I had asked if there was a benefit to switch to a Closed System he said no not as far as winterizing the engine goes.
                            2016 Bayliner 215 Deck Boat
                            Mercruiser 4.3 220 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                            2003 SeaRay 176 SRX Bowrider
                            Mercruiser 3.0 135 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                            1988 Sunbird 170 Bowrider
                            Evinrude 88 Special

                            1970 Salem Skiff 13.5 foot
                            1992 Johnson 40HP.

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