Winterizing An Outboard Motor
by Jim Hebert, jimh@continuousWave.com
An Annual Chore
If you live in the northern U.S. or Canada, your boating season
comes to an end in September or October. You've got six months of
fall and winter ahead, before you'll be able to get back on the water.
Your outboard motor should be prepared for this storage period. Here is
a quick summary of the procedure I use with my 5-HP FORCE outboard
Tools and Materials Needed
Gather the following materials and tools before starting:
- 13/16 Spark Plug Socket
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Very Large Flat Blade Screwdriver
- Medium Flat Blade Screwdriver
- Saw Horse
- Lower Unit Grease Pump
- Water Hose adapter
- Paper plates, paper towels, plastic garbage bag
- Hypoid 90 Lower Unit Grease
- Fogging Oil aerosol spray
- Fuel stabilizer
- Warm Up Mount the engine on a saw horse or other support.
Pull cord from starter and knot cord at recoil mechanism.
Remove pull handle.
Remove cover from engine.
Re-install pull handle on engine, sans cover.
Connect the water adapter to garden hose.
Mount hose adapter to engine water intake.
Turn on water hose.
Connect gas to engine.
Start engine and run at moderate throttle until warm.
- Run Out
Disconnect fuel line from engine.
Let engine run out fuel from carburetor.
As engine starts to stall, spray fogging oil into carburetor. (Don't use the tube adapter, just the nozzle spray.)
Count "1001, 1002, 1003", for timing duration of spray.
Engine smokes (from oil).
Engine eventually runs out of gas and stalls.
Disconnect gas line.
Turn hose off.
Remove hose adapter from engine.
- Direct lubrication
Remove spark plug.
Spray fogging oil (via tube) into cyclinder.
Replace spark plug.
Operate pull start several times to spread oil.
- Lower Unit lubrication
Place paper plate under engine to receive oil discharge.
Remove drain/fill screw, carefully recovering the washer and screw.
(This requires a very large flat blade screwdriver.)
Open bleed screw. (This requires smaller screwdriver.)
Allow engine to drain for several minutes.
Tilt motor to drain completely.
If grease appears milky color, this indicates presence of water in grease,
which may mean leaking seals on propellor shaft.
Wipe away old grease.
Connect grease pump. (Note the FORCE engine has different thread than Mercury,
so pump only threads on about a quarter turn.)
Re-fill lower unit with new lubricant, until grease oozes from bleed screw.
Tighten bleed screw.
Remove pump and quickly replace with fill/drain screw and washer.
Tighten fill/drain screw.
- Clean Up
Allow engine to sit upright for a few minutes to drain any fluids.
Wipe off lower unit.
Lubricate other areas of engine with Lithium Grease or other appropriate material.
Re-install cover, reversing procedure with pull handle.
Move engine to storage position.
Allow to drain additional fluids.
Wipe engine clean.
Store for winter.
Throw oily paper plates in plastic garbage bag and dispose.
- Fuel Storage
Add appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer to remaining gasoline/oil in tank.
Spring Start Up
When starting engine in spring, the heavy oil content may foul the spark plug.
Replace the plug after initial run has cleared oil from cyclinders. Save the fouled
plug for the next year's winterization.
Copyright © 1997, 1999 by James W. Hebert. All rights reserved!
Last modified: March 31, 1999
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