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Author Topic:   Did Not Winterize Outboard
whalerajm posted 03-01-2008 01:13 PM ET (US)   Profile for whalerajm   Send Email to whalerajm  
I never did get around to winterizing the 1996 Evinrude 90-HP outboard on my Montauk this year. In New Jersey. First time I missed winterization routine in 15 years! Boat is kept in garage on trailer. Siphoned gas out of tanks to use elswhere. I stabilize all my gas so any gas in lines and engine has Stabilizer in it.

Anything I need to be concerned about?

Buckda posted 03-01-2008 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I would remove spark plugs and spray fogging oil in the cylinders, turn over by hand and replace spark plugs.

Drain and change lower unit oil, check for water. If no water present, no worries.

Next day, fire her up and let her run for a good 1/2 hour to warm fully.

Re-fog and close her up until it is warm enough to go fishing/boating again.

You'll probably hit the water in 2 months - right?

Should be no problem.


whalerajm posted 03-01-2008 11:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerajm  Send Email to whalerajm     
Thanks Dave,


Changing lower unit oil no problem.

Why fog now with only 6-8 weeks to starting her up for season? Won't running engine circulate oil through engine?

jimh posted 03-02-2008 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The purpose of the fogging procedure is to instill extra oil into the internal workings of the engine. The fogging oil is formulated to form a film or residue on the internal surfaces, coating them with oil and protecting them from oxidation and corrosion. If you are going to re-commission the motor in six weeks, I don't know if I would bother with performing the procedure now.
whalerajm posted 03-02-2008 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerajm  Send Email to whalerajm     
Thanks Guys,

Here's a stupid question, bu t I have to ask: Dave you had suggested "turning engine over by hand"...What exactly do you mean and how do you do it? Manual pull starting?

cubanwhaler posted 03-02-2008 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for cubanwhaler  Send Email to cubanwhaler     
Fogging is a great idea. Use Seafoam or Berrymans to get all the invisible varnish from your carbs. You motor should start right up with no issues. Use a whole can.
whalerajm posted 03-02-2008 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerajm  Send Email to whalerajm     
Is Seafoam a fogging product or a fuel additive?
dbrown posted 03-02-2008 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for dbrown    
Seafoam is touted as as decarbonizer and fuel stabilizer. It is not recommended for fogging the engine. Only dedicated fogging oil should be used for that purpose. But I agree at this point I would skip it..
Buckda posted 03-02-2008 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
You can grab either side of the flywheel and turn it over by hand.

I would fog it now even if you plan to use it in 2 months. You never know when work or life will intervene and it COULD be July before you use the boat again.

Good luck.


Dave Sutton posted 03-02-2008 08:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dave Sutton  Send Email to Dave Sutton     
Hmmm........... ?

Having winterized my entire life by:

(1) Using the boat hard all season.

(2) Flushing it every time it's on the trailer.

(3) Shutting it down after the last trip, sticking it on the trailer, flushing it, filling the gas tank to prevent condensation, and then forgetting about it until it's used again (meaning that I don't do anything extra at all).

The results have been: Reliable engines that start first time every year and have cost zero for maintenance.


Methinks you'll be just fine if you forget about it and start it up when the season begins. Next year toss some fuel stabilizer in the the last tank you run and forgt about it.



cubanwhaler posted 03-02-2008 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for cubanwhaler  Send Email to cubanwhaler     
dbrown i disagree, seafoam website refers to its product as a fogger and fuel stabilizer. Deep Creep is used for cleaning carbs and fogging engines. Non-aerosol seafoam is great for fuel stabilizing.
Tohsgib posted 03-03-2008 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
The next nice day you get(it is March) I would wheel it out and fire her up. The biggest thing about winterizing is changing the gear lube. Any water in there and it could crack the foot if it freezes.
Buckda posted 03-03-2008 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Dave Sutton -

I also have a friend who does not "winterize" his motors (fogging internal components). Obviously, I have a different opinion on the subject, but I realize that there are anecdotal reports of folks doing this and operating their motors trouble free for years.

My position is as follows:
1. The MFGR recommends "winterizing" a motor for long lay-ups. If the manufacturer recommends it, it can't be bad for the engine.
2. If oil protects bare/machined metal from corrosion, that is a good thing...especially in a midwest winter environment where freeze/thaw cycles and humidity may lead to moisture on internal components either via condensation or atmospheric conditions. I'll take my chances with the extra protection.
3. The fact that a given motor does not have any problems when not winterized does not mean that my motor will have the same good fortune. As an individual piece of machinery, the risk is high enough that a simple winterization procedure or even just fogging the cylinders meets my risk/annoyance threshold. It is worth it, in my opinion, to deal with the minor inconvenience of fogging the cylinders to avoid the risk of a major repair bill later. These are not inexpensive pieces of machinery.

As stated above, you never know when life or work will intervene. God forbid an ill parent, divorce or job layoff happen to anyone here, but it does happen, and I could certainly see that impacting a person's ability to get out on the water. A winterized motor hedges against that possibility - even if you plan to use it in a few weeks.

One of the things I love about the new E-TEC is the ability to self-winterize in less than 5 minutes. If I end up going more than 3 weeks without using the boat, I winterize the motors. It's simple, quick and there is no mess.

The peace of mind is worth it in my opinion.

RMS posted 03-03-2008 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for RMS  Send Email to RMS     
I'd squeeze the primer bulb a few times to replace any fuel in the carb bowls that evaporated. I also spin the steering wheel a few times to make sure the engine/steering cable hasn't locked up. Change the lower unit fluid before launching this year - if it was going to freeze it would have done so already. Bob
Tollyfamily posted 03-03-2008 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tollyfamily  Send Email to Tollyfamily     
I always fog my outboards but have to tell you that I spent my youth as a dock boy at several resorts in norhtern Minnesota and never saw or heard of an outboard being winterized. After Labor day we hung all the motors in a shed and locked the door until spring when we carried them out and hung them back on the boats, sometimes they got a new set of plugs. I never saw gear oil changed. These engines always worked fine for the entire summer. We are all [obsessed with preventative maintenance] now.


frontier posted 03-03-2008 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
The 1972 40 HP Merc 402 on our 1972 13' Sourpuss was never winterized. It was always garaged. Always ran great. 2 sets of plugs in 15 years. 1 lower unit oil change. Same thing on our 1987 17' Supersport Limited with a 90 Evinrude. Had a British Seagull we bought from a guy who never winterized and it hadn't been run in 20 years. Fresh fuel, a little gas in the carb, got it running in 2 minutes.
whalerajm posted 03-04-2008 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerajm  Send Email to whalerajm     
Thanks all for your input...

Boat spent winter in garage...ran like a top in November...

Ran stabilized gas through engine...drained and disconnected tanks...

Today I changed lower unit oil (was clean, no water)...bought a couple gallons of new gas, added stabilizer...pumped up fuel line...and...

Cranked but wouldn't turn over (first time this has happened in 12 years!)...she's back in the garage...

Once again I'm soliciting advise and suggestions...

-Plugs were new last year and have less than 10 hours RT
-Yes, kill switch override is on...
-Fuel is getting to the engine (can hear fuel line at engine as I pump ball)

Thanks Again...

Tohsgib posted 03-04-2008 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Your 90 will bypass the carbs when you push the key so it should fire or at least ty to. If NOTHING happens then it is electrical. Check the kill lanyard(been there done it). Then check for spark by removing a plug. In no spark then disconnect the big wiring harness and pull it by rope a couple times and have somebody check for spark(this wil eliminate a bad keyswitch or neutral safety). If still no spark then powerpack or OIS system if on that engine.
Dave Sutton posted 03-04-2008 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dave Sutton  Send Email to Dave Sutton     

No disagreement at all... just that in this 'one particular engine for one particula year' I doubt that it'll be a problem, so my advice is "Don't Panic". November to now is not that long a period.

With that said, the troubleshooting for the current no-start sounds like a good plan. It might just be cold and balky.

Aside: I was Boating Coordinator at Palmer Station, Antarctica for a season. We ran Zodiacs with a 25 HP Evinrude on the back and a 7.5 Evinrude under the bow dodger for a kicker when needed. I had perhaps 20 of each. The engines went onto the boats every AM and came off and were tossed on their sides in a Conex box every night. For the winter season we took the engines into the shop, hung them up and walked away. We didn't have excess water for flushing them and so they had never been flushed and were salty from the day they were unboxed new until they were retrograded as scrap. That took about 10 seasons per engine. We never fogged them, never used fuel stabilizer, had CRAPPY stale fuel all the time (in 55 gallon drums laying out on the cargo yard for years sometimes). Gas oil mixes were very roughly estimated, basically we tortured these things. Guess what? After this and then being simply tossed into the shop for the winter, we put 'em on next season, squeezed thge bulb, put on the choke and pulled the cord, and they ran and ran fine. I even managed to throw one off the back of a Zodiac when mounting it one day, dragged it outta 20 feet of ice cold salt water, WD-40'd the thing, and had it running again in 10 minutes. Simple 2 stroke engines are a lot tougher than we sometimes give them credit for. Yeah... fog 'em, it never hurts. But forget a season? Don't panic. They aren't made of sugar.


Dave Sutton


davej14 posted 03-05-2008 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Besides checking the kill switch, be sure your shift control is in neutral.

Also, whenever you are turning over the flywheel by hand without a pull rope be sure the spark plug wires are disconnected.

Buckda posted 03-05-2008 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Dave Sutton -

Agreed and spot on re: They aren't made of sugar.

I guess I'm overprotective of my new motors because they cost so darn much! I ended up rebuilding or purchasing 3 outboard motors in 4 years. Winterization is at the top of my list in terms of preventive maintenance for a long-layup!


whalerajm posted 03-05-2008 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerajm  Send Email to whalerajm     
Finally got it to turn over after cleaning up spark plugs...plugs were (to my surprise) pretty fouled...Will change them out and and give it another shot in a day or two...


jimh posted 03-06-2008 12:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dave Sutton--I loved your story about Antarctica. However, I will also suggest that the cold temperature down there probably slows down the reaction rates of anything trying to oxidize--including steel or gasoline. You might not have obtained the same results if you had been in tropical saltwater. More corrosion would have been likely.

ASIDE: of all the places I have contacted via amateur radio over the years, I always got a big kick out of working KC4USA at the South Pole. What a remote place. I cannot imagine being down--I get tired of our Michigan winters and they last only a few months.

I have heard that food never spoils in those cold arctic or antarctic regions. I recall a story of guys eating ten year old groceries that they found when visiting an abandoned weather station on Heard Island.

Dave Sutton posted 03-06-2008 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dave Sutton  Send Email to Dave Sutton     
Hi Jim,

The conditions at Palmer were actually ideal for corrosion: We were on the sea coast with 100% humidity, constant sea-fog, and summer tempeatures hovering around 35 degrees F... just enough to cause the area around the boat ramp to be a constant sea of foul mud. Only in the winter did it get cold, but then the engines were in the shop.

I also did time in the interior of Antarctica, McMurdo and South Pole. Those areas were entirely different: Near zero hunmidity, constant dry-freeze temperatures, and that's where things like mummified seals that are 1000 years old are found. I was in Scott's hut from their 1906 expedition and it's true: There are biscuits on the table that are still edible. In their other hut there are bales of hay for the ponys that are still just bales of hay... albeit alnmost 100 years old. We didn't have boats there though, just snowmobis

I ran the Amateur and MARS nets from Palmer for the time I was there. Collins KWM-2A with the huge Collins amps. US Navy provided us top-notch amateur stuff, not to mention the REAL radios that the Navy used for routine official traffic. We had at least 10 of darned things. Palmer was KC4AAC so if you have a QSL from there in 1980-1982, I was probably the other guy. Ran a little from the RV Hero as KC4AAB as well. When we went out into the fieldm we carried a portable SSB setup with solar panels to charge the batteries, two bamboo poles, and enough wire to set up a simple dipole. Ran traffic back to McMurdo Center on a daily schedule, and worked amateur all over the world from a tent. It was great.

Sorry for the hijack.. good to be able to think about this again though.


Dave Sutton


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