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phishtix

Winterizing a 4stroke outboard

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Just curious, I plan on using my boat all winter. It has a mercury 40hp 4 stroke motor.

Do any of you use your outboards during below freezing conditions and if so do you do anything special to keep it safe?

In the past I've used my outboards all winter without any problems. But this is my first 4 stroke.

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I did some searching on line and from what I read it sounds like just keep my motor in the down position when not using and all the water should drain out. Hope this is correct. I got some trips planned for Feb. If not I'll find out the hard way.

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That's what I do with my 2-stroke.  For the 4-stroke I would check the oil before & after every trip to make sure there's no water in it.  Also, I would try to make sure the engine is heated up fully for a little while (under decent amount of power).  If you're idling/trolling the whole time the engine may be running a little cold and may "make oil".

Another thing to check would be the lower unit oil.  I would change it now to make sure there's no leaks.

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I would just remove the lower unit drain plug to make sure there's no water and the oils not milky looking. then just lower your motor at the ramp to let all water drain out before trailering it home. then store with the motor in the down position. and you should be good to go on your next trip.

we use to use my boat for late season deer hunting. we would cross Brookville lake to get to our hunting spot and never had a problem with anything freezing. and its a good idea to check lower unit for water before it gets cold.

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At the end of every usage,  tilt the motor up, than back down. that will help drain all the water out of the heads. Hit the starter for a quick moment, and that will spin the remainder of water out of the water pump. Other than that, you should be good.

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A dash of Stabil or C Foam added to the fuel tank from time to time can't hurt. It depends upon on how cold your winter is and if your engine is left in the water. I sometimes like to regrease those zerks from time to time.  New crank case and bottom end oil is usually a good idea. Up north across the border we have also found having new spark plugs installed can be helpful for cold weather starts - you don't want a dead engine when you are cold and far away.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I like the C Foam. Been using that stuff for yrs.

Too cold for the boat right now for me. I'm planning to fish from the bank this weekend if I can get there before the next storm hits. They're calling for it to hit Friday evening.

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i have a mercury opti max that i use all winter all i have ever done is put it all the way down for a little bit after pulling to drain 

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