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Winterization debates

ncnmra

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I'm going to try to winterize my 2008 212X myself this year. I've been researching the subject for a bit on both sites, as well as seen the videos. It makes my head spin because of the various opinions and debates:
  1. Everyone agrees on fuel stabilizer and a full tank. Cool
  2. To Fog or not? I don't see a good reason why not...but should I:
    1. Fog while running or
    2. Spray fogging oil into each intake throttle body (4 x MR1) for 3 seconds and and crank engine
    3. Spray fogging oil directly into cylinders through spark plug holes and crank engine
  3. Oil change in the fall or spring?
    1. 10W-30 (as per original Service Manual), or 10W-40 as per later recommendations?
    2. Conventional or Synthetic or blend?
  4. Antifreeze in lines?
    1. What is the best way to get it in? Pump, or gravity?
    2. Crimp off the outside supply line so that the fluid is forced through the engine instead
  5. Grease the bearing zerk?
    1. How much?
    2. What kind of grease?
 

Joe Hellaby

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following... as I will have some of the same questions soon enough
 

Ronnie

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I would do what the majority does in your situation/ region since the environment you store your boat in may impact how you winterized it.

I am in Nor Cal where it never snows or freezes and my winterization routine so far has been to fill the tank with fuel and stabilize the same. I also run the boat a little to get the stabilized fuel into the lines. I think there is still disagreement about whether to fill or empty the tank though.

When I used to fog my sx230ho engines I just followed the directions on the can which as I recall is spraying directly into the throttle bodies while the engine is running for X seconds each or until the engine starts to sputter, which ever comes first.

When you change the oil doesn't seem to matter but some like to do it when they winterize to get all of the used oil out which may contain additional contaminants or be more acidic than new oil and to get this maintance out of the way so when the new season starts they are ready to go.

As for Anti freeze in the lines, I've never even considered it because of where I live (no freezing temps) moreover Yamaha's are self draining and the cooling system is open loop not closed loop.

The zerks are like when to change the oil. If I changed my oil during winterization I'd hit the zerks on the engines and trailer as well and would look to the manual for how much and what kind.
 

subysti

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Always change oil before storing. You want the old oil out and fresh clean oil in. The old oil can be corrosive over s long time if not run. Don't fog through the intake. It can gum up sensors and attacks dirt and dust over time. Spray through plug holes if you do it that way it get burned off then the engine is started and it won't foul your plugs. They say we don't need to run coolant through as the engines are self draining but I always run it through just to be safe. For the cheap cost of the rv antifreeze it's just peace of mind.
 

OperationROL

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Everyone does not agree with storing the boat with a full tank. I use to do that and stopped for 2 reasons. The fuel will expand and spill out the gas vent causing staining if it is too full and also, I can't stand to waste a full tank of gas. I store mine bone empty. I add 2 cans of Seafoam in the spring with my first fill up when I pull her out of storage to get rid of any water that may have condensated in there. This seems to work fine for me.
 

RightStuff

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We live in similar climates (hard freeze and dry in the winter during storage) and here's what I do for each point.

1) I run Marine stabil thru the last month or so of the season, increasing the ratio per the bottle for that last tank for storage.
2) I fog, but know full well it's probably optional for our boats. I have done it thru the throttle body the past few years, but plan on switching to the spark plug holes this year based on what others have said (@subysti mentions it too).
3) Oil change in the fall with Mobile 1 synthetic.
4) Never have done this and don't plan on doing it either. The only thing I do is take a bit of compressed air to the hose ports to push just whatever water I just ran thru while fogging before shutting it down for good for the season. No issues after 3 winters, and we had a couple really cold stretches (-20s).
5) Search the form on this, many topics on the details for this.

A couple other things (more reminders to myself :) ):
  • Remove your battery(s) and bring them inside for storage.
  • Rodent prevention during storage (if needed). I put dryer sheet all over (spots around wires especially) and a couple dishes of Irish Spring soap that I have shaved up with a cheese grater.
  • I also put a couple damp-rid containers just in case there is some humidity that gets into the cover. This is probably overkill with as dry our winters get, but doesn't hurt either for a couple bucks a container.
 

AZDANSX230HO

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I just replied in another thread about a guy wanting to sell his boat during the winter, so I will paste my reply:

I do not get the full blown winterizing that some people do on these boats. On your last outing make sure to put some fuel stabilizer in the tank, top off with fresh fuel, and run the boat so stabilizer is in the fuel system, then blow excess water out by blipping the throttles a few times and you are done. I personally do not feel it is necessary to fog these fuel injected engines, they are internally lubricated by oil already, the fuel is stabilized, the only thing I do as a best practice is change the oil at the end of the season so it's ready for the next season. If fogging makes you feel better to do it go for it, Yamaha makes a few extra bucks selling you fogging oil.

These engines are jet ski engines, very minimal winterization is required compared to inboard/outboard engines where you have to drain the engine block, etc.
 

RightStuff

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@AZDANSX230HO, just out of curiosity, how long does your boat stay in storage down in AZ? I agree that fogging is really optional, but makes me think if the length of the engine sitting there would make a difference between reg. engine oil lubrication and fogging oil for longer storage?
 

Mainah

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@AZDANSX230HO - Very interesting perspective. I am about to start on my winterization. I don't want to do more than I have to. I already have fuel stabilizer run through the system and have a nearly full tank of gas. My plan for the engines was to do the antifreeze thing using a portable sprinkler pump with a suction pickup, then fog. I would be interested to know who else follows your line of thinking and lives in a climate where the boat is stored for 7 months while experience many freeze thaw cycles.

My current winterization plan

  • Remove all life jackets, towels, wakeboard, tubs, fenders, lines, coolers, tools, etc
  • Wash
  • Dry
  • Wax
  • Interior cleaning and conditioning
  • Oil change already done
  • Grease
  • Antifreeze in cooling lines and shower
  • Fog
  • Remove batteries and put on maintainer
  • Put in the back yard (won't fit in the garage) wood under tires and blocked up to remove weight from tires, cover tires/wheels
  • place damp rid containers
  • Have it professionally wrapped (my wrapping guy comes to me)
 

AZDANSX230HO

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@AZDANSX230HO, just out of curiosity, how long does your boat stay in storage down in AZ? I agree that fogging is really optional, but makes me think if the length of the engine sitting there would make a difference between reg. engine oil lubrication and fogging oil for longer storage?
6 Months typically, I live in the mountains of Arizona at about 5300 Ft Elevation, we get snow and cold here. The only thing that could cause an issue would be moisture or condensation inside the cylinders, which should not be there.
 

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If kxcam in Kamloops Alberta and stores his boat outside hasn't used anti freeze in 7 years I don't think anyone in the US needs to worry about it,
 

ncnmra

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Thanks guys. For the most part, and since all of the methods and opinions have been around for some time it sounds like they are all valid and acceptable. Sounds like antifreeze is a peace of mind thing only, still debating that one.

I have conceded that changing the oil now is better. I'm confused on the proper weight though. I will be using conventional vs synthetic. 10W-30 or 10W-40? The owners and service manual state 10W-30, but I think Yamaha later changed the spec? I can get both, and they cost the same. The 10W-40 has a picture of a jet boat on it ;)
 

Mainah

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It is always great to get other peoples opinions. I am a big fan of tried and true techniques but also like to understand the why behind them. From my understanding there are some RV antifreeze that have rust inhibitors. It is also my understanding that fogging oil leaves a film that regular oil does not. Also if using fogging oil as directed it should do a better job of protecting the top side of the cylinder, piston, and rings if I am not over thinking it. Is any of the above untrue? Is the benefit enough to make a difference visible to the naked eye? Was there not a lubricant's guy on this forum at one point that may be able to chime in? What is in the tech yamaha manual? I would love to save time and money if it is all snake oil.
 

ncnmra

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Everyone does not agree with storing the boat with a full tank. I use to do that and stopped for 2 reasons. The fuel will expand and spill out the gas vent causing staining if it is too full and also, I can't stand to waste a full tank of gas. I store mine bone empty. I add 2 cans of Seafoam in the spring with my first fill up when I pull her out of storage to get rid of any water that may have condensated in there. This seems to work fine for me.
I don't really understand either reason. Why would it expand to that degree? If I fill up at the end of the season (relatively warm still), it sits in the cold for the winter, and then pull it out when it is similar temperature, I don't really see an issue here. Secondly, if I put in fuel stabilizer, why would it be a waste of a full tank? Condensation in the tank is my biggest concern, and that is mitigated more so in my view if it is full. I intended to put in 91, as that is ethanol free here (I have done so a few times in lieu of 87 with 10%).
 

Joe Hellaby

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I was always told to leave the gas tank full for long term storage (with stabilizer). For boats, cars, tractors, etc. If tank is left empty, seals and rings could dry out and crack.
 

ncnmra

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It is always great to get other peoples opinions. I am a big fan of tried and true techniques but also like to understand the why behind them. From my understanding there are some RV antifreeze that have rust inhibitors. It is also my understanding that fogging oil leaves a film that regular oil does not. Also if using fogging oil as directed it should do a better job of protecting the top side of the cylinder, piston, and rings if I am not over thinking it. Is any of the above untrue? Is the benefit enough to make a difference visible to the naked eye? Was there not a lubricant's guy on this forum at one point that may be able to chime in? What is in the tech yamaha manual? I would love to save time and money if it is all snake oil.
Yamaha contradicts itself too. The owners manual says to add fogging oil to the intake with the engine off and then run the engine. Then there is a TSB that says spray into the intake with the engine running, etc. Same thing with oil: 10W-30 vs 10W-40. I guess the specs and recommendations changed.
 

Mainah

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The fogging oil companies recommend to spray into the intake at high idle, kill engine, remove plugs and spray into plug holes, replace plugs, and turn over the engine a few times without starting. That last part is easy as you can just remove the lanyard and bump the engines with the keys.

I highly recommend keeping the fuel tank near full. There is a decent amount of greenhouse effect condensation that can build up in a fuel tank over many months with large temperature swings. Less air volume in the tank equals less condensation. I keep all my motorized stuff including cars and trucks with a full tank as much as possible. now lets look at the near empty theory and think about what percentage of water to fuel ends up in the bottom of the tank then think of what happens if you dribble a bit of gas on top water. The higher water content gas stays at the bottom of the tank and will be the first thing to hit your engines. There is the bad gas debate but I would rather have 50 gallons of 7 month old stabilized gas run through my engines than even 1 oz of water. I also buy good batteries (biggest AGM that fits) and replace before needed. All my stuff starts first try even sitting in -20 temps for days.

I am still not sold on real world vs theoretical benefits of fogging oil or antifreeze but until I believe there really aren't any I am in the tired and true camp and will do it anyway.
 

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what fuel stabilizer do you guys recommend?
 

ncnmra

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I seem to remember reading a thread where a members engine messed up. After pulling the engine and broken down it was a valve with rust on it that was sticking open. Wouldn't the fogging oil used regularly HELP to prevent issues like this. Again is said HELP! HELP by coating with the fogging oil.

...

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