winterizing a volvo IO without removing drainplugs...


Old 10-14-09, 01:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: michigan
Posts: 2
winterizing a volvo IO without removing drainplugs...

I read the great thread on winterizing an IO but I keep my boat stored indoors and do not want to go thru the process of tinkering with drainplugs. There is a separate hose on a volvo penta for engine flushing. Can I just pour antifreeze into this tube and start the engine and let it circulate until it starts coming out the exhaust? Does it matter if I pour it in or should I run a hose to a 5 gallon bucket with antifreeze in it and let it suck it up?
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Old 10-14-09, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montgomery MN
Posts: 541
I think that thread makes it sound a little harder than it is. getting the water out is critical if not it will cost you thousands in the spring. Even if a person keeps it in a heated shop, if the door gets left open, power goes out or heater malfunction it will cost thousands.
Last year I replaced about 30 engines from freeze damage some were in a heated shop, some were winterized wrong, and some were just left. This is one area you don't want to skimp.
I'm saying this not just to you Manatoba but to everyone else that reads this.

Ok that being said It's something just about anyone can do it just takes time.

I have been at shops that do it both ways draining and "pickling". If it were up to me I will drain a block before pickling it's faster. v6 and v8 engines have 4 plugs and 3 hoses to disconect.

The proper way to pickle a motor is to run it on biodegratable antifreeze untill it reaches full operating temp then I fog them so it runs for about 5 min after the thermostat opens. Any shorter and the block could still have water in it.
You can't pore it in any hoses and get it in the block.

What motor is it? I can walk you through everything. Our shop has done 400 this year already so I can and do, do it in my sleep.
Sorry I got a little long winded.
Old 10-15-09, 06:39 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: michigan
Posts: 2
I have a 4.3 GL on a Monterey 18footer. I would like to stay away from working on the drainplugs because they are not easily accessable. I also thought I could put ear muffs around the intake of the lower drive unit and feed a hose into a 5 gallon bucket of antifreeze, start engine, and wait until it sucks it up, but I get the feeling that may not work. I would gladly like your suggestion on how to approach this winterization project, for this year and many more to come.
Old 10-15-09, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Sucking antifreeze through a bucket with muffs works beautifully if the engine has a closed cooling system with a heat exchanger. All you need is about a gallon to clear out the fresh-water side of the system. (The engine's antifreeze is already in place and will protect it.)

On my Merc with closed cooling, all I ever did was pull the hose off the top of the oil cooler and dump the anti-freeze in until I saw it come out the through-prop exhaust. Done.

OTOH if it's fresh-water cooled the thermostat will prevent anything from circulating through the engine. You'll suck up gallon after gallon of antifreeze ( $$$ ) while your engine heats up enough to open the thermostat.

You could pull the thermostat, but I find it a whole lot easier to use a mirror to see what I'm doing to remove the plugs (or in my case, open the petcocks). From there, as samauri said, it's just a matter of pulling some hoses and using a funnel to pour in the antifreeze. Seriously, it's a 20-minute job tops.
Old 10-15-09, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 628

Also make shure any other equip. is drained or winterized,oil cooler power steering cooler, make shure all the overboards are open. I think I am going to make myself a checklist.
Old 10-15-09, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montgomery MN
Posts: 541
I don't know how many gallons it takes to get up to operating temp but I would guess over 50. We have a 55 gallon drum on a cart with a baison that goes under the back of the boat to catch the water as it comes out. There is a pump in the baison up to the drum and another pump from the drum to the muffs. We run the engine for about 15- 20 min or untill I see the temp gauge raise then fall after the thermostat opens.

In your case with the 4.3 there are 4 9/16 plugs. There are 2 in the middle of the block one each side and 2 in the center of the exhaust manifolds. Remove them completley and after the water is done draining use a wire and push it through the hole to be shure there isn't any sand blocking the water from draining.
After that there are 3 hoses to drain. Your seawater pump is mounted to the front of the motor, it has 2 hoses remove them. There might be a large plastic zip tie holding the hoses together from when they assemble the motors removing it will make removing the hoses easier. One should have a white line from the hose to the pump if not you might want to mark them as the hoses can be switched so it won't pump water in the spring.
The next hose is the large hose from your circulation pump remove one end and drain.
If it's a 2006 or newer there is a square pipe plug on the front of the intake manifold to the left of the thermostat housing remove that and drain the intake. The older intakes were self draining.
I don't use any antifreeze if I drain the block and hoses.

And like Sidney said if you have a on board water system I just run the sink untill water stops. Then we use rv antifreeze and run all the faucets till you see pink.

It might take the better part of a day to do but your saving yourself about $400. Although you take the responsibility of a cracked block.

Good luck, if you have other questions we are here to help.Beer 4U2
Old 10-29-09, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 49

This is just what works for me everytime no problems and I store my boat outside in Pa. where it gets below 0 alot. I put on the muffs then connect the garden hose to my water spigot start the engine making sure the water is turned on before starting then I bring it up to opperating temp to open thermostat turn off engine and water then I have a 5 gallon bucket with a valve installed at the bottom I put in 3 gal full strenght anti freeze and 1 gal of water have it ready on the swim platform above water intake switch to short hose from bucket to muffs open valve start engine run out bucket full of anti freeze you should see pure anti freeze comming out of exhaust, done. I like the anti freeze in the block no just draining by removing plugs the antifreeze helps protect internal parts. Just my way and works for me everytime. John
Old 10-30-09, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Be careful of that. Depending on how cold the antifreeze is the thermostat could close. You'll still see it come out of the exhaust because it's routed through the bypass to the exhaust riser. You may want to pull the thermostat before you winterize. A new gasket is cheap compared to a $5,000 block.
Old 01-19-10, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: northern ny
Posts: 19
Those Plugs Shouldn't Be That Hard To Get To

Popping those drains really is something that needs doing. They shouldn't be that hard if you slide down there and get cozy. They are not hard to relocate and don't easily lend themselves to cross threading either. The plastic ones are a lot easier to deal with too. The ones on the side lower section of the block usually just back off to release the water but it's far better to remove them to let the rust, sand and sediment to drain out. Running a short piece of wire in and out of the holes on the lower block is a good idea to get it draining freely.
If you can't physically do this for some reason you really should hire it done. Some boats have the engine compartment cover as part of the floor which is a real PITA. They are nearly impossible to work on and I have one. I just cut my engine cover off flush with the deck and put a few small bracket to hold it in place so now it is removable. Now I can just lay there next to it and it is easy to do most everything to. It's just so easy to pop the drains, replace then pull the lower hoses as directed per engine, replace then open one of the top hoses and dump in some antifreeze mix. It's really the best insurance and since you have a VOLVO you are going to pay double for everything if you break something from a freeze up. Sooner or later something is going to happen to drop that temperature below 32 F for a few hours, then the cryin will start.

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