Google+

Freshwater Flushing Adds Years to the Life of an Outboard

 

Freshwater Flushing Adds Years to the Life of an Outboard

 

Most of us take good care of our marine equipment. We wash and wax our boats and outboards, change the oil and oil filter regularly, and replace the fuel filters, but what about your outboard’s cooling system. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked in a maintenance regimen.

BoatersLogVol5No2FreshwaterFlush041113image5

During the course of normal use, the water pump can ingest mud, sand, and silt, which then flows through the engine. Marine growth can also occur behind the inlet screens interrupting the flow of water to the engine.  Over time, debris can accumulate in the outboard’s cooling passages. This build up can damage the water pump’s rubber impeller and plastic housing.  Eventually, the buildup can also restrict the amount of water available to the engine resulting in poor cooling, which will damage the engine. It may even promote corrosion in the exhaust system because increased engine temperatures—along with the effects of using ethanol blended fuels—can cause increased exhaust temperatures.

 

Freshwater Flushing Facts 

The outboard should be flushed after every use in salt or dirty water. Freshwater flushing with clean water will dislodge most contaminants (sand, silt, mud, etc.) and force them out of the passages in the cooling system. Perhaps even more importantly, flushing removes salt buildup, which can lead to poor cooling as well as corrosion of the engine block and midsection.

 

Generically speaking, there are three methods to flush an outboard: using a flush bag, flush muffs or the freshwater flushing attachment built into the outboard.

 

Flush Bag Method

BoatersLogVol5No2FreshwaterFlush041113image1

What:  A flush bag is a sturdy collapsible bag that fits under the lower unit of the outboard and fills with water.  Submerging the gearcase allows the motor to take in cooling water from the inlet screens and return it to the bag through the propeller. There are different bag designs; some are designed to be used with the boat moored.

 

Where: Use the Flush Bag method with the boat on a trailer or the boat moored. It requires running the engine (but only after the bag is filled with water). Outboards with more than one inlet on each side of the lower unit should be flushed using this method.

 

How:

  • Trim the outboard to the vertical position
  • Remove the propeller
  • Screw the garden hose into the connector on the bag and fill the bag
  • Make sure the water level is as high as possible above the cooling water inlets on the lower unit. This will assure that the water pump is completely submerged
  • Start the outboard and set the throttle to no more than a fast idle (800-900 RPM max)
  • Watch for water coming out of the pilot tube at the lower rear of the cowling. Run the engine for 10-15 minutes. Note: it may take 20–30 seconds to fill the water passages before water will exit the pilot tube
  • Stop the engine and turn off the faucet
  • Never run the engine without cooling water
  • Turn the freshwater on before starting the engine; turn the water off after stopping the engine
  • Add water to the flush bag while the motor is running to maintain the maximum water level
  • Do not leave the outboard unattended while running

 

Flush Muff Method 

(For models with single inlet lower units)

BoatersLogVol5No2FreshwaterFlush041113image2

What: Flush muffs are rubber cups that fit over the water inlet on the gearcase (one of the cups has a hose fitting). They require running the engine (but only after the garden hose is in place and water running).

 

Where: Best done with the boat on a trailer or a lift, completely out of the water.

 

How: 

  • Trim the outboard to the vertical position
  • Remove the propeller
  • Screw the garden hose onto the flush muff connector
  • Place the flush muffs over the water inlets on gearcase
  • Turn the water on slowly, until you can see a bit of water leaking from around the flush muff rubber cups
  • Check to ensure the rubber cups are still in place over the inlets
  • Start the outboard and set the throttle to no more than a fast idle (800-900 RPM max)
  • Watch for water coming out of the pilot tube at the lower rear of the cowling. Increase the water flow, if necessary, to maintain a flow of water    from the pilot tube. Note: it may take 20–30 seconds to fill the water passages before water will exit the pilot tube
  • There should be some water exiting the back of the gearcase, through the exhaust also
  • Run the engine for 10-15 minutes
  • Stop the engine and turn off the faucet

 

Never run the engine without cooling water. Turn the freshwater on before starting the engine; turn the water off after stopping the engine. Running the outboard with little or no cooling water will cause expensive overheating damage in a very short time. Don’t rev the engine while using flush muffs, because there isn’t enough water flow/pressure to sufficiently cool the engine at high rpm.

 

Built-In Flushing Device

BoatersLogVol5No2FreshwaterFlush041113image4

What: A built-in flushing device is a hose fitting, usually located near the lower rear cowling.  Do not run the engine during this procedure.

 

Where: An outboard can be flushed with the boat on a lift or in the water; it works best if you can trim the engine up so the gearcase is out of the water.

 

How: 

  • Connect a garden hose to the outboard’s flushing device fitting
  • Turn on the faucet; let freshwater run through the outboard for 10-15 minutes
  • Turn off the faucet; disconnect
  • Put the cap back on engine’s flush fitting (per owner’s manual)

 

Which Method to Use 

There is no single best method for flushing an outboard motor. There are only best methods to suit the circumstances. For example, the flush attachment method is the easiest and quickest for a boat that is moored, while the flush bag method is particularly useful on motors with multiple inlets per side. In addition, the flush muff method and bag method are the only methods to use when fogging the engine for winter storage.

 

Testing has shown that even the flush attachment method allows water to pass into the cylinder head passages, in spite of the fact that the thermostat does not fully open. This means that there is no disadvantage to using the flush attachment.

 

While conventional wisdom might indicate there is some benefit to flushing with the engine running—such as with flush muffs or a flush bag—there is no clear data to indicate this is true.

 

What’s important is to in all cases, regularly check to see that water inlet screens on the lower unit are clear and clean. Flushing your outboard with freshwater on a regular basis can go a long way toward extending the outboard’s life span – especially for those who boat in saltwater. Freshwater flushing is easy and cheap, so keep the garden hose handy. Y

 

Original Source: Yamaha Outboards.com

Entertainment

Goofy Spoof of Fifties Sci-Fi Flicks Explores Issue of Race in America

  Destination Planet Negro Film Review by Kam Williams Goofy Spoof of Fifties Sci-Fi Flicks Explores Issue of Race in America It is 1939, and we find a committee of African-American leaders seeking a solution for the "Negro problem." The group agrees that blacks seem permanently relegated to second-class status because of lynchings, Jim Crow segregation and racial discrimination. After dismissing such solutions as emigrating to Europe … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

  From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Haymarket Books Paperback, $17.95 286 pages ISBN: 978-1-60846-562-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Live Longer & Better? U.S.A. Does Not Make the List

  Live Longer & Better? U.S.A. Does Not Make the List by Amy Lignor   We are talking about wellbeing, here. Yes, ours is the country where “streets were paved with gold” and “anyone who has a dream, can make it here.” We have the open rules and laws and kindness to one another, compassion, great workplaces…oh, wait, this list is going on a bit too far now.   The U.S. takes hits for highest heart attacks and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

180CC Adventure Packs Plenty of Punch in a Small Package

  180CC Adventure Packs Plenty of Punch in a Small Package By Ted Lund Looking for big things in small packages to help get your family out on the water this summer? Then you'll definitely want to check out the 180CC Adventure from South Carolina-based boat builder, Tidewater Boats. At 17-foot, 8-inches at the centerline and with a 7-foot, 9-inch beam, the 180CC Adventure feels much bigger — and drier — thanks to its Carolina … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Doctor’s Get Their “Say” About Rio 2016

  The Doctor’s Get Their “Say” About Rio 2016 by Amy Lignor   The news headlines have been constant; the pictures have been awful. There is no way to hide the fact that our men and women athletes will be walking directly into – not to mention, the rest of the world’s athletes who are coming to win their Olympic medals from all corners of the earth – the rapid spread of the Zika virus. Although debates have gone back and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Celebrate 100 Years of the National Park Service

  Celebrate 100 Years of the National Park Service By Burt Carey God bless America, Land that I love,  Stand beside her and guide her  Thru the night with a light from above?    From the mountains, to the prairies,  To the oceans white with foam,  God bless America,  My home, sweet home.  God bless America,  My home, sweet home.   When he wrote the lyrics to God Bless America in 1918 and revised … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Trump Speaks Out About Environment Creating a Lie

  Trump Speaks Out About Environment Creating a Lie by Amy Lignor   As a person who lives in the great Southwest, who is not of Mexican descent—and I say this, because I want no eyes rolling or tongues barking at this article; it is important to note that one and ALL people in the Southwest (if they not already do) than should feel the same—Donald Trump’s recent visit to Albuquerque was a real joke. Do I agree with violent … [Read More its Good for You...]