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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looks like we have some freezing temps coming up the next few days depending on where you live. Remember to put your motor leg down. I usually put a little rv antifreeze in my bilge and turn on the pump for a second and also put a hose and funnel on my livewell intake and dump a little rv antifreeze in and turn the pump on till a little goes into live and dump a little down the livewell drain. Maybe that's going beyond what's needed but only takes 10 minutes and will help avoid the famed cracked livewell hose. Also a good idea is to just momentarily open your lower unit oil drain plug and make sure no water got in there and mixed with your oil (milky), heard if you have water in there it could crack the case, never knew anyone that it happened to but heard it can happen. If anyone has other things for cold weather prep chime in....
 

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I would say, add stability to the gas unless your planning on running it all out of the tank. I for one am not ready to give up on the season just yet.but thanks for the reminders and advice
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm hoping to continue as well lmac, at least for a while but I had a little time so I just did that. When I button her up for good I fill the tank and run stabilizer as you suggest. Forgot to mention that, thanks. I don't mind going out when it's cold but I hate cold and wind or cold and rain. Wishing us some more days out on the boat! Pretty soon a thermos of soup and a thermos of coffee will taste awfully good out there.....:)
 

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Disconnect hoses from your house too...
 

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Disconnect hoses from your house too...
Make sure your Vexilar (or ice fishing sonar units) batteries are charged and your auger blades are sharp.:biggrin1:>:D:biggrin1:
 

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I ran my boat all winter, a bit less in jan and feb I did crack 3 lower units after picking up line in my seals the first lower cost 1500 the 2nd cost 2250 the third was where it could be welded it now runs about 3500 to replace a lower. I always put a heat lamp on my lower at home the first one cracked on my way home from the lake in feb. the 3rd one cracked in oct on one cold night that I didn't put the heat lamp on it. you can never tell when you might pick up line in your seals. once canon marine put a new boat on the lake to show a guy his new boat on the water, they were out for about 15 minutes. when they got the boat back to the store Dave was going to change the prop to a better pitch, when took it off he noticed a tag end of line in the seal, in that little time the lower unit was full of water. he went over a flat that was about 15 feet deep and picked the line up that someone had lost on a snag. so take the time to check for water often if you use your boat all year if you don't keep it in a heated garage, and if you do , wipe the lower unit with a paper towel when you get home in case it froze on the way home from the lake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Zman, took care of the boat earlier today, just read your reminder about house hoses, just went out and unhooked them. You can see where my priorities are...:) Thanks.
Walleye Seeker, appreciate you sharing your past experience on the lower units, sounds like they need even more attention than I initially thought because I do store mine outside. I plan on draining and refilling in another month or so as well.
 

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Looks like we have some freezing temps coming up the next few days depending on where you live. Remember to put your motor leg down. I usually put a little rv antifreeze in my bilge and turn on the pump for a second and also put a hose and funnel on my livewell intake and dump a little rv antifreeze in and turn the pump on till a little goes into live and dump a little down the livewell drain. Maybe that's going beyond what's needed but only takes 10 minutes and will help avoid the famed cracked livewell hose. Also a good idea is to just momentarily open your lower unit oil drain plug and make sure no water got in there and mixed with your oil (milky), heard if you have water in there it could crack the case, never knew anyone that it happened to but heard it can happen. If anyone has other things for cold weather prep chime in....
I would state, and dependability to the gas unless you're anticipating running everything out of the tank. I most definitely am not prepared to abandon the season just yet.but a debt of gratitude is in order for the updates and exhortation:cool:
 

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Make sure your Vexilar (or ice fishing sonar units) batteries are charged and your auger blades are sharp.:biggrin1:>:D:biggrin1:
For not having one you are such a DICK!
 

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I ran my boat all winter, a bit less in jan and feb I did crack 3 lower units after picking up line in my seals the first lower cost 1500 the 2nd cost 2250 the third was where it could be welded it now runs about 3500 to replace a lower. I always put a heat lamp on my lower at home the first one cracked on my way home from the lake in feb. the 3rd one cracked in oct on one cold night that I didn't put the heat lamp on it. you can never tell when you might pick up line in your seals. once canon marine put a new boat on the lake to show a guy his new boat on the water, they were out for about 15 minutes. when they got the boat back to the store Dave was going to change the prop to a better pitch, when took it off he noticed a tag end of line in the seal, in that little time the lower unit was full of water. he went over a flat that was about 15 feet deep and picked the line up that someone had lost on a snag. so take the time to check for water often if you use your boat all year if you don't keep it in a heated garage, and if you do , wipe the lower unit with a paper towel when you get home in case it froze on the way home from the lake.
3 lower units.
Pulling a prop to check for line is easy.
 

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3 lower units.
Pulling a prop to check for line is easy.
you would need to do that every time you use your boat all year long, also if the line is good it will cut your seal to let water in and no line will show till your unit is trash. if it is old line it may just pull inside and wrap up in your gears, and maybe not cut your seals you never know
 

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I guess I'm lucky.
Never had a lower unit seal go bad or freeze.
I do check it though, not every time it's used.
 

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So, if you do get line in and it compromises the seals, wouldn't you see the leaking fluid where you park/store the boat?

Honest question since I also have been a boat owner for years and never had a problem like this.

My boats are stored in a heated garage, but I still pull my Lund through freezing temps that could cause a problem.


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I had a bad shift shaft seal in the lower unit. When I changed it the L.U was full of water. Glad I fixed it before it got cold. If you see oil leaking out, water is getting in. Also good practice to changed the crush washers on the lower unit plugs every time you change oil. They are supposedly a big cause of the water leaks. They are only designed to be crushed once
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Bman, I had it happen once on my other boat where I picked up some line (painfully enough it was my own line) and it did leak just a little and I had to change the seal. Depending on the the amount of line you pick up it could take a little while before it causes a leak. What happens is it wraps on the output shaft and can rub against the seal until its drawn in and wears the rubber from the seal against the shaft and then it will leak and yes sometime you will see it if it leaks enough. I don't pull my prop every time to check but when I occasionally switch props I check it. If you have water in your gear case it's real obvious the gear oil will be milky looking having mixed with the oil. It will usually still lubricate your gears but it needs to be addresses as soon as reasonably possible. Keep in mind if it is milky and water has entered the gear case this is where the cracking housing can happen. Not totally positive but I think there's also another possible way for water to get in the case and that's from the top thru water pump area seals. At any rate it's good to occasionally check your gear case oil.
 

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My 2002 125 hp Merc. has the original prop shaft seal.
The lower unit wasn't touched until 2 or 3 years ago when I put in an impeller, shift shaft seal. It didn't leak but I figured it was time to replace the original impeller.

Before winter storage, I pull the lower unit drain plug to check for water. I just let a small amount run out into a pan then put the plug back in. If there is no discoloration to the gear lube, no water.

I don't change my lower unit gear lube yearly because I figure the lower unit compares to the differential on a vehicle. Same principal, gears meshed to a shaft but the lower unit gears are kept cooler due to being submerged in cool water. Your vehicle differential will get warmer from ambient heat, towing if it's a truck. How many of you change the fluid in your differential regularly?

I check the color of the gear lube when I pull the plug before winter storage and the magnet on the plug for metal. On average my gear lube gets changed every 3 or 4 years.
 

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So, if you do get line in and it compromises the seals, wouldn't you see the leaking fluid where you park/store the boat?

Honest question since I also have been a boat owner for years and never had a problem like this.

My boats are stored in a heated garage, but I still pull my Lund through freezing temps that could cause a problem.


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Not sure if the lower unit operates under negative pressure. If it does, it would be possible to draw in water thru a small leak but not allow oil to leak while not in use.
 

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if you take a paper towel and wipe the lower unit and see no oil you are good, sometimes the leak will be on the bottom where it is hard to see you can get leaks at your oil plugs, if you do your own oil changes you should also get a pressure gauge and the lower should hold 8 lbs. of pressure for a few minutes if the pressure drops at all you need to change the seals. it is also possible for line to get pulled in and pulled right back out andthen a small leak can happen

another thing that can ruin a motor is starting it with out the motor being in the water, if the motor has been sitting more than a week be sure it is down before turning the key. what happens is the impeller gets stuck to the housing and even one revolution can break off a blade of the impeller and your power head can get over heated I can tell you that cost more than a lower unit.
 

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An exceptionally shrewd companion articulated never more genuine words to me...When you're excessively old, making it impossible to angle anymore...What would you rather have?... Recollections of the fish you once caught...or the companions you made while angling?
-----------------------------------
Williamg
 
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