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Old 18-12-2013, 20:22   #1
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Flush your outboard?

I have a 9.9 hp suzuki 2 stroke outboard. The literature says I should flush cooling system with fresh water after every use. Flushing this motor is not easy, and finding fresh water can be a challenge too. How often do you flush? Am I ruining my motor if I do it once a month?
Thanks, Tom
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Old 18-12-2013, 20:32   #2
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Re: Flush your outboard?

My Merc 2 stroke 15hp never got flushed for the 2 years I used it while cruising the Caribbean. It just wasn't practical because it was being used almost everyday. I sold it several years later and it was running fine with original impeller. I flush the outboard I have now with water and Salt Away if its going to be stored unused for more than a month.
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Old 18-12-2013, 20:40   #3
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Re: Flush your outboard?

the idea is to get salt deposits out of the cooling passages. whenever you can you should also hose down the whole engine with fresh water.

i run mine in a barrel whenever i can. some places have barrels set up for just that purpose. easy if it's a small dinghy motor, but with yours it's probably more practical to put it on a motor stand and either fit it with flushing 'ears' or a large pail of water with a hose running into it.

i do it as often as i can whenever i have the opportunity....
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Old 18-12-2013, 21:10   #4
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Re: Flush your outboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kashmir cat View Post
I flush the outboard I have now with water and Salt Away if its going to be stored unused for more than a month.
I second that! But with a two week maintenance time factor.
Leaving an out board submerged in saltwater is the big killer. When an out board is pulled out of the water, only traces of water is left and with the coating on the aluminum is doesn't get to it much.

Now an older out board where the coating is getting weak, I'd flush often if I were not using on a daily basis.

And pulling the cover and mist it all over with WD-40 keeps the thing from getting crusty.
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Old 18-12-2013, 21:15   #5
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Re: Flush your outboard?

Kashmir & Onestep,
Flush ears don't work on my motor. I will be using a bag around the lower end to contain a pool of fresh water. I have access to fresh water now for first time in 3 weeks and will give it my best effort tomorrow. I should be able to manage this flush once a month or so, but not "after every use".
Thanks for your comments.
Tom
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Old 18-12-2013, 21:36   #6
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Re: Flush your outboard?

Find yourself a plastic bucket that'll fit under the lower end. You can pour a little Salt Away in just before the motor runs out of fuel.

With the 10% ethanal in gas these days it's not good to store fuel in the carb anymore. Ethanal retains water, which can corrode aluminum parts/jet in the carb if sitting too long.
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Old 18-12-2013, 21:50   #7
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Re: Flush your outboard?

delmarrey, I've been trying to find a bucket that will fit the lower end and also fit in my lazarette. But tomorrow I'm going to try a large plastic bag. Thanks for your input. Tom
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Old 18-12-2013, 21:55   #8
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Re: Flush your outboard?

Just make sure you keep it extra full and away from the inlet.
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Old 19-12-2013, 05:29   #9
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Re: Flush your outboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom1340 View Post
Kashmir & Onestep,
Flush ears don't work on my motor. I will be using a bag around the lower end to contain a pool of fresh water. I have access to fresh water now for first time in 3 weeks and will give it my best effort tomorrow. I should be able to manage this flush once a month or so, but not "after every use".
Thanks for your comments.
Tom

Some outboards have a fitting where you can attach a garden hose. Our flush fitting was not included with the motor when we purchased it new; no clue why not... but in any case, the manual described it, I bought one, works easily. Even so, we still don't flush after every use; OTOH, the Chesapeake is slightly more benign than south Florida for salt content.

-Chris
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Old 19-12-2013, 05:45   #10
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Re: Flush your outboard?

I have owned dozens of outboard engines over the years and have NEVER flushed an engine. This said I have never had a single metal fatigue failure as a result. The internal coatings on the raw water passages are made to withstand the prolonged exposure to saltwater. The only extremely bad pitting and corrosion I have seen has been on Yamaha engines, 10+ years old with thousands of hours use, Yamaha uses recycled aluminum for their engine blocks and it degrades much faster than the new metal used by all the other manufacturers. Flushing is going to be the least of your problems over the life of an engine.
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Old 19-12-2013, 06:20   #11
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Re: Flush your outboard?

We flushed our outboards (which are our primary mechanical propulsion) by going up the locks to Lake Gatun.

Admittedly, this is expensive.... but worth it.
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Old 19-12-2013, 06:42   #12
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Re: Flush your outboard?

Total waste of time! My Yamaha is going on 10 years now and has never been flushed, it lives in salt water and has no corrosion. The most important thing is to use the proper lube on the moving controls, particularly the steering neck and steering cable if you have one. Not that we have the fresh water to waste. It gets rinsed when it rains!
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Old 19-12-2013, 09:05   #13
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Re: Flush your outboard?

You will never meet a professional outboard mechanic who does not recommend flushing your outboard after every use. I earn my living with an outboard motor and you'd better believe it gets flushed every single day.

10 years without flushing? You gotta wonder what kind of shape the rest of this guy's gear is in.
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Old 19-12-2013, 09:22   #14
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Re: Flush your outboard?

I've had my Mercury 5 HP 4 stroke for 2 years. I use this engine to push my 6600lb Bristol 27 Sailboat. I have flushed the engine once using the little hose thingy.

Usually it just stays hooked on the bracket. I plan on changing the oil this year, and am debating on whether to change the impeller. I do have a spare impeller onboard.

Btw, some car manufacturers demand that you change the oil every 12,000 miles to keep the thing in warranty. Remember when it used to be every 3,000. Some folks still believe that you must change your oil every 3,000 miles.
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Old 19-12-2013, 09:31   #15
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Re: Flush your outboard?

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
You will never meet a professional outboard mechanic who does not recommend flushing your outboard after every use. I earn my living with an outboard motor and you'd better believe it gets flushed every single day.

10 years without flushing? You gotta wonder what kind of shape the rest of this guy's gear is in.


We flush ours when ever possible, and definitely prior to storage. We also run all the fuel out of the carb prior to storage. Outboards are expensive.
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