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Old 31-07-2010, 04:47   #1
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Outboard Engine Maintenance

I have a new o/b motor. The manual says to flush the engine with fresh water after use, but my boat is moored, and not in a slip, where I would have access to fresh water. The boat is in salt water. What am I suppose to do for proper maintenance?
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Old 31-07-2010, 05:20   #2
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Originally Posted by mpc7002 View Post
I have a new o/b motor. The manual says to flush the engine with fresh water after use, but my boat is moored, and not in a slip, where I would have access to fresh water. The boat is in salt water. What am I suppose to do for proper maintenance?
What size motor, can you lift so as to connect fresh water supply to flush the salt out???
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Old 31-07-2010, 09:53   #3
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It's a Tohatsu 6hp. The boat is moored is salt water, with no fresh water services near.
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Old 31-07-2010, 10:19   #4
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I don't know anyone who flushes their engine every time they use it. I grew up running a whaler with a 40 hp outboard daily; it got flushed at the end of the season. Most dinghy outboards run for years only getting flushed during major maintenance, assuming it's run regularly. I expect the worst would be to use it in salt water, pull it for extended storage, and not flush it.
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Old 31-07-2010, 12:48   #5
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Flushing helps keep the water cooling system, impeller and pump from getting clogged up with salt deposits. These don't build up right away, but over time can build up and clog the cooling system which in turn can cause damage to the motor. If the motor is run often the chance of this build up is much less then say you run it once a week, let it dry out. Weekend boaters come to mind. We always flushed the motor when we got home, but the boat would sit for a week or more before we went out again.

As long as you see water being pumped through the tell tail then you are fine, if this stops or starts to sputter you could have a blockage.

Flushing is much easier to do then clean up salt build up, but as you said you don't have access to fresh water. Your motor is small, I would pull it every 6 months or so and have it flushed.

You can also rig a 5 gallon bucket with a hose attachment and value in the bottom running to a set of muffs on the outboard, fill the bucket with fresh water, hook the hose up open the value, start the motor out of the water, it doesn't need to run long to flush out the lines.
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Old 31-07-2010, 16:09   #6
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You can buy salt buster chemicals that you mix with water. The combination is run through the cooling system to dissolve and remove the salt accumulation. If you have the flushing ears (? that's what I call them) you can rig up a 5gal bucket to flush the system.

I'd flush depending on how often you use the motor. I'd recommend it at least at the end of the season. Other than that, I tend to take the top off once a month, look things over, and give the contents a good spraying with WD-40 or some spray that'll protect the innards as well. An external wash is also a good thing to do on a regular basis.
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