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Old 24-05-2021, 16:50   #1
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Post-winterization and seasonal check on 744APEPWS (OMC KC 454)


As we move into the second season of our boat this is the first post winterizing and season start we are doing and I'm not much very familiar with this engine and wondering if anyone has any items that should definitely be checked before starting the engine back up both after a winterizing and at the start of a new season?
Also when on topic, does any one know if it's possible to separate the starter from the alternator for a multi-battery setup (trying to figure out this at the moment too), looking to have the starter directly off the starter battery but the alternator on the house with a ACR in the between, currently only have one cable from the engine to battery at the moment.


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Old 25-05-2021, 05:22   #2
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Re: Post-winterization and seasonal check on 744APEPWS (OMC KC 454)

Phil, I'm having to do some wading to figure out the issues here. Bear with me.

OK, you're running a 454 gasoline engine. Check the oil, check the battery, check the fuel, check the coolant, pull it through a few times, start it gently so the oil can catch up with you. If you did not stabilize the gas last fall, it may not be volatile enough to start, and you will need to clean it out and refill. Once started, check coolant flow and oil pressure, and monitor heat rise in the coolant.

Batteries. They need charging and then testing. An old fashioned resistance tester for $25 will help, and there are newer electronic testers such as this one, which I use:

I don't know what differences there are between your house bank and your starter battery. In the general case, there is worth in keeping them separate for charging, while retaining the ability to start the engine from the house bank if necessary. Jumper cables will do this, or even just a cable, since the negatives are common already. If there are differences in the starter battery and the house bank, such that they have different charging routines, then separate alternators make sense. If not, or you are willing to live with the mild abuse of your batteries, then charge them together but separate them for starting, and for that matter separate them once the starter battery is full so house use doesn't drag it down. You don't want to wake up in the morning with a totally flat system. Spoils your coffee and your day.
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
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Old 25-05-2021, 05:36   #3
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Re: Post-winterization and seasonal check on 744APEPWS (OMC KC 454)

For house charging, let the alternator charge the start battery. Then ACR to charge the house. Gas engines need power to run, so making sure the start battery is always kept topped off is critical. If you go to house, then ACR to start, if the house battery is low, you could potentially be drawing down the start battery for a while before the ACR engages after start. I have mine configured with alternators to start batteries and ACRs to house, but with an additional interlock on the ACRs to the ignitions (so the ACRs are disabled when the engines are off and shore / generator charging remains independent for each battery bank).

For spring startup, with my 454s, the procedure after launch is as follows: check all fluids, open seacocks, bleed air out of strainers. Crank for 2 - 3 seconds to prime the carbs (mechanical fuel pumps), then normal cold start procedure (3 pumps on the throttle, leave open slightly, crank engine). Once it fires, get it to ~1200 rpm, confirm water flow and wait for the smoke to clear from the fogging oil burning off. Once water flow is confirmed, I repeat for the other engine.

If we're not in a rush to get out of the lift pit, I'll let them warm up at high idle to full coolant temp to make sure the thermostats open, confirm all seems good and no leaks, then off we go. Normally during the season once the temp gauges clear the 120 marks (1 - 2 minutes depending on starting temperature) I'll idle them down, confirm good idle and depart.
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