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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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November 02, 2016

Step-By-Step Winterizing Wizardry for Outboard Engines Part 2

by Bob Banfelder

Continuing from yesterday's November 1st winterizing procedure. As a reminder, I'm using our 90 horsepower Yamaha TXR 4-stroke outboard engine as an overall model.

PHASE THREE: lubrication points, engine fogging procedure, changing spark plugs [if needed], winterizing bilge pump and live-well pump(s)


Items: grease gun & cartridge ~ paper towels & rags ~ proper grease gun fitting(s)

Step 1: Consult your owner's manual for the location of lubrication points.


At which time [if needed] CHANGING of SPARK PLUGS

Items: YAMALUBE Store-Rite Engine Fogging Oil (can with spraying tube ) ~ stepladder ~ WD-40, boat key(s) ~ paper towels ~ rags ~ electric screwdriver & bits ~ Dielectric lubricant ~ Anti-Size lubricant ~ Q-Tips ~ spark plug gap tool ~ 5/8 in. socket wrench with 6 in. extension ~ paper towels ~ vinyl gloves ~ [if needed: four (4) NGK LFR5A-11 spark plugs]

Step 1: With cowling removed, use an electric screwdriver to facilitate the removal of access cover to spark plugs.

Step 2: Carefully remove spark plug boot and spark plug — one at a time so as not to mix up the wiring sequence.

Step 3: If needed, replace spark plugs at that time. I run approximately 200 hours before changing plugs. Consult your owner's manual and gap plugs accordingly. My engine requires a 0.039 – 0.043 gap; I gap at 0.039.

Step 4: Utilizing the can's spraying tube, insert into nozzle then squirt a small amount of fogging oil into each spark plug's chamber. With a gloved finger, smear a small amount of anti-seize lubricant around each spark plug thread. Squeeze a tiny amount of Dielectric lubricant on the head of a Q-Tip and coat the inside of each spark plug boot. Replace plugs. A good estimate of correct torque is ¼ to ½ of a turn past finger tight.

Step 5: Turn the ignition key on then quickly off to crank but not start the engine. If, however, the engine does start, shut it off immediately if not sooner. :o) :o) The fogging oil has now lined the cylinder walls. Yes, you will note some smoke. Not to worry. Lightly spray W-D 40 all around and atop the engine. I said, lightly. Replace the cowling.


Items: -50 degrees RV pink antifreeze ~ extended cup-type toilet plunger

Bilge Pump Procedure:

Step 1: Pour in a half gallon of pink RV antifreeze at anchor well, which runs into bilge (aft) area.

Step 2: Hit the bilge pump switch on console, passing the pink chemical through the discharge fitting. Make sure that the antifreeze discharge is dark pink; not light pink. You will see the discharge change from light pink (because it contains water) to dark pink, meaning that the antifreeze has completely run through the pump, which is now winterized.

Live-well(s) Procedure:

There are several ways to winterize your live-well pump(s). The following is a quick, easy way.

Step 1: Unscrew the pick-up (intake) screened strainer at the stern of the boat then gently place and press the plunger over the opening.

Step 2: Making sure that the live-well's aerator valve is in the open position, have your partner in the boat pour a gallon of pink RV antifreeze down into the live-well then immediately hit the respective aerator switch (forward or aft) on the console as you hold back the flow of fluid at the stern. Yes, some of the antifreeze will spill from around the plunger; however, most of the fluid will be sucked up through the live-well pump and recirculating tubing. When your partner sees the fluid turn from a light pink color to a dark pink color, you're good to go.

PHASE FOUR: changing primary fuel filter element, changing vapor fuel filter [if needed], cleaning and securing the electronics and boat for the season, wash & wax boat, remove batteries


My engine is equipped with a PRIMARY FUEL FILTER ELEMENT that must be changed annually. It is located inside the plastic filter bowl as pictured below on the port (left) side of the engine.

Items: Yamaha Engine's Primary Fuel Filter Element 6D8- WS4A- 002 ~ Yamaha Engine's Primary Fuel Filter Element's O-ring (gasket) ~ 6D8-24564-00 ~ adjustable wrench

Note: My Primary Fuel Filter Element is to be used only in models with the "6D8" mark stamped on the filter housing, not to be used with any other model.

Step 1: With the adjustable wrench, unscrew the PRIMARY FUEL FILTER ELEMENT bowl nut at the top of the unit. This releases the unit from frame and allows you to get a firm grip on the plastic cylinder bowl in order to separate it from its cap by turning the bowl counterclockwise to open. However, there are two wires extending from the base of the plastic Primary Fuel Filter Bowl, which could be precariously twisted. To avoid this, detach the blue clip/wire to the left [shown below], which will prevent the wires from twisting as you remove the bowl from the cap by hand. It is secured tightly, so be careful. Leave gas in bowl.

Step 2: Remove old Primary Fuel Filter Element with its O-ring (fuel filter gasket) from top of unit by gently pulling downward. Replace both new element and O-ring by pushing upward until the element is seated.

Step 3: Close Primary Fuel Filter Element Bowl securely by turning the bowl clockwise, reattach the blue clip/wire, reattach Primary Fuel Filter Bowl to top of unit and tighten down nut with wrench.

From left to right: Primary Fuel Filter Bowl with Element [vertical] & Vapor Fuel Filter [horizontal]


My engine is equipped with a Vapor FUEL FILTER that only gets changed after 800 hours, or unless you see gas within it. It is located horizontally to the starboard (right) side of the Fuel Filter Element Bowl [as shown above].

Items: Yamaha Engine's Vapor Fuel Filter 69J-24502-00 ~ wire cutters ~ adjustable wrench

If the Vapor Fuel Filter needs replacement, use a pair of wire cutters to carefully snip the two cable ties from hoses. Remove hoses from filter. Remove old filter, and snap in new. Reattach hoses and, obviously, new cable ties.


Items: damp cloth ~ CRC: a marine electronic cleaner ~ plastic storage box & towel

Step 1: Remove, clean and store your electronics. A damp (not soaked) cloth of mild, tepid water is all I use to clean the shell (housing) of the GPS/Fish-finder, and the VHF marine radio and/or handheld unit. After air-drying the items, I lightly spray both the male and female connections with CRC. Next, I wrap each unit in a hand towel and store them in a hard, protective plastic sportsmen's dry-box until next season.


Items: bucket ~ Mother's soap or Meguiar's Car Wash (preserves wax protection) ~ polishing cloths ~ large soft towel ~ rags ~ paper towels ~ NuFinish car/boat polish (you can apply this product in the sun) ~ duct tape

Step 1: Before walking away from my boat, and because the vessel is close to the water and may occasionally be exposed to a higher than normal tide, I use two small strips of duct tape to cover the cooling H2O inlet covers (vents) on each side of the lower unit.


Items: 17mm socket wrench ~ 14mm socket wrench ~ kneeling pad ~ mechanic's pad on which to place tools (protects gelcoat's surface)

Step 1: Before removing batteries, turn battery switch to OFF position.

Step 2: Make a note of which battery is which. Example: Starboard battery = #1 battery. Port battery = #2 battery.

Step 3: #1 Starboard battery removal procedure:
Disconnect negative (- thick black) cable first; use 14mm socket.
Disconnect positive (+ thick red) cable next; use 17mm socket.

Note that I record the order, position, and color of my accessory wires connected to the battery terminals. Yours will surely be different. List accordingly. It will make life easier come spring when you reinstall your batteries. Trust me.

Again, these are my battery wiring notes.

# 1 Starboard Battery

Positive small post takes thin orange/green accessory wire with blue crimp.

Positive small post takes thick positive (+) red battery cable on top.

Negative small post takes thick negative (-) black battery cable.

Next is the thin black accessory wire with yellow crimp.

Lastly, is the slightly thinner black accessory cable.

Bird's-eye view of #1 starboard battery with accessory wires and cables attached

Step 4: #2. Port battery removal procedure:

Disconnect negative (- thick black) cable first; use 14mm socket.
Disconnect positive (+ thick red) cable next; use 17mm socket.


Bravo! You've just graduated and are officially a Winterizing Wizard. Oh, I almost forgot. If you are independently wealthy, hate getting your hands dirty, dislike work in general — as opposed to working these procedures as a labor of love — please disregard all of the above. Didn't I initially tell you in Part 1 to read through everything first? Well, didn't I? :o) :o) On a more serious note, winterizing and maintaining your outboard engine will save you a great deal of money. That's a given. Additionally, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you did this yourself — properly.

Note: I change the Fuel/Water Separator, zinc(s), wash and wax the interior of boat during Spring Commissioning. I'll cover that procedure, along with bottom painting, at the beginning of March 2017.


As an aside, for those of you who have been following my reports regarding the pollution of the Peconic River over the last two years referencing the Riverhead Sewage Treatment Plant, in addition to seven years fighting the Calverton/Manorville toxic plume debacle, I said that I'd let Nor'east Saltwater readers know when the plant (which was supposed to be completed this past March) is fully operational. Finally, it is! The $24 million upgrade was completed as of Monday, September 26, 2016. Now, the powers that be can address the antiquated septic and sewer issues that contribute and continue polluting our waterways. Referencing the Calverton/Manorville toxic plume fiasco, no one is really talking. No new ink on that matter. At least we're moving in the right direction referencing the lower region of the Peconic River in Riverhead.

Bob Banfelder

Award-Winning Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoors Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network
Cablevision TV Host Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo
Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater

on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats

Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats

November 01, 2016

Step-By-Step Winterizing Wizardry for Outboard Engines Part 1

by Bob Banfelder

For a basic understanding of where you should begin the winterizing process as well as the reasons why, please first peruse these pages. Doing so now will undoubtedly save you a great deal of time, money, and frustration later. I'll use our 90 horsepower Yamaha TXR 4-stroke outboard engine as an overall model for winterizing outboard engines.

Words of sound advice before we begin winterizing: two heads and pairs of hands are better than one. Having a partner will be especially helpful. I have a partner, Donna. We have been winterizing and spring commissioning our boats for the better part of twenty-five years. To avoid frustration, start your work early in the day, have the necessary tools, materials, and equipment handy, and as you work through these instructions, with a pen and these guidelines at the ready, jot down specific information as it pertains to your engine and boat. For example, where I may use a ½-inch open-end wrench for a certain procedure, you may need a 7/16-inch socket. Simply record the change. This will considerably expedite the procedure the second time around. You will note that all tools, material, and equipment are listed for each procedure. Filing away this report when finished then working from a freshly printed copy will keep the information neat and clean for future reference. Working with these general instructions, along with your owner's manual, you will experience little if any difficulty.

It is both amazing and amusing to watch folks run back and forth retrieving tools, materials, and equipment in order to winterize their boats. Organization is absolutely the key to flawlessly performing the following procedures in addition to maintaining one's sanity. Several small items such as screws, nuts, washers, and O-rings are neatly arranged in a shallow, waxed cardboard box that once contained four lobsters on ice. Cleanup of oil, water, and grease, afterward, is simple. Larger items are set out and in easy reach. Waiting until the last moment to hunt up tools, materials, and equipment can really hold up the operation. Bad enough that wind, rain, or a setting sun can postpone the process when working outdoors. Again, be organized and get started as early in the day as possible. Many times I'm at the mercy of the tide in order to haul the boat. Therefore, if it's too late in the day to start another procedure, Donna and I continue the next step, weather permitting, on another day. Let's begin.

PHASE ONE: stabilizing the fuel system, hauling the boat, securing drain plug, pressure washing the vessel.


Items: Sta-bil gasoline stabilizer ~ Star Tron: enzyme fuel treatment ~ measuring cup showing ounces ~ paper towels and rags ~ funnel ~ stepladder

Step 1: Before I top off the fuel tank to approximately 7/8ths capacity so as to deter condensation and allow for expansion during the off season, I stabilize the gas with a good conditioner, following the label's instructions, running the additive through the system. I also add the proper amount of an enzyme fuel treatment, which also addresses ethanol fuel issues in today's gasoline.


Items: pressure washer ~ vinyl rain suit ~ vinyl gloves ~ stepladder ~ garden hose ~ paper towels ~ heavy-duty canvas work gloves ~ MaryKate On/Off ~ chip brush ~ block of wood ~ marine grease ~ safety glasses ~ hearing protection

Step 1: Haul the boat and position it on the trailer so that the rollers are either several inches forward or rearward from last season in order to reach areas that will need attention come spring. Power wash the bottom of the hull straightaway. Pressure washing now will facilitate the task of removing barnacles and marine growth later. Pressure wash the prop(s), lower unit, stern area including transducer, strainers, swim platform, et cetera.

Note: It's certainly convenient to own your own pressure washer. But you can rent one or contract a person to perform that job. If you purchase your own, make sure that it has a psi rating of at least 2400; 5.5 horsepower; otherwise, you'll be wasting time and money in trying to remove stubborn barnacles and marine growth.

Step 2: After power washing, MaryKate the scummy waterline, working quickly with a disposable chip brush between this powerful On/Off chemical and the H2O supply. Be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves.


Items: pliers ~ rubber hammer ~ block of wood ~ 7/8-inch socket wrench with 4-inch extension ~ marine grease ~ kneeling pad to protect knees

Step 1: Place a block of wood between the anti-cavitation plate and the propeller to prevent the prop from turning. Loosen propeller nut with socket wrench, noting the order of parts as you remove them: cotter pin (straighten and pull out with pliers), propeller nut (flat side inboard), washer (cupped rim inboard), spacer (flat rim inboard), propeller, then thrust washer (ribbed surface facing inboard; i.e., high part of rim facing outboard, shallow part inboard. Take copious notes, comparing it to your manual's diagram. If you have trouble removing the prop, gently tap it on both sides by using a small piece of wood and rubber hammer. Check the prop blades, shaft and splines for any damage. Remove any fishing line from the shaft. Store the prop and parts for spring commissioning, at which time you'll reverse the order, of course, for installation.


Items: small Ziploc bag ~ cord or plastic cable tie ~ adjustable wrench

Step 1: If removable, remove and store the drain plug in a small Ziploc. With a cord or plastic cable tie, hang the bag from the boat's (steering) wheel, which will serve as a reminder to reinstall it come spring. I could write a pamphlet filled with horror stories about folks who forgot to do just that. As my vessel is in close proximity to the water, I leave the boat's drain plug screwed in just in case there is an exceptional high tide.


Items: 3.9 quarts YAMALUBE 4-stroke FC-W 10W-30 ~ vinyl gloves ~ oil filter: Yamaha #5GH 13440-00 ~ standard oil filter wrench or end-cap type ~ optional: Jabsco Porta-quick 12V oil changer ~ trash container ~ paper towels and rags ~ long wide-mouthed funnel ~ 14mm socket wrench with 4-inch extension ~ scissors ~ kneeling pad ~ container for oil disposal ~ container to catch oil flow

Step 1: No need to first run the boat under load; that is, taking the vessel out for a spin in order to get the engine oil hot. Remove the cowling (cover) to access the engine's oil filler cap then tilt the engine up in the extreme position. Remove oil cap. Using a 14 millimeter socket wrench with an extension, unscrew the engine's oil drain plug and metal washer. The plug, situated up and within the rubber drip cup, is located at the rear of the outboard as captioned below. Carefully set aside plug and washer. The oil will not drain out until you lower the engine. Having a pail or suitable container handy, slowly lower the engine and catch the flow of oil. Use a level to determine the engine's precise vertical position, allowing the oil to completely drain.

Important Note: Yamaha's owner's manual will tell you that the engine oil should be extracted with an oil changer run through the dipstick (which does require getting the oil hot) because not all the oil is fully drained through the oil drain plug via gravity since some of it lies in areas that do not completely drain. The difference in the amount of oil when extracting it from the dipstick as compared to draining it through the oil drain plug is slightly less than a cup as depicted below. This amount represents approximately 1/16th of the total volume. The owner's manual states that the engine oil is good for 100 hours or 1-year intervals. So, here's my rule of thumb: As I generally run approximately 50 hours during the boating season, I drain the oil from the oil drain plug—not the dipstick. I have consulted several knowledgeable marine mechanics on this point, and they say to simply but thoroughly drain the oil from the oil drain plug and that you'll be fine. In years when I put on something close to 100 hours, I extract the oil through the dipstick. The choice is yours. Again, you'll first have to get the oil hot to facilitate extracting the oil through the dipstick. You do not get the oil hot when draining through the oil drain plug.

Oil drain plug is located up and within the black rubber drip cup

Step 2: Once the engine oil is drained, remove the oil filter; no fuss, no muss. Be sure and apply a film of clean oil to the new oil filter gasket before installing. Put the cowling back on the housing and secure both latches.

Optional: You can easily drain the engine oil from Yamaha's 15hp–150hp 4-stroke outboards through the oil drain plug via Fred Pentt's neat little setup. Fred's You Tube video clearly explains this procedure. Click below. The cost is $15, which includes shipping. Compare this item with West Marine's Ocean Accessories Tilt-N-Drain Oil Changer at $23.99, plus shipping. You'll find that West Marine's Ocean Accessories' fitting is plastic, whereas Fred's oil drain fitting is metal. Fred Pentt's phone number is 1-360-581-0904. Checks may be sent to Fred Pentt at 2731 Aberdeen Avenue, Hoquiam, WA 98550. Why I recently opted for Fred's item is that you can drain the engine oil without playing around with a pail and a potential mess. Additionally, you can address another winterizing procedure, carefree, while the oil is draining. It's a win-win, guys and gals.

Fred Pentt's 34-inch oil drain tube and fitting (O-ring included) for Yamaha 4-stroke outboards, 15hp–150hp

PHASE TWO: prop removal, draining oil from lower unit, filling oil in the lower unit.


Items: oil drain pan ~ paper towels & rags ~ empty plastic gallon container for lube (oil) disposal ~ small level ~ kneeling pad ~ impact screwdriver ~ trash container ~ small funnel ~ rubber hammer ~ 2 gaskets # Yamaha 90430-08020

Step 1: Simply level the outboard engine and place an oil drain pan beneath the lower unit. Remove the bottom (longer) gear-lube drain plug with a screwdriver (an impact screwdriver [if needed]. With a paper towel, wipe the magnetic tip of the plug clean of any metal shavings. Set aside. Remove the upper (shorter) gear-lube drain plug at the top of the lower unit by the cavitation plate, and allow the unit to completely drain. Inspect the oil.

Note: If the oil is milky, consult your Yamaha dealer because water is getting into the gear case.

Step 2: Remove old gaskets from the two plugs (screws) and replace with new.

Place a level on the cavitation plate for precise draining of the lower unit


Items: YAMALUBE MARINE GEARCASE LUBE 0.708 US quart Hypoid SAE#90 – 80W90 ~ multi-purpose plastic quart pump kit with tubing and extension fitting for oil drain plug ~ impact screwdriver ~ regular wide-slotted screwdriver ~ plastic gallon container for used oil ~ gallon-size Ziploc storage bag and cable tie

Optional: I use a Craftsman garden pump-sprayer for multiple engines. Example: my 2.5hp, 5hp, 90hp. A nice feature on the garden sprayer is an in-line on/off flow handle. Starting the gear lube flowing then stopping it before disconnecting will prevent overfilling. Containing and storing the sprayer in a 50-pound plastic laundry pail facilitates ease of transport and collects any spills. Place the pail within a large plastic garbage bag to keep the sprayer unit protected from dirt and grime when stored.

Step 1: After the gear case lube has completely drained from the lower unit, refill it with fresh gear oil by connecting either of the pressurized filling devices to the lower (bottom) oil drain plug via the extension fitting. Pump the oil in slowly so as not to create an air lock, right up to the oil level opening (top). As the oil starts to come out, immediately secure the opening with the top plug.

Step 2: Next, unscrew the extension fitting from the lower unit, quickly replacing the lower (bottom) plug. I secure both screws by firmly tightening then tapping the back of the impact screwdriver with a rubber hammer. This will lock the screws solidly in place. Actually, I try and unscrew both plugs with a regular slotted screwdriver [without employing the impact screwdriver]. The screws should be solidly tight, whereby you would need the impact screwdriver to remove them—which, of course, you do not want to do. This ensures that the two plugs are not going to loosen, leak oil, or take in water.

Step 3: Finally, I wipe both areas clean and, nonetheless, check for leaks. Place the multi-purpose plastic quart pump kit with tubing and extension fitting in an upright position, securing it to the pump's handle with a cable tie. Store the item in the Ziploc bag till next time. This will avoid an oily mess.

Quart pump kit with tubing and extension fitting

Tomorrow, November 2nd, we'll continue with Part 2, Phase Three.

Bob Banfelder

Award-Winning Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoors Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network
Cablevision TV Host Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo
Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater

on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats

Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats

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