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Sealed Tightly Page 2

Sealed Tightly - Maintenance Q & A — February 2003
Maintenance Q & A — February 2003
By Capt. Ken Kreisler


Sealed Tightly
Part 2: Flushing an Outboard, How Water Gets into Diesel
 
 More of this Feature
• Dripless Shaft Seal
• Flushing an Outboard, and more
• PMY Tries... Kneepads

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

What is the proper method for flushing out an outboard? H. L., via e-mail
Attach the appropriate flushing device as per the manufacturer's instructions and connect a garden hose to it. (Keep the engine in an upright position during and after flushing to prevent water from passing into the power head through the drive shaft housing and exhaust ports. This will also eliminate any possibility of residual water being trapped in the drive shaft housing or other places where it can collect.)

Open the water tap partially, shift your engine into neutral, and then start it, keeping it running at idle speed and no faster. Adjust the water flow so there is a slight loss of water around the rubber cups of the flushing device. Check your engine’s “tell-tale” nozzle to make sure water is being discharged. Flush the engine for at least five minutes to ensure it is completely clean and free of dirt or silt.

If you operate your outboard in salt water, you should flush it out after each use to prevent salt and deposits from accumulating inside the engine.

I've noticed more water than usual in my diesel fuel/water separators. Where could it be coming from? D.N., via e-mail
There are three possibilities. The first source is condensation that naturally occurs when the fuel is colder than the air inside the fuel tank. If the air contains moisture, condensation will accumulate and eventually drip into the fuel.

A second source is the fuel itself, which may contain water as part of the normal refining and handling process. Check with your dockmates, and if anybody else has the same problem, notify your marina manager.

Finally, water may be leaking into your fuel system. Be sure to check your filler cap and fill-pipe connections for watertight integrity.

Need help with a maintenance problem? Write to Maintenance Q & A, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: ken_kreisler@primediamags.com. No phone calls, please.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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