Wild Northerner Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 38

To change the gear lube, you are going to need a standard screw driver, an empty pail, new gear lube, and a hand pump. With the motor trimmed all the way down and a bucket under the lower end, unscrew the magnetic drain plug that is located on the bottom side of lower end of the motor (usually driver side). After removing the drain plug inspect the plug for any shards of metal and be sure that the plastic washer is there and in good condition. The plastic washer is a quick easy fix, however if there are any shards of metal on your screw it's time to get your boat in for service. Now, with the lower end oil slowing seeping out, unscrew the vent screw. This will be located just above the drain screw on the same side of the leg casing; again, watch for the plastic washer. Note some outboards will also have a level screw beside the vent screw and will further help the flow of oil on these out boards. Now that the vent screw has been taken out and you have a good flow of oil being drained, inspect the oil as it's coming out of the lower end. Look for milky oil or water coming out of the lower end. If this issue exists, I would recommend changing the seals (plastic washers) on each of the lower end screws (drain, vent, and level) or bring your outboard in for service at a local dealer.

After the gear lube has fully drained, attach the hand pump to the new gear lube and screw the end of the pump into the drain plug hole on the lower end. Pump the oil into the lower end until it begins to seep out of the vent hole above, or if the outboard has it, the level hole. Once it reaches the vent hole, place the vent screw and plastic washer back and snug it up. At this point I like to give two more pumps on my hand pump (to ensure full coverage), then remove the hand pump from the lower end and re-insert the drain screw. Wipe down, properly clean up and dispose of all the used oil and you are ready to store your watercraft.

The Four Stroke Engine

In recent years, the four-stroke engine has become the most viable option on the market. Often selling points for these motors are better fuel economy, less scheduled maintenance and less noise. These engines are slowly becoming the common choice for a lot of anglers and recreational boaters alike. Although very similar steps to the two-stroke engine, the four-stroke has a couple of more steps and tools involved in the storage process.

First, make sure that you have all the appropriate tools involved with storing your four-stroke. Along with all the same tools needed to store a two-stroke engine, you will also require:

New oil filter

Specific grade of OEM oil for your outboard

Piece of wood Correct size filter wrench or strap

A Funnel

Prop wrench or proper size socket (not required for all four-strokes)

Now that you have all the tools required it's time to begin the process. Follow steps 1 through 3 (flush and drain) of the two-stroke process and proceed to step 4.

Step 4: This step includes the draining and changing of the engine oil on your respected four-stroke. To do this, you are going to need to locate the drain plug for the engine oil. This will be located somewhere on the side or leg casing of the motor. With the cowling off the motor, remove the drain plug from the leg casing and drain into an oil pan or bucket that can be used to properly dispose of the old oil. After the oil is drained, put the drain screw back in the leg casing and find the re-fill location in the user manual. Once located, add the proper amount and specific grade of OEM oil. When re-filling, always use a funnel to avoid any spillage or mess.

Step 5: Changing the oil filter. Like a vehicle, this is a rather easy task to complete. Completing the task will require the proper sized filter wrench or strap wrench to remove the old oil filter. When installing a new oil filter be sure to seat the outside O-ring. To do this with a finger, simply rub a small amount of engine oil on the outside O-ring. When replacing, hand tighten the new filter and then snug it tight using the correct size filter wrench or strap wrench; do not over-torque the filter.

After the oil filter is securely in place, refer and complete steps 4 and 5 of the two-stroke winterization process. You are now ready for the final step of the four-stroke process. Same as its counterpart, the two-stroke, it is highly recommended to change the lower end oil or gear lube. An identical process for four-strokes - except for the location of the drain plug on the lower end. Some four-stroke motors require removal of the prop to access the drain plug. To remove the prop, use a piece of wood to prevent damage and movement of the propeller. With the wood preventing movement, use a prop wrench to remove the nut and pull the propeller off the lower end. After the lower end drain plug has been located, drain and re-fill using the same process used in step 6 of the two-stroke.

These winterizing tips are the basic do it yourself tips. Changing your fuel filter, grease fittings, and changing bearings on your trailer are some other tips that I would suggest you complete each year. Although doing it yourself is a great cost saver, I do highly recommend a trip to a boat dealer for service every one to three years depending on the amount you use your watercraft. Impellers, drive belts, compression on cylinders and having seals checked are all good preventative maintenance that I personally like to leave to the dealership.